Wood Business

New Gear Equipment Sawmilling
Tech update: Scanners and optimizers in 2019

November 5, 2019  By Canadian Forest Industries staff

Photo by LMI.

CFI shares the latest updates on scanning and optimization technology available to Canadian mills in 2019.

BoardMasterNOVA is a non-turning auto-grading scanner for sawmills and planer mills. BoardMasterNOVA can provide a complete analysis of green and dry boards, performed in 10 different directions including accurate defect detection and reliable optimization results. It supports WWPA, NLGA and ALS grading rules for dimensional lumber, common grades, clear cut components and shop grade. BoardMasterNOVA has comprehensive graphical reporting tools for operators, production planners and top management. FinScan’s auto-grading systems can be easily installed in the existing or new grading lines.

The next available update to Prologic+’s existing TrueShape scanner is GDD+, which stands for Geometrical Defect Detection. This includes new and improved TrueShape algorithms filters. There are many benefits to using Prologic+’s new GDD+ TrueShape linear scanners. After a year of development and testing, the company has improved its filtering algorithms to better use all those pixels that the new LMI Gocator 2880 provides. Scanners can now detect defects that were long ignored (or filtered) at primary and secondary breakdown. Those defects are splits, holes and catfaces. These new algorithms can be added to any existing Prologic+ TrueShape scanner. This update will result in more sawline uptime by reducing jams, and increase productivity and safety for the whole sawmill by reducing low grade material handling throughout production. Getting the new GDD+ scanner update for your primary and secondary breakdown will provides extra profits without the hassle of a complete scanner change.


Leading the industry in delivering cutting-edge technology to the wood products industry, Lucidyne grades lumber using deep learning artificial intelligence. Only from Lucidyne, GradeScan’s Perceptive Sight Intelligent Grading is a fully integrated deep learning AI software platform. With mills reporting near-zero above grade, Lucidyne is staffing up to meet the demand, and can start up new systems in just months from receiving an order. Recent GradeScan installations span the U.S., Canada, and Australia. The first ChopScan with Perceptive Sight was installed in August 2019, grading both softwoods and hardwoods. Lucidyne continues to raise the bar in the lumber industry for innovative mill solutions.

GEN3 is more than just a new buzzword, it is a new way to build software. Autolog’s GEN3 software is built on a state-of-the-art architecture using all the best practices in software development. Autolog’s independency from mechanical manufacturers gives them the ability to optimize any type of primary log breakdown and to replicate any curve sawing from a downstream machine. Log rotation is an example of how the new GEN3 software can mitigate a mechanical constraint due to wear and tear. In fact, based on the known log rotation error, the optimizer will determine if the selected solution is still viable or needs to be changed for the next optimal solution.

WoodTech Measurement
Worldwide, over 65 industrial operations are purchasing and managing their raw material with Woodtech’s solutions. Logmeter is the ideal system for timber processing facilities that need to measure the volume and biometric characteristics of logs entering the mill safely, precisely, automatically, efficiently and in real time. Logmeter information can be communicated to log suppliers to correct log issues and improve trade. Sawmills using Logmeter have key information to optimize the price of each load based on log size and quality specifications. Pulp mills purchase fibre by measuring stereo and solid cubic volumes of loads with Logmeter.

SiCam’s canter twin or quad systems provides your mill with live size, shape and face information giving you the ability to stay on size, cut closer to target and respond to production variation immediately. SiCam’s 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 data from its system with your optimizer and provide you with RealTime feedback on machine center performance. Analyzing size, face and optimizer data allows SiCam to implement its latest solution, Closed Loop Size Control. The company is able to make controlled automated adjustments to your line using this proven technology allowing your mill to stay consistently on size.

Airstar’s scanner is capable of testing horizontal and vertical LVL planks, solid timber planks and LVL formwork bearers. These products suffer from a variety of issues – structural damage, surface contaminants, rot and delaminations. Traditionally, these scaffold planks are repetitively tested by mechanical stress-load tests, causing unseen internal structural damage. Airstar hopes its system will replace the stress-load tests, ensuring safety to workers throughout the construction industry. The scanner is a version of Airstar’s leading Blow Detector, capable of penetrating all surface conditions, with varied thicknesses and material compositions.

Advances in high-speed computing have enabled USNR to apply Deep Learning to the image processors that feed its automated grading systems. The result is dramatically faster and more accurate grading solutions. Defects on this particular board are represented by the following colours: red=knots, blue=bark pockets, green=checks, and purple=skip. The foundation of accurate grading is precise defect detection. Deep Learning takes automated grading to the highest level available today. In development since 2012, USNR’s Deep Learning is currently delivering results in 58 mills around the world, with applications in the sawmill using BioVision, and the dry mill with lineal and transverse high graders.

The Linck 6 scanner allows accurate scanning of the cant curvature. An essential feature is that the cant movement is automatically recognized and reliably filtered out by the evaluating software during measuring. This results in a precise 3D-profile even if the cant was moving during the scanning process due to vibrations or other influences. The scanner can be installed right behind a machine, as it is able to efficiently recognize and correct even significant movements such as cant centering. This can considerably reduce the overall length of a sawline. Another advantage is that it can be integrated in existing sawlines, where lack of space made it impossible to install solutions available until now.

Microtec’s new Logeye 300 Stereo True Shape log scanner incorporates revolutionary new stereoscopic imaging technology to allow you to scan a vibrating, moving, or shifting log. The original true shape of the log, including sweep, is reconstructed, and thus usable for breakdown or bucking applications. By avoiding the significant capital costs of adding scan conveyor length for log stabilization, Logeye 300 Stereo opens up many possibilities for log scanning and optimization which were previously thought impossible, such as: dramatic reduction of log load to scan zone length, decreasing overall length for a single length infeed; scanning in transitions between conveyors or even directly behind the debarker; and scanning during charger rotation prior to the end-dogger or carriage.

The JS-50 WX is designed to deliver outstanding performance and rugged reliability across a wide variety of machine centers throughout the sawmill. It’s fast. It’s accurate. And it produces great data to help you get the most out of your fibre. New features include: dual cameras, which see around flights and find steep wane; single cable, which delivers data and power; a QuickLock mount that enables hotswaps in just seconds; and up to 4,000 scans per second and best-in-class resolution. This scanner excels at both lineal and transverse applications. It could be the only model of scan head you need for your whole mill.

VAB Solutions
Since its beginning in 2004, VAB has put R&D at the centre of its business strategy in order to maintain its leading position in North America for sawmill and planer mill lumber scanners/graders. In 2018, VAB introduced its newest innovation, the Pointer Projector Solution (PPS). Offered with VAB’s lumber scanners/graders and mounted on the AirBoard Tracker, the PPS projects in real-time relevant information for the mill operator and quality controller so they can simultaneously visualize the grading process and achieve quality control tests. Mill staff can visualize in real-time the board’s lengths, moisture content percentage, the grade, the board ID, downgrade reasons, etc., and achieve and save quality control tests in seconds. VAB’s business partners can maintain their quality and profitability objectives with the Pointer Projector System.

LMI Technologies
Gocator 200 series multi-point scanners allow you to design a modular board scanning system combining 3D profiles, tracheid, and colour. Gocator 250 scanners are able to measure the scatter effect of laser light in order to identify good wood from defective wood – and even determine grain angle. The bolt-on Gocator 205 vision module (a white LED light bar strobed to maximize efficiency and lifetime) provides Gocator 200 scanners with colour vision for detection and measurement of surface defects including knots, splits, and rot.

Weinig Holz-her Canada
With more than 140 scanner installations in North America, the trust in the scanner technology provided by the Weinig Group is immense. The new CombiScan Sense from LuxscanLine features a modular design and can be adapted for all applications in solid wood manufacturing by exchanging or adding sensors at any time. The scanner uses fast high-resolution cameras for excellent resolution in length and width to ensure optimal detection of all kinds of wood characteristics on up to four sides. The modern laser technology enables fibre analysis and detection of angled cracks. An optional low-power X-ray module can be added for density measurement and strength grading and the Roughness+ sensor for unplanned areas. The scanner also features the powerful OptiCore AI Software, which uses the innovative image processing method based on deep learning for even better detection results.

MPM Engineering
MPM continues to develop image processing and optimization to squeeze every last bit of value from the data its sensor suppliers provides, including Hermary, JoeScan, LMI, ScanMeg, and SICK. With a recent surge in greenmill lumber system projects, including trimmer sorters and linear/transverse edgers, MPM has added resources to its lumber optimization and has moved deeper into surface features and auto grading. MPM’s board optimization software processes greyscale, basic scatter, and tracheid data to more positively identify the product grade and final trim/edge decision. With MPM’s integrated Lumber Sorter software, trimmer outputs are size inspected and then grade decisions are tracked to the final bin and confirmed with MPM’s closed loop feedback system.

Comact’s EdgExpert and TrimExpert automated graders use the merging of geometric and vision scan data to generate a complete grading solution for all boards at sawing. The graders feature: deep learning AI; species classification; optimized solution without human intervention; quickest payback in the industry; throughput of up to 300 boards per minute; complete real-time sampling; great profile scanning density NLGA, NHLA, ALSC, cuttings, house grades, grading faces, etc.; and simulation software and comprehensive management of production and reports.

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