Automation and software for boards sorting lines

Technological features at middle and large-ranking sawmills, according to the current Russian labour market, make usage of automated timber sorting lines relevant and economically viable. They split up, according to their functionality, into green sorting lines and dry sorting lines. The line includes feeding device – backfall, device of feeding individual boards, levelling conveyor, measuring transporter with a section of grade estimation and ordering, crosscut saw and trimmer, sorting transporter with kickers and accumulating pockets for boards, discharge conveyor, batching machine. All actuators of the sorting lines are controlled by automated control systems. Specialists of OOO “ATOMATIKA-VEKTOR” are well-experienced in developing and implementing of automated control systems for timber sorting lines, both for the new lines (for example, Kit-Sell, Hekotek) and modernization and adaptation (Russian language support) of control systems of existing lines or being installed reclaimed lines, removed abroad. Often the existed sorting line can’t provide certain performance and meet the changed requirements of quality precisely because of the obsolete control system. In such a case installation of a new control system improves the performance. According to such a scheme within a long period of time, we modernized control systems at lines produced by VALMET, PLAN-SELL, SATEKA, OODEN etc., which are located at different sawmills.

General functionalities of control systems of boards sorting line:

  • Measuring of geometrical dimensions of the board: thickness-width Vektor LMS
  • Receiving from the operator the order about cross-cutting and sort
  • Control over the trimmer or stop bars for cross-cutting according to the task
  • Selection of pockets for the board, observing and kicking of the board to the pocket
  • Accounting of boards amount inside the pocket, control over the pocket’s bottom
  • Accounting of timber that got through the line, at the beginning and at the end of the line, taking into account cross-cutting.
  • Storage of information about line operation in the database, reports generation.

Great attention to sawmills is paid to the more effective wood processing, the goal is – to get the maximum value from each piece of wood material. The great part of the work is done by the operator, he must visually, during a long period of time, measure boards going through with the speed up to 60 pcs per minute according to several criteria: the size of wane edge, flaws, knots, sided and end shakes, worms etc. Usually, the operator, because of fear to be wrong, generates the order for cross-cut for more than enough, saw more than it needed. Line operational efficiency (and the whole sawmill) depends on the professional competencies of the operator, his tiredness and the speed of his work. Elimination of these factors by means of quality and wane automatic identification system allows increase the cost of production for 3.4% made from the same amount of wood material. But such systems are rather expensive and repaid within a reasonable period of time installed on high-speed lines with annual capacity from 100 000 m³ of timber. The automatic optimizer of wane cutting is more useful at middle-ranking saw mills. Sorting Program includes initial data of required boards’ parameters, allowable wane and production cost. The cross-section of the board is being scanned with high precision inset of points through the length of the board, is being defined the whole geometrical shape of the board by the System VEKTOR LMS, after that program generates an order for the cross-cut of each board taking into account the highest cost. As useful and important addition – control over all geometrical tolerance on timber. Operator accounts only the quality of board that is not a heavy workload. The impact of the implementation of such a system is valuable.