Productivity and quality performance of an innovative firewood processor
AbstractThe growing interest about wood as fuel regards not only wood chips and pellets but also firewood, especially in mountain and rural areas where domestic heating plants are widely used. Due to the increased demand for firewood, harvesting activities have extended on broadleaved high forests as well as coppice. As a consequence, the diameter of logs has increased requiring larger and larger splitting machines; nowadays it is not uncommon to find on the market splitters able to process logs with diameter up to 50-60 cm. In order to increase the productivity, the effort of machine producers is directed to obtain the complete splitting of the log into firewood in only one step using multiple ways splitting knives. This technical solution may cause some drawbacks especially when the splitting knives are not properly adapted to the log diameter; it happens that the size of firewood is not homogeneous and splinters are produced, which requires using screens to separate them from the main product. In order to evaluate the work quality of a firewood processor, equipped with multiple ways splitting knives, an experimental test has been carried out using a machine in which the log diameter is automatically detected through a laser device; according to the log diameter the multiple ways splitting knives (formed by fixed and mobile knives, the latter hydraulically operated) is properly set up to obtain regularly sized firewood. Furthermore the log is automatically centred on the splitting knife set-up. The results of the experimental test showed that the firewood processor is able to produce firewood with homogeneous size and with a low production of splinters, regardless of log diameter.
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Copyright (c) 2014 Raffaele Cavalli, Stefano Grigolato, Andrea Sgarbossa
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