Today, these twin industries are expanding rapidly in Southeast Asia, providing entrepreneurial and job opportunities alike, and spreading prosperity to companies and countries who demonstrate that they can compete successfully on the world market.
Reason to celebrate: Inauguration of the latest phase of expansion at Century Synthetic Fiber Corporation.
Envisioned a future and built a company
As a yarn trader in Vietnam in the 1990s, Dang Trieu Hoa ─ known to many internationally as Jack Dang — saw Taiwanese and Chinese polyester manufacturers triumph on international markets. “By the turn of the century,” Dang says, “I realized that my native Vietnam could serve as a natural new setting to support similar success stories.”
Determined that his story should be one of them, Dang established the Century Synthetic Fiber Corporation (now a publically held company of which he is CEO) to produce polyester filament for the budding Vietnamese textile and garment industry. It was a good choice. This specific product subsequently enjoyed the highest growth rate in the business.
From his experience as a trader, Dang knew the business well—but not the production technology. “We initially bought second-hand equipment from a Taiwanese company,” he explains, “under the condition that the seller would teach us everything we needed to know about operating their machines.”
He and his staff proved to be quick learners. Within two years, the Century team had mastered the fundamentals and began looking for next-generation technological solutions. In order to meet skyrocketing demand and win market share at the same time, Dang boldly decided to double the company’s production of Draw Texture Yarn (DTY) to 9 600 tons per year. He wasn’t going to be able to do that cost-efficiently with yesterday’s technology—and so he made one of the most consequential decisions of his career.
“We decided to buy brand-new equipment from Oerlikon Barmag,” he says simply. “This was a make-or-break investment for us, but given Oerlikon Barmag’s proven track-record for providing energy-saving, operationally efficient machines — plus the company’s reputation for excellent customer service — the decision wasn’t difficult.”
Oerlikon Barmag equipment brought Century to the next level.
Century wanted to produce more sophisticated products, each characterized by reliably high quality. With cutting-edge equipment from Oerlikon Barmag, backed by the supplier’s technical support and production management expertise, Century was able to enhance both its capacity and quality control at the same time.
The expansion proved successful, generating financial resources for Century to invest in a Partially Oriented Yarn (POY) facility with an annual capacity of 14 500 tons while increasing its DTY production capacity to 15 000 tons by 2008.
Dang realized that by applying a backward integration strategy to POY production, the company could further increase overall product quality and cut production costs. After recurrent phases of expansion, Century factories can now produce 37 000 tons of DTY and Fully Drawn Yarn (FDY) every year.
Both as a supplier and a production management consultant, Oerlikon Barmag has been partnering with Century for ten years. That relationship continues to evolve today. Dang tells us that his company is now making investments in production that will increase annual capacity to 60 000 tons by the first quarter of 2017.
According to Dang, Vietnam’s garment and textile sector is entering a golden era with excellent, sustainable long-term growth potential. He is quick to point out, however, “[that] with great opportunities come great challenges. In order to remain competitive internationally, a company must offer reliably high quality products at competitive prices, and deliver excellent customer service year after year.”
Objectives like these can only be achieved, of course, if the company has modern production facilities, a highly skilled and professional workforce and modern management practices.
Oerlikon Barmag helps Century check off all the boxes here, delivering state-of-the art equipment, contributing (albeit modestly) to workforce training, and consulting on best practices as Century brings a widely imitated and very capable enterprise resource planning (ERP) system on-line.
This business management tool is a suite of integrated applications that Century will be able to use to collect, store, manage and interpret data from many of their business activities, including product planning, cost management, manufacturing, marketing and sales, inventory management, shipping and payment.
In addition, Century has recently implemented in its brand-new factory a new version of the Oerlikon Barmag’s plant operation center (POC), fully in line with Industry 4.0. Believing that this state-of-art production management technology will help the Company to improve production efficiency and quality, hence improving its client satisfaction as well as the Company’s productivity, Jack decided that the POC will be deployed company-wise (in all factories) next year.
Century’s CEO Jack Dang (right), here with Sales Director André Steingaß, is happy with the extended capacities.
Sticking to the essentials
“At Century,” says Dang, “our strategy focuses on the four ‘M’s—namely, manpower, machines, materials and methods. Selecting the right equipment supplier is a crucial factor for success. With state-of-the art equipment from Oerlikon Barmag, we make high quality products, which meet even the most rigorous demands of our customers. This equipment saves energy — a significant production cost — thus helping Century to build up a reputable brand name as an environmentally conscientious, high-quality yarn maker.”
Century has simple yet effective business and development strategies. The company focuses on delivering uniform, high quality products, and also on continuously creating new ones.
Oerlikon Barmag plays an important role in this process as the company delivers the advanced machinery to Century that ensures optimal quality, versatility and efficiency. Oerlikon also regularly sends its experts to Century to provide after-sales service and deliver practical technological solutions to assist Dang’s company in the development of new products.
Gazing toward the horizon
“I believe that the demand for polyester filament will continue to grow,” says Dang, “We will be able to meet that demand with a stable supply and stay competitive if we continue to innovate in terms of improving product functionality.”
Recent innovations in functionality have included such breakthroughs as hollow, anti-UV, quick-dry, recycled and even flame-retardant yarns.
Most of Century’s customers are knitting and weaving companies that specialize in sophisticated materials for products procured by world-leading clothing, footwear and home textile brands. These brands include Nike, Adidas, Puma, IKEA, Uniqlo and Reebok.
“Working with Oerlikon Barmag, we’re able to provide exactly what our customers need to meet their customers’ demands,” explains CEO Dang Trieu Hoa. “Oerlikon helps us by updating their machines on an on-going basis in order to provide new solutions that make it possible for us to produce high technical specification products, while saving energy at the same time!”