India: HCA combats industry challenges with ‘Affordable Automation’
Hari Chand Anand & Co. ( HCA), one of the leading dealers in India for apparel manufacturing technology solutions, understands the evolving needs of the Indian apparel industry. With a gamut of machines and the most relevant technologies for the manufacturers in its basket, HCA showed up at GTE, Bangalore to make sure the industry remains competitive and profitable. Anil Anand, MD, HCA informed, “This time we are not showing SNLS and other basic machines. We are dedicatedly focusing on high- end solutions and we are known for that.”
Sharing his views on the dwindling export industry, Anil quoted, “Though the garment industry is here to stay for long, it has become essential for the manufacturers to compete with the countries which have lower salaries. They need to produce more in the same salary structure but the question is how do they produce more? The answer is: Buy some automats.” Present at HCA booth were Hikari, Juita, Epa and Kansai which garnered some serious attention of the visitors.
As far as Hikari is concerned, HX6800TC UTC/AK, a computerised overlock series with pneumatic system, was the main display. The machine runs at 8,000 RPM and comes equipped with a sensor which avoids fabric nicking, thereby enhancing the sewing quality. Further, an adjustable LED light is installed whose rotational design scatters the light all around the sewing area. Japanese brand Kansai Special, under HCA booth, showed NR9803GPEHKUTA cylinder bed top and bottom cover stitch machine which is studded with fabric trimmer and smooth puller for attaching pre- closed elastic for underwear and pneumatic top and bottom thread trimmer. “If the manufacturers have 15 or 20 machines which require air, they need to buy a large capacity air compressor which comes at a certain cost for them. However, this machine saves air automatically with its precise pneumatic system and no other Japanese brand in the same segment has these kind of innovations,” claimed Anil.
Though HCA is positive about the burgeoning domestic apparel industry, yet the recent shift of even domestic orders to Bangladesh is an indication of the slowdown. Lately, domestic manufacturing has not been getting incentives in Bangalore basically because the Government policies are misleading, according to Anil. “What is happening today is people are buying fabrics from China, producing garments in Bangladesh and selling in India with no tax. On the other hand, if you buy fabrics in India, 25 per cent duty is levied, so domestic manufacturers are finding it easier to import garments from Bangladesh of which 90 per cent of the raw material is coming from China,” expresses Anil. Earlier, Indian domestic manufacturers struggled with volumes and so they could not source garments from Bangladesh and now, when they have volumes in their hands, it becomes easier for them to go to Bangladesh. “The Government needs to tackle the situation to keep the Indian apparel industry alive and HCA is always here to ensure that it remains competitive,” suggested Anil.
Further, diversification of any kind always takes an industry forward – whether it is in terms of location, products or manufacturing paradigms. So, coming out of its earned tags of shirt, suit and trouser manufacturing hub which have always been its comfort zones, Bangalore is stepping out to diversify in knitwear also. And, since it is expanding in knitwear, the manufacturers are keen to put their hands in technology that caters to knitwear category and the same was witnessed in GTE too. “People in South India are quite acceptable to new technologies and new innovations because they know this is the only way for them to survive. They are changing the traditional methodologies, expanding in other product categories to provide the buyers a combination of woven and knit garments and are adopting technology for that,” claimed Anil.
Until a few years ago, it was believed that automation was unaffordable but the continuous efforts of HCA to make the industry realise that high- end solutions are not something out of their reach, has brought them to a point where they can proudly say that they have become relevant in the global apparel industry using ‘affordable automation’ provided by HCA. “Our belief from the very beginning is to make everyone believe that they can use automation. And for this to happen, the payback period should be anywhere between 11 to 13 months. We do not work on 5 or 7 years ROI period and that’s why we keep using ‘affordable automation’ tag under our brand name,” concluded Anil.
Anil Anand, Managing Director, HCA is confident about industry adopting ‘Affordable Automation’