The Canadian lumber industry has identified, as a high priority, the establishment of a multi-year Lumber Properties Program that pulls together a number of urgent initiatives currently underway to establish and/or maintain Canadian lumber design values. The desire is to have an overall program that emphasizes the proper development of a longer-term strategic plan and process to deal with current and future initiatives. Combining the current industry resources with Federal Government contributions through Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the first step in the Program has been completed: to gather the various initiatives now underway and to begin the formal development of pan-Canadian policies to guide the development, implementation and on-going maintenance of such initiatives.
The key activities in 2006-07 were:
Launching of the pilot phase of the on-going monitoring program, and development of a simulation model to assist in determining what sort of trends can be reliably detected and which cannot;
Completion of the in-grade testing program on Canadian Norway spruce;
Analysis of the No.2 2x4 Hem-Fir (N) monitoring study and confirmation of the appropriateness of assigned design values;
Identification of an alternative species grouping procedure for further study;
Starting of a process under the ASTM Committee on Wood to address gaps in the Grade Quality Index provisions in ASTM Practice D1990, and
Establishing a forum for engaging the US in discussions on lumber properties issues.
Lumber properties issues crucial to maintaining the competitiveness of Canadian lumber continue to be the same as in previous years: tests and means to adjust for sample representativeness using the Grade Quality Index (GQI), species grouping and re-grouping procedures, and on-going lumber monitoring. As a result, discussion on a pan-Canadian strategy and supporting policies necessary to support Canadian lumber initiatives tend to focus on these three issues. The challenge is to ensure that these issues are dealt with in a way that balances both short and longer-term needs and provides a net overall benefit to the Canadian industry.
Cette étude compare les performances des différentes machines de classement MSR utilisées actuellement dans l’industrie canadienne du bois de sciage. Cinq machines ont été retenues : La HCLT-7200 de Metriguard, la Dart de Eldeco, la TMG du CRIQ, la Dynagrade de Dynalyse AB et la XLG de Coe Mfg.
In plywood mills finished panels are manually graded and sorted based on specific defects. The panel edges are especially difficult to grade by human visual inspection due to the small nature of different defects, especially at higher line speeds. This can result in misread errors that can be costly.
In this project a prototype scanner, based on 3D laser profilometry, was developed by FPInnovations and demonstrated in two Canadian plywood mills for automatic edge grading. At both mills, panels were scanned on the production line in real time, collecting full length, 3-dimensional edge profiles in the x, y and z coordinate fields that were then analyzed by computer software sub-routines to identify defects for each panel. The data was processed to categorize groups of data points, depending on the edge profile depth (z-axis) variation, length (x-axis) and height (y-axis) into the specific defect categories of core, top and bottom edge void, core gap and core overlap, based on the values of predetermined edge profile thresholds.
Results from the two mill tests showed that the scanner was effective with a correct identification rate greater than 80%. The lack of panel hold-downs at each mill resulted in extreme height variation of the panel edges and this limited the defect detection accuracy. Based on the tests, the technology for automated edge grading is feasible. Longer term mill evaluations are recommended with adequate panel hold-downs in place before confirming that this technology is ready for commercialization.
This report summarizes the progress from Year 4 of the multi-year Lumber Properties project. All activities continue to conform to the guiding principles adopted by the Lumber Properties Steering Committee (LPSC) at the start of the program. This year support was provided to statisticians from the University of British Columbia’s Department of Statistics to meet and work with researchers and statisticians from the US Forest Products Laboratory (USFPL) in Madison, WI. All physical testing under the ongoing monitoring pilot study was also completed, allowing the UBC statisticians to continue work refining their global lumber properties simulator. Work is continuing on the collection of secondary properties for Norway spruce and on the analysis of the data collected to-date.
No activities requiring significant resources were carried out under the Resource Assessment and the Special Products Initiative. Instead, these resources were redirected to cover shortfalls in the provincial funding under the Strategic Framework Initiative, so that the statistical work with the USFPL could continue.
The current Canadian Lumber Properties program was established to support multi-year research on topics judged by the industry to be critical to the safe and viable use of Canadian dimension lumber in structural applications. This program, in combination with the National Lumber Grades Authority’s grading rules and the accredited third party grading agencies form the backbone of the Canadian lumber quality system. This system enables Canadian lumber producers to grade and ship Canadian lumber for use in North American and overseas structural building applications.
When initiated in 2005, the program focussed on five areas. The effort is now focussed on three areas: 1) maintenance of existing lumber design values by means of an ongoing lumber properties monitoring program; 2) working with the US/Canada task group established to guide the development of standard procedures published in ASTM D1990 and used in the establishment of lumber design values; and 3) liaise with university-based research groups to leverage research suitable for addressing longer-term research needs in the area of lumber properties.
One of the planned activities for 2009-10 was the start-up of a trial on-going lumber properties monitoring program. The program, which is a longitudinal survey of lumber produced from mills across Canada, would have been modelled after the Pilot Ongoing Monitoring program that began in 2006 and ended in 2008. Because of the severe downturn in the industry starting in 2008, the proposed 2009-10 program needed to be postponed to accommodate the shortfall in industry funding. There were also concerns with the significant changes in production levels both within and between regions, and the potential disruptions to sampling because of unanticipated mill closures. Available resources were instead directed at establishing how best to respond to practical issues observed during the downturn, such as the closure of a mill that would have or had been providing samples. Following discussions during the year and consideration of possible alternatives, it is recommended that the sampling plan as used in the Pilot program be restarted. Additional details on the augmented mill list to account for mill closures are provided in the recommendations section of this report.
In the other major area of study, University of BC (UBC) and US Forest Products Laboratory (USFPL) statisticians met to discuss and evaluate alternatives to the ASTM D1990 procedures for developing design values for groups of wood species. Although the proposed alternative procedures would address one or more of the statistical anomalies identified in the ASTM D1990 procedure, the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) Lumber Properties Task Group (LPTG) charged with reviewing the potential changes did not see any practical improvements to warrant changes to the procedures but suggested that the effort focus on establishing criteria for species grouping. Because of the potential inter-relationship between the species grouping procedures and other procedures used to assess in-grade lumber properties, it is recommended that efforts be maintained in this area and adjusted as required to respond to the needs of the LPTG.
Lastly, in late 2009, the UBC Dept. of Statistics and the Simon Fraser University Dept. of Statistics and Actuarial Science were awarded a research grant by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada to establish the “Forest Products Stochastic Modeling Group”. FPInnovations is the industrial collaborator on this initiative. Several student projects targeting longer-term lumber properties research needs have been initiated, and a sample of suggested projects is included in the appendix of this report.
La hausse constante des coûts de production et une concurrence toujours plus forte pour des approvisionnements de plus en plus rares de matières premières ont accentué la nécessité d'une évaluation précise de la qualité des billes. La qualité des sciages dépend de celle des billes; aussi leur classification devient-elle essentielle à l'achat rationnel de billes et à leur affectation à des produits de rechange. Cette publication décrit en détail et avec exemples comment utiliser les facteurs quantitatifs et qualitatifs en usage pour la classification des billes de sciage de bois dur en des catégories de qualité supérieure, moyenne et inférieure. On trouvera des informations sur l'identification et l'évaluation de défauts tels que les brindilles adventives, les déformations de l'écorce, les bosses et les loupes, de même que sur la méthodologie du clacul de la valeur des billes.
This study compared the performances of MSR grading machines currently used by the Canadian lumber industry. It covered five models: HCLT-7200 from Metriguard, Dart from Eldeco, TMG from CRIQ, Dynagrade from Dynalyse AB and XLG from Coe Mfg.