Louvered lint cleaners for cotton gins

A louvered lint cleaner technology, which iscommercially marketed under the trade name“LOUVERMAX Lint Cleaner,”manually orautomatically engages/disengages grid bars insaw-type lint cleaners to reduce fiber wasteand associated fiber damage, tailoring theprocess to meet marketing needs in response tothe condition of the raw material.The invention consists of severalindependent, movable insertscommonly referred to as“louvers” that are designed tooccupy the space between theexisting grid bars in lint cleanerswhen those cleaning points arenot required, deactivating theiruse. The louvers are powered byair cylinders and can close off thecleaning point of the grid bar bymoving into the space betweenadjacent grid bars while themachine is actively processingcotton. By providing control andmoderation of the number of cleaning bars (1to 9) in the lint cleaning process, theLOUVERMAX decreases the fiber loss by asmuch as 80% in some bales and also reducesfiber damage. As a result, the cotton is morevaluable to the farmer and to the textile millthat converts the raw cotton into yarn andultimately into products such as clothing. Abetter quality product is produced at lower cost.The initial technology transfer mechanismincluded publications, presentations,demonstrations and patents describing the technology. The patent was licensed toContinental Eagle Gin Company in 2000.An increase value to the cotton farmer of $3 to$6 per bale of cotton is not uncommon as aresult of “tailored processing” with thelouvered lint cleaner. Thus, a single largegrower (5,000 bales/year) could receive asmuch as $30,000 in increasedrevenue/year if conditionswarrant using fewer cleaningpoints during processing as aresult of this technology.Two commercial test sites(five units) were used in2002. There are currently 15units in the U.S., 8 in Greece,4 in Brazil, 6 in Togo, 10 inBenin, and 7 in Mali. Theseunits are processingapproximately 1.2 millionbales/year.The louvered lint cleaner technology opens thedoor to a new generation of lint cleaningequipment. The LOUVERMAX can tailor lintcleaning to the needs of the cotton beingginned. This prescription processingtechnology has worldwide application for over80 million bales of cotton.
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