Laser and X-ray scanning of logs

Laser and X-ray scanning of logs
© littlewolf1989, #274121806, 2019, source:
Timber and woodworking
Investment cost:
High cost
Payback time:
0.5 - 1 Year(s)
Cost savings:
For a sawmill with yearly raw material usage of 50 000 cubic metres, average savings can be € 200 000-300 000 a year
Resource saving:
Savings can be as high as 4-6 % of wood raw material
Payback time:
Payback time depends on the production volume and exact content of the system installed, but generally 6-12 months or less
Assumptions taken in the presentation of the above performance indicators:

Payback time and savings estimates were provided by Finnos Oy

Log scanning and sorting brings significant savings for sawmills

Combined laser and X-ray scanning technology for log measuring helps improve sawmilling material efficiency in multiple ways. Under bark, measuring brings average savings of 1-2 % of raw material. When you add log quality sorting based on the scanning, savings can be as high as 4-6 %.

Laser technology helps to determine the exact outer dimensions of the log. X-ray measuring technology detects density variations and uses this to determine the internal quality of the log. It provides information on, for example, the width of heartwood and the frequency and locations of branches.

Cutting-edge technology cuts costs too

For example, Finnos is a Finnish designer and manufacturer of machine vision and quality control systems. They also deliver log sorting software. The system is based on modular interface components, meaning that the solution can be customised to the needs of different sawmills. The solution to be delivered is determined with a pre-engineering phase where customer needs are mapped, and the system is then built, installed and calibrated. After commissioning, Finnos also provides system maintenance and updates.

The exact measurement data allows more efficient use of raw material:

  • Logs can be sorted to different quality classes before sawing. This helps to optimise the sawing process so that different quality logs can be used for different products
  • Cutting patterns of the logs can be optimised according to the dimensions and internal quality, to maximise yield


In terms of cost savings, the benefits of optimised quality grade sorting are on average € 3-4 per cubic metre of raw material, and the exact top diameter measurement generates raw material savings of €1-2 per cubic metre. For a sawmill with yearly raw material usage of 50 000 cubic metres, this would mean € 200 000-300 000 a year.

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