Mexico’s Tavemex reduces water usage by 80% with Monforts Eco Denim Line
Tavemex, based in Mexico, has become the second denim producer in the world to install a Monforts Eco Denim Line,and the first to use the technology for finishing denim fabrics of up to 300 g/sqm. Tavemex completed installation of the Eco Denim Line early this year. The company now reports an 80% reduction in water usage after one month of operation.
“For Tavemex, the investment in the new Monforts technology comes at a time of fundamental change for the company,” the company explains. Previously known as Tavex, the company was part of a multinational enterprise that originated in Spain and had denim-manufacturing plants there and in Morocco, Brazil and Argentina, as well as Mexico. Now, Tavemex is an independent Mexican-owned concern, with the US as its prime market.
Tavemex’s capacity is now 2 million metres per month, and part of current production is gradually being moved from the existing stenters to the new Eco Denim Line. The equipment was delivered from Monforts in Germany via the manufacturer’s distributor in Mexico, Sattex-Mexico.
Using less water
“Our main reason for investing in the Eco Denim Line at this time was to satisfy those of our customers who have been requesting us, more and more, to use less water in dyeing and finishing,” said Arturo Ornelas Elizondo, Tavemex’s Industrial Director.
“They themselves have been trying to use less water in their garment production, to the point in some instances of softening fabrics to break the starch and avoid using water. Their need is to meet stringent environmental standards, and also to respond to strong customer demand for more environmentally friendly products.”
“We use our own well for water supply, so the water cost is relatively low, but we are saving more than 80% on water usage, and this will enable our customers to label their products in the stores respectively.”
Thermex Hotflue Chamber
Usually denim is processed through a number of cylinder dryers that are steam heated, and stretched in a large stretching unit that applies high force to the fabric in order to achieve the necessary weft. The Monforts Eco Line uses a modified Thermex Hotflue Chamber that generates the necessary moisture and temperature for making the denim stretchable, whilst incorporating a soft stretching of the fabric by using many rollers, instead of only the one or two in a traditional stretching unit.
This consequently saves on the volume of water needed to generate the steam, and also on the amount of energy required to convert the water to steam, the manufacturer explains.
The Tavemex factory uses fuel oil for its steam supply, being located too far from a natural gas supply to pipe in gas, and Mr Elizondo says that the Eco Denim Line is projected to save energy. “We are still in the process of transferring the production from the traditional stenters to the Eco Denim Line, but we estimate that ultimately we shall save between 20 and 30% on steam generation,” he said.
The new installation includes a Monforts Eco Applicator, which applies the chemicals, replacing a conventional padder. This is said to reduce the drying needs and, therefore, energy consumption, due to the fact that the Eco Applicator applies less moisture to the fabric. “This will also give us the opportunity to improve our wastewater plant to the latest European standards,” commented Mr Elizondo.