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New Hermary Opto LPS 2016 Scans Up to 256 Log Points

By Tony Kryzanowski
Copyright 1996. Contact publisher for permission to use.

When it comes to scanning logs for optimum recovery, the X/Y or shadow scanning approach is a proven method, but it still requires a considerable amount of guesswork on the computer’s part.

Now, electrical engineers from a Burnaby, BC company have developed a new type of true-shape laser profile scanning that reduces the amount of computer guesswork.

Based on the same computer technology that runs the Internet, scanner designer and manufacturer Hermary Opto Electronics placed their first LPS 2016 laser profile scanner into full commercial production recently at the new Sunpine dimension lumber mill in Sundre, Alberta.

The principle owners of Hermary-Opto are two electrical engineer brothers, Terry and Tom Hermary. This success came after working on the product’s technology for two years, and testing it at Weyerhaeuser’s Princeton, BC mill. The major selling point with mills interested in squeezing every ounce of recovery from a dwindling supply of logs is that they do not have to tear apart their sawmill to install this new scanning system.

So far, it is meeting objectives. Here is what’s different about the Hermary Opto laser scanner. While there are other laser scanners on the market, the Hermary Opto scanner is a co-planer scanner. The laser and CCD camera take the log image from the same plane. This means that the scanner will scan all but about 1-1/2'' of the bottom of the log, and can scan as many as 256 points around a large log, opposed to the X/Y type scanner that scans four points on the log and fills in the rest.

The bottom line is that the co-planer Hermary Opto scanner provides more and better information to detect such defects as cat face. Ultimately, the mill receives better information that should lead to better log-optimizing solutions.

The optimizing computer receives a truer image of each log. Sunpine has done their own testing of Hermary Opto’s claims. "We stopped a few logs during the breaks and looked at them," says Sunpine Electrical Superintendent Renny Ceccato," and the scanner really is picking up the defects. Picking up cat face is really the big one."

The dual-scanning system used by Sunpine supplies two sets of log surface information. The Nanoose optimizing software firstly determines the best rotation of the log prior to entry into the Optimil-sup-plied double-length infeed system. The second scanning unit gathers true shape log information, and is used to determine the optimal log fit decision before the log enters the canter/saw section of the primary breakdown line.

The overall system integration was performed by MPM Engineering, and includes full setup and monitoring, as well as interface package to link Hermary Opto scanners with controlling programmable logic controllers and the optimizing computer system.

Hermary says they can install their scanner with minimal machinery changes for any mill now operating an X/Y scanning system. It is a self-contained unit weighing in at only 12 lbs. It has three uses: log/cant profile scanning for optimization, log pro-filing for auto rotation, and scanning for carriage setworks.

The optics and processing electronics are housed in a sealed, machined aluminum head. A single environmentally sealed connector and a 10-pair cable carry all DC power and signals. The scanner provides a two-dimensional profile of the log’s surface, and two or more heads mounted around the log-transport system give the log’s shape profile.

The information is transmitted to the optimizing computer to provide a solution for optimal recovery. Sunpine has a number of computers powered with dual pentium processors to help process the greater volume of scan-er information. They operate two saw lines, one large log line pushing 300' per minute, and a small log line pushing 450' per minute. Ceccato adds that despite the volume of information transmitted, the Hermary Opto scanner has not held up production.

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