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Tavex installs Montex to boost stretched denim production

16 May '12
3 min read

Spain-based Tavex Corporation, the world's largest manufacturer of denim, has installed a new Monforts Montex 6500 stenter at its Tlaxcala factory in Mexico for the purpose of increasing its production of stretched denim.

Tavex Corporation acquired Mexican denim manufacturer Acotex four years ago. With its plants in Puebla and Tlaxcala it was a move designed to increase access to the US market.
Tavex, founded more than 150 years ago, also has denim manufacturing plants in Spain, Morocco, Brazil and Argentina.

Adalberto Avendano, Tavex's manager for dying and finishing at Tlaxcala, says that the installation of the Montex was part of the company's programme to upgrade facilities at the factory, which is devoted to denim production.

"We already have two Monforts Sanforisors here at Tlaxcala, and there are Monforts stenters at other plants within the group," he says. "We are therefore familiar with the technology and maintenance support.

"There is one stenter here from another manufacturer, which dates back to the time when this was an Acotex factory, but our familiarity with Monforts meant that we were happy to invest in a Montex to extend our production range."

Stretch denim is the biggest volume trend in the market and in Mexico Tavex is putting considerable emphasis on expanding the stretch business. The strategy is, says Mr Avendano, to emulate the premium European stretches but manufactured much closer to the US market.

The Montex 6500 is an eight-chamber machine able to handle material to a width of 200 cm and was delivered and installed in 2011 by Sattex, the Monforts distributor for Mexico.

Mr Avendano adds that the Montex 6500 has features which make the machine particularly suitable for denim manufacture, allowing the elimination of several traditional process steps.

"This really is a stenter that is perfect for denim," he says. "Monforts and Sattex installed and commissioned the machine, and trained our operators and maintenance staff. Now the machine is practically handling itself."

The Montex is handling materials widths of between 170 and 180 cm, at weights that range between 290 gm/m2 and 460 gm/m2.

"We decided to split the production of denim types between our existing stenter, which is producing standard denim, and the Montex, which is producing stretched denim," says Mr Avendano.

"The machines are working Monday to Thursday on a 24-hour basis, with two 12-hour shifts, and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday they are not working.

"On this basis, the two machines between them are processing at the rate of 17 million metres of denim per year. During the period March to December 2011, starting from the time the Montex came on-line, it processed 6 million metres of stretched denim. So on a yearly basis, production is evenly divided between the two."

Mr Avendano says that 90% of Tavex's Mexican production is going to theUS, the world's largest market for denim. Tavex's total denim capacity at its Mexican plants is more than 20 million metres per year.

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