Tech update: scanners and optimizers
By Canadian Forest Industries Staff
Aug. 9, 2017 - CFI has a rundown of the latest scanning and optimizing equipment available for sawmills in Canada.
By Canadian Forest Industries Staff
Woodtech Measurement Solutions
Woodtech’s system known as the Logmeter generates benefits for mills via cost savings and improvements in the manufacturing process. The Logmeter measures logs automatically, while the truck goes through the system, key log variables such as length, top and butt diameters, and excessive sweep and crook. For each log load, the Logmeter provides the diameter and length averages and distributions, and number of logs per load. The Logmeter includes an auditing system which allows managers to analyze log data and images, identify trends, rank log suppliers, etc. Currently, Woodtech has three systems operating in the U.S. Southeast region: Shuqualak Lumber, T.R. Miller, and West Fraser. A fourth system will be operating in West Fraser’s sawmill in New Boston, Texas. Woodtech has near 50 installations around the globe including Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Poland and the U.S.
Using multi-channel technology, the Goldeneye 900 from Springer-Microtec detects and localizes all types of knots, cracks, discoloration, pitch pockets, wane, curvature and other dimensional defects. This allows customers to automate, streamline and optimize all downstream production steps. Total production flexibility, reduced trim-loss, increased throughput and improved on-grade accuracy are the main advantages. Key features are four-sided multi-channel visual and structural grading; optional high resolution transverse X-ray; trimming, sorting, edging and re-man optimization, integration of Microtec’s MSR module and moisture measurement (above and below fibre saturation); easy installation – standard chain height, no elevation changes; new “occlusionless” scanning conveyor; and support – all sensors, cameras, LED lighting and x-ray components produced in-house.
LMI Technologies’ new Gocator 200 series multi-point profile scanners offer an innovative approach to wood optimization in the modern mill. Its modular design allows you to combine different models to create a scanning system suited to your exact needs. Mix 3D profiles, tracheid detection and color vision capability running at up to 300 feet per minute in transverse board scanning applications such as edging, trimming and planing; with resolutions down to 0.3’ and high-speed 3D profiling at up to 3 kHz for advanced 3D shape and surface defect detection at lumber production speed.
For more than 15 years, JoeScan has supplied 3-D laser scanners to sawmill optimization vendors around the world. JoeScan’s scan heads have been made for sawmills since the company introduced its first scanner in 2002. JoeScan JS-25 X-Series scanners require only power and an Ethernet connection for operation. The scanners accommodate virtually any scanning need – indoor, outdoor, transverse or lineal. From logs to lumber, JoeScan provides dependable scanning for bucking, carriages, sharp-chains, gangs, edgers, planers and more. Every JoeScan scanner is backed by a five-year warranty and a 10-year product support policy to protect against obsolescence.
The next available update to Prologic+’s existing TrueShape scanner is called GDD+ that stands for Geometrical Defect Detection. This includes new and improved TrueShape algorithms filters. After a year of development and testing, Prologic+ has improved the filtering algorithms for a better use of the increase in pixels from the new LMI Gocator 2880. Scanners can now detect defects that were long ignored (or filtered) at primary and secondary breakdown. Those defects are splits, holes and catfaces. For example, logs having splits and catfaces will have those defects detected and will provide, according to the optimal scenario, a new rotation, chip away the defect or if needed, give a lower grade product. These new algorithms can be added to any existing Prologic+ TrueShape scanner.
Saw Control Systems
Scanning the signature or movement of the saw blade provides for increasing feed speeds beyond established tables. Computer analysis of the online signature allows for instant control of saw snaking or offsetting while the saw is in the cut. This scanning technology provides between 10-20 per cent more throughput in single carriage and multi band-saw machine centers. The filer or saw doctor has a display that shows what is occurring with the saw blade as wood is being processed. The scanned signature allows the human computer to analyze blade performance when it comes to strain, tensioning, gullet design, tooth geometry and other sawing variables. By quantifying with numbers and amplitude any changes, the best sawing results can be obtained. Guide wear and lubrication along with failing bearings are all seen in signature displays and computer analysis.
When developing both machines and software, LINCK’s ultimate target is to get the highest possible recovery. The LINCK optimizing program uses the 3D-data from the entrance scanner for determining the optimum board thickness, width and position. The permitted dimensions are taken from a table edited by the operator, which also includes values. In the case of sideboards, additional data such as permitted percentage of wane and cutting lengths are also used. The side boards on the left and on the right side can of course differ in dimension, location and in number. An additional recovery increase can be achieved when curve sawing is implemented. The supreme discipline of the LINCK technology: instead of using predetermined cutting patterns, each log is processed according to its individually calculated cutting pattern. Operators enter the board dimensions, the plant is doing the rest. Scan&set mode allows logs to be fed unsorted and in any order.
The focus of SiCam’s canter twin/quad systems is to provide mills with live size, shape and face information giving them the ability to stay on size, cut closer to target and respond to production variation immediately. RealTime software allows customers the ability to trend information over time, alarm when products are out of tolerance and report on information collected. SiCam can compare the scan data from its system with an optimizer solution and provide the mill with RealTime feedback on machine center performance. Size, face and optimizer comparison data allow SiCam to implement its latest software solution, Closed Loop Size Control. SiCam is able to make controlled automatic adjustments to a mill’s line using Closed Loop Size Control through the PLC, allowing the mill to stay consistently on size throughout each shift.
Autolog recently supplied new scanning, optimization and controls on an existing Newnes McGehee 10-inch curve sawing “wiggle box” gang edger at Tembec’s Hearst mill in Ontario. The success is owed to the staging and validation of the performance at every step. Within just a four-month period from the start-up to full operation mode, the impact on the mill was substantial. They increased uptime on the line and production; increased per cent of 16’ lumber, increased volume and value recovery. Autolog can provide new life to established primary and secondary equipment manufacturers such as HewSaw, McGehee, Sawquip and Comact to deliver outstanding return on investment and fiber recuperation, for a minimal capital investment.
Deltic Timber updated its combination geometric and manual grading line with a state-of-the-art automated grading system from USNR. The new line includes a Revolver Lug Loader, THG scanning and optimization system, Grade Projectors, Grade Mark Reader and Multi-Track Fence. The results the mill is achieving are well received. The mill decreased its trim loss by around two per cent, and cut its manpower by three graders. Mill management noted improvement in consistency of the flow at the planer mill, and that the machine doesn’t get behind. With the THG running the mill has increased its throughput capacity by about 4,000 feet per hour.
The innovative, completely revised product portfolio (EasyScan, EasyScan+, EasyScan RT, CombiScan Evo) offers higher performance and significant optimization of the traditional scanner strengths. The CombiScan Evo series of Luxscan Technologies sets new benchmarks in the further development of scanner technology. The scanner records the relevant timber data on all sides in the blink of an eye (knots etc.) and supplies this to the machines downstream, such as rip and cross-cut saws, at full production speed. The CombiScan Evo series provides solutions across all process stages: from ripping and cross-cutting applications to a range of variants for use as a sorting scanner. The CombiScan Evo series can be used in combination with additional Luxscan Line products such as Optilink, ShapeScan, Front End Scanner, Moisture Meter and EScan.
With over 40 years of experience in ultrasonic testing worldwide, the advantages of Airstar Blow Detectors are numerous. In order to achieve repeatability of defect detection, Airstar starts with a very high signal to noise ratio (high signal-low noise). Airstar’s 40 to 1 ratio is unmatched in the industry and allows the system sensors to be fully non-contact and positioned far enough from the material to ensure a safe standoff. The other advantage of the high-performance Airstar sensors is the ability to position the sensors at a perpendicular angle to the material. This is the only way to achieve repeatable results while testing multiple different thicknesses. The standard Airstar Blow Detectors penetrate products with the thickness of up to 250 mm (10”) and have superior defect resolution (due to high sensitivity). The Blow Detector can be configured for a full panel testing with up to 32 channels on 48” width.
BoardMasterNOVA-N from FinScan is a non-turning auto-grading scanner. Complete analysis of boards is performed in 10 different directions including accurate defect detection and reliable optimization results. Based on required grades the system optimizes boards giving detailed instructions for trimming, cutting, ripping and sorting. BoardMasterNOVA-N has comprehensive graphical reporting tools for operators, production planners and top management. The FinScan grading systems can be easily installed in the existing or new grading lines. FinScan encourages customers to send their lumber to its testing facility in North America.
The BID Group introduces the redesigned Comact TrimExpert and EdgExpert. With the successful launch of its redesigned GradExpert Planermill Grading System last year, the BID Group added this new technology to the Comact TrimExpert and EdgExpert Optimization Systems. With vision installations in sawmills on both softwood and hardwood, our new technology includes LED Lighting Systems and High Resolution 4K colour cameras installed in maintenance free, sealed enclosures and mounted in an easy access frame designed for better environmental protection. As part of our relentless improvement process, updated Comact software includes simplified system calibration, high-speed simulation and a new dashboard interface for smartphones, tablets and computers. BID Group’s team of programmers, engineers, service and wood processing technicians ensures fast start-ups and reliable performance.
Lucidyne Technologies, Inc. has introduced Perceptive Sight, GradeScan’s new software platform using Artificial Intelligence. With Perceptive Sight, defect detection and classification take a quantum leap in accuracy and results. And now, GradeScan is scalable so there is a GradeScan that is right for every mill, from a stud mill to a high-volume/high-speed planer mill with multiple products, grades, and species. GradeScan delivers unparalleled defect detection, for maximum optimization, and an impressive ROI.