It’s five weeks to production and we’re not slowing down yet!
Several of our machines are built and ready to go now, but we can’t test them until our air conditioning and filtration system – the mainstay of all of our cotton production processes – is complete.
We’ve said goodbye to some of the engineers who have been on site for several weeks, building the machinery. They’ll return next month, when we are ready to start testing, to commission the machines and hand them over.
This week, we have already finished our speed frame on the first floor, and got to grips with the bale plucker on the ground floor.
On the first floor, all the sliver cans that arrived in flat-pack form are being put together, and our control and command unit for the ground floor is also about to be installed, ready for wiring and data cabling over the next few weeks.
Ducting and piping can be seen all over the mill, with still more to go in, and the plant room on the third floor is almost finished. One of the last pieces of the puzzle will be creating the plant room for the ground floor, to house the filter and humidifier units. We’re getting started on that this week and hope it will be finished in a fortnight.
In fact, things are moving at such a pace our general manager, Andy Ogden, is starting to get a little worried, as he is scheduled for an overseas business trip in a few weeks time.
“I’m afraid I might miss the big moment,” he said. “We’ve lived and breathed this for such a long time, I really want to be here when the cotton goes into the machines for the first time.”
We’ll start the production process in 4-5 weeks, and cotton spinning will begin a week or so after – when there will be enough material to switch on the ring frames after the cotton has been plucked, cleaned and blended and put through the carding, drawing and combing processes.