- Managing log inventories, and their associated carrying cost, is an important part of LP’s business.
- LP was interested in modernizing the monthly physical log inventory process by using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to calculate timber volumes decked in the log yard.
The Peace Valley oriented strand board (OSB) mill initially opened in 2005 as a joint venture between Louisiana-Pacific Canada (LP) and Canfor Corporation. LP purchased the mill outright in 2013, and in 2019 made the difficult decision to temporarily curtail operations due to a drop in U.S. housing starts and low commodity prices. The mill, which is one of the largest OSB producers in the world, restarted its operations in 2021 following careful market analysis of the long-term demand for their OSB products.
GeoVerra recognized the opportunity to use its expertise to assist the client in its inventory calculation modernization efforts and use UAV flights to measure a unique volume – one that is not a solid mass and has gaps. The client asked GeoVerra to fly the log yard with its advanced UAV technology and calculate timber volumes to see how they compared with the volumes collected by LP using two other methods. The current method of calculating log inventories involved determining deck heights at multiple locations using a laser range finder mounted on the portal cranes that the client uses to unload trucks, deck logs, and feed the mill. The volume calculated using this method was considered the benchmark.
After the volume calculation using all three methods was completed, it was determined the volumes prepared by GeoVerra’s team aligned more closely with the benchmark volume calculation completed by the client.
As a result, the client asked GeoVerra to complete another flight to calculate timber volumes the following month. The calculations once again aligned extremely close with the benchmark volume.
Inventory management is an important aspect of many different businesses. A common challenge operating a mill in an area with varying seasons is the inability to move logs to the mill year-round. An accurate assessment of log inventories is critical to monitor inventory build in the log yard and correctly value that inventory. In this case, by working with industry experts like GeoVerra, the client was able to verify its log inventory and valuation, and take a significant step forward in modernizing the collection of data for its monthly inventory calculations.
- UAV flights
- Timber volume calculations
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