Sawmill Timber and Process Optimisation Project

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Case for change

Timber sawmills are currently managed for higher efficiency and productivity targets to maintain their future competitiveness. Most companies have invested heavily in their operations to keep up with technical developments and production processes for maximum timber value and volume recovery. As a result, sawmills require a workforce with skills and knowledge in the application of technologies and processes for timber optimisation and material flow optimisation.

Sawmill timber and process optimisation were identified as key skills priorities in the 2018-2021 Forest and Wood Products IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work (see pages 67-70). In addressing these skill needs, this project will identify new and improved units of competency to support skills in timber and process optimisation related to log sorting, sawing in the green mill, dry mill processing and grading and timber treatment. Skills Impact and the Timber and Wood Processing Industry Reference Committee (IRC) will manage this project, consistent with the 2012 Standards for Training Package Development.

Download the IRC Skills Forecast (see pages 67-70)

Project Plan

Project Scope

This project will improve and develop new units of competency to address skills requirements for optimisation of timber and material flow within sawmills.

Scroll down to view the list of units that are required to support skills in timber and process optimisation, related to the following stages of sawmill production processes:

  1. Log sorting – Major developments have been made with log sorting to improve timber value recovery due to the advances in 3D, X-Ray and acoustic scanning technologies and software. Particular skills are required to operate the scanning technologies and software and to conduct correct calibrations.
  2. Sawing in the green mill – At this stage, optimisation for value recovery occurs in two phases within the following processes:
  • sawing: log alignment and positioning – activities include the set-up of optimising system by process controllers, sawdoctors and mechanical trades and operation of scanning and optimising system
  • trimming and sorting.

Particular skills are required for each phase by both process controllers and sawdoctors.

  1. Dry mill processing and grading – Dry mill systems are equipped with computers that allow optimisation decisions for timber value recovery when resawing timber. Skills are required to understand the cutting plan and product output mix, select the cutting programme and develop a cutting schedule to meet value recovery requirements. In addition, stress grade technology utilises acoustic, visual, X-Ray and bending to determine the structural characteristics of the full length of every single piece of timber.
  2. Timber treatment – Major improvements in timber treatment techniques and processes have been made over recent years to ensure the durability, protection and performance of timber products. The industry requires units of competency in the current timber treatment processes. Adequate skills are also required for correct testing of treated timber.

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Forestry and Timber’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

 

Relevant Occupations
  • Sawmill process controllers
  • Sawdoctors
  • Supervisors

 

Key deliverables

The project will develop a minimum of six new units of competency for operating timber optimisation technology and processes, at Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Levels 3 and 4. Eleven existing units of competency will be reviewed in line with the current sawmill timber and process optimisation practices.

 

Timeline

July – August 2018
Initial scoping

August – December 2019

Development of draft units of competency
(Technical Advisory Committee Consultations)

January – February 2019
Drafts available for broad consultation

March 2019
Validation of final drafts

April – June 2019
Finalisation of Training Package components and AISC submission

Project Team
Georgiana Daian Head of Skills Standards Development, ForestWorks gdaian@forestworks.com.au
Michelle Clayton Industry Skills Standards Specialist, ForestWorks mclayton@forestworks.com.au
Rob Stowell Industry Skills Standards Contractor

Units of Competency

Below is a list of the units proposed for development and revision.

Sawmill machine centre optimiser

  • FWPSAWXXXX Operate scanning and optimising system for a sawmill machine centre
  • FWPSAWXXXX Calibrate scanning and optimising system for a sawmill machine centre

Sawing in the ‘green mill’

  • FWPSAWXXXX Optimisation (sawing)
  • FWPSAWXXXX Optimisation (Trimming and Sorting)

‘Dry mill’ processing and sorting

  • FWPSAWXXXX Optimisation (Dry Mill)

Timber treatment

  • FWPSAW3XXX Test treated timber

 

Technical Advisory Committee

A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) will be established to provide technical input to the review and development of units. The TAC will be made up of members from key stakeholder organisations. TAC members are identified through nominations made by the IRCs and industry specialists with a genuine interest in the project.

If you are interested in applying to be a technical expert and are able to volunteer your time to this project, please contact us.

 

Opportunities for stakeholder input

Stakeholder input is appreciated throughout the duration of this project. The documents will be drafted in consultation with the TAC and their networks. Opportunities to provide targeted feedback will occur when the draft materials are made available in January and February 2019, and again for validation of final drafts in March 2019. However, your feedback is welcomed at any time, and will help us in drafting the units. It is important that training provides a skilled  and flexible workforce for the future. The units need to reflect real work experience. So if you work in the sector, Skills Impact would love your input and help. Please feel free to register your interest for project updates and consultation opportunities by following the newsletter subscription link below. Alternatively, please feel free to contact us.

 

The Timber and Wood Processing Industry Reference Committee (IRC) will oversee this project, as part of their responsibilities to support engagement with the sector, and to ensure the project meets industry stakeholder needs.

Development

A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) was established in late August 2018. TAC members met and supported a series of site visits to identify skills and knowledge needs regarding timber and process optimisation in sawmills. This information, combined with initial consultations with the TAC, has resulted in the proposed development of six new units of competency:

  • FWPSAWXXXX Apply principles for timber and process optimisation in the sawmill
  • FWPSAWXXXX Apply knowledge of timber properties, sawmill operations and sawmilling equipment
  • FWPSAWXXXX Optimise timber production for volume and value recovery
  • FWPSAWXXXX Monitor output timber for optimum volume and value recovery
  • FWPSAWXXXX Use scanning equipment for timber grading
  • FWPSAWXXXX Calibrate and maintain scanning equipment

Skills that support production efficiencies in sawmills are required, to maximise the overall volume and value of timber recovery. Virtually all job roles in sawmills are expected to apply principles of timber and process optimisation. Knowledge of timber properties and processing capabilities in the sawmill is also required, to support the optimisation outcomes.

New job roles with a focus on optimisation have emerged in the sawmilling industry. People in these job roles use optimisation software packages, which process information from a range of scanning technologies to make decisions regarding production. As result, maximising the volume and value of timber recovery in the Green Mill and achieve optimal timber grading in the Dry Mill.

Optimisation also requires saw technicians and sawmill operators that are skilled to set-up, use and service the saw machines and scanning technologies correctly, according to production requirements.

Industry feedback has indicated that there is a shortage of personnel with expertise in optimisation in the sawmilling industry.

No units of competency have been identified in the Training Packages to satisfy these identified skill needs.

Job roles impacted by optimisation include:

  • Optimisation managers (Green Mill) / Technical managers (Dry Mill) / Process improvement engineers / Business optimisation managers
  • Team leaders / Front-line supervisors
  • Sawdoctors
  • Machine operators
  • Quality assurance managers and administrators
  • Timber process workers
Technical Advisory Committee
Organisation Representative
Phoenix Supply Company Pty Ltd Chris Carre
Whiteheads Timber Colin Wooldridge
AKD Softwoods Cristian Gibbs
AKD Softwoods David Belfield
Hyne Timber David Bennetts
Timber Preservers’ Association of Australia (TPAA) Jack Norton
Timberlink Jamie Irving
Timberlink Joel Langham
Margules Groome Consulting Mihai Daian
AKD Softwoods Nick Murray
AKD Softwoods Steve Baudinette
McDonnel Stuart Husband
AKD Softwoods Tom O’connor
CFMMEU Travis Lawson
Arch Wood Protection (Aust) Pty Ltd Trading as Lonza Troy Justice

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Forestry and Timber’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

 

Drafts Available

Thank you to all those who provided feedback on the six new units of competency (developed across this project and the Advances in Woodmachining and Sawdoctoring Project) and 11 revised units of competency. The draft documents were available for review and feedback on this webpage, from 21 January – 20 February 2019.

The new units of competency have been developed to support production efficiencies in sawmills, particularly in relation to maximising the overall volume and value of timber recovery. The existing units of competency relate to the main stages of sawmill production processes. They have been revised to meet skill needs and to comply with the standards for training packages. One unit has been proposed for deletion.

Feedback was sought on whether the draft units reflect current industry skills standards, knowledge and practices and whether all job functions are accurately described. Feedback will inform the work on the final drafts which will be available for industry validation in late February 2019.

Summary of consultation to date

Feedback on the draft units was collected via the online feedback hub, face-to-face consultation workshops and webinars. To view the draft units, including comments that were made on them from people using the feedback hub, please click on the expandable document menus below.

The project commenced in late August 2018 with the establishment of a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), made up of workplace experts and industry. TAC members met and supported a series of site visits to identify skills and knowledge needs regarding timber and process optimisation in sawmills. This information, combined with initial consultations with the TAC, informed the work carried out on the development of the draft qualifications and units.

Six new units have been developed for operating timber optimisation technology and applying principles of timber and process optimisation, including knowledge of timber properties and processing capabilities, in the sawmill processes. These have been developed in conjunction with the Advances in Wood Machining and Sawdoctoring Project. The draft new units can be viewed via the links below.

The draft documents can also be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

FWPCOT3XXX Apply knowledge of timber properties, sawmill operations and sawmilling View unit
FWPCOT3XXX Apply principles of timber and process optimisation in sawmill operations View unit
FWPCOT3XXX Calibrate and maintain scanning equipment View unit
FWPSAW4XXX Monitor output timber for optimum volume and value recovery View unit
FWPSAW4XXX Optimise timber production for volume and value recovery View unit
FWPCOT3XXX Use scanning equipment for timber grading View unit

 

Feedback was also sought on the placement of new units within qualifications existing in the FWP Forest and Wood Products Training Package. The new units are proposed to be included in the sawmilling, wood machining and saw technology qualifications as shown in the table below.

Proposed new units Qualifications
FWP20316 Certificate II in Sawmilling and Processing FWP30316 Certificate III in Sawmilling and Processing FWP30816 Certificate III in Wood Machining FWP3XXXX Certificate III in Saw Technology FWP40216 Certificate IV in Timber Processing
FWPSAWXXXX Apply principles for timber and process optimisation in sawmill operations Elective Elective Elective
FWPSAWXXXX Apply knowledge of timber properties, sawmill operations and sawmilling equipment Elective Elective Core Core
FWPSAWXXXX Optimise timber production for volume and value recovery Elective
FWPSAWXXXX Monitor output timber for optimum volume and value recovery Elective
FWPSAWXXXX Use scanning equipment for timber grading Elective Elective
FWPSAWXXXX Calibrate and maintain scanning equipment Elective Elective

 

Eleven existing units of competency have been revised to meet the skill needs and compliance with the Standards for Training Packages. Workplace health and safety requirements were updated in the performance criteria to align with assessment requirements or fill a gap. The intent of the unit and assessment requirements have been clarified in some units. The draft units are available to view via the links below.

The draft documents can also be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Log sorting

Unit code and title Proposed changes Link
FWPSAW2207 Round softwood logs Updated workplace health and safety requirements in Performance Criteria and Performance Evidence

Updated Foundation Skills

View unit
FWPSAW3202 Produce sawn green boards Updated workplace health and safety requirements in Performance Criteria and Performance Evidence

Updated Foundation Skills

 View unit
FWPSAW3XXX Perform primary log breakdown Updated unit title, application statement, elements and performance criteria to focus unit on primary log breakdown process

Clarified assessment requirements by providing clearer definition of performance evidence and associated assessment conditions and matching knowledge evidence requirements with work task

Clarified assessor requirements in line with standards for Training Packages

 View unit
FWPSAW3XXX Perform secondary log breakdown Updated unit title, application statement, elements and performance criteria to focus unit on primary log breakdown process

Clarified assessment requirements by providing clearer definition of performance evidence and associated assessment conditions and matching knowledge evidence requirements with work task

Clarified assessor requirements in line with standards for Training Packages

View unit
FWPSAW3227 Select and saw logs in multi-species operations Reworded Application statement for clarity

Updated workplace health and safety requirements in Performance Criteria and Performance Evidence to match knowledge evidence

Added new Performance Criteria (PC 1.5, 1.6 and 1.7) to match Knowledge Evidence

Updated Foundation Skills

View unit

 

Sawing in the ‘green mill’

Unit code and title Proposed changes Link
FWPCOTXXXX Cut timber products using high speed optimiser Updated unit title and code

Updated Application statement for clarity

Updated Performance Criteria to reflect environmental and workplace health and safety requirements

Added ‘three or more of the following types of timber products’ in Performance Evidence

Added Performance Evidence to match Performance Criteria

Updated Foundation Skills

View unit

 

‘Dry mill’ processing and sorting

Unit code and title Proposed changes Link
FWPCOT3225 Mechanically stress grade timber Updated Performance Criteria to match Knowledge Evidence regarding workplace health and safety requirements

Updated Foundation Skills

View unit
FWPCOTXXXX Grade, sort and mark timber materials Updated unit title for clarity

Added and reworded requirements to match

Added ‘three or more of the following types of timber materials’ in Performance Evidence

Updated Foundation Skills

View unit
FWPCOT3230 Operate automated stacking equipment Updated workplace health and safety requirements to match across sections

Updated Foundation Skills

View unit

 

Timber treatment

Unit code and title Proposed changes Link
FWPSAW3201 Treat timber Rewarded Application statement and Performance Evidence for clarity

Updated requirements regarding workplace health and safety and environmental protection in Performance Criteria and Performance Evidence to match Knowledge Evidence

Updated foundation skills

View unit

One unit has been proposed for deletion due to a confusing application and performance criteria and assessment description. The unit has had no enrolments over the last five years.

 

FWPSAW3226 Saw logs using CNC optimising systems View unit

 

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Forestry and Timber’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

 

Validation

Thank you to those who participated in the validation process for the final draft units of competency. The documents were made available on the Skills Impact website from 25 February – 11 March 2019.

The final drafts will shortly progress through to the Finalisation stage of the project which includes quality assurance of the documents and review and feedback from the State/Territory Training Authorities. They will then be forwarded to the Timber and Wood Processing Industry Reference Committee for consideration and sign off, before being submitted to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) to consider and approve for publication on training.gov.au.

Validation means checking and confirming that the documents are logical and factually accurate. 

Summary of consultation

Prior to the Validation period, the draft units of competency were made available on this webpage for broad stakeholder review, from 21 January – 15  February 2018, under the ‘Drafts Available’ stage menu above. Feedback on the draft documents was collected via an online feedback hub, emails and consultation with industry stakeholders. The units were drafted with guidance from a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), made up of workplace experts and industry.

A description of how feedback from the ‘Drafts Available’ stage has been considered and applied in these final drafts can be downloaded below.

 

Six new units have been developed for operating timber optimisation technology and applying principles of timber and process optimisation, including knowledge of timber properties and processing capabilities, in the sawmill processes. These have been developed in conjunction with the Advances in Wood Machining and Sawdoctoring Project.

The draft new units can be viewed via the links below or  click here to download a zipped folder of all units in this group.

FWPCOT3XXX Apply knowledge of timber properties, sawmill operations and sawmilling Download final draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Apply principles of timber and process optimisation in sawmill operations Download final draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Calibrate and maintain scanning equipment Download final draft unit
FWPSAW4XXX Monitor output timber for optimum volume and value recovery Download final draft unit
FWPSAW4XXX Optimise timber production for volume and value recovery Download final draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Use scanning equipment for timber grading Download final draft unit

 

Feedback was also sought on the placement of new units within qualifications existing in the FWP Forest and Wood Products Training Package. The new units are proposed to be included in the sawmilling, wood machining and saw technology qualifications as shown in the table below.

Proposed new units Qualifications
FWP20316 Certificate II in Sawmilling and Processing FWP30316 Certificate III in Sawmilling and Processing FWP30816 Certificate III in Wood Machining FWP3XXXX Certificate III in Saw Technology FWP40216 Certificate IV in Timber Processing
FWPSAWXXXX Apply principles for timber and process optimisation in sawmill operations Elective Elective Elective
FWPSAWXXXX Apply knowledge of timber properties, sawmill operations and sawmilling equipment Elective Elective Core Core
FWPSAWXXXX Optimise timber production for volume and value recovery Elective
FWPSAWXXXX Monitor output timber for optimum volume and value recovery Elective
FWPSAWXXXX Use scanning equipment for timber grading Elective Elective
FWPSAWXXXX Calibrate and maintain scanning equipment Elective Elective

Eleven existing units of competency have been revised to meet the skill needs and compliance with the Standards for Training Packages. Workplace health and safety requirements were updated in the performance criteria to align with assessment requirements or fill a gap. The intent of the unit and assessment requirements have been clarified in some units.

The draft revised units can be viewed via the links below or  click here to download a zipped folder of all units in this group.

 

Log sorting
Unit code and title Proposed changes Link
FWPSAW2207 Round softwood logs Updated workplace health and safety requirements in Performance Criteria and Performance Evidence

Updated Foundation Skills

Download final draft unit
FWPSAW3202 Produce sawn green boards Updated workplace health and safety requirements in Performance Criteria and Performance Evidence

Updated Foundation Skills

Download final draft unit
FWPSAW3XXX Perform primary log breakdown Updated unit title, application statement, elements and performance criteria to focus unit on primary log breakdown process

Clarified assessment requirements by providing clearer definition of performance evidence and associated assessment conditions and matching knowledge evidence requirements with work task

Clarified assessor requirements in line with standards for Training Packages

Download final draft unit
FWPSAW3XXX Perform secondary log breakdown Updated unit title, application statement, elements and performance criteria to focus unit on primary log breakdown process

Clarified assessment requirements by providing clearer definition of performance evidence and associated assessment conditions and matching knowledge evidence requirements with work task

Clarified assessor requirements in line with standards for Training Packages

Download final draft unit
FWPSAW3227 Select and saw logs in multi-species operations Reworded Application statement for clarity

Updated workplace health and safety requirements in Performance Criteria and Performance Evidence to match knowledge evidence

Added new Performance Criteria (PC 1.5, 1.6 and 1.7) to match Knowledge Evidence

Updated Foundation Skills

Download final draft unit

 

Sawing in the ‘green mill’
Unit code and title Proposed changes Link
FWPCOTXXXX Cut timber products using high speed optimiser Updated unit title and code

Updated Application statement for clarity

Updated Performance Criteria to reflect environmental and workplace health and safety requirements

Added ‘three or more of the following types of timber products’ in Performance Evidence

Added Performance Evidence to match Performance Criteria

Updated Foundation Skills

Download final draft unit

 

‘Dry mill’ processing and sorting
Unit code and title Proposed changes Link
FWPCOT3225 Mechanically stress grade timber Updated Performance Criteria to match Knowledge Evidence regarding workplace health and safety requirements

Updated Foundation Skills

Download final draft unit
FWPCOTXXXX Grade, sort and mark timber materials Updated unit title for clarity

Added and reworded requirements to match

Added ‘three or more of the following types of timber materials’ in Performance Evidence

Updated Foundation Skills

Download final draft unit
FWPCOT3230 Operate automated stacking equipment Updated workplace health and safety requirements to match across sections

Updated Foundation Skills

Download final draft unit

 

Timber treatment
Unit code and title Proposed changes Link
FWPSAW3201 Treat timber Rewarded Application statement and Performance Evidence for clarity

Updated requirements regarding workplace health and safety and environmental protection in Performance Criteria and Performance Evidence to match Knowledge Evidence

Updated foundation skills

Download final draft unit

One unit has been proposed for deletion due to a confusing application and performance criteria and assessment description. The unit has had no enrolments over the last five years.

The unit proposed for deletion can be viewed via the link below.

FWPSAW3226 Saw logs using CNC optimising systems View unit

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Forestry and Timber’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

 

Finalisation

This stage has not yet commenced