In­dia: HCA com­bats in­dus­try chal­lenges with ‘Af­ford­able Au­to­ma­tion’

Stitch World - - TECH TRACK -

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’

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