7th Mile Stone Bannerghatta Road, Arakere,
Bangalore 560076 India
Masturlal Private Limited is an India-based producer of needlefelt nonwovens with two locations—in Arekere, Bangalore, and Dabhoi, Baroda. From all of its production of felts at both plants, the company sews filter bags in-house. Both plants are stand-alone with their own scrim weaving, bag-filter component production, felt manufacturing and sewing operations.
The Bangalore plant started production in December 2000 with a single Fehrer needleloom, model NL 6, which was quickly followed in 2002 by a second Fehrer needle loom, model NL 12.
In 2003, a major expansion program was started at the Bangalore facility, which was completed in 2005. Two Fehrer needle looms were imported, a model NL 6 and another NL 12, 2.2m wide and 3.3m wide respectively, along with additional carding equipment, fiber processing machinery, and more. The additions increased production capacity by more than 200%—to almost 60,000 square meters of felt every month. At that time, filter bag sewing operations were commenced at the Baroda plant with felt being supplied from Bangalore.
In 2007, a brand new Fehrer needleloom model NL 21 with enhanced needling densities was acquired for the Bangalore facility. At the same time, the older Fehrer needleloom model NL 21 was shifted to Baroda, where, by acquiring additional carding, calendering and singeing machinery, felt production commenced in September 2007.
In July 2007, the second felt line at Bangalore was converted from a carding to an airlaid process, a first for needlefelt production worldwide. The use of an airlaid process results in a needlefelt where the fibers are randomly oriented, while a carding process results in fibers which are parallelly and “machine direction” oriented. According to the company, a random laid web is far more efficient than a parallel laid web, and its airlaid felts have consistently shown lower emissions and lower pressure drop values.
In 2011, a Swiss manufactured Rieter card was added along with fine fiber handling and processing equipment, which further enhanced its growth into high efficiency needlefelts for low emissions. Two similar Rieter cards were acquired in January 2013 to enhance microfiber processing capacity.
In addition, the Bangalore plant acquired two automated sewing lines simultaneously, increasing sewing production substantially, with spin-offs in dimensional accuracy of filter bags.
“One of the greatest strengths we have garnered over the years is our ability to develop special designs of felts to work over a wide spectrum of applications,” says Shramik Masturlal, managing director, Masturlal Private Limited. “Looking at bag filter operating data, gas chemistry, dust characteristics and thermal conditions, we have successfully put a wide variety of ‘hybrid’ felts in the market. These felts are unique by virtue of taking the advantages of a wide variety of fibers and blending them to offer a composite felt which is designed for specific gas or dust charateristics.”
An example of this is Masturlal’s OF-AC range of felts, which blends olefin fibers with homopolymer acrylic fibres, to produce a felt which does not hydrolyse when used in cement grinding mill bag filters where water is customarily sprayed to cool clinker. Polyester filter bags deteriorate rapidly with high moisture content at elevated fine fiber temperatures, whereas Masturlal’s OF-AC felts outlast ordinary polyester bags, according to the company.
In the use of felting needles, Masturlal claims it was perhaps the only filtration felt-making company worldwide that started using “spiral” section needles. Spiral section needles create a “spiral vortex” of fibers in every stroke, thereby largely diminishing the through-passage of air. This result is quicker separation of air and particulate at the time of impaction on the felt surface.
Technical advancements relating to manufacturing process, fiber blends, felt design, and more, is an ongoing and continuous process at both of its facilities, Masturlal says.