Automated manufacturing lines: An Absolute necessity for long term sustainability in the Indian Home Textile industry

Industrial Automation, the buzzword currently in manufacturing industry, deals with automation of manufacturing process that help to increase the productivity and maintain the highest quality standards of the end product. When we look at the Home Textiles industry in India, there seems to be a long list of benefits awaiting the manufacturers that adopt automation:

A. Higher productivity levels

With the advancement in technology, the current generation of machines are capable of producing at a faster rate by reducing each cycle time of the lengthy manufacturing processes. Also, as most of the activities on the shop floor are automated it removes manual handling of products there by increasing the production efficiencies.

B. Meeting stringent quality requirement of end products

Automation improves quality in a number of ways: eliminating human error, improving consistency and accuracy, giving the ability to create more complex goods, and identifying errors along the way.

C. Consistency in productivity & quality

Similarly, automation ensures consistency both long term & short term. A program will theoretically run the same way every single time it is used. That means the machine it runs will also operate the same way every single time. Making a high quality product is the goal of production, but making that quality consistently is crucial as well.

D. Shorter & defined manufacturing times

As mentioned earlier that by reducing the cycle time of manufacturing, goods can be produced faster. In addition to that, by eliminating unplanned stoppages in the process, automated machines can give a definitive time for completing a process.

Most of the time it is always shorter than the existing process

E. Lower cost per unit of output in manufacturing

By converting all the above mentioned savings into real money terms, the manufacturing cost of the output can be brought down significantly with automated manufacturing lines.

This also leads to a very lucrative “Return on investment” for the manufacturers.

F. Reduction in the requirement of skilled manpower

While availability of manpower as of now is not a big challenge in most part of the country, however availability and the presence of skilled manpower in the shop floor on continuous basis through the year has become a burning issue off late.

Especially with the pandemic around, restricting mobility of the people, it has become a daunting task to arrange for skilled manpower on a continuous basis.

It is now widely acknowledged that by applying newer automation technologies in manufacturing, a unit can be turned into a highly competitive and efficient one. Another important aspect of looking into the above is to see the competitive advantage of our current manufacturing units vis a vis the global competitors we face in the market place for home textiles products.

While it is proud to note that India is the 2nd largest exporter of Home Textile products to the USA & EU, the challenges faced by the Indian home textile industry due to over dependence on skilled manpower, have not allowed India to develop the lead in supplying to these markets. And while most of the markets are now looking towards a reliable and cost effective alternatives to Chinese home textile products, the Indian home textile industry can certainly rise up to the occasion by modernizing the manufacturing set ups with automated manufacturing lines.

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