Nelson Bros Engineering

Portland Wood Technology Show

Booth 490

Sawmill Scanners, Optimizers and Controls 


Wow. Last year was actually GOOD

NBE now has scanning, optimization and control products for all sawmill machine centers from log bucking through sorting.


In the last year we have continued to advance our line of lineally scanned optimizers with the addition of a 95 foot log bucking system, a multi-zone curved cant system with a centering table and a belt scanned combination board and curved cant system for a hardwood mill.We now have a lineally scanned solution for every machine center except the trimmer.If anyone could make a trimmer fast enough, we would do it too.


NBE is now moving to the next generation scan head.The new JS-20 heads developed by Joey Nelson of JoeScan are smaller, faster and simpler.These heads include a web server, which allows access via a Java-enabled Internet browser.Setup, calibration and diagnostics is as easy as browsing the Internet.The new heads support all the legacy features of its predecessor so upgrades are no problem for mills needing faster scanning.


Advances were also made in snapshot scanning.Robert Cecil took advantage of the flexibility and speed of NBE scanning and optimization in controlling an automated sharp chain charging system.The system pre-scans the log to set the turning roll spacing, scans the log on the rolls, rotates it as directed by the optimizer, rescans to verify rotation, clamps for charging, then rescans to verify the final clamp position.The result is a sharp chain with all the rotation and taper capabilities and a minimum gap.


Whatís Ahead for NBE

NBE finally gets to slew the band mills on a lineally scanned sharp chain!Yes, we have talked about it for a long time, now we have to deliver. 

Sharp chains have always been the simplest way to breakdown small logs.Load, turn, set bands, impale and say goodbye.But in the never-ending quest for speed and recovery, the simple sharp chain has evolved into high priced, high maintenance monsters that have double length, articulating infeeds, multiple scanners and chip heads.Some mills cannot justify the cost. 


Our system keeps all the simplicity, while increasing the piece count and recovery.Loading is faster since the operator does not have to set the offset and taper nor select the cant size.Now, the operator just loads, rotates, and impales.The scanner/optimizer determines the band mill positions for the best combination of cant size and sideboards.And if optimum decision requires a taper different than straight, we can do it by slewing the bands in the cut (donít try this at home).Anyway, thatís the dream. 


We are also going to Scan the Dark Side on a Carriage Headrig.Historically, headrig scanners would only scan the front side of the log and attempt minimum opening faces.This would guarantee a usable first board, reveal the grade to the operator and preserve the most wood to be used on the back side.We like to call it the Dark Side, since it does not get scanned, and too little is know about it.On smaller logs or logs with no potential for grade improvement, this scanning method pushes all excess to the back, thus guaranteeing that wood is wasted on the back side. 


Adding backside scanners gets the data needed to make best whole-log decision.Offset, taper and cant selection can be made prior to the first cut.If significant value improvement is possible at another rotation, the operator is notified.If the operator sees grade potential he can still select the conventional methods of opening and cutting the log. 


Numerous new applications and improvements are planned for the JS-20 scan heads.Expect the standalone enforcer, a transverse scanner and the optimizer in a box to name a few. 


For more information, the experts will be in booth 490 at the Portland Show, March 19-21, 2003. 

Rod Nelson, Nelson Bros Engineering