Shubhalakshmi Polyester threads its way to technical yarns

Technical Textiles

With technical textile holding out the promise of greater use in various sectors, the company now intends to set up additional production facilities to cater to this growing demand, reports Ganesh Kalidas

Anil Nair, President, Shubhalakshmi Polyester Ltd

The textile industry in India is not only one of the largest industries and a major contributor to the economy but is also closely linked to cultures and traditions which are reflective of the prevailing Indian diversity. It includes various segments, one of the major ones being technical textile. These play a significant role in supporting the growth of an array of other industries since it comprises products that are used, for their functional purposes, in industries such as transport, sports, agriculture, construction, medical, furniture, clothing, and many others. These different segments further require various products which contribute to the overall functioning as well as the manufacturing of finished products in the industry.

Such products include yarn, fabrics, garments, etc. Yarn acts as a core ingredient on the basis of which the textile industry functions. It is the key product used for stitching, weaving, felting, knitting and many other textile-related production works. In addition, polyester staple fiber (PSF) is presently the fastest growing fiber which has greatly impacted the textile industry, especially technical textile. Presently, Shubhalakshmi Polyester Ltd. (SPL) is one of the leading suppliers of filament yarns and PSF in India. SPL was involved in the trading business, after which they moved towards manufacturing polyester filament yarns. Their first spinning plant was set up at Silvassa in the year 2004 whose current production capacity is 200 tons per day.

Further, in 2012-13, they added continuous polymerisation (CP) from CTIEI to produce chips, POY yarn and draw texturised yarns. In 2015-16, they added capacity of FDY with Germany’s Barmag technology and in 2017, state-of-the-art technology from Neumag was installed for producing 200 tons per day of PSF. Their new production capacity has been scaled up to 750 tons per day which includes 200 tons of PSF and 550 tons of other filament yarns. Their portfolio consists of varying polyester products, including specialty yarns, texturising yarns, twisting yarns, fancy yarns, POY yarns, PET chips, mono yarns, fully drawn yarns (FDY), mother yarns, airtex yarns, and now PSF as well.

Quality and expansion

As of now, 80% of the yarn produced by the company is sold in the domestic market while the remaining is exported. According to Anil Nair, President, Shubhalakshmi Polyester Ltd., in the next two years, SPL aims to scale up to a 50-50 divide between domestic and international markets. Also, while SPL is currently limited to the production of yarns, they are looking at forward integration with the inclusion of fabric-related products in the near future. The company puts into use the best technology sourced from around the world for the production of their yarns and fibers which ensures quality of the full range of products available in their portfolio. Their advanced winding machinery, for example, comes from technology leaders in the industry, including Oerlikon Barmag in Germany, TMT in Japan and Beijing Chonglee Machinery Engineering Co. Ltd. in China.

Along with the state-of-the-art technology, their highly qualified technical management teams and quality control department ensures that all the products being manufactured meet the required standards. The company implements international manufacturing processes and makes considerable investments into research and development in order to guarantee export quality and continuous improvement. “The PSF line which we installed two years ago was stabilised just within a year. With the qualified team that we have in the factory along with the technology, we have been able to establish ourselves as one of the leading suppliers of PSF in India,” says Nair. It is this modern technology that also helps them maintain plant utilisation at 98%.

Meanwhile, a growing need from customers has led SPL to look at the possibility of further expansion in the polyester segment as well as more forward integration, which may require an increase in their production capacity. The expansion plan will emphasize on technical textile which, as Nair states, provides increasing scope. “My vision is to take this company into technical textile because within the domestic market there is big scope but very few players that are catering to this need,” he says. And with the growing demand from customers across the globe, SPL is in the process of getting all their plants and products certified under GRS to manufacture recycled products in filament yarn and PSF. With SPL focusing their production on forward integration of fabric and applications within the technical textile industry, Nair sees a possibility of their present turnover of Rs. 2,700 crores to increase to Rs. 3,000 crores soon.

Scope and potential

Technical textile has wide scope due to its varying uses and applications in up to 12 segments – transport textiles, medical and hygiene textile, agriculture technology, home textile, packaging, industrial products, construction, sports technology, clothing technology, protective and safety clothing technology, ecological protection textile and geo textile. The growth of these end user industries, in turn, influences the growth of technical textile in the domestic market. The demand for technical yarns is also increasing as a key product utilised in the manufacturing of technical textile. Such varied applications of technical textile and the growing demand for technical yarns to manufacture finished products is suggestive of the great potential of filament yarns and special fiber blends such as PSF in the Indian textile industry.

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