The Cameron Automation Rip-One is a complete lumber scanning, optimization, and gang ripping work cell designed for smaller shops. It increases productivity dramatically by transforming gang ripping into a single person operation. This is achieved by incorporating an inexpensive but extremely powerful high resolution 3D scanning system.
Once a desired cut-bill is entered into the computer, the operator simply places boards on the scanner's infeed conveyor. The board is automatically fed through a scanner which accumulates a high resolution color image of the entire board. In addition to the color image, high resolution profile data is also captured, creating an accurate 3D image of the board. Sophisticated computer algorithms process the image and profile data to determine the location of defects. The software then optimizes to determine a rip solution based on the desired cut-bill. Finally, a servo controlled fence positions the board in front of the gang rip saw. This fence skews, allowing it to position the board at the optimum angle for ripping. The movable blades on the rip saw are moved into position and the board is fed through the saw.
The ripped board ends up right beside the operator. This makes it easy for the same operator to stack the finished material. It also gives him instant feedback on how the system is performing.
List price for the entire system for ripping 12' lumber, including a movable blade Rip Saw is tens of thousands or potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars less than other companies scanners alone. Optimization systems that don't incorporate scanners typically read the width of the board in one or more places and at best work with only a two dimensional outer profile of the board. They are incapable of detecting wane or defects in the board. These optimizers can give a "best guess" ripping solution based on the board's profile, but an operator is still required to finalize the solution based on the actual characteristics of the board. The Rip-One on the other hand brings the power of lumber scanning to the smaller shop, and until now, only larger shops could afford the advantages that could be gained by scanning lumber before ripping.