Innovation and sustainability have become two of the most significant growth engines of the fast evolving textile industry. Be it cutting edge-technology or customized solutions across the textile value chain, an environmentally sustainable approach has been the top agenda for most of the players in the vertical. A.T.E. Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. leads the sustainable philosophy, supplying textile machineries across the value chain that not only adhered to global standards but are also manufactured in sustainable factories. G V Aras, Director, A.T.E. Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. talks to Apparel Online on the sidelines of the recently concluded ITMA, about the changing trends in the sector and A.T.E.’s efforts to support the trends…
With 74 well-established principals from around the world in its kitty, the A.T.E. Group has literally changed the way one looks at the textile sector, upgrading not only the machines being used, but also putting forward services to support the sustainable initiatives of the industry, offering a wide range of ground-breaking solutions for treatment, reuse and management of water, waste water and sludge, pumps, comfort cooling and sensible cooling of air and energy solutions. The company enjoys wide presence across the globe with local teams in different countries servicing customized needs of each.
In India, though processing has long been considered the weak link of the textile sector, the same is not true today with heavy investments being made in the segment. “Not only is investment being made, but it is being made intelligently,” says Aras. The latest machines being used are energy efficient and require less water and less chemicals, the complete focus is on ecofriendly processing. “At present, processing business is doing very well in India. Now the next phase of business development will also be covering weaving,” predicts Aras. He adds, “At A.T.E. we do not compromise on quality and work only with the best in the business. Moreover, people these days are conscious of why they need to invest in high-end technologies, so there is increasing demand for new technologies. Keeping pace with the current scenario will definitely help the business.”
The lower volumes in weaving in India, apprehension about investment in processing and the volatility of the textile business have been the major bottlenecks for technology providers. While spinning capacities in the country are quite modern, the real need is to modernize weaving and processing so that the country can benefit in terms of value addition. “In the weaving domain, Air jet weaving is popular as it connects you to higher speed, as it is more productive than Rapier and boasts of better quality also. The only problem is that the technology is quite expensive and available mainly from Europe and Japan. It is high time we manufacture these machines in India to compete in the market and save on huge foreign exchange being spent on imports,”says Aras.
With companies looking for an economic and single-window solution, warp knitting has become the latest fad in the industry, as the technology has the versatility to knit different kinds of material suitable for various applications like garments, lingerie, home textiles and seat covers. Large investments are being noticed in warp knitting today. “Warp knitted products are popular with end customers, and the technology is growing rapidly in India. Some years back, there were very less buyers of the technology in India when we used to sell only 10-20 machines in a year, but at present the demand has gone up to 200 to 300 machines. The kind of development that is happening in warp knitting is very interesting. Even in apparel sector investments are planned on warp knitting as it offers special fabric properties and design possibilities,” shares Aras. Warp knitting enjoys strong presence in the sportswear, automobile and lingerie vertical. In the lingerie sector, a drift is seen from the circular to warp knitting, which has tremendous design possibilities.
Throwing light on various eco-friendly developments in the industry, Aras shared that with ecological conservation being the talk of the time the industry is also gearing up for solutions that will reduce the misuse of water and other resources. As far as fabric dyeing is concerned, industry is resorting to technologies with low MLR (material:liquor ratio). “Air dyeing and wave dyeing are popular these days, as they colour fabrics with much lesser quantity of water. A new technology has also been introduced by a company called Dyecoo which uses CO2 to colour fabrics which will soon be commercialised,” informs Aras.
Even though ZLD norms have become mandatory in India, the high cost of the technology is preventing the textile sector from installing the technology.
Aras opines, “With pollution control board taking a stricter stance these days, people will have to contemplate on a sustainable and environmentally viable solution, without worrying about the cost.” A.T.E. has devised an excellent solution for the waste water treatment – recycling, including zero liquid discharge and also offers upgradation of the existing plants, its proven AAA (airfloatation, anaerobic and aerobic) process gives effective solution in an economical budget, he adds.
On a pensive note Aras shares that the Trans Pacific Pact (TPP) agreement could result in a major shift in the dynamics of the market. “While the textile industry of countries like Turkey will continue to grow at a fair rate, particularly in the denim segment, the trade interest of India, China and Bangladesh could be hampered. Vietnam will be the main beneficiary of TPP which will grow impressively,” he concludes.