Finna Sensors introduced its Transverse Hybrid Sawmill system in the winter of 2018. It is in use in multiple mills across North America to optimize the sorting process with moisture content and weight, to maximize grade recovery. The Sawmill Hybrid system combines the MCPRO1500 Non-Contact and the Densigrader: Dynamic Weight Sorter to offer accurate moisture content measurement in both frozen and non-frozen lumber during the winter. The two proven systems have slightly different strengths that, when combined, offer the optimal, cost-effective solution for frozen and non-frozen, single or mixed species lumber. Typically, the Hybrid system is installed before or after the trimmer. It is connected to a PLC and/or sensors to accept a volume measurement. The footprint is only six feet. The software can be updated via the web to enable quick and simple upgrades. The advanced diagnostic features ensure minimal calibration and the new ‘reference board’ ensures proper setup and timing.
Radio frequency systems are optimal on drier and thawed lumber. Weight systems operate best on wet or frozen lumber. Combining these two systems provides the best option for measuring the entire moisture content range. The problem of sorting frozen lumber has existed for years. Multiple species ads another complexity that causes traditional methods of measurement to be less effective because of different densities, wet pockets or rot. The combined system addresses both of these issues to allow mills to properly sort lumber. Sorting is key to driving more efficiency and volume through the kilns, as well as, lifting final grade at the planer. Top mills are already using this system to take advantage of these gains.
There are two primary benefits of the Transverse Hybrid Sawmill system. The first is the increased production of higher-grade boards as a result of better drying. This directly translates to higher profits as higher-grade boards can be sold for more money. Average improvements to grade from upgrading an existing moisture sorting system to the Hybrid is more than 3%. If the mill is starting from scratch, the gains can exceed 16%. The other benefit is the increased throughput of the kilns as a result of greater efficiency gained from better sorting. Kiln production can be arranged so that similarly sorted lumber can be processed together to optimize settings for quality and speed.