A Systemic Approach to Consider Complexity in Sawmill Modeling

Robert Beauregard, Michel Beaudoin, Daoud Ait-Kadi, Jean-Pierre Mongeau


The lumber industry is challenged to operate more efficiently. Sawmill systems use much equipment with various technologies and their management methods are very much influenced by size of operation, employee skills, hierarchy levels, and the high volatility of softwood lumber commodity markets. Because of interactions between the different manufacturing system components, its management becomes a complex matter. It is therefore difficult to assess the effect of given perturbations or improvements on the overall system.

This study proposes a modeling approach based on the concept of system that provides a comprehensive view for modeling and analyzing sawmill systems. Adaptations of existing formalisms to represent operating, information, and decision sub-systems are put forward, while assembling these three sub-systems in an overall model gives a new vision of the sawmill and a powerful tool for systems integration. This modeling approach could be used for diagnostic as well as for sawmill improvement. Various examples are provided on the application of this approach.


Systemic approach;sawmill operation;diagnostic;integration

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