The recently concluded Garmentech Dhaka, a sewing technology fair, was visited by more than 10,000 people, including key decision makers and mid-management personnel. The fair, now in its 14th year, showcased the latest technologies and solutions for automating various aspects of garment manufacturing and highlighted current trends in the apparel manufacturing industry of Bangladesh. Parallel shows – Gapexpo (for accessories) and Yarn & Fabrics Sourcing Fair, added to Garmentech’s increasing popularity.
The trends witnessed at the previous edition of Garmentech were prevalent this year as well. It was apparent that major investments are still being made in automating the cutting room with big- and mid-sized apparel manufacturers installing spreaders, automatic cutters, etc. According to the machine manufacturers, a single spreading machine can help a company reduce at least 8 workers required for spreading a complete lay, and a good marker making system used along with an automatic cutter can save at least 1% of fabric. Though companies are now installing (or have installed) 5 spreaders on an average at their manufacturing units, automatic cutting machines still have few takers as companies are not confident of the after-sales service provided by their local partners. However, the perception is changing with the manufacturers of these machines taking a more proactive stance in promoting the machines and assuring reliable after-sales support.
Present in large numbers were companies showcasing automatic machines for bottom manufacturing, quilting machines for jackets, and power saving direct-drive sewing machines. Companies such as Duerkopp Adler, Juki, Vibemac, A.S.S., Focus and New Tech showcased machines for pocket welting, back pocket setting, loop attaching, etc. In Bangladesh, the pocket welting machines have proved to be the most successful. Though this segment of automatic machines is yet untouched by Chinese manufacturers, sewing automates for quilting jacket panels, such as by Chinese company Zoje, are making an impact on the market, and so are the direct-drive lockstitchers (made by Hikari, Jack and Gemsy), which offer significant energy savings of 50% to 70%. Japanese company Juki introduced its sewing machines AC-172N-1790 and LBH-1790A that enable two levels of automation of button sewing and buttonholing on the placket of a shirt, and AMS 210EN3020 with polo placket device, an innovative automat for making the placket of a polo T-shirt.
With new technologies in printing making inroads into the Bangladesh market, companies such as Mimaki and Martin Group showcased their entire range of digital, sublimation, heat transfer and carousel screen printing technologies. Also on display were overhead hanger systems by companies like INA and G.PRO, which are keen on expanding their presence in the country.
1) Smart Technology confident of growth with solutions from H&H, Martin and A.S.S.
Known for providing industry suitable solutions to companies such as H&H, Martin, A.S.S., Eastman, Gauge, Tonello, and Vibemac, Smart Technology is regarded as a committed and on-time partner for its solutions in Bangladesh. “We are getting a good response from the market not only for our product range but also because of the after-sales service and support that we extend to our clients,” said Suvashis Paul (Shimul), CEO, Smart Technology. The company’s booth at Garmentech was one of the busiest and where it was showcasing new machines from H&H, Martin and ASS, with focus on new product categories, value addition and automation for labour saving.
The Hong Kong based developer of welding, bonding and seam sealing machines, H&H has rapidly acquired the market for manufacturing rainwear, outerwear, sportswear, activewear and swimwear, and will soon be introducing bonding solutions for making lingerie and intimatewear. “Presently, the kind of machines we have make lingerie products, but the process and body structure will change, for which we have to prepare ourselves as a solution provider, though the overall technology remains the same,” explained Anshuman Dash, Marketing Director, H&H. Bangladesh has proven to be a bigger market for H&H’s solutions compared to India because of the presence of giants such as Youngone Group. Due to such big companies in Bangladesh, a new company can find trained people for manufacturing such a product. Another advantage is duty-free import of man-made fabrics from other countries. “Such aspects make Bangladesh a much more conducive environment for outerwear manufacturing,” he added. But adoption of bonding machines is limited due to limited knowledge of the technology and the machines. “People are still not clear about the difference between bonding and heat transfer. Bonding is a more accurate technology compared to heat transfer, and is required for seams which require greater functionality and longer life,” he elaborated.
Fusing technology expert Martin Group showcased its innovative vertical heat transfer press at the exhibition.The bed of the machine swells at the time of pressing due to which all the air trapped between the print and the fabric escapes. This machine can be used for doing heat transfer printing on intimatewear, outerwear and even on denim jeans. “Such machines are not available with anyone and we have already installed these machines in four companies in Bangladesh. The machine sells at a premium, but by using it, rejection rates will plummet and the quality will be much more uniform,” stated Gianluca Benassai of Martin Group.With a large plat size of 180 cm X 100 cm, the machine can work on more than one panel of a knitted T-shirt at a time.
A new addition to Smart Technology’s portfolio is the sewing automates from German company A.S.S. (Automates Sewing System AG), which has been present in the country for nearly 12 years and has its own office here, and has only recently partnered with Smart Technology. The company attributes its success in Bangladesh to its after-sales and support provided by a team of 5 technicians. Its sewing automats are mainly used for bottom manufacturing, and the company’s machines for pocket felting, pocket facing and serging have been very successful. “We are also working towards developing a range of machines for jean manufacturing, which would include machines for pocket setting, feed-off-the-arm, etc.,” shared Helmut Neuburger, Member of the Board, A.S.S. He believes that the industry will certainly move beyond pocket welting machines to using other highly beneficial automates. One of the defining features of the pocket welting machine from A.S.S. is that the machine uses a common Brother sewing head whose spare parts can be bought locally also, which reduces downtime of the automat. Regarding electronic parts, A.S.S. claims to have sufficient stock in the country to meet demand within 24 hours of placing the order. Helmut informed that this year, A.S.S. will be introducing machines for making various kinds of pockets for non-denim bottoms and shorts.
2) Eastman Technocraft partnering with industry for efficiency improvement and waste reduction
Reducing manpower in sewing, saving fabric in cutting, producing unique effects for value addition, and monitoring the business through software solutions – are the areas that require the utmost care and attention of an apparel manufacturer. Each of the four areas has been recognized by Eastman Technocraft, which for nearly three decades has been building its product portfolio based on these aspects. From the cutting solution of Morgan Tecnica to garment dyeing machines from Brongo, and from sewing automates from Sipami to consultancy projects, Eastman Technocraft has moved a step ahead from being a one-stop shop solution provider to a company that also provides solutions for efficiency enhancement and waste reduction. “The complete package of cutting room solutions from Morgan Tecnica inclusive of the cutters, spreaders and cut order planning software, enable a minimum saving of 1% to 2% of the fabric from which additional 5,000 garments can be made on an average,” asserted Manik Chowdhury, Managing Director, Eastman Technocraft.
At the Garmentech fair, Eastman was showcasing the Fox 50 spreader from Morgan Tecnica. This electronic device checks and eliminates in real time the fabric tension for a real tension-free spreading. By using the special folded device with motorized spiral roller, Morgan Fox 50 can spread open folded knit fabrics with unique quality results. All movements are electronically and digitally controlled, with an option to create and store customized profiles, where each profile can be related to a specific type of material, and which simplifies the machine programming and setup. “At the fair, we booked orders for two Morgan spreaders,” informed Manik.
In line with the company’s solutions for saving manpower and improving efficiency of the workforce, are the denim jeans sewing automates from Sipami. Operators can operate at least two automates from Sipami at the same time, and in some cases even three. The advantages are higher output and 100% quality. “Standard Group has bought all the Sipami machines showcased at our booth and they have placed an order for about 122 more, besides which, we have got an order for 144 sewing automates from another apparel manufacturer,” shared Manik. Italian brand Sipami has a complete range of sewing automates for producing denim and non-denim bottoms, pocket setting, J-stitch, belt loop attaching, bottom hemming, etc.
In value additions, maximum demand is for garment dyeing, for which Eastman Technocraft has washing machines from Italian pioneer Brongo. “The difference lies in the motion in which garments are moving inside the washing machines – in a regular washing machine, the garments go to the top and then fall towards the bottom in a circular motion, which causes damage at the hemlines of the garment, but in case of compartmental dyeing machines, the garments move in a semi-circular path, i.e., they do not fall from the top,” explained Manik. The machines from Brongo are suitable for dyeing knits and denim jeans with lycra content. “A proof of our machine’s competence is the Japanese buyer Uniqlo recommending garment dyeing machines from Brongo to its vendors; Noble Hurricane Group bought machines from Brongo based on the recommendation of Uniqlo,” he added.
Owing to Manik Chowdhury’s experience in the industry and the company’s wide product portfolio, Eastman Technocraft has also been working as a turnkey solution provider for 7 upcoming apparel companies and is also providing consultancy to them. “As part of our consultancy wing, we are in the process of developing an ERP solution for the apparel industry; this will take care of all the departments from material in-house to cutting and sewing to finishing, along with accounting and export documentation. The software is still under development and we might be able to showcase it sometime later,” said Manik. Called Fast Planner, the system is being developed in collaboration with a European software company. It aims at bringing complete transparency in the business of an apparel manufacturer with hourly, daily and yearly report generation capabilities.
3) Typical providing ‘value for money’ machines for apparel industry
With a customer-base of companies such as Al-Muslim Group, Experience Group, ABA Group, Tarasima Apparels, Ananta Garments, Sparrow Apparels and Benhid Apparels, Chinese company Typical has successfully overcome the price competitiveness in Bangladesh. “The industry is not looking for cheap sewing machines, rather, companies are looking for machines that offer value for money with all the necessary features, a long life, consistent quality in output, and after-sales support by local partners,” elaborated Jacky Wang, Department Manager, Typical International Corporation.
Typical has built its presence in the Bangladesh market through close collaboration with its sole agent Glory Trade and South East Exim. It has also developed a strong base of local technicians and service personnel, while Chinese technicians also keep visiting the country to provide training to their local counterparts. “Two Chinese engineers are always stationed in Bangladesh: one for electronic issues and the other for any mechanical problems in the sewing machines,” shared Saiful Islam, Managing Director, South East Exim. Established in 1987, the company has 24 local technicians who have been trained in Bangkok, Taiwan and China, and offices in the 4 regional important garmenting hubs of Dhaka, Chittagong, Narayanganj and Manikchhari.
Typical’s most successful product is the GC6870A series of integrated lockstitch machines with the computerized control panel part of the direct-drive motor casing, which brings down the overall cost of the sewing machine and also makes maintenance easier. The computerized panel is fan cooled, impermeable to oil and dust, and has an intelligent self-checking function. Owing to features such as automatic reverse stitching, needle point LED light, thread nipper, bobbin winder and rotating knife for thread trimming, the single needle lockstitcher enables improvement in quality and efficiency. The machine is suitable for applications of medium to heavy weight fabrics. “Since most of the apparel manufacturers were making their factories compliant and sustainable in 2014, we expect to do better business in 2015 as the focus of the industry is shifting towards automation,” opined Jacky.
4) Focus building a robust service and support system for its range of denim automats
Though it was only a year ago when Focus Garmentech launched its complete range of sewing automats for manufacturing denim jeans, the 40-year-old company has already tasted success in the saturated market of Bangladesh. “Besides our recent installations in the country, all the machines for denim jeans manufacturing displayed at the fair were bought by Standard Group, right at the event,” informed Foo Toon Pow, Managing Director, Focus Garmentech. The company also booked good orders at the fair for its jeans back pocket setter. “With the jeans sourcing from China coming down, not only Bangladesh, but also India and Pakistan will witness a lot of investments in jeans manufacturing projects,” added Foo Toon Pow.
The company displayed a range of sewing automats under the Supreme Nisho brand name, and included SNAS-2201G-JPPSSN double-needle machines for backpocket decorative sewing, SNOL-254 belt loop setters, J-stitch sewing machines, and single and double-needle back pocket setters. The machines have been developed specifically for the price-sensitive Asian market and come with a competitive price tag. Besides the sewing automats for denim jeans, Focus has also registered success with its range of basic and semi-automatic sewing machines from Nisho, cutting room solutions from KM and Hashima, finishing machines from Nissin, and thread trimming equipment from Unisun and Dino. The SNAS-3020G-PS-SN/DN twin-needle back pocket sewing machine improves productivity and helps in deskilling the operation by limiting operator’s task of loading. The machine is equipped with stitch line break identifying device, which automatically stops and alarms when a stitch line is broken. Its dual needles enable use of two colour lines, and the touchscreen functionality facilitates pattern editing and data management.
“There is no survival in the highly competitive industry of Bangladesh with only a single type of machine or solution. Hence, we have developed a wide product portfolio to provide solutions from cutting to finishing,” shared Foo Toon Pow. To service its ever growing clientele in India and Bangladesh, Focus will be setting up service centres in the two markets; with this it will gain greater proximity to the industry. The engineers recruited at the India and Bangladesh offices of Focus would service the entire Asia region. “Along with expanding our service teams, we have also optimized the process of ordering spare parts from our website. Now buyers can order spare parts online after reviewing the price and compatibility-related details,” informed Foo Toon Pow.
5) Wilcom taking ‘knowledge sharing’ route in its debut year
Value addition has been earmarked by the apparel and textile manufacturers of Bangladesh for sustaining growth they have witnessed in the past few years. Value additions not only require the right set of machines but also the right knowledge and the tools such as for developing designs for embroidery or for printing.
Aware of the changing trends and market demand, Wilcom, the top designing software manufacturer company in the world, participated for the first time at the Garmentech fair, and is keen to set up base in the country. “The total volume of embroidery produced by Bangladesh is only half of what is produced by Gujarat in India. As per our survey, the industry in Bangladesh is still using the outdated and pirated version of Wilcom, which was released nearly a decade ago. This has restricted the industry from making complex designs,” explained Shailesh Dabhi, Vice President, IIGM. Wilcom has extended its partnership with IIGM in India to Bangladesh and is optimistic about opening its own office in the country before the end of this year.
Initially, Wilcom will use the knowledge and information sharing platform to encourage the industry to upgrade to the latest Wilcom Embroidery Studio E3 and anti-piracy raids are not a part of their plans, as of now. “We first need to understand the market, the nature of the companies, and the general working environment. I feel that the industry in Bangladesh is more forthcoming in using and buying genuine and advanced solutions. When Wilcom approached Levis for using its latest software, 5 companies in Bangladesh that were making Cotton Trouser for Levis, purchased our latest and genuine embroidery design software,” highlighted Shailesh. Moreover, with the new software, companies would be able to create embroidery designs using double-sequin device, which is not possible in the version presently being used, even if the embroidery machines have the double-sequin device. “We are also trying to work out an educational module with a fashion university in Bangladesh, for training students and young professionals,” concluded Shailesh.
6) JACK penetrating new depths with its energy-efficient sewing machines
JACK’s clientele in Bangladesh includes some of the most prominent names like Nassa Group, Square Group, Standard Group and Mark Group, with over 1,00,000 sewing machines running in the country. “Companies are no longer buying machines without underbed trimmers as they want to reduce the number of helpers in the sewing lines. They are even replacing old machines with new machines that have underbed trimmers,” asserted A Muntaqim Munna, Managing Director, JACK Bangladesh, who is spearheading the company’s operations in the country. JACK has 25 technicians in Bangladesh and a liaison office in Uttara for storing spare parts and ancillary equipment.
“Automatic machines, such as for pocket welting, are bought by the big groups that have consistent volumes of a certain product; this is not the case with the rest of the industry, hence, sales of sewing machines with underbed trimmers would always be higher,” he said. JACK claims to be the biggest Chinese sewing machines company in Bangladesh.
Another positive trend witnessed by the company is the establishment of many small-small factories as foreign investment projects in Bangladesh. “A lot of smaller factories have started catering to the Indian market in recent months and are ready with knits and bottoms,” added Muntaqim Munna, who is able to cater to the immediate demands of the industry due to a stock of 3,000 to 4,000 machines. “Even the domestic manufacturers catering to the Bangladeshi market have started going for energy-efficient and labour saving machines from JACK and upgrading from black umbrella machines,” he added. Narayanganj, which is the knit hub of the country, has nearly 10,000 houses with 5 to 15 sewing machines each and making garments in an unorganized manner.
One such energy-efficient machine from the company is the JK-SHIRLEY IIIE high speed direct-drive computerized lockstitch sewing machine with an integrated computer and electromagnetic device for presser foot positioning. With a maximum sewing speed of 5,000 SPM, it is equipped with electronic thread tension controller, scale locking device, new reverse sewing mechanism and a double switch just above the needle for bar tacking and half stitch.
7) Duerkopp Adler continues growth trajectory with pocket welting machines
With the apparel industry of Bangladesh going in full thrust mode towards automation, the time could not have been more right for Duerkopp Adler, the German maker of sewing automation, to strengthen its presence in the world’s second largest apparel exporting nation. Present in Bangladesh for the past 15 years in close collaboration with its sole agent DAD International, Duerkopp Adler has already garnered success with its range of pocket welting machines. “Along with the pocket welting machines, we are also getting queries for the jeans back pocket setter, and we have already sold more than 30 pocket setters in the country last year,” said Magdalene Sowada, Area Sales Manager, Duerkopp Adler, who was heading the company’s representation at the Garmentech fair. Also present at Duerkopp Adler’s booth was another German sewing pioneer, Pfaff Industrial, which was showcasing its products for the first time in Bangladesh.
With nearly 150 years of experience in sewing automation, Duerkopp Adler suggests machines to garment manufacturers after reviewing their apparel manufacturing systems and capabilities. “The queries that we have got are more process-specific rather than product-specific, but still, to realize the full potential of an automat, we carry out a full-fledged diagnostics of the manufacturing facility, which at times may have to be altered a bit for installing the machine,” said Magdalene, who herself does a diagnostic assessment of factories. Application engineers from the parent company in Germany also visit factories in Bangladesh to engineer layouts and process flows. Moreover, for servicing the clients, increasing the Bangladesh market share and in-shoring the after-sales service, Duerkopp Adler will set up a liaison office in Bangladesh. Duerkopp Adler has 8 local technicians with its agent DAD International, and Shovon is working as a Bangladesh representative on behalf of Duerkopp Adler Germany.
The DA 100-69 pocket welting machine is a highly flexible and innovative automat for sewing welt, straight flap and inside pockets with an average of 2,000 piped pockets per 8-hour shift. The machine is equipped with needle, thread and bobbin thread monitors for seamless operation.
The DA 100-69 pocket welting machine is a highly flexible and innovative automat for sewing welt, straight flap and inside pockets with an average of 2,000 piped pockets per 8-hour shift. The machine is equipped with needle, thread and bobbin thread monitors for seamless operation. For precise pocket placement and pocket mouth slit, the machine is equipped with 8 laser marking lights for accurate positioning. The machine can process endless zipper rolls and be equipped with bundle clamp and roll-off device for handling trouser panels in a much more efficient manner. “If you want to produce 1,000 trousers per 8 hours, then you will need around 200 people. But if you utilize the automatic machines from Duerkopp Adler, only 60 to 70 people would be required to make the same number of trousers,” explained Mohammad Didarul Hasan, Managing Director, DAD International.
8) Siruba going strong with knowledge-sharing activities and labour saving machines
Knit not only accounts for 50% of Bangladesh’s apparel exports but its manufacturing is also the most labour-intensive, especially when the right automation and technical know-how is missing at the manufacturer’s end. Due to the nature of the fabric, the handling time increases and so does the requirement of helpers. Siruba, one of the top 100 brands from Taiwan and a leading global manufacturer of specialized sewing machines for making knits, has been helping knit manufacturers in the country in reducing additional labour requirements. “Bangladesh is the most rapidly growing apparel manufacturing hub in the world and we have created a niche in providing overlock and interlock machines,” asserted Andy Yueh, Regional Manager – Overseas Sales Department, Siruba. One such machine from the portfolio of Siruba is the D007R series of 4-needle 6-thread feed-off-the-arm flatseamer. Suitable for sewing panty hose, swimwear and attaching tape to men’s and women’s underwears, the flatseamer’s cylinder-bed has a circumference of 150 mm, which enables sewing of small tubular parts such as the sleeves of a T-shirt.
The company has been working with Sew Reach since 2002, and owing to the extensive experience and efforts of Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury, Managing Director, Sew Reach (Anam Corporation), Siruba’s client base includes companies such as Apex Lingerie and Palmal Group.
The growth that Bangladesh witnessed also led to tough competition in the machinery supply and service market, forcing global sewing brands to make more efforts to strengthen their foothold in the country. “I have to visit the country every month along with our global technicians, despite having a team of 10 competent local technicians. This helps in maintaining a strong after-sales service and support network,” added Andy. Siruba’s after-sales service and support also gets assistance from the respective teams of Juki as per their international agreement. Taking this forward, Siruba recently organized a knowledge-sharing session, on 25th January, at its liaison office in Dhaka, for which it invited key decision makers from many apparel companies to learn about their new machines and new methodologies.
9) STAGE presents ERP solutions for managing vertically integrated apparel manufacturers
While the term ‘vertical integration’ has become synonymous with the apparel and textile industry of Bangladesh, backward or forward integration brings with it challenges of capacity planning, balancing and shipping on time. But due to the inability to manage all of these, some companies end up with departments that are either overloaded or under-utilized.
Stage ERP is a company that provides specialized ERP solutions for the apparel and textile industry, and has, in fact, upgraded its IT solutions for handling vertically integrated businesses over the past few years to cater to the increasing demands of the industry in Bangladesh.
“When we first ventured into Bangladesh a few years back, we found that the business operations were more complex here due to the presence of many knit composite units. That is when we developed a completely end-to-end solution to meet the demands of vertically integrated units.
We have even integrated features for handling aspects such as ‘back-to-back LCs’, which is a very common practise in Bangladesh,” informed A.P.S. Velu, Director – Business Development, Stage ERP. The company’s ERP system has been successfully running in knit composite apparel manufacturing companies in India, namely, Kitex Garments, Cotton Blossoms and MG Cotton and also in Bangladesh for Crosslines Knit Fabrics and Greenland Garments. The company attributes its success to its processing module that covers aspects of knitting/weaving, fabric dyeing, printing, and embroidery and also garment dyeing, washing, etc. Like for garments, there is also a fabric costing and budgeting module.
Stage is also very adept in handling woven and denim garments manufacturing. Some of its prominent clients include Raymond Group (Silver Spark and Ucodenim), Vardhaman Nisshinbo Garments, Gokaldas Images, Induro Exports (makes denimwear for VF Corporation), Surya Kiran International, Indian Terrain, Laguna Clothing and Matrix Indo Global, Jakarta.
With the number of processes and departments linked to the system increasing, a robust system is required for making sure that everyone in the unit sticks to the deadlines for on-time shipment of goods. In Stage ERP’s time and action calendar, milestones for achieving a task can be defined and resources can be allocated for the same. Hence, when a milestone approaches, reminders or alerts are sent to the concerned person and his/her superiors. A person can also see a list of activities allotted to him/her on their system. “But the beauty lies in the level of configuration that is possible – reminders can be set for any task for the assigned number of days in advance, and if a person has not been able to complete the task, another person can be marked for completing it in his/her absence,” added Velu.
Another unique feature of the ERP is the payment system, wherein each supplier/bill outstanding can be seamlessly selected from the outstanding statement, to whom payments have to be made and Stage would automatically generate even a hundred bank payment vouchers in one shot and a file for payment through internet banking. Hence, there is no need to create individual payment vouchers for paying various suppliers. Enormous data entry work is thus saved. Stage has done this for the HSBC bank payment gateway for its clients and can be replicated for other banks as well. “Companies can even generate the profitability of every order, which is possible only because our system is connected end-to-end,” shared Velu. According to him, a company can be made to run on Stage ERP (from core processes of merchandising, purchase, inventory, planning and production to shipping, finance and payroll) within just 12 weeks.
Stage claims that all its clients rarely use any other solutions apart from Stage ERP because of its comprehensive coverage of all departments and robust report generation system. “Our system is suitable for 90% of the apparel manufacturing companies of the world. Even if some company has a unique system, Stage would invariably have options to for the client to configure themselves. Due to this feature and our continuous R&D efforts, we have been able to convert 5 clients of SAP to Stage ERP within 4 years,” said Velu. Stage sets up the client’s own cloud environment so that they benefit by the advantages provided by cloud environment and also ensures their data security. “For servicing and supporting our customers, we have setup a call centre, wherein customers’ complaints and issues are solved online and at the very instant,” added Velu.
10) Juki launches 5 new automats for Bangladesh; focuses on shirts and polos
Japanese pioneer Juki is arguably the only sewing machine manufacturer that has been able to successfully balance its portfolio by offering not only basic and semi-automatic machines, but also developing some of the most advanced sewing automats. Juki has recently completed projects of Regency, Kenpark and AKH Group, and is also eyeing on upcoming projects in Bangladesh. Shamsul Alam, COO & General Manager, Juki Bangladesh, who was representing the company at the fair said, “Presently, woven products are driving our growth in the country, with shirts and denim jeans as the top categories, while growth in knits has been steady.”
Of the five new automats showcased at Garmentech, two were for button indexing on shirt plackets, two for pattern sewing machines, and one was a first-of-its-kind polo-neck T-shirt placket preparation machine. Among the new launches was the AC-172N-1790 computer-controlled buttonholing indexer for shirts. The most unique feature of the machine is the preset mechanism that allows placement of the next shirt panel to be sewn on the preset board while the sewing machine is engaged in sewing the current panel. Since the operator has enough waiting time, he can easily operate three such machines. Buttonholing 3,429 shirt’s front panels every 8 hours, it takes 7 seconds to produce one front panel with 6 buttonholes. Optional accessories in the machine include marking light for accurate positioning of a vertically-striped garment body and cloth edge sensor to correctly position the material on the sewing machine, both of which further improve the efficiency and quality of the machine.
11) Gemsy to open office in Chittagong to cater to growing demand
Gemsy attributes its success in the apparel industry of Bangladesh to the energy saving motors with which its sewing machines are equipped. Being the first sewing machine company in Bangladesh to offer such features, the company has a definite edge over its competitors. “We have been offering energy saving machines in Bangladesh since 2011; these machines achieve 65% energy-efficiency compared to conventional models,” claimed Sardar Elias Hossain, Managing Director, Three Star Trading, the sole dealer of Gemsy in Bangladesh. Gemsy has stationed 4 permanent Chinese and 20 local technicians in Bangladesh for servicing its clients in the country, where it has its own office and service station. In 2015, Gemsy will also open an office in Chittagong with its agent.
Bangladesh is the only market for Gemsy where 80% of its sales are direct sales to the apparel factories and not through agents or dealer stocks. Companies such as Birds Group and Standard Group have become model factories for Gemsy as they have installed all the sewing machines from the company. Only recently, Gemsy sold about 2,000 sewing machines to Birds Group for their upcoming project. Besides sewing machines, Gemsy has also been successful with its range of sewing automats such as the pocket welting machines and its range of embroidery machines. “Last year, we sold more than 5 GEM195-KD straight pocket welting machines, and the users have not faced any issues with them till date,” added Victor Xu, South Asia Sales Manager – International Trade Department, Gemsy.
One of the bestselling machines of the company in Bangladesh, the GEM8951E3 direct-drive integrated computerized lockstitch sewing machine, is a third generation mechatronic sewing machine from Gemsy. The sewing machine is equipped with a patented servo motor which is not only silent and has minimal vibration but also consumes 70% less energy compared to conventional sewing machines that have clutch motors. For reducing the machine downtime, the motor is equipped with a unique cooling system; the motor and control panel are easily separable for smooth maintenance. The machine is also equipped with thread nipper device, needle bar oiling system, induction presser foot, improved thread trimmer system and reverse stitching mechanism.
12) Green Asia registering consistent growth due to monopoly in leather segment
Green Asia has been working with Golden Wheel since 2006 and has witnessed consistent growth in not only the apparel sector but also in the leather footwear and goods segment. Companies such as Apex Footwear, Lalmai Footwear, ABC Footwear, BBJ Leather Goods, BLJ Leather Goods, Bengal Footwear, FB Footwear, AKIJ Footwear, Leatherex, Bay Footwear, Scarpe Moda, Shampan Shoes and Foot Fashion Leathertech, etc. are using sewing machines from Golden Wheel for manufacturing leather goods and footwear. “Nearly 70-80% of the footwear industry in Bangladesh is using machines from Golden Wheel,” informed Bokhary Islam, Partner, Green Asia Associates. The company attributes its growth in the future to the booming leather sector of the country. “Besides the existing companies, new companies of Bangladesh and from abroad are venturing into the leather goods segment,” shared Bokhary. Green Asia has created a monopoly in the relatively small but booming leather sector of the country and claims that margins are also high. “Golden Wheel’s range of sewing machines for the leather goods and footwear sector cover 90% of the sewing operations,” added Bokhary. Green Asia has a team of 17 people that takes care of sales and provides after-sales support and installation support to the industry.
Green Asia also has solutions for garment manufacturing from companies such as Golden Wheel, Hashima, KM, Veit, Nisho, BOK Cad Cam, Ho Hsing (servo motor) and Variomatic. Companies such as Knit Concern, Delta Group, Standard Group, FCI Group, Urmi Group, GMS Knit Composite, Dekko Group, Comfit Composite, Southern Apparels, AKH Group, Tarasima Apparels, ICCL, Divine Group, Echo Tex, A-plus Group, Micro Fibre Group, Opex Group, Hameem Group, Concord Group, etc. are some of the biggest clients of Green Asia. “We are in the process of installing 1,600 sets of servo motors with auto trimming device for sewing machines in GMS Knit Composite, and we have recently installed energy saving servo motor and Golden Wheel sewing machine at FCI Group’s unit called Talisman Clothing,” informed Bokhary. Within Golden Wheel’s portfolio, the CSCT-2614 twin-needle variable top feed overlock machine is the most in demand for plain seaming of tubular parts such as neckline, sleeve hem and bottom hem.
13) Siliconi initiates knowledge sharing with industry to increase market acceptance
Within just two years of its presence in Bangladesh, Siliconi has already made its presence felt in the industry not only because of its products but also because of the company’s interventions in education. The Italian pioneer recently conducted a knowledge sharing seminar in the country for which it invited key decision makers of buying offices and apparel manufacturers. The seminar was conducted by Rahul Chhikara, Marketing Manager, and Andrea Conterno, Managing Director, Siliconi Commerciale spa.
Rahul, who was representing Siliconi at the Garmentech fair, has earmarked 2015 as a year of educating and raising awareness in the industry. “In Bangladesh, companies are offered fake and non-compliant products. Now, through our knowledge platform, we are educating them about the right product and quality. Through my interactions with the industry, I got to know about the use of such products in the country, due to which finished goods were being rejected by third-party auditors or the buyers,” he elaborated.
Siliconi’s array of 150+ products, PULIMAK 2 spot lifter has been very successful in the industry as a sustainable product and is considered critical to the quality of the garment as it has the right chemicals. This chlorine-free spray helps in removal of grease, ink and oil stains from cotton, silk, wool, and synthetic fabrics. Its USP is that there is no formation of rings or halos on the fabric surface and no colour bleeding too, and is compliant with REACH and Oeko-Tex certification. Siliconi sprays (which have no competition to speak of) have been supplied to the liaison office and vendors of Next in Sri Lanka, vendors of United Colors of Benetton in India, and to H&M vendors world over. In Bangladesh, companies such as Epyllion Group, Stylo Group, Misami Group and Pacific Jeans are already using products from Siliconi.
The company is also very positive about its adhesives range for the Bangladesh market. “By using our adhesives, companies engaged in embroidery need not prepare 20 frames for all the 20 heads. By simply putting a water-soluble backing paper beneath the fabric and spraying our TAKTER 650 temporary adhesive spray, the fabric would be fixed in its place during embroidery,” informed Rahul. [/tab]
14) INA building own team to penetrate deeper in to Bangladesh market
INA Hanger System is keen on penetrating deeper into the Bangladesh market for which it is building its own team within the country, besides working with an agent. It has appointed Syed Fahad Siddique as the Country Manager of its subsidiary in Bangladesh called INL International Technology. “With our sales and technical staff, we would be more confident to serve the local agents and dealers, and the industry,” said Ronny Timuari, Sales Director, INL International Technology that owns INA Hanger System. He added that sales and marketing backgrounds are the top priorities for recruiting people, and knowledge of the industry would be a bonus point. Ronny had realized the need for a change in strategy in Bangladesh three years ago and foresees immediate benefits such as greater reach, stronger foothold, and more capability to tap the limitless prospects of the market.
Claiming to be the first hanger system company to enter Bangladesh (in 2008), INA has already done two successful implementations in Bangladesh: one in CIPL, a factory of EPIC Group, and the other in Fakir Knits. Ronny is confident that the industry will soon adopt such technologies once there is greater awareness of the advantages of such a system.
INA Hanger System focuses on reducing the WIP in the sewing lines, subsequent to which, the real efficiency of each operator can be realized and improvement programmes be undertaken by the company. “People insist on keeping relatively high WIP in the sewing lines to maximize the output and efficiency of an operator, but they do not take under consideration the space acquired by the same and if that space is utilized how much additional output can be achieved,” elaborates Ronny. Another advantage of the hanger system as claimed by INA is that when output from a line needs to be enhanced, no additional space is required as the additional cut parts can be stocked at the station buffer terminal.
15) Zoje registers fresh success with large-area quilting machine for outerwear jackets
Moving up the value chain is not only the mantra of apparel manufacturers but also of machine manufacturers and suppliers. In a market saturated with sewing machine companies from all over the world, Chinese company Zoje Sewing Machine Co. Ltd. has successfully moved up the value chain by developing a robust and efficient range of sewing automats. “Competition has increased manifold in the country as a lot of Chinese companies have entered the country in the last 3 years. We are no longer competing with Chinese companies selling basic machines at cheap prices, instead we have moved towards selling automation, which promises definite efficiency and productivity improvement,” said Chris You, Managing Director, Zoje Bangladesh. Zoje has its own office in Bangladesh and storage for all the spare parts. The office has a staff of 15 people which includes 8 local technicians and one Chinese technician. The local staff has been well-trained to handle any query of their clients. “Many Chinese companies have also developed such machines but we are much better than them in terms of after-sales service as we give regular training to our in-house technicians and engineers,” he added.
The company’s bestselling machines include the semi-dry head sewing machine, bartack sewing machine, buttonholing and button sewing machine. But the latest bestseller is the new automat for quilting jacket panels. Zoje has sold more than 30 ZJ-AM-5770A automatic pattern sewing machines for quilting on jacket panels in the last 6 months and its target is to sell 150 before the end of this year. The pattern sewing machine maintains the quality of the design even at high sewing speeds due to the strong grip of the template clamp. Its automatic presser foot height adjustment device enables presser foot adjustment as per the thickness of the material. A single operator can handle 4 such machines, and due to the large sewing area of 750 mm both the front and back panels can be quilted simultaneously. It has a maximum sewing speed of 2500 RPM, and an encoder controls the movement across the X-Y direction, which improves feeding precision and minimizes deviation from the design.