The 17th edition of Knit Vision, recently organized by Showman Associates, was satisfying for both – visitors and exhibitors. With Ludhiana growing and moving towards newer technologies, the new developments in machinery for knitting and garmenting sector attracted attention as did fresh products by accessories suppliers. Organizer and MD of Showman Associates, Satish Sharma, pleased with the turnout of around 23,000 visitors, said, “Once again we have proved our track record, and every exhibitor and visitor is happy with the event, which supports the industry in a big way. The next edition will be bigger than this and will include the textile segment.”
Narinder International, along with its regular offering of flat and circular knitting machines, displayed a compact model of the fully-fashioned Kauo Heng KH-600 (Taiwan), a more economical option from China as compared to similar machines from other countries. While the earlier machine had a bed-size of around 80 inches and could knit two panels simultaneously, the new model has a bed-size of 45 inches and can knit one panel at a time. Happy with the current market of Ludhiana, Narinder Kumar, MD of the company, informed, “Kauo Heng is coming up with another model soon, which will have more features and offer higher possibilities of pattern making and various types of selections. The Ludhiana market is good as of now and we are continuously offering new products to keep pace with demand.”
KP Exim showcased a variety of machines; the big attraction was the robot prototype from Steiger that puts ribs directly onto linking machine thereby provides support in tackling the critical labour shortage issue to the industry. Also displayed and appreciated was the high speed (130 knits effective per minutes) flatbed knitting machine HP2-52C from Cixing. HP2-52C comes with 16 yarn carriers that adjust their position automatically according to the width of the knitwear. The machine is also equipped with sinker control system to make the function of the sinker adjustable. Darshan Gauba, partner in the company, said, “Flat knitting and embroidery machines are still the most in-demand as local manufacturers are moving towards advanced machines and high-fashion products. Though business was a little low last season, we are hopeful about business picking up in the next season.”
Developers of indigenous flat knitting machines still form a strong base in Ludhiana and they keep moving ahead with new developments. Krishan Mastana of Mastana Mechanical Works, said, “Competition is continuously increasing, so we try to give newer models to the industry. In one of our new models, both sides can make the purl stitch. We are the first to develop such a technique; in fact, we have made many such technical changes to give the best products to users. Knitsew International, the Indian subsidiary of Stoll, displayed the 2-system CMS 420E (working width of 45”) for fully fashion orders, 3-system CMS 530HP (working width of 50”) and intarsia-dedicated CMS 340 (working width of 72”) – its bestsellers in Ludhiana region. While CMS 420E and CMS 530HP are equipped with gauges from 5-18, CMS 340 comes with 6-12G. Bullish about the Ludhiana market, Karan Kharbanda, Marketing Head, Knitsew International, remarked, “Based on the recent ups and downs of the market, I can say that the industry now prefers fine gauge rather than core gauge.”
EH Turel displayed for the first time in Ludhiana, Weishi’s ASK-A-1903 – a button stitch machine with feeder, and Typical’s newly launched high speed electronic crew-cut buttonholing machine (GT 1790 Series). ASK-A-1903 comes with a vacuum unit to increase the speed of feeding. GT-1790 series machines do not require replacement of the knife and one can create a sequence where vertical or horizontal buttonholes are required. The integrated direct-drive machine comes with buttonhole clamp lift, needle rocking drive and feed drive by stepping motor, 33 pre-programmed buttonhole patterns in machine memory and a expandable memory of 66 more buttonhole programs. Also on display was direct drive single-needle lockstitch machine with integrated panels instead of panels on top of the machine. Viraf E. Turel, MD of the company, strongly felt that Ludhiana is moving towards more and more automation, which is good for the industry at large.
Juki Machinery (India) was present with its updated DDL-900A series. The revised series comes with dry oil pan system, in which the oil pan is concealed in such a way that there will be no oil leakage, which will keep the machine clean at all times. The oil gauge is on the machine-bed, so no dust can get inside. The machine does not require any cleaning, and the life of the machine is increased as the oil remains clean. “We have pioneered in this concept and no other company offers this technology. Besides this, machine is relatively low-priced when compared to dry head machines,” claimed R Gopal Kukreti, Regional Manger Marketing.
Also on display were printing machines with the latest features. Grafica Flextronica, which has made 25 to 30 installations in Ludhiana in the last one and half years, launched two new models at the event. The 18-palette machine with smaller print area (15”x18”) was more convenient for kids’ garments and had all solid colours palette for more options. The other machine had the same palette but a bigger print area of 30”x40”. Hanish Mehta, GM-Sales & Marketing of the company informed that they are focusing more on the domestic market, which was a little shaky, yet a lot of manufacturers have started putting up pre-press setups to make a screen better and give better quality.
The presence of several digital printing companies highlighted the growing trend of digital prints in Ludhiana. Having made 100 or so installations (mainly sublimation) in Ludhiana, Dhaval Color Lab attracted good visitation to its exhibits at the show. Kannav Arora of the company felt that local manufacturers have realized that they have to invest in good technology if they want to survive. “We exhibited Epson’s F6070 sublimation printer with Advanced MicroPiezo TFP Print Head and 10-channel, drop-on-demand, ink jet,” he said. The company has also found success in Ludhiana market with M&R’s Sportsman EXG automatic screen printing press that comes with a large 51 cm x 51 cm image area.
Though Ludhiana has few CAD users, Tukatech is positive about the market and continues to explore and create awareness about better use of technology. It has recently added one more user and a few more are in the pipeline in Ludhiana, where it has made 5 installations. The US-based solution provider exhibited its TUKAspreader – known for fast and smooth fabric spreading, both one way and zigzag spreading. The highly intelligent spreader automatically slows down its speed at both ends and even automatically stops when the ply number is reached or fabric roll is finished on machine. The spreader also comes with fabric tension control system for spreading flexible and difficult fabrics. Umesh Gaur, the newly appointed President-Asia, Tukatech, said, “We are trying to tell the industry to go for quality systems, they are becoming much more aware of it and are appreciating quality. Even domestic brands are interested in such technology and we are enthusiastic about reaching out to them with our products.”
With Ludhiana growing and moving towards newer technologies, the new developments in machinery for knitting and garmenting sector attracted attention. While the exhibitors affirmed that Ludhiana is gearing up to reach the next level of technology with generous response received for the automats displayed, the organizers vouched that the next edition will be bigger than the 2015 edition and will include the textile segment as well.
Having almost 10 customers in Ludhiana, all of which approached Bangalore-based Krishna Lamicoat, motivated the company to explore this market and participate in its first ever exhibition in Ludhiana. “We have clients here, though with small billing amounts, but, one can’t deny that cities like Ludhiana and even smaller hubs have significant potential. We are approaching the operators in the companies (besides the owners), as the operators would be directly concerned with our products, and would be the right people to recommend them to the owners,” said Ashok Chhajer, Director of the company. Its new range of low GSM underlay paper, which being stronger and more efficient, is 30% cheaper than other underlay papers. “Usually we use an underlay paper of 60 to 100 GSM, but this paper is of just 35 GSM and has even greater strength than a 100 GSM paper. Since all the underlay paper is thrown away after one time use, so we looked at reducing its cost,” explained Ashok.
Vikas Chachra, Head Business Development-India, Archroma India, Delhi, is also enthusiastic and positive about the Ludhiana market. “We are offering solutions to the industry in terms of specialized printing effects, which is an increasingly popular trend as of now as it gives specialized finishing effects. Fortunately for us, the manufacturers here are also looking for new solutions and quality products, so domestic does not mean cheap,” he said. Vikas went on to inform that the pre-treatment solution Imerol®-Blue, a non-ionic and anionic surfactant with wetting and detergent properties optimized for discontinuous (exhaust) applications, is Archroma’s best selling product in Ludhiana.
Known for quality needles, Groz-Beckert has a track record for its renewed products. Sanjay Chawla, Sales Director, Regional Office-North, said, “Our booth there was a showcase of the concept of higher productivity and efficiency that can be achieved with Groz-Beckert’s needles.” The recently concluded edition of Knit Vision also featured Groz-Beckert’s Litespeed needles. The needle combines ecology and economy in a manner that is quite unique. Because of optimized shank geometry, the needle can reduce the machine temperature, the energy consumption and hence the carbon footprint by up to 20%. “One should deliver value and ask for the price that delivers value. This mindset has to start and grow in this city as markets that developed after Ludhiana are getting more margins, have more advanced machines and are growing faster,” Sanjay concluded.