Development of a headrig process information system : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Technology in Computer Systems Engineering at Massey University
A computer-based process information system was developed to gather operational information about the headrig handsaw at the Timber Technology Centre (TiTC) sawmill in the Waiariki Institute of Technology, store the data in a database, and display the information in various forms to the user. The project was the first part of an encompassing programme to instrument an entire commercial sawmill. This research programme aims to determine which variables are crucial to quantifying the sawing processes and to investigate the best techniques for measuring the variables. The system developed was extremely modular. Both analysis modules and sensor hardware can be added or removed without any need for restarting the system. A client-server architecture using networking communications was used to facilitate this. A central server gathers and stores the data, and individual clients analyse the data and display the information to the user. This enables analysis modules to be added and removed without even restarting the system. An experiment to determine the effect of wood density on the variables measured was used to test the viability of the completed system. The system successfully gathered all of the information required for the experiment and performed 70% of the data collation and analysis automatically. The remainder was performed using spreadsheets as this was deemed to be the most suitable method. The loosely coupled design of the system allows it to be up-scaled to a mill-wide program easily. Experiments performed to gather information about pivotal process variables are currently being planned, and should be underway as the expansion into other machine stations is being designed.