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Sept 1999 Main Page


--  TECH UPDATE   --


Softacsoftac.jpg (14087 bytes)

Softac Systems Ltd. continues to offer a unique range of optimizer scanning options with one-inch, two-inch and four-inch scan densities. The two-inch scan density edger and trimmer optimizer systems have more or less become the company standard over the last two years, says Softac, and will continue to be integrated with any new system designs.

The UME bus system, combined with a Windows user interface, provides fast, optimum solutions on two-inch profiles along the entire length of the board or cant. When combined with the Softac Modular Outline Detectors (MOD 1), as is standard on trimmers, the length resolution is +/-1 / 4 ".


Lucidyne Technologies

ChopScan, Lucidyne’s fully-automatic scanner/optimizer system for chop saw operations, identifies defects and other board characteristics and then calculates the optimum board crosscut decisions. The scanner looks at all four sides of the board, identifies and locates defects, including wane, pitch pockets, knots and other fibre features, then sends an image of the defected board to the ChopScan optimizer. Internal defects, deter-mined by newly-patented technology from Mississippi State University, are also included with the board image data, resulting in a complete fibre feature map.

ChopScan’s optimizer considers the current cutting bill, value tables, inventory requirements and other mill-specific data.


optifor.jpg (9086 bytes)Optifor

Optifor offers its lumber grading optimizer, LGO Version II, a linear measuring sys-tem that uses laser triangulation technology. Installed at the planer exit, it scans the four sides of a board and accurately detects wanes, skips and holes, according to the mill’s grading rules. The LGO can be integrated into existing systems, including Wagner, MSR, grading stations and trimming. The camera grabbing rate of 840 frames/second enables scanning of the board every 1 / 2 ", at a speed of 2,100 ft/min.

The random lengths grader enables standardized classification, recovers losses due to downgrading or excessive trimming and produces grades adapted to market needs. It optimizes for current product mix, position of defects according to standards for each grade and trimming positions for both ends.

The system operates under Windows NT and the user interface enables access to various modes, including production, calibration, adjustment of parameters, diagnostics and reports.


Porter Engineering

This year Porter Engineering of Richmond, BC, added slew/skew and tilt to its canter line options and cant curve-sawing optimization and controls to its product line. Their integrated systems include pre-tested PLC process controls, scanners and optimizing computers. Interface to each optimizer is through a user interface PC, which can be networked and features Windows NT based 3D colour graphics to show each optimum solution. Microsoft Access generates reports and the GUI is also used for "what if" simulations as well as to update price tables and wane rules to suit market changes.

Similarly, the interface to the PLC controls is via a PC terminal (MMI) — with animated colour graphics — which monitors the machine function, changes control parameters, identifies problems and relays diagnostic messages.


autolog2.jpg (7719 bytes)Autolog

Autolog’s new planer mill optimizer offers real-time, real-shape optimization according to product price and mill configuration and product definition by thickness, width, grade, composite wane rules and price. With three optimization modes (unit price, MBF price and volume), it scans for full optimization of wane, twist,autolog1.jpg (6137 bytes) crook, skip and bow. Sensors have an operating speed of up to 2000 ft/min and scan true shape on all four faces. With Windows NT Interface, 2D and 3D views of logs are provided. The controller, optimizer, simulator and report manager are all accessible from the main menu. All systems in the mill are accessible from one remote station via network. The report manager pro-vides shift, weekly and monthly reports, as well as archiving, and all are configurable, importable and compatible with database software, including Access, Excel and Lotus.


ivp.jpg (7292 bytes)IVP Multi-Sensing System

The Integrated Vision Products multi-sensing system is a revolutionary combination of many vision functions simultaneously executed in a single camera unit. Consisting of the IVP MAPP Smart Camera running the multi-sensing software, the system acquires, processes and delivers a rich set of measurements at extremely high data collection rates, the company says. The camera’s high speed gives enough information to achieve a good grading result on both planed or unplaned boards. One Smart Camera working as a multiple sensor extracts RGB colour, full 3D shape and tracheid data on every millimetre of board at 60 metres per minute.

Benefits of the system include: one camera for a multitude of simultaneous measurements; a very high frame rate of more than 1,000 frames per second; integration of the smart camera unit with lasers and other light sources in a compact unit; and easy system integration with NT APIs to all multi-sensing functions.

The multi-sensing capability enables simultaneous measurement of range, grey scale, colour and scatter. One or more lasers and white light are projected onto the view of the MAPP camera, allowing for effective measurements of a number of wood properties from one single unit. The information collected from a single pass is greatly increased and allows for a more elaborate classification. The perfect registration between the range data and the other measurements will ensure effective and correct classification of wood.


Perceptron’s MillController

Perceptron’s new MillController is a mill-wide multi-variable process control sys-tem that uses information from down-stream machine centres to adjust production at upstream machine sites, providing automatic control over product mix and board product scheduling.

Each connected optimizer sends information about each solution to MillController to determine the actual production of each active board product included in the list of active orders. It then adjusts production as required and automatically balances order fulfillment with high-value recovery. Users enter standing and fixed-term orders for board products, specifying the product, its quantities, the start date and the deadline. Standing orders are also simplified when selected products are entered, along with a target rate per hour (piece count or volume).

MillController works with the Perceptron optimization software at each machine centre throughout the mill, from bucking station to the log sorter, to the turner and primary breakdown, to the canter, edger and trimmer.


Hermary Opto Electronicshermaryopto.jpg (7293 bytes)

Hermary Opto Electronics, designers and manufacturers of scanners and sensors for wood processing applications, announces its latest product, the LRS-50 Laser Range Sensor. A class II laser triangulation product designed to meet existing and future market needs, the LRS-50’s unique range/resolution performance curve provides high resolution measurements in the near range with lower resolution measurements out to a 1,400 mm range. The LRS-16HC (LRS16 Head Concentrator) includes two encoder inputs so range data can be position stamped, eliminating reading latency. Data from up to 16 heads can be combined with encoder data and presented on an Ethernet TCP/IP interface for easy access and processing. Applications include real-time size control, panel board thickness, veneer lathe pre-charging, veneer/plywood thickness, and board/log scanning.



Comact’s Optimization Snap-Scan in-place scanner will have far reaching influences, especially in retrofitting existing, primary or secondary breakdown lines. Consisting of a number of lasers and CCD array cameras contained in enclosures placed longitudinally along the log, the scanner was designed for end-doggers, log sorters, cant breakdown and wherever a full-profile scan must be taken in a very short distance or in a tight spot. The unit does not require any forward motion of the log in order to get a full-profile scan. The Snap-Scan takes a full-profile scan of the log in 1/2000th of a second. The stud logs are then kicked off the belt into a number of bins depending on diameter and shape characteristics.

Computing power is provided by SAM, the Real-Time Optimization program, the Comact Optimization Alpha computers and the multi-tasking real-time computer operating system of QNX. In any of these systems, compatibility with hardware, the operating system and the software is vital, with expandability the key when ever-increasing demands are placed on computer systems by the need for high recovery and high processing speed.


lmi.jpg (11953 bytes)LMI Inc.

Laser Measurement International Inc. announces its DynaVision L1 log and board/cant scanners have been upgraded to scan at 125 Hz, up from the previous 60 Hz scan rate. The improvement gives the user twice the information on each log/cant/board as it passes through the scan zone. The 3D profile scanner, which uses a solid visible laser line, provides the data needed to properly optimize fast-moving products. For example, logs can move at 300 ft per minute and be scanned at 1 / 2 " intervals.

Each scan head or sensor has a field of vision of 120 degrees. Combining three DynaVision L1 sensors gives a 360 degree 3D image around the log. Both scanners can be configured with up to eight scan heads in a modular configuration. With a scan rate of 60 profiles per second, the L1 interfaces with high speed fibre optics links to a host board or TCP/IP over Ethernet from a concentrator.

The DynaVision L1 board/cant scanner delivers high-density pro-files and can be used on lineal edgers and canters and in curve sawing applications. It has a resolution of 1/16" across the board or cant, with a 0.005" (0.010" cant) resolution in the cross direction. The L1 log scanner gives extremely high resolution profiling and easy start-up. A high-intensity laser produces excellent images with-out the need for complex shrouding to block out ambient light.


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KITA Industrial Controls Ltd., designers and manufacturers of state of the art setworks systems for the sawmill industry, offers control packages for carriages, edgers, gangs, bucking and virtually any other mill machinery. Every centre in the sawmill can be configured and monitored through KITA’s easy-to-use software running on a single PC. Continuously updated reports are available through Windows software and settings may be modified online at any time. KITA’s scanning and optimizing carriage system, MicroScan System V, is VME-based for the fastest and most accurate solutions, the company says. Manual systems use MicroSet II, completely PLC based for flexibility, familiarity and ease of use. KITA systems increase throughput, maximize recovery and pay for themselves in as little as three months, the company says.


inovec.jpg (10407 bytes)INOVEC

The WaneMaster H2000 optimizer for edgers in hardwood mills is the latest from INOVEC. Its software includes new features that allow mill owners to control the quality of each board processed in more than 120 ways. Using a simple set of sight-grading rules, the operator pushes a grade limiting category button on the console as it is turned over to the scanner. The WaneMaster H2000 scans the board for surface measure, wane incursion and open splits and defines the potential clear cuttings per NHLA rules. Then, following rules set by management, the board (or boards) that yields the highest value with the best appearance is automatically processed by the machine. Two- or three-board solutions can be processed with a precision centre- chain two saw edger, using the "strip-save" feature that saves and returns the un-edged piece back to be reprocessed. Results show value is improved at the edger by more than 15 per cent.


ATS Automation Inc.

ATS Automation Inc. has developed a line of PLC-based log scanning systems that can be configured to use Banner, WGBM, Hermary or Multimeg scanner heads for bucking and sorting, tally reporting, sweep orientation log turning and pattern cutting. Both log length and diameter can be measured to 2mm (0.08 inch) with log volume precision better than one per cent. An MMI is used for parameter setup and shift report printing. The company reports these systems are so cost effective that they are often used to replace manual controls as a back-up sys-tem to true-shape optimization scanners.


Mill Scan

The Mill Scan log deck scan uses cam-eras, monitors and control enclosures to superimpose up to eight mill calibration lines in the camera picture so the operator can see the log’s length and quality at the log deck infeed or outfeed. The calibrated picture assists the operator in making optimum log bucking decisions. A single camera can be used for short logs, with a dual camera system for long logs. In colour or black and white, the scan cam-era provides clear pictures in light and dark. Settings include: optimization for log diameters and cant thickness, grading table length to assist the grader’s view of the far end for more trimming accuracy, and a package position to correctly position lumber packages.


CAE Newnescae.jpg (11523 bytes)

CAE Newnes says its linear planermill optimizer is the most advanced grade optimizer offered today. Combining laser and X-ray technology for dimensional scanning, knot detection and evaluation for potential stress rated product, the optimization systems can be customized for the requirements of each application. Modular design allows upgrades and modifications to accommodate new scanning technologies and increased scan density without replacing the entire system. CAE Newnes offers linear and transverse optimizers to accommodate any mill layout and its optimizer software includes cut logic processes for downstream machine centres to generate the best solution for maximum recovery.


Paul Saws and Systems

Paul Saws and Systems, a division of Koch, Ltd., offers the Model AB/920 computer-controlled optimizing edger. With a capacity of 18 boards per minute, it can be equipped for gang edging and can cut fixed and random widths. The computer precisely controls the amount of wane, depending on the grade the board will yield, and the machine’s infeed is equipped to skew the board for maximum yield.

The latest WoodEye scanner from Innovative Vision has close to double the resolution of previous models and full customization in terms of speed, level of defect recognition and optimization packages. It also has new Windows NT user interface and processing technology.

Also from Paul Saws is its complete range of CNC optimizing crosscutting systems, including the Speed 180 System for rip-first and other applications for stock up to 7" in width.


phl.jpg (9672 bytes)Industries P.H.L. Inc.

The edger optimizer from Industries P.H.L. Inc. has a capacity of 30 pieces/minute with 16-foot boards and 40 pieces per minute with 8-foot boards, optimizing for price/volume, saddle wane, omission and optimal log solution guarantee. Entirely designed and manufactured in Canada by PHL and with a feeding capacity of 800 ft/minute, the optimizer can be equipped with a reman chipping head and is ISO 9002 certified.


Coe Manufacturingcoe.jpg (10858 bytes)

Coe’s D*Tec Planer Mill Trimmer Optimizer applies proven scanning control and technology to assist graders in making correct grade decisions. The Optimizer’s solution is based on board dimension and shape (crook and bow) and, with the grader’s input on visual characteristics, means more consistent grading, reduced down grading, higher line speeds, reduced board turning and lower operating costs. Coe’s Quick-Mount pre-calibrated scanning modules provide high-density wane profiles down to two-inch spacing, while ultra high-speed signal processing of the scanned data makes a complete 3D view of each board solution available on the display.


Barr-Mullin, Inc.

The Brute is Barr-Mullin’s newest cut-off saw optimizer, designed to handle everything from rough, green lumber to moulded strips. Its unique feed system and motion control electronics combine to give speeds up to 1,000 ft/min. and accuracy up to +/-1 / 64 th". The Brute’s Windows NT operating system makes it easy to use with any manufacturer’s defect scanner.

Barr-Mullin’s Cell Scan is one of several lumber scanning systems. Its Pulsating Laser captures 23 signals from the actual cell structure of the lumber to detect external defects, even on dirty, unplaned lumber. Other defect scanners from BMI include: Golden Eye, an X-ray scanner capable of locating 1 / 50 th" defects; Ultra-Sonic, a split and check detector; colour and grey scale cameras in front of gang rip saws; shape measuring for wane, twist, crook and bow; and grain angle measuring following the softwood grading rules.


timbergrafx.jpg (5673 bytes)TimberGrafx Plus

USNR has re-invented sawmill optimization with its TimberGrafx Plus, the company says. Beginning with a fully-integrated set of solutions, from bucking through planer mill optimization, USNR has tied them together with easy, yet powerful tools. From the graphical parameter editor to the reports, all the tools are in Windows NT applications. Ethernet communication links the application PCs running the programs, allowing them to work in serial for complete solutions and enabling multiple machine centre computers to coordinate parameter databases as well as reports, which are based on ODBC applications such as Microsoft Access.


MPM Engineeringmpm.jpg (7628 bytes)

MPM Engineering Ltd. is a scanning and computer software house for log merchandising, log and lumber sorting, optimized log turning, primary breakdown and cant optimization, as well as total mill management systems and machine controls.

MPM’s markets have grown from regional sales to where it now has more than 50% of it’s business from sawmilling applications out-side of Canada. Recent sales include projects in New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Sweden and Ireland plus several scanning and optimization systems for small log curve sawing lines to Hew Saw and CAE/McGehee for projects in Canada and the U.S.

With the start up of MPM research in 1996, MPM’s focus has been to develop new state-of-the art products and to study future requirements in grade recovery to help keep its customers profitable in an ever changing industry. True shape optimization, optimized solutions for log sorting, optimized log rotation on 5 increments and optimized product fit solutions for log bucking are just a few of the new and exciting products MPM has developed over the last couple of years.

The software uses Windows NT on a full range of Intel multi-processor systems. MPM’s scanning systems include XY and true-shape profiling.


valmet.jpg (32481 bytes)Valmet Launches Mid-Size 840 Forwarder

Partek Forest introduces its new Valmet mid-size North American 840 forwarder in 12-ton, 6- and 8-wheel drive models that are built for a broad range of harvesting operations. A redesigned cab mounted on a new cushioned vibration-dampening system offers a better view of the work area, low-set windows, a sloping engine hood and more useful leg and elbow room. Controls have been repositioned for maximum utility when driving or operating the Cranab 650XL loader and grapple. The 840’s engine, a Valmet 420 DWRIE turbo diesel, delivering 127 horsepower, achieves a maximum torque rating at only 1300 rpm. With an inside turning radius of 185 inches, the 840s have low ground pressure and come standard with DTC-II (digital transmission control) for full tractive effort and car-like handling.


Hardfacing: A New Downtime Avoidance Tool

Conforma Clad Inc.’s hard-facing method is reducing the costly effects of abrasive wear in the forestry and agriculture industries. Consisting of the application of tungsten carbide onto metal substrates by infiltration brazing, the result is a clad surface not only superior in abrasion resistance, but corrosion and erosion resistance as well. Parts hardfaced with Conforma Clad are said to withstand harsh environments five times longer than parts protected by other methods. The process is especially cost-effective in areas with multiple failure modes, i.e. corrosion and abrasion. Typical applications include harvest bars, blades, chipper inserts and knives, plows and bed plates. The cladding is virtually 100 per cent dense, with no interconnected porosity. It can be used "as clad" or machined or ground to a near-mirror finish. Abrasion resistance rivals that of solid carbide sleeves, with the advantage of being used on both ID and OD surfaces.


Stihl Offers Ultimate in Safetystihl.jpg (12497 bytes)

The Stihl 036QS chain saw offers maxi-mum protection with the world’s first triple-activated chain braking system, automatically activated when kickback occurs or when activated manually by pressing the front hand guard or by releasing the throttle trigger interlock on the rear handle. Developed by Stihl engineers in Germany, the innovative system allows the rear handle throttle trigger to serve as a "coasting chain brake", capable of stop-ping the machine in less than a second. The operator is also protected by Stihl’s Quickstop inertia-activated chain brake, which stops the chain in milliseconds in the event of kickback.

Weighing in at 6.0 kg (13.2 lbs.), the 036QS is powered by a 61.5 cc engine pro-ducing 3.4 kW of power. It features an Easy Start system comprised of a decompression valve and Elastostart shock absorbing handle, a compensating carburetor to maintain a constant fuel/air mixture, a low maintenance, advanced air filter system and a side-mounted chain tensioner for easy access.


blount.jpg (21454 bytes)Blount Inc. Introduces High Capacity Shear for Softwood

Blount Inc.’s Forestry and Industrial Equipment Division introduces the Hydro-Ax 21EX high capacity shear for softwood. The pocket size of the accumulating area has been expanded to a large, 6.25 square feet, allowing bigger payloads and fewer non-productive dump cycles. The carry pock-et is located four inches closer to the tractor centreline to increase stability under load. Performance matched to the Hydro Ax511EX, the Hydro-Ax 21EX works equally well with the 611EX and 711EX. Because the blades are symmetrical and can be "flipped" front to rear, blade sharpening, adjusting and changing times are reduced, allowing for more cutting time and more logs per hour. The shear is efficient and economical for cutting soft pulpwood, says the manufacturer.

Vermeer Offers Heavy Duty Tub Grindervermeer.jpg (12469 bytes)

For heavy-duty grinding applications, Vermeer Manufacturing offers the strength and reliability of its TG525 tub grinder. A powerful Cat 3406 turbocharged and air-to-air charge-cooled engine delivers 525 HP into a direct drive line protected by a torque limiter. An extra-large cooling system, automotive-style fuses and a sealed electrical box also help keep operations running smoothly in challenging working conditions. The all-new, knife-type sizing screen provides higher production with less wear, resulting in reduced operating costs. The TG525 grinder features a falling object canopy, (located above the ground control panel), tub lift and neutral start interlocks, as well as the proven thrown object restraint system. A loader operator cab with 370-degree rotation provides unmatched visibility and is equipped with quarter-inch thick, clear Lexan windows and a front intrusion guard.


New Tigercat Site-Prep Machine

Tigercat announces the S640 site-prep tractor, designed for the continuous duty cycle characteristic of silviculture applications. Tigercat’s revolutionary hydrostatic drive — a proven innovation introduced with the 630 skidder — means productivity gains and reduced operator fatigue. With a single-speed transmission, gear shifting is eliminated and the machine automatically matches the required torque to the terrain. Ground speed is infinitely variable within the 0 to 10 mph (16km/h) range, while wheel speed can be precisely controlled for increased productivity and reduced wheel spin. With hydrostatic braking, reliance on the secondary brake is virtually eliminated.

The S640, powered by a 230 HP Cummins "C" engine, achieves high capacity cooling through the use of an aluminum side-by-side cross-flow heat exchanger arrangement, which orients the coolers 90 degrees from conventional positioning so that air can move unimpeded through the radiator and oil cooler.


morbark.jpg (23685 bytes)Morbark’s Mid-Sized Horizontal Grinder

The Morbark Model 5600 Wood Hog makes quick work of green wastes, pallets, brush, stumps and other wood waste. Standard on the mid-sized horizontal grinder is a heavy-duty grinding drum, with a Morbark hammermill optional. The tri-axle unit is available with a wide range of power, from 460 HP to 800 HP, to meet most grinding applications. Access to the three-piece grate and grinding chamber is through a unique pinned hood, which is opened using power from the hydraulic system. The most user-friendly in the industry, Morbark says, the system makes it possible for one operator to perform grate and tip changes and most routine maintenance.

Catastrophic damage protection is offered through the optional torque limiter mounted in the unit’s drive sheave. A simple but effective discharge system, consisting of a 48-inch wide belly conveyor and a 36-inch wide stacking conveyor, deposits processed material to a height of 18 feet.

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