Repair and patching of resin galls and lose dead knots is a costly and disruptive process of inline production in the timber industry. A large variety of plain as well as laminated wooden end-products demands for off-line human interaction and skilled handcrafting in order to add value and quality to the final product. The human workforce involved in these production tasks is difficult to replace by a machine. Another request for human recognition and decision-making capabilities, occurring at a previous stage of the production line, is the detection and classification of significant artefacts in wooden surfaces.
The dimension of these plain or laminated wooden products ranges from a few centimetres up to several meters, thus requiring a related scalability of the fully automated solution being researched within this project. For this reason the HOL-I-WOOD PR project has developed a holonic concept that subsumes automated visual inspection and quality/artefact classification by a skilled robot, visually guided and controlled by non-linear approaches that combine manipulation with energy saving in trajectory planning under real-time conditions, enabling the required scalability for a wide range of applications. The interaction of these holonic sub-systems is implemented in agent technology using a real-time communication concept based on TTEthernet while fusing multi-sensor data and information at different spatial positions of the production line.
The feasibility of inter-linking independent autonomous processes (i.e. agents for inspection, wood-processing, transport (conveying) to repair by a patching robot) is demonstrated by a pilot in a glued laminated timber factory (production of shutter boards) . A mobile HMI concept makes interaction with the machine park easy to control, reliable and efficient, while at the same time increasing the safety for workers within a potentially dangerous working environment of a glue lam factories and saw mills.
TTTech will provide the TTEthernet-related know-how, tools and hardware equipment for enabling the real-time communication between the high speed cameras and sensors and the other components of the system.