Submitted to: American Society of Agricultural Engineers Meetings Papers
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: July 16, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Each gin machine removes some fiber along with foreign matter from cotton. As machine parts wear and operational adjustments change, additional valuable fiber is wasted. Ginners do not have a method to rapidly determine the amount of material removed by various machines. In addition, automated process control systems used in cotton gins to minimize quality degradation and optimize profit rely on accurate measurements of different aspects of the ginning process. This study evaluated a light sensing device developed to measure waste material flowing from one type of gin machine, the lint cleaner. The device was installed in two commercial gins and data were collected to evaluate operational characteristics. Statistical analysis revealed a strong relationship between the device's electrical output and lint cleaner waste flow. A mathematical relationship was developed and showed promise in measuring lint cleaner waste flow and could be useful in improving management of the cotton ginning process. The ginner's ability to improve the operational efficiency of gin machinery should be enhanced by the availability of accurate measurements of cotton and cotton by-product flow, leading to less waste at the gin and more profits for the farmer.
Technical Abstract: Measurement of cotton or cotton by-product flow in ducts during ginning should enhance the ginners' ability to improve the operational efficiency of gin machinery. This study evaluated a previously developed light attenuation device to measure lint cleaner waste (LCW) flow. The devices were installed at two commercial gins that allowed access to flow of LCW. Data were collected to enhance calibration and evaluate operational characteristics. Statistical analysis showed that the device's output (total voltage difference) and variations in reference voltage significantly (P value = 0.01) affected LCW waste flow measurement with the device. For the data collected, moisture content of the LCW did not significantly affect the LCW flow measurements. Regression analysis of the data resulted in linear relationships between sensor output and flow of LCW through the device. The r2 values for equations derived from data for both gins was 0.83, but the slope of the regression line for the second gin was twice that of the first gin. Further analysis of the data from both gins, correcting for duct width and reference voltage differences resulted in adjusted regression models for both gins with no significant difference between their slopes. As a result, a corrected model was developed to predict LCW flow from the device output for both gins with r2 = 0.85 and probability of non-significant slope less than 0.01. The device showed promise in measuring LCW flow and could be useful in improving management of the cotton ginning process.