HALCO Software Systems Ltd.

- Panel Mill Production Planning Optimization Software

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PANELSIMis HALCO's general name for a linear programming (LP) optimization model that may incorporate models of veneer, plywood, LVL, OSB, I-Joist, and stud operations. Any number of mills may be modeled either independently or together. An LP model resolves the trade-offs between yield, material flow, and manufacturing and material costs resulting from each operating alternative, to determine the operating plan that truly maximizes profit.

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  • The optimization opportunities in a plywood plant are substantial. An optimum production plan will determine the plywood mix to be produced, the recipe to be used for each panel-product, and the block mix to be peeled along with the peel-thickness, or thicknesses when split-peeling is considered. All these operating variables should be considered, and optimized, in concert.
  • Linear programming is an ideal tool for plywood operations optimization; it is capable of optimally resolving the tradeoffs in yield, material flow, manufacturing and material cost, and manpower resulting from each operating alternative. For example, thinner peels will yield more high-grade veneer area, resulting in potentially more high-grade panels, but will also result in increased breakage, handling and glue costs. Also, balancing the purchasing of high-grade logs with the need for high-grade faces is key to reducing the raw material cost.
  • The PANELSIM™ plywood model calculates the log and block consumptions, and veneer and plywood productions, purchases and sales that maximize the net income, subject to the constraints imposed by machine capacities and purchase and sales limitations. A complete statement of all material and cash flows for the optimum solution is produced.
  • The data starts with the availabilities and prices of various log and block sorts that may be available to the mill, and the compositions of the sorts in terms of the mix of block diameter and quality classes that can be produced from them. It also requires data on the green veneer yields and peeling times for each type of block. These can be calculated and calibrated to match operating or mill test results, using HALCO's PEELSIM™ program, which includes a detailed simulation of the peeling process. This minimizes the requirement for mill tests, which are time-consuming, expensive, and unreliable.
  • For veneer, the program requires drying rates and dry-veneer yields for various green veneer types, veneer preparation rates, yields of layup veneer of various strength and appearance grades, and green, dry and layup veneer purchase and sales volume limits and prices.
  • For each plywood grade and thickness, one or more recipes and recipe options specify the thickness, 'minimum grade' and species of each veneer layer. Any number of combinations of grade, thickness, recipe and recipe options may be specified.
  • Minimum and maximum sales volumes and prices, for various price tiers, may be specified for each product or for various product mixes.
  • The costs of operating each machine center, and all machine capacities, are taken into account, and also the costs of all materials consumed. The model adjusts the operating variables to maximize the net income, subject to the operating constraints that are imposed, and allows the user to explore the economic impact of alternative purchase, sales and operating strategies. The focus is on maximizing profit.
  • Please click here to view Excel results (saved as an html file) which display a sub-set of general-purpose reports from a PANELSIM™ program run.
  • This run uses a model of two plywood plants and an associated stud mill that was set up by HALCO, and uses ficticious data. Special-purpose reports can be generated from these reports.
  • Please note that the Excel reports were generated by HalcoMiner™ from an MS Access database file generated by PANELSIM™.
  • To view a report click on its title in the Contents sheet and then click on 'Return to Contents' to view another report.
  • Please contact HALCO if you have questions, or would like more information or other examples.

  • This model normally runs in conjunction with the veneer model and possibly the plywood model. Like the plywood model, it uses linear programming to calculate the log and block, veneer and LVL productions, purchases and sales, and LVL recipes, that maximize the net income, subject to the constraints imposed by machine capacities and purchase and sales limitations. A complete statement of all material and cash flows for the optimum solution is produced.
  • For an LVL model that includes the veneer model, the data starts with the availabilities and prices of various log and block sorts that may be available to the mill, and the compositions of the sorts in terms of the mix of block diameter and quality classes that can be produced from them. It also requires data on the green veneer yields and peeling times for each type of block. These can be calculated and adjusted to match operating results, using HALCO's PEELSIM™ program, which includes a detailed simulation of the peeling process.
  • For veneer, the program requires drying rates and dry-veneer yields for various green veneer types, veneer preparation rates, yields of layup veneer of various strength and appearance grades, and green, dry and layup veneer purchase and sales volume limits and prices.
  • For each LVL billet grade and thickness, one or more recipes and recipe options specify the thickness, 'minimum grade' and species of each veneer layer. Any number of combinations of LVL billet grade, thickness, recipe and recipe options may be specified.
  • Minimum and maximum sales volumes and prices, for various price tiers, may be specified for each product or for various product mixes.
  • The costs of operating each machine center, and all machine capacities, are taken into account, and also the costs of all materials consumed. The model adjusts the operating variables to maximize the net income, subject to the operating constraints that are imposed, and allows the user to explore the economic impact of alternative purchase, sales and operating strategies. The focus is on maximizing profit.

I-JOIST MODEL

  • The LVL model may include a module to optimize I-Joist operations. Various I-Joist constructions and sales prices may be considered.

OSB MODEL

  • The OSB Model calculates the log and block consumptions, and OSB productions, purchases and sales, and OSB recipes, that maximize the net income, subject to the constraints imposed by machine capacities and purchase and sales limitations. A complete statement of all material and cash flows for the optimum solution is produced.
  • Each OSB recipe specifies the target thickness and panel weight for each press product, and the fiber and adhesive quantities for the faces and core, and the various machine-time requirements. Any number of combinations of OSB press product and recipe may be specified.
  • Please click here to view Excel results (saved as an html file) which display a sub-set of general-purpose reports from a PANELSIM™ program run.
  • This run uses a model of an OSB mill that was set up by HALCO, and uses ficticious data. Special-purpose reports can be generated from these reports.
  • Please note that the Excel reports were generated by HalcoMiner from an MS Access database file generated by PANELSIM™.
  • To view a report click on its title in the Contents sheet and then click on 'Return to Contents' to view another report.
  • Please contact HALCO if you have questions, or would like more information or other examples.

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