August 3, 2022 / All Stories, Featured, Innovations, Mercer Timber Products Mercer Timber Products utilizes laser scanning and 3D facility design Laser scanning of the Log Yard, using 3D facility design, forms the basis for the smooth renovation of existing sawmill buildings. As part of the Mercer Timber Products two-week summer revision in 2021, the existing roundwood measuring system on Log Yard 1 was revitalized. The installation of a completely new log measuring system, including new measuring chain conveyors, was accomplished in the shortest possible time thanks to a laser-scanning method. Once the decision to replace the 20-year-old measuring devices was made, it quickly became clear that strong preliminary planning was required in order to see a successful project through. It was during this planning that we learned we had extremely limited space in the existing building for the measuring system. Because of this, we could foresee numerous collisions between the new devices we were working to implement and the existing steel structures, concrete foundations, pipes, and cable lines. In order to find a solution to this problem, MTP commissioned Holtec. As part of our ongoing partnership with the company, Holtec previously delivered new measuring block hoists for both production lines of Log Yard 1. Because of this, their expertise was brought in once more to carry out a 3D laser scan to document the existing system of the Friesau sawmill. Over the course of just one weekend, the entire plant and building stock of Log Yard 1 could be measured and recorded digitally using this non-contact measuring method. By placing the measuring unit at more than 100 positions throughout the plant, a three-dimensional ‘point cloud’ was generated, with each measuring point represented. With the help of a high-performance computer, all points were then joined together to form an entire 3D model. Using this model, the lengths, angles, and other dimensions of the scanned object can be precisely determined – in fact, these 3D scanners can achieve accuracy of up to one millimetre. The next step was to create a detailed construction plan with CAD programs on the basis of the virtual log yard model. Here, the new conveyor systems were fit into the three-dimensional digital model. The collision test with the existing components enabled precise dividing lines to be defined on the steel structure and foundations, as well as enabling the necessary cable routing to be planned. A rendering of the new measuring and conveyor system, designed using 3D imaging. Thanks to the preliminary planning of this project, and determining the spacing issue of a new measuring system beforehand, our team made it possible to stick to the tight schedule for dismantling the old, as well as assembling the new, measuring block hoists. This formed the basis for the company Jörg Elektronik to install the new JORO-3D roundwood measuring system. Here, too, the enormous advantage of laser scanning was demonstrated, as the positioning and assembly of the necessary measuring frame and the darkening tunnel are subject to the highest accuracy requirements. With not one but two positive experiences as part of the same two-week revision, this planning approach brought MTP forward in such a way that we are excited to use laser technology for future revision and construction projects.