Long-time Monforts user Luckytex (Thailand) Pcl has installed a Thermex 6500 hotflue system for continuous dyeing as part of its strategy to move more strongly into value-added production and thereby fend off competition from the high-volume, lower-cost producers in other parts of Asia.
The company has also invested in a Monforts MXL moist cross-linking process, and a Montex 6500 stenter. All the equipment has been supplied through the Thai representative, United Engineering Overseas Ltd.
“Thailand is no longer a low-cost textile producer,” says Luckytex Deputy Managing Director, Li Kin Shing. “We must innovate. Innovation means survival. This is why we have been investing in this technology.”
Luckytex produces polyester and cotton blended fabrics, 100 % cotton fabrics, 100 % polyester spun fabrics, polyester filament, taffeta, and denim. The company also produces industrial materials, such as dipped cord for air-conditioner, brake and power-steering hoses, and nylon airbag fabric.
Ranking within Thailand’s top 10 textiles producers, Luckytex was established in 1960 as a venture between Hong Kong and Thai-Chinese interests. Its first mill was for spinning and weaving, and the second, which opened shortly after, was for dyeing and finishing. A third mill was added in 1976.
The company is now partially owned by Toray Industries of Japan, and is listed on Thailand’s Stock Exchange.
Although Thailand was until recent times considered a low-cost producer, the country’s labour costs have been steadily rising. It also faces intense competition from other nearby producers in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Bangladesh and China. The predicted rise of production in Myanmar is going to increase competition even further.
The three Luckytex mills are located in Samut Prakarn, a neighboring province of Bangkok, at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River.
These factories are linked through flow of production, especially in the manufacturing of spun fabrics and taffeta. Mill No 1 operates spinning and weaving for production of spun fabrics and transfers this to Mill No 2 for bleaching, dyeing and finishing. Mill No 3 produces taffeta fabrics and transfers this produce to Mill No 2 for dyeing and finishing.
Apart from taffeta fabrics, products of Mill No 3 also include denim and the industrial materials. The Monforts equipment is installed in Mill No 2, which employs about 700 people. The first Monforts machine to be installed was a Monfortex in 1992. A second Monfortex was installed in 1997, and a third in 2003.
All three of these machines are still working today. Mr Li, who is also manager of Mill No 2, says that the company is manufacturing for both the export and the domestic markets.
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