IMPRESSIONS from a Cross-section

Karan Suratwala
Karan Suratwala
Managing Director
Key Textile Accessories Private Limited

Chinese imports are destroying the supply chain


What are the latest trends in automation across textile weaving value chain? How would you describe the shuttleless weaving accessories market? What makes Key Textile Accessories’ products unique?

In most sectors of the textile manufacturing process, automation is one of the major keys to quality improvement and cost-competitiveness. Early modernisation and technical developments in textiles concentrated on the automation of textile machines and their processes. Now, automation has taken place in all the processes involving textile manufacturing, i.e. cotton picking, ginning, spinning, weaving, and processing and even to some extent in garment making, resulting in enormous gains in productivity and efficiency. 

Weaving machines have witnessed a lot of improvement in the last three decades resulting in improved quality and production. Major developments like automatic shuttle and shuttleless looms have taken the industry to a different level. Shuttleless machines have made possible the production of fault-free cloth. Developments have been done for shuttleless machines in three basic picking principles, i.e. rapier, projectile, airjet and waterjet. The key features of shuttleless machines are higher speed, wider width, automatic pick finding, microprocessor controls, and quick style change. 

Various improvements have taken place recently in rapier looms like development in filling insertion, shedding mechanism, let-off mechanism, take-up mechanism, selvedge, quick style change, etc. Microprocessors are now integrated with the weaving machines which monitor, control, regulate and optimise all key aspects of the weaving machines. Automation has been achieved with the help of microelectronics to control warp tension, picking of multi-filling colours, break detection, and data collection, which has helped in improving the production at a lesser labour cost.

India's textiles sector is one of the oldest industries of the Indian economy dating back several centuries. Even today, the textiles sector is one of the largest contributors to India's exports with approximately 11 per cent of total exports. The textiles industry is also labour-intensive and is one of the largest employers. The industry realised export earnings worth $41.4 billion in 2014-15, a growth of 5.4 per cent, as per The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (TEXPROCIL). 

In regards to weaving accessories, we have a good market share in our Indian economy as there are ample new projects of weaving machines coming up and along with the new projects, we even have good control over the second-hand weaving machinery market. The future looks promising. Our main aim is to manufacture good quality weaving accessories and educate weavers on the importance of using good quality accessories. But since lots of traders and suppliers import low quality accessories from China, it is destroying the supply chain internally due to the price consciousness in our industries. Exercising the current situation, we are growing at the rate of 18-22 per cent annually and attending two major fairs that is ITMA, held in Europe and ITME in India.

Southern India and Gujarat are our biggest markets domestically and Bangladesh and Turkey are very important for us internationally. But lot of new weavers are coming up with new projects, and their main concentration is to enter the denim industry as the returns are faster as compared to shirting and suiting.

I can say that 100 per cent imported material; seven stages of inspection; in-house dye manufacturing facility; strong engineering background; more than 60 years of experience; product designed as per customer requirements; highest efficiency and loom speed achieved are some of the qualities that make us unique. But our major challenges are price and procuring raw material from trusted sources. Thus, we allocate 8-10 per cent for our R&D and future development.

Published on: 28/09/2016

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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