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Special Focus | April 2016

20% growth forecast for technical textiles in India

While the global market size of the TT sector was estimated to be $104,000 million in 2010, this sector is still in nascent stages in India.

Technical textiles are welfare textiles used for their diverse and multifunctional properties.

TT offer several advantages in their functional aspects for improving health and safety, cost effectiveness, and durability and strength of textile material. These performance-enhancement products are applicable in the protective clothing, agriculture, medical, infrastructure development, automotive, aerospace, sports, and packaging sectors.

While the global market size of the TT sector was estimated to be $104,000 million in 2010, this sector is still in nascent stages in India. Based on past trends of growth and estimated end user segment growth, the Working Group on TT for 12th FYP projected the market size to reach $28,727 million by 2016-17 at a year-on-year growth rate of 20 per cent during 12th FYP.

A report from Wazir Advisors reveals that the TT sector is growing at a very fast pace in India. As per the data of the Ministry of Textiles, the Government of India, the TT market of India increased from Rs 70,151 crore in 2012-13 to become Rs 109,659 crore in 2014-15, registering a CAGR of 25 per cent. This works out to be about 11 per cent of the global TT market. As per the future growth estimates, the Indian TT market is further expected to grow at a CAGR of 20 per cent and reach become Rs 158,540 crore by 2016-17.

Dr Anup Rakshit, ED of Indian Technical Textile Association (ITTA), “Indian TT market segments are divided into 12 segments in which mobiltech, packtech, clothtech and hometech have the major share in the market. Domestic consumption has seen high growth rate of over 15 per cent per annum in the segments of mobiltech, geotech and indutech while packtech, sportech, meditech and buildtech segments grew at rate of more than 10 per cent per annum. There are couple of products within each segment which grew even more than 20 per cent. These above-mentioned segments will drive the growth in future.”

The industry also faces a number of challenges. Says Dr Rakshit: “Major areas of concerns are: Raw material availability, lack of standards for TT products, lack of domestic TT machinery manufacturers, research and development capability, lack of awareness about TT products to the user industries, lack of skilled manpower, etc.”

“TT industry in India is lagging in appropriate technology to produce world-standard products because they have to depend on imported technology and machinery to manufacture such products. Lack of domestic TT machinery manufacturers, R&D capability, innovation drive in the industry are the major reasons for it. However, under the TMTT scheme, the Ministry of Textiles is encouraging and funding R&D activities. Industry should also come forward and give more focus on the product development and marketing activities,” he adds.

According to GV Aras, Director of A.T.E. Enterprises, “A.T.E. is the only company that covers all the verticals in TT. We are in woven, circular & warp knitting, and nonwoven for TT. In nonwoven, we cover spunbond, spunlace, needle-punching and all. In processing also, which is very important, TT need proper functional treatments. For instance, coating and lamination. We provide one-window solutions for any TT project. We work with very advanced technology providers from Europe, who have long experience.”

Speaking about how A.T.E. Enterprises entered into the field of TT, GV Aras said, “A.T.E. really had been in the field of TT for a very long time. It was in 90s A.T.E. made its entry. But that time, business in TT was not much at all. It was in paper felts that we began with for some companies. That time this nonwoven concept was not prevalent. Really speaking, industry started talking about TT only about 10 years back. Only after infrastructure started picking up in India, TT like geotextiles and geosynthetics started getting attention. This happened only four years ago and even after these years, geotextiles has not attained its potential because there is no mandatory norms to promote it like in foreign countries. If this is done by the Government, geotextiles demand has the potential to go up 10 times.”

He added, “In India, the concept of disposables is having a very slow growth, and hence its potential is still untapped. But because export scope for wipes is very good, there has been some activities in this area. Another area which is showing signs of growing fast is filtration. This filtration field’s growth will continue since many companies have invested in this. Some growth has happened in spunbond, which is a cheap material.

This is a low margin business and only small industries are involved and with Chinese machines, which are cheaper. Medical textiles is another area expected to grow faster since disposables are getting promoted in hospitals, hotels, etc. Nonwoven is packaging is becoming popular because it it is light and cheap material. Unless the consumption of TT gets a boost, it will be a long way for this industry. Other fields showing promise are automotive textiles and protective textiles.”

Nitin Bavkar, Director, DORNIER Machinery India Pvt Ltd, says, “In TT, most people say that India is more or less in nascent stage, but we do have many manufacturers who are weaving different types of TT on Dornier machines. To name a few: Arvind Ltd started a separate division for TT, they had six DORNIER machines. Now, Arvind has about 32 DORNIER machines, producing a variety of fabrics. Currently, they are concentrating on filter and belting fabrics. ATIRA is having 3 new DORNIER rapier machines in their incubation center which are used for weaving variety of TT from glass to Carbon. Century Enka uses our tire cord machine to weave high quality tire cord. Khosla, one of the top filter manufactures, has around 30 DORNIER machines. Kusumgar weaves Kevlar fabrics on our machines, in addition to a range of technical fabrics. These are few examples.

Shiva Texyarn—which commenced business as a non banking financial company in 1980 and went public in 1985—ventured into TT with its new division at Ganeshapuram, Tamil Nadu in 2012. In TT, the company is engaged in providing coating, lamination, activated carbon production, impregnation and specialised garmenting.

When asked about the company’s various products for TT sector, Sundararaman KS, ED of Shiva Texyarn, a sister company of Bannari Amman Spinning Mills Ltd and a part of the Bannari Amman Group had this to say, “Our digital imaging products cater to markets across the world. Generally, we are among the product leaders nationally in the segments we operate in.” He added, “New projects of Shiva Texyarn include products for use in the military like NBC garments, collective protection systems, biodegradable waterproof fabrics, outdoor gear manufacturing and polar fleece manufacturing.”

Supreme Nonwoven Industries has emerged as India’s largest and most diversified Nonwovens company. It has facilities to manufacture Nonwoven Fabrics using all the existing Technologies that use staple fibre namely needle-punched, spunlace, stitch bonded, chemical bonded - wet and powder, thermal bonded - calender and hot air.

Speaking on the nonwovens industry, Mohan Kavrie, CMD of Supreme Nonwoven Industries, said, “Nonwovens is a highly capital-intensive industry. It is also a knowledge-based industry. Success is possible by being in niche areas but this means high level of technical competence. Knowledge is not available in the marketplace. COEs are still themselves learning the basics. Only the very basics of elementary nonwovens is beginning to be taught in the colleges. It is not adequate if you are to start a nonwoven business. More important, it is an industry primarily for technocrat driven small and medium size companies. Although there are more than probably 10,000 nonwoven companies worldwide, less than 100 are having over $100 million of turnover. TT industry is not about size. Involvement of the promoter is absolutely necessary for this industry.” He said, “There are some consumer products based on nonwovens such as sanitary napkins, baby and adult diapers, medical and hygiene products, wet wipes, etc. that have large volumes. However, such business model is not about manufacturing but of marketing. It is the monopoly of the J&J, Kimberly Clark and Proctor & Gambols of the world.” He further added, “Geotextiles is another big market, but here again it is not about manufacturing but offering complete geotechnical solutions.”

SWOT analysis

STRENGTHS

  • Textile industry has a strong base in terms of raw materials, skilled manpower, low wages and entrepreneurial talent which can be leveraged to boost the TT sector.
  • Presence of Textile Research Associations (TRA) with strong expertise in TT can contribute to R&D.
  • Proactive approach from the government for boosting TT sector investment through various support schemes.
  • Presence of IITS/Textiles Institutes and eight COEs i.e. Geotech: BTRA, Agrotech: SASMIRA, Meditech: SITRA, Protech: NITRA, Composite: ATIRA, Non-Woven: DKTE, Indutech: PSG College and Sportech.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • Huge potential for usage of TT by institutional buyers like defence, security, space & marine, roads and infrastructure, medical and health, etc.
  • Huge export potential of TT.
  • Import substitution opportunity

WEAKNESSES

  • Dependence on import of technology and machinery for most of the high-end TT products.
  • Available resources have not been augmented and updated with changing trends in application of TT.
  • Non-availability of skilled manpower specifically trained for TT.
  • Production capacity is primarily focused on commodity products and is not very R&D intensive.
  • Lack of expert consultants for TT for guiding entrepreneurs.
  • Absence of regulatory measures for usage of TT.
  • Lack of support for export promotional activities.
  • Lack of support for contract R&D.
  • Non-availability of indigenous high performance speciality fibres for manufacture of TT.

THREATS

  • Cheap imports of TT items from countries like China. Absence of FTAs with EU and USA

    Global TT output to touch 40 mn t by 2020

    Technical Textiles account for around 27 per cent of all textiles production by volume. TT produces around 30 million tonnes of textiles per year and this is forecast to grow to around 40 mn t by 2020, generating total global revenues of over $190 billion compared to a value of approximately $140 billion in 2014. The market continues to grow strongly and is forecast to see a CAGR of between 3-6 per cent, depending on the application area. Because of the high margins available in the TT market it is an attractive area for companies to enter, particularly given the rate of innovation. There are new materials and new applications emerging on an ongoing basis, which is in part being funded by large research grants from IGOs such as the EU Horizon 2025 project.

    Automotive and medical are the fastest expanding applications. Of the 12 different applications within TT, automotive and medical are the fastest expanding sectors. It is estimated that there are already 26 kg of textiles used within the average vehicle, while the use of textiles in the healthcare sector is growing both in volume and usage terms.

    This is thanks to favourable global trends such as the ageing society and the rise of obesity, as well as the rising expenditure on healthcare in the majority of economies. New manufacturing processes and technologies are emerging in the sector Constant innovation is the hallmark of TT, which includes elements across the whole supply chain; recent developments include:

    • 3D printing combines a variety of components in a fixed structure.
    • Weaving is another area of development which is likely to find a key use in construction
    • New fibres based on natural sources are in development, for example milk fibres
    • There are also interesting developments in combining a mixture of natural fibres such as spider silk in goat’s milk to produce new materials
    • The disposal of TT is also an area for development, for example washable super absorbent fabric or water soluble ostomy bags high growth TT

    Medical textiles is a fast growing market, with an expected annual growth of 4-5 per cent from 2015 to 2020. A key driver of this market is growing expenditure on healthcare globally, as well as increasingly sophisticated healthcare processes in more developed economies.

    Sportswear is a market that is benefiting from the growth in lei sure time globally thanks to the growth in middle class lifestyles. Spending on leisure products like sportswear is growing at double digit rates in some countries. At the same time consumers in developed economies are looking for more innovative high-tech products, providing industry growth on two fronts. One of the biggest markets for protective-wear is chemicals industry. This market is fast growing in the Asia-Pacific region. Overall use of protective-wear is also growing, as is innovation as companies strive to make heavy duty clothing both protective and comfortable to wear.

    Automotive and construction account for a 25 per cent share of nonwovens world production. In the automotive sector, an increasing number of parts (40 in total) are made with nonwovens, owing to their lightweight, sustainable, versatile and durable properties. These fabrics are low cost and easily mouldable, while enhancing fuel economy and lowering carbon dioxide emissions. Similarly, weight reduction and sustainability also drive the use of nonwovens in the building and construction sector.

    The geo-synthetics market is mainly driven by government regulations, particularly in Asia Pacific, which is seeing the fastest growth in this segment. Testing procedures, in regards to fire and chemical protection, are gaining importance. New technologies are being introduced in the industry.

    A term that has underlined the nonwovens market this year is process optimisation, a costly but necessary consideration in order for the industry to remain competitive. Therefore, high-speed and high-quality equipment is being installed in many manufacturers’ facilities. Polypropylene spunbonded and spunmelt nonwoven technology is currently the largest of all the technologies used in the manufacture of global nonwovens. This largely serves the hygiene market, with applications also found in wipes, filtration and home furnishings. However, the cost of polypropylene and other raw materials is rising, along with energy costs, influencing profitability around the world. This has led to producer consolidation and restructuring. Looking to 2016, the entire nonwovens industry is being encouraged to be more innovative.

    5th edition of Technotex from April 21-23, 2016

    To make India a manufacturing hub in the area of TT, under the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government of India. This is one of the objectives of Technotex 2016, India’s premier show on TT, organised by the Government of India, in association with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). The 5th International Exhibition & Conference on Technical Textiles recognises the immense potential of TT and its increasingly diverse and innovative applications. Fittingly, the event has a ‘smart’ theme: “Technical Textiles – Towards a Smart Future”. Technotex 2016 will be held at Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai from April 21-23, 2016.

    Speaking at the curtain raiser event of Technotex 2016, held at Shangri-La, Eros Hotel New Delhi, recently Minister of State for Textiles (Independent Charge), Santosh Kumar Gangwar said that TT can play an important role in the nation’s social and economic fronts. As examples, he pointed out the applications of geotextiles in infrastructure and agrotextiles in improving agricultural productivity and quality of output.

    The minister recalled the launch of a Rs 427-crore-Government of India scheme to promote usage of geotechnical textiles in the north eastern region of India, in March 2015. He said that this scheme would provide support for use of geotextiles in road construction, slope stabilisation and water reservoirs. He expressed satisfaction at the completion of the construction of the airport access road at Imphal, using geotextiles. He said that approval has been given for 13 water reservoir projects in Manipur and Tripura, and for two projects in road construction and slope stabilisation in the two states, all employing geotextiles.

    Gangwar said that 44 demonstration centres at a total cost of Rs 8.17 crore have been approved, in order to promote agrotextiles in north east region; out of this 23 demonstration centres have started functioning. In addition, 263 agrotextile kits have been distributed to farmers in Manipur and Mizoram.

    Gangwar said that a pilot scheme has been approved in order to promote agrotextiles in other parts of India. He said that two demonstration centres are being set up under the scheme in drought-affected areas in Amravati district of Maharashtra. Besides this, 60 farmers in Amravati have been identified for distribution of agrotextile kits, said the minister.

    The minister said that the Ministry of Textiles has set up six focus incubation centres at a cost of Rs 17.4 crore. These centres would help budding entrepreneurs build innovative TT products in a ‘plug n play’ model, and would help promote ‘Make in India’ in textiles. Gangwar said that the Technology Mission on Technical Textiles (TMTT) has been extended for two years, i.e., for 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. Minister said that eight Centres of Excellence (COEs) have been set up under the scheme, where facilities for testing, R&D and skill development in TT are being set up. He said that TMTT Mission – II provides support in the areas such as export market development of TT, new business start-ups, contract research and market development support for sale to institutional buyers, among others. He noted that a special focus has been given to TT, under Amended TUFS; a capital subsidy of 15 per cent has been provided for TT machinery under the amended scheme, said the Minister.

    On the occasion, the minister released baseline survey on TT and BIS standards for the industry. The release of the survey and standards is an important step forward in the Government’s efforts for standardization of TT products in India. The minister also released the event brochure for Technotex 2016.

    Anu Garg, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Textiles; Alka Panda, Director General, BIS; Pramod Khosla, Chairman, Indian Technical Textile Association; Shishir Jaipuria, Chairman, FICCI Technical Textile Committee; and Vinay Mathur, Deputy Secretary General, FICCI also spoke on the occasion.

    Technotex, is organised by the Ministry of Textiles in association with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry. It is a flagship event comprising an international exhibition, conference, and seminars. The event showcases products from various sub-sectors of TT, such as indutech, meditech, mobiltech, ecotech, geotech, packtech, protech, sportech, agrotech, clothtech, TT equipment and machinery, raw materials and textile manufacturing services. A common platform for interaction amongst stakeholders from across the global TT value chain, Technotex exemplifies the immense potential for trade and investment between India and foreign countries in TT sector.

    The exhibition and international conference Technotex India is expected to draw in more than 200 exhibitors, who would showcase a varied collection of TT from the various sub sectors of the TT industry. With participation from nations like Korea, Switzerland, Japan, US, Germany, Belgium, UK, Austria, Italy and many more, the event will witness the country pavilions of Taiwan and China as well. A gateway to the TT arena, the event bridges the gap between buyers and sellers by facilitating B2B (business to business) and G2B (government to business) meetings.

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