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.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 284573.
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.