Ozark Systems  - Setting the Standard in Process Control for Colour and Chemical Using Industries

Setting The Standard in Process Control
for Colour and Chemical Using Industries

Colour Application
PD300D Colour Dispensing System
Chemical Applications
Ozark MF4 Dispense Valves
PD300D Dispensing System
Ozark MF4 Dispense Valves

A Dyehouse Transformed

Investment policy sees doubling of output and turnover by UK finisher

A remarkable turnround in the fortunes of what was once a 'traditional' dyeing and finishing company has produced some dramatic statistics: in jsut four years, the UK-based Roe Acre Dyeing & Finishing Company has almost doubled its output, from 230,000 to 4000,000 metres of fabric per week; at the same time, the firm's turnover has soared to reach an estimated £5.8 million by the end of this year.

Roe Acre, which has a history dating back to the late 18th Century, dyes and finishes textile materials for High Street stores, and produces bulk quantities of converted cloth for major household textile companies, fashions cottons and polyester and viscose blends to the fashion textile market.

The transformation at Roe Acre, located in the Lancashire textile heartland at Heywood, can be traced back to May 1994, when chief executive David Procter joined the business. With a background encompassing both venture capital and process engineering he was ideally qualified to launch Roe Acre on the path to revival. At the time, the firm was typical of many finishers serving the UK woven trade - struggling to compete with low-cost imports, and still feeling the effects of the decimation of the industry during the 1970s and '80s.

When Mr Procter joined the organisation it was in decline, as the market for poly-viscose - one of its main fabric sectors at the time - was very limited, while its other important activity area, finishing of bed sheeting fabrics, was not particularly healthy either.

Mr Procter attacked the company's problems on several fronts at once. Streamlining of production, enabling shorter runs, has opened the door to new markets, and the company now concentrates on a flexible approach to business, targeting fashion-related sectors such as furnishings and apparel, as well as developing a broader base among its traditional household textile customers.

Says Mr Procter: "The pressure from imports is even greater now than ever. We have responded by moving more into furnishings, as well as strengthening in polyester and cotton, and moving into areas such as workwear and lighter-weight processing generally. In this way, we believe we can serve the UK market with a more flexible offering than imports from the Far East, while also developing our own export business."

Processing disciplines have been tightened, so that the same quality standards for colour and fastness, for example, are applied throughout its ranges, and only top-brand dyestuffs and chemicals are used, to aid the move towards optimum 'right first time' dyeing and increased processing options, with Roe Acre making use of a variety of dyeing routes, including jig, pad-reactive, beam, jet and continuous, in a range of widths from 45-108 inches.

An investment priority when Mr Procter joined Roe Acre was a new laboratory, with all the necessary testing facilities for dyeing and finishing processes. This is now playing an important part in the company's strategy to guarantee quality accreditation to meet the most stringent High Street store specifications. Machinery investment has also been extensive since 1994, totalling some £32.5 million. Innovations include powder dispensing of dyestuffs, a full range of dyeing and finishing and inspection machinery and colour testing and information technology systems.

Colour System
A major element of the investment programme has been the installation of an Ozark CD200 rapid colour and chemical dispense system. This advanced, user-friendly system provides chemical and colour computerised dispensing, to achieve effective control and monitoring, and reduced levels of volume of materials in producing fabrics.

The purpose-built, multi-valve system is designed and manufactured by Manchester-based Ozark Systems. It is easy to use as well as rapid and accurate. It sets precise colour and finishing recipes from a library of formulae, offering improved quality, continuity and reliability, while also giving significant savings in both material and labour costs. Among its benefits are: reduced colour and chemical waste (giving greater safety and reduced environmental impact)l decreased changeover times; improved shade control; variable make-up procedures and exact records of consumption.

Operating in both one-shot and continuous modes, the system is controlled by a PC, with a network facility that supports up to 64 terminals. All dispensing functions can be controlled from any computer within the network. The payback period is said to be less than 12 months, as the result of economies in colours, chemicals and manpower.

This article is reproduced here by kind permission of World Textile Publications Limited


Roundhill • Hollins Road • Waterhead • Oldham OL4 3SG • England
Telephone: +44 (0) 161 627 4479
Fax:            +44 (0) 161 678 8750
e-mail:        dispense@ozark.co.uk

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