Portugal terry producer invests in stenters from Monforts
A premiere for Monforts in Portugal is a newly installed Montex 6500 stenter capitalising on steam from a co-generation plant to heat the first two chambers at fully vertical Lasa (terry specialist)
Lasa has configured the first two chambers of its newly installed Montforts Montex 6500 stenter heated by steam produced by the company’s co-generation plant allowing significant energy savings (and improved finishing), the steam is supplied at 150°C at virtually no cost and a pressure of just 13 bar allowing savings for the normally gas-heated chambers. Should a terry fabric require a temperature above 150°C, a simple changeover switch to gas heats the two chambers to 180°C. The steam is also routed to the stenters heat recovery system to act as a fire extinguishing system in the rare event of a fire. The roof mounted heat recovery system recycles hot air back into the Montex chambers, heating the inlet air and providing further energy savings.
The new 5-chamber Montex has been installed to replace a 30-years old stenter in an on-going modernisation programme. Electing to order the stenter from local representative, Maquicontrolo, energy savings were top on the list. Lasa Director José Autunes stated: “Today, energy costs in Portugal are perhaps the highest in Europe and savings become essential. Our previous stenter was thermo oil-heated which was proving to be too expensive, the new gas-heated Montex is much more beneficial”. In addition, the company benefits by “shutting down” one of its three daily shifts as a direct result of the stenters performance, whilst still increasing production with the resulting energy savings and reduced labour costs.
Lasa was founded in 1971 by Armando da Silva Antunes, producing handkerchiefs. In the aftermath of the April 1974 revolution in Portugal and the following period of instability, combined with an adverse economic situation, meant that it was not until 1980 that he was able to realise his dream, establishing a fully vertical operation. Over the next 30 years the company consolidated its structure such that today Lasa is recognised as one of Europe’s leading terry towel producers, and the group is one of the most important groups in Portugal with spinning, weaving, dyeing, finishing and confectionery, Lassa produces a wide range of terry towels, bath robes, bath mats and baby articles. 90 % of production is destined to European markets, primarily Germany, France and Spain, plus the USA, leading customer brands include El Corte Inglês, Guy Laroche, Zara Home, Auchon Diesel, Debenhams, Conran Shop and La Perla.
A key to success is Lasa’s quality control procedures with complete control of every process and results and procedures registered to ensure a high and continuous standard. There are “six never out of stock” plain dyed ranges in different colours, weights and yarn quantities. These plain dyed ranges are complemented in each range of products mentioned above. The company presents two collections a year based on its R&D departments trend scouting. Additionally some new designs are launched every month as a “refreshment” of the main collection. More than 90 % of the terry production is jacquard in weights of between 2040 gm/ms – 1500 kg/m2 (towels 240 – 700 gm/m2, bath robes at 480 gm/m2, and bath mats at 1500 kg/,m2. Featuring widths of 60 cm – 2.4 m, the Montex operates at speeds of 15 – 35 m/min. Appreciated is not only the double speed of Montex – as compared to the old installation – but also the horizontal chain system over competing brands, offering extended lifetime operation.