virebox - case veisto

Camera technology delivers power for production

Veisto has known for ten years how it would like to monitor the movement of logs on the saw line. For five years already, they’ve had a patent for a solution. A year ago, Veisto finally found Vire Labs and they could begin to develop the solution.

At the moment, Veisto monitors the movement of logs on the saw line with the help of photoelectric cells. There are photoelectric cells at a certain distance from each other on the saw line. The saw line has actuators that cannot be moved until the log is released. You have to either anticipate movements with the photoelectric cells or deal with a delay. The camera solution provides continuous information about where the ends of a log are at. This will allow you to control the saw line more precisely. Real-time data allows the gap between logs to be shortened on the saw line, thus increasing production efficiency.

Less manual work, more reliability

“It’s still difficult to say in percentages or euros, what improvements will eventually be achieved, but every cent counts. It depends on the customer’s saw line how much the benefits will grow. The solution improves the reliability and utilization of the saw line. By shortening the log interval, the number of logs per minute or during a shift is increased,” says Tuomas Halttunen, Vice President of Veisto.
Marko Kujala, Director of Electrical and Automation, continues stating that, “the operation of cleaning photoelectric cells will no longer be necessary. In addition, at the point when such technology makes control of the saw line smoother, it reduces the need for manual control of the operators. If work needed to clear congestions were reduced, it would be extremely useful in production,” he says. “The saw lines would stop less often.”

We need to integrate operations into production and the intelligence behind it

Tuomas Halttunen, Veisto

The robot in the cardboard box alone is not yet increasing work efficiency

Kujala explains that, “technological advances in both cameras and other saw line equipment have been rapid in recent years. This has contributed to making it possible to implement the plan at this very moment. We are now at the level of mechanical accuracy where we can talk about centimetres rather than tens of centimetres,” he describes.

For Veisto, IoT means normal development of automation, as they have already been doing for a decade. There is a lot of expertise inside the company related to this. Kujala sees it as sensible to leave areas for the partners to develop that would first demand study. Machine vision, analysis of the data collected by the camera, and its interpretation using artificial intelligence are among these tasks.

Kujala says that, “collaboration with various camera manufacturers has also been tried over the years. In few partnerships, however, does collaboration with a device manufacturer go deep enough. It’s kind of like robotics. Even industrial robots are made by dozens of suppliers. However, the robot in a cardboard box does not yet increase the efficiency of anyone’s work. We also need to integrate operations into production and the intelligence behind it,” Halttunen adds.

In the midst of intense development

During the year, Veisto and Vire Labs have had time to solve big issues from the point of view of operations. In the sawmill environment, it is now possible to detect the ends of logs with sufficient reliability. The basic principles concerning the cameras are becoming clear. The next step is to integrate data into the automation system, which requires more work and testing to make the received signal real-time. Delays must be shortened or filtered out.

After the summer, Veisto plans to test part of the equipment with certain functionalities. The aim is to have the pilot equipment installed by the end of the year. Newly collected numerical data about the actual operation of the equipment will convince the customers. Data will allow them to calculate the benefits in euros on their own saw lines.

Veisto also sees longer-term development opportunities in the technology. “One help could be to see clear system failures, such as a rupture of the track. Safety circuits could also be added to the system, which means that it could warn you if a person is suddenly in the wrong place,” Halttunen mentions.

There is potential and the more we get the more we want

Tuomas Halttunen, Veisto

The integrator speeds up development time

Veisto saves working time and euros, as the equipment manufacturer also handles the development work needed for integration. “It’s been really nice to have been working with Vire Labs. There has been very little that we have had to solve by ourselves. Vire Labs has directly developed a wide range of things. You don’t have to answer a lot of questions,” Halttunen says.

Kujala confirms that this project has not given him more grey hair. “Positive and exciting things are happening. Things look promising, there is potential and the more we get the more we want,” he concludes.

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