Many spinning mills in India are under a lot of stress, particularly owing to increasing costs of raw material and power. Sanjay Arora and Gagandeep Garg write about the challenges and solutions.

India is one of the few countries in the world which has production at each level of textile manufacturing viz. fibre manufacturing, spinning, weaving, knitting, processing and garmenting. The textiles sector is the second largest after agriculture in India. Significant growth has been observed over the years, which motivates entrepreneurs to invest in the industry or to expand their existing plants.

However, the Indian textiles and apparel industry has struggled in FY18 due to the lingering effect of the goods and services tax (GST). The overall consolidated sales of the top 10 companies increased by 2 per cent during FY18. However, the EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) declined drastically by 16 per cent in the same period.

Due to increasing raw material, power and other costs many spinning mills are under stress. Textiles is one of the sectors which accounts for most of banks stressed assets. Many companies are declared NPA (non-performing asset) and are under National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) at the present.

Higher volatility in cotton prices have impacted the complete scenario for spinning mills. Mills with lower spindle capacity or narrow product range face challenges during market volatility. Lower manufacturing costs, higher productivity rates, labour skills and uniform quality can lead to higher profitability. To sustain in the competitive market, efficient operational management is required. Regular monitoring and value addition to the process is essential to move forward.

Followings are the main challenges faced by spinning mills:

1) Lower Productivity

Productivity is the major factor affecting directly on yarn cost. In practicality, mills are following same standard of GPSS (gram per spindle per shift) or productivity for a long time now. They are more focused on production, instead of productivity. Major spinning leaders have raised their standard of productivity by modernising machines or optimising process parameters. Preparatory processes play an important role in ring spinning. Better processing of raw material with uniform quality helps in gaining more productivity in ring frames and lesser cuts in the winding section. The major factors influencing yarn productivity are as under:

  •          Improper bale and lot management in mixing department;

  •          Different proportion of usable waste mix up in bale laydown;

  •          Not following proper method of bale storage and conditioning;

  •          Regular sliver quality monitoring system for individual cards is missing;

  •          Lack of sliver breakage monitoring and their rectifications;

  •          Improper follow up of machine and general cleaning, which leads to higher neps;

  •          More variations in lap weight;

  •          Irregular checking of neps removal efficiency (NRE %) at card and comber stage;

  •          Randomisation process is not followed at various stages;

  •          Top roller changing method is not followed in draw frame;

  •          More variation in top arm pressure of speed frame and ring frame;

  •          Wrong selection of particulars for different count range;

  •          Imbalanced work load on operators and skill gap in mending and piecing;

  •          Higher doffing time and downtime;

  •        Adverse condition of working components e.g. bobbin holders, top arms, bottom aprons, cots, ring rail, lappet hook, spindle buttons, spindle tapes, etc;