Dr. Jairam Varadaraj- The Managing Director of ELGI EQUIPMENTS LTD

As a global air compressor manufacturer, ELGi offers the widest range of compressors to cater to the compressed air requirements in the textile industry. It starts from a half HP piston compressor, which could be used in smaller textile processing and fabric units all the way up to a 2000 HP centrifugal compressor that can be used in large processing and texturizing units. In between, we also have our lubricated and oil free screw compressors. In addition, we have a complete range of air treatment facilities. Depending on the customer's air quality demands, we provide complete range of compressed air solution. While ELGi's supply base covers just about every industry, textile being a critical part of the economy is an important vertical for our business. Contribution of the textile industry to our business varies year to year and, roughly accounts for anywhere between three to six percent of revenue.

We understand the customer's pain points at a very nascent stage and take them very seriously. We embed high quality solutions for these pain points not only in our products but also at service level. For example, in the textile industry, especially in spinning or weaving units, there is a lot of fluff in the atmosphere and the equipment or machinery used by these units needs to operate in such atmosphere. This is a real problem because the customer has to opt for frequent cleaning cycles to handle fluff. For this, we have engineered our products by adding certain features to enable the machine to operate in such a kind of an environment.

Process industries, like textiles, operate continuously where uptime is critical. As a result, compressors have to be up and running all the time. We have built so much of quality into our products that we provide the highest levels of warranty in the world compared to any other air compressor manufacturer. In addition, we provide extremely rapid service support to the customer.

In pre-COVID period, the constant dynamics between cotton and yarn prices and the cascading effect of that was a big challenge for a lot of textile mills not only in India, but also globally. The margins were under pressure. Many of the textile mills have highly stressed balance sheets and P&L. So, the financial liquidity is a problem for a lot of textile companies.

Cost of compressed air is a very small part of the cost of operation for a textile mill. Nevertheless, energy is costly and compressor is a significant carrier of the energy cost. Besides making the most efficient compressors in the world, we provide air audit services to many mills to understand the pattern of air requirement and its consumption. Air audits help us fine-tune the entire compressed air system leading to significant savings for the customers.

Selection of the Right Compressor: While buying an air compressor, customers should not exclusively look at upfront cost as it is only 9 to 10 percent of life cycle cost of a compressor. Roughly 75 per cent of the life cycle cost of a compressor is the energy cost. So, customers need to look very carefully in terms of energy efficiency of an air compressor while buying. Customers should also need to look at the maintenance cost which is close to about 15 percent of the total life cycle cost for a customer. They also need to look at the consumable prices. The customer must buy a compressor which meets the optimum requirement. If the compressed air application needs a 30 HP compressor, no point in buying 50 HP compressor if you think higher capacity may be useful in case of expansion in the future. Running high power compressor at low capacity is a waste of money and energy. If the customer still wants a higher capacity compressor, then he need to opt for a variable frequency drive (VFD), which we provide as a standard solution. VFD is a little more expensive than a fixed speed machine. Hence, choosing the right size of the compressor for the given application is very important.

ELGi's new product for the Textile Industry: In 2019, ELGi made its biggest product launch at Hannover, Germany, the launch of AB series oil free screw air compressor, a disruption in oil free technology. The ELGi AB Series oil free compressors are 10-15 percent more efficient than other conventional oil free compressors, but at a price point which is very attractive for customers.

Because of high cost of oil free compressors, textile customers use oil lubricated compressors along with downstream filters to remove the oil, which are highly expensive. Filters consume energy resulting in a pressure drop. With our AB series, we are opening up a completely new dimension of thinking for our textile customers who can use oil free compressor offering high levels of efficiency at a very attractive upfront cost. To know more about Elgi's compressed air solutions for the textile industry. Visit Elgi.