The OSB industry has long been waiting for changes in order to transform commodity OSB plants into facilities capable of greater product diversity. However, a critical factor in plant diversiﬁcation is the ability to manage ﬁnes—small strands and wood particles generated during production that affect the strength and characteristics of the ﬁnal product. A few years ago, FPInnovations undertook a project for the development of a fines measurement system with the intent to meet industry demand.
The main benefit of the fines monitoring system is to help mills better control and reduce fines generation in order to reduce associated manufacturing costs. Fines are typical generated during the stranding process and can account for up to 35% of the final panel product. Each percentage point in fines costs approximately $500,000 in additional manufacturing costs to the mill on an annual basis due to increased adhesive resin and panel density demands.
The ARGUS-FMS Technology
A first version of the technology was taken to a mill demonstration project, with over 10 different mill trial evaluations performed in Canada and the USA. Further developments finally led to the launch, last May, of advanced vision systems for OSB producers by Kadant Carmanah Design, including the ARGUS-FMS fines measurement system, developed in collaboration with FPInnovations.
The ARGUS-FMS system is part of Kadant Carmanah’s advanced vision systems for OSB producers. This technology continuously scans the strander outfeed conveyor to provide real-time fines percentages for every cutting pass, therefore greatly reducing the error rates inherent with manual strand sampling. The steady flow of data allows OSB manufacturers to make better production decisions both in the wood room and in downstream processes.
Photo credit: Kadant Carmanah – see their video on youtube