SKEENA Sawmills in Terrace wants to use a CT device manufactured by Microtec to increase the value of the logs it processes at its mill.

Northwestern B.C. sawmill explores CT technology

Scanning interior of logs can lead to better utilization in sawmill

Skeena Sawmills wants to use the kind of technology used in hospitals to give precise images of the interior of patients to get the best value possible out of the logs it processes.

Greg DeMille, woodlands manager at Skeena, told Terrace city council last night the trees around here, mainly hemlock and balsam, tend to be poor quality but their value could be increased by a CT scanner, similar to ones used in hospitals, which can identify the knots, cracks and to a lesser extent, the areas of rot inside the logs.

From that, a decision can be made as to the best use of the log and which parts of it are worth using, said DeMille.

Skeena has a project with FP Innovations, a non-profit agency established to use technology and science in the forest industry, and CT scanner manufacturer Springer-Microtech, he said.

The scanner produces the data needed to detect defects and for optimization analysis.

The data will be analyzed and a detailed report will show fibre utilization increase and value recovery.

Skeena proposes a budget of $300,000 for this project and asked the city to write a letter of support to assist with raising money for the project.

Any opportunity to increase the value of a stand certainly has potential for long term stable growth and economic stability, said Demille.

Council granted the request for the letter of support.