See into your veneer stacks like never before
Accurate Information Transfer
When a mill chooses LightSORT™, more accurate green-veneer sorting is only part of the package. In addition to better stack consistency, the mill is also opening the door to entirely new process management and control opportunities. Data collected by the LightSORTTM can be used throughout the production process -- to track individual sheets, evaluate process modifications, verify dryer control strategies, and more.
LightMARK™ is the key component in end-to-end information tracking. The barcoded stack label provides the means to trace loads -- and even individual sheets -- from the green-end stacker, out into the yard, between yards, into the dryer, and beyond. Detailed stack and/or sheet-by-sheet data can be used for statistical analysis, dryer control, and (provided sheets are tracked through the dryer) "before-and-after" moisture comparisons. This information, and the understanding gained, can help you to squeeze additional productivity points out of your mill, giving you the edge over your competition.
Load Marking and Tracking
The key to information tracking is a simple but effective load marking system. Borrowing techniques used in virtually all modern industries, LightMARK™ generates a unique serial number and a barcoded label for each stack. The label's color diamond helps staff members immediately identify the grade and inventory location, while numerical values summarize the stack's primary attributes.
Stacks can be organized in inventory by color code, according to specific attributes, or based on combinations of both colors and attributes. A barcode scanner at the dryer in-feed records the start of the drying cycle, and links this timestamp back to the detailed LightSORT™ stack data.
Consistent Information Flow
Economic realties govern the way plywood is made. In many cases, veneer peeled at one site is dried in another site and/or laid up at a third site. When veneer is moving from yard to yard, plant to plant, or from company to company, tracking the contents of each stack -- and communicating that content information in a consistent way -- can become a challenge. Furthermore, when disputes arise between sites, the source mill must validate the contents of the shipment in a way that is acceptable to the recipients. Otherwise, they run the risk of alienating a customer, or perhaps worse -- losing future business.
LightMARKTM offers an new way to deal with this challenge. Each stack label clearly displays the key stack attributes, including species, peel thickness, number of sheets, average and peak moisture content, and more. Before sending out the loads, personnel at the source mill can visually double-check the shipment. The receiving mill can use this same label information as a comprehensive summary of the stack data. Because both parties have a complete picture of the stack contents, disputes should be all but eliminated. And in the rare instance that a dispute might arise, the source mill has the option of sending detailed LightSORT™ data to the recipient to validate shipment contents.
If your mill routinely peels veneer for shipment to other mills, you may discover that LightMARK™ labels can actually add value to your loads and secure your position as a preferred vendor. By encouraging your customers to implement data tracking and dryer control optimizations using the LightSORT/LightMARK™ data, your customers can also realize the added productivity benefits of a LightSORT™ system. Furthermore, as a source of LightSORTed/LightMARKed stacks, your veneer becomes integral to your customer's process flow. Other mills that don't offer LightSORTed/LightMARKed veneer are effectively removed from the competition!
The Information Advantage
Throughout all sectors of industry, information management is changing the way companies track and evaluate production. Desktop computer technology has brought the cost of information processing and management within the reach of virtually any enterprise. Information has become the lever by which companies, large and small, gain and maintain a strategic advantage. Westmill's LightSORTTM system opens the door to advanced green-end tracking and analysis. LightMARK™ provides a means to move this detailed information throughout the plant, attached to each stack. On-demand information, where you need it, when you need it. Whether you are looking to improve operational efficiencies, optimize control processes, or even if you simply need to prepare detailed reports for interested parties, LightMARK™ can help you meet your objectives.