Wood Business

New Gear Equipment Sawmilling
HALCO takes orders for optimization system

HALCO Software Systems announced it has taken additional orders for their WSO Sawmill Optimization system at five U.S. sawmills, including Simpson Lumber in Longview, Wash., Idaho Forest Group and Swanson Group in Roseburg, Ore.


September 27, 2012
By John Tenpenny


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With these orders, every company that has implemented WSO at one mill has gone on to place additional orders for a second, third, or fourth site.

According to the company, machine center optimizers give mills the power to control production mix, and also mill flow, but to do so, they must be configured with appropriate parameters – primarily “decision values” and processing “penalty costs.” WSO combines HALCO’s SAWSIM program with linear programming optimization in a proprietary iterative technique, to determine optimum production plans and machine center optimizer parameters.

The primary inputs to WSO are:
1. Min/max production volume constraints, by product or “product mix;”
2. Current lumber and byproduct prices;
3. Expected log mix for the production run;
4. Production rate and cost data, both in the sawmill and in downstream processing.

From these inputs, WSO determines:
1. The optimum (most profitable) production mix;
2. The machine center optimizer parameters required to produce that mix, such as the optimizer “decision values” and the optimization “penalty costs”, such as edging penalties;
3. Sales target feedback to the marketing department.

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According to HALCO, the benefits of WSO come from increased sales average, through an improved size/length mix and optimized “program sales” volumes, as well as increased production rates.