Source: Textile Review


STATUS ON DEVELOPMENT OF INDIGENOUS MANUFACTURE OF SHUTTLELESS LOOMS


Failures of the programme of manufacturing shuttleless looms in the past i.e. during 80s and early 90s was discouraging the domestic manufacturers. However, despite the difficulties faced in manufacturing as well as marketing of shuttleless looms, a couple of existing manufacturers and a new breed of manufacturers started developing low cost, low speed shuttleless rapier looms during late 90s.


In the previous edition of TMMA TIMES, in my article, "Historical Background and Status of Textile Engineering Industry", I had explained the reasons for non-development of sophisticated weaving machinery (shuttleless looms). It was mentioned why good quality shuttleless looms could not be developed in the past while we were with up-to-date technology in spinning. Failures of the programme of manufacturing shuttleless looms in the past i.e. during 80s and early 90s was discouraging the domestic manufacturers. However, despite the difficulties faced in manufacturing as well as marketing of shuttleless looms, a couple of existing manufacturers and a new breed of manufacturers started developing low cost, low speed shuttleless rapier looms during late 90s. The Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme announced by the Government gave encouragement to the manufacturers.


The present status of manufacture vis--vis foreign competition


During late 90s and early 2000, new manufacturers as well as couple of old manufacturers felt that the quota-free regime under WTO agreement may give a boost to the textile industry and to the Textile Engineering Industry. Even we felt that the decentralized powerloom sector where 80% of the loom age is of obsolete technology, may opt for shuttleless looms to some extent. The 20% Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme announced during 2002 was further moral booster. The Scheme was thought of primariIy to help the Textile Engineering Industry, particularly the weaving machinery manufacturers and the decentralized powerloom sector. It was hoped that with this Scheme, the decentralized sector wouId be sensitized and coerced to modernize with the domestic shuttleless looms. This prompted the following manufacturers to come out with their brands of shuttleless looms in the country - (table 1)


It may thus be seen that today there are manufacturers of shuttleless rapier looms, water jet looms and air jet looms.


Out of these manufacturers, M/s. Aalidhra Weave-Tech Pvt. Ltd., Surat; M/s. Laxmi Textile Stores, Ahmedabad; M/s. Dynamic Loom Mfg. Co., Ahmedabad; M/s. Himson Textile Egg. Ind. Pvt. Ltd., Surat; and M/s. Lifebond Machines Pvt Ltd., Surat are regularly manufacturing shuttleless looms and supplying to the customers. The general price of these machines ranges between Rs. 3 lakh and RsA.5 lakh depending on the specifications, types of components & accessories used, quality, productivity, etc.

In general, these machines are rapier looms (Crank Beat-up type) working at a speed of 200 to 225 rpm. These manufacturers have been facing tough competition from imported second hand rapier looms as well as new Chinese rapier looms. The landed cost of Chinese rapier loom, on an average, does not exceed Rs. 3 lakh. Even though quality of our shuttleless looms are superior to the Chinese looms, there is an uneven competition due to lesser price of the Chinese rapier looms.


Our manufacturers M/s. Aalidhra Weave-Tech Pvt. Ltd., M/s. Dynamic loom Mfg. Co., M/s. Himson Textile Egg. Ind. Pvt. Ltd., and M/s. Lakshmi Automatic Loom Works Ltd. have developed high speed Cam beat-up type rapier looms of 300 rpm and above. The cost of such rapier looms ranges between Rs. 9 lakh and Rs. 11 lakh. Here again, the landed cost of Chinese high speed rapier looms is Rs.8 lakh. As such, the investments made by the Indian manufacturers have been wasted in the face of competition with Chinese manufacturers. Nil CVD was a boon for the Chinese manufacturers. M/s. Aalidhra Weave Tech Pvt. Ltd. and M/s. Himson Textile Egg. Ind. Pvt. Ltd. have developed waterjet looms. They are also facing tough competition with the Chinese manufacturers.


Indigenously produced waterjet looms by M/s. Himson Textile Egg. Ind. Pvt. Ltd. and Aalidhra Weave-Tech Pvt. Ltd. are equally good like Japanese/Taiwanese machines. But unequal competition due to duty structure and import of second hand looms has badly affected their production.


M/s. Aalidhra Weave-Tech Pvt. Ltd. have also developed airjet looms at a cost of Rs.12 lakh. This is a high-tech model capable of running at a speed of 800 rpm. However, imported Japanese high speed airjet looms are available almost at a similar price. As a result, there is a tough competition and it is difficult to market indigenous machines.


Besides the above, in all the above categories, the cost of second hand high speed (speed ranging from 300 to 450 rpm) air-jet looms are available within the price range of Rs. 4 lakh to Rs.8 lakh. These are largely being imported by the decentralized powerloom sector. This is another bottleneck and it is extremely difficult for the domestic manufacturers to compete with such imports.


It could therefore be seen that even though there is a total annual capacity to manufacture Nos.l5000 shuttleless looms within the country, the production does not exceed Nos.500 per annum due to the constraints mentioned above.


Future Vision


In the union Budget for the year 2008-09, the Government accepted the demand of Textile Engineering Industry and imposed excise duty of 8% on shuttleless looms which means a countervailing duty of 8% will be levied on the imported shuttleless looms. This has given some relief to the domestic manufacturers. On the one hand, it would be able to get some MODVAT benefit on the excise duties being paid by them on the components for the manufacture of shuttleless looms, on the other hand the cost of imported shuttleless looms wiII be higher due to levy of CVD and there would be some price advantage to the domestic manufacturers.


If the above situation continues, further encouragement from the Government by way of ban on second hand imports particularly under the TUF Scheme as well as fiscal reliefs as requested by TEl are effected coupled with improvement in the market situation, the manufacturers of indigenous shuttleless looms are confident of meeting a substantial demand of the Textile Weaving Sector.


The Author is Secretary, TMMA

 

Originally published in &sec=article&uinfo=<%=server.URLEncode(2432)%>">Textile Review : February 2010