gypt is known for its long tradition in textiles, and is even more well-known for
high-quality long-staple cotton. Setcore Spinning SAE is an Egypt-based spinner that is
transforming long-staple cotton into some of the finest yarn counts one can imagine.
The city of Alexandria, Egypt, is probably one of the most famous ancient cities, and known
for its historic library. Not far away from this ancient city lies Borg El Arab, a modern city with
an industrial park built in the 1990s. This is where the Setcore Group is located. Because of its
proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, the climate is perfect for growing cotton and operating a
spinning mill. There is a saying that Alexandria gets some rain every day.
Yassine Zaied, general manager, Setcore Spinning
The Setcore Group
The Setcore Group was founded in 1972, at a time when Egypt was opening its borders, but its
origins go back to the 19th century. Like many European textile companies, it began as a leather
tannery. From 1972 over the next 20 years, the company diversified into different business areas,
also dealing with oil, sugar and grains. When cotton trade was liberalized in 1995, Setcore totally
changed the focus of its business and concentrated on oil and textiles. The company has became one
of the largest exporters of Egyptian cotton by forming its subsidiary company Nassco Trading SAE
Nassco not only grows cotton, but also gins and sells cotton around the world.
Setcore spins mostly long-staple Egyptian cotton and some Pima.
With this successful cotton business in mind, Setcore explored new fields for added-value
selling of its cotton. In 2003, Setcore Spinning SAE was founded to produce first-class long-staple
cotton yarn from its own high-grade cotton. During a recent visit to Alexandria,
Textile World Asia
had the opportunity to interview Yassine Zaied, general manager, Setcore Spinning.
“Since we started our cotton business in 2003, it was our intention to serve the top class,”
Zaied said. “Today we are working with 55,000 spindles. We are operating with an efficiency of 97
percent and use mainly Egyptian cotton and some Pima. Our yarn program is divided into three
categories: Ne 50/1 up to 100/1, Ne 120 up to 170/1 and Ne 190/1, 210/1 and 240/1 single and plied
yarns. Through the years, we have established an exceptional relationship with our customers. You
have to be fast to be successful. Today, we provide 24-hour service; require no letter of credit;
and deliver to our customers with open payment.”
This open customer relationship Setcore has with its customers requires a special
policy. “We have high quality standards, as you can see in our spinning mill,” Zaied
explained. “We want proximity to the customers and high production efficiency. We have our own
training center, and one person is responsible for four spinning frames only. The safety is
controlled every day vigorously.”
The values of Setcore are based on the following company philosophy: high quality standards,
closeness to the customer and production efficiency. To keep everything under control, Setcore owns
its cotton ginning plant.
From opening to spinning, Rieter machinery is at work in Setcore’s clean spinning
Modern Equipment, Modern Education
A walk through the spinning mill is astonishing. Every corner is very clean and functional.
Remarkable is the attitude of the personnel: everyone is very open, ready to answer any question
with a smile. A look into the cans full of cotton waste shows that this waste of long-staple cotton
could be used for any low or medium range of cotton yarns. Top European equipment produces
top-class yarn. From opening to spinning, Rieter machinery is at work, including 12 ring-spinning
frames with 1,200 spindles each, 24 compact-spinning machines with 1,200 spindles each, and 12
compact-spinning machines with 1,008 spindles each. For yarn winding, Setcore uses Schlafhorst
Autoconer 5 machines as well as Saurer Compact Twisters from Volkmann.
Setcore invested a lot of money to be able to produce its power in an environmentally
friendly manner using natural gas. Investments are not only made in machinery, but also in human
resources. According to Zaied, human power is the most precious asset at Setcore.
“We are working with the integrated management system Oracle,” Zaied said. “You may wonder,
but we only hire people who didn’t work in any other textile company. We even apply IQ tests before
engaging new people. The reason for all this is quite simple, however, very logical: we want to
implement our own company philosophy to employees without a biased mind. This helps a lot to
maintain the quality of our products. All our personnel enjoy a six-month training course. We are
working three shifts per day, 365 days a year without any break and without any problem. Our
employees are working 5 days a week and can live in company houses.”
Setcore uses CompactTwisters by Volkmann from Saurer (OC Oerlikon Group).
Setcore is exporting 100 percent of its cotton yarn. The main target groups are the top
labels in 25 countries around the world. Setcore was the first textile company outside Europe to
receive Öko-Tex Standard 1000 certification. To be even more competitive, the company plans to
develop a so-called Egyptian Textile Cluster.
“Borg El Arab is near the port of Alexandria and is an excellent place for exports to
Europe, where most of our customers are based,” Zaied said. “There are 1.2 million square meters of
land provided by the government to build this center of excellence. I’m convinced that all
interested partners will succeed with this plan, which enjoys the great support of the government
of Egypt. It is also known that some European weavers are planning to build up their own weaving
plant in this future center. This new center will bring the Egyptian textile industry a major push
to new success.”