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Sawmill Analysis and Design

SAWSIM® is widely recognized as the industry-standard tool for sawmill analysis and design.  HALCO and its clients have used SAWSIM® extensively to evaluate alternative sawmill design and modernization options. It can be used to determine the recovery and mill flow resulting from mill equipment and layout options, and hence determine the best equipment and mill layout selections.

A SAWSIM® study can also provide important data in areas such as:

  • Implications of log supply options on mill production rate, mill flow (equipment requirements) and recovery
  • Effects of different product mix scenarios on mill flow and recovery
  • Evaluation of various mill equipment options

A SAWSIM® study will help ensure the best possible mill equipment and layout are selected, and that the mill will be able to operate efficiently under the different log supply and production scenarios that it might face.  Return-on-investment for alternative mill equipment options can be determined, to assist with project funding approvals.

For an existing mill the first step in a SAWSIM® study is to develop a "Base Case", usually for current operations on a typical log diet. This may involve downloading sample log measurements from a mill log scanner or measuring a sample of logs with HALCO's proprietary log measurement technique. The study log sample is then processed in a mill test, and details of the sawing process and resulting productions are recorded. The Base Case model is then calibrated to match the test results. In the course of this exercise, hidden problems in the current process are often uncovered, and fixing these usually more than pays for the study.

After production of the Base Case, the SAWSIM® model is modified to consider a series of alternatives.  We have very successfully worked along with our clients' consulting engineers in mill design or mill modification projects. In this situation, clients and their engineers develop preliminary mill design plans for the alternatives under consideration, and we provide SAWSIM® analysis to evaluate the lumber recovery or overrun, product value, and sawmill flow data for each alternative. Through this process the best possible mill equipment and layout are selected, that will allow it to operate efficiently under different log supply and production scenarios.

Detailed log plots are generated for a sample of logs for each alternative. Comparison of these log plots ensures that credibility of the "total and average" results for each case can be established.


Please click here to download a SAWSIM® brochure