OptiGrader Edger – a value optimizing system for board edgers
A sawmill's most significant monetary losses arise from the flitch edging process. In conventional edging, the intention is to maximize the board size with the wane edge data as the basis. However, the financial result does not depend on the board size alone - you also need to consider the board grade and the market price range, in addition to the wane edges, to maximize the profit achievable.
The OptiGrader Edger solves the problem.
Active control determines the end products before edging
In addition to the grade data, the OptiGrader Edger optimizing system considers the market price range of the chips and various end products, including any remanufactured and special grades. With these factors as the basis, the OptiGrader Edger maximizes the achievable monetary values of the boards and then decides on the end products for sawing and further refining. Finally, the system computes the optimal board width and length for edging. The OptiGrader Edger also enables the automatic skew cutting of the boards.
In conventional volume optimization, a piece of maximum size is sawed from each flitch based on wane edge data alone. The grade obtained is verified afterwards.
The OptiGrader Edger determines the final grade prior to edging based on both sides of the flitch and by-passes any defects affecting the grade.
Millions of additional profit
Board grade optimization increases the lumber value by 10–20 percent, which corresponds to an additional profit of €1.5–3 million for an annual revenue of €50 million. Active grade control is used to adapt the sawmill production to the constantly varying board price range, including the individual grade requirements. This secures a stable level of profitability and an adaptive product offering in a variety of market situations.
Savings are also achieved from timber remanufacturing. Thanks to optimization, the various end product quantities are already known during the edger optimizing process. The board trimming (near/far ends) is done before drying, which boosts the actual kiln capacity. The volume of green chips is also increased. Furthermore, the measurement precision minimizes the total amount of rejected boards.
Securing accuracy through bilateral lineal measurements
The OptiGrader Edger provides fully automatic control and optimization of the edging process. It measures the wane edges, knots and any other defects lineally on both sides of the flitch.
Thanks to the lineal measurements, the position of the flitch remains unaltered from the measurement to sawing, which is a necessary precondition for the success of straight and skew cutting. In conventional lateral measurements, the board must be moved between conveyors before edging, which changes the board position and randomizes the end results of edging.
Bilateral measurements eliminate the need for turning the piece being processed. This allows you to avoid the turn-induced feed disturbances and unnecessary stops in production, while increasing your line capacity.
An award-winning machine vision application
The OptiGrader Edger examines boards from two directions. A matrix camera is used to measure the dimensions (1,000 images per second) and a true-color line-scan camera to measure the grade properties (4,000 images per second). The system identifies the grade factors with the aid of a machine vision application that is based on neurocomputing simulating human brain activity. The system can be taught to identify new defect types with the aid of concrete images.
The application has been awarded the EC Vision Prize for the best cognitive machine vision system, which reflects Inx-Services' leadership in the development of self-learning measuring systems.
The image processing technology used by the system is patented.
Office electronics is no match for this line of work
The system electronics was designed for industrial conditions and the equipment processing power was dimensioned for machine vision applications that require massive computing power. This ensures the equipment's reliability and the measurement accuracy, which cannot be achieved by computers designed for office purposes.
The user interface complies with the specific needs of wood processing, providing a clear view of the production in progress. The user sees the measurement results of all pieces being processed and the optimization result trends in a clear graphic form.