There are a large number of SMEs manufacturing all types of components/parts and accessories, testing and monitoring equipment and auxiliaries, and a good number of them are of international standards in terms of product design, capacities and technology, says S Chakrabarty.
The organised mill sector of India is almost two centuries old. However, almost all the machinery requirements of the mill industry used to be met through imports till the 1920s. The inhouse workshops were not capable of repairing/making the important spares and the imports were becoming costlier day by day. The first unit for the manufacture of spares was set up in the year 1904 in the name of Ahmedabad Victoria Iron Works Co Ltd in Ahmedbad. This was followed by other smaller units in Ahmedabd and Bombay manufacturing the spares as there was urgent requirement for the textile industry.
The prices of imported machinery also started rising steeply after the Second World War. The Indian textile industry found it extremely difficult to cope with the situation as the cost of replacement and purchase of new machinery as well as spares for the old machinery became uneconomical. This was the reason behind the creation of the organised Textile Engineering Industry (TEI) in India.
The TEI in India is an important part of the capital goods industry today. It has developed a strong engineering base capable of manufacturing the entire range of machinery, parts/components and accessories for the textile industry. It supplied over 70% of the requirements of the textile industry from the 1960s to the 1990s. It has over the last five and a half decades, built up an annual estimated capacity of Rs 8048 crore of complete machinery and other equipment, parts/components and accessories right from ginning, opening up of the fibres to the production of finished fabrics. In the synthetic sector, entire range of fibre/filament mechanical/chemical processing machinery and its parts/components and accessories of latest technology are manufactured in India.
This survey indicates the presence of 1446 units, 598 units manufacturing complete machinery and 848 units making parts and accessories. This survey also indicates a production level of Rs 5753 crore during 2006 - 07, Rs 4402 crore in 2005 - 06 and Rs 3705 crore in 2004 - 05, recording an average increase of 39% in three years. Based on this survey, the production of the subsequent years is as under:
The production of textile machinery has been steadily increasing over the last few years. However, the acute demand recession during 2008 - 2009 & 2009 - 2010, has adversely affected the growth of the TEI significantly. The capacity utilisation of the industry which increased during 2004 - 05 to 2007 - 08 fallen in the subsequent years due to demand recession.
There are a large number of SMEs manufacturing complete machinery as well as all types of components/parts and accessories, testing and monitoring equipment and auxiliaries. A good number of firms are of international standard in terms of product design, capacities and technology. The SMEs developed their products by indigenising technology through foreign collaborations/joint ventures and/or obtaining technical know-how from R&D Centres and Technical Institutes within the country or by their own developments.
The entire range of spinning machinery is manufactured in India, including blowroom machinery, cards, draw frame, combers, speed frame, ring frame, ancillary machinery, open-end spinning, two for one twisting and auto-cone winding machines and parts and accessories of international standard.
In spinning, entire blowroom parts & accessories, card room accessories and parts such as card clothing, card clothing mounting and polishing, card cans; Top & bottom rollers for drawing, cans etc; Speed frame parts, fliers, spindles etc; Ring frame parts, viz, spindles, cots & aprons, flyers, rings & ring traveler, fluted rollers, etc, are made in India. Except compact spinning attachment and parts for the imported spinning machinery, nothing practically is imported.
South India, specifically Tamil Nadu, is the main region for spinning machinery parts and accessories. Technology is at par with international standards. Many of the parts of spinning machinery are exported. Some of the reputed manufacturers are Lakshmi Machine Works, Lakshmi Card Clothing, Autotex, Lakshmi Ring Travellers, Lakshmi Precision Tools, Indian Card Clothing, Inarco, Precitex, Inspiron Engg, SKF, AB Carter, M K Brothers, Delux Machinery Sovereign Engineers, Supertex Industries, Unitech Texmech, Zenith Engineering Works, etc.
The weaving industry in India is mainly concentrated in the States of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat. India became self-sufficient in weaving preparatory machinery, ie, high speed sectional warping, direct warping and sizing by and large matching up with world-class technology. The machines produced in the pre-weaving segments such as winding, twisting, rewinding, warping and sizing, are of international standards and are exported to several countries. The TEI in India has developed shuttleless rapier looms, air-jet looms and water-jet looms.
All parts and accessories for weaving preparatory machinery and weaving machinery are manufactured in India. Reed, heald/flat steel heald, heald wire, drop wire, dobby, jacquard, etc are manufactured. India is capable of fabricating any type of machinery of high quality. Maksteel Fabricators, Narendra Industries, Lakshmi Automatic Loom, Surya Machinery, Honest Trading Company, Himson textile Engineering, Alidhra Weavetech, Texspares Machines, Umbergaon Textile Machinery, Kothari Techno Tex , Mayur Reeds and Healds, and National Wire Heads are some of the important manufacturers.
In case of shuttleless rapier looms, air-jet looms and water-jet looms, all parts relating to the weft insertion system with or without electronics, profile reed, etc, are being imported. In the case of sizing temperature controls and other PLC controlled drives and equipment are imported.
Almost the entire range of processing machinery is now being manufactured in the country, with continuous scouring, bleaching, mercerising, washing, dyeing plants, preshrinking ranges and more, being produced by domestic manufacturers. The indigenous machinery available now competes on an even footing with their European counterparts with low material to liquor ratio, and is capable of processing fabric with comparable results at a very reasonable cost. All critical electronic components and equipment are imported.
All types of parts and accessories are also made in India. Important manufacturers are: Blue Moon Engineering & Mfg Co, Dalal Engineering Pvt Ltd, Erhardt + Leimer (India) Ltd, Harish Enterprise Pvt Ltd, Radiant Engineering Works, Stovec Industries Ltd, Shakti Textile Engineers Pvt Ltd, R B Electronic & Engineering Pvt Ltd, Tex-Fab Engineers (India) Pvt Ltd, Trueshape Engineers, JK Textile Engineers, K B Sons, etc.
Testing & Monitoring Equipment
The Indian textile engineering industry started developing testing and monitoring equipment in the 60s and today a wide range of high quality latest generation testing and monitoring equipment is being manufactured in the country. Almost 80% of the requirement is met by the domestic manufacturers.
Important manufacturers are: Premier Evolvics Pvt Ltd, Sieger Spintex Equipments, B-Tex Engineering, Mag Solvics Pvt Ltd, Coimbatore, Semitronik Industries/Instruments, Ahmedabad, Patwa Kinarivala Electronics Ltd, Pioneer Textile Testing Services, Paramount Instruments, Texlab Industries, Inava Instruments, Katlax Enterprises, etc. In this segment critical components and electronic controls are imported.
The Textile Engineering Industry located in and around Surat developed synthetic yarn and fabric processing machinery, viz, draw texturising machines, draw twisters, two-for-one twisters for filament yarn, zero-twist filament sizing machines, rewinders and precision cone winding machines. With the development of such machinery indigenously, the industry is not only catering to domestic demand but is also exporting the same. Here the percentage share of demand is 95%.
Most of the components of the synthetic fibre/filament mechanical processing machinery are made in India. Surat, Rajkot, and Surendranagar are the main centers for the manufacture of spindles, spindle pots, spindle inserts, etc. Only critical electronic equipment like PLC controls, servo motors, etc, are imported.
Even in jute machinery the percentage share of demand is over 60%. There are half a dozen good manufacturers of jute machinery in the eastern sector. Many items of jute machinery are being manufactured in the country. Lagan Engineering Co Ltd, Kolkata is a major manufacturer of jute machinery and its parts, components and accessories. There are some small engineering units also manufacturing jute machinery parts and accessories in Kolkata, West Bengal.
The growth of the textile industry across the country initiated the manufacture of parts and accessories for their machinery. Today, barring a few critical items of equipment and accessories almost all kinds of parts and accessories of high quality are manufactured in the country. Most of the requirement is met from domestic sources.
Other Parts and Accessories
The other spares and accessories are also play major role in manufacturing and maintenance of the textile machinery these are: Bearings, Beams, Bobbins, Bobbin Holders, Bushes, Card Gauges, Ceramic Guides, Cone and Tubes, Cops-Aluminium/Steel, Drums, Filters, Flat Tops, Motors, Needles, Pins, Pirns, Belts, Rollers, Humidifiers, Overhead Traveling Cleaners, Shuttles, Spindle Tapes, Trolleys, etc. The major manufacturers are Basant Wire Industries, Elgi Electric Industries, Idealin Fogging Syestems, J S Metal, Lakshmi Electrical Drives, KCI Bearings, Luxite Industries, NRB Bearings, RMP Bearings, National Bobbins, Samruddhi Engineeering, Tensor Consulting Engineers, Usha Industrial Corporation, etc.
The parts and accessories of textile machinery manufacturing over the last 8 decades have come of age. The technologies of the manufacturing process as well as many of the products have reached international standards. This is evident from the fact that export of parts and accessories has reached the level of Rs 433 crore.
As mentioned earlier, there are 848 units manufacturing parts and accessories. Though the estimated capacity as per the survey conducted by the Textiles Committee shows the capacity as only Rs 322.38 crore, the realistic estimate of the capacity would be somewhere between Rs 550 crore to Rs 600 crore as of today. It is needless to mention here that non-reporting and misreporting of production and capacity is a bane in Indian Industry.
The technological advancements made in the manufacturing of spares and accessories arena and high tech infrastructure facilities (already available and being made available in the country) is conducive for development of critical parts/components and accessories required to manufacture high tech machines. There are manufacturers who already have their capability to develop high tech items and others are likely to follow suit. Such companies are existing in Surat, Ahmedabad, Rajkot in Gujarat, in and around Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu and also in Maharashtra (Mumbai, Pune, etc). It is, therefore, possible to say that India could be a hub for the production and supply of high tech components to the world like auto sector. Though some of the State Governments have taken initiatives to help the SME sector, the Central Government should come out with definite and long term policies to create a level playing field for the development of this sector to promote the technological hub of the world in India.
Note: For detailed version of this article please refer the print version of The Indian Textile Journal March 2010 issue.
S Chakrabarty, Secretary, Textile Machinery Manufacturers’ Association (India), Mumbai.