A new plant has been constructed, which has been planned and designed to be equipped with a series of state-of-the-art machinery to accomplish a high volume of production by the end of the first half of 2021, and to be fully complete by the end of 2023. 

Values and beliefs of sustainable development

The new factory has been created with sustainability goals at the forefront. 

“The leather industry is a natural, green and recyclable industry. As an industry leader, HP Group is committed to the in-depth development of the industrial chain and the continuous expansion of new business”, says HP Group CEO Michael Lyu.  

Since the beginning of its construction, the bovine factory has been adhering to modern and sustainable tanning concepts, introducing advanced Italian and French tanning technology and simultaneously using the R&D platform and advantages of the entire HP Group, adopting a large number of environmentally friendly tanning technologies, such as chrome-free, metal-free tanning, water recycling, “zero discharge” methodology, and more – all of which have played a positive role in supporting and leading the green development of the group and the industry.

In the research and development process, HP group has integrated the principle of environmental protection and developed a new cost-effective product solution, the GRETECH technological process system. This system overturns the traditional coating method and upgrades the spraying to the rollercoating, meaning that the leather texture is more realistic, the gloss is more vivid and brighter, the styles are more diversified and the whole production process is more environmentally friendly. GRETECH leather will be widely used in products such as footwear, handbags, accessories, upholstery, automotive interiors and so on.

As early as 2015, HP Group had invested US$100 million to establish the world’s largest sewage treatment plant in the leather industry, covering an area of 166,000 square meters with a daily processing capacity of 40,000 tons of sewage. At the same time, nearly US$200 million has been invested to build a new production residuals reutilisation project. 

At present, the reduction of solid wastes has been achieved through sludge drying technology. In the future, it is planned to withdraw industrial solid waste through incineration and gasification to diminish solid wastes in a harmless way.  

Progressive large-scale production system based on automation and informatisation

Through existing partnerships with machinery manufacturers, the automatic production line for the new bovine hides factory has been jointly developed. 

The production lines adhere to modern, efficient, environmentally friendly and people-oriented design concepts, adopt artificial intelligence, as well as digital and automated system controls and management. 

Taking advantage of the world’s most advanced drying and automatic feeding system, the new product line will ensure the controllability and continuity of production and ensure the consistency of product quality. 

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The cattle hide factory has fully automated operation of the drums with the application of information equipment; the factory can carry out digital real-time monitoring of each production sector, discover problems or risks, and act swiftly to rectify these. 

From the purchase of raw materials to the launch of finished products, the factory has set up electronic files for every production chain and implemented strict traceability standards to trace back to each unit and process to ensure the stability of production and product quality. 

Besides, HP Group has established a standardised and complete testing centre. The testing centre has passed the BLC gold certification and SATRA qualification. 

The HP Group has employed a great many top tannery experts and specialists from Europe to form a strong technical consultancy team. The research field covers various sections from raw material tanning, wet-blue / wet white retanning, dyeing and fatliquoring to the finishing stage. 

Meanwhile, the Group cooperates with global chemical specialists Stahl, TFL and other renowned chemistry companies and maintains strategic collaborations with domestic well-known universities and colleges in this field. Through strengthening all-round cooperation and innovative research, HP Group succeeds in providing the market with globally competitive products and services.

In the first phase of the construction of the bovine hides factory, the beamhouse has been designed to process 4,500 pieces of cow hides, 3000 pieces of baby calves, with a dyeing capacity of 200,000 square feet per day. When the factory is fully complete after the second phase, the overall construction area is expected to exceed 100,000 square meters, which could achieve two million pieces of standard bovine hides by production annually. 

When it comes to the portfolio of products, it will involve eight business segments including shoes, handbags, garment, upholstery, car seats and accessories, leather goods, rugs and carpets, cattle hide wet-blue trading, and will therefore cover almost the entire industrial chain of cattle hides. At that time, the new factory will become the world’s first-class automated factory with the most comprehensive product output.

HP Group has spent five years planning and creating the new modern bovine leather plant and is drawing on its existing strength, experience and leading position in the sheepskin industry. And it has huge ambitions to match the success of its existing portfolio with the new bovine hide project.

*This is an advertorial article first published in ILM July-August print edition.