Journal article Open Access
The optimal transformation path for the resource is determined by the quality of a log combined with its dimension. The commercial value of derived products is also closely connected with the size and extent of containing wood deficiencies. The results of studies with three diverse strategies for log sorting are presented in the paper. Resource assessment by a worker without extensive experience in sorting logs, the certified grading expert, and the automatic in-line system including optical scanner with dedicated software are compared. It was shown that the lack of experience of the person performing the sorting operation results in reducing the potential economic profits of a sawmill. On the contrary, the overall efficiency of the log conversion process is considerably improved by the automated sorting systems with scanners. Early identification of logs optimal for specific lumber production is assured by reducing the human errors and subjective evaluation. Both, the yield of produced timber and profits of the sawmill are directly affected this way. It was demonstrated that the log sorting rate performed by the scanner is four times higher in comparison to grading by the certified expert, as well as three times higher compared to employee with no experience. The finding that the volume of high-quality lumber of elevated value is the lowest in the case the log is sorted by a human was proved.