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Third-generation sawmill productivity

Against a background of ever-increasing competition, many sawmills are on the lookout for ways of increasing their productivity. As most of their costs are related to their lumber input, optimising the yield of the sawing process is an obvious area to look at – and one where Genera's GenLog Timber Rotator offers an innovative way forward.

Known as a supplier of high-quality intelligent displays for demanding environments since 1985, Genera has recently extended its expertise to the mechanical wood-processing industry with the launch of the GenLog Timber Rotator.

Located just before the saw at a mill, the two pairs of video cameras incorporated in the rotator section of the GenLog measure each log as it is fed onto the conveyor in 3D. Fast pattern recognition algorithms analyse the video data and output control sequences to a tilting serrated roller to rotate the log into an optimal position as it advances towards the blades.

Unlike competing systems, logs are continuously monitored from initial feeding to sawing, which results in very accurate results, in practice within a margin of +/-1%.

Fast video signal processing and hydraulic machinery means that high line speeds can be used. Throughput capacity is further increased by accelerating the conveyor during measurement until the minimum desired distance between logs is reached.

Valuable savings

Thanks to this combination of accurate measurement and high conveyor speed, savings of up to 5% in raw material consumption can be achieved compared to conventional rotating systems. In addition, GenLog increases the proportion of high-quality sawn timber a mill can produce, which contributes to even better productivity.

The GenLog is equally suited to both new sawmills and existing mills. As it supports longitudinal and lateral log feeding, space is not an issue, and the rotator can be installed in even confined areas, without large and expensive conveyor rebuilds.

Thanks to the fact that the system's counter-light measurement is immune to even direct sunlight, with a built-in compensation mechanism that maximises the brightness of the counter-light source, a GenLog unit can also be installed outside, further extending its versatility.

The GenLog Timber Rotator comprises five main parts: 1) a log feeder unit (not shown); 2) a conveyor line with shock-absorbing M-shape supports; 3) two pairs of video camera, four special mirrors, and two long counter-light sources; 4) a rotating unit fitted with a double cone; and 5) a processing unit and user interface panel.

Technical Data

Maximum throughput Log length
2400 mm logs/min - 30 Min. 2400 mm
6000 mm logs/min - 20 Max. 6000 m
Log diameter Power Requirements
80 - 280 mm or 20-30 kW
160 – 450 mm
Operating temperature range -25 to +50 °C

> Lauri Mikkola
(Published in High Technology Finland )