WoodSonics responds to a need in the EU sawmill sector to improve competitiveness by implementing machine strength grading of structural timber at SME sawmills. In the context of a serious crisis in the construction sector, significant savings in production costs and the optimisation of yield through the use of machine strength grading systems can help SME sawmills survive. However, the current cost of machine strength grading systems (from €100.000 - €500.000) is prohibitive for SMEs. WoodSonics proposes a cost-efficient machine grading system (€60.000) using an innovative rolling ultrasonic transducer array which can be placed directly on the grading line to automatically grade the strength of the timber. Additionally, WoodSonics can detect and localise internal and external defects throughout the length of the board. The detection of localised defects allows sawmills to optimise their yield by removing defects and upgrading the quality of the timber, as well responding to specific client requests by separating defect-free wood within the same strength class. WoodSonics will be validated using spruce (the timber used in 90% of contruction) and chestnut, a high-value hardwood from the Mediterranean region.
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