Practices of Cotton Fibre Selection and Procurement for Optimum Mixing

Email- rajn2001@gmail.com Textile and Engineering Institute, “Rajwada”, Ichalkaranji – 416115

Abstract In view of today’s technology, the process of cotton fiber selection should undergo an inevitable transition from the traditional pure art to a sound scientific technique. In order to achieve this transition, fiber selection should be integrated into a cotton fiber mixing program that attempts to optimise cotton fiber use with respect to cost and quality of end product. A cotton fiber mixing program should be based on fiber information that meets quality requirements imposed by the rapidly developing technology and continuous change in customer demand. Key words Cotton mixing- Cotton selection - Advanced Dynamic approach Introduction Raw material is the most important factor influencing yarn quality. To a great extent it can determine whether a product is good and it is also responsible for the cost factor. Mistakes made at selecting raw material and later at preparing blends, cannot be made up for in further processing, even if all available means are used. Each stage of processing in a spinning mill will proceed properly only if the raw material is uniform and is contained in the acceptable range of tolerance. Subjective and reasonable savings made at purchasing a raw material are still the most effective method of cost reduction available to spinning mills. Proper choice and use of a raw material are the factors that determine whether a spinning mill can operate efficiently, Fibre Information System -

successfully and competently. After all, it must be understood and taken into account that raw materials constitute 50-60% of costs of produced yarns. Traditionally, three fibre parameters have been used to determine the quality value of cotton fibre. These are grade, fibre length and fibre fineness. The development of fibre testing instruments such as the High Volume Instrument (HVI) and the Advanced Fibre Information System (AFIS) has revolutionized the concept of fibre testing. With the HVI it is pragmatically possible to determine most of the quality characteristics of a cotton bale within two minutes. Based on the HVI results, composite indexes such as the fibre quality index (FQI) and spinning consistency index (SCI) can be used to determine the technological value of cotton; this can play a pivotal role in an engineered fibre selection programme. Both fiber selection and blending techniques have been based on art and long experience. In recent years, revolutionary developments have been made in the any of fiber testing with the introduction of both the AFIS (Advanced Fiber Information System) and HVI (High Volume Instruments). These systems, in conjunction with microcomputers, have made it possible to develop scientific techniques in this critical area. The Engineered Fiber Selection (EFS) d e v e l o p e d by Cotton Incorporated represents the program in the area of fiber selection and bale management. Cotton For centuries cotton has had a reputation as the most comfortable fabric and king of the fibres. Cotton is one of the oldest textile fibers known to human kind. The direction of cotton fibre research needs to reflect the position that cotton, as the world’s most popular natural textile fibre, currently finds itself in. Cotton’s current share of the world textile market is now estimated to be 41.9% with current projections that cotton’s share will decline. Despite a reversal during the late 1980s, there has been a continuous decline in cotton’s share of the world textile fibre market since the late 1960s. For cotton to reverse this trend it needs to become more competitive, both in terms of its quality and the diversity of products that it is used

in. Theory and Practice of Cotton Fibre Selection The main technological challenge in any textile process is to convert the high variability in the characteristics of input fibers to a uniform end product. This critical task is mainly achieved in the blending process, provided three basic requirements are met accurate information about fiber properties, capable blending machinery, and consistent input fiber profiles. Over the years, developments in fiber selection and blending techniques have been largely hindered by insufficient fiber information resulting from a lack of capable and efficient testing methods. Accordingly, art and experience have been the primary tools. One of the common approaches was massive blending, in which vast quantities of bales were mixed by grade or growth area to reduce variability. These mixed cottons were then re-baled and fed to the opening line in random order to further enhance the mixing effect. The rising cost of labor, storage, equipment, and raw material makes the old blending approach largely impractical. Furthermore, modern warehouses require a more dynamic approach to bale management, in which bales may be supplied to the warehouse on an incremental basis depending on production requirements, rate of bale consumption, warehouse space and arrangement, and other cost-related factors. In situations where different processing lines involving different spinning techniques are used, stricter warehouse bale management is required to meet various end product demands. In recent years, high volume instruments (HVI) and the Advanced Fiber Information System (AFIS) have been developed. Using these instruments, thousands of cotton bales can be tested for several fiber properties at rates exceeding 150 bales per hour. Data generated by these instruments can easily be utilised with microcomputers and powerful software programs. These revolutionary developments have led to substantial rethinking of cotton fiber selection, driven by the rising costs of both labor and raw material and the more demanding quality requirements of end products.

The consistency of fiber profiles of the cotton mix fed to the processing line is a key factor in determining blend uniformity and achieving process stability and acceptable yarn quality. Available fiber information should assist in selecting fibers based on the technological values of their characteristics. However, inventory constraints should be considered in the selection process to avoid a surplus of unfavorable fibers. New Approach to Cotton Fiber Mixing:In view of today’s technology, the process of cotton fiber selection should undergo an inevitable transition from the traditional pure art to a sound scientific technique. In order to achieve this transition, fiber selection should be integrated into a cotton fiber mixing program that attempts to optimise cotton fiber use with respect to cost and quality of end product. A cotton fiber mixing program should be based on fiber information that meets quality requirements imposed by the rapidly developing technology and continuous change in customer demand. In this program, four main interactive elements are considered: developing cotton fibre database, cotton purchasing strategy, cotton testing, cotton fiber selection and formulating the cotton mixing. The cotton purchasing strategy should be based on an evaluation of the technological value of cotton. In other words, cotton fibers should primarily meet technological requirements. Depending on the marketing system, cotton that may have a premium market value may not be the best for the particular process or end product. Cotton suitable for ring spinning may not necessarily be right for rotor or air-jet spinning. For a given spinning method, other factors such as yam count, twist, and end-product specifications also determine what kind of cotton to use. Purchasing strategies should also optimise cotton blend components under inventory and quality constraints. Scientific procedures that use parametric linear programming can provide powerful tools for achieving this task.

Model of the optimum cotton mixing programme: Figure 1. Cotton fibre mixing model gives the impact of software programme solution on the cotton fibre mixing quality and cost. For the programming visual basic language is used and for storing the database SQL Server is used. The programme is written on the basis of principles of linear programming. The constraints of the mixing used in the programme are cotton fibre minimum length in mm, strength in grams per Tex, micronaire value in a range, maximum trash percentage, and price per kilogram of the cotton. Also some of the practical constrains are considered while formulating the mixing like maximum and minimum bales to be taken for mixing from a lot.

Figure 2. Cotton fibre mixing model This solution is verified by the spinning experts and then laid down. The software programme is most useful when it is used at the time of cotton fibre procurement. As

software programme give the mixing of satisfying mixing quality parameters and at lowest cost, you can save maximum amount of mixing cost if you are buying the cotton fibre required for the mixing. Conclusion: As this practice of mixing of cotton gives the cotton fibre mixing solution at required quality and minimum cost, it is most economic and right practice to be adopted for the mixing of cotton fibre. Acknowledgement The author is very much thankful to Executive Director Dr.C.D.Kane, Principal Dr. A.I.Wasif, Head of department of Textile Department Prof. P.V.Kadole and Prof. P.R.Wadje of D.K.T.E.Sciety’s Textile and Engineering Institute, Ichalkaranji for their valuable support. References 1. M.N.SURESH, S.M.ISHTIAQUE et al, “A new approach to control cost of cotton mixing”, NITRA 35th JTC, 1994, p 66-75. 2. Yehia E. El Mogahzy, “Optimizing Cotton Blend Cost with Respect to Quality Using HVI Fibre Properties and Linear Programming, Part I: Fundamentals and Advanced Techniques of Linear Programming”, Text. Res. J., 62 (1), 1-8(1992). 3. Yehia E. El Mogahzy, “Optimising Cotton Blend Cost with Respect to Quality Using HVI Fibre Properties and Linear Programming, Part II: Combined Effects of Fibre Properties and Variability Constraints”, Text. Res. J., 62 (2), 108-114(1992). 4. El Mogazhy, Y. E., and Gowayed, Y., “Theory and practice of cotton fibre selection, Part I: Fibre selection techniques and bale picking algorithms”, Text. Res. J., 65 (1), 3240 (1995). 5. El Mogazhy, Y. E., and Gowayed, Y., “Theory and practice of cotton fibre selection, Part II: Sources of cotton mix variability and critical factors affecting it”, Text. Res. J., 65 (2), 75-84 (1995). 6. Christoph Faerber, Zellweger Uster, “Raw Material Management- The Key To Controlling Quality, Productivity and Cost”, 51st All India and 6th International Conference, Madras, December 1995. 7. V. V. Poceciun and B. Temkin et al “INTEGRATION OF ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY INTO A COTTON ANALYSIS AND DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM”, Reprinted from the

Proceedings of the Beltwide Cotton Conference Volume 1:670-673 (1999) National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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