JV Kokhloma /
Cotton yarn produced by Kostroma “Kokhloma” mill was included into the “100 best Russian goods” list that is annually issued by Federal technical regulation and metrology agency.
Historical reference. “Kokhloma” spinning mill was built in 1853 on the bank of the Kostroma river at its confluence into the Volga. People named it “Mikhinskaya” after the main shareholder, a well-known Kostroma merchant and manufacturer Mikhin. In the early Soviet years the mill got a proud name “Znamya truda” (“Labour banner”). In the early 90s of the previous century, at the time of general privatization, it obtained its current deideologized and simple name – “Kokhloma” that stands for Kostroma cotton-spinning manufacture.
In the year of its 150th anniversary, namely in November 2003 – the mill launched a cotton-spinning complex supplied by a well-known Swiss company - "Rieter" – one of the European textile machinery leaders. This technical re-equipment enabled Kokhloma to take leading positions in Russia concerning the quality of the produced yarn – it complies with the best world standards in all parameters. For this reason it was justly included into the “100 Best Russian Goods” programme. And a new company appeared among Kostroma manufacturers whose goods are exported abroad. Despite the increased price, “Kokhloma” workers think a high-quality product is to cost more. The yarn is in also steady demand at home market. It is eagerly taken by Kostroma industrial complex named after I.D. Zvokykhin, Ivanovo “Shuyskiye Sitsi” (“Shuya Chintz”) mill, other Russian textile and knitting mills. What happened in 2003 can be called a technical revolution at an individual mill. Its consequences have already been briefly spoken about - JV “Kokhloma” started to produce about 650 tons of yarn of the best quality in Russia. But the mill has also changed outwardly, and those who happened to have been here before, today cannot recognize the old workshops that found their new life. There is much light here. Pleasant light-green shades that prevail in the main hall where the yarn is spun, have a sedative effect. Sensitive conditioning systems set strict temperature and humidity parameters – it is required by the technology. And one can’t get rid of the feeling of emptiness as if there is no one here, only occasionally some female worker in a blue gown would appear and thousands of almost noiseless high-speed spindles spin thin threads out of the cotton cards – yarn – and wind them into 3-kilogram bobbins. But the quality control begins with the laboratory equipped with expensive equipment of another Swiss company – “Uster”. Here incoming cotton as well as finished product is thoroughly tested for the parameters that had previously been manually tested or had not been heard of at all.
Unlike social revolutions that are usually spontaneous, “Kokhloma” experienced a technical one, the breakthrough onto a new technological level was thorough, systematic and short-time – within 6 months. A huge work was done. The buildings had to be repaired, the floors replaced and a new equipment had to be purchased, delivered and cleared by the customs and installed. But the most important was to form a correct system of the factory management and to start to produce and to sell the yarn. Swiss partners provided consultations and calculation assistance. The overall cost of the project was 20 million dollars. The estimated pay-back period covers 5 years. The credit was granted by the Kostroma branch of Sberbank that has trusting and mutually beneficial relationships with “Kokhloma”. The mill has been working using the new technology for a bit longer than a year, and no less ambitious projects are already coming. The first one – to launch the second turn of spinning production this August and to deliver equipment from Germany that is the best in the world but also the most expensive. Its launching will enable “Kokhloma” to release 1000 tons of yarn per month. The difference of these wonder-machines is that they do not require people to provide service – here work will be done by robots. By the way, disengagement of staff is a tendency of the world machinery industry including textile machinery industry. An average Russian spinning mill with a monthly capacity of 1000 tons has about 1500 employees. “Kokhloma” has about 200 employees. But these new German machines are quite expensive – about ˆ 500 000. Seven machines have already been ordered plus purification equipment, and this will start to be delivered beginning from March.
Another project “Kokhloma” Textile Group will launch next year is construction of a new weaving-mill. The site for this purpose is currently being chosen. The City Administration has offered some variants. One of them is in the proximity of “Motordetal” plant. It will be a brand new mill whose architectural design as well as equipment will comply with world standards. The new mill will produce cotton grey goods, chintz and unbleached calico fabric groups using self-produced yarns. Investments into the new production will involve own funds as well as bank loans. Proper application of financial instruments will enable the project to be implemented within short time, with minimum risks since a large experience has already been gained, that’s the opinion of Michael Gorynin, General Director. The necessity to invest in the Russian textile industry, as Michael Gorynin explained, alongside other reasons, is due to a growing competition at the world markets. China expansion is growing due to its entry into World Trade Organisation, especially with reference to export of yarns to Europe and Russia. While Russia processes 300 thousand tons of cotton per year, China makes 4.5 million tons. Besides, the quality of the yarn produced in China is quite high. Not to lose this textile trading war, to secure one’s future, one should not lag behind the progress. What is currently happening in JV “Kokhloma”, suits this purpose best.