Computer Vision Systems creates a new method for determining lumber volumes

7 August 2017

Specialists at Computer Vision Systems (CVS) developed video technology that offers lumber suppliers and purchasers more precision as they calculate how much wood is shipped and delivered. The new method represents an answer to the problems plaguing traditional ways of calculating wood volumes, while also cutting down on money lost due to lost or undelivered cargo.

The manual method still enjoys wide use: lumbermen measure the length and height of a given stack, then multiply what they get by a coefficient from a table. That methodology, however, comes with a margin for error that can reach a full 20%. In other words, if 10% of a given shipment is “lost” along the way, nobody can prove that anything less than the full shipment was received—and that’s only if somebody happens to note the discrepancy. The popularity of that method despite the high probability for error and the near-impossibility of maintaining accurate inventory numbers can be marked down to how cheap it is: all it costs is whatever the measurement specialist or expert charges. The more modern alternative is automatic measurements using laser equipment. Each log is sent through a scanner, producing exact data. The downside there, on the other hand, is that it requires expensive equipment and employee training, which is why it has failed to catch on outside specific instances where it is absolutely necessary.

The new technology developed by CVS is the answer to all those problems. All users need to do in order to come up with exact lumber volumes is take pictures of the stack from two sides. The software takes over from there, calculating the number of logs and how densely they’re stacked before displaying the corrections that need to be made. The fact that it is built on video analysis makes it easy to use and highly accurate (comparable to laser scans) in addition to being economical (comparable to doing things manually). The solution was developed using proprietary, patented algorithms and calculation methods, and the years of research into video recognition run by CVS proved critical to an incredibly high-quality result: the margin for error when calculating lumber volumes is no higher than 3%. Additional options include the ability to calculate bark quantity, wood quality (eliminating rotten lumber), and other parameters.

The technology is perfect for large and small companies alike in the logging sector as an alternative solution combining the accuracy of the laser method with the cost of the manual method.