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Q.C. opportunities for the entire mill

16 July 2019

In a previous update on the upcoming sawmilling series ( WoodTECH 2019) running in September, we outlined a series of practical workshops being set up for sawmill production and operational staff which have been integrated into the two-day conference and exhibition. Workshops on primary breakdown and machine alignment and maintenance techniques to improve machine reliability, real-time quality control, condition monitoring, saw and guide alignment and trouble-shooting saw guides are being given in both Australia and New Zealand as part of the event.

Nick Barrett, President of the Canadian company, SiCam Systems will be taking one of the more in-depth workshops on Q.C. in the sawmill. Sawmills are full of opportunities to improve performance on existing equipment and the workshop will help demonstrate practical ideas to achieve this goal. Recovery and predictive maintenance issues can provide substantial payback. Every mill should have a process for auditing equipment, scanning systems, people and overall mill performance.

Included in the workshop will be a session on Quality Control Basics. It’s critical to review the basics and we’ll be highlighting where the opportunities often occur with QC and Size Control. Much of the focus for this part of the workshop will be on specific machine examples and case studies. Topics will include: Size Control Objectives, Value and Recovery, Understanding Variation, Understanding Target Size and Size Control Processes.

The second part of the workshop will cover the application of both manual and automated methods for testing specific machinery in the sawmill. Practical ideas will be supplied on how machines should be monitored within the mill. The elements of predictive maintenance and data analytics are critical nowadays for a modern sawmill. Sawmills have expensive optimizers that make important value decisions and mills need a manual and/or automated system to audit the entire process.

Topics here will include; Primary Breakdown, Width, Thickness, Saw Deflection and Opening Face Analysis, Board Edger: Width and Wane analysis, Gang: Thickness and Wane analysis, Trimmer: Fence Performance, Length Verification and Storyboard Process and Planer: Infeed and outfeed width/thickness and the impacts of drying.

And finally, the workshop will also be covering Quality Control – People and Programme. The biggest lesson being picked up in mills is often the lack of education and empowerment for the QC people. This last session will focus on teaching the entire mill to understand the value of good quality. Production is often the primary focus at mills but when an economic analysis is done, the biggest financial impact on the mill is more often than not improving quality and recovery.

Topics in this last session will include: Mill Staff: Operators, Supervisors, QC and Management – all need be involved appropriately, Mill Specific Opportunities: understanding the opportunities, Economic Analysis: How to calculate payback and Specific Examples: Highlighting several mill QC programme examples.

Registrations to both events in the series are now flowing in with most mills taking full advantage of the significant discounts on offer for group bookings to attend this year’s programme.

Information and registrations can be accessed from the event website, www.woodtech.events. The two-yearly sawmilling series runs in Rotorua, New Zealand on 11-12 September and then again in Melbourne, Australia on 17-18 September 2019.

Source & Photo: SiCam Systems

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