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FACE2FACE | April 2019

GHCL finds ultimate solution to yarn production with PREMIER Ultimo

Incorporated in the year 1983, GHCL Limited has established itself as a well-diversified group with a market capitalisation of almost Rs 3,000 crore in chemicals, textiles and consumer products. It is one of India’s leading manufacturers of home textiles and yarns.

During the ITJ’s visit to their Madurai factory, KC Ravi, Vice President – Operations, Yarn Division, GHCL Limited, shared more information about the unit, and how it is catering to the demand of the market.

Apart from Madurai unit, GHCL has a unit in Vapi as well. What is its specialisation? What about other businesses other than textiles?

GHCL has state-of-the-art home textile facilities at Vapi with a weaving and processing capacity of 45 million meters of fabric up to made ups. This facility houses the best equipment sourced from Germany and Japan namely, Benninger,Tsudakoma, Kuster and Monforts. It has the flexibility to process both cotton and blended fabrics. About 90 per cent of those products are exported to the US and Europe.

In the chemicals sector, GHCL manufactures soda ash, a major raw material for detergents, glass and ceramics industries and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). The consumer products division manufactures and sells edible salt and other consumer products Kindly share more details on the in-house spinning unit at Madurai.

We have a yarn division in Madurai, wherein we run 100 per cent cotton yarns. In total, we have around 1,20,000 spindles runs on cotton . Apart from this, we have a open end yarn unit of 3,300 rotors, which is also located in Madurai. In addition, we have 24 TFOs for producing ply yarns.

We also make synthetic and synthetic yarn blends in our Manaparai unit in Tiruchirappalli (Tamil Nadu). Our Manaparai unit also makes 100 per cent viscose yarn on Vortex machine, and is well-established in the market.

GHCL, in its Madurai unit, installed Premier Evolvics’ Ultimo for monitoring spindles. Why did you choose Ultimo? How was the product received initially?

PREMIER Ultimo is the latest state-of-the-art individual spindle monitoring system for ring frames. Ultimo provides key information to various levels of management through e-service like mails, SMS and mobile application. The light indication at individual spindle and displays at ring frames end assist supervisors, maintenance persons and operators to focus on the areas that need quick attention. The large TV display helps user to monitor the overall performance of the shed with regard to production, efficiency, areas of improvement, etc.

At GHCL, we started using Ultimo from 2015 onwards. At first, we purchased only for seven machines of Ultimo as we wanted to know more about it. But after this, there was no looking back. All our spindles, right now, run on Ultimo, and we have extended this to our another unit, wherein about 37,000 spindles run on Ultimo.

Before Ultimo, ring data system was available in themarket. But, as you know, this system had its own set of issues. The Ultimo system took over the drawbacks of the ring data system.

We wanted to make our workforce more comfortable. The current generation of workforce doesn’t like every minute supervision. They know what they have to do. This system, in fact, helps them supervise themselves. When we installed seven machines of Ultimo, we knew this is what we wanted, and that’s why we extended this to all our spindles.

We have installed Ultimo in our Tiruchirappalli unit as well, wherein we run synthetic and synthetic blends. Has the product lived up to your expectations?

Ultimately the quality should be good, that’s where our focus lies. The benefits of Ultimo are very tangible as it is a single spindle monitoring system. For e.g: suppose we have around 1,00,000 spindles, and each spindle is monitored by Ultimo. Ultimately, we have to monitor each and every single position from which we can get the benefits. Since it monitors each and every spindle, it knows the behaviour of each spindle. After monitoring, suppose 99 per cent of spindles may produce good quality and only 1 per cent may be producing bad quality. Ultimo identifies it and helps to attend to it.

How do you see the growth after Ultimo Installation?

Speaking of other benefits, Ultimo helps in reduction of waste. How it happens? It happens because of continuous monitoring. All the actions are taken care of. Because of this, waste reduction comes down to 0.25 per cent, which earlier used to be about 1.5 per cent. Ultimo also helps to optimise the energy levels.

To what extent has Ultimo influenced the work culture?

The biggest benefit it provides is changing the culture of operators, which is a very important thing as a company. We want good culture throughout the company. We have trained them before they were put on the floor. We educated them about the new system and made them understand that this system will help to improve their skills and reduce their stress level.

Ultimo - In the operator’s perspective, maintenance team, mid and top-level management as well.

When someone works on a ring frame, there is a lot of tension an operator has to go through, but here, with the help of Ultimo, there is absolutely no stress. We have educated them on how to improve their work methods. They have imbibed these positive notes. We are very proud of our workforce, and they took it in a very good spirit.

When we installed Ultimo in our unit, each and every operator wanted to work on that machine only. This is another reason on why we installed Ultimo in all the machines. The very purpose of going with Ultimo was due to its highly reliable information from sensor. In fact, Ultimo has made the job easy for the maintenance guys too. Earlier their job was very laborious. Fitter had to check each and every spindle manually. There was no 100 per cent monitoring either, may be it was done offline. But now with Ultimo, spindles are monitored 24x7.

Whatever we had expected, Ultimo had given us more than that. Ultimately, Ultimo has been a very good system for us at GHCL. If we are not been happy with the seven machines that was purchased earlier, we would not have purchased more. We are happy with the performance of our monitoring system. In fact, we are thinking on using these kind of systems in other machines too.

Is Ultimo user friendly? Your advice to non-ultimo mills? PREMIER Ultimo is very user friendly, can be used from mobile also. I don’t know why mills are not opting for these kind of systems. I wish most of the mills to go for such systems. If you want to survive in this market, you should go for products like Ultimo where in, the payback period is around 14 months and even less.

We are a very open company. At least, 25-30 mills team have visited our mills and seen Ultimo installations. Ultimately the whole world should get the benefit, then only it’s good for the industry.

As a user, I can say we are a proud user of Ultimo. Premier has done a very good thing of introducing this product and serving the industry.

Which are the products for the export market?

The product that we manufacture at our Madurai unit are sent to our home textile division, and the final product is for export . We also do yarn exports. Right now, we are focusing more on the local market, because it is growing at a phenomenal speed.

We were in the commodities segment, but slowly wanted to come out of it, and wanted to move towards value-added products. We are, slowly but steadily, moving in this direction. We are importing sustainable cotton from the USA and Australia. We also use Egyptian Giza cotton as well as Indian cotton. Our products are well diversified.

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