In an exclusive interaction with the Editor of the ITJ, Vikas Sharan, VP, Textile Engineering ´ Knitting, Synthetics, Non-Wovens & Carpets, A.T.E. Enterprises, shares his insight on the company´s various product segments, and technologies applied for various products and their USPs. Excerpts...
ITJ Editor: Kindly share more details about A.T.E.´s venture into nonwovens. Vikas Sharan
(VS): A.T.E. Enterprises covers almost all the aspects of nonwovens. You have different technologies for nonwovens. In spunlace, which is hydro entanglement, entanglement is done through the use of water needles. In needlepunch, mechanical needles are used for making the fabric. Then you also have spunbond, chemical bonding and thermo bonding. These are various technologies, and for almost all the technologies, A.T.E. represents Truetzschler Nonwovens. For spunbond, we have a tie up with the Chinese manufacturer.
In the medical or hygiene segment, you have a fabric called SMS or SMMS. Since this sector requires a high degree of accuracy, you need a high-end technology. That is why you see the likes of Global Nonwovens coming up. Global Nonwovens manufacture these types of high-quality fabrics.
There are markets for different types of technical textiles. For e.g.: For each of the 12 categories of technical textile, it demands a certain amount of requirement, which you cannot distribute over all the categories. For each category you need a different set of fabric and a different kind of equipment to make those kind of fabrics. At the moment spunlace is a very costly because you only have the European technology in it. There are also a few Chinese manufacturers, but those players have not yet ventured into India looking at the risks involved.
In future, you will see newer projects because the demand for these products are growing. The demand for personal hygiene products are also growing at a good rate. Personal hygiene mainly means pharmacare products, baby diapers, sanitary pads, and adult incontinence products. A lot of education and awareness needs to be done because people generally feel embarrassed talking about adult incontinence.
To create awareness for disposable products, the Government of India is sponsoring quite a few seminars and events, and even the Ministry of Textiles is doing its share of things. It is happening at the top level but this also has to peculate at the macro/micro levels, which is the end users. This differentiation will help build newer markets. For e.g.: Johnson & Johnson can sell its products in metros, but when you sell them in tier 2-3 cities, then brands doesn´t matter much, what matters is money. I think the market for technical textiles has not grown up to an extent and that is why you see a lot of new units coming up every year. For technical textile segment, a company needs to invest a lot in the marketing aspects because you need to make people understand the product first.
ITJ Editor: What are the capabilities of A.T.E. in nonwovens?
VS: A.T.E. is very uniquely positioned to handle almost all types of nonwoven requirements. Be it needlepunch, spunlace, medical bonding, thermal bonding or spun bonding, A.T.E. is into all technologies.
ITJ Editor: Apart from Truetzschler Nonwovens, who are the other people?
VS: Truetzschler Nonwovens handles most of the nonwovens. This is as far as making of fabric is concerned. Many other times you also need to coat. Coating is also a very important technology in technical textiles. We have principles to supply world-class coating machines that cater to their requirement. Both these requirements can be met through a single window called A.T.E.