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Precision Instruments

Lumber Profiler - "BoardRunner"

Picture of Lumber Profiling Instrument. Click to view larger image.

Client:
Thin Kerf Technologies Inc. (TKT) - Surrey, BC

Client's Request:
To re-engineer a previous version of the instrument in order to reduce its weight by 28%, achieve accurate measurements under all conditions encountered in a mill (pitch, dust, moisture, etc.), and create a visually appealing and technically advanced looking product.

KLN's Contribution:
Prototyping of first generation product as per client's drawings. After market test of this prototype, TKT contracted KLN to re-engineer the entire instrument and to then manufacture two batches of 10 units.

Outcome:
The original parts of the instrument had primarily been machined, making them heavy. Lighter, injection molded parts could unfortunately not be considered as the high tooling costs were prohibitive given the small expected market size. Instead a combination of light aluminum sheet metal parts, machined parts, and resin cast parts were designed to achieve weight reduction without compromising rigidity. Additionally, breakthrough in reliability was achieved through the design of new, low friction, sealed linear encoders.

The re-engineering of the BoardRunner, including the design and machining of all required casting molds, was completed by KLN in three months. Eight weeks later the first market-ready instrument was delivered, winning "Bronze" in the industrial systems category of the Canada 1996 Design Engineering Awards.


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