ISO LIMITED, a New Zealand subsidiary of Qube, has opened a new robotic log scaling facility in New Plymouth.

The facility is near Port Taranaki, and it includes a weighbridge and undercover automated scanning technology that improves efficiency and accuracy and safety.

Previously based in the Port Taranaki operations area, the relocation of ISO’s log scaling operations reduces congestion on the port’s roads, according to a statement from Port Taranaki.

Once scaled, the trucks now head to the port and directly to the log yards for unloading, without the need to queue for the scaling checkpoint.

New Plymouth is the sixth ISO location to install the robotic scaling machines.

ISO area manager Simon Dunn said: “Previously, there was a lot of manual labour involved, with workers climbing on and between trucks and trailers to measure and put identification tags on the logs”.

“This was a safety risk. Now we have hydraulic ramps that allow the workers to easily access the logs to put the tags on, and the automated scaling means workers are no longer required to measure the logs – it’s safer, more productive and efficient.”

The automated system works by the robotic arm passing over the truck, taking photos of the logs and measuring the length and breadth of each.

This then gives an overall log volume of each truckload. The information of each log, such as the forest it came from, the company and the truck delivering the log, is attached electronically to the identification tag.

According to Port Taranaki, operations that previously took 10-15 minutes manually per truckload, now take just four-and-a-half minutes and give a more accurate measurement.  The New Plymouth facility has two of the robotic scaling machines, enabling 6000-plus JAS to move through each day.