MILLNet™ 4.0 Reports Provide Inventory Preview

There are reports available in MILLNet™ 4.0 software that provide statistical overviews of incoming bales, enabling the user to better manage inventory before shipments are delivered to the mill. New reports in MILLNet 4.0 software that were not available in the DOS version include the Upland Recap and Pending Shipment Analysis reports.

These MILLNet™ 4.0 reports display averages and CV% for critical HVI properties.

Al Hlavin, Manager, Cotton Management Software Customer Service at Cotton Incorporated, noted that these reports are helpful for scheduling purposes and assuring contract stipulations, which MILLNet users should review before bales are shipped to the mill.

Two report options, Upland Recap Report and Upland Recap Summary, are available under the Report menu. These reports display the total numbers of bales within each HVI™ property range in a columnar format, which allows the user to view the shipment manually against corresponding contract specifications and determine how the shipment will affect inventory once received.

The Pending Shipment Analysis reports are available under the Inventory Reports option in the Utilities menu in MILLNet 4.0 software. These reports display the averages for specified HVI properties for each shipment ID. Based on the averages, the user can better determine the order in which to receive the shipments at the mill. The Shipment Statistics Summary list displays per shipment statistical averages and CV% for a given range of shipments while the Shipment Statistics Summary graph displays the same statistical averages and %CV per shipment and includes a frequency chart for the micronaire and +b values.

When generating a Pending Shipment Analysis report, the user can sort by up to three properties, including micronaire, length, uniformity, strength, and color (Rd and +b). A category summary is also included in the both reports. The HVI properties cannot be configured in either report.

For technical assistance with these reports, contact:

EFS® System Customer Service
Phone: 919-678-2508
Fax: 919-678-2232

PEL, Finishing Research validate test method

In the vertical wicking test, identical strips of fabric are marked and suspended in a trough of water simultaneously. The rates at which the water wicks along each strip are observed and recorded.

The Cotton Incorporated Product Evaluation Lab (PEL) and Finishing Research department have engaged in a joint effort to validate an American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC)-recognized moisture management testing method. The testing method measures wicking, which is the movement of a liquid along or through a material.

The purpose and scope of the testing method, which specifically measures vertical wicking in a specimen, is to determine the ability of a fabric to transport water along and/or through the structure, and is applicable to woven, knit, and nonwoven fabrics. The principle of the test method entails visually observing and manually timing and recording at specified intervals the rate (time vs. distance) that water travels vertically against gravity along a specimen.

During the validation of the testing method, operator and daily variables were observed to ensure confidence in the method. The result of the Cotton Incorporated study was the formation of precision and bias statements to standardize the testing method.

Because the movement of liquid along a fabric may be influenced by fiber content, fabric construction, mechanical or chemical processing—or any combination of these factors—a minimum of three specimens are used during the test, each cut to the same dimensions and from each fabric direction. When testing the durability of finishes or evaluating wicking properties after laundering, the specimens are also cut from each fabric direction in a fabric or garment sample that has been laundered according to AATCC standards. Prior to the test, the specimens should also be conditioned for a minimum amount of time in a controlled environment at a specified temperature and relative humidity. The specimens are marked at increments with a watersoluble pen with the first mark being the guide for immersion in water.

The procedure entails filling a flask or trough to a level that allows the specimens to be lowered into the water without touching the bottom of the flask, or inserting the specimens first and then using a pipette to raise the water level to the appropriate height so that the first marked line comes into contact with the water. A paper clip may be attached to the end of a specimen of lightweight fabric that might not be able to break the plane of the water.

After introducing the specimens to the immersion guide mark, and the mark begins to bleed, a stopwatch is started to time the wicking of water as it causes the bottom and top lines to bleed. The test is complete when the top line begins to bleed. The test is terminated if the specimen does not wick to the first line in five minutes or if the total time to wick to the second line exceeds 30 minutes. After removing the specimens from the flask/trough, total wicking distances are observed, and the average wicking times and rates for each sample is calculated.

Vikki Martin, Director of Quality Research and Product Evaluation, said that Cotton Incorporated's efforts in vertical wicking testing are "almost on the books." The validation report has been submitted to AATCC. A final ballot vote is scheduled for February 2010. If approved, the test method will become an official AATCC standard in 2011. "Standards work is a slow process," Martin added. "Debates can go on for years as there are differing opinions on how tests should be performed."

Not only does this test showcase WICKING WINDOWS™ technology, but it allows Cotton Incorporated to remain active in the development of textile standards. "It helps us to stay abreast of what is changing and gives Cotton Incorporated a fair voice," Martin said.

Ag Research to conduct cotton life cycle inventory, analysis

Cotton Incorporated launched a sustainability Web site in May 2009. For resources about the environmental impact of cotton, visit:

Cotton Incorporated's Agricultural Research Department will oversee the development of a detailed Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) on selected textile products in 2010 as part of a larger joint effort with the Cotton Foundation and National Cotton Council.

"The LCA will examine the impact of cotton from "dirt to shirt" as it considers the environmental footprint of the fiber from the sowing of seed all the way to the end product such as T-shirts, pants or socks," explained Janet Reed, Associate Director of Environmental Research at Cotton Incorporated.

A critical early phase and the most extensive part of an LCA is the compilation of data during the LCI, which quantifies the inputs (water, energy, chemicals) and outputs (greenhouse gas emissions) that occur in every phase of the production, use, and ultimate disposal of a cotton product. When compiled, this data will be released to the public and integrated into both proprietary and open-source LCA databases around the world, and will replace information now outdated. Upto- date information and assumptions will enable a fair comparison of cotton to other fiber products.

Ag Research funded some initial LCA projects, including energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions assessments for cotton production. Those findings will be incorporated into the proposed LCI. The results of these studies are summarized in a document titled "Summary of Life Cycle Inventory Data for Cotton," which can be accessed through Cotton Incorporated's new sustainability micro-Web site, http:// The web site, launched in April 2009, hosts numerous resources pertaining to the impact of cotton on the environment, including documents, videos, and an interface for asking questions to the Sustainability Help Desk. A full range of environmental concerns related to natural resources are addressed, including soil, water, habitat and biodiversity, air quality, and energy.

Recent additions to the Web site include the white papers "US Cotton Growers Respond to Natural Resource Survey" and "A World of Ideas: Technologies for Sustainable Cotton Textile Manufacturing," a summary of the Hong Kong sustainability conference.

Visitors can also gain insight into:

  • How cotton stands out against
  • How the cotton industry balances sustainability with profitability,
  • How cotton made in the United States is the most sustainable cotton, other fibers such as silk and wool,
  • How cotton innovations make manufacturing efficient and effective, and
  • How cotton is natural, renewable, and recyclable.

Stop by and see us in New Orleans!

Fiber Competition and Agricultural Research will be in the Cotton Foundation exhibit hall on Tuesday and Wednesday. Debuting the Cotton Management System™ software and Cotton Expedite™ program, Fiber Competition staff will be available to talk to you about the development of enhanced cotton industry tools for communications, process, and effi ciency. Agricultural Research is hosting an exhibit of the Cotton Germplasm Collection, a repository of more than 10,000 accessions of all known species of cotton maintained by the USDA-ARS. History shows that a germplasm collection, which contains genes that are crucial for genetic improvement, is critical to the survival of cotton. Cotton germplasm was formerly susceptible to the pathogen that decimated potato crops in Ireland from 1845-1851, resulting in a famine that killed over one million people and caused another million to fl ee the country. Maintaining a germplasm collection will help prevent a similar calamity in cotton.


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