Presented by:

US Forest Service

Ed Thomas - The Future of the Hardwood Lumber Industry

Ed Thomas

Edward Thomas received a BS in Computer Science from Concord University in 1988 and a master's degree in Computer Science from West Virginia University in 1993. Mr. Thomas began working for the USDA Forest Service in 1988. His research areas include simulation and modeling of rough mill systems and sawmills. He is the author of the ROMI rough mill simulation software allows users to specify their rough mill configuration including: ripsaw, chopsaw, panel options, prioritization, part sizes, part quality options, and lumber grade mix to perform a complete rough mill cut-up simulation.

Simulation results detail the volume and number of boards required to satisfy the cutting bill requirements, as well as the number of strips, strip yield, part yield, and the number of ripping and chopping operations that were required. Small changes in grade mix, part sizes, and processing options can result in unpredictable changes to yield and processing results. Using simulation allows users a way to experiment with their rough mill operations to determine the most efficient processing methods before cutting a single board. Mr. Thomas is currently conducting research that examines the relationships among internal defects and external indicators on hardwood logs.


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