DPS World 2018 Lahore

Kohinoor Textile Mills enters into digital printing market with the successful
installation of SPGPrints JAVELIN® printer
Mr. Muhammad Usman Zafar, General Manager Processing, Kohinoor Textile Mills

The first wider width JAVELIN® has been sold to Kohinoor Textile Mills belonging to Kohinoor Group including Maple Leaf Cement. Pakistan Textile Journal is pleased to present an exclusive interview with Mr. Usman Zafar, General Manager Processing who has been associated with Kohinoor for more than 19 years.

Please tell us why have you decided to acquire JAVELIN® by SPGPrints?

This is the first machine to be used for wider width home textiles applications for our own exports. The decision was made after extensive research and visits to fashion houses in Europe. I believe this technology has given us the edge to meet our customers’ strict requirements of quality.

We have focused on sustainability. In making any decision there are a few parameters: Sustainability of the environment, people and the organisation. These are the factors we have taken into consideration while planning and designing this project.

This printer uses a very small amount of water as it is recycled. We need a very small quantity of water for cleaning the blankets. There are no ink vapours in the room because of its specially designed ink missed suction bars and unique capping cleaning and wiping systems.

I visited a lot of European manufacturers before finalizing JAVELIN® with Mr Taufeeq Segal. We took the decision after evaluating so many factors. The factors that I already have explained to you, include sustainability and reliability. But we have to see how the machine is robust, so you can make deliveries with confidence and you can also commit the exact delivery timelines to the customers. If the machine does not support you, and you have an order, but you will be unable to deliver it to the customers. Therefore, the reliability is the most important thing while deciding the selection of the machine.

The technology at the moment is at the developing phase and there is a rapid change in this market segment. The designers now want what they have created, also due to the fact there are some limitations on the rotary, such as only 16 or 24 colours, but the digital has no limitations, so whatever you want you to create, you can implement that design in digital.

This new technology will stimulate  our imagination. Whatever you can imagine you can translate into reality because everybody wants to see their imagination and design in real form. As I mentioned earlier, with the rotary machine, we have so many limitations like colour and repeats, etc. and we basically get stuck, as we cannot see what we think, imagine and design actually, so ultimately we have to make some compromises.

The designs are becoming tougher day by day the design, as compared to what we printed in 2010, 2011and 2012. In 2018, every design comes from the customer or the designer and they want the digital look on the rotary. So that’s why we have invested a lot of money on our engraving section, also we are producing designs that are very close to the digital but with some limitations.

What is your philosophy for environment safety?

People do not consider the environment for digital machines. Instead of using the conventional air conditioning system, which may create a conducive environment for the bacteria to grow due to condensing humidity, we have installed the first HVAC system that creates non-condensing humidity to avoid growth of bacteria. We have also coated the supply and return ducts with antibacterial chemicals.

We are working with leading brands such as Ted Baker, Lacoste and others. This machine is the most reliable as proven by the rigorous and intensive tests we have conducted since it was commissioned on 22nd July 2018. When the same tests are repeated today, the heads are found to be in exactly the same condition as at the time of commissioning with no nozzle blockage. Even after the machine was closed down for five days due to Muharram it did not need any cleaning and started immediately smoothly reflecting on the reliability of the technology.

Mr. Adnan Khurshid of SPGPrints Pakistan Pvt. Ltd. with Mr. Aslam Khan,
Mr. Usman Zafar and Mr. Ansar ul Haque.

Please tell us about quality and the efficiency of JAVELIN® in detail?

This machine has a very fine blending of the colours with impeccable grey scale as the droplet size is very fine, up to 2 picolitres. This is indeed the most challenging aspect in digital printing, thanks to the high technology, sharp lines and fine geometrical designs are perfectly rendered. We are extremely satisfied with the performance of the machine.

The ink delivery system is very fine for this machine, the geometrical designs require very sharp images and fine lines are the biggest challenges for the digital sector. This is due to the fact the line normally breaks, so with the digital machine, you can print geometrical designs so easily. Another factor is head technology and because of the smaller droplet size and there is no difference of side centre side in the geometrical design which is the hardest and the biggest challenges in digital technology.

The challenge in the geometrical designs not to have a side centre side deviation. We can see the future of this technology in Pakistan, and even if you also meticulously evaluate the JAVELIN than you can see the future of this machine in Pakistan.

We can say there is a huge potential of this machine in the digital market, which means that the digital has improved the printing quality as against rotary, because many designers gave us the designs, that we could not print on rotary, but we have to print with 36 colours designs, our staff has to make the changes in such a way that the basic theme of the design does not change. Basically, this increases a lot of load on the CAD design section and although, we have very creative people, so at times we change the design and submit it to the customer.

However, thanks to the SPG technology, we have two SPGPrints’ smartLEX machines. We believe that with the help of this technology, we also have a rotary as the backup in the engraving section, and therefore, with SPGPrints’ smartLEX machine with the engraver, we can achieve high quality. We have to consider this new machine, as they have enabled us to print very sharp images of very good quality even on the rotary. So we do not focus on the meter of the fabric produced, but we focus on the quality.

I don’t ask my team that how many meters you produce, I asked them how much better is the quality of the fabric printing, what is your rejection level what is your second choice today.

I always like to evaluate the print the quality, instead of a number of the metres printed on a machine. If you ask for the rejection rate, the machine operators will work on quality and will produce excellent results. We also focus on the quality of chemicals and auxiliaries. We are using branded auxiliaries.

We do not use the other substandard things, for example, we use the thickeners from SNF (France) for the last twelve years. SNF has developed a broad range of thickeners for pigment, disperse and reactive printing. These products make it possible to print very fine details and allow for improved colour yield. The range is accompanied by fixatives, anti-migration agents and dispersants. Even so, many companies have tried to replace our choice thickeners, but they had failed because whatever results we are getting from SNF, we cannot get from any other competitive product.

We are producing digital prints on lawn fabrics. The lawn is a lightweight article of ladies fashion and we are working on a single width, because if you move from one position to other, it takes the 20s to bring back the carriage to get the printed section of 120 inches and if you are printing the 40 inches, it may take 40s, so the production level will remain the same.

The control of the carriage is the most important thing, and that should run only on the required width. This machine enables the carriage to be moved only on the portion of the width adjusted by the customer. So that’s why we believe we can replicate the same meterage what the people are doing by printing the double web or triple web. If you print thee webs you need to have three people to monitor and how you can we monitor the piece which is in the centre. you can’t stand on top of the centre point. So we print one because we don’t need the quantity we need the quality to be produced on the machine and believe in the lowest rejection level.

Mr. SPGPrints JAVELIN® in operation at Kohinoor Textile Mills.

What is the basic philosophy of Kohinoor?

The basic philosophy of Kohinoor is the quality of our work. When we are getting the good price from the customers, we should also strive to offer the agreed quality fabrics as per our commitment.

For example, why do we have this HVAC system? We have invested a lot of money in this system and in my opinion, people do not bother to invest in climate control systems. However, for us, it is an essential part to control the climate issues in printing room.

We have installed double panelled insulated glass windows with a sealed space in between that is filled with Argon gas to slow the transfer of heat through the window. There is no outside atmosphere interference with the inside atmosphere.

We have placed the machine inside the polythene panel rooms not inside a bricked wall or any cemented structure and have invested a huge amount on this feature. Humidity inside can fluctuate from 48% to 58% depending upon the kind of the fabric. We have to print viscose as well as  cotton and many other things, so for all the things, one perimeter is not necessary.

There was a time when we produced 4.5 million meters and now for the past six years we are producing 1.2 to 1.5 million meters and in this way, we have to change the whole structure of the company. Because we don’t produce things that don’t give us any gross profit. We are working with leading brands such as Lacoste, Ted Baker, Calvin Klien and Laura Ashley.

This is our philosophy and approach that enables us to be successful. This is the same thing that big players have survived with all these difficulties. They never compromise on the quality.


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