Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/9/2004
Publication Date: 1/7/2005
Citation: Anthony, W.S. 2005. Device to replace multiple broken bale ties. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. CD ROM pp. 2981-2990.
Interpretive Summary: Bale ties that restrain cotton bales within fixed dimensions are broken on about 400,000 U.S. cotton bales (2%) annually, and repair costs range from $4 to $18 million plus transportation costs. Economical devices to repair these bales in large quantities are not available. A robust device to replace multiple broken bale ties was developed, patented, and field tested in a commercial warehouse in 2003 and 2004 and no significant problems were encountered. Thus, the device is now ready for industry use. The new device will allow 'onsite' replacement of broken or missing bale ties before shipment at a cost of less than $5 per bale compared to $10 to $45 per bale after shipment for a savings of about $7 million annually. In addition, a superior quality bale will be delivered to domestic and foreign textile mills.
Technical Abstract: The quality and condition of the cotton bale package delivered to domestic and foreign textile mills is receiving increased scrutiny. Bale ties are broken on about 400,000 cotton bales annually during packaging, handling, storage and shipment. Aside from transportation, repair costs range from $10 to $45 per bale, depending on the availability of a bale press. This costs $4 to $18 million for repairing the 400,000 bales damaged annually. Bales with broken or missing ties cause problems with storage, movement, and placement in mill lay downs. They are also susceptible to contamination. A robust device to replace multiple broken bale ties was developed, patented, and field tested. A bale may be placed into the repair device and several ties replaced without moving the bale. Eight narrow platens supported by springs and located in the lower platen individually remain above the flat platen plate only in the area that the tie is to be placed. The other platens recede into the base platen and do not require compressive force. The device was field-tested in a commercial warehouse in 2003 and 2004 and no significant problems were encountered. Thus, the device is now ready for industry use.