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Event Report | March 2016

Fibre neutral policy need of the hour to boost MMF: Oerlikon meet

MMF accounts for 68 per cent of all fibres consumed worldwide, and its usage has been growing in clothing, carpets, household textiles and a wide range of technical products, and much more. “In India, 70 per cent of the market is cotton focused and the remaining 30 per cent is MMF, whereas globally it’s vice versa”, said Khurshed Thanawalla, Managing Director, Oerlikon India Pvt Ltd. MMF and its growth in India was the hot topic of discussion at the recently-held Oerlikon Manmade Fibres Seminar, organised at Deltin Hotel, Daman on January 23, 2016.

To interact with the customers, five information booths were setup during the seminar.

Khurshed Thanawalla, in his short speech, appealed to the Government of India to shed the tradition of bias towards cotton and recognise the importance of MMF especially since in other countries MMF has been dominating natural fibres. He urged the government to come out with a fibre neutral policy to encourage investment in the sector and compete with cotton.

Said Thanawalla: “In the $3.5-billion Oerlikon Group, the MMF segment—Barmag and Neumag—is a well-respected name in the textile industry in India and globally. We are coming up with a modular plant operation centre (POC), which can capture and digitise all the sets of yarn, and production and processing including plant technology from third-party suppliers. In addition, it can be linked to the ERP system, and networking with several plants is also possible via cloud computing. We have extended the WINGS technology to become available for wider product operation.”

POC is the all-embracing workflow management system by Oerlikon Manmade Fibers. Since 2014, POC has been established as a modular and scalable process and production control system. More than 120 POC projects of OMF applications have been realised since then. In addition, another 100 projects of other textile applications have been installed.

Thanawalla said, “We continue to work hard on building our e-save philosophy, which is our responsibility towards our customers and environment. This is reflected from our recent offerings such as RoTac3, BCF and rotating tangling unit from Oerlikon Barmag. These systems substantially reduces energy consumption.” He further added, “Currently, Oerlikon is the world’s only manufacturer that has the technical know-how and the capabilities to offer technology and plant from melt to yarn. Here in India, we supply machines, plants, and provide onsite and offsite maintenance and also help customers in operating the machines efficiently. We have started production of a new modern service station, close to Vadodara city in Gujarat. This station is expected to be operational by end of this year.”

Michael Korobczuk, Vice President – Sales, Oerlikon Barmag, Germany, spoke on the latest market scenario of MMF worldwide. However, he refrained from commenting on how the textile exports will fare in future. In 2015, the sales of MMF in India accounts for only 2 per cent with China leading from the front with 66 per cent, rest of the world with 24 per cent and the USA with 8 per cent. However, Korobczuk thinks the share of India to increase to 15 per cent by 2017.

Korobczuk further spoke on the hot topics in 2016 for product and industry upgrade. According to him, hot topics in 2016 include elimination of backward capacity, new generation polyester fibre, green production and go-out strategy.

Also during the evening were presentations from Dr Klaus Schaefer, Head of Technology, Oerlikon Barmag, on innovation in technology for MMF; Sven Streiber, Sales Manager Sales CP/Plantdesign, on continuous polymerisation (from melt to yarn/fibre); Van Loenen Gerrit, Sales Director, Oerlikon Neumag, on actual information on Neumag products (PSF, BCF & Nonwoven); Arnulf Sauer, Senior Manager – Head of Electronics and Software, on smart applications enabled by smart technologies (Industrie 4.0); and Ernst Wolfgang, Vice President, Head of Sales and Customer Service of BBE Engineering GmbH, on Variofil: Flexible sustainability.

Gerrit spoke at length about Oerlikon’s new system, RoTac3. The rotating tangle unit RoTac³ means an energy-efficient, very uniform tangling at high speeds. The compressed air consumption in the RoTac³ can, according to the type of yarn, be reduced by up to 50 per cent.

“Everyone is talking about Industrie 4.0, and each and every industry and country have its own term,” says Sauer. He asks: Why it is called Industrie 4.0? “The first industrial revolution started in the year 1825 with steam machine coming into production. The second industrial revolution started around 1910, and the third revolution started in 1970. And now we are coming to the fourth industrial revolution which started around 2010 and this means that all participants in the production process, machines and humans are now coming together,” he says.

“MMF industry in India can contribute significantly and create employment opportunities”, the India Chief concluded.

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