The Gradewood Transition project has submitted its proposed redraft of the standard governing machine grading (EN14081-2) to the European Standards Committee responsible for updating it (CEN TC124 WG2). There is a lot to do before a new version of this standard can be published, but it looks like there will be a significant change in the way that machine grading is done. It is proposed that output control be completely removed (Gradewood showed that the current system is sometimes not able to adjust quickly enough to changes in the quality of the timber being graded) and a new approach called ‘adaptive settings’ will fit somewhere between the current machine control (fixed settings) and output control (custom settings) using the grading machine data (the Indicating Property) rather than periodic proof testing of timber.
It is not yet clear what the impact of the new proposal on grading yields of UK-grown timber will be, how readily industry will be able to adopt the new working practices or what happens to currently approved grading settings. When CEN TC124 WG2 next meets (8-9 July) we will find out more.