TOWELLING LEADER EMBRACES AUTOMATION

Working closely together, technology leader TEXPA and its partner Jebsen Industrial have helped Loftex become the first in China to fully automate towel production, improving productivity and product quality.
 
Working closely together, technology leader TEXPA and its partner Jebsen Industrial have helped Loftex become the first in China to fully automate towel production, improving productivity and product quality.


The Challenge: Automating China’s Textile Industry

China’s textile industry is transforming as it enters a new and very challenging development phase.

Right across the sector, profit margins are now tighter than ever. The cost of raw materials and transportation is soaring worldwide, with the price of cotton spiking at a 150-year high in early 2011, for example. The cost of employing factory workers also continues to climb, with hourly wages and staff benefits now making up a higher proportion of total costs for Chinese manufacturers. In some places in China there is now a shortage of workers for labor-intensive industries, including clothing and textiles.

At the same time, the textile industry is also facing the need to meet higher standards for product quality, production safety, and environmental responsibility. What’s more, this is all being played out amidst extreme price sensitivity, which forces Chinese brands to keep prices low in order to be competitive in overseas markets mired in recession.

Some textile manufacturers have moved their operations to countries where labor costs are lower than in China, such as India and Vietnam.

Others are seeking to automate their factories in order to focus on higher value market segments. These pioneers face many challenges. They must have the capital to invest and be willing to make changes to their production processes and, often, also to the materials they use. They must also understand that it takes time and effort to customize equipment and establish efficient systems
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The Solution: Advanced Technology and Trusted Partners

The solution is simple, but not easy. To transform into globally competitive, cost-efficient enterprises, Chinese textile companies need both advanced technology and the support of trusted partners.

The experience of market leader Loftex is a case in point
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Industry Leader Looks to Automate Cross Hemming

Loftex is an industry leader in China, adopting world-leading technologies and best practices. Founded in 1980, it produces a range of top-quality home textile products, including towels, bath robes, towel blankets, acrylic blankets, and bedding products. It is an efficient vertically integrated operation, handling spinning, weaving, bleaching, printing, dyeing, and finishing. As an environment-friendly company, Loftex has its own power generation plant, water reservoirs, and a water treatment plant. It has also earned certification to all the major international standards.

Loftex operates one of the top two towel factories in China, in terms of volume. It exports 100% of its towel products, mainly to popular retail outlets in the USA and Australia.

A few years ago, Loftex began cooperating with two of its long-term technology partners, Jebsen Industrial and TEXPA, to explore the possibility of introducing an advanced cross hemming machine to further increase its production efficiency.  

The three partners had already been working together for several years. Loftex had more than 20 TEXPA length hemming machines in its terry products production line. TEXPA is a world leader in textile process automation. It has the lion’s share of the length hemmer market in China, where it has worked with Jebsen Industrial since 1994.

The TEXPA length hemming machines had proven their exceptional quality and reliability over many years of operation in the Loftex plant. This gave Loftex the confidence to consider fully automating its towel products production.


In-depth Collaboration

As in the past, Jebsen Industrial provided expert consulting services to Loftex and liaised between Loftex in China and TEXPA in Germany.

“Loftex already appreciated both the quality of the TEXPA technology and the professionalism of Jebsen Industrial’s timely after-sales support. But the success of the new installation would come down to how well all three partners managed to work together to overcome deployment challenges,” said Samson Chong, department manager of Primary Industry Equipment Department, Engineering & Technology Division, Jebsen Industrial.

The main issues were ensuring the toweling fabric was of sufficient tenacity to match the needs of the high-end cross hemmer, and adjusting the machine settings for optimal efficiency, quality, and output. Samples of toweling material were sent to Germany for testing by TEXPA and a cross hemmer was installed at Loftex for pre-customization on-site trials. TEXPA experts joined Jebsen Industrial engineers and their Loftex counterparts at the Loftex factory. In addition, Jebsen Industrial supported Loftex in revising its product design to meet the changing demands of customers in Europe and the USA
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Full Automation

After almost a year of ongoing trials and customization, Loftex deployed around 20 customized TEXPA cross hemmers at its high-volume towel products plant in Shandong province. Productivity – which was already considered high – increased a further 30%. Each machine replaced between eight and 12 workers, freeing these for other tasks.

“Loftex is leading the Chinese textiles industry into a new era, becoming the first factory to successfully fully automate the sewing of its toweling products. This is a testament to its efficiency and hard work, and to the close partnership of Loftex, TEXPA, and Jebsen Industrial,” said Mr. Lorenz Zimmermann, Director, Jebsen Industrial.  

The three partners continue to collaborate to enhance Loftex operations. Jebsen Industrial provides ongoing support and maintenance services to Loftex, while also advising it on new automation solutions.

Jebsen Industrial has supplied and supported state-of-the-art textile manufacturing equipment and processing lines in Hong Kong and China for more than 50 years
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Proven Technology

TEXPA designs and produces highly efficient, innovative, and customised installations for automating textile processes. With 50 years of experience, it is a world leader in fully automatic systems for cutting, sewing, folding, and packaging of home textiles.

In China, TEXPA’s success is based on its proven technology. Its stability and reliability over many years of operation, high efficiency, ease of use, and versatility are well known, along with the excellent quality of its production output. 

 


For More Information
For more information about Jebsen Industrial solutions for the textiles industry, please send an email to indenquiry@jebsen.com or visit the website at: www.jebsenindustrial.com

 

 


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