The processing of natural products, such as trees, sets specific challenges. Different computer vision applications in the wood industry increase personnel safety, product quality and production efficiency by taking into account natural variations in shape, size and structure.
APIXA applies computer vision in a range of wood-related applications, including logs, oriented strand boards (OSB) and fiberboards. Felled trees are transported to the factory to convert into a variety of wood intermediate products. APIXA develops dedicated computer vision solutions, often based on 3D scanners, which capture the geometry of incoming logs and decide on pass or reject. Similarly, 3D profiles of a tree flake carpet are taken before it is compressed to form OSB boards. Other computer vision applications, based on laser triangulation, further drill down on the level of individual flakes or fibers to maintain high product quality.
As conveyor belts are used in most wood applications, the associated motion tolerances and vibrations must be accounted for. This adds to the complexity of such inline wood process applications. APIXA's specific solution configurations drive robust decision making in harsh outdoor conditions, generate production and supplier statistics, and allow for further image analysis.
Scanning incoming logs
The APIXA 3D Log Scanner captures the geometry of incoming logs of various size and shape on a conveyor belt.
Advanced AI techniques are applied to determine log length, average diameter and volume, also when logs touch each other or lie next to each other. A conveyor speed encoder is used to account for belt accelerations and decelerations in relation to the log scanning. Out-of-spec logs are rejected to ensure personnel safety and avoid damage to machinery. On the economic side, the accumulated measurements are used to generate running production statistics and provide feedback to log providers.
Flake carpet scanning
OSB panels, an engineered wood product, are formed on the basis of a tree flake carpet and adhesives.
Before entering the compressing stage, the APIXA 3D Flake Carpet Scanner solution continuously measures the flake carpet on the conveyor belt. The system detects and reports quality issues, such as local holes or flake pileups. The early detection of these potential product issues drives corrective actions and avoids considerable material scrap. Visual data representations enable managers and operators to identify and evaluate production irregularities and trends. Historical inspection data also remain available for offline analysis.
The APIXA 3D Flake Scanner, based on laser triangulation, captures individual flakes with extremely high image resolution when scanning the carpet.
Advanced AI techniques enable the calculation of flake geometry and orientation, which are essential in evaluating the strength of the final product. Sample measurements are taken on all carpet layers to evaluate the quality of the entire carpet.
Flake geometry assessment also reveals when shredder knives need to be sharpened or replaced.
Similar to the flakes of OSB boards, the fibers of fiberboards can be scanned and evaluated in light of product strength and quality. As fibers are generally thinner than flakes, the configuration of the high-resolution 3D scanning solution can be tuned to meet the specific application requirements.