Getting started with Timbeter: most common users’ errors and how to avoid these. | Timbeter
Log Measuring

Getting started with Timbeter: most common users’ errors and how to avoid these.

Getting started with Timbeter: most common users’ errors and how to avoid these.

When it comes to digital transformation in forestry operations – being it a small enterprise or the whole industry – the questions of accuracy and smooth workflow are among the first ones to be raised. At Timbeter, the accuracy and transparency of our client’s measurement results is a priority. Timbeter’s algorithms (proven by academic researches and metrological authorities*) reduce the error margin to 1,5-0,5% throughout the whole supply chain. 

However, making the first digital measurements might be challenging, and this may result in lower accuracy. We genuinely believe that practice makes perfect, therefore, in this blog post, we would like to introduce you to the most common user errors which might occur when making the measurements.

Methodology – compare apples to apples, not oranges

  • Measurement method

When a user is making a digital measurement for the first time, there’s always an understandable interest in comparing the result with the traditional manual measurement. To keep this comparison consistent, please make sure that the measurement has been made using the same method – a log-by-log measurement does differ from the group method measurement result even within the same state measuring standard. Just like one should compare apples to apples, but not apples with oranges.

NB! “Diameter” measurement regime equals the log-by-log method based on the diameters of logs; “Contour”regime corresponds to the group geometrical measurement using the air-filling factor.

  • The correct formula

Once the measurement method has been picked correctly, please make sure to pick the correct formula for your Diameter (log-by-log) measurement. For the formulae overview and comparison, please feel free to contact us via info@timbeter.com and receive the detailed formulae list.

Reference – get the basics right

  • Reference. Basics

Reference (a stick/ruler/measurement tape, etc) provides the accurate calibration of the device for a specific measurement. The minimal length of a reference is 1m (we are kindly suggesting using a longer one for high piles). When processing a measurement, please make sure that the reference stick matches the red line accurately (see the picture below); if a reference has been set incorrectly, it can be always edited in both the application and the Storage Module.

  • Reference stick position

Timbeter is using photo-optical measurement methodology for roundwood measurements. Hence, the measured object has to be visible and distinctive, and the correlation of the reference and the measured pile is correct. If the reference stick is tilted, it will appear smaller in the picture and this would affect both the calibration accuracy and the final measurement result.The correct reference position is the following: 1) in parallel with the pile surface 2) at the same level with the pile surface (see the picture below) 3) if possible, in the centre of the pile

Measurement angle

To eliminate any visual distortions of the measured pile image (considering the photographic method), a user should follow a short set of rules:

1)     Standing in front of the pile centre

2)     Holding the device in parallel with the pile

Taking a picture from an angle results in distortion and incorrect measurement results.

Uneven piles

Piles of lower stacking quality (uneven pile surface where some logs are sticking out of the pile and some are placed deeper inside the pile, sometimes even poorly visible) might affect the accuracy of measurement results. The logs that are appearing bigger than they are (the sticking-out ones) will be overestimated in terms of diameters and volume; the logs inside the pile will appear smaller, respectively.  To learn more about how this might affect the diameters of individual logs, please use this link – https://timbeter.com/how-stacking-quality-affects-measurement-results/

Summing up, to reduce the errors produced by uneven stacking, the measurer should increase the distance between the pile and the device.

Panorama measurement

Longer piles are a prevalent case – being it a roadside log stack or sawmill storage. Timbeter does have a solution for measuring such piles which cannot fit in one single image, and the solution is panorama mode which is activated when making a measurement. 

However, a panoramic image consisting of multiple measurements is very sensitive to photographic deviations when the measurements are being stitched. To make sure that the panorama is correct, please follow these rules:

1)     Start the measurement from a side of a pile

2)     Move in parallel to the pile

3)     Keep the same distance from the pile throughout the whole measurement

In case if it is not possible to follow these rules, a solution would be dividing the pile into sections and measuring each section separately.

Measurement area

Among the user errors, setting the incorrect measurement area is still one of the most common ones. During the measurement process, the user is offered to either get the automatic pile contour or set it themselves. This is meant to exclude other piles and objects to obtain the accurate result – so the incorrect measurement area results in an inaccurate measurement. In case if this parameter has been set incorrectly, the measurement can be always edited right in the application (please see the image below).

Poor lighting conditions

As long as photographic method uses the image for making a measurement, a clear image is one of the success factors, and poor lighting conditions might affect the image quality. If there is a need to make the measured object in the picture more visible, we would suggest either using the in-built exposure setting in the application itself or, if the measurement is happening in the darkness, using an extra lighting source such as a headlamp.

NB! “Diameter” measurement regime is more sensitive and requires sufficient lighting to provide accurate detection and measurement results.

Summing up, there are several things to consider when getting to know Timbeter solution and start making the measurements. However, we are pretty sure that after reading this blog post, any user can have their quick and accurate roundwood measurements with Timbeter solution.

In case if you still have any questions left, please do not hesitate to contact our Support team at support@timbeter.com. Download Timbeter and start your sustainable forest management journey now!

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