Its customer list reads like a ‘who’s who’ of European and US High Street fashion retailers, including American Eagle, C&A, Gap, H&M, Lee, Mango, Old Navy, TJ Max, Tommy Hilfiger and Zara.
As a result of forward integration, ongoing expansion and a growing reputation for quality, the Lahore-headquartered group has managed to double its turnover in the past five years and sales in 2012 were around US$600 million.
Some 14,000 people are employed at the Sapphire complex of manufacturing plants, with dedicated business units for cotton, spinning, weaving, knitting, dyeing and finishing, home textiles and garments.
And since its foundation eleven years ago, Sapphire Finishing Mills has relied on Monforts technology.
Following the delivery of its latest Monfortex, the plant now has four Monforts dyeing ranges, five Montex stenters and three sanforizing units.
“We are very satisfied with the quality of Monforts equipment and its ease of operation and maintenance, for our staff. The Monforts machines also provide value added features for all our products,” said Director Production, Tariq Jamil.
He added, “The first machines have now been running extremely smoothly for over a decade, but Monforts doesn’t stand still and is constantly developing new features.”
He cited, as an example, the latest Monfortex sanforiser that has recently been installed.
“A key feature is the automatic grinding, which eliminates the need to remove and re-install the grinding rollers. This has greatly reduced grinding time which is very significant for a productive plant like ours,” he said.
“We did consider options from other European machinery builders, but in the end we decided to stay with Monforts for a number of reasons,” added CEO, Yousuf Abdullah. “Not only did we want to maintain consistency in the plant in respect of operating parameters, as well as common spare parts and services, but our operators are also very happy with the machines.
The designs are robust and simple from an operational point of view, and we don’t want complicated machines, just the best results. They have always performed according to our expectations.”
The latest machines, he adds, are designed very much with energy savings in mind, in respect of the high efficiency motors, heat recovery systems and E-control.
Sapphire specialises in bottom wear fabrics for fashion apparel. In addition to capitalising on Pakistan’s high grade cotton, it also works with different weaves, including plain, canvas, twills, satin, rip-stop, Ottoman and stretch fabrics.
It carries out reactive, vat and disperse dyeing to cater to the demands of the market in respect of quality, performance and end-use application. The range of value-adding finishes it is able to impart as a result of the Monforts technology include easy care, wrinkle free, water repellent, soil release anti-microbial and flame retardant treatments, in addition to silicone and peachskin finishing.
“With the increased production capacity these latest Monforts machines will provide, we’ll be able to reduce the average cost of our fabrics while reaching a larger number of customers,” said Mr Abdullah. “By March 2014, we anticipate being able to achieve a production capacity of around five million metres every month.”
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