NELSON BROS ENGINEERING - NEWSLETTER
DON'T Miss the Enforcer at the Portland Sawmill Clinic.
March 14-16, 2001
NBE was not too busy in 2000, but we still managed to have fun. We installed 2 more scanner and controls upgrades for Ahlstrom and Kockums lineal edgers (we are now at 13). We installed a trimmer optimizer in a cedar fencing mill. In association with Robert Cecil, NBE optimizers were installed a twin band log system and a random width board edger. We also sold 30 of our L-51 line laser scan heads for lineal scanners. We did book a transverse scanned board edger system that 'got away' (the bad market gets to everyone).
The lineal upgrades were in New Zealand and Australia. The Australian startup was rough on my son Jeff, it took him 2 weeks on the beach at Cairns to recuperate. It is a great place to visit, and we hope to find an excuse for another trip.
The major effort for 2000 was getting the NBE optimizers converted to run under Windows NT. This software conversion work is being done by Wayne Ransier. So far the trimmer optimizer and board edger optimizer, and the log supervisor are done and installed in mills. Hopefully, the curved gang optimizer conversion will be far enough along to also be shown at Portland.
As always, the PLC controls for NBE systems are done by Jeff Ralph. Jeff was too busy in 2000, but he still managed to handle the NBE jobs. We always say, "if success is required, go with Jeff, if occasional failure is acceptable go with anyone". Robin Mathews has teamed with Jeff on a number of the PLC controls projects including one of our "down-under" upgrades. They both go into some kind of "Rut" during the Bow Hunting season, so it is best to not schedule projects in September.
Gerhard Mueller of GME Machine was also too busy in 2000 designing and managing the construction of a new sawmill. In his spare time, we have been plotting the takeover of the lineally scanned sawmill machinery market. Now, all we have to do is convince mills.
So far 2001 looks good, with a lineal board edger and a lineally scanned curved gang edger booked for the summer. We have always been advocates of lineally scanned systems, and now that our non-compete agreement has expired, we intend to get more aggressive on these systems. Teaming with experienced people like Jeff, Robin, Gerhard, Robert and Wayne should make success inevitable.
NBE is also looking into using the L-51 scan heads in standalone profile scanner applications. The advantage of the L-51 over other line laser scan heads is the embedded, programmable computer with an ethernet port. All you need to do is aim it at something, start it scanning and it can report results directly into a PLC or another computer via the ethernet. Our first, attempt will be a QC scanner after a board edger.
At the Portland Show we will have L-51 scan heads in the lineal log, cant and board scanner configurations and a single head in the QC Enforcer configuration. We will also be showing the Windows NT version of the trimmer, board edger, curved gang and log optimizers. We hope to be showing a single Supervisor with 4 windows following each of the 4 optimizers. We just got a Wireless Ethernet hub to try at the Show. The ability to walk around with a notebook computer and remain linked to the optimizer or PLC should be handy at startups.
If you get on the web, visit the NBE website at:
Thanks for the good year, I hope to see you