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20th CSITC Round Trial completed
Jan '12
The 20th ICAC Round Trial under the auspices of the Task Force on Commercial Standardization of Instrument Testing of Cotton (CSITC RT 2011-3) was conducted from October to December 2011. During the 20th Round Trial, 80 testing facilities from all continents submitted results from 137 instruments – again an all-time high number of participants.

As the CFC/ICAC/33 Project on Commercial Standardization of Instrument Testing is ending, the CSITC Round Trials will be conducted without public funding from 2012 on.

Each round trial consists of five samples prepared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and sent to participating laboratories. Each sample is tested in each laboratory six times a day for five days for all six CSITC parameters of micronaire, length, length uniformity, strength, Rd and +b, resulting in a total of 900 measurements from each instrument. Results are downloaded electronically and sent to the Bremen Fibre Institute for evaluation. Because of the large number of observations over a five-day period, the resulting pattern of results can be used for detailed diagnostic evaluation.

Laboratories are not given grades or pass/fail results, and all results are confidential. The purpose of CSITC round trials are to facilitate improvements in both accuracy and precision among cotton testing laboratories around the world.

The typical inter-laboratory variations achieved by instrument testing, given as standard deviations, were:

CSITC RT 2011-4

Laboratories are given an overall ranking, as well as rankings for performance on each of the six parameters. Rankings are based on the results of each lab in coming closest to the mean (average) values for all laboratories participating in the Round Trial on all six parameters. The range of scores for the combined properties among the 137 instruments was 0.26 to 4.82 (a score of zero would be perfect), and the median overall evaluation of combined properties was 0.50.

Optional Parameters
Besides the 6 parameters for ranking, an additional 4 parameters were included for information purposes: Short Fiber Index (SFI), Maturity, Trash Area and Trash Count. The inter-laboratory variations for the four additional parameters are higher than the variations for the 6 parameters approved by CSITC. Therefore, laboratories are not evaluated according to the extra four parameters. Nevertheless, the resulting deviations for each parameter provide useful information to market participants.

The typical inter-laboratory variations achieved by instrument testing, given as standard deviations, were:

CSITC RT 2011-4

Within-Limits Evaluations
Laboratories are also being informed as to what proportion of their test results are within a given limit for each parameter. This information provides additional practical information that will be useful in improving testing performance.

Average Percent of Results or Instruments Testing Within Established Limits:

CSITC RT 2011-4

International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) is an association of governments of cotton producing, consuming and trading countries. The Committee was formed in 1939, and the Secretariat was established in 1946.

International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC)

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