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-Satyadeo Purohit, Director, Forbes Marshall

The Textile Industry in India is one of the largest process industry (and one of the oldest) in terms of number of

With an increase in competition and the removal of quota system, most of the Textile process houses were
forced to look at cost reduction to survive.

The priorities for cost reduction were originally determined in the early/middle ‘90s based on the proportion of
cost attributed to different components like raw material, utilities, man power, financial costs etc. At that point
of time the priority was reduction in raw material costs as it contributed almost 50% in the total cost. Next in
priority was the combined utility – i.e. electricity, fuel for steam / thermic fluid, water and compressed air.
Within the utilities the focus was much more on electricity to begin with – as the cost of electricity was
increasing and the availability was unreliable.

This focus in late ‘90s yielded a very good result coupled with opportunity provided by opening of markets and
availability of raw materials (dyes, chemicals etc.) at very low rates (especially from China).

Cost of fuel for generating Steam / Thermic fluid in the meantime continued to grow steeply, nearly offsetting
the benefits of reductions achieved in other areas. This brought focus to this utility and brought in the limelight
the limited knowledge and bench marks available for the industry to take concrete actions to curtail the growing

Forbes Marshall, a pioneer in the field of Steam Energy Conservation, has worked with the textile industry over
the last 60 years especially in India, Srilanka and Bangladesh, apart from other countries. Along with
Confederation of Indian Industry, Forbes Marshall initiated a bench marking exercise for specific fuel
consumption in Textile Industry.

The findings are elaborated herewith, to have uniformity of data and draw representative conclusions. We are
presenting here case studies in India with similar plants, processes and end products

We surveyed 49 industries in Tirupur region and 10 industries in Bhilwara region

Tirupur Region

Utility Fuel (Firewood) Kg/kg

Best 1.57
Average 2.75

Bhilwara Region

Utility Fuel (Lignite) Kg/mtr

Best 0.29
Average 0.36

Percentage Reduction in Fuel Bill

Industry Steam Distribution Condensate & Capacity Total

Generation & Utilization Flash Utilization
Textile – 7.0% 3.0% 5.0% N.A. 15.0%
Textile – 12.0% 7.0% 7.0% N.A. 26.0%

Looking at the data available above and the work we at Forbes Marshall, have done with Textile Industry in the
last 60 years, we are briefly putting down opportunities for energy savings – with influencing factors / causes
and remedies in the design of utility or operation of the process.
We are classifying the entire steam and condensate loop into 3 segments.
 Steam Generation & Distribution
 Steam Utilization – based on the type of process
 Condensate and flash steam recovery.

I) Steam Generation & Distribution

Sr. Influencing Factor Cause Action

1. Poor boiler efficiency - Fluctuating process - Proper selection of boilers- capacity, burner
loads – improper loading turndown etc.
on boiler
2. - Absence of diagnostics - Boiler sequencing & load management
to take immediate
corrective action - Diagnostics – steam & oil flow meters, stack
loss monitoring with online efficiency display.
- Capacity & type of
steam generator
3. Higher distribution - Improper line sizing - Designing the distribution network optimally;
losses proper line sizing & without extra provisions
-Improper insulation for expansions

-Improper line routing & - Proper condensate removal from steam

condensate removal lines; Diagnostics – Pressure & temperature
from steam lines. gauges, steam flow meters etc.

II) Steam Utilization :-

Process’s in Textile Industry can be segregated into following segments & opportunities identified separately
for each –
 Batch wet processing under pressure
 Batch wet processing – Atmospheric
 Continuous Processing

Main opportunity for Energy Savings in Batch Wet processing under pressure –
Sr. Area Actions
1. Reduction in liquor ratio - Based on process requirement
- Operating practices – how precisely are the ratios
controlled practically; are proper measurements in place?
2. Reduce & maintain process - Properly sized & selected temperature controls
3. Reduce batch / process time - Proper condensate removal from HEX area

- proper pressure of steam

- instantaneous hot water availability

4 Reduce reprocessing - proper diagnostics & control on the process parameters
5. Insulate - hot areas
6. Recover heat from Dye liquor & - Customized systems
Cooling water - Diagnostics
Main opportunity for Savings in Batch Wet Processing – Atmospheric: Jiggers, Winches, Washing etc.

Sr. Area Actions

1 Avoid overheating - Proper temperature control
- Proper selection of steam pressure
- Proper steam injection system (direct + indirect)
- Diagnostics
2 Effluent heat recovery - Customized systems for heat recovery.

For continuous processing, the areas are similar with further focus on flow characteristics, counter flow
operation, improved washing action, automation of process etc.

Other process’s like drying cylinders etc. the issues related to energy conservation revolves around proper
conditioning of steam and condensate removal from heat exchange areas –
a) Reduce steam pressure
b) Removal of air for steam systems
c) Proper steam trapping
d) Proper selection & maintenance of rotary joints & syphons.

III) Condensate & Flash Recovery –

Condensate heat in most energy conscious plants is being recovered back to boiler feed tank or for use in the

However, a major opportunity exists in recovering the flash steam heat which is universally wasted. Systems
designed to recompress the atmospheric or low pressure flash steam to a reusable pressure can be designed
specifically for this purpose.

Overall the opportunity to conserve energy in steam systems in Textile Industry is tremendous, however to
avail of the benefits we need to be specific with data such as operating hours, parameters, benchmarks etc.

For all of above to happen, the starting point is to have a diagnostics and monitoring mechanism in place for all
key parameters.

Also simultaneously a well designed and installed steam system may not yield adequate results unless proper
operating practices including enhancing the Energy Awareness at all levels in the organization is systematically
A Case Study on Specific Fuel Consumption Approach for Value Addition;
Terry Towel Plant in Western India

Forbes Marshall did an Energy Audit at a Terry Towel plant in western India. The plant was
manufacturing of Towels with a capacity of 300 MT/month. The plant had two 6.0 TPH capacity
Boilers of 10.54kg/sq cm (WP). The plant had been in operation for the last 10 years.

In the Pre-Audit Scenario it was discovered that the average furnace oil (F.O.) consumption was 10-
11KL, with a steam consumption of 130 TPD. The average Steam to Fuel ratio (S: F) was 11.8 with a
Feed Water (FW) temperature of 70-90ºC (Live steam in Condensate return). The average
Condensate Return from recoverable condensate was 59% (67 TPD) with O2 content in the flue
gasses between 4% and 6% and Stack temperature in the range of 220º-240ºC.

Distribution of Steam Consumption was as below;

Equipment Direct Steam Indirect Steam

Consumption Consumption
Yarn Dyeing 10 TPD 50-55 TPD
Loop Dryer 20 TPD

Sizing 5 TPD

New VDR 15 TPD


Fabric Dyeing 20 TPD

Total 30 TPD 95-100 TPD

Post Audit, based on our findings we devised a phase wise implementation to reduce FO consumption
thereby reducing costs.

Phase- 1; Correct Steam Trapping Distribution of Steam Consumption

Pre- Audit After Equipment Direct Steam Indirect Steam

Implementation Consumption Consumption
Yarn Dyeing 10 TPD 40 TPD
Total No. of Steam 83 Nos. 83 Nos.
Traps Loop Dryer 16 TPD

No. of leaking Traps 43 Nos. Nil Sizing 4 TPD

New VDR 12 TPD

Water logged Traps 2 Nos. Nil
Old VDR Not in use

Cold Traps 8 Nos. Nil Fabric Dyeing 20 TPD

Total 30 TPD 72 TPD
The Drop in Fuel consumption after implementation
was observed to be, 1.5 KL per day
Phase-2; Implementation of Condensate Recovery:
After implementing Condensate Recovery, the total Condensate being recovered was 68 TPD with
total flash steam recovered and used for hot water generation being between 4-5 TPD. 90% of
recoverable steam condensate is being recovered with the help of 3 sets of Flash Vessels and Steam
Operated Pumps maintaining an average FW temperature of 65ºC and causing a Drop in Fuel
Consumption of 0.5KL per day.

Phase-3; Online Boiler Efficiency Monitoring:

On implementation of the online Boiler Monitoring System, the average O2 percent in flue gasses has
dropped to a consistent 3% with Stack Temperature dropping to 200º to 210ºC. This has increased
the efficiency by 3% and caused the average daily fuel consumption to drop by 0.3 to 0.5 KL per day.

Thus in the Post Implementation Scenario;

Now Earlier
Average F.O. consumption 8.0-8.5 KL 10-11 KL
Average Steam Consumption 96-100 TPD 130 TPD
Average S:F ratio 12.1 11.8
Average FW Temp (No Live steam 65ºC 70º-90º C
in condensate return)
Average Condensate Return from 90% 59 %
recoverable condensate
Average O2 % in flue gas 3% 6% and 4%
Average Stack Temp 200º -210ºC 220º-240ºC

Yet there are more opportunities to bring down the fuel costs. Below are a few things we can still work
 Blow Down Heat Recovery System
 Auto Temp. Control in yarn/fabric dyeing
 Pressure controls
 Proposal for Re Audit accepted and order is in process
 Objective to save 1KL per day fuel more

Satyadeo Purohit, Director can be contacted on