Steps have recently been taken by Austrian-based Schoeller Eitorf AG to make more efficient and environmentally friendly use of the water supplies essential to the function of its main plant dye works.Says chief executive officer Rainer Gonser: "We have just invested in a major water treatment facility involving the installation of a further A7 x l4 metre tank with a volume of 1,000 m3, which will give us buffer storage equivalent to one day's production needs.

"It will allow us to make more efficient use of the water supplies that we draw from an on-premises spring as well as reducing the amount of water we have to buy from muncipal sources.

"Under our new regime the chemical treatment of our own spring water has now been fully automated, beginning with filtration of the naturally present iron and magnesium elements. An exchange system is then employed to remove carbonate hardness and achieve a virtually consistent pH level in the water that is subsequently fed into the dyehouse.

"The fact that the system is fully automatic and needs only occasional monitoring to ensure it is working as planned has enabled us to reduce labour costs at the outset of the process and so, in addition to improving the control we can exert over the actual dyeing, we can offer customers a more cost-effective service," he added.

Meanwhile on the finishing side of its operations, Schoeller Eitorf is now offering Teflon coating treatments as a feature of its range. In its spring 200l yarns collection, the Bali, Tender, Sport/Loden and Zefir qualities are now all available with the option of Teflon coating.

"More and more of our customers both at home and in the worldwide export market are requesting these water-repellent and oil dirt resistant treatments that are applied during the manufacturing process and take the form of an invisible protective film," technicians from the finishing department at the company's Bregenz works explained.

Schoeller Eitdorf has also made an arrangement for customers who request these treatments to receive supplies of Teflon swing tags that they can in turn pass on to their customers in the fabric or garment manufacturing sector to identify treated wares.

By Sonia Roberts