3D Volumetric Model

Providing a DYI Solution for Accurate Volumetric Calculations and Enhanced Business Planning

Firmatek equipped a paper mill client with the ability to capture more frequent data, improve the accuracy of volumetric calculations, and make more confident business decisions.


Historically, paper products companies measured the amount of raw wood materials they had on hand by either weighing incoming log trucks, calculating the geometric shape of each pile, or using institutional knowledge to best estimate the volume of woodchips in a pile. The problem, particularly with woodchip piles, was that their calculations were often wildly inaccurate which could lead to the paper mill running out of raw materials supplies, shutting down and loosing valuable revenue. Firmatek approached one of our paper products clients to suggest using drones to conduct volumetric calculations of their wood chip piles for an accurate measure of cubic yards or tons of raw materials they had available and help them run their business more effectively. Given wood chips can oftentimes be valued north of $75 per ton, and a mill could have tens of thousands of tons on site, there were millions of dollars that needed to be managed and accounted for.


Firmatek equipped this client with a DIY solution that enabled them to use drones to take volumetric calculations every 3-5 days. The data would then flow into the Kespry Cloud software to be processed and combined with information such as wood species, moisture content and other information that would directly affect the density of the woodchips and impact the tonnage of the raw materials in a pile. In nearly real-time, the analytics allowed them to understand how much material they had left to use and how long they could go before procuring more. This feedback loop was critical to their day-to-day operations. With the new program up and running, the client had total control of gathering, processing, and analyzing data at the frequency they desired.


As a result, this client had better site monitoring and planning abilities and improved buying power. By understanding the amount of material they had on hand at any given time, they could be more methodical about when and from whom they procured wood materials, allowing them to be more price consious and ultimately improve margins. These savings quickly offset the cost of implementing Firmatek’s DYI solution, which was faster, safer and easier than previous methodologies. They also had a more accurate asset valuation to keep an updated balance sheet and make confident business decisions.

The benefits of this solution are applicable to all types of businesses and industries who deal with continuously changing stockpile volumes – mining, aggregates, pallet recyclers, tire recycles, scrap metal, etc. Our goal is to make it easier to understand how much material is present and help assign a dollar value.

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