October 17-19, 2018
Portland, Oregon

Lumber Manufacturing Workshop

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Saw Filing & Sawing Performance

9:15 a.m.-10:15 a.m. An Interactive Session on Small Diameter Saw Design and Optimization
—Norm Brown, WUSA Sales Manager; Dave Purinton, North American Sales Manager, Simonds International

Simonds International is the largest manufacturer of cutting tools and filing equipment for the sawmill and industrial metal cutting industries. Simonds, a 182-year-old company, manufactures small and large diameter circular saws, all types of sawmill machine knives, sawmill wide band saw blades, hand files and narrow band saw blades for both wood and metal cutting. Simonds will share some of its saw design expertise in an interactive session on small diameter saw design and optimization showing how proper saw design can support a mill’s efforts to increase yield, recovery and productivity.

10:20 a.m.-11:20 a.m. Saw Shop/Filing Room Safety, Automation & Saw Guides
—Allen Hewitt, Sales Manager; Justin Williams, CEO; Williams & White Equipment

This presentation will focus on how automation can help improve safety and increase production in filing rooms and saw shops. The presentation will explore industry trends and provide automation statistics as well as examples of Williams & White’s new line of automated equipment, including the multi-function saw sharpening center (on display in booth 621), the automated babbitt pouring machine, the automated babbitt bolting machine and the auto-stretcher. They will also discuss the importance of accurate saw guides and lumber recovery.

11:25 a.m.-12:25 p.m. Improve Recovery with Optical Precision Alignment
—Thomas Strenge, Technical Services Business Unit Manager; Steve Addington, Precision Alignment Specialist, Brunson Instrument

Precision alignment of sawmill machine centers is a most important element in the critical path of sawing performance, quality control and machine center maintenance processes. In some instances, alignment is an afterthought in the operational process, and machine alignment is often assumed to be “good enough.” However, it is clear that there is a straight line relationship between machine alignment, quality and recovery. Precision alignment tools are proven, affordable, easy to use, built for industrial strength and can be acquired for in-house use for the repeatable alignments as required, as opposed to depending on the availability and skill set of an outside service provider. An important byproduct of precision alignments is a reduction in downtime and remedial maintenance. Saw blade life is extended and a regular alignment schedule will likely detect a problem before it becomes an unscheduled emergency maintenance and/or downtime condition. The presentation includes a product demonstration while addressing: alignment defined; why alignment when “we are running good enough”? alignment options—wire, laser, optics & in-house vs. outsourced; pros and cons of each option; outcomes of improved alignment; return on investment scenario; case study.

Scanning & Optimization

1:05 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Latest Advancements in Grade Optimization and Quality Control Tools
—Ofer Heyman, Director of Operations; Christopher Rollins, Scanner Specialist, Lucidyne Technologies, Inc.

The GradeScan lineal scanner for final grading will be presented. The presentation will show the array of high resolution sensors allowing the best defect detection, and demonstrate the powerful optimization tools utilizing the rich data. It will focus on the latest improvements in quality control tools that provide the leverage for capturing the highest value of the lumber.

1:35 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Selecting Appropriate Scan Heads: What Every Sawmill Needs to Consider
—Joey Nelson, President, JoeScan

When sawmills decide to install or upgrade an optimization system, there are a multitude of considerations: the cost involved, the time it will take, potential compatibility issues between older equipment and the new or upgraded system, the reliability of the new system. Scan heads are a key component of any optimization system, and the right scan heads can significantly improve a sawmill’s recovery. Before making a purchasing decision, it is important for sawmills ask these basic questions: What type of scan head is most effective—light curtain, multi-line laser, flying spot? How many scan heads will be required in each machine center? How will the scan heads be positioned to optimize recovery of the log or board—lineally, transversely, or multi-zone? How long does the log or board have to be held still to obtain accurate scan data? How well do the scan heads withstand the rugged conditions of the sawmill—vibration and ambient light? How accurate are the scan heads? How fast are the scan heads? If there is an issue, how easy is it to troubleshoot the system? This presentation will discuss these considerations and more. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from one of the industry’s leading experts.

2:05 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Revolutionary Grade Optimization in the Bucking and Sawing Process
Norvin Laudon, CTO, MiCROTEC North America

Whether in stems or in sawlogs, it’s long been a dream to have detailed information about the quality of sawn products prior to making the crucial first breakdown decision. CT log scanning in the sawing or bucking process allows virtual sawing and quality grade evaluation of each product in a breakdown pattern, before sawing. The information is then used to optimize the breakdown process using value, rather than volume. This session will present the new scanning technology that provides these capabilities, and explore its impact on sawmill production.

2:40 p.m.-3:05 p.m. The Unique Lumber Grading Optimizer
—Jean Bërubë, President, VAB Solutions

The key feature of VAB Solutions Inc. line of products is the Lumber Grading Optimizer for planer mills. With 24 systems sold as of July 2014, its performance and simplicity to operate is accounting for its solid reputation across Canada.  This presentation shows how the VAB Solutions Lumber Grading Optimizer is positioned as the best lumber grading scanner by its unique features and technology.

3:10 p.m.-3:35 p.m. Bringing Scanning Technology to Log Procurement and Yard Operations:
—Mario Angel, Regional Manager, Woodtech-North America

This presentation provides the latest developments in scanning technology for measuring the volume of log loads and other biometric characteristics of individual logs such as diameters, taper and length and the detection of defects such as sweep and crook. It will include examples of how this technology is utilized in North America and its benefits for lumber manufacturing operations.

3:40 p.m.-4:05 p.m. Optimization: From Green End To Planer Mill
—Gale Miller, Southeastern Sales Manager, Autolog

Autolog offers a full range of proven solutions that meet the requirements of today’s sawmill operators. This workshop will present Autolog optimization systems from the green end to the planer mill (dry end). The presentation will focus on the latest technology developed by the company for the three main areas of a mill: the primary, secondary and dry end area. This overview will reveal the diverse selection of innovative products Autolog has to offer within each area of the sawmill process.

4:10 p.m.-4:35 p.m. Planer Mill Vision System
—Larry Poudrier, Capital Sales Manager, Comact USA

It has been almost 20 years since Comact first started to work on visual images in order to grade lumber. Comact uses different types of color cameras to detect visual defects on any type of wood. Moreover, these cameras are specially designed for logs, cants, flitches (sideboards), rough boards, and dressed lumber. “Area cameras” (which scan areas) are used for scanning large sections of wood like log ends and mainly measure in a lineal way. “Linescan cameras” (which scan lines) are used for scanning boards in a transverse way. Cameras are combined with lighting systems to get better image contrast of darker colored sections such as splits, rot and knots. LED panels and/or fluorescent lamps are used for this purpose. The main goal here is to measure geometrical and visual defects in order to get a complete grading solution, which cannot be achieved by a geometrical system alone for most of today’s demanding applications.

Sawmill Operations & Quality Control

9:15 a.m.-9:45 a.m. Understanding Key Criteria Impacting on Sawing, Positioning, Feeding and Scanning Accuracies
—Joe Shields, Machinery Support Technician, USNR

This report will cover troubleshooting procedures and key maintenance criteria impacting sawing, positioning, feeding, and scanning accuracies. It will go into scanning accuracy only from a mechanical perspective.

9:50 a.m.-10:20 a.m. Characteristics of Top Performing Wood Products Operations
—Bryan Beck, Senior Consultant, The Beck Group

The Beck Group’s experience with 20+ years of performing industry benchmarking studies for a variety of wood products manufacturing segments (softwood lumber, hardwood lumber, veneer and plywood, OSB, MDF, Particleboard, I-Joists, and others) have provided it with a great deal of insight about operations and organizations that consistently perform at the top of the class. This presentation will share lessons learned through examining the characteristics of operations that make up the top 25%, or top quartile, of wood products manufacturers.

10:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Keep It Going with Better Motion Control Tools
—Peter Nachtwey, President, Delta Computer Systems, Inc.

Good and efficient maintenance is a basic need for high volume manufacturing operations. For the maintenance person, finding the cause of a malfunction and doing a quick repair is the top priority. Utilizing better control system tools can quickly solve problems and get production running after a problem has occurred. The maintenance technician typically needs to determine whether the problem is in the sensor, controller, actuator, a wiring issue or hydraulic system components. In order to quickly resolve the problem, the technician needs good vendor tools and be well versed in both hydraulics and control basics. Today’s motion control manufacturers strive to provide diagnostic tools for setting up, optimizing, monitoring, and debugging a control system. Visual tools, like Delta’s RMCTools Plot Manager feature, do this with high resolution capture and trend graphs of motion that help troubleshoot sawmill machinery. This tool gives maintenance technicians the ability to quickly and easily determine potential and actual problems. Additionally, event logs and open loop motion commands are valuable time savers along with advanced loop tuning techniques.

11:05 a.m.-11:35 a.m. Lumber Quality Control: Executing and Improving Your Size Control Program
—Terry Brown, Director, Lumber Quality Institute; Nick Barrett, Vice President Business Development, Partner, SiCam System

The increasing cost of raw fiber and customer demands for improved product quality are the two driving factors behind the push for improving lumber size control. An effective lumber size control program enables the mill to reduce manufacturing defects in the primary, secondary, drying and planing processes and in turn, optimize or reduce target sizes. These results combine to reduce waste and improve lumber recovery and product quality, all positive impacts on profitability. In fact, lumber size control has proven to be one of the most effective predictive maintenance tools available to the sawmill industry and it contributes to increased machine uptime, quality, recovery and profitability.

1:05 p.m.-1:35 p.m. Optimize Your Production Plan…Optimize Your Optimizers
—Brad Turner, Principal; Alex Rapoport, Principal, HALCO Software Systems Ltd.

You’ve invested millions in machine center optimizers throughout your mill. But does that mean your operations are truly optimal? In most cases the answer is no. Machine center optimizers give you the power to control production mix, and also mill flow. But to do so, they must be configured with appropriate parameters—primarily “decision values” and processing “penalty costs.” Until now, most mills have—at best—generated these key parameters on an “ad hoc” basis. The result is that most mills operate at a substantially sub-optimal level. Optimization techniques can be used to address this challenge. Specifically, they can be used to determine: 1) the optimum (most profitable) production mix, based on current market prices, min/max sales mix constraints, and process flow bottlenecks; 2) the machine center optimizer parameters to produce this mix. This session will begin with a review of the challenges and pitfalls of production planning and implementation of the plan. What should be the objective of the production plan? The review will also cover optimizer “penalty costs”—what are they, and how can they be used to improve mill flow? Following this review, the optimization technique, which includes automated, iterative sawing simulation and linear programming optimization runs, will be discussed.  A case study of how the technique can be incorporated into routine production-run planning will be presented, along with a discussion of the benefits of its use.

1:40 p.m.-2:05 p.m. Processing Strategies for Maximum Added Value
—Norbert Ott, Sales Engineer, Linck

This presentation provides an overview of processing technologies, followed by solutions for maximum capacity, midsize companies and special applications such as short logs and small diameter logs. It addresses higher recovery through well engineered technology automatic log rotation, alignment and curve-sawing; and higher recovery through intelligent cutting pattern configuration side lumber optimization as well as complete optimization.

2:15 p.m.-2:45 p.m. Proactive Drivers of Quality Control
—Andrew Smith, Director, Trajectre LLC

How do you manage quality? As quality control philosophies evolved from reactionary to preventative, the lumber industry has been slow to adapt. Investments in new technologies can provided excellent benefits, but they only realize their full potential if effective quality management systems are used to drive the results. This presentation explores the need for a plant wide quality management program and review best practices.

2:50 p.m.-3:20 p.m. Supervisor Performance at the Highest Levels
—Robert Landau, Director of Operations, Pöyry Management Consulting

Timber Processing is as much about leadership and people management as it is about logs. Having focused and emotionally intelligent supervisors who make the right decisions will motivate your employees to put in their best effort every day, and result in better mill and financial performance. This presentation is a crash course in what supervisors should really be focused on, and what you can do to get them to perform at the highest levels.

3:25 p.m.-3:55 p.m. E-CUT 200: Beltless Trimmer for Lumber Production
—Michael Doerflinger, Senior Sales Manager North America, Springer

Sophisticated technology forms the heart of every system and ensures reliable and cost-effective operation. The E-CUT 200 represents a revolutionary new, beltless machine concept for minimizing maintenance costs.