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A CASE STUDY:PC-BASED CONTROL SYSTEM

LengthScanPro™ is one of our more out-of-the-box solutions, developed by our engineers to solve a common problem at wood products mills. While it’s customized for each site, each installation includes the same basic elements and set-up. This allows us to help sawmills reduce waste while keeping the cost of the improvement down.

the-pointPROJECT DETAILS

Client: Various sawmills and plywood mills

ROI: 6 to 12 months

Project duration: 6 to 8 weeks

Team
Client: 1 to 2 people
Concept Systems: 1 engineer

Concept Systems’ time on site: 2 days

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The problem

A common challenge for any wood products mill is getting the most use and least waste from raw logs. Typically logs arriving at a mill are 35 to 55 feet long. Depending on the market demand any given day, they may need to be cut into logs that are anywhere from 4 to 20 feet long. One big source of waste is trim. How much of the log is left over and is too short to make a high-value product from?

The solution

LengthScan uses time-of-flight laser scanners to measure the length of a log as it moves down the conveyer. It is accurate to within an ± inch. A standard PC receives the data and then, using a table of preferences set up by mill managers, it calculates the least wasteful way to buck the log into lengths. A best solution is presented to the sawyer, who then cuts the log. LengthScan comes in two basic versions: Pro and Lite. LengthScanPro includes a diameter scanner, so diameter based rules can also be figured into the solution. LengthScanLite measures only length.

The results

Across the more than 15 LengthScan systems we have installed, there’s been an average 2 percent increase in recovery from reduced trim loss. Additionally, mills have seen improved grade recovery with more experienced sawyers. Existing systems have required little maintenance and experienced very few problems.

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