Sawmill Setworks and Control System

Price Technology enjoyed working with the sawmill manufacturer and the sawmill owners of this automatic hydraulic sawmill.  The skilled sawyer will use this custom, fully-automated sawmill to produce edged lumber with accuracy, safety, and speed.  The sawyer controls all functions from the comfort and safety of the control booth.  A hydraulic de-barker de-barks the logs and a conveyor delivers the de-barked logs to the sawmill. 

Hydraulic loading arms lower each log onto the log carriage.  The log may be rotated by the hydraulic log turner, if required.  The log is clamped to the carriage by the hydraulic “Dogs”.  The log may be aligned on the carriage using the “Taper” controls, if required.  The carriage head blocks position the log relative to the saw.  Laser lights assist the sawyer in positioning the log for the first cut or “opening face” of the log.  A hydraulic motor pulls the carriage along the

Price Technology was asked to provide the control system for this hydraulic sawmill.  Price Technology worked with all groups to develop the project scope, design requirements, and control specifications.  The control system was designed to integrate with the hydraulic system and perform all manual and automatic functions.  The “Setworks” portion of the control system precisely positions the head blocks for board thickness and the edger saws for board width.  Digital incremental

View of carriage controls from within the operator’s control booth.

track, bringing the log through the band and edger saws.  The off-vertical thin-kerf band saw cuts the lumber to the desired thickness, while the edger saws cut the lumber to the desired width.  Belt and chain conveyors take the lumber

Sawmill owner/operators in front of head-rig and control booth.

View of PLC Control Panel Interior.

CONTACT: Kevin Price

Price Technology

110 Manatawny Road

Oley, PA 19547

Phone: 610-689-0300







away from the sawmill for grading, sorting, and stacking.

encoders provide position feedback for the head blocks and edger saws.  Automatic Set, Stack, and Recall moves are initiated by heavy-duty industrial push buttons.  Head block and edger saw positions are indicated on the touch panel.  Hydraulic solenoid and limit switch status are indicated on the touch panel.  Head block Set and Stack positions are entered on the touch panel.  Edger saw Set positions are also entered on the touch panel.  Many advanced automatic features were added to the system, including reverse sets, double Stack/Recall groups, encoder diagnostics, automatic wear compensation, and 2-way Stack and Recall functions.  Complete documentation was prepared including wiring diagrams, bill of material/layout drawings, and field-wiring connection diagrams.  Initial sawmill startup was in October 2007.  Controls upgrade completed in July 2008.