Rauma brings machine vision to the sawmill industry

​Using machine vision is a central element of the modern production technology at the new sawmill in Rauma. Machine vision is used to ensure the quality of final products and the efficiency of the production process.

2/2021

​The world’s most modern sawmill is being built in Rauma. 

“We are creating a new, state-of-the art sawmill by using the latest technological solutions available. The Rauma sawmill is a significant developmental leap for the entire industry,” says Project Director Harri Haapaniemi

Machine vision, smart control and artificial intelligence solutions are used at all stages of the sawing process in Rauma.  

“The data measured during the different process stages is combined to produce individual information on the logs and products. Artificial intelligence tirelessly connects the results together and follows the pieces through the entire process. With the help of precise scanning and continuous development, the end customer is guaranteed to get the agreed quality,” says Jarkko Vihervuori, Technical Director of the Rauma sawmill project. 

Reliable operation with machine vision 

The sawing process traditionally includes a multitude of sensors, lasers, meters and photocells. Machine vision can replace them all, resulting in fewer components subject to a risk of failure in the process. This also enables high availability and makes full use of the tremendous sawing speed. The saw line will run at a speed of more than 200 metres per minute, which is around three times more than ordinary sawmills achieve. 

“Machine vision is used both on the sawing line and in item processing. Equipment that uses the new machine vision technology is placed in dozens of positions along the production line,” Vihervuori says. 

One control room for the whole Rauma sawmill 

Machine vision changes the standard operating model of sawmills considerably. For example, with the help of machine vision and smart control, defective pieces can be automatically removed from production lines, which means that the personnel do not need to stand next to the lines, monitoring the production. The change improves occupational safety, working conditions and product quality. 

“The work of sawmill workers, or operators, changes to monitoring and control carried out from a single control room. The work tasks of operators at the plant focus on ensuring that the machines operate correctly, the quality is at it should be and the conclusions made by the machine vision application are correct.” 

All transfers will be made automatically 

Sticker piles of 20 to 30 cubic metres will be prepared mechanically for drying. All transfers in the drying unit will also be made automatically, steered by the production system. 

In grade sorting, the sticker pile will be unloaded, and the pieces sorted and graded. Then the products will be packaged. An identifier will be attached to each package. Finally, the packages will be grouped and transferred automatically to the vehicle that will take them to the harbour. The distance from the sawmill to the Port of Rauma is just three kilometres.



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