- Sawmill Production Planning and Optimization System



The SAWSIM LP system was developed to apply the power of SAWSIM  and Linear Programming to sawmills, typically outside of North America, where a mix of a large number of products has to be cut to match a predefined product mix, usually from presorted logs.

The System is made up from the following key components:

  • SAWSIM® Sawmill Simulation Program
    • SAWSIM® is used to generate 'yield' data for processing each sawlog class with each alternative 'sawing method', or sawing pattern. Sawlog classes are typically defined by small-end-diameter (SED) and length.
    • The yield data generated by SAWSIM® for each class includes the green volume of each product size and length, and the processing time at each machine center.
    • SAWSIM® considers 'true-shape' log form data (either scanned or manually-measured), and includes consideration of typical mill piece alignment characteristics and other production imperfections, so that the generated yield data accurately reflects actual mill performance.
  • Linear Programming Matrix Generation and Solver
    • The SAWSIM®-LP matrix generation and solver combines the outputs from SAWSIM® with additional financial and operational information (including data on finishing operations), and determines the optimum mix of sawing pattern recipes for the available sawlog mix, which satisfies all specified constraints.
    • Users can choose to use the available log mix proportionally or allow the optimum solution to deviate from the original mix proportions, up to a specified level, to provide flexibility to the optimum recipe.
    • Maintaining proportionality in the sawlog mix may be of great importance, to prevent the system from 'creaming' the inventory (for example, using the best sawlogs to fill immediate orders always leaving the smaller sawlogs behind). By allowing specified deviations from a starting inventory, however, users can evaluate the potential benefits of alternative sawlog mixes.
  • Database and Reporting Tools
    • The SAWSIM®-LP system also includes HALCO's HALTAB™ Data Management System. This includes:
      • The HalcoMenu™ program, which is the entry point for all programs and utilities. It displays the file names, etc. in a Windows Explorer-type tree structure.
      • The HalcoEdit™ program facilitates data entry via MS-Excel, and sets up a relational input database.
      • The HalcoMiner™ program allows downloading of information from output databases into Excel for standard or special-purpose reports, with many options.


The following key SAWSIM®-LP reports are produced. In addition to these standard reports, custom reports can be generated by HALCO Software Systems to meet specific requirements.

  • Flow Report
    This report is useful in tracking the flow of raw material through the model. The flow report presents an overview of the transformation of raw material (sawlogs) into lumber, chips, sawdust, shavings, and associated shrinkage (if applicable). The Flow Report tallies sawlog inputs by volume and piece count, and summarizes the key statistics of the sawlog mix. The number of machine passes and processing time required at each machine center are tallied.
  • Lumber Report
    This report details the mix of sawn products produced by the model. Products produced directly in the sawmill are tracked separately from products produced by downstream splitting. The model considers opening and closing inventories, as well as production volume. The better production control that should result from implementation of a SAWSIM®-LP model should result in improved order fulfillment and reduced inventory volumes.
  • Sawlog Report
    The Sawlog Report allows users to quickly visualize the target block diameter and length distribution required to produce the target production mix. Should any significant deviations be noted between the target and used block mix, users will be able to make changes upstream to more closely match the mix of blocks required.
  • Sawn Report
    The Sawn Report presents a detailed summary of sawing patterns by length and diameter class required to produce the target production mix. Information from the report can be used to fine tune optimization parameters in mill optimizers.

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