German Thies acrylic fibre dyeing for Ahlesa Blankets
Ahlesa Blankets (Pty) Ltd in South Africa recently took delivery of a new Thies eco bloc X dyeing unit in an acrylic fibre dyeing application offering 25 % additional production plus significant energy savings, improved flows and colour fastness
Originally headquartered in Turkey, Mekent Tekstil, decided to move its entire operations in 1996 to Atlantis, close to Cape Town (SAR), to start production of acrylic blankets, relying on two used Thies eco bloc units bought locally in South Africa.
Buying the acrylic fibres on the world market, Ahlesa Blankets dyes the fibres in-house in a fully integrated operation. The company dyes and blends the fibre, is spinning the yarn, is engaged in weaving and finishing the blankets to final make up and packaging ready for despatch. It is working three shifts daily, six days a week and the company seemingly is considered the country’s largest blanket producer, producing a variety of blanket sizes from baby blankets (50 x 125 cm) to king size (240 x 270 cm), and weights from 460 to 650 gm/m2. Ahlesa is producing up to 5000 blankets/day and its main market are domestic chain stores, but destined also for some export markets opening in neighbouring countries, such as Namibia and Botswana.
The new Thies unit was installed late last year, and replaces one of the original two eco bloc’s following almost 17 years trouble free operation, taking delivery when they were already almost 20 years old. It is able to dye four fibre “cakes”, each measuring 1900 mm diameter and weighing 300 kg instead of three cakes in the older unit. According to Ahlesa’s General Manager, Baris Kuyucu, “The new high temperature machine is greatly improved technically, offering better colour fastness, improved flows and significant energy savings.