Niemla de­vel­ops seat fab­rics with less weight, new fea­tures

Auto components India - - COVER STORY - Story by: Gun­jan D Bi­dani ACI

Niemla Au­to­mo­tive, man­u­fac­turer and sup­plier of au­to­mo­bile seat cover, has de­vel­oped light-weighted flat jacquard fab­ric which claims to im­prove the fuel ef­fi­ciency of a bus. Re­duc­ing the load by 50-60 kg on a 3-axle bus, the new tech­nol­ogy as­sures 3-5% of im­proved fuel ef­fi­ciency. Cur­rently, it is be­ing tested by a Swedish CV maker and the fab­ric is ex­pected to be out in the mar­ket by Fe­bru­ary 2019. The com­pany also man­u­fac­tures value-added prod­ucts like wa­ter­re­pel­lent, oil /stain re­sis­tant, an­tibac­te­rial plush jacquard fab­rics and fire-re­sis­tant (FR) fin­ish to meet the spe­cific re­quire­ments of in­sti­tu­tional cus­tomers in the bus-seat­ing and en­ter­tain­ment seg­ment.

Opened in 1932, Niemla was orig­i­nally known as New In­dia Em­broi­dery Mills Lim­ited. In 2014, the com­pany took over the au­to­mo­tive di­vi­sion of Ray­mond and in­tro­duced top qual­ity prod­ucts at much cheaper prices. Niemla sup­plies fab­ric for both the seat­ing of pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cles and in­te­ri­ors of buses. The com­pany deals with both Flat Jacquard and vel­vet ma­te­ri­als which um­brel­las Dobby and Jacquard. Ar­maan Mehra, CEO, Niemla Au­to­mo­tive, said that “the preva­lent prej­u­dice among the OEMs un­der­es­ti­mates the qual­ity of the fab­ric made in the coun­try.”

In­di­rectly sup­ply­ing fab­ric to Maruti Suzuki, Niemla’s clien­tele in­cludes Harita Seat­ings and Satluj Coach Prod­ucts. The com­pany is cater­ing to Volvo with car­pets and cur­tains and is at the ad­vanced stages of con­duct­ing di­rect busi­ness with Maruti Suzuki, Honda Cars In­dia and Re­nault In­dia. A new en­trant into Niemla’s clien­tele is In­dian Rail­ways, since July. Cur­rently, util­is­ing 5-7% of the pro­duc­tion for the Rail­ways, Mehra, the fourth gen­er­a­tion in the of­fice, aims to take it up to 15-20% by 2020. Chair car is an at­trac­tive propo­si­tion as its re­fur­bish­ment hap­pens ev­ery 4-5 months, he added. The af­ter­mar­ket pres­ence of the com­pany is sup­ported by 25 dis­trib­u­tors across the na­tion.

Niemla Au­to­mo­tive ex­ports its prod­ucts to the US, Bangladesh and Turkey. It plans to in­crease its foot­print glob­ally. Mehra said China was not a threat as it was not able to cope with the seat­ing in­dus­try due to higher labour costs.

Pro­vid­ing with the state-of-theart colour com­bi­na­tions, Niemla Au­to­mo­tive is equipped with ma­chin­ery ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing 4D colours. While the cur­rent in­dus­try trend is of 2D, Niemla is up­grad­ing its 4D tech­nol­ogy to 7D on Jacquard fab­ric by 2020. The com­pany is also de­vel­op­ing 3D dobby, con­trary to the run­ning 2D dobby fab­ric in the mar­ket. Niemla has pi­o­neered the con­cept of man­u­fac­tur­ing back-coated plush fab­rics in In­dia. The back coat­ing on the fab­ric im­proves the bind­ing strength of pile to the base fab­ric. Although this prod­uct is es­sen­tially tar­geted at the au­to­mo­tive up­hol­stery mar­ket it is now be­ing widely used in of­fice chairs and pan­els.

Niemla is also fo­cussing on giv­ing the fin­ished prod­uct to the end­con­sumer by bring­ing in stitched seat cov­ers for cars by 2020. Cur­rently op­er­at­ing out of 3 man­u­fac­tur­ing units in Ghaziabad and Soni­pat, Niemla is also plan­ning to set up an an­other unit in Soni­pat, which will have the lat­est tech­nol­ogy equip­ment to man­u­fac­ture ad­vanced prod­ucts mainly to meet de­mand from the OEMs.

The new fa­cil­ity will ex­port car­pets and seat fab­rics to the US. It is set­ting up a ware­house there to reach its cus­tomers quickly. Mehra plans to cross the Rs 100-crore mark by 2020. Its present busi­ness is at around Rs 50-60 crore.

Ar­maan Mehra, CEO, Niemla Au­to­mo­tive

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