In lumber manufacturing, kiln drying is an important step that creates value by removing moisture from the wood to provide dimensional stability and strength. However, kiln drying can be damaging to the wood if not done properly. Wood that remains wet, will fail moisture checks by inspectors and customers – potentially causing large moisture claims by construction contractors and/or end-users. Lumber that is over-dried becomes brittle and causes processing issues at the planer when it is dressed to the final dimension. Additionally, this over-dried lumber results in less throughput and lost profit for the mill.
Whether the mill has batch or continuous kilns, it is important to optimize drying schedules to avoid under or over-dried lumber. Typically, mills are targeting between 12 and 19%, on an oven-dry basis. Finna Sensors can help you achieve these targets with its in-kiln technology.
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Finna Sensors has been offering systems for the kiln drying process for over 15 years. In 2006, the company released its first generation, in-kiln moisture measurement solution through one of its subsidiaries, Signature Control System (SCS). Drawing upon years of experience measuring radio-frequency and our in-depth knowledge of wood science, the accuracy of those initial systems was +/-1%. KilnScout™, the latest generation of wired and wireless products for in-kiln moisture measurement have been improved to include advancements in measurement speed and accuracy, seamless integration with kiln controllers as well as, Internet of Things (IOT) data.
The benefit of purchasing an in-kiln measurement sensors is that they can increase throughput as much as +10%. Payback on these solutions is as little as 3-4 months. For this reason, Finna Sensors has sold its in-kiln moisture measurement tools to the vast majority of lumber mills in North America. An added benefit is that these systems integrate with Finna Sensors’ related products in the sawmill and planer to allow users to track results through the entire production process.
Improved moisture control has emerged as an important process improvement element in the forest products industry as mills continue to focus on profitability and yield. SCS Forest Products by Finna Sensors provides the industry’s widest-used end-to-end line of integrated moisture measurement systems and related process optimization tools. Click to also learn more about our products for the sawmill, planer and biomass.