WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The hardwood industry adds $17 billion to Indiana’s economy. Since 1898, the hardwood lumber industry has relied on the human eye to detect knots and other and other imperfections as a way of determining the quality of lumber.
Despite some inefficiencies, this form of grading persisted because experts were unable to replicate the process with automation. Today, however, a Purdue University professor is reporting a major development in the industry through a new high-speed scanning system that successfully identifies external and internal wood defects.
The new automation not only shaves the amount of time it takes to grade lumber, it significantly boosts the accuracy, said Rado Gazo, a professor for the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources in Purdue’s College of Agriculture.