World’s first Monforts Eco Denim Line
Vietnam’s biggest denim
producer celebrates the first year of its Eco Line installation
achieving close fabric control and significant energy savings
TCE Corporation is the world’s first denim producer to
install a Monforts Eco Denim Line, and after a full year of
production, this Vietnam based company is now able to evaluate
the advantages in terms of production, energy and water savings.
This editorial highlights the significant energy and water
savings possible with Monforts Eco Denim Line.
Founded in South Korea in 1956, TCE relocated its entire
production to Vietnam in 2014 and now produces only denim at its
TCE Vina Denim mill, which occupies a 110,000 m² site two hours
outside of Hanoi. Today, the company is the largest producer of
denim in Vietnam, and one of the largest in Asia.
TCE exports 100% of its production overseas, with Europe, at
about 45% is the largest market, followed by the USA at 30%, and
Japan and Korea the other main export destinations.
Chief executive officer Stanley Hwang says that production
ranges from lightweight to heavyweight denim, in the range of 4
to 14 ounces. “The critical point with denim is consistency and
shrinkage,” he says. “The greatest benefit of the Eco-Line is
that it allows the fine control of fabric shrinkage.
“We are a long-time user of Monforts, having installed our
first machine in 1996, a machine that is still in full
operation. We then progressed to the second-generation machines,
where we can control the shrinkage but it can be complicated.”
Chief Executive Officer, Stanley
Hwang (left) and Production General Manager,
Ku Myung Soo (right).
“With the Eco-Line we can see exactly what is going on in the
production line, and it is very easy to operate. We have
complete control of the shrinkage, and we need one or two fewer
staff to operate the machine.”
The Eco Line was manufactured by Monforts in Germany and
supplied via Peja Vietnam, Monfort's representative for Vietnam.
Eco Line is engineered to save on
water and energy
The Eco Line is engineered to save on water and energy usage.
At the front of the machine is the Eco Applicator which applies
the chemicals, replacing a conventional padder and applying less
moisture to the fabric, reducing drying needs and therefore
After this stage, the Thermex Hotflue Chamber generates the
necessary moisture and temperature for making the denim
stretchable, whilst incorporating a soft stretching of the
fabric using many rollers instead of only the one or two used in
a traditional stretching unit.
This consequently saves the volume of water needed to
generate the steam and also saves on the amount of energy
required to convert the water to steam.
Mr Hwang says that TCE is saving on both water and
electricity. Water is taken from the public supply, to ensure
better quality and convenience as compared to a water well, and
savings are in the region of 20 to 30%, whereas, the electricity
savings are around 10%.
TCE had started to make denim in Korea in 1969 and was
probably the third Asian producer to do so. “We were the first
denim producer in Korea to use Monforts machines,” says Mr
He added: “Monforts for us is very safe. So although other
companies approached us when we were planning to expand
production, there was no doubt on our part that we would install
a new Monforts machine. The consistency we achieve with Monforts
is perfect. We love Monforts!”
Production general manager Ku Myung Soo says that the fabric
passes in one continuous run, through the Eco Applicator,
afterwards through the Thermex, and finally through the
“There are three main stages,” he says, “and the fine-control
system allows us to closely monitor the entire process.”
“Monforts sent an engineer from Germany to install the
machine and train the staff, and we have the continual backup
from the Peja team, with whom we work closely. Our production
staff find the Eco Line very easy to operate.”
The investment in the Eco Line came as part of an important
expansion to coincide with TCE’s 60th anniversary last year, and
which boosted TCE output from 1.5 million yards a month to 3.5
million yards, the biggest production capacity in Vietnam. The
Eco Line throughput is 1.5 million yards.
There is anticipation that the demand for Vietnam denim will
increase substantially when the European Union Free Trade
Agreement with the country comes into effect, which is expected
to be at the beginning of 2018.
TCE is additionally implementing its own vertically
integrated facility including garment manufacturing to provide a
full package for buyers.
Mr. Ku explains that the company produces its own rope dyeing
machines, the entire design, manufacturing and installation of
the machines being carried out by the TCE team.
There are now five rope-dyeing machines to cope with the new
production capacity, the latest having 22 dips to provide the
dark indigo colour that is demanded by certain sectors of the
TCE has a total workforce of around 1,800 and works 24 hours
a day, usually six days a week but seven when necessary.