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Spinning & Weaving
  Quality & profitability: Proven accuracy offers major benefits for spinners

Quality in yarns depends on a multiplicity of factors, and spinners face the challenge of understanding and interpreting those factors to achieve the best quality-productivity balance.

Every good spinner understands the importance of testing cotton fibre quality. It is the basis for critical decisions which impact on yarn quality and, ultimately, the mill's ongoing profitability. The USTER® AFIS PRO 2 fibre testing instrument from Uster Technologies is the ideal process optimisation tool, and its superior performance and accuracy is now proven in a series of independent global trials.

The production of quality cotton yarns is a complex task, so it is vital that test procedures, and instruments used, must be accurate and reliable to have any value in today's demanding textile marketplace. Accuracy, in this context, means conformity with global standard measurements, within accepted tolerances.

For spinners, fibre test results influence choices about which raw material to select and how to process it. Machine settings, production rates and waste levels are all dependent on key fibre parameters being measured and reported as accurately as possible.

Fibre testing instruments such as the latest USTER® AFIS PRO 2 are now viewed as essential tools for determining processing options, but users also need evidence that the data provided is not only accurate, but also can be matched, compared and benchmarked against measurements from others with the same instrument type.

ICA Bremen Round Trials provide independent checks on instrument accuracy

Objective, independent analysis of test performance is the best guarantee of effective results, and the world-renowned cotton authority ICA Bremen offers a regular program of methodical sampling to fulfil this need. The ICA Bremen Round Trials are conducted three times a year, involving as many as 200 textile laboratories worldwide.

Each lab tests a sub-sample of material, the master-sample being tested by ICA, to compare test results from various instrument types. The labs return their results to ICA under a code number, to preserve anonymity. The statistics are evaluated and a report circulated to the participating labs, enabling them to match their test performance against the general pattern.

In this way, the Bremen Round Trials provide a regular check on the accuracy and reliability of instruments used by participants. In the case of USTER, the major instruments involved in the trials are the HVI® test system for cotton fibre classification and the AFIS® process optimisation tool.

Comparisons in key parameters underline superiority of AFIS®

The Bremen Round Trials covering the latest USTER® AFIS PRO 2 instrument enable comparisons with the only major competing product in this category, the Premier Aqura. The trials include over 50 laboratories using AFIS® and about 10 using the Aqura. The AFIS® can test a wider range of parameters than its competitor, so results from the trials are best compared over the two key parameters common to both instruments.

Nep content is the first quality parameter covered in the trials. For AFIS®, the results show fairly stable variations in nep measurement, at an average of about 14 per cent, while the figure for the Aqura is around 23 per cent. The second fibre parameter, short fibre content, again shows the AFIS® with a lower level of variation, at 15 per cent, against about 22 per cent for the competitor.

The Bremen Round Trials thus provide convincing independent evidence of the superior accuracy of the AFIS® versus its competitor, underlining its capability for optimum compatibility of results between different individual instruments. The eventual benefits, in terms of yarn quality delivered to the customer and improved profitability for the spinner, are a direct result of the process specifications and benchmarking made possible by the accuracy of AFIS® testing.

Real benefits for spinners & their customers

Quality in yarns depends on a multiplicity of factors, and spinners face the challenge of understanding and interpreting those factors to achieve the best quality-productivity balance. The independent tests carried out on a regular basis by ICA Bremen prove the value of AFIS® as the most reliable way of helping mills get the balance right, through the most accurate fibre testing technology available.

David McAlister, Product Manager Fibre Testing within Uster Technologies, highlights the AFIS® advantages: "With less variation and greater accuracy over the most critical fibre properties, AFIS® has proven superiority. Mills definitely need this accuracy, to help ensure their machine settings are correct, to target the most appropriate production rates and to minimise damage to their valuable fibre raw material."

Along with the improvements in product quality, spinners will also benefit from a reduced level of waste - another vital economic aspect for any mill - and avoid the risk of off-quality product or returns from customers.

The Uster Group is the leading high-technology instrument manufacturer of products for quality measurement and certification for the textile industry. The Group provides testing and monitoring instruments, systems and services that allow optimisation of quality through each individual stage of textile production. This includes raw textile fibres, such as cotton or wool, all staple fibre and filament yarns, as well as downstream services to the final finished fabric. The Uster Group provides benchmarks that are a basis for the trading of textile products at assured levels of quality across global markets. The Group’s aim is to forward know-how on quality, productivity and cost to the textile industry.

The Group is headquartered in Uster, Switzerland and operates through a worldwide Market Organisation complemented by Technology Centres. It has sales and service subsidiaries in the major textile markets and Technology Centres in Uster (Switzerland), Knoxville (USA) and Suzhou (China). www.uster.com.

To learn more about USTER® AFIS PRO 2 and its superior performance, go to www.uster.com/accuracy or use the QR code to see the video.

Uster Technologies AG
Sonnenbergstrasse 10
CH-8610 Uster / Switzerland.
Tel: +41 43 366 36 36.
Fax: +41 43 366 36 37.
Email: sales@uster.com.
Web: www.uster.com.

published January , 2014
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