Thermal modification is an environmentally friendly method to increase the lifetime and improve the properties of timber. In this work, we investigate absorption of moisture in thermally modified pine wood (Pinus sylvestris) immersed in water using various nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods. Magnetic resonance images (MRI) visualize the spatial distribution of absorbed free water. Spin−echo spectra measured both below and above 0 °C reveal that thermal modification partially blocks the access of water to cell walls; even modification at 180 °C slightly reduces the amount of bound water, and the amount decreases about 80% in the case of the sample modified at 240 °C. The spectra and MRI show that, above the modification temperature of 200 °C, the amount of free water decreases, indicating that high modification temperature tends to close the pits connecting the wood cells. T 2 relaxation time distributions measured using the Carr−PurcellMeiboom−Gill sequence show four components, two associated with bound water and two with free water. NMR cryoporometry measurements indicate that the bound water sites are mostly below 2.5 nm in size. A unique combined NMR cryoporometry and relaxometry analysis showed that the size of cell wall micropores is between 1.5 and 4.5 nm, and thermal modification significantly hinders the access of water to the pores.
The walls of solid matrix restrict the self-diffusion of a fluid absorbed in the matrix, and this is reflected in the echo amplitudes measured by PGSTE NMR. Hence, the pore size distribution of the matrix can be extracted from the echo amplitudes. We demonstrate that, when both liquids and gases (water and methane in this case) are used as probe fluids, the scale of the dimensions observable by PGSTE NMR may be over 4 orders of magnitude. This enables determining the dimensions of highly anisotropic pores. In the present case, the wood cell structures of Pinus sylvestris in three orthogonal directions were studied.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine how modularity is used for enabling value creation in managing healthcare logistics services. Design/methodology/approach Material logistics of four different kinds of hospitals is examined through a qualitative case study. The theoretical framework builds on the literature on healthcare logistics, service modularity and value creation. Findings The case hospitals have developed their material logistics independently from others when looking at the modularity of offerings, processes and organisations. Services, such as assortment management, shelving and developing an information platform, have been performed in-house partly by the care personnel, but steps towards modularised and standardised solutions are now being taken in the case hospitals, including ideas about outsourcing some of the services. Research limitations/implications This paper proposes seven modularity components for healthcare logistics management: segmentation, categorisation and unitisation of offerings, differentiation and decoupling of processes, and centralisation and specialisation of organisations. Thus, this study clarifies the three-dimensional concept of modularity as a cognitive frame for managing logistics services with heterogeneous customer needs in a rapidly changing healthcare environment. Practical implications Modularity offers a tool for developing logistics services inside the hospital and increases possibilities to consider also external logistics service providers. Social implications Managing healthcare logistics services through modularity has potential social implications in developing healthcare processes and changing the usage of health services. On a wider scale, modularity is helping healthcare systems reaching their goals in terms of service quality and cost. Originality/value This paper shows the context-specific antecedents of service modularity and the usage of modular thinking in managing healthcare logistics.
Thermal modification is an environmentally friendly process that enhances the lifetime and properties of timber. In this work, the absorption of water in pine wood ( Pinus sylvestris ) samples, which were modified by the ThermoWood process, was studied by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and gravimetric analysis. The modification temperatures were varied between 180 ° C and 240 ° C. The data shows that the modification at 240 ° C and at 230 ° C decreases the water absorption rate significantly and slightly, respectively, while lower temperatures do not have a noticeable effect. MR images reveal that free water absorption in latewood (LW) is faster than in earlywood (EW), but in the saturated sample, the amount of water is greater in EW. Individual resin channels can be resolved in the high-resolution images, especially in LW regions of the modified samples, and their density was estimated to be (2.7 ± 0.6) mm -2 . The T 2 relaxation time of water is longer in the modified wood than in the reference samples due to the removal of resin and extractives in the course of the modification process.
Thermal modification is an environment friendly method for increasing the lifetime and usability of timber products. In our previous work (J. Phys. Chem. B 2009, 113, 1080, we introduced a pulsed-field-gradient stimulated-echo (PGSTE) NMR based method that enables determining the highly anisotropic size distribution of voids (pores) inside wood cell structures in three orthogonal directions. Here, we demonstrate that the method can be used to quantify the effect of thermal modification on the pore dimensions in Pinus sylVestris pine wood. The results show that the modification decreases the dimensions of lumens inside tracheid cells both in the longitudinal and two transverse directions. However, the relative decrease becomes smaller at the highest modification temperature, implying partial destruction of the cell wall structure. The decrease is larger in the radial direction than in the tangential direction at all the modification temperatures.
This study aims to answer how rational task allocation between the nursing staff and the support service provider in the healthcare context can increase the positive outcome of the work system. The work system model is used as a theoretical framework, with resilience and cost as complementary concepts. This qualitative case study used action research and participatory design to develop the work system with the interplay of two parallel personnel groups in the healthcare environment. First, the case of an ongoing relationship between the target organization's nursing staff and in‐house logistics and material supply services was studied. The development process resulted in a variety of practical ideas to improve the cooperation between the personnel groups. In the second case, a prospective relationship between the nursing staff and an external logistics service provider was examined. This research's conceptual results identify the main characteristics of rational support services as comprehensive, resilient, reliable, and easily accessible.
The aim of this study was to create a holistic view of shared workplaces and the ways in which these 'special situations' for organizing work take place in practice. The characteristics of shared workplaces and the associated phenomena and challenges were also points of interest. Occupational safety and health inspection reports (N = 200) from the Regional State Administrative Agency of Finland were analysed to obtain information on the deficiencies observed in shared workplaces. The observations were categorized, and the categories were linked to the elements in the work system model. Thus, observation profiles for shared workplaces in the construction, manufacturing and mining and quarrying industries were created. In the observation profiles, significant differences were identified between two or more industries in terms of deficiencies related to organization, employee, task, tools and technology as well as work environment, i.e., the elements comprising the work system model.
Currently, many service organizations encounter challenges that set new requirements for management: individual employees face changes to worksites, job tasks, and work communities while there is a simultaneous decrease in recruitment and increase in the average age of employees. Both physical and psychosocial burdens caused by these factors can lower the work ability and productivity of the employees. The aim of this study was to find solutions for the management of these load factors in workplaces where stakeholders from different subdivisions inside the municipal organization work together. The concept of a shared workplace, which is common in industry , was contemplated to find successful ways to manage work ability and productivity. The case organization in this study was a municipal business unit providing meal and cleaning services to target workplaces, namely two kindergartens and four schools. The objective of the study was to find practical solutions for observed challenges related to work environment and practices at the target workplaces. Study materials were comprised of Occupational Safety and Health documents and statistics, interviews, and observations of work activities. Root cause analysis, by applying the 5*Why-methodology, was carried out to find ultimate causes for the work ability challenges. Practical solutions for the challenges were sought at participatory development sessions. Based on the results, a generalizable model for the management of load factors at shared workplaces in the public sector was proposed.
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