Monday, 1 August, 2011
Rutland (USA)-DCC (India)’s JV inaugurated in Mumbai Offers widest range of inks to screen printing industry worldwide
Moving not only with the evolving needs in screen printing inks, but also thinking ahead as a leader, Rutland Plastic Technologies, US has entered into a 50:50 joint venture agreement with Mumbai-based Dhaval Color Chem or DCC as it is popularly known to manufacture, service, and market unique Plastisol and PVC-free waterbased textile screen printing inks. In Mumbai recently to inaugurate the unit, the team from Rutland consisting of Hal F Crownover, CEO; John Mason, Group Director of Technology – Screen Inks; and Duke M Punhong, V-P, Private Equity, HSBC took time out to interact with Team Apparel Online on the significance of the opening of India chapter and to be a part of its growth strategy.
Both parties to the JV are equally excited with the potential of the agreement and the value it would add to their businesses. For Rutland this is the first manufacturing venture in Asia and first co-branding with any company. “Expanding our global reach has been a top priority for the company and our long-term relationship with DCC going back more than a decade presented an outstanding partnership opportunity. We look forward to providing the screen print industry not only in India but the complete region with the world’s most advanced ink technology,” says Crownover. Adds Narendra Dadia, Group Chairman of DCC, “A partnership with Rutland is a perfect opportunity for both companies to share the technology and market access, as we have technology for the finest quality PVC-free waterbased inks and Rutland has technology for the best Plastisol and Specialty inks with sales and service network across the world.”
The new manufacturing facility, development lab and sales office, located in India, will serve India and the world – Asia, Europe, North and South America and other regions. “As a joint identity, Rutland-DCC Ink Manufacturing Pvt. Ltd. has become the biggest supplier of ink in terms of product range,” says Dadia. The capacity of the new factory is 300 tonnes per month with the flexibility to be scaled up at same facility as the demand increases. The unit is expected to be fully operational by the first week of August and the trial run was to the satisfaction of all concerned for whom quality of product is a key to growth. “Cost of ink per garment is at an average Rs. 2 to Rs. 3, though it adds value much beyond; so quality is not something a brand would compromise on,” argues Dhaval Dadia, Executive Director DCC.
As DCC has already been handling the sales and technical service of Rutland products, the system will remain unchanged, though experts from Rutland including Mason will visit India regularly for feedbacks and inputs. “We plan to organize workshops and training modules to upgrade the industry on the new products that we can offer,” says Dhaval. In the meanwhile, the extensive sales network at both companies is working to promote the products in both India and abroad. Technical staff has been trained in the US and all probable loose ends have been taken care of before the products manufactured at the new plan are sold into the market.
Founded in 1962, Rutland was bought over by HSBC Capital in December 2004 giving greater impetus to the innovative spirit of the company. It also has the distinction of developing the industry’s first colour matching system, licensed by Pantone the worldwide leader in accurate colour reproduction. Rutland works extensively with brands, buying offices and specifiers from around the world, and they according to Crownover will be very happy to know that Rutland has added PVC-free waterbased environment-friendly inks in their product range with the new JV.
On the other hand DCC has been in the business of Screen Printing supplies for over a quarter of a century and has the unique distinction of being the only company in India that provides a one-stop-solution for all Screen Printing needs. “Our thrust is in providing turnkey project synchronized with the best products and technology for which we have partnered with internationally reputed manufacturers, who are all masters in their respective domains. Our combined product range covers virtually every product of the screen printing process,” says Dadia. Their unique showroom in Tirupur is fully equipped with all automatic equipments – ink room, art room, etc. required in a printing unit. “This is one of a kind facility which is built with focus to demonstrate our product capabilities and train our customer’s staff,” adds Dadia.
Together the new JV is geared to offer the world’s most advanced ink at affordable prices. “With the ink now being manufactured in India, there will be a 20% price advantage from the earlier price point when the inks were imported,” says Crownover. But it is not only about price. Normally, all buyers and brands distribute their production requirements to different vendors in different countries and one of the biggest challenges for them has been to get consistent products from each vendors. But now they will be able to procure it from one source as Rutland-DCC combine has the largest and complete product range such as phthalate free plastisol, specialty inks for polyester, decorative inks for fashion, value addition, discharge and PVC-free waterbased inks. “Now we will be able to manufacture custom requirement of each buyer or brand and supply from 3 locations – USA, Europe and Asia (India) – on top mainly we are equipped to provide technical support to help brands achieve consistent quality and result from all their vendors spread across the world,” says Crownover.
R&D is at the root of growth at Rutland and for the JV developments will continue to be generated at its R&D centres in Europe and US. Its latest offerings in specialty inks include the new textile screen print gel ink HG4229 that gives excellent print qualities and long-term stability, MA0221 that allows the printer to print a dry glitter look without all the mess and flake off normally associated with that type of printing and MH0217 for a distressed or worn print look, as the market demands have increased for the same. Among recent R&D is the effort to give value to printing technology on polyester as the fibre picks up in the fashion industry as well as the technical textile segment.
Significantly, one of the major directions for developments at Rutland is ‘sustainability’. “We are committed to sustainable practices. Importantly, we turn 99.5% of purchased materials into usable, technically-advanced products. We are often cited as an example of how an innovative manufacturing operation can be aligned with outstanding environmental practices,” says Mason. He adds that the R&D team consisting of 20 technologists are constantly interacting and sharing ideas to develop inks that are for the future, they are aided in the work by the many brands that they work with who define what new the ultimate customer – the consumer – is seeking.
The real challenge according to the company is being eco-friendly, while giving greater performance value and maintaining quality. “No company in today’s business environment can ignore Going Green or following sustainable practices and in many ways the concept is not new for Rutland, so we don’t consider it trendy, though people have only recently started talking about it. We operate this way because we believe that being a committed partner to sustainable practices to the environment and to the community is critical to the survival of our industry, and it is just part of what makes us unique,” says Punhong.
Positive about the future of the JV, Crownover says, “We envisage that the new unit will grow to be the biggest in world both in terms of product offerings and production capacity and with transparent operations and free flow of technology and market access the penetration of market share will also be among the biggest.” Concludes Dadia, “Whatever is being offered by Rutland today or will be offered in the future will be manufactured at the new plant and in addition PVC-free waterbased inks and custom-made products giving the JV creditability and the industry continued supply of innovative products from one source.”