Portland Wood Technology Show.         Booth 238

Nelson Bros Engineering


Sawmill Scanners, Optimizers and Controls


2003, another great year at NBE.


There is no truth to the rumor that NBE is being bought by a competitor for an obscene amount of money.  Actually, there is no rumor.   I was just trying to start it.  It looks like the only companies that get bought are ones that made a bunch of money, then unravel due to new management or a depressed market.  At NBE we avoid this dilemma by not making a lot of money and not having any management.


But we do have fun. 


We have added headrig carriage scanner/optimizers to our product line.  NBE now has scanner/optimizer products for all machine centers in a sawmill.  I think only one other vendor can make that claim.


Cecil reveals the Darkside


Robert has always been convinced that you need to scan the backside of the log on a headrig carriage.  The Best Opening Face and Minimum Opening Face algorithms of the past, attempt to make the least harmful opening cuts, but by no means do they guarantee maximum recovery.  You just can not do it without knowing the shape of the entire log ( i.e. both front and back). 


Ignoring conventional wisdom, Robert mounted JoeScan JS-20 scanheads on the carriage.  He relates the risk of putting scanheads on the carriage to that of putting the original temposonic transducers on a carriage.  The benefits are so great that any issues of reliability will be resolved.  Robert is an Optimist.


Looks like he was right, the first system was started in July, the data is great, the solutions are great and no scanheads have failed.



King of SLEW strikes again

NBE finally got to slew the band mills on a lineally scanned sharp chain!  Yes, we have talked about it for a long time, now we did it.  But it is not “over the goal” yet.  The startup was a snap and we were able to demonstrate slewing on the second day.  No bad effects were detected, but the mill is reluctant to “turn it on”, since they have been trying to resolve other unrelated bandmill problems.


We collected scan data on a couple hundred logs and did a comparison between straight cutting and slewed cutting (up to 0.4”/10’).  Slewing showed a 1% increase in recovery… 


Let me think:  500 shifts/year, $300/1000bf and 1%.  That must be $300K per year for a 100K bf/shift mill and $1M per year for a 333K bf/shift mill.  Reminds me of that Dire Straits song:  Money for Nothing, Chips for free.


This is a “no brainer”.  If you have a sharpchain, you need to start slewing.  If your current vendor does not do slewing, you need to call NBE.  If your sharpchain has chipheads, it may be harder, but you still need to start slewing.


‘Hole lot of shaken goin on


Knowing that the JS-20XR scanheads were going to ride on a headrig carriage, Joey Nelson of JoeScan (booth 461) made the heads bulletproof.  To prove it, he tested the heads on a commercial vibration table.  The tests revealed some serious resonance problems that were resolved with simple mechanical changes.  It is nice to have a scan head vendor that tests things before they ship.


What about 2004?


NBE is going to do some headrig carriages, sharpchains, end-doggers, lineal board and gang edgers and some trimmers.  And to make certain we do not make too much money just doing the easy jobs, we plan on the following:


        World’s least expensive lineally scanned board edger.

        Using JS-20 heads for position feedback.

        Low cost lineal grade scan in sawmill.

        Simple scanner with solution display to assist a manual edger operator.

        Special features to improve recovery on sharp chains.



For more information, the experts will be in booth 238 at the Portland Show, March 17-19, 2004. 

Rod Nelson, Nelson Bros Engineering

File:  \rod\pshow2004.doc

Date:  2/13/04