The Vietnam Saigon Textile and Garment Industry Expo 2018 (SaigonTex) has distinctly brought to the forefront Vietnam’s growing readiness to accept and embrace technology’s myriad facets along with the latest innovations. The four-day event that was held recently at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC) witnessed a fairly impressive turnout on all days – yet again substantiating the relevance the event holds among the textile and garment industry in Vietnam. There was also a decent exhibition of fabric and accessory suppliers at the fair.
There is no denying that SaigonTex has been one of the biggest events in the textile and garment sector of Vietnam since the last two decades. Anyone who has been present at the fair this year wouldn’t disagree with this statement. The event was spread into 9 zones with each zone having nearly 100 exhibitors. More than 900 exhibitors from 27 nations were just enough to explain the vastness of the event. The event was organised by Vietnam Textile & Apparel Association (VITAS), Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), CP Vietnam Exhibition Organization and Hong Kong CP Exhibition. The organisers ensured that the opening ceremony was no less than a grand spectacle.
Grand opening amidst thunderous applause…
The event opened with a very well organised fashion show wherein young models walked the ramp. The house witnessing the fashion show was full – encouraging every model who walked down the aisle. There was also an impressive display of fashion collections of prestigious brands such as F. House (Phuong Dong) and V-SIXTY FOUR (CT Viet Thang Jean) among others.
While addressing all at the event, Vo Van Thanh, Vice Chairman, VCCI, averred that Vietnam had made a turnover of US $ 31 billion in 2017, which is an increase of 10.2 per cent compared to that in 2016. “There can’t be a better time than now to be in Vietnam. Many companies presently are focusing on improving productivity and investing on technology and innovation,” added the Vice Chairman.
Concurring with the thoughts of Vo Van Thanh, Vu Duc Giang, Chairman, VITAS, said, “The event is a big opportunity for the companies in Vietnam to know about the latest in technology and machinery.” He was also optimistic of Vietnam gaining and growing from the recently signed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The event was declared open by Le Tien Truong, General Director, Vinatex. He stressed on reducing the cost of operation and underlined that the highlight of the fair was the increasing number of domestic firms who supply garment and textile accessories.
There were also lucky draw schemes to woo the visitors and it was indeed a delight to see a good number of young and old people enthusiastically participating in the same.
Focus on technology and innovation…
The four-day event brought together all the major technology suppliers and service providers addressing the industry’s eclectic needs. Be it sewing automation, sustainability, machine-to-machine communication, Industry 4.0 or real time monitoring solutions, everything was showcased by the accomplished technology providers during the event. Apparel Online marked its presence during all the four days and observed the small and big technology developments in the machines displayed by the companies to escalate the shopfloor productivity and efficiency. Of all the displayed solutions, Morgan Tecnica’s 3Dress virtual designing software, IMA’s ‘Syncro Cutting Room’, Jack’s A4 SNLS machine and Vibemac’s automatic loop setting machines stole the event with their promising appearance.
All these technology providers showed up at the event in collaboration with the major Vietnamese dealers, including Nhabe Tech, Camle JSC, Nhat Tin, Hoshima Group among others.
Morgan Tecnica reported that it got a lot of serious enquiries from the enthusiastic visitors for its 3Dress virtual designing software which, according to the company, is an ideal combination of advanced digital technology from the world of video games and deep expertise of traditional model designing process from Morgan Tecnica.
Speaking to Team Apparel Resources, Anandakumar Duraisamy, Director Asia Operation, Morgan Tecnica said, “Besides 3Dress software, MD COP Open, MD COP Advanced and MD COP Full, Next 2 Pro, our latest high ply cutting machine has been receiving excellent response across the globe and we expect the same now in Vietnam.”
Being the Italian pioneer in providing automatic cutting solution, IMA SPA too displayed its advanced ‘Syncro Cutting Room’. This allows the factory management to monitor the status of their cutting room in real time from anywhere in the world. The information is sent and processed through the latest generation of cloud infrastructure to ensure data security. The system analyses the progress of the production and promptly intervenes in case of problems or particular events defined by the customer. “With ‘Syncro Cutting Room’, we have become the pioneers of Industry 4.0,” noted Gian Pietro Rossi, Head of Sales, IMA, with a smile.
Further, another Italian company Vibemac which is a renowned name in providing jeans automation solution, displayed its automatic loop setting machines and garnered sufficient visitation. In addition to being easy to maintain and adjust, these machines are less noisy than their previous version and cut the loop with centered extremity. Elucidating further on the same, Giovanni Menegalli, Sales Area Manager, Vibemac, remarked, “Our R&D is so strong that we are always technologically ahead. In fact, it is said that our present is other’s future. We have sold many loop setting machines so far.” It is worth noting that the company itself has designed the hardware and software of these machines.
SaigonTex witnessed the presence of not just European technology providers but also the Chinese bigwigs such as Jack which marked a sturdy presence during the event with a gamut of their machines. Jack mainly focused on its famous A4 SNLS which is also the world’s first ‘speaking’ sewing machine. For intelligent solutions, internal voice communication is the most important part to make it easy for the operator to understand how to operate the machines. A4 is the one which witnessed this voice feature. “The incorporated voice sensors can sense any of the minor breakdowns and alert the operator about technical glitch. This way, the downtime can be reduced and production can be improved,” explained Sophie, Director of Jack (Vietnam).
Furthermore, the ‘km automatic spreaders’ and ‘km automatic cutters’ by the Japanese juggernaut Hashima ensured that the visitors get to know something interesting as far as the technology is concerned. “These machines enhance the efficiency in garment factories and their popularity can be gauged by the good attendance of visitors at our booth,” quoted Atsushi Tsunoda, General Director, Hashima.
Among the prominent agents for garment machinery suppliers was Nhabe Tech which has been associated with pioneers like IMA, Macpi and H&H for years. Nguyen Huu Tram, CEO, Nhabe Consultancy and Technology JSC expressed happiness to see the response received for all the machines particularly from IMA and H&H. The Smart Bonding press and the high speed seam seal machine displayed by H&H received good enquiries and according to Anshuman Dash, Marketing Director, H&H Asia Group Ltd., it is the company’s ability to study and work on all customer feedback and then do extensive R&D, that helps them make their products even better than what the customer wants.
Even Nhat Tin Technology JSC, the authorised agent for Algotex and FK Group in Vietnam, spoke about its commitment to lookout for latest technological innovation.
The Universal Cutting System is the latest technological innovation from FK Group. The cutting system has the ability to accelerate the working cycles and enhance the efficiency through speed and productivity. It has an average power consumption of 5.9 kW. Aldo Moscaroli, International Sales Director, FK Group, couldn’t hide his excitement while speaking about the new development from the company.
Then there was the beautiful INH trolley from Groz-Beckert. The compact machine records the operating time of every single operator and helps reducing the machine time significantly. Overwhelmed by the response to the machine, Nguyen Huu Cuong, Head, SMN Division, Groz-Beckert said, “The machine has generated lot of curiosity among visitors and many enquiries are pouring in.”
The relaxing machines exhibited by UK-based C-tex, as always, managed to draw visitors to its stall. Though the machines got sold on the opening day, the company was happier about the recently introduced ‘C-Tex Colour’. “C-Tex Colour has been designed to remove colour mismatch in garments and other sewn goods. However, unfortunately we could not showcase it here at Saigon,” mentioned Rob Ricketts, Managing Director, C-Tex.
BOK International managed to catch some eyeballs too. Despite the machine getting good attention, Arno Zhang, Sales Director, BOK, said, “Technologically European machines are superior, but Chinese work 24×7 and make cost-effective and fast machines and this makes Chinese machines as good as any.”
And the discussion continues on European, Chinese or Japanese technology…
With the best of European, Chinese and Japanese technology available, there was bound to be discussion on who ruled the industry. All the attendees shared similar thoughts and noted that Vietnam is rapidly moving towards adopting automated solutions to uplift its garment industry.
Endorsing the same, Trinh Hoang Anh (Andy), Deputy General Director, Camle JSC, expressed his pleasure on seeing the rapid strides that the Chinese technology has been making in the field of automation and technology. “At this pace, Chinese technology will beat European technology in the next three years,” he said with a lot of conviction.Camle JSC is a Vietnamese trading company that has over 30 years of experience in consulting and supplying all types of machines for the garment industry.
Jack Zhang, Sales Manager, Shanghai ATP Industrial Company Limited, agreed that Chinese technology has been rapidly improving and there isn’t much difference today between Chinese and European technology.
It is noteworthy that the Chinese ink jet plotters and ink jet cutters as always are among the best available in the market. As Jack said, it is the availability of original parts, best mechanical parts and best aluminium that makes its cutters and plotters stand out.
“I agree Chinese machines are improving rapidly, but they have a long way to go to catch up with the European machines,” said Ramesh, Senior Manager, Hoshima. Hoshima Group was displaying its new tension-free and wrinkle-free economic spreader under its own brand.
Nobuhiro Nishimine, General Director, Shima Seiki Vietnam Co. Ltd., had a different take on the debate; he said that while European and Chinese technology go for discount, Japanese technology focuses only on quality, and that’s the reason they are different.
As can be observed from the varied views, there is no end to this ongoing debate but then it’s all dependent on the needs of the customer. Cuong from Groz-Beckert put his views simply on this matter saying that those companies which have short-term strategy would go for low-priced machines or technology and those with long-term strategy will opt for better technology or European technology.
Service is as important as technology…
Innovative technology wins customers, but good service and support helps retaining those customers – no mean task by any standards.
“We have been in Vietnam since last year and the customers are now coming to us because of the impeccable technical support and after-sales service that we provide,” said Nobuhiro Nishimine from Shima Seiki. They were displaying P-Cam 182 multi-ply computerised cutting machine that allows up to two inches of fabric material to be cut.
Agreeing completely with Nobuhiro, Atsushi Tsunoda, Hashima stated, “There is no alternative to providing good after-sales service. It is as integral as providing new technology and innovation.”
Gianluca Benassai from the Martin Group emphasised that providing good service is the need of the hour. He said that the technical team from his company visits the factories to train the operators to use the machines and make them familiar with every small detail about the machine. The same thought was endorsed by Ding Fengshi, Manager, Typical. Typical was displaying Vetron sewing machine; Vetron, being the sister brand of Typical for Europe, is known for its German art of engineering connected with professional service.
There were fabric suppliers and garment accessories too…
The fabric and accessory section too saw a good crowd on most of the days though some of the exhibitors felt they deserved better locations.
Among the fabric suppliers and accessories, there was Grupokaybee, which has over 50 years’ of experience in textile and apparels. They offer an integral end-to-end one-stop supply solution to address everything a customer wants, be it sourcing, quality control and logistics. The company, which works for clients like Ann Taylor and Tommy Hilfiger, displayed a range of fabrics from basic to higher end.
One even saw a decent crowd at the booth of Vietai Garment Accessories, Company Limited during the event. Queenie, Manager, Vietai Garment Accessories expressed optimism regarding the Vietnam market and said that they have established their own factories in Vietnam. Many visitors thronged their stall which exhibited printed labels and logos.
Technocrafts Industries (India) Ltd. made their presence felt by displaying some exquisite fabrics. “Our business is growing in Vietnam, but lead time continues to be a big challenge,” said Ketan Oza, Vice President, Technocrafts Industries (India) Ltd. The company is planning to soon start a dyeing factory in Vietnam.
Some of the other main exhibitors from this domain who participated at the fair were Runyi Fabric (Vietnam) Co., Ltd., Tai County Chemical, Tuong Long, 5S Interlining, Canspin Industries (India), Rainbow Textile, Premier Elastic Webbing & Accessories (Vietnam) Co. Ltd., among several others.
Thus, SaigonTex 2018 yet again proved that it was an ideal platform to bring together the best of the garment and textile industry, and the best of the technology.
The growth continues for Vietnam…
• After a very good 2017, the current year too has seen Vietnam’s garment and textile industry getting off to a good start; the first 3 months has seen the industry generating an export revenue of US $ 8 billion.
• “IMA’s business in Vietnam has been seeing an increase of 20 per cent every year, which is very good. The pace at which the country is growing is definitely conducive for IMA’s growth in Vietnam,” said Gian Pietro Rossi, IMA.
• The Government of Vietnam too is investing in fabric mills and as Nguyen Duc Binh, Director, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vietnam said, the Government is not only investing in fabric mills but also helping the foreign companies to invest.
• When the companies do well, so do the countries and the vice versa. Several technology solution giants like Algotex, Duerkopp-Adler AG and Jack spoke about the gains generated from the booming Vietnam market.
• The four-day event was graced by seminars on multiple topics that ranged from ‘Intelligent Production Management and Planning Control System’ to ‘Think Taiwan for Textiles’.
• The attendance was reasonably good during the fair except for the last day. The reactions were mixed though most of them seemed satisfied.
• Philip Linde, who is Director at Wunderlabel, said that, “Such fairs are limited in scope for my business though I still love attending this event. We always find something new and interesting here every time.”
• Alimtex, which is into knitting and woven fabric and also makes garments, was at the the fair for the first time. Kelsie, representing the company, was impressed to see such a huge fair. However, she vehemently urged many local companies to come forward and participate in the event.
• Vi from Decathlon had no qualms in saying Vietnam was definitely a better market than Bangladesh and China.