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Factory and enterprise systems

Flexible and self-learning production systems in the sawmill industry (SisuPUU) Arto Usenius, Antti Heikkilä and Timo Usenius

Present manufacturing systems in sawmills are highly automated and very cost-effective but inflexible. The products are mainly sensitive to economic fluctuations and competing standard products. Due to non-homogenous wood raw material, processing typically also produces secondary products that are not in demand. There is not necessarily a good match between available wood raw material and desired products. The missmatch causes economic losses and waste. Considerable improvements in sawmill businesses can be achieved by moving forwards in the value chain – from standard products to wood products that provide added value to customers by developing: 1. New advanced and knowledge-intensive manufacturing system concepts based on systematic gathering and processing of data into information and knowledge for use in the effective processing of wood raw material into customer-specific, niche wood products – components and special sawn timber in order to achieve

significant improvements in profitability and flexibility compared with the present manufacturing systems. 2. Scanning and measuring methods, integrated control systems, self-learning procedures for upgrading present manufacturing and strongly improving customer orientation and business economy. 3. Road maps for moving smoothly from the present production systems to future flexible and self-learning manufacturing systems. Research results prove clearly that comprehensive exploitation of the properties and quality features of wood raw material and maximization of the value yield are not possible using the current sawing methods and systems. Losses in value yield come from sawing batches of logs with fixed, pre-selected blade settings to try to maximize volume yield instead of value yield and from failures in the sawing processes. The focuses of this re-

Figure 1. Advanced manufacturing technology and modelling of value chains play an essential role in the management and optimization of future value chains.

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VTT Research Highlights 3  

Production matters. VTT in global trends. Kai Häkkinen (ed.)

VTT Research Highlights 3  

Production matters. VTT in global trends. Kai Häkkinen (ed.)