12-gramme carbon tubes by Mantex are starting to invade Tamil Nadu textile mills
According to a feature in The Economic Times of India, Textile mills in Tamil Nadu are replacing heavy plastic spindle tubes with 12-gramme carbon tubes made by the Indonesian firm Mantex Technologies
Modern material science finds its way into textile mills in Tamil Nadu. In a pilot that is changing the decades-old way cotton is spun into thin threads, a move entrepreneurs dub a significant advancement.
The energy saving pilot in textile hubs of Coimbatore and Tirupur, millers are replacing heavy plastic spindle tubes holding cotton threads coming out of the core spinning machine with 12-gramme carbon tubes. These lightweight tubes are sturdy, last eight years and offer investment payback in three years, meaning the rest of their lifetimes can be dedicated for pure energy savings of up to 8 %.
In Tamil Nadu, textile mills depend purely on manufacturing efficiency to compete with those in Gujarat as low availability of raw material cotton forces them to cut corners on power use to survive in the global exports arena.
This power saver is another effort to improve profits after a good number of enterprises moved to LEDs a few months ago to cut lighting costs. The spindle is the capacity metric for textiles just as tonnes are for cement production and the main power consuming area in a textile mill.
Considering that the watts saved directly from the spindle, textile mill owners say it has potential to revolutionise production. “Earlier, it was plastic tubes. Several materials were tried out, but the speed of spinning is over 23000 revolutions per minute. This requires the tube to be very light, but robust. Carbon fits the bill,” said Prabhu Damodharan, secretary of Indian Texpreneurs Federation, a south-side band of textile entrepreneurs.
For an average textile mill with a capacity of 50000 spindles, the move can help cut power costs by INR 5 million annually. With a majority of Indian textile businesses in the small and medium segment, this is a sizable cost saving. For the pilot, over 100000 carbon tubes have been purchased so far. As per industry representatives there is potential to save INR 750 million a year in power costs if 5 million of the 22.5 million capacity in Tamil Nadu make the transition.
Carbon tubes have already made their entry in aviation, race cars and the sports industry, areas where cutting weight of objects to aid mobility is paramount.
“Carbon composites are made by a few suppliers in the world and its potential is just waiting to be tapped,” said Atul Guglani, director at Mantex Technologies, which is supplying the tubes to Coimbatore mills now.
It has taken nearly three years for the idea to get commercialised. Guglani said his company will foray into medical technologies next to see if weights of external aids in the human body can be cut. “The idea is simple: a 10-gramme tube can withstand weight of 200 kg,” he said.
Mantex products will be showcased at ITMA in Milan at ITMA Hall 2 Booth D 108.