ATIRA, BTRA, NITRA & SITRA organise 56th Joint Technological Conference

ATIRA, BTRA, NITRA & SITRA organise 56th Joint Technological Conference

The 56th Joint Technological Conference was held on December 30, 2015. Present during the event were: Dr Kavita Gupta, Textile Commissioner; M SenthilKumar, Chairman, SIMA; Dr Sharma, Director, ATIRA; Dr Desai, Director, BTRA; Dr Arindam Basu, Director General, NITRA; Dr Prakash Vasudevan, Director, SITRA; among other distinguished delegates.


The 56th Joint Technological Conference was held on December 30, 2015. Present during the event were: Dr Kavita Gupta, Textile Commissioner; M SenthilKumar, Chairman, SIMA; Dr Sharma, Director, ATIRA; Dr Desai, Director, BTRA; Dr Arindam Basu, Director General, NITRA; Dr Prakash Vasudevan, Director, SITRA; among other distinguished delegates.

D Krishnamurthy, Chairman, Council of Administration, SITRA said, “It gives me immense pleasure, as Chairman of the Council of Administration, SITRA to preside over the inaugural session of this conference. I am very happy that Dr Gupta is here with us to inaugurate the 56th Joint Technological conference organised by ATIRA, BTRA, NITRA and SITRA. We have been continuously interacting with Dr Gupta for the various projects that SITRA has been taking up and she has shown very keen interest in its activities. M Senthilkumar has always been appreciative of various activities of SITRA in which ever capacity he has been. I am pleased that he is here with us today.

The TRAs has done some commendable work by carrying out useful research studies and also rending various services to the textile industry like testing, training and consultancy. I take this opportunity to highlight very briefly some of the recent studies carried out by each TRA.”

ATIRA’s activities

  • ATIRA worked on 11 R&D projects during the year, of which six have been completed and the results have been made available to the industry. Even in the other projects, the intermediate results have been shared with the industry for assessing their validity and viability
  • Need based consultancy was provided to the mills in the organised sector and units across all decentralized sectors. In all 55 consultancy assignments were carried out in the areas of spinning, weaving, chemical processing, environmental engineering and management sciences
  • The accredited cotton testing services of ATIRA along with several other testing services were in very high demand and are on the increasing trend every year. The number of tests carried out during the year by ATIRA was 97301
  • Training is another major area of work in ATIRA. While 15141 persons were trained under the ISDS scheme, 79 persons benefited from other non-ISDS training programmes.
  • One patent was filed and 15 papers were presented by ATIRA scientists in seminars

BTRA’s activities

  • BTRA worked on five major projects during the year, of which one was completed and the results have been made available to the industry
  • The completed project has shown that plasma polymerisation/grafting approach was effective for enhancing the comfort properties of silk woven fabrics
    Some of the on-going research projects of BTRA include:
  • Effect of enzyme treatment on denim leg panels: This is a project sponsored by an overseas agency and BTRA is working on the effect of different enzyme treatments on denim leg panels.
  • BTRA filed two Overseas Patents. The first was “Method and System for Manufacturing Multi-functional Cotton Fabrics” and the second was “Flame Retardant Textiles” BTRA also filed three Indian patents:
  • Use of conductive fabric at transducer in gas sensing, heating element, EMI shielding material and physical sensor in security application
  • BTRA brought out two publications during the year. The first is “BTRA norms for Chemical Processing” and the second was the revised and updated publication of “Essential Checkpoints in Spinning”
  • Recently, BTRA set-up a new Soil Mechanics and Asphalt Test Laboratory, which is equipped with modern testing instruments to test various properties. BTRA is also in the process of setting up a calibration laboratory.

NITRA’s activities

  • During the 2014-15, NITRA has worked on 16 R&D projects sanctioned by Ministry of Textiles, Government of India as well as in-house. Out of this 8 have been completed and work on eight is under progress. 10 projects were proposed, out of which five have been sanctioned recently.
    Some of the notable on-going/completed government-sponsored projects:
  • Development of specialty embroidery yarn for application in stretchable fabrics, like knitted fabrics
  • Development of fabric smoothness tester
  • Designing a compressed air monitoring system to optimise energy consumption in a textile mill Projects that have been sanctioned:
  • Development of smart protective textiles for fire fighter, soldier and old-age people.
  • Development of protective workwear for cement porters.
  • Study to enhance Indian apparel exports.
  • Development of multi-layered flame & thermal resistance fabric for fire fighter clothing
  • Development of electronic drape meter based on Image Analysis Technique
  • During the year 2014-15, NITRA has tested total 6,395 samples in its six laboratories (Physical quality evolution lab – 3708, Chemical quality evolution and heat & flame labs – 1889, Eco lab-116, Env lab – 142 and polymer & technical textile lab – 540). About 300 samples were also tested for R&D purpose. 23 fabric samples were analysed for their defects. One new parameter “Toxicity Index Test (NCD 1409)” has been included by NABL, New Delhi in addition to existing 132 test parameters, accredited by NABL.
  • NITRA offered consultancies to the industries in the area of technical audit, techno economic viability study, valuations, inspection, manpower rationalisation, effluent treatment and water recovery plants, energy conservation and product/process & design development etc. NITRA has been engaged by about 85 companies for 102 nos. of consultancy assignments during the year 2014-15.
  • 23 research papers were published in various national/international journals/magazines. ? There are eight PLSCs run by NITRA. Five in UP (Meerut, Kanpur, Tanda, Gorakhpur & Varanasi), one each in Punjab (Ludhiana), Rajasthan (Bhilwara) & Haryana (Panipat).
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the foundation stone and SK Panda, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Govt of India formally inaugurated the Varanasi centre on November 7, 2014.
  • During the period, 2072 trainees were provided training at PLSCs. Other activities of the PLSCs include testing of samples, design development, consultancy assignments, seminars and group insurance scheme
  • During the year 2014-15, NITRA trained 3857 trainees under ISDS.

    Under COE – Protech, NITRA carried out various activities. Briefs are: Prototypes developed: 1, Incubation activities: 12, research papers published: 9, DPRs prepared to set up units: 1, technical consultancy assignment: 20, standards developed: 4, and no. of workshop programmes conducted: 23.
    The above activities have generated revenue of Rs 86.24 lakh to NITRA.

SITRA’s activities

  • During the year, SITRA was working on as many as 26 projects, of which 11 were completed.
  • An inter-mill survey of yarn quality was initiated last year towards establishing standards – “SITRA STATISTICS” exclusively for Indian mills and attempts to create guideline values for fibre and yarn relationship characteristics. It is planned to publish the “SITRA Statistical Survey” book every alternate year.
  • Towards creating guidelines for the quality parameters of slub yarns, the study on “Quality attributes of slub yarns” was taken up which studied the Deviation between machine set & actual slub parameters for different slub patterns and the tensile characteristics. The factors influencing the appearance of slub yarn fabrics namely Influence of traveler mass, spacer size and top arm loading on slub yarn tenacity were also studied. In each case, guideline values were given.
  • The online survey of yarn selling price and raw material cost, initiated in May 2013, has witnessed 23 studies being completed so far. This survey provides a built-in database supported queries in the web portal, using which a participant mill can access the count-wise data quickly without going through the voluminous survey report. The studies covered RMC, YSP, yarn quality, yarn realisation and ring frame production rate data of around 280 different counts and varieties of yarns with counts ranging from 4s to 120s, predominantly cotton counts. As many as 80 mills from different parts of the country have been participating in the study every month.
  • The study on “fibre to yarn conversion cost”, has done a detailed analysis of conversion costs of 12 different counts and varieties of yarns. The study revealed that between mills, the conversion cost differed very widely in all the counts ranging from 35 per cent to about 90 per cent, the overall difference being high at about 50 per cent. It is interesting to observe that in the past two decades (during 1990-2010), the increase in the conversion cost was rather slow at 4.2 per cent per year (compounded) whereas in the last 4 years, the increase was somewhat high at 7 per cent per year (compounded).
  • The case study of a spinning mill that has been able to achieve single-digit Total HOK has revealed that there is a good scope to reduce manpower and increase the machine productivity significantly. By implementing the various suggestions that were offered by SITRA, the case study mill could maintain a Total HOK of 8.7 and a production rate of 120 g per spindle per 8 hours (both the figures adjusted to 40s carded count). There will be paper presented by SITRA during the technical sessions.
  • Based on data from 12 spinning mills located in different parts of the country with the latest technology, the study focusing on the factors responsible for the generation of hard waste in the automatic cone winding machines has listed the reasons for hard wastes and the measures to be taken thereof by mills for their control.
  • SITRA also carried out eight different projects under medical textiles, machinery development and chemical processing.
  • It is gratifying to note that the requests for consultancy services have been consistent from the mills in recent years. During the year, around 48 consultancy assignments were attended to.
  • The Accreditation Advisory Committee of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of Power, Government of India has recommended and recognized SITRA as an Accredited Energy Auditor to conduct mandatory energy audits for designated consumers. SITRA’s energy audits are already approved by TNEB, GEDA, KSEB, BEE & PCRA. With a professional setup comprising a BEE certified Energy Auditor and Energy Manager and multi-disciplinary specialists from textile, mechanical and electrical engineering, and equipped with the latest and sophisticated instruments, the energy audit teams of SITRA have been conducting audits in textile industry in accordance with the regulations mandated by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency.
  • This new service has been started during the year for the benefit of textile chemical processing mills.
    In this service, technical experts from SITRA shall visit the processing mill for 3-5 days a month depending upon the capacity and requirements of the mill and suggest measures for process standardisation on a continual basis. 
  • SITRA’s physical and chemical laboratories accredited by NABL for ISO / IEC – 17025 tested 62,879 samples of fibre, yarn and fabric during the year. To further improve the testing service, aimed at providing test results to the mills on a fast track, SITRA’s physical testing laboratories have started functioning in two shifts from this year. This measure aimed at quickening the testing process by reducing the turnaround time to process a request.
  • During 2014-15, SITRA conducted 19 different training programmes where 668 personnel in the supervisory and managerial cadres benefitted. Also, 633 operatives had undergone training during the year on right methods of working in textile mills for effective performance. Moreover, 1520 persons were trained under the ISDS of Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.
  • The services of the seven powerloom service centres (PSC) in Tamil Nadu, managed by SITRA, were extensively used by the various units adjacent to the service centre. A total of 35,620 samples comprising of yarn and fabrics were tested and 1,234 persons were trained in the areas of loom maintenance, operation of shuttleless looms, calculation of fabric production, etc. PSCs had also attended to 801 consultancy assignments and created 510 designs.
  • During the year, SITRA had brought out as many as 32 publications while SITRA scientists have contributed 13 research papers to technical journals.
    Speaking during the event, M Senthilkumar said, “The Indian textile industry has potential to reach a business size of $350 billion by 2025 from the current size of $110 billion, create at least 10 million new jobs and make the vision of our Prime Minister ‘Make in India’ reality if a level-playing field is created in the globalised environment.”

    He added, “In order to achieve the $350 billion textile business size, on raw material front, India would need around 22 billion kg of textile fibres and filaments. India currently produces around 9 billion kg of raw material and exports around 2 billion kg. Presuming that India would be in a position to increase its cotton fibre production from the current level of around 6.5 billion kg to 8.25 billion kg, the balance 13.75 billion kg have to be from MMF. The present production capacity of MMF in the country is only around 3.5 billion kg.”