9th CSITC round trial completed
The ninth Round Trial under the auspices of the Task Force on Commercial Standardization of Instrument Testing of Cotton (CSITC RT 2009-1) was conducted from January to March 2009. Fifty-eight testing laboratories with 77 instruments participated.
In each Round Trial, five cotton samples with known values are mailed to each participating laboratory. Each laboratory tests each sample six times each day for five days, for a total of 150 tests. Each sample is tested for the six CSITC parameters of length, length uniformity index, micronaire, strength, Rd (reflectance) and +b (yellowness). Accordingly, 900 separate test results (150 tests of 6 parameters) from each instrument are evaluated.
Laboratory results for each Round Trial are collected by USDA and forwarded to the Bremen Fibre Institute for evaluation. Laboratories are given an overall ranking, as well as rankings for performance on each of the six parameters. Rankings are based on the first four upland cotton samples with known values.
The purpose of the fifth cotton sample in all CSITC Round Trials is for special study purposes and is not used for performance-ranking. Results for each test center are confidential, but each testing facility received an evaluation of its performance in the Round Trial and a detailed diagnostic analysis of results.
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 77 instruments was 0.21 to 1.92 (a score of zero would be perfect), and the median overall evaluation of combined properties was 0.49.
Benefits of Participation
Participants in CSITC Round Trials benefit from detailed feedback that can be utilized to demonstrate measurement performance to customers and to address measurement related problems. Results will confirm the participant's ability to provide reproducible test measurements that are based on the established international standard. In addition, participation is a recommended practice for fulfilling quality management requirements in laboratories (e.g. ISO 17025).
The CSITC Round Trials complement, but do not replace, the Bremen Cotton Round Trial and the USDA HVI Checktest. Participation in CSITC Round Trials provides numerous benefits:
• Statistically robust evaluations of instrument performance based on 4 cottons and 30 tests per cotton during each Round Trial,
• An overall rating of instrument accuracy in comparison with elite testing facilities worldwide,
• Unique quarterly and annual certificates of laboratory participation and instrument ratings,
• Detailed diagnostic evaluations of instrument performance of a range of parameter values, and
• (on demand) laboratory specific direct advice to improve test results
Nevertheless, participation in the Bremen and USDA programs remains meaningful. The Bremen Round Trial is not limited to High Volume Testing and allows evaluation of all cotton testing instruments free of cost. The USDA HVI Checktests are conducted monthly, rather than quarterly.
INTERNATIONAL COTTON ADVISORY COMMITTEE