UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Two-dimensional separate-sided surface height profiling of lumber Vadeboncoeur, Natalie Ivonne


Raw material accounts for a large proportion (approximately 75 percent) of a sawmill’s operating costs. However, about 15 percent of raw material ends up as low valued sawdust and planer shavings due to inaccurate cutting. Sizable financial benefits can be realized through maximizing conversion of raw material into valuable solid wood. Advanced process control in a sawmill can help achieve straighter cuts closer to final product dimensions and reduce loss of valuable raw material. A novel and practical method for enhanced process control in a sawmill is presented. A laser arrangement consisting of industrial point and line scanners is used to obtain a surface profile of the entire (two-dimensional) top and bottom surfaces of a lumber board. Each surface profile is independent of the other and free of data contamination caused by relative motions between the measured surface and sensors. Point scanners and line scanners simultaneously record 1-D and 2-D height data, respectively, along the length of the board. One-dimensional height data are used to identify relative motions through a mathematical technique based on linear inverse theory. Subtracting relative motion information from raw line scanner data provides an accurate 2-D surface profile. A second line scanner placed below the board can be used to obtain a separate 2-D profile of the bottom lumber surface. Separate-sided profiling is advantageous because typically a different saw or machine mills each side of a board. Thus, knowing the surface profile of each side of a board is crucial not only in diagnosing a deficiency in the milling process but also in determining the location of this deficiency. Results demonstrate that two-dimensional surface profiling can identify common surface defects such as step, washboard and knot tear-out with an accuracy of 0.3mm. Reproduction of each surface is rapid (approximately 0.2 seconds) and stable.

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