Potential for Yield Improvement in Combined Rip-First and Crosscut-First Rough Mill Processing

R. Edward Thomas, Urs Buehlmann


Traditionally, lumber cutting systems in rough mills have either first ripped lumber into wide strips and then crosscut the resulting strips into component lengths (rip-first), or first crosscut the lumber into component lengths, then ripped the segments to the required widths (crosscut-first). Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Crosscut-first typically works best for the production of wider components, while rip-first favors the production of narrower and longer components. Thus, whichever type of processing method is selected for a given rough mill usually depends on the characteristics of the cutting bills the mill expects to process. There is a third option, a dual-line mill that contains both rip-first and crosscut-first processing streams. To date, such mills have been rare for a variety of reasons, complexity and cost being among them. However, dual-line systems allow the mill to respond to varying cutting bill size demands as well as to board characteristics that favor one method (rip-first or crosscut-first) over the other. Using the Rough Mill Simulator (ROMI 4), this paper examines the yield improvement potential of dual-line processing over single-system processing (i.e., rip-first or crosscut-first processing alone) for a variety of cutting bills and lumber grade mixes.


Rough mill lumber yield; Cut-up systems; Rip-first; Crosscut-first; Performance

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