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TiiN DP2: Technology for sorting and quality classification in the timber value chain

Published: 13 October 2016

The goal of this project is to improve the conditions for machine inspection in order to increase the competitive strength and growth of the timber industry and of the suppliers of its machinery.

The purpose is to further develop technology and processes for a better quality inspection in order to be able to meet specific customer demands and customer preferences. In the long term, better inspection routines in the timber-refining processes will lead to greater customer satisfaction and less wastage of raw material.  This is expected to increase demand and to increase the value of the high-quality timber from the north of Sweden and to maintain or increase the profitability of the companies. 

The work in progress is a three-year research and innovation project which began in January 2016 within TräInnovation i Norr, TiiN. The working group includes the active partners LTU and SP together with those interested in scanning within Norra Skogsägarna, Norsjö Trä, Setra, SCA, Stenvalls Såg, Bergkvists Insjön, Martinsons, Innovativ Vision, FinScan and other industrial partners within TräCentrumNorr (Linbäcks Bygg AB, Martinsons såg AB, Norra Skogsägarna, Derome Plusshus AB, Setra Group AB, SCA Forest Products AB, Sveaskog Förvaltnings AB, Sågverken Mellansverige och Sågab).

Summary

In the manufacture of wood products, the timber industry uses camera-based inspection for material control and quality classification throughout the process chain from the sawing to the final product.  The challenge is to be able to use inspection routines to overcome the large biological variation in the wood raw material and to be able to steer suitable material to the right product and the right customer.   

The motivation for the project is that the sawmills and joinery companies often feel that they fail to achieve the expected quality and that it is difficult to steer their processes towards customer needs, specific customer preferences or product requirements.  The reason is that the intrinsic variation in the raw material – each log, plank, board or component is unique – creates a product with indistinct borders between different quality classes regardless of what measure or property is used a reference.  This makes great demands on the technology and on the built-in intelligence of the inspection system which is being used. The industry sees a potential for improving the system currently in use and considers that this is important if it is to be able to meet the stiff competition from international actors and alternative materials.  The result of a Research, Development and Innovation input will be a vital timber industry with material-efficient processes, a greater profitability and products which are in great demand.  The project will be divided into the following fields:

1.  Lateral inspection systems (sawmills)

2.  Longitudinal inspection systems (joinery industries)

3.  Specialised inspection systems.

The primary target group for the project is the sawmills and joinery companies in the region, together with the suppliers of technology and equipment with a potential within this sector, but the work is of course directed towards all wood-refining companies who need a better inspection/scanning in their processes. 

Olof Broman

Broman, Olof - Senior Lecturer

Organisation: Wood Science and Engineering, Wood Science and Engineering, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics
Phone: +46 (0)910 585325