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Designers: inFact Limited, Christchurch, New Zealand
Manufacturer: fibre-gen Limited, Christchurch, New Zealand
HITMAN tools are the acknowledged gold standard in non-destructive forest wood segregation technologies. fibre-gen designs, manufactures and markets these award winning sonic wood grading tools and provides consultation and expertise throughout the timber supply chain.
“There is huge waste in buying, freighting and processing logs into structural lumber or engineered wood products, only to find the end products fail to meet strength criteria.”
The HITMAN PH330 harvester head acoustic tool is an automated tool for harvesting operations. By measuring the stiffness of a tree stem means the high stiffness logs required for engineered laminated wood products (LVL) and construction can be cut to the right length and segregated into the right pile to meet the mills log specification. This is a world first and the industry is crying out for this technology to be automated on a harvester head to achieve this.
The biggest destruction of value after 30 years of forest nurture is at the point of log making when decisions are made about the grade of the wood without measuring the wood quality. fibre-gen’s Hitman PH330 means forest companies can now find high stiffness logs in stands that would normally be used for low value pulp or industrial grades adding significant value to these forests.
The system uses scientifically proven and patented acoustic technology to test wood stiffness progressively up a tree stem prior to making log cutting decisions.
Hitman PH330 is the first system that allows tree stem stiffness to be measured at point of log making that eliminates vast amounts of high stiffness wood being processed into products where the end user simply doesn’t realise any benefit and where other wood processors are desperately in need of this resource.
There are no known direct competitors in the market as yet. fibre-gen has 28 patent registrations across this technology area in all of its key markets. fibre-gen is the gold standard in forest wood segregation acoustic technology tools. fibre-gen is an award winning company, recognized by the Hi-Tech sector as the Silver winner non-consumer product at the 2008 DINZ - BeST Awards and most recently the HITMAN PH330 has been named finalist at the 2015 New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards for the Agri-Tech product 2015 and Champion Canterbury Business Award CDC Innovation 2015.
Using John Deere’s definition of Innovation: “The profitable and sustainable implementation of an invention.”
There are two components to the PH330 technology – a software application (result of nearly 20 years of scientific research); and twin probes that are inserted into the log to initiate and detect sound waves. Using a striker mechanism one probe must generate a specific wave front with absolute repeatability and reliability 100’s millions of cycles a year while a receiver probe must eliminate all other sound propagated by the tractors engine, hydraulic, mechanical and electrical noise sources.
This invention must then run reliably on a harvester head which is one of the most destructive environments on earth with high wear, high impact
and vibration and huge forces created by 10’s of tonnes of log stem weighing on the assembly.
To answer profitable; this device is the only invention presented at recent world harvesting and forestry conferences that offers value recovery based on quality measures and with significantly higher % improvements than any other invention.
And the biggest consideration of all is the sustainable utilization of our natural forest resources to ensure that the right logs are transported to the wood processing operation that can best utilize this raw material.