Focus On Microfiber Fabrics

Winnersumbiri Knitting Factory, an Indonesia-based microfiber knitwear specialist that
began operations just four years ago, is part of a group that also includes PT Sumber Bintang
Rejeki and PT Mingala Garment. Its origins date back more than 30 years. The knitting division,
which complements the fabric and garment divisions, is a new venture.Building on the success and
reputation of the other divisions, it has swiftly gained a reputation and market share in this
highly competitive sector.

Chairman Michael Lee, who was a finalist in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year
award program in 2002, said the factory was built on a greenfield site in the Tangerang district of
Jakarta near the international airport in just seven months. The company is growing quickly —
currently employing approximately 500 people and having production on a 24-hours-a-day basis. Lee
said Winnersumbiri opened with 20 knitting machines and now has 55.

Winnersumbiri has rapidly gained an excellent reputation for producing high-quality man-made
microfiber fabrics for leading US and European lingerie brands including Victoria’s Secret, Marks
& Spencer, JCPenney, C&A, Sara Lee, Playtex, Target, Warnaco and Maidenform, along with a
number of local companies.


PT Winnersumbiri Knitting Factory’s Chairman Michael Lee

The company specializes in quality fabrics using Invista’s Tactel® nylon and
Lycra® spandex fibers; and works with a variety of other man-made fibers to provide a range of
warp- and circular-knit fabrics including shiny satins, simplex fabrics, power nets, satin nets,
microfabrics and rigid tricots. Micro-polyester blends with Lycra are also produced to satisfy a
growing demand. The fabric comes in a variety of widths up to a maximum 82 inches. Fabric weights
of up to 350 grams per square meter are typical.

The company took delivery earlier this year of a new Montex 6500 tenter from Germany-based
A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG. The new tenter is now working alongside two Montex
5000 tenters the company installed when it first went into business in 2003. “We are handling very
delicate fabrics for top brand names in the United States and Europe, and as far as we are
concerned, Monforts technology is the best for our business,” Lee said. “We decided to add a third
Montex tenter because we could see the demand and our market share was rapidly increasing. In this
business you need size to justify your overheads and expenses, and to keep the buyers happy. And of
course you need quality. ”

The first two tenters are both six-chamber units, while the new Montex has eight chambers.
All three units, ordered through Monforts’ local representative, PT Primatek Multindo, operate
side-by-side in the factory. Primatek Multindo also provides training and maintenance for the


Winnersumbiri has gained a reputation for producing high-quality man-made microfiber

Energy Savings

“In addition to the size and capacity of the Montex 6500, the Winnersumbiri management has
been very impressed by the machine’s heat recovery system,” Lee said. “Making energy savings is
currently a big issue, not just for us but for the textile industry throughout Indonesia. Saving
energy in addition to being environmentally responsible and complying with Indonesian laws also, of
course, makes enormous sense for us in commercial terms, as the cost of energy is now so high.”

The Monforts system, thought to be the first in Indonesia, comprises a compact, air-to-air
heat exchanger, which is installed within the roof structure of the tenter. The heat exchanger uses
energy from the exhaust gas to preheat up to 60 percent of the incoming fresh air entering the
tenter. Depending on production conditions, this provides energy savings of 10 to 35 percent and a
typical payback period of around 12 months.


Winnersumbiri’s new Montex 6500 tenter features Monforts’ computerized Qualitex PLC system.

Featuring large-diameter vertical tubes, the heat exchanger requires very little
maintenance — with extended service every one to two months, depending on production cycles.
Downtime on the system can be reduced using Monforts’ optional cleaning device to ensure the system
is always operating at maximum efficiency. The integrated system in a space-saving rectangular
design eliminates the need for heavy support and access structures above the tenter, and reduces
the amount of ductwork required.

“Working with more than 100 different fabric configurations, Monforts’ computerized Qualitex
PLC system also guarantees that we will achieve the highest standards every time for each process,”
Lee said.

“We have been extremely happy with the performance of the 6500. It is a highly effective
addition to our production line, and gives us an enormously increased capacity while still
maintaining our quality.”

Winnersumbiri is rapidly growing and recently purchased the Montex 6500 tenter to work
alongside its two Montex 5000 tenters, installed when the plant first opened in 2003.

Installation of the new Montex has enabled the factory to increase its production
by well over one-third, and the volume of material now being handled is about 250 metric tons per
month. Lee said on average, between 8 and 9 metric tons per day pass through the production

Depending on the type and specification, the knitted fabric is wound directly onto the
perforated dye beam. If the fabric is dyed in the airflow dyeing machines, it is pleated directly
into trolleys. Following dyeing, the knitted fabric is passed through the tenter in its second pass
for drying and finishing.

March/April 2007