Interview with Michael Hall

Face2Face
Michael Hall
Michael Hall
Vice-president- Sales & Marketing
TSI Yarns
TSI Yarns

Technology that is a fad today will become a necessity in the future

With over 30 years of experience, TSI Yarns creates custom yarns using airjet texturing, commingling and interlacing technologies to enhance the performance of fabrics and textiles. Its portfolio consists of 10,000 texturing specifications reflecting commitment of focus on creating specialised textured yarns specific to each client's needs. Michael Hall, vice-president, sales and marketing at TSI Yarns tells Fibre2Fashion about customisation and innovation in their products.

TSI is mainly into specialty yarn with major applications into industrial textiles and so on. Who are your major customers?

We are in a multitude of markets such as contract and decorative woven upholstery fabrics to fine denier circular/warp knit and seamless fabrics to heavy denier industrial yarns with increased abrasion resistance and strength. Our ability to air-texture, co-mingle and interlace yarn combinations from 40d to over 10,000d regardless of fibre type is a great asset. Our major customers are International Textile Group (ITG), Performance Fabrics Group, Beaver Manufacturing, MAS and others in Canada and Mexico.

It seems that there is a lot of focus on R&D, customisations and innovations. Can you please elaborate on this approach?

TSI Yarns has over 25 years of experience in R&D development and we continue to push ourselves to develop new and innovative products to help our clients meet their changing markets and changing customer demands. We are working closely with our current customers, suppliers and new customers to find an innovative as well as economical solution. We strive to listen to our client's needs and bring multiple solutions to the table for discussion. We have pushed these new design concepts with our newest product families: Tensa, Sentas, Aligis and Lentas. These are quite unique in regards to performance, feel and can fit the fashion envelope as well. TSI Yarns is pushing forward everyday to be the leader in ideas and innovation in this market segment.

How about your presence in Asian markets like China and India? Do you have customers in this region? How do you deal with competition from Chinese companies who are into similar products?

China has not been an area that was pursued heavily in the past, but with our new ownership of Art Hamilton and Hamilton International, we do see market opportunities in China. We are currently using some raw fibres from China. This has been an area that has gained much attention in the recent past by US companies. TSI Yarns has not focused on providing a commodity product and is really pushing to provide new and unique products. This has not placed our products in as many competitive markets as seen in other textile segments where the main criterion is price. We have been more focused on protection of our intellectual property.  Innovation, short lead times and quality show real value.

What is the size of TSI Yarn in terms of turnover, employee strength, production capacity and exports?

TSI Yarns has very little turnover at this point; we are seeing some growth and so are looking to add employees. We currently have 45 employees at our manufacturing facility here in Martinsville, Virginia in the US. We have the texturing capacity to produce in excess of 400,000 lbs a week of AJT, co-mingled or interlaced yarns depending on yarn count. We see the export side of our business as a growth opportunity in the coming years and are trying to expand our product presence in SA and Canada.

How is the manufacturing scenario in the US market, particularly in textiles industry, after the new administration took over?

We have seen an uptick in some market segments, but this seems to indicate that these increases had started well before the new administration took over. If the corporate tax laws are changed, this could lead to new investments and resurgence in machinery investments.

What are your views on industry 4.0 and IoT in your industry? Do you see it as a gamechanger? How do you think it will impact the overall industry?

I have matured during the technology age and so I see this as another tool which will hopefully help our business to grow. I believe we are learning more everyday from the information that is available to make decisions with manufacturing, market development, machine/procedure improvements, etc.  This has continued to evolve in manufacturing process for some time and will only grow as technology and accessibility to this information improves.  We have already started to maximise data available to us, internally as well as externally.  We look at this weekly and monthly as a group.  I do think that companies that are early adopters of these tools will be rewarded for their time and investments. As always time will tell, but as the textiles industry becomes even more competitive the technology that is seen as a fad by some will become a necessity to compete in the future.(CC)
Published on: 18/07/2017

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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