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Development of a 3D log sawing optimization system for small sawmills in central Appalachia, US

Formally Refereed
Authors: Wenshu Lin, Jingxin Wang, Edward Thomas
Year: 2011
Type: Scientific Journal
Station: Northern Research Station
Source: Wood and Fiber Science. 43(4): 379-393.


A 3D log sawing optimization system was developed to perform log generation, opening face determination, sawing simulation, and lumber grading using 3D modeling techniques. Heuristic and dynamic programming algorithms were used to determine opening face and grade sawing optimization. Positions and shapes of internal log defects were predicted using a model developed by the USDA Forest Service. Lumber grading procedures were based on National Hardwood Lumber Association rules. The system was validated through comparisons with sawmill lumber values. External characteristics of logs, including length, large-end and small-end diameters, diameters at each foot, and defects were collected from five local sawmills in central Appalachia. Results indicated that hardwood sawmills have the potential to increase lumber value through optimal opening face and sawing optimizations. With these optimizations, average lumber value recovery could be increased by 10.01% using the heuristic algorithm or 14.21% using the dynamic programming algorithm. Lumber grade was improved significantly by using the optimal algorithms. For example, recovery of select or higher grade lumber increased 16-30%. This optimization system would help small sawmill operators improve their processing performance and improve industry competitiveness.


Heuristic, dynamic programming, grade sawing, modeling, optimization


Lin, Wenshu; Wang, Jingxin; Thomas, Edward. 2011. Development of a 3D log sawing optimization system for small sawmills in central Appalachia, US. Wood and Fiber Science. 43(4): 379-393.