Even as its proposed center of excellence (CoE) in composites gets underway with a Rs 25 crore sanction from the central government, the Ahmedabad Textile Industry's Research Association (ATIRA) is planning to set up more number of CoEs. The industry research body already houses CoEs in Protective Textiles (Protex) and Geo-textiles as well at its premises in Ahmedabad.
According to Sanjay Lalbhai, Chairman of the Council of Administration at ATIRA and CMD, Arvind Ltd., ATIRA has submitted a proposal to the State Government for expanding the scope of the existing Pilot Plant to a Center of Excellence for Nano-fibre – Nano-web in view of large potential and significant benefits for development of sustainable technology in high priority areas. ATIRA is also considering setting up of two more centers of excellence including COE for Wet Processing for Textile and COE for Effluent Treatment – water management and zero liquid discharge. The estimated additional cost for the Nano-fiber and Nano-web is around Rs 25 crore. "ATIRA won the project to set up center of excellence for composites in a national competition staying ahead of formidable bidders like IIT-Delhi, Shriram Institute-Delhi, and UDCT-Mumbai. As a result ATIRA has been sanctioned a grant of Rs 25 crore from Ministry of Textiles. The state government will extend financial support for the construction of a new building and purchase of capital equipment for the COE and for setting up of the pilot plant," said Lalbhai. For the CoE in composites, ATIRA has collaborated with the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) of Fraunhofer Germany.
What's more, ATIRA on Thursday launched an incubation center for Technical Textiles at its premises for developing high performance fabrics prepared from composite materials like carbon, glass, Aramid yarns - a first of its kind to be launched in India. The light weight fabrics are some of the highly used raw materials in sectors like aerospace, marine, defence, railways, auto, and civil, among others.
"ATIRA has initiated the process to realign its activities with advanced technology which will aim at effectively serving the needs of small, medium and large industries by offering them high quality services for testing, certification, calibration and support for product development through collaborative, cooperative, sponsored and grant-in-aid R&D. With the launch of this incubation center, we have begun this journey of transformation of ATIRA to emerge as application-oriented research institute supporting absorption of new technology, facilitating product development and innovation," said Lalbhai.
Set up at a cost of Rs 18.82 crore, the incubation center offers state-of-the-art weaving machines from Germany and Switzerland for developing high performance fabrics using carbon, glass or Aramid yarns. The Government of Gujarat has supported the formation of this Centre with a grant of Rs 10 crore.
"Such facility would reduce the initial capital cost, cost of product development as well as the lead time. It will also create an opportunity to develop new cost effective performs in association with knowledge partners like ICT Fraunhofer, & Faserinstitut, Bremen from Germany," Lalbhai added.