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Promoting Transformation of Growth Model for Textile Industry through Innovation


— Survey on Shandong Textile Enterprises

By Shen Hengchao, Department of Techno-Economic Research, the DRC

Research Report No 124, 2009

With a significant role in admitting employment and increasing farmer's income, textile industry is the traditional pillar industry in national economy, as well as an important industry for people's well-being. After the outbreak of the world financial crisis, textile industry demand has declined and many enterprises are pushed back into losses. Despite the gloom, a few enterprises manage to buck the downward trend. Sustained innovation is the common point of these enterprises.

In order to study how to promote transformation of growth model for textile industry through innovation, we made a survey respectively in Ruyi Group, Lutai Group, Weiqiao Group and Jifa Group of Shandong Province.

I. General Situation and Experiences of Innovation by Enterprises

1. Ruyi Group: textile technology of independent research and development has broken through the limit of present technology of spun high count cotton yarn

The predecessor of Ruyi Group is Shandong Jining Woolen Mill established in 1972. With the development over 30 years, especially the rapid development in nearly 10 years, the group has been involved in major business as wool top making, worsted, rabbit hair spinning, clothes, cotton textile, cotton dye printing, knitting, fiber and jean, and has established a complete wool fashion and cotton dyeing industry chain.

(1) Establishing relatively complete technology innovation and development system

Recognized as hi-tech enterprise in 2008, Ruyi Group has been listed the national new-product development base of wool textile industry by China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC). Under the system of national enterprise technology center, the group boasts a post-doctoral scientific research workstation, Shandong Taishan Scholar position, Shandong New Textile Fabrics Engineering Research Center, Ruyi Technology Research Institute, Group-level Technology Center and Company-level Technology Center, which are responsible for technology reposition, research and project implementation respectively.

Ruyi Group has already undertaken 60 major scientific research projects with leading levels in China, out of which 4 are awarded National Science and Technology Advancement Prize, and 40 are awarded provincial and municipal prizes for progress in science and technology (including 3 provincial first prizes, 7 second prizes and 2 ministry-level first prizes). The group has 22 patents granted with patent rights and 30 patents applications (including 1 PCT patent for invention, 1 American and 7 Chinese patents for invention) have been accepted.

In 2009, Ruyi Group first attended the top material world expo France PV (the first vision expo), showing that the enterprise has acquired the capacity of developing top-level textile material and issuing popular trend of materials.

(2) Researching and developing textile technology of Ruyifang independently and emphasizing new product development

Ruyi Group, Wuhan Institute of Science and Technology, Xi'an Polytechnic University have successively developed through cooperation "short and efficient flow of embedded composite spinning technology (Ruyifang)" in February, 2009, which broke through the limit of present ring-spinning technology of high-count worsted and realized low-grade fiber materials and leftovers high-count worsted and reached spinning application of fiber materials which were previously difficult to use in spinning field with international advanced levels. Appraised by China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC) and academicians from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, it belongs to a significant original technology which will reinforce the international competitive edge of China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC) in the world.

Ruyi Group has also developed Sirofil patent technology in wool textile, homemade superfine wool yarn processing technology, technique of single yarn weaving, clear production technology, enzyme treatment technology, non-formaldehyde wrinkle-resistance and shrink-proof technology, multiple chemical technology, technology of recovery and utilization of waste water remaining heat, eco-friendly dyeing technology and continuous elastic treating.

With the support of textile technology, Ruyi Group has developed a series of products as Sirofil, high-count light-weight worsted fabric, ecological environmental protection, shape-memory, washable, superfine cashmere, lycra elastic and water, oil and stain-proof ones. There are more than 1,000 types and nearly ten thousand colors of woolen cloth in the dominant products. In 2002, Sirofil spinning technology and its serial products were awarded the second-class National Science and Technology Advancement Prize, which is the highest science and technology award of domestic wool spinning industry since the founding of new China. 300-piece ultra-light high-count fabric of Ruyi wool spinning has reached world-top level, winning the group two first-class Science and Technology Advancement Prizes awarded by China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC) and making the group the first enterprise with such prizes.

2. Lutai Group: emphasizing research and development and exploiting new products with foreign customers

Lutai Group is the largest top-grade yarn-dyed face fabric manufacturer in the world and has the production and research capacity of complete production chains as cotton planting, spinning, and dyeing, cleaning, weaving and clothes-making. There are about 20,000 employees in the group. In international field, Lutai Group belongs to the top yarn-dyed face fabric manufacturer competing against Nisshinbo Textile Inc. (Japan), ABINI (Italy) and MONTI (Italy). Business revenue in 2008 stood at RMB 5.065 billion yuan, and profit RMB 0.655 billion yuan with a year-on-year increase of 13.7% and 17.8% respectively. The group earned a total 0.459 billion US dollars through export, a year-on-year increase of 18.9%.

(1) Strengthening the enterprise research and development system and enlarging the investment

Lutai Group was recognized as the hi-tech enterprise again in 2008 and awarded the title of national textile technology innovation enterprise. Lutai Group's idea on promoting competition is to meet customer's demand through innovation. In recent years, research and development expenditure accounts for over 5% of total sales. The group has applied for 21 patents for invention and 36 new-type practical patents, out of which 26 have been granted patent rights.

In the course of development, Lutai Group has gradually formed a three-level research and development system which regards enterprise technical centre as the pillar composed of technology research section of each business division and key problems tackling group of affiliated workshops. Technical center comprises 8 professional committees on science and technology such as office, training center, pilot base for spinning, weaving, cleaning and clothes making, quality inspection center, promotion department of technology development, post-doctoral research workstation, Lutai technical research center of Donghua university, Lutai Klein technology research center for textile, dyeing and finishing and development and design center for Italian products, which are distributed in each business division respectively. Research and development section is arranged below the technical center and composed of many key problems tackling groups. Lutai has been recognized as the national enterprise technical center by five ministries of the country and its laboratory has passed the certification by China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS).

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