Textile machinery is a fast-developing sector which is seeing major technological change

This editorial was first published in the August issue of Machinist magazine

Textile machinery is a fast-developing sector which is seeing major technological change


An interview with Mr. Anil Kumar, Director, Inovance Technology India


Inovance is an industrial automation group – what’s your link to the textiles industry?

Inovance is well known for creating dedicated products tailored to specific applications, and we do a lot in textiles. We work actively in weaving and printing applications on a global basis, promoting our dedicated complete air and water jet solutions for machinery. Across India, in the weaving sector we have more than 1,500 water jet loom shuttles, as well as many air jet looms too. We also work very closely with major Indian OEMs making machines for use in textile dyeing and printing in the weaking sector. We keep closely in touch with our OEM customers to ensure that we are always highly responsive to the market trends affecting them.


How can advanced automation technology benefit Indian textile manufacturers?

India holds a global market share in shuttle-less looms of slightly under 8%. The industry in India relies on older techniques: almost every process requires some sort of labour involvement which consumes time and can certainly be improved with automation. One example of how automation can help in textiles is face masks. Thanks to advanced automation techniques, we were able to help our customers produce vast amounts of face masks during the pandemic, in a short space of time.

What new automation technologies do you see coming on stream in textiles in the near future?

Despite being an old industry, textiles is a fast-developing sector which will see major technology advancements in the coming years, both in logistics and production. Cloth manufacturers are always racing to produce different compositions and varieties of product. What they need from their OEMs to enable them to compete is more flexible machinery.

In India we are looking at implementation of IIoT technologies within the textile industry. We think this is important because there is such a large installed base of textile machines in India – so the potential benefit is enormous.

ITS620P ELO ETU Servo drive

Energy saving and waste reduction in textile mills is another aspect which cannot be ignored and many players, including Inovance, take this very seriously. Motors consume the majority of the energy in any industry and we will see more efficient motors which, combined with the advanced vector control methods of our drives, will save significant amounts of energy. These motors will be coming on stream in the near future.

What are the main automation challenges facing OEM machine builders in the textiles segment?

Indian machine builders find it very challenging to incorporate newer automation to their existing machines. One of the reasons for that is a scarcity of skilled engineers in the textiles field. There is also a general trend toward end users preferring imported machines, rather than Indian-built machines. It is sometimes difficult to find a complete Indian produced machine.

ITS620P ELO ETU Servo drive

 Are there any common safety issues you see with Indian textile machinery?

Most Indian made textile machinery is very safe. Manufacturers have learned from their experiences and, with many new laws and social norms firmly in place, machine safety has been standardised, and it has improved a lot in recent years. Compared to older machines we see good implementation of safety sensors and better machine body designs.

What’s the most exciting thing about the Indian textile industry right now?

Challenges are part of the excitement within the industry. Studies shows that India has less than an 8 percent share of shuttle less looms globally and almost 90 percent of the weaving industry in India is unorganised. We see that as a challenge and also as a huge opportunity to grab. Certainly, the upcoming new generation of working professionals understands technology better, hence we are expecting a major technological shift from older less efficient methods of production to newer and more advanced technologies.

TWJ202-A6 Panel

Another exciting part of the textile industry is fashion, which is constantly changing day-by-day. Every day is a new experiment with fabric hence the challenge to produce it. We are very excited to work, contribute and be a part of this evolution.