Corporate / SME | Interviews | Textile Technology

Our Machines Are 25% More Productive: Navin Agrawal

Published: January 13, 2022

A.T.E. Enterprises Private Limited is a multifaceted engineering group offering exceptional products and solutions in diverse segments. A.T.E.’s businesses encompass manufacturing, industrial sales, distribution, and service and have gained expertise in handling turnkey projects. Mr. Navin Agrawal, Vice President, A.T.E. Enterprises replied to a questionnaire from the Textile Value Chain. Excerpts:

How was the response of SITEX Exhibition?

This is the first time that A.T.E. has participated in SITEX. While we do represent big brands such as Karl Mayer, we wanted to showcase SMIT’s Italian rapier weaving technology at SITEX. Even though we did not display any machines, we received a good number of visitors who wanted to know more about us and the services we provide. SMIT’s 2FAST (Flexible Advanced Shuttleless Technology) loom generated a lot of interest at SITEX.

We anticipate 2022 being a good year for us as we already have customers who use SMIT’s machines.  We have an edge over Chinese manufacturers because our machines give 20-25% more productivity than Chinese machines.

As you know there are a lot of Chinese machines and the market is already set, so how will you enter the market with your European machine?

Surat is a very large market – approximately 400 to 450 looms purchased every month. While it is true that the majority of the machines are of  Chineses origins, people who have Chinese machines right now want to go for European machines. The 380 cm Chinese jacquard machines run at speeds of around 250-260 picks per minute, whereas European machines with the innovative hook technology run at speeds of 300 picks per minute. SMIT’s machines go even further – SMIT’s free flight technology and newer features can achieve the speeds of 350+ picks per minute which translates into a higher productivity by025hence 

As far as pricing is concerned, while European machines are priced about 30-35% more than Chinese machines, and double that of Indian machines, the improved build quality, and increase in production justifies this pricing.

How were these 2 years of pandemic and what about the coming years: 2022 & 2023?

It is true that the pandemic caused a slowdown in the textile industry in 2020. However, we were ready for the 2nd wave in 2021, which helped us mitigate its impact greatly. We now see that investment has increased for new machines, so I am inclined to believe that the next few years will be a golden period for the textile industry.

By 2025 the growth of the we anticipate the CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of the textile industry, which is currently around 8-9%, will go over 10%. One of the reasons for this will be the PLI (Production-Linked Incentive) scheme that was introduced by the government last year.  and other benefits like Textile Technology Development Scheme (TTDS) replacing ATUFS with better advantages.

How your company manage during the pandemic?

We did not layoff or furlough any employees at A.T.E. Instead, we supported, motivated and gave them online training for soft skills. A number of our employees took advantage of the pandemic and participated in online courses to upskill themselves. 

We also had an internal drive to ensure that everyone and their families were vaccinated. 

What are the criteria of selecting a distributorship of any company?

Principals are evaluated based on a list of criteria such as the product portfolio, reputation and brand image, and other parameters. We usually prefer European manufacturers as principals. 

What about the research and development department of the company?

Most of the machinery we provide to the textile industry is manufactured by our principals. We have tied up with some of the world’s most prominent textile machinery manufacturers such as Trützschler, KARL MAYER, Fong’s, and more. Our tie-ups give Indian textile manufacturers access to advanced textile manufacturing technologies that give them the competitive edge in global textile markets. We also have well-trained teams that support our customers throughout the lifecycle of the machine – from selection of the right technology, installation and commissioning, training, and finally providing critical aftersales services.

Some of the other critical challenges that we are helping textile manufacturers overcome are energy conservation, resource optimisation, and improving product quality. We also help our customers upgrade their legacy machinery.

In-house, we have also developed several state-of-the-art technology products and solutions such as precision spinning machinery components, eco-friendly products for space and process cooling, concentrated solar thermal systems, wastewater treatment solutions, industrial IoT solutions, static and ink control, and register control, as well as vision and defect detection systems. Our solutions are used in a wide range of applications and industries – from the automotive and engineering industries to food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and of course, textiles. 

What is your advice the new startups in this industry?

I would advise new startups to be passionate, dedicated and honest in their work to achieve success in any kind of industry. 


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