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Using Sawing Simulation Technology to Evaluate Softwood Log Processing

Traditional Product Recovery Studies: The Ecologically Sustainable Traditional product recovery study diagram
Production of Forest Resources team at the PNW Station has conducted over 125 traditional product recovery studies since 1962. These types of studies give results for only one set of manufactured products at one mill configuration. As technology advances and markets change, updated information is needed. New studies are time consuming, occupying a scientist for three to six months, and expensive, costing upwards of $150,000.

Objective: Evaluate the use of AUTOSAW to simulate sawing of softwood lumber in the Pacific Northwest.

What is AUTOSAW? An interactive sawing simulator developed by New Zealand Forest Research Institute. AUTOSAW simulates the sawing of logs into lumber. It edges and trims the lumber then assigns grades using WWPA rules for dimension and appearance lumber. AUTOSAW’s lumber AUTOSAW study diagramgrading is based on its ability to locate branches within logs and to carry knot locations onto sawn lumber.

Validation: U.S. lumber grade results from AUTOSAW have not beenvalidated so it is not possible to estimate the accuracy of its volume recovery or grade yield projections. In this study, a sample of 48 Douglas-fir trees were sawn into about 1100 pieces of dimension lumber (12 MBF) using a Wood Mizerä portable sawmill. Sawing of the logs from these trees will be simulated using AUTOSAW. If validation is successful, we will have the capability to simulate production of many different wood products from the same resource.


For more information, link to the following publication:

Simulating North American Lumber Grade Recovery with AUTOSAW using Externally Visible Branch and Stem Form Characteristics

University of Washington, Forest Products Laboratory, Michigan Technological University, PNW Station.
Contacts: PNW Station Jamie Barbour 503-808-2074, FPL Bob Ross 608-231-9221.