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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An approach to automated product valuing for a real-time value optimization system Thomas, Ian Murray


Uncertainties in timber supply are forcing forest product companies to search out ways of extracting greater economic benefit from the available forest resource. Secondary manufacturing is one area to which they are turning. Many of these secondary manufacturing operations employ rip-chop sawing systems to cut boards or slabs into custom size parts and improve quality by cutting out defects. In this thesis a methodology is developed for estimating product values and using these values to decide how to cut the boards. The goal is to maximize the total value produced over a production run while minimizing inventory and ensuring that customer orders are met on time. The method uses a linear programming model to estimate each product’s marginal value. It guides the chopsaw system towards a set of production targets by monitoring production and dynamically updating product prices. A singleboard- cut-up algorithm uses the product prices to decide where to cut. In a case study, this method recovered 95.6% of the maximum recoverable value of the production run, an 11.6% improvement over the current method used in the test mill. The method has the potential to improve the value recovery of rip-chop sawing systems, an important component of many secondary manufacturing operations. Increasing the value recovery will increase profitability and better utilize the available forest resource.

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