Tech Update - OptimizersSPRINGER MiCROTEC


SPRINGER MiCROTEC believes it occupies a unique position in the global wood processing industry. The company says that it is the only optimization provider to provide 100 per cent in-house developed solutions from logs to lumber. From bucking, breakdown, edging, trimming, and planer mill, through to rip and chop optimization, all of SPRINGER MiCROTEC’s scanners and software, down to the camera level, have been developed by the same team, using a common platform from the ground up. This consistency means its products talk to each other. All of its products communicate with the Microtec Mill Manager, a common reporting and configuration platform which allows for consistent modeling and sharing of data between machine centres.

The company’s innovations include being the first and only manufacturer of CT Log, a CT scanner for logs, which allows manufacturers to accomplish what has up to now been only a dream, to see inside a log before sawing it. SPRINGER MiCROTEC is also the only manufacturer to use x-ray technology in all of its log and lumber scanners.


Backed by 30 years of experience in the wood industry, Autolog presents an alternative to the sawmill industry by offering standard optimization and control systems for many different machine centres.

Tembec, now owned by Rayonier Advanced Materials, has a long term capital plan with a focus on the modernization of its sawmills. Investments are proposed to be completed in three phases.

As part of phase one, three projects were identified for the Hearst, Ontario operation to upgrade its optimization and control systems: a canter-twin optimizer, a curve cant optimizer and a linear planer optimizer.

The first project consisted of a curve cant sawing optimizer. It was implemented in a staged fashion to minimize risk for both enterprises. Autolog supplied new scanning, optimization and controls on an existing Newnes McGehee 10” curve sawing “wiggle box” gang edger.

For both sawmill projects, the canter-twin and the McGehee curve sawing wiggle box, Autolog supplied its new modular scanner frame, which allowed for an easy installation and removal of the old frame, especially in a tight environment. The scanners were supplied by Hermary Opto from Coquitlam, B.C.

The impact on the mill was substantial. They increased uptime on the line, increased the percentage of 16’ lumber by 3 per cent, increased the volume recovery by 2.5 per cent, increased the value recovery by 3 per cent and they reduced the gap to further increase production.

A similar approach was taken for the other two projects at the mill, which involved the replacement of the optimization and controls at the canter-twin and the upgrade of their Autolog ProGrader linear planer optimizer.


The BoardMasterNOVA automated grading solution allows sawmills and planer mills to automatically grade and optimize production yield, all within a very small footprint in their production lines. The innovative design allows 100 per cent of the board’s surfaces to be scanned, analyzed, optimized and graded without ever being turned or manually handled.
Since each mill operates with its own specific lumber and rules, FinScan has established a testing facility in British Columbia that determines expectations and results prior to any expense or commitment by the customer. This testing process is part of FinScan’s promise to always offer customers the most value, while minimizing risks for their operations.

Features include use on green or dry lines, up to 250 boards/min, 100 per cent board visibility with no chain obstruction, highest image optimization resolution on the market, laser thickness measurement, and use with rough or planed boards.


For over 40 years, USNR has been a leader in scanning, optimization and process controls technologies, and the company says its expertise and experience is second to none. Today, it has hundreds of systems operating on nearly every continent worldwide. Its technology is focused on value, recovery, throughput, and reliability, to help its customers keep pace and effectively compete in a global marketplace.

From bucking through initial log breakdown, USNR’s 3D modeling and optimization capabilities incorporate algorithms from downstream processes to ensure customers capture the maximum value from every piece.

Gang and edger optimization has evolved as new methods have come online to process cants and flitches into a multitude of lumber products, meeting market demands for a broad range of dimension and specialty products. New sensor technology that adds vision data to laser profile measurements during the edging process has led to the development of systems that not only optimize for maximum recovery, but also for maximum value.


The next available update to the Prologic+ TrueShape scanner is called GDD+, standing for Geometrical Defect Detection.

This includes new and improved TrueShape algorithms filters.

Prologic + says that there are many benefits to using its new GDD+ TrueShape linear scanners. After one year of development and testing, it has improved its filtering algorithms for better use of all those pixels that the new LMI Gocator 2880 provides.

Its 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. 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.


LMI Technologies, a developer of 3D scanning and inspection solutions, has launched its Gocator 200 series of modular multi-point scanners, the latest addition to the Gocator line of smart, all-in-one, 3D sensors for material optimization and 100 per cent quality control.

With Gocator 200 multi-point scanners, users can create a scanning system based on a modular design that allows a mix of 3D profiling, tracheid detection, and color vision for sawmills and planer mills looking to maximize wood breakdown decisions.

The G200 series is based on coplanar scanning that effectively captures both the leading and trailing edges of lumber while minimizing conveyor footprint, offers true differential profiling for accurate thickness measurement, and can scale from one to 48 sensors to cover various lumber length requirements.

Based on the proven high density profile design of chroma+scan, Gocator 200 scanners run 50 per cent faster to achieve scan rates at 3 kHz matching mills running at 300 ft/min. In addition, tracheid scan rates are three times faster to deliver 1.5 khz density for exceptional detail in wood grain detection.

MPM EngineeringMPM Engineering

MPM Engineering has installed a new edger optimizer system at Weyerhaeuser Princeton, B.C. using the Hermary DPS824 scanner heads and the latest True Shape Edger Optimizer software from MPM.

The system was installed over a two-day weekend. The old system teardown began on a Saturday morning and the new system was up and running by Sunday evening. System installation was a co-ordinated effort between the site engineering department, mechanical installation crew, mill electricians, and the MPM installation team. The new system includes the latest 3D modeling algorithms for the flitch as well as the latest optimization software, all hosted on a Windows 10 Pro 64 bit operating system.

Logging and Sawmilling Journal
February 2018

On the Cover:
Successful sawmill owners are always seeking ways to improve their operations and make them run more efficiently. If an upgrade in one area of the mill contributes a positive ripple benefit elsewhere in the process, that’s so much the better. That’s exactly what happened with the installation of the first Brunette Machinery Retract-To-Load (RTL) log singulator unit at Carrier Lumber’s Tabor mill operation near Prince George, B.C. (Photo courtesy of Carrier Lumber).

Goin’ south—with PinkWood
Calgary’s PinkWood, which sets itself apart by producing a fire-resistant I-joist line, was initially set up to serve the market in Western Canada, but is now making big inroads into the U.S. market—which is good news for the mills that supply it with lumber and OSB.

Logging Win all the way ‘round
The Snuneymuxw First Nations and Vancouver Island logging contractor A&K Timber are part of a successful venture that is seeing work and revenue being generated for the band, logging work for A&K Timber, and timber being harvested for mill operations on Vancouver Island.

What will sawmills of the future look like?
Will the sawmills of the future be run entirely from an I-Phone or I-Pad? Logging and Sawmilling Journal looks at what might be in store for future sawmills with UBC wood science assistant professor Julie Cool.

Hauer Bros. mill has a lot of history
The mid-sized Hauer Bros. Sawmill in B.C.’s Robson Valley has a long history in the area, and these days finds its market niche producing mostly timber for regional markets in the B.C. Interior.

Advance look at the COFI Conference
Logging and Sawmilling Journal takes a look at the issues—from the softwood lumber dispute to dealing with wildfire-damaged timber in the sawmill—that will be under discussion at the upcoming COFI conference, being held April 4-6 in Prince George, B.C.

New singulator unit increases mill efficiency—and more
New sawmilling technology, in the form of the first Brunette Machinery Retract-To-Load (RTL) log singulator unit, is helping to make operations run more efficiently—and reducing maintenance downtime—at Carrier Lumber’s Tabor sawmill in Prince George, B.C

The Edge
Included in this edition of The Edge, Canada’s leading publication on research in the forest industry, are stories from the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Alberta Innovates and Alberta Agriculture.

The Last Word
The ITC decision on Canadian softwood lumber duties is pure theatre, says Jim Stirling.


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