Leading the Way to Industry 4.0 in Pakistan
Mahmood’s world-class facilities give a glimpse of the future of the nation’s textile industry.
Visitors to Mahmood Textile Mills Ltd’s spinning facility might be startled to find that it rivals any of the world’s leading factories - fitted out with the best, state-of-the-art international equipment from Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Japan, and with management that is equally as sophisticated.
The mill is a testament to Mahmood’s forward thinking business strategy and willingness to invest in world-class technology.
The result is a highly efficient vertical spinning and weaving operation that produces yarns for knitting and weaving, and woven fabrics from apparel and home textiles.
In addition, Mahmood has a division that produces casualwear including hoodies, jackets, joggers, and other popular styles.
The spinning, weaving and garment manufacturing divisions are part of an even bigger operation that is fully integrated, from cotton growing to ready-made garments.
In all, Mahmood as group for all business combined had an annual turnover of $1 billion for the year ended June 30, 2018. Its annual yarn production could fill 6,600 40-ft containers, as well as producing 12 million yards of fabric each month. Net revenue rose 15 percent in 2018, compared with 2017.
Technology Drives Better Products
“Consumers want better quality products. They expect the garment to be more durable. To achieve this we need to use better yarn, better fabric, and better finishing of the ready-made garment,” said Muhammad Anees Khawaja, CEO.
One way to improve product quality is to reduce the amount of time the garment is touched.
“Human contact deteriorates the quality of the garment. We’re using machines to transport the product from one machine to the next, said Mr. Anees.
Moving the garments in trollies from one station to the next, there is the possibility of damage to the fabric. By automating this, Mahmood can help to maintain the integrity of the garment.
“We are in a labor intensive business and each year those costs goes up about 15 percent. We are continuing to bring in new technology that helps us control those costs.
“We now have a strategy for the number of people who will be needed to work in a factory. Each processes requires a different technology.
Mahmood Textile Mills Ltd.
Location: Headquartered in Multan, Pakistan.
Core products: Cotton, man-made fibres, Tencel, Modal, linen, pva, bamboo, organic, fair trade etc (pure or in blends) griege yarn for knits and wovens, woven fabrics for apparel and home textiles. Fabrics range from ring-spun, poplins, twills, stretch fabrics, to specialty fabrics.
Distinctions: Can produce yarns up to 120/1/2/4 plied. Every textile unit has state-of-the-art testing laboratories.
Production: The spinning division has 350,000 ring spindles. The fabric divisions (Mahmood Textiles, Masood Fabrics and Roomi Fabrics) have 1,000 air jet looms.
Capacity: 160,000 tons of yarn per month. 12 million yards of fabric monthly.
Equipment: Truetzschler (Germany) carding and automatic bale opening machines. Toyota (Japan) combers, roving machines, and Reiter (Switzerland) drawing machines.
Quality Standards: Uses US cotton for its fine count yarns and fabrics.
Sustainability: Uses solar panels, and is continuing to expand this to all of its factories. Has achieved almost every global eco-certification.
Web site: www.mahmoodgroup.com
“Previously, about 5 percent of our workforce was deployed to make the cleaning was done properly. Now we are using German machines to do the cleaning,” he said.
The company continues to research ways to use new technology to drive manufacturing efficiency and increase quality.
The Right Materials for Better Quality
“Although we grow our own cotton, we rely on imports for 210 counts and above. For these finer count fabrics, we depend on US cotton,” said Mr. Anees.
“I’ve been an advocate of US for a long time, in fact we are probably the largest importer of US cotton in Pakistan,” he said.
“With US cotton you can blindly trust what you are going to get. The US has a fantastic testing system. Cotton is a natural fiber so there can be differences amongst the many bales. However the US system for grading cotton is very accurate. I can trust that what I buy (in terms of quality) is exactly what I’ll get. This ability to trust the growers is very important to me,” he explained.
“I’ve been to the US farms myself. We continued to stand by US cotton because we feel that the quality will not only benefit ourselves, but our customers as well.
Practical Approach to Sustainability
We have gotten every certification that any other spinning mill in the world has, we have – from CSR to carbon emissions.
We’ve gone into production of solar energy and we are now the largest private producers of solar energy in Pakistan. We did this to reduce our carbon footprint, as well as to supply other companies.
I’m also in negotiation with a Japanese company for a new system that will reduce our water usage.
Mahmood is continuing to look for new ways to make their operations more sustainable.
One of the biggest challenges is raising its competitiveness with other textile nations in the region such as India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
Inputs like labor cost, energy cost, and infrastructure play a decisive role in making one country a more desirable place to source than another.
“The government is working with industry to help support the manufacturing industry. Right now our electricity is 12-13 cents, however the new plan (to be implemented in December) will reduce that by about 50 percent,” said Mr. Anees, speaking about the nation’s long history of brownouts and costly electricity rates.
Pakistan has now managed to eliminate the energy shortages that had plagued the industry.
“The government has committed to making industry the top priority in terms of energy supply. So now we hardly have any issues with supply of electricity,” said Mr. Anees.
With a vertical supply chain, strong innovation and R&D capabilities, and advanced manufacturing facilities, like Mahmood, Pakistan is positioning itself to be new favorite sourcing destination for international buyers.