Friday, November 15, 2019 12:00 AM    Views : 67by:Rizalina K. Araral & Anita A. Decena

The LSPI has been using the FPRDI moisture meter for seven years now.

The management of the Laguna Southwoods Products, Inc. (LSPI), maker and exporter of high quality wooden pallets based in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, recently hailed the FPRDI digital wood moisture meter as an essential tool in their operations.

The FPRDI wood moisture meter is a handheld device that reads the amount of water present in wood, especially of Philippine wood species. It was made using local spare parts and is much cheaper than imported meters at only Php 5,500 per unit.

Knowing how much moisture a piece of wood contains is non-negotiable for anyone who wants to come up with quality products. For wooden items which will be used in temperate countries, for instance, the moisture content (MC) must be low enough to make sure the products don’t warp, shrink or crack later on.

LSPI makes 10,000 pallets a month using wood from sustainable sources. Four thousand of these are shipped to China, Australia, Mexico and the USA, while the rest are sold to small warehouses in the country.

“Before we bought the FPRDI wood moisture meter, we had no reliable way of knowing how much moisture was present in our raw materials,” says Ms. Jenilyn Sugui, Sales Supervisor of LSPI.

“We simply relied on our sense of touch. If the wood felt dry when we touched it, we assumed that it was dry. Later however, we learned that this was a poor way of checking. Using the FPRDI moisture meter helped us detect moisture hidden deep inside the wood.”

Since 2012, LSPI has already bought 12 units of the gadget, five of which they sold to their clients. Sugui explains, “To make sure our wooden pallets bound for export have the right moisture content, we check our raw materials’ MC six times during kiln-drying, and before delivery. During delivery, our clients do another round of checking using the moisture meters we sold to them. That’s how important properly dried pallets are to us.”

The FPRDI moisture meter has already been adopted by about 400 wood-based companies nationwide. It has also won various awards, including the Outstanding Utility Model at the 2010 National Invention Contests and Exhibits; Third Prize in the 8th National S&T Fora and Competition in Industry and Energy Research and Development and the F.O. Tesoro Technology Transfer Award in 2009.

It has also received a Certificate of Registration on Utility Model by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines. (Rizalina K. Araral & Anita A. Decena, 11 November 2019)


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