In the textile manufacture, the constantly flowing dust, fly and fluff can damage the product, leading to rejection of the entire export consignment. Thus, be it in the sorting of the natural fibre, i.e. cotton, or in keeping the surrounding area in the unit clean, for quality product and production, cleanliness is inevitable.
“Right from the first cleaning process with the opening of the cotton taken up in the blow room and chording area, to the process of stringing and making of the yarn, cleaning is an on-going process,” explained R Varatharajan, Sr General Manager, Super Sales India Ltd, Jay Textiles Unit-II, Coimbatore.
In the production of textile, the dust and trash generated in the various processes are either cleared through suction systems or through blowing. While, blowing is definitely not advisable, some of the suction systems are inbuilt with the production machinery. There is also a lot of external cleaning done with the help of vacuum cleaners. Obtaining raw cotton with seeds, separating of the trash in the ginning mill, removing of further trash from the lint and the production of the yarn… are all processes before the actual textile is manufactured. Primarily consisting of preparatory, spinning and weaving sections, cleaning, both manual and mechanised is required at all stages.
“Some of the major areas that require cleaning are the preparatory / Comber area where the micro dust consisting of short fibre is more. While most of the dust particles get absorbed through the suction system in-built in the production system, there are smaller dust particles that settle on the machine surfaces and need to be removed using an external vacuum cleaning machine. Normally, cotton has a tendency of honeydew contamination which settles on various parts of the machines or beside them. These surfaces are cleaned manually using soft brushes, waste cloth of hosiery material and also microfibre (VXL),” added Varatharajan.
No doubt cleaning equipment will have a bright future in the textile industry – R. Varatharajan
“While there are options of installing centralised vacuum cleaners, it becomes expensive as the operating costs or energy consumption in a centralised vacuum is much higher. But we are planning to install one in the future.
“Instead, we have installed external overhead travelling clearance made by LG equipment. The electro jet let equipped with a blowing and suction motor is installed on the machine which does continuous cleaning. All the micro dust sucked through this system is collected through trenches in the collection area down below.”
Jay Textiles which has four units has about 60 to 70 such machines operating in this one unit. Approximately covering an area of about 60000sqft, in the existing unit, it has three Roots Multiclean Ltd vacuum cleaners operating eight hours every day. Even though the unit is operational 24/7, the cleaning requirement is only during 8am and 5pm. “A separate team of operators take care of the cleaning. We also have domestic vacuum cleaners from Eureka Forbes and industrial machines. All these machines are of varied capacity in keeping with the dust accumulation in a particular area. If the bag capacity is more, the operator’s workload decreases, especially in the blow room, chording and comber areas,” Varatharajan said.
Most of the textile manufacturers and dyeing units in Tamil Nadu are attached to the Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA) which has around 450 members. Since the product quality is directly related to maintaining cleanliness, SIMA monitors certain other norms and regulations of social responsibility, factory inspection and employment. Selvaraju, Secretary-General of SIMA said, “SIMA conducts only social audits like audits for employment. There is already an established body for environment certification, like the ISO:14000, which ensures that the certified textile units abide by all environment norms and regulations. We also have government bodies like pollution control boards which monitors the pollution levels and other environment related issue.”
“Textile manufacturing has grown and today modern textiles mills are fully automated resulting in highest quality products manufactured in huge volumes. In textile mills, one of the factors that influence quality and productivity is good housekeeping which mainly involves keeping the shop floor and machines dust free. Controlling of the dust like fly and fluff in a textile mill is a challenging task,” said Balathandayutham, Manager – Product training, Roots Multiclean Ltd.