FPInnovations’ SawSense temperature sensor technology has been commercially available for a month and industry response has already been positive for licensing and manufacturing partner Williams & White Equipment.
The patented technology accurately measures the temperature of a saw when in the cut for both circular and band saws by using two contact temperature sensors. This provides real-time feedback of saw performance, enabling mills to monitor the effect of varying sawing parameters.
“Sawmills have long wanted to get real-time information out of their saw box and this product services that need,” says Brodie Shute, general manager at Williams & White Equipment. “The ability to use the data to inform decisions about feeds, oil and water levels, and saw deviation is invaluable to the end-user.”
The SawSense temperature sensors are not only in contact with the saw body but are also with the saw as it rotates. Thermal contact is constant, which allows reliable data to continuously be drawn from the saw box.
SawSense temperature sensor developed by FPInnovations
The SawSense temperature sensor technology was developed by FPInnovations’ Advanced Wood Manufacturing group. The group conducted research into the feasibility of different types of sensors and determined that the best way to get reliable data was to use a contact sensor that moves with the saw. The technology wirelessly transmits the data to a computer, which displays a chart of the temperature changes over time and can help avoid loss of saw stiffness.
Robert Carruthers, FPInnovations licensing manager, was part of the team that worked on the licensing agreement with Williams & White Equipment. “We are a research organization. Our expertise is to initiate and develop new technologies. We then work with industry partners like Williams & White that are experts in their field to successfully transfer our innovations into commercial-ready products available for use by the forestry sector.”
The idea for the SawSense temperature sensor technology came out of an annual meeting where FPInnovations member companies expressed a need for better saw temperature tools. FPInnovations’ Advanced Wood Manufacturing team consequently designed a functional product and brought on Williams & White Equipment to shepherd the technology to market.
Shute says the partnership between Williams & White Equipment and FPInnovations has benefited both organizations. “We have drawn on FPInnovations’ vast research ability and insight into the market and FPInnovations has benefited by being able to see their research project transform into a commercially viable product.”
The SawSense saw performance monitoring system is available under Williams & White Equipment’s SMARTGuides.
SawSense offers several documented advantages:
- It’s accurate within 0.1°C.
- Rim and eye sensors indicate saw-blade stiffness. The difference in temperature at the eye and rim of a saw blade causes twisting and dishing, resulting in saw-plate damage and cut deviation.
- A modular bolt-on attachment makes it easier to mount and dismount from different saw guides, enabling change-over for target size or damaged guides.
- Minimal modification costs due to bolt-on design.