In the global knitting industry, Navis Global has earned a remarkable reputation for the depth of technology that they can provide for quality production of finished knitted fabric, the most popular being compactors, pads and dryers. With 75% of business in Asian markets where the majority of production is happening today, the company is always looking at new opportunities to support its customer base and in recent years through acquisitions and partnerships, the company has also become very strong in wovens, non-wovens, and in industrial and technical textiles segments. In an exclusive discussion with Apparel Online, William J. Motchar, President & CEO, Navis Global shares his thoughts on some critical areas of future growth. Excerpts from the interview…
AO: What are the factors that make your machines so popular in the knitting segment?
William Motchar: All our machines run at the highest speed and provide the requisite quality parameters that brands and retailers require. We have designed our compactor for quick changeover because it is required by many customers especially in South Asia where small lot sizes are produced. Since we can provide the compaction needed in one pass through our machine, and we run at a speed of 2-3 times compared to our competitors, our running cost is much low than our competitors.
AO: Kindly brief us about the SCS (Spirality Correction System), which is among your latest developments in the market.
William Motchar: The system is for tubular knitting and though the intake was slow at the beginning, the demand for this machine is growing rapidly. It is a very unique technology that solves the spirality problem for knit fabrics. Though spirality is a problem for all knit fabrics, it causes maximum issues for knit fabrics made with ring spun yarn. We have over 10 machines running in South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Pakistan) and we are currently installing machines in Central America for all the large producers there. All high-end brands like Michael Kors, Perry Ellis, Ralph Lauren, etc. as well as basic apparel manufacturers are either already using SCS technology or they are targeting to implement SCS soon.
AO: The industry is moving toward fourth generation technology under Industry 4.0. How is Navis Tubetex gearing up to keep pace?
William Motchar: We have been involved with several customers in their efforts to proceed in the domain of Industry 4.0. We are working with them to equip our machines with the latest electronic technology that will allow them to collect extensive data from the machines to integrate into their plant wide systems. It is a huge growth area for sure. We have been investing heavily into the technical textiles area. Most of our business in this area is currently in North and South America. It is a good market segment for us because it requires high technology and process know-how which matches our capabilities and thus does not have the pricing pressure of basic fabric manufacturing machinery.
AO: How important is India-Bangladesh-Vietnam for Navis Tubetex and where is the next frontier for growth?
William Motchar: These three countries – India, Bangladesh, and Vietnam – are critical markets for our company. While India and Bangladesh are consistently in our list of top 5 markets, Vietnam is also growing rapidly. We have many current projects in Vietnam and are expecting our business to increase there further. Among the new markets coming up, the African market is on the path of development and I see it where South Asia was 10-15 years ago. We are already selling machines there now and I think we will grow there exponentially in future because of plenty foreign investment in Africa.
AO: How are the countries placed in terms of demand for tubular as well as open width compactor machines, and why?
William Motchar: Currently India has more demand for open width compactor, while Bangladesh and Vietnam have roughly equal demand for tubular and open width. The overall trend is for more open width. Generally high-fashion expensive garments are finished open width and basic apparel like T-shirts, underwear, etc. are finished tubular. This explains why India has a bigger demand for open-width compactors.