Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

SOLOLOGS - Snap shot scanning and online optimisation for log sawing

The SOLOLOGS concept objective is to offer a new technology to mills, which permits them to optimise the sawing process (maximize the wood production per log and reducing wastes). Integrating laser and electronic technologies, the system automatises the logs measurement processing, in order to optimise the sawing machines positioning and work.

The SOLOLOGS solution permits to measures logs with laser and sensors systems and to send these measures to saws. A mechanical system moves automatically the logs through lasers. Thanks to a PC managing the sensors, the measures are recorded and treated with specific software. Then the PC sends the information’s to the sawing machines control systems.

The SOLOLOGS development has required new high-level development in order to adapt existing laser technologies to the specific requirement of the sawing industrial process. This new scanner conception permits to measures with very high precision the logs. SOLOLOGS is based also on a strong electronic architecture, which permits to add scanners and sensors, without limitation. This electronic architecture integrates data communications through 100Mbits Ethernet interfaces. The data’s collect function and the measuring calculation processing are clearly distinguished and affected to different processor. In consequence, this architecture is based on standard protocols and products. In consequences, the system is easily adaptable to specific sawing production conditions, with a lower cost.

For mills, the SOLOLOGS solution represents a new crucial step for the optimisation of their production process. A step, which is impossible to obtain without this new technology:
- A reduction of the time to take the decision and an improvement of the productivity of 30% to 100% by a system, which would help the operator to take a faster decision;

- The present 15% loss of raw material linked to the imprecise positioning of the sawlogs can be reduced to 5%;

- Industrial accidents of operators decrease and human operator role more focused on higher technical level tasks;

- Improvement of small sawmills competitiveness, which will undoubtedly create jobs in the EU. The possibility for these mills to saw small logs will also give them a chance to continue buying this type of logs and to have a profitable sawing of them instead of giving them up to the pulp plants.

- Improvements in the Total Quality approach to producing wood products and helping the SME’s to move forward in the direction of ISO 9000 norms.

Further in the evaluation of the benefits that mills could withdraw from the system:
- Productivity: on the basis of 1.500M3 per year per production person the improvement that the system will bring means an increment of 25 to 50FF per M3 of sawn product. For companies producing between 30 and 150M3 per shift, that is to say 7.000 to 30.000 M3 per year one can see that the total gain may reach 175.000 to 1.500.000 FF per year.

- Raw material recovery: on the same basis the annual gain has been estimated to be between 500.000 and 2.500.000 FF.

These evaluations are being made here on a rough basis but anyone may easily understand that such amounts of money are determinant to the life of these SME’s.

The SOLOLOGS implementation leads also to a true “reengineering” of the global industrial process of the mill. In this context, it requires also to adapt the human competences. In consequence, the SOLOLOGS implementation represents a global and fundamental improvement of the technological and human capacities of the mill. The impact on competitiveness is then global.

SOLOGOGS has been primarily developed for the wood industry. However, the system components may have different uses in the same industry or eventually in others. The scanning component may be used:
- In the log and cant scanning for the wood industry outside this particular project.

- In other industries for scanning metal, plastic or other chemical bars of products.

All these benefits are indirect to the project itself but they do exist.

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