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THE CAT SCAN FOR TREES CONQUERS THE WORLD
Rome - (Adnkronos Multimedia) -It is 100% Italian, and the only one of its kind in the world. Named ''Tomo Log," it makes it possible to find out about the internal structure of logs to be processed, in order to optimize their cutting and improve their yield. And what technique makes this possible? Computerized Axial Tomography. That's right, the CAT scan, invented for medical diagnosis, and now finding other applications as well. This machine is enjoying growing success in all countries where the wood processing industry is widespread - from Canada to Finland, from Sweden to the United States, and from Germany to Austria. And it is built by Microtec, a medium-sized enterprise in Bressanone, in the province of Bolzano, led by an entrepreneur with a passion for technological innovation. Practically more inventor than manager, Federico Giudiceandrea has brought business and scientific research together, building a solid alliance with one of Italy's most prestigious scientific facilities, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica della Materia. At length, the initial idea - seemingly a bit outlandish - of placing technology conceived for the medical world at the service of industry, was refined. Then came the first machine models, immediately installed in Germany's largest industrial sawmill - the Klenk mill at Hannover; and lastly, mass production, penetration into the North American markets, and consolidation on the markets of northern Europe.
Using the Microtec machine brings at least two advantages: it makes it possible to optimize the cutting of the wood, increasing each log's yield by up to 10% and thus reducing costs and - above all - consumption of raw material; also, it enables the finest qualities of wood to be selected, and therefore a wider range of semi-processed products designed for every specific final use to be produced. And this is without taking into account the fact that this preliminary analysis of the material to be cut enables the actual quality of the finished product to be known in advance.
This could not be achieved without Computerized Axial Tomography, which makes it possible to see inside any body or material without destroying it - non-invasively, as the medical world puts it.
Until just a few years ago, the problem was the costs for this kind of equipment, and above all the difficulty of obtaining mathematical models capable of correlating the radiographic images produced. A vast mathematical support system thus had to be developed, based on the in-depth knowledge that Microtec's technicians had amassed in the past with regard to the internal structure of logs, and their geometry and physiology. In fact, Microtec has been in this business for twenty years. Its array of products does not end with the ''Tomo Log'' system, but extends to a vast range of machines for the wood processing industry: systems for the automatic measurement of logs and boards; devices to monitor the quality of semi-processed items; and laser systems to guide cutting.
Microtec currently exports almost 100% of its output, and in recent months has started penetrating such new markets as South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. The next step will be China and the Orient, where wood processing carries significant economic weight, and which in the future will see greater interest in productive systems that enable the finished products to improve enormously. Microtec's future commercial and productive expansion will never lose sight of its original forte - innovation; towards these ends, its boundaries are being further broadened through the growing involvement of Italian and foreign universities and research centres.
via J. Durst 98
39042 Bressanone (Bolzano)