The Art of “Best Opening Face” Sawmill Technology

Shout out to Chuck Ray and his Go Wood blog for pointing out both some great art and it’s connection to some revolutionary FPL technology.


Computerized sawmill technology helped sawmills maximize lumber production from small log resources.

Swiss artist Vincent Kohler created an artistic representation  of a log cut using Best Opening Face technology, a computerized sawmill program that saves roughly one billion board feet of lumber annually from going to waste. Kohler’s piece, made with styrene, resin, and paint, is appropriately titled “Billion.”

Best Opening Face technology was developed at FPL in the early 1970’s. It helped optimize and automate softwood dimension sawmills and, in part, prevented an industry collapse when sawmills shifted from old-growth to second-growth timber resources.

Today, most softwood lumber used for construction purposes in the United States and around the world is processed using Best Opening Face technology.