Taigatech has developed a unique technology that, in a cost-effective and time-efficient way, can recognize a log with the help of artificial intelligence, which makes it possible to recover more timber per sawn log. The company now becomes a member of bioeconomy cluster Paper Province.
Taigatech, from Sweden, has developed a recognition technology that works much like Face-ID on an iPhone, but for logs. By scanning the log end surface, the specific log can be recognized among thousands of others. The technique can be likened to tracing a fingerprint, but in this case you can get information about where the tree originates from, its length, diameter and internal structure.
X-raying logs in sawmills to assess the quality of the wood product is nothing new, but the machinery usually costs several hundred thousand euros. That is why Taigatech’s software is a very interesting low-cost alternative to sawmills.
"Approximately 85 million cubic meters of forest are harvested in Sweden every year. By using our software, sawmills can expect a four to ten percent increase in raw material utilization", says John Randelin, co-founder of Taigatech.
John Randelin and his fellow student Antonio Butkovic have for a long time had an interest in the forest industry and AI, but it was when Antonio did his bachelor’s thesis at Moelven 2020 that the very idea for Taigatech emerged. Moelven, a Scandinavian industrial group that produces building products and systems for the construction industry, also proved to be very positive about the idea, which made them dare to invest.
Today, the company consists of Chalmers master’s students Antonio Butkovic, John Randelin, Christoffer Johnsson, Erik Dahl and Arvid Viktorsson, from both Karlstad University and Chalmers, and Fredrik Kahl, professor of mathematics and leader of the research group in computer vision at Chalmers.
They run the company alongside their studies, but the dream is to commit full-time. A dream that does not seem completely unthinkable. Being first with this technology in the world, they have already aroused interest among sawmills internationally, including Australia.
"In ten years’ time, I hope that our technology is implemented globally at sawmills. Not being able to track logs is a major problem that lacks a cost-effective solution today. There are X-ray companies that sell solutions, but no one has demonstrated the same product as we have", says John Randelin.
They see the membership in Paper Province as a step in the right direction to reach out with their innovation.
"It would be valuable to have a meeting with other sawmills to get ideas and views on how we can further improve our solution. We also want to make contacts, get advice and understand other uses for our product than just sawmills. Getting traceability throughout the value chain is also desirable."
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Paper Province is a world-leading business cluster within the forest bio-economy. We are owned and operated by more than 100 member companies. The cluster is based in Karlstad, Sweden, and mainly operates in the province of Värmland and the surrounding area, but also nationally and globally. Together with our member companies we work towards sustainable development with focus on innovation, skilled work force, internationalization and regional mobilization.