Interview with S Senthilkumar & ND Mhatre

S Senthilkumar & ND Mhatre
S Senthilkumar & ND Mhatre
President & Director General (Technical) respectively

What are the roadblocks that hamper India from realising its potential as a leading manufacturer of textile machinery?

Considering the manufacturing of conventional textile machines up to the shuttle technology in case of looms, India was considered to be a potential manufacturing textile machinery hub. However, due to the inception of the state of- the-art and hi-tech technologies in the European textile machinery industry and India neglecting its technology development due to various reasons at the same time, the situation changed. Also, handloom products as well as handicraft products, which are well accepted in the international market and which are usually manufactured on handlooms and conventional machines, have not encouraged Indian industrialists to go for state-of-the-art technologies. This is reflected in the same type of machines being demanded from the Indian textile engineering industry. Further, during the mill strike period in India, the so-called composite mills structure was converted into a decentralised textiles industry where Ichalkaranji, Bhiwandi, etc, took the lead in formation of these powerloom clusters. Today's demand of installation of hi-tech technologies, e.g. shuttleless technology, has encouraged many entrepreneurs to go for them for enhancing their business. Also, as many entrepreneurs are from the MSME category and doing business in the decentralised powerloom sectors, the Union Ministry of Textiles came forward with a TUF Scheme to encourage them to upgrade their technology. However, the outcome of this scheme was the installation of preowned machines on a large scale. Further, as there were no special schemes like after-sales service, maintenance activities clubbed along with, to take care of the sustainable production and product quality, the same resulted in a huge junk of low performance machines with high technology. Such activities like after-sales and maintenance programmes are being taken care of by new machine manufacturers, and so you find that at least for 10 years these machines deliver a sustainable, productive and good quality product. Thus, the technological gap needs to be overcome through JVs for technology acquisition (applied research) and R&D centres like Common Facility Centre. Also, human capital needs to be built up through innovative courses like "adding to the skills" which shall bring users and suppliers under a common platform for exchanging information on new developments and requirements. The factories need to be refurbished by implementing programmes like 5S, Lean, Six Sigma, Design Clinics, etc. It is a general trend that for new machines say worth `40 lakh, the owner is ready to pay for accessories worth `2 lakh in order to maintain the productivity and performance. However, the same owner hesitates to go for ₹2 lakh worth spare parts or accessories of the same nature while installing it on a pre-owned machine worth `10 lakh. Now, considering that 75 per cent machines in India are pre-owned, the demand from the textile accessories sector is 'high quality or good quality at lower cost'. To overcome these roadblocks which is hampering the growth of textile engineering industry, the association has taken following steps:
  • Developing an innovative training programme known as "Adding to the skills" which brings the technologist from the textile manufacturing industry and engineers from the textile machinery manufacturing industry together on the same dais, thus resulting in the exchange of R&D requirements for delivering state-of-the-art manufacturing.
  • Many members being MSMEs, and others being traders who are carrying out certain activities under one roof; the implementation of programmes like 5S, Lean, Six Sigma, Design Awareness and Common Facility Centre is helping them improve their infrastructure set-ups, process of manufacturing, and ultimately deliver higher productivity at lower cost.
  • Innovative schemes implemented under the ITAMMA banner/pavilion at competitive cost like Share a Table Scheme, Share a Stall Scheme, Catalogue Display Scheme, etc, give our members first-hand information on the global industry and its requirements.

What is the size of the textile accessories market in India and globally?

As per a survey of the Textiles Committee, there are about 4,000 machinery and component manufacturing units, out of which nearly 300 units produce complete machinery and the remaining produce various textile machinery components. However, not all units work to full capacity or even optimum capacity levels. Except for units in the spinning sector where machineries are of international standards, machinery manufacturing for sectors like weaving, knitting and wetprocessing lack standard of quality and performance to compete with European manufacturers. Further, only 25 per cent have Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines. The total production is about `5,650 crore, with 13 per cent being spares and accessories.
Published on: 25/11/2015

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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