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Reliable and innovative solutions – The textile industry swears by Klüber Lubrication

By on October 7, 2022 0
Hitendra Bhargava, CEO and Regional Board Member Asia-Pacific, Klüber Lubrication

A comprehensive tour of the Freudenberg Chemical Specialties factory in Mysore, Karnataka in early August 2022 revealed the company’s futuristic, safe and innovative solutions for multiple industries, with a particular focus on textiles as one of their main areas of income in India. An insightful interaction with Hitendra Bhargava, CEO and Asia-Pacific Regional Board Member, Klüber Lubrication and Kanakaraju Thangavel, CTO, Freudenberg Chemical Specialties revealed at Sarada Vishnubhatla latest market trends, focus on safety regulations and emphasis on futuristic solutions in the textile industry.

A textile mill needs special lubricants and greases to facilitate the operation of many different machine components. And Klüber Lubrication offers state-of-the-art products and solutions to textile industries around the world.

Hitendra Bhargava, CEO and Regional Board Member Asia-Pacific, Klüber Lubrication offers an overview of the industry: “India is growing by leaps and bounds in the textile industry. The country’s total monthly exports are pegged at US$36 billion, and the share of textile products is robust and growing. Interestingly, many global markets are seeing a reduction in the number of spindles in use and even some of the spindle factories have been closed. These companies are moving to India and other countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh.

Kanakaraju Thangavel, Technical Director, Freudenberg Chemical Specialties

Klüber Lubrication offers solutions designed to meet the needs of individual components enabling optimum performance. As specialist lubricants, the brand covers the entire production process – from spinning, knitting, weaving and finishing machines to oars. Klüber products and solutions are used in bearings, spinning turbines and pumps, open rolls and dies. Their solutions give long life to needles, sinkers, slides and guide bars in knitting machines with minimal maintenance. For weaving machines, Klüber has lubricants that can be used in minimal quantities to extend the intervals between maintenance of gears, weaving grippers and chains. For finishing machines, these lubricants are resistant to water, steam, acid and alkaline solutions for bearings, compensators and rollers. Thanks to their high separating effect on conveyor chains, adjusting spindles, needle bars and clips, they leave smaller residues in the oar frames.

According to Hitendra, India’s textile industry is poised for a business boom in the next couple of years.

He shares: “Klüber Lubrication has a strong market share in the spinning segment, thanks to our strong strategic partner, Voltas Textile. Their reach extends to almost all spinning customers. Klüber is India’s market leader in spinning lubricants. And we would like to take advantage of that and get more OEM approvals to increase our market share, because we have the right channel and the right group to market.

Kanakaraju Thangavel, Technical Manager, Freudenberg Chemical Specialties shares, “There are different sets of oils for all of these areas. Some of our knitting oils have to go through what is called recurability. Traditionally, if there is an oil stain that occurs during the knitting process, the procedure is to apply water or a surfactant to the area which is then dried. We have high scrubbing standards that make it easy to remove the stain. »

Making Sustainable Products – For the World

Klüber Lubrication is now working on sustainable products with base oils extracted from crude oil or further processed from it. Instead of products refined from traditional petroleum-based products, the company is testing using vegetables and other similar sustainable materials as sources. The idea is to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. And this is true for the products that Klüber Lubrication has already launched and those that are still in development.

In addition to working on sustainable products, the company aims to become a market leader as a niche player in the markets of India and Bangladesh, mainly by taking success stories from the markets of Turkish knitting and Chinese where they are doing well.

When it comes to the weaving segment, the company already has approvals under its belt from major OEMs, such as Itema, where they use Klüber oil in their manufacturing. Therefore, the company plans to get ahead of the aftermarket in the weaving segment.

Kanakaraju explains, “We are working on sustainable products for the knitting and spinning segments. Knitting is much more complex compared to the spinning industry. For example, the oil formulation which is made for the knitting needle must be precise otherwise the needle will corrode quickly or the lubricating effect will not be up to expectation. In either case, the needle will wear out quickly. Our knitting needle oil is both anti-corrosive and gives greater longevity.

Hitendra is clear: “We are looking to increase our market share in secondary filling. And we expect that to be a major growth driver for us going forward.

Performance Driven Products

Klüber Lubrication offers three different product categories: Klüber oil, Silvertex and a medium oil. All of these are designed to provide the cost/performance parameter.

Kanakaraju says: “Klüber oil is a top quality oil and it has the approval of major OEMs. Indeed, during the manufacture of their machines, the equipment manufacturers mention Klüber in their lubrication table.

Klüber boasts of two types of global R&D centers, namely a core development center and a complementary development center. The first works on major technological advances where the research and development of basic products is carried out. The latter develops products according to market needs.

Kanakaraju explains, “India is for us the main center of development in open gear applications which are mainly for the cement, sugar and similar industries where gears are visible. This application is primarily for loss lubrication where the lubricant is periodically injected. Our complementary development center is aimed at the textile and other industries. Our Indian center creates products for the world. Likewise, we have customized our global products to meet market requirements here. »

India-centric solutions

Klüber offers customized products and solutions to its textile customers in India. It is a well-known fact that the textile industry – whether in India or elsewhere – constantly seeks to increase profitability while reducing costs and the use of resources.

Commenting on the textile market share enjoyed by Klüber, Hitendra says: “In the textile industry, we are the market leaders in spinning with nearly 50% market share. In the knitting, weaving and finishing segments, we have a much smaller market share and we have aggressive plans to grow rapidly there. »

Kanakaraju cites an example: “We have developed products that can be washed in clean water. Overall, these products are highly valued in the textile industry as these solutions eliminate huge effluent treatment costs and are therefore welcome.

It is the company’s long-term strategy to manufacture durable and customizable products and solutions, even if there is an inherent challenge which is the invariable increase in cost.

During the last quarter of 2020, Klüber Lubrication as a whole experienced exceptional growth where it matched the figures of the previous year. In 2021, the company was well ahead of the competition in terms of recovering from the impact of the COVID pandemic while registering unprecedented growth compared to 2020. In the current year, Klüber is advancing further than in 2021, which means, according to Hitendra, the highest growth figures ever achieved by Klüber India to date, while continuing to grow in double digits.

winning culture

India is a large but cost-conscious textile market and Klüber Lubrication has worked tirelessly to change the mindset when it comes to lubricant quality and performance.

Hitendra shares his insights: “Our spinning and knitting oils are bringing a shift in market perception by emphasizing high value for money and delivering performance that outperforms the cost of lubricants. Plus, the fact is that spinning mills are known to be one of the biggest consumers of energy, so our energy-efficient products are specially designed to help them with that.

But with that comes a unique challenge: how do you successfully measure power reduction? And the answer may be just around the corner, with Klüber conducting his extensive research and working on success studies to show the world.

Advantage – Klüber Lubrication

Customers are aware of the enormous value that Klüber offers them as a brand of lubricants. When machine downtime is minimal or even completely eliminated, its value is measured by the amount of resources saved.

Hitendra shares: “Today many spinning mills are pre-booked and in this context they want continuous availability of their machines. Since our lubricants give them the maximum performance, the cost becomes secondary. Our products prove that the added value we offer is worth the investment on their part.

Obviously, Klüber Lubrication’s USP is that their durable products provide longevity with exceptional performance minus downtime.