Would you like to speak at our event? Please submit your presentation proposal to Maria Church:
8:30am - 9:00am


9:00am - 9:30am

Understanding saw anti-deviation for increased profits

Speaker: Marty Vatkin, Sales Representative/Customer Service, Saw+ADD

Measuring forces on the saw blades before actual deviation occurs provides extremely fast feedback that has multiple benefits, which increase profits. The primary benefit, often misunderstood, is increased average sawing speed. Saw+ADD’s Marty Vatkin will discuss about how fast reaction to wood anomalies, which normally require slower conservative sawing speed, can allow increased average sawing speeds while lowering the within board standard deviation and producing a high grade of lumber.

9:30am - 10:15am

Case study: Functional safeguarding of a planer system

Speaker: Steve Cuddington, Control Systems Designer, UBSafe Inc.

With the support of BC Forest Safety Council, UBSafe performed a functional safety system upgrade to a Stetson Ross planer at Conifex Fort St. James, B.C., facility. To utilize the safeguarding system for minor servicing tasks, such as clearing jams, the WorkSafeBC approval process under regulation 10.10 for control system isolation device (CSID) use as an alternative control measure to lockout was triggered. UBSafe’s Steve Cuddington will share the results of the project – a safe, compliant, efficient system that was measured to reduce jam clearing-related downtime by 50 per cent.

10:15am - 10:45am

Networking Break

10:45am - 11:15am

A new vision: Inspect beyond the surface with ultrasonic systems

Speaker: Jan Strycek, president, Airstar

Combining the conventional electromagnetic spectrum scanners (infrared, x-ray, visual), wood producers now have the ability to fully assess their forest products inside and out. This technology allows for detection of defects of full thickness in boards such as vertical end splits as well as checking defects in hardwood and softwood. Using just the conventional EMS techniques, these types of defects are undetectable since they are not visible on the surface. Jan Strycek, president of Airstar, will explain how their ultrasonic systems are successfully detecting internal defects in wood products to fully optimize production quality.

11:15am - 12:00am

Case study: Connecting CT log scanning to headrigs

Speaker: Norvin Laudon, resident director, MiCROTEC Vancouver

MiCROTEC's CT Log Scanners provide a wealth of information on the internal defects of logs, and are able to optimize the breakdown based on the final graded value of the products, rather than volume. Most commonly, CT Scanners are connected through internal fingerprint technology to lineal primary breakdown lines. A case study will be presented that demonstrates CT Scanning close-coupled to the sawmill, wherein CT Optimized internal breakdown data is transferred to the headrig using MiCROTEC's new Logeye 900 Stereo Headrig Scanner.

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Networking Lunch

1:00pm - 1:30pm

Getting to a new level of detection with AI

Speaker: Gilles Gauvin, sales manager Carbotech/Autolog

Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have evolved rapidly in all industries in recent years, and we can take advantage of this evolution and apply it to the sawmill business. Gilles Gauvin, sales manager with Carbotech/Autolog, will explore the evolution of the Prograder over the years with the addition of new features, the use of new sensing technologies and more recently, the help of AI for defects detection on lumber. The more you define visual defects, the more value sawmills can derive from graded lumber.

1:30pm - 2:00pm

Adapting to a changing fibre supply: Using log CT scanning and sawing optimization

Speaker: Isabelle Duchesne, research scientist, Canadian Wood Fibre Centre

In face of a reduced fibre supply related to climate change and conservation, the need to develop new approaches to grow superior trees faster while sustainably extract the maximum value from every tree harvested on the landscape has never been higher. Research scientist Isabelle Duchesne will share the results of a sawing simulation study on plantation-grown softwoods that indicates X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanning of internal log characteristics, combined with sawing optimization, increases lumber value of processed trees and improves sawmilling efficiency.

2:00pm - 2:30pm

Networking Break

2:30pm - 3:00pm

The effect of wood condition on sawing performance and monitoring

Speaker: Julie Cool, associate professor, process optimization and monitoring, UBC Department of Wood Science

New research has shown wood conditions – kiln-dried, green, and frozen – has an impact on cutting power, surface quality and dust emissions in the mill. Dr. Julie Cool, associate professor of sawmilling optimization at UBC, will discuss this research and share how sensors can monitor conditions to optimize production.

3:00pm - 3:30pm

Three in one: An alternative to the lug loader, fence and trimmer

Speaker: Jessy Ross, vice-president of sales and marketing, SmartMill

After four years of R&D involving specialists in mechanical, electrical and motion design, SmartMill introduced the Smart-Trim solution that combines three pieces of equipment in one: a lug loader, a positioning system/fence, and a multi-saw trimmer. SmartMill’s Jessy Ross will share how this compact 3-in-1 system uses the optimizer’s solutions to index, position and trim lumber green or dry, rough or dressed, replacing a conventional lug loader, fence and trimmer and providing flexibility to produce virtually any length.


Gilles Gauvin
Sales Manager Carbotech/Autolog

Gilles Gauvin’s career in the wood industry has spanned over 20 years. As a sales manager at Autolog, and, in the last year, with Carbotech, his current responsibilities focus on providing wood processing solutions to Canadian, U.S. and international customers in the sawmill industry. Thanks to his vast experience with various manufacturers, he has acquired a broad overview of different solutions that he can easily provide to his customer base. Along with his consultative and customer experience approach, which are very distinctive to our market, he is always on the lookout to help generate innovative solutions that will benefit his customers.

Isabelle Duchesne
Research Scientist, Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Canadian Forest Service

Isabelle Duchesne is a research scientist in fibre characterization with the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre of the Canadian Forest Service. Over the past 25 years, she has worked on optimizing fibre supply utilization through, 1) better understanding of the effects of silviculture practices on wood quality, 2) testing non-destructive technologies such as X-ray CT scanning to increase lumber recovery, and 3) evaluating the effects of seed source translocation and climate on plantation-grown lumber quality.

Isabelle’s research also aims to develop innovative tools and methods for tree species identification to combat illegal trade of forest products and protect our Canadian market.

Jan Strycek
President, Airstar Inc.

Jan Strycek is the president of Airstar Inc., based in California. Airstar specializes in ultrasonic testing, instrumentation and systems for quality control. The company started in nuclear, transportation, and energy industries in Canada, followed by the aerospace and defense industry in the U.S. About 25 years ago, Airstar entered the forest products industry, which is its main focus today. The basis for all Airstar’s forest product systems is a high performance, high signal to noise instrumentation.

Jessy Ross
Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, SmartMill

Jessy is the vice-president of sales and marketing of SmartMill, headquartered in the unique artificial intelligence park in Levis, Qu. SmartMill manufactures and install state-of-the-art automation equipment that is a customizable solution to improve the profitability of its clients in the wood processing industry. Through its innovative approach, SmartMill strives to be recognized as the transformational leader for the forestry and manufacturing industries. Our automated solutions offer remarkable operational efficiency to help customers to increase their profitability.  

Julie Cool
associate professor, process optimization and monitoring, UBC Department of Wood Science

Dr. Julie Cool is an associate professor in sawmilling optimization at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Cool obtained her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering before receiving her M.Sc. and Ph.D. in wood science from Université Laval (Québec). Before joining UBC, Cool worked in the industry as a scientist in the sawmilling group at FPInnovations in Québec and later as an R&D advisor in Montréal. Thanks to her previous industrial experience and ongoing interactions with the primary wood industry, she is very aware of the challenges and opportunities as it strives to minimize the production of waste and adapts to a changing resource-base and climate. Cool is an expert in process optimization and quality control and has undertaken R&D projects in both the primary and secondary wood industries.

Marty Vatkin
Sales Representative/Customer Service, Saw+ADD

Marty Vatkin’s 40 plus-years involvement in the lumber industry has given him a vast comprehension of all things related to sawmills and makes him a perfect fit for our growing company. He is known for his can-do attitude, innovative approach to problem solving and passion for precision mechanics. He has been head filer for Interfor, Adams Lake division for the last 10 years and in the last five years president of the BC Saw Filers Association. He has been head filer at four mills for a total of 25 years. Marty has also owned and operated Sawline Consulting since 1990, specializing in laser alignment, wheel grinding, trouble shooting, filing room development and personnel training. He has taught industrial courses for energy transfer technology, which included coupling alignment, vertical shaft alignment, machine centre alignment, troubleshooting, belt maintenance and conveyors. In the past he has been maintenance superintendent for nine years at a four-line mill and has been a sawfiler since 1978, ticketed in 1988.

Norvin Laudon
Director, MiCROTEC Vancouver

Norvin Laudon began his career in Vancouver developing machine vision systems for high-speed manufacturing. For the last 18 years he has been involved in the sawmill industry, bringing his experience in machine vision and image processing to log and lumber scanning. While living in Europe for a number of years, Norvin worked with some of the world’s leading CT wood scanning researchers in developing the world’s first high-speed CT log scanner designed for sawmills. Once again based in Vancouver, he is now working on bringing Microtec’s log scanning expertise to North America.

Steve Cuddington
Principal, UBSafe Inc.

Steve Cuddington is a control systems designer with UBSafe. Steve has spent the past 10 years working in manufacturing, the last six with UBSafe as a control systems designer performing risk assessment, design, programming, startup, validation on functional safety retrofits and other machine safety projects across many industries in Western Canada and the U.S. He has a B.Sc. in physics and a diploma of technology, mechatronics and robotics.


Four Points Sheraton Kelowna Airport

5505 Airport Way,
Kelowna, BC
V1V 3C3

To book accommodations for this event use this online reservation link below. The last day to book at this rate is May 7, 2022

Book your group rate at 175 CAD per night plus tax

Group rate is only applied to Tuesday, June 7, 2022 to Friday, June 10, 2022.

If you have questions or need help with the link, please do not hesitate to email


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