Leading Colombian garments producer Permoda Ltd has installed a Montex 6500 stenter in its Bogota plant to ensure maximum competitiveness in the quality of its own-brand products.
Permoda manufactures for the Latin American markets, with brand names such as Armi, Pronto, B-Kul, Koaj and Love catering mainly for the young fashion sectors.
The six-chamber Monforts Montex was supplied by Monforts' Colombian distributor Servimtexa late in 2011.
"This is a completely new addition to our production line," says Permoda's maintenance director William Garzon Alarcon. "The plant was opened just seven years ago, and until now we have been using conventional stretching frames for our fabrics.
"It is our strategy now to improve the quality of our output to become more competitive, and also to increase our production. In that order, We believe that quality drives sales and hence production, in our market sectors certainly, and this is why we have installed the Montex. The Monforts technology enables us to do both."
The new stenter is handling a wide range of knitted fabrics including 100 percent cotton, combined polyester and cotton, and Lycra.
"We can now process any kind of knitted fabric here, and the stenter is helping us to increase our fabrics mix," says Mr Garzon.
The Montex handles material to a width of 2.60 m. Mr Garzon says that the average weight of the material is 180 gm/m2, with a maximum weight of 350 gm/m2.
"We are handling between 5 and 6 tonnes per day," he says. "Our factory works 25 days per month, so we are looking at an output through the stenter of more than 125 tonnes per month.
"That is far more than we were able to handle with our previous line, and consequently we are able to not only increase our output, but to make available a greater range of fashion garments.
"Combined with the quality we can offer, this is making us very competitive in the market segments in which we specialise."
"We also have to be very much aware of our costs, which of course are reflected in our retail prices," says Mr Garzon. "We cannot beat cheap imports, and we don't intend to even try, but we have to be competitive as well as being better."
The energy efficiency of the Montex, which is fitted with a heat exchanger, is helping Permoda to closely control costs.
"When we were discussing the specifications of our needs and the machine with Monforts and Servimtexa before installation, we were told that at our projected output the machine would probably use 90m3 of gas per hour," says Mr Garzon.
"In the event we are using only 40-45 m3, so that is about half what we had envisaged.
"At the same time we were told to expect to use about 200 kW of electrical power and so far we have been using only about 95 kW.
"So we are very happy with our consumption rates. We are saving our own costs and also easily meeting the local environmental laws."
Energy can account for more than half the costs of operating a thermal system, and the Monforts heat transfer system is designed to reduce these to the minimum amount possible.
"We believe that we are running the stenter at its optimum range, and consequently are enjoying the full benefits," he says.
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