In the summer of 2022, Wolfgang Hohmann, owner and managing director of Hohmann Holzindustrie, invested in a new cutting line. As part of the investment, the existing scanner was replaced as well. The first machine was delivered as early as in 2008. The new Woodeye Crosscut is already the fourth of its kind to be installed in Geisa on the border between Hesse and Thuringia. “The previous model was from 2018, so technically, we didn’t have to upgrade it. However, we were able to sell the entire cutting line including the scanner,” Hohmann says about the most recent investment and adds: “When the decision to invest was made, it was clear to us from the start that we would work with Microtec again, because we have been 100% satisfied over all these years.”
Benefiting from synergies
One difference between the old and the new machine is the appearance of the scanner, being the latest generation of Microtec scanners. The branches Microtec Linköping/SE and Microtec Rosenheim/DE were mainly responsible for the delivery of the scanner. “Our German branch in particular is very important to us, simply because of the language and the proximity to our German-speaking customers,” Peter Hagnberger, CEO of Microtec Rosenheim, explains and adds: “In the Microtec group, we pool our expertise and our strengths and can set new standards, especially in research and development.”
Software as decisive factor
In addition to appearance, a lot has happened under the “hood” of the latest scanner generation: “The new model is even better at detecting knots and cracks,” Hohmann says, who is satisfied with the performance. According to Hagnberger, this improvement is mainly the result of the constant effort to further develop the software: “The intelligent programs, which are running in the background, are key factors in the reliable detection of defects in the wood. Together with state-of-the-art hardware elements, our scanners deliver perfect scanning and optimization results.”
The Woodeye scanner uses several cameras, sensors and lasers on each side of the element to scan the wood’s surface in detail and to identify knots, cracks, wane, discoloration and other wood defects. “Of course, technology itself is crucial but it’s the positioning of the individual sensors inside the scanner that makes the difference here. This is where we come into our own with our decades of experience in the construction of scanners,” Hagnberger explains.
Another special feature of the machine installed at Hohmann Holzindustrie is the possibility to have a mix of widths. During production, elements of different widths pass through the scanner one after the other without the need to change any settings. “The infeed unit automatically scans the width of the elements. Then, the lateral camera inside the scanner moves within a few milliseconds. At the time, Hohmann was one of the first customers for whom we integrated this technology into the scanner,” Hagnberger recalls.
“In order to get the most out of the scanner, you need trained staff who understand the machine and can also operate it,” Hohmann says, speaking from experience. Thus, for him and his team, receiving Woodeye scanner number four meant a fourth on-site training event in Linköping.
“Our contact person and project manager at Microtec plays a central role here. He always listens to our concerns and needs. During the training event, we worked out together what is important to us and how we can use the scanner to achieve our goals,” Hohmann says. He is very happy about the service and support package provided by the scanner manufacturer. “We have been working with Hohmann for many years and were able to go into detail even more during training because the operators already had basic knowledge,” Hagnberger adds.