Digital cameras inspect wood

FEBRUARY 17, 2009--Canada is one of the world's preeminent manufacturers of high-quality wood products and also the largest exporter of wood products.

FEBRUARY 17, 2009--Canada is one of the world's preeminent manufacturers of high-quality wood products and also the largest exporter of wood products. In addition, about 75% of Canada's structural wood panel production (mostly OSB2) is exported, primarily to the United States. Forintek is a leading organization in wood products research based in Canada whose mission is to develop applications and solutions to maximize the competitiveness of the Canadian wood products sector.

In the current manufacturing procedure for the housing industry, logs are processed to produce thin wood strands of a specific size range to maximize the final panel product properties. Because of a changing wood supply in some areas, mills have to process drier wood, such as MBP3 pine. Such pine generates high levels of small wood particles, also called "fines," that make it more difficult to produce evenly sized strands needed for efficient processing and quality purposes.

In 2002, Forintek started developing an online fines measurement system following high level interest from the OSB industry. The original system consisted of two tungsten halogen lights and a monochrome analog 1/2-in. CCD camera linked to a vision computer analyzing the image data via software programmed with C++. The system was pointing at the drop-chute of a continuous running closed-loop conveyor system built to recreate mill conditions. Initial tests showed that the system needed improving. To find out how this was accomplished, go to: http://www.prosilica.com/company/news/newsletters/november2008.pdf

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