Creating A Standardized and Simplified Cutting Bill Using Group Technology

Urs Buehlmann, Janice K. Wiedenbeck, R. Noble, D. Earl Kline


From an analytical viewpoint, the relationship between rough mill cutting bill part requirements and lumber yield is highly complex. Part requirements can have almost any length, width, and quantity distribution within the boundaries set by physical limitations, such as maximum length and width of parts. This complexity makes it difficult to understand the specific relationship between cutting bill requirements and lumber yield, rendering the optimization of the lumber cutting process through improved cutting bill composition difficult.

An approach is presented to decrease the complexity of cutting bills to allow for easier analysis and, ultimately, to optimize cutting bill compositions. Principles from clustering theory were employed to create a standardized way to describe cutting bills. Cutting bill part clusters are part groups within the cutting bill's total part size space, where all parts are reset to a given group's midpoint. Statistical testing was used to determine a minimum resolution part group matrix that had no significant influence on yield compared to an actual cutting bill.

Iterative search led to a cutting bill part group matrix that encompasses five groups in length and four groups in width, forming a 20-part group matrix. The lengths of the individual part groups created vary widely, with the smallest group being only 5 inches in length, while the longest two groups were 25 inches long. Part group widths were less varied, ranging from 0.75 inches to 1.0 inch. The part group matrix approach allows parts to be clustered within given size ranges to one part group midpoint value without changing cut-up yield beyond set limits. This standardized cutting bill matrix will make the understanding of the complex cutting bill requirements-yield relationship easier in future studies.


Rough mill;lumber yield;cutting bill standards;cluster theory

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