MTS Sensors' Provide High-Speed Position Feedback in New Sawmill Construction

CARY, N.C. (March 13, 2008) - MTS Systems Corp., Sensors Division's Temposonics® R-Series sensors play a key role in a number of motion control applications throughout the Centralia Sawmill (Centralia, Wash.), a greenfield sawmill operating since 2006. The mill, which was built exclusively to process logs averaging 9 inches and to produce 2x4, 2x6, 4x4,
4x6 and 1x4 studs, maintains a production average of 8,500 logs per shift with a maximum of 11,200, exceeding the projected 10,000 logs per shift.
More than 60 R-Series sensors are being used in applications such as the merchandising system, canter, vertical shape sawing gang edger, board edger, edging fence, and dual fork stacker.

"I've built many sawmills and I most often choose MTS sensors," said Lloyd Pederson, owner, Pederson Management, Ltd, who designed the Centralia Sawmill and specified and purchased all the equipment. "Accuracy and repeatability are the most important issues in motion control, and the MTS sensors have repeatedly provided proven reliability and accuracy in a very volatile environment."

The R-Series SSI encoder position sensor features faster data processing and more accurate sensing for motion control applications in the wood industry, providing customers with a high-performance sensor in a durable industrial package.

"In sawmill applications, the optimization of materials--meaning less waste and more product produced-is key to the success of the business operation,"
said Matt Hankinson, marketing manager, MTS Sensors. "Because of this, many suppliers in the wood industry have begun using magnetostrictive sensors with synchronous serial interface (SSI) on their machines to provide real-time linear position feedback of the actuators for accurate, dynamic control at fast and slow speeds that maximizes throughput and yield."

The R-Series SSI output sensor includes options for synchronized 7500 Hz update rates and position accuracy as low as +/-40 microns (+/-0.0016 inch.) standard, (+/- 20 microns with the linearity correction option). MTS'
proprietary synchronization technology guarantees the most accurate dynamic position output while minimizing inherent system-related delays to produce smooth, precise velocity loop control. The rugged design ensures high resistance to shock (100 g) and vibration (up to 15 g/10-2,000Hz, 30 g with the HVR option) using industry accepted testing methods. With its unique double-shielded design, the new R-Series product also includes the industry's highest EMC immunity level (IEC/EN 50082-2, IEC/EN 61000-4-2/3/4/6, level 3/4 criterion A). Like all R-Series sensors, the SSI output model comes standard with an IP 67 housing (IP 68 with integral cable), as well as UL/ATEX-approved explosion-proof and NEMA Type 4X optional housings.

The R-Series model RH hydraulic or "rod-style" products that are used throughout the mill are specifically designed to be embedded into high-pressure hydraulic actuators. The integral high-pressure isolation tube is designed to withstand static pressure of 350 bar (5000 psi) and peak pressures of 690 bar (10,000 psi).

Using industry standard cylinders designed to accept these sensors, machine designers can add high performance position and velocity feedback to their servoactuators by simply selecting the required stroke length and sensor output or control interface.

The R-Series sensors are pre-configured at the factory by model code designation. For many applications, no adjustments are required for normal sensor installation and operation, but if sensor parameters need to be changed on-site, the sensors are easy to program using one of two options - pushbutton programmer (handheld or cabinet mounted) or PC software programming tools depending on the user's needs.

Using external serial communication for monitoring and programming, there is no need to open the sensor's electronics housing. Further, simple diagnostic feedback is indicated by built-in, weatherproof, dual-colored LEDs. Keeping the sensor electronics isolated ensures seal integrity and the highest product reliability are maintained.

The Centralia Mill runs at an infeed speed of 1000 logs per hour and produces 170 pieces of finished lumber per minute.

For more information on Temposonics Sensors, please contact:
MTS Systems Corp, Sensors Division,
3001 Sheldon Drive,
Cary, NC 27513.
Phone: (919) 677-0100.
or visit their web site at

Patricia Staino
PR Account Manager
BtB Marketing Communications, Inc.
900 Ridgefield Drive, Suite 270
Raleigh, NC 27609
P: 919.872.8172
F: 919.872.8875

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