Multi-Ripping - Improve Yield, Increase Production With A Cameron Optimising Rip System

Already widely know and established in the US market, Cameron Automation (a division of New York State based James L Taylor manufacturing) have recently successfully completed the second UK installation of their ‘MRS Quick Rip Optimisation System’ which is designed to increase yield, productivity and also improve operator safety. In addition the user friendly dedicated OPTIRIP software gives the facility to track specific orders, prioritise cuts and give production reports. It also offers three different ways to rip:

  • Rip for yield - the software allows to maximise the yield on each and every board while producing the rip widths in the cutting list.
  • Rip for value - the software allows to input different values on different widths, meaning you can prioritise certain rips for greater volume or for greater value.
  • Rip for required - the software gives the facility to start and complete jobs that have both required rip widths and required amounts.

Most importantly the Quick Rip infeed is equipped with a unique fenceless ‘auto skew’ device which skews the board to be cut to give the best possible yield based on the required cut list that the operator has entered and the shape of the board. Also the software and hardware are set up to process 2 boards at a time. While one board is being fed in to the saw, the second is being evaluated at the operator station by the lasers and sensors. The net result of these featuresis increased yield of between 7% and 10% (when compared to hand fed fixed arbor saws) and production throughput of around 10 to 12 (3m long) boards per minute. Also because of the 3 moving saw configuration there is minimal lost time when changing from job to job, all the operator has to do is make a quick / simple change in the software program and a completely different cutting list can be run. This system is particularly suited to ripping random width timber.

The way the Quick Rip is designed means that the operator loads the timber on to the infeed from the side so away from the potentially dangerous kick back area directly in front of the saw. Once a board has been loaded on to the Quick Rip a series of laser scanners positioned at 300mm intervals scan the full width / length of the board ( up to 14.9m) so the system knows the width and shape of the board and can see if it has a bend and / or taper. At this point the board can be automatically skewed (if required), with the overhead lasers showing the cuts possible from this particular board based on the required cut widths the operator has programmed. If the board has say a ‘skip’ on one edge or a large knot, the operator has the option to move the laser/s from the control panel to take this into account. Once he is happy with the presented ripping solution, he presses the process button and the servo driven cross belts precisely deliver the board to the infeed pinch rollers which then feeds it in to the saw. At this point, the previous board has already been cut and the software has positioned the moving blades to suit the next required cut.

The Quick Rip is linked to a Cameron MRS heavy duty multirip saw and depending on the model selected can be equipped with 2, 3 or 4 moving blades, be it the most popular is the 3 moving blades MRS450 machine. All can be equipped with fixed sawblades / or a saw sleeve at the end of the saw arbor shaft that enables fixed pockets to be programmed giving thesoftware even more options to select from to provide the best possible ripping solution. Using fixed blades and / or a fixed saw sleeve can also allow for the multiple cutting of thin strips if desired. Standard equipment on the saw includes pneumatic pressure to the feed rollers with independent pressure regulation, powered outfeed roller, variable feed speeds via inverter 5 to 40m/min (up to 60 m/min on MRS 450 saw)with easy adjustment from the control panel, digital automatic lubrication system and 50hp main motor (larger on request). The machine basement is of cast iron construction with the 3 moving blade saw weighing it at over 5 tons.

For lower level production Cameron also offer the MRS Skew Rip Optimisation System which uses exactly the same OPTIRIP software and auto skewing operation. The main differences are that production output is less, about 6 boards per minute and generally this system is specified with a 2 moving blade saw.Even so many of the small mill operations in the US market find this system ideal for their requirements and easy to justify as it gives increased production and improved yield when compared to basic fixed arbor manually fed rip saws.

Cameron feel that through a combination of their dedicated OPTIRIP software, coupled with the unique auto-skewing device and quick set up times, potential customers can gain significant improvements in both yield and productivity.