Multi-View X-ray technology on display at WoodTECH 2018

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The development of X-ray scanners for the wood processing industry has been a key component of Microtec’s R&D and commercialization in recent years. The company, with installations in some of the largest wood processing operations in both New Zealand and Australia, is a global leader of scanning and optimization solutions in the sawmilling and wood processing industries. They will this year be presenting and exhibiting at the upcoming WoodTECH 2018 series being run for Australasian dry-mill and wood manufacturing companies in mid-September.

X-ray was first used in high speed board scanners, using fixed X-ray sources to identify log qualities. Using two-dimensional radiography in logs allows the internal characteristics within the log to be identified. These are used to estimate different features such as knot size, knot location and the pith position. With this information, the system can also be applied to bucking, log sorting and cutting pattern optimization.

The fastest lumber scanner, Microtec’s Goldeneye 800, features three X-ray sources for precise pith location and knot size calculation at feed speeds of up to 1,200 meters per minute. This maximizes recovery for high-speed planer mills and manufacturers of construction lumber and high-speed applications.

New Microtec Multi-View X-ray technology identifies internal wood defects, pith and accurately determines the knot size inside lumber. This allows for automated grading as well as optimization of all further production steps.

Microtec realized that their customers often have several scanning and optimization solutions running at their mill, each one generating a lot of data.

With their new product, Microtec Mill Manager, all production data, all data from our scanners, and software optimization systems can be collected and consolidated in a central database.

New production orders are inserted directly into the system, keeping track of what has been processed, re-manufactured and packed. From purchase orders to sales orders –you can produce only what is needed.

Process control allows the user to monitor production flow, downtimes and work progress. Whether it is the reduction of losses through better understanding mix variances, lower production costs by capturing key production characteristics, or lower transport costs as a result of better visibility of orders, Mill Manager helps you eliminate wastage and improve efficiency. Welcome to your digital production site or mill 4.0.

Another example for an integrated manufacturing site – is the system “Smart Mill”. This will be demonstrated as part of the upcoming WoodTECH 2018 series. Smart Mill is featured with a high mast lighting pole, that includes LED lights, WiFi transmitters and stereoscopic cameras interconnected in an all-encompassing log yard control suite that collects all scanning & optimization data.

  1. The high-performance LED light allows for an individual light distribution and provides a better & more cost-effective illumination
  2. All light poles include a Large-area WiFi network. The availability of a global network is the backbone of integrated and interconnected manufacturing and a necessary prerequisite for Industry 4.0
  3. The light pole further features stereoscopic 3D cameras that capture 3D images of your logs in your merchandising yard
    • => this allows for example for a continuous & full inventory control of your log yard.
  4. Log yard inventory data is connected with scanned log data from any scanning system present at the log yard, which records all log data and makes it available in the system.

To sum up, Smart Mill features:

  • 100% control of your sawmill (log yard, machinery, inventory)
  • Optimized sawmill operations and work preparation
  • High efficiency LED illumination for improved lightning
  • 4.0 Integrated manufacturing through seamless WiFi interconnectivity
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