NineSigma’s client supports a significant amount of lumber producers in North America, providing wood and wood-based products across the globe.
Trees are comprised of several concentric rings of varying thickness and purpose – see image below:
In order for a log to be converted into a usable form, the outer layer of bark must be removed, usually by a ring debarker. This machine uses rapidly rotating knives to strip away the bark from the log. The amount of pressure applied to the arms with knives is held constant (using manual presets), but normally adjusted for seasons, tree species and/or moisture conditions of the logs. The underlying cambium layer is responsible for the growth and development of the tree during its lifetime and adheres the outer bark to the wood beneath.
During processing, however, the cambium represents the dividing line between the unwanted bark and the desirable wood underneath. If the pressure is too low, the bark is not sufficiently removed. If the pressure is too high, the wood underneath is damaged. By accurately determining the moisture content of the cambium layer, lumber processing centers can intelligently adjust cutting blade pressure to avoid damaging the wood.
Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan
Phase 1 – Demonstration of technology
Phase 2 – Field trials
- NineSigma’s client will install technologies in two key facilities for production-scale evaluation
Phase 3 – Deployment
- Successful technology deployed to all facilities
Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2
Client will consider for advancement an approach that meets performance criteria with acceptable economics and pathway to commercialization.
NineSigma’s client is a leader in solid wood processing innovation but is open to all technologies, regardless of previous usage. While commercially available technologies are preferred, the client is interested in all approaches, regardless of current state of readiness, provided a viable pathway to commercial production exists. For emerging technologies, the client is willing to support proof of concept trials potentially that can lead to commercial implementation .