NC State
BioResources
Saloni, D. E., Lemaster, R., and Jackson, S. (2011). "Control system evaluation and implementation for the abrasive machining process on wood," BioRes. 6(3), 2763-2775.

Abstract

Continuous process improvement and automation have proven to be powerful tools for the wood processing industries in order to obtain better final product quality and thus increase profits. Abrasive machining represents an important and relevant process in the manufacturing and processing of wood products, which also implies high cost of materials and labor; therefore, special attention to this process is necessary. The objective of this work was to evaluate and demonstrate a process control system for use in the abrasive machining of wood and wood-based products. A control system was created on LabView® to integrate the monitoring process and the actions required, depending on the abrasive machining process conditions. The system acquires information from the optical sensor to detect loading and activate the cleaning system. The system continuously monitors the condition of the abrasive belt (tool wear) by using an acoustic emission sensor and alerts the operator of the status of the belt (green, yellow, and red lights indicating satisfactory, medium, and poor belt condition). The system also incorporates an additional safety device, which helps prevent permanent damage to the belt, equipment, or workpiece by alerting the operator when an excessive temperature has been reached. The process control system proved that automation permits enhancement in the consistency of the belt cleaning technique by the elimination of the human errors. Furthermore, this improvement also affects the cost by extending the life of the belt, which reduces setup time, belt cost, operation cost, as well as others.
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