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Talking Point | December 2016

Roller covering business growing at over 100percent

In 2013, HMSU was born with the coming together of two of Europe?s renowned roller rubber covering companies and one Indian company ? Hannecard from Belgium, Mitex from Germany and Unimark from Kolkata, says Georg Heinen, Managing Director, Mitex GmbH.  

HMSU provides a complete range of rollers for the textile industry. The essential requirements for textile industry roller coverings today are its chemical resistance and preciseness of both the applied compound and the roll?s finishing, particularly in specialty applications like textile wet finishing and yarn preparation (sizing).

Georg Heinen tells the Indian Textile Journal on how HMSU has evolved in the Indian market and its agenda for India-ITME.

Give us some background of HMSU since its inception.
HMSU was born with the coming together of two of Europe?s renowned roller rubber covering companies and one Indian company in 2013. Hannecard is Belgium based, Mitex is Germany based and Unimark is Kolkata based. Hannecard and Mitex together have more than 50 sites under operations across the globe, supplying innovative products at consistent quality for more than 60 years. If experience of both the company is added together it is more than a century of learning and innovations. With so much of knowledge and experience, we decided to set up a manufacturing plant in India to supply the best quality of rubber compounds to Indian customer. Many of these customers have been using our products made in Europe or any other continent across the globe directly or through OEM, fitted on their machines. 

By setting up of this plant, we are also helping the Indian Government?s initiative of ?Make in India? by providing products, which were being imported till now directly or indirectly.
 
What made you think of India?
India is now the fastest growing economy in the world and this growth will drive a lot of increase in manufacturing activities and consumption growth. 

This in turn push factories to improve their throughput, cost, quality and reduce rejections. And to achieve all this the factories will require reliable and good quality of machines and spares. And here is where we feel that we will be able to contribute. Based on our experience, we have seen this cycle happening in many countries where the producers look for quality spares to improve their efficiency. We expect there will be continuous demand for good quality and technologically advanced rollers and we feel we will be able to fill the gap.
 
Tell us about your facility and business plans for the future in India.
We have started with making and selling of rollers in steel, textile, printing and packaging and film production sectors. We have set up a plant capable of producing rollers up to 1 m dia and 12 m length, making us one of the rare facility in the country with such capability. 

We have an in-house laboratory with strong support from R&D facility from Europe. We have our own mixing facility where we can make compounds with recipes being provided from Germany and Belgium. The factory is very modern, spacious and equipped with latest machinery. The designing of the factory has been done keeping in mind the future requirements of Indian customers. Our organisational building activity is complete and people have gained sufficient experience to have smooth operations.
 
How have you fared in the Indian textile market since your entry?
I would rate it as fantastic. We have been welcomed with open arms. In the initial three years of operations, we have been able to start regular business with many OEMs some of whom are Indian and some multinationals. On the end customer front, we have already become regular supplier of many big and reputed business house and providing them with roller coverings for various applications and processes. Our roller covering business is growing at more than 100 per cent YOY basis and we feel that given the size of Indian market and success of over products this trend will continue in future also.

What kind of products do you offer currently to your textile customers from your Indian plant?
We have launched various products like Filtex ?XP for sizing application. This comes with special fillers, which allow a proper balance of squeezing and passing of the size along with the fabric. This product has been a great success with Indian customers. We also have Indicom for our customers who have denim dyeing machines. This is also a proven product and working very well with many customers. We also offer a very versatile product by name Resistex-XP, which is CSM based and is very good in textile processing machines. This is a preferred rubber compound for many of our OEM customers across the globe. Ebonite roller is one more product we offer. In short we supply rubber rollers for almost all applications for textile industry. We will shortly start making spreader rollers also in India. As the market expands we shall continue to bring more and more such products from our portfolio for Indian customers.

Give us some details of the activities of your European R&D centre.
The R&D centre helps HMSU in many ways like trials of new applications, offering new rubber compounds, suggesting alternate materials, helping them in sourcing global and local raw materials, testing their produced rubber compound, establishing the process, training people and ensure that whatever is produced by HMSU is of the European standard of Mitex and Hannecard. A lot of hand holding is done by our R&D centres to ensure HMSU moves in right direction at correct speed.
 
What are your plans for the future?
Our operations have settled down well now and the team is really doing fantastic work in making and marketing quality rollers in Indian market. Now we have to expand by reaching out to more and more customers and establish ourselves as the best quality player in the roller business in Indian market across all the sectors. We shall keep on investing in the new equipment, technology, people, infrastructure, as well bringing new products not only to the textile market but also to other sectors.

What is the agenda for India-ITME? Tell us about your company?s participation in other international fairs.
HMSU is a new entrant in the rubber roller industry in India, though Hannecard and Mitex have been supplying in India since long, ITME being a large platform for the global textile industry our presence here will bring us to the front of the Indian textile market and create awareness about the high quality products that the group offers in India. 
This will expose the users to a different level of product range and get an opportunity to know us better.
Hannecard and Mitex have been participating across the globe with India on its global map as a major contributing facility.

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