Taranaki log scaling operations have moved into the future, with the establishment of a cutting-edge robotic facility in New Plymouth.
Opened recently on Breakwater Road, just a few hundred metres from Port Taranaki, the new purpose-built ISO Limited facility boasts a weighbridge and state-of-the-art undercover automated scanning technology that not only improves efficiency and accuracy, but also worker safety.
Previously based in the Port Taranaki operations area, the relocation of ISO’s busy log scaling operations also has the benefit of reducing congestion on the port’s roads. Once scaled, the trucks now head to the port and directly to the log yards for unloading, without the need to queue for the scaling checkpoint.
New Plymouth is the sixth ISO location to install the Robotic Scaling Machines.
“Previously, there was a lot of manual labour involved, with workers climbing on and between trucks and trailers to measure and put identification tags on the logs,” explains ISO Limited Area Manager Simon Dunn.
“This was a safety risk. Now we have hydraulic ramps that allow the workers to easily access the logs to put the tags on, and the automated scaling means workers are no longer required to measure the logs – it’s safer, more productive and efficient.”
The automated system works by the robotic arm passing over the truck, taking photos of the logs and measuring the length and breadth of each. This then gives an overall log volume of each truckload. The information of each log, such as the forest it came from, the company and the truck delivering the log, is attached electronically to the identification tag.
Operations that previously took 10-15 minutes manually per truckload, now take just four-and-a-half, and give a more accurate measurement. The New Plymouth facility has two of the Robotic Scaling Machines, enabling 6,000-plus JAS (Japanese Agricultural Standard tonnage) to move through each day.
“It’s a fantastic innovation and improves productivity throughout the supply chain,” says Simon. “This investment enhances ISO’s commitment and dedication to this region’s log trade.”