With the gradual turnaround in the housing market, a family-run lumber company in Adams County is about to put down $1.5 million on high-tech equipment to get more out of its logs.

At Evergreen Forest Products, new scanners will read rough-cut timber, showing mill workers how to get around impurities such as knots. The devices will help produce the highest-grade cuts that will bring Evergreen the most money.

And Rodney Krogh, Evergreen’s president, won’t have to wait long for a financial return. “The payback will be within a year on grade alone,” he said.

Scanners and other automated equipment have become practically a necessity in Idaho sawmills like Evergreen’s, which cut soft woods such as Douglas fir and ponderosa pine. In a shrinking field of sawmills — some didn’t survive the recession — competition demands getting the most financial return from each log.

From The Idaho Statesman: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2012/11/06/2335784/scanning-for-lumber-profits.html