Yarn quality and mill profitability: proven accuracy offers
major benefits for spinners
global trials confirm AFIS® as the leading cotton fiber testing
Every good spinner understands the importance of testing
cotton fiber quality. It's the basis for critical decisions
which impact on yarn quality and, ultimately, the mill's
ongoing profitability. The USTER® AFIS PRO 2 fiber testing
instrument from Uster Technologies is the ideal process
optimization 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's 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, fiber 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 fiber parameters being measured and reported as accurately
Fiber 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
USTER® AFIS PRO 2 – AUTOJET device runs up to 30 samples
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 fulfill 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.
USTER® AFIS PRO 2 – Fiber Testing for Process
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 fiber
classification and the AFIS® process optimization 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
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%, while the figure
for the aQura is around 23%.
Variation neps of Bremen Round Trials (Source: ICA
The second fiber parameter, short fiber content, again shows
the AFIS® with a lower level of variation, at 15%, against about
22% 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.
Variation short fibers of Bremen Round Trials (Source: ICA
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 and their
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
fiber testing technology available.
David McAlister, Product Manager Fiber Testing within Uster
Technologies, highlights the AFIS® advantages: “With less
variation and greater accuracy over the most critical fiber
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
minimize damage to their valuable fiber 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.