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Logging and Sawmilling Journal March/April 2014

October 2014

On the Cover:
When it comes to their logging operations in B.C.’s rugged Southern Interior, Reid and Mac Lind of Lind Logging are looking for power and size, and Cat’s new 275 hp 555D skidder delivers on both those fronts. The large size of the 555D is helpful in keeping the machine stable in the adverse ground they work in, to supply wood for the Weyerhaeuser sawmill in Princeton, B.C. (Photo by Paul MacDonald)

B.C.’s beehives
At one time, just about every B.C. sawmill had a beehive burner—well-remembered for showering red sparks into the air on cold winter nights—but most of them have now vanished, due to higher and better residual wood utilization in the industry.

Cat’s new D series skidders
B.C.’s Lind Logging has a long tradition of running Caterpillar equipment—and that tradition is continuing, with the logging outfit now running the first Cat 555D skidder in Canada, after having been involved in helping Cat design features into their new D series skidders.

On their way to hitting mill production goals
Newfoundland’s Burton’s Cove Logging and Lumber has an ambitious goal: to reach annual production of 20 million board feet. With recent mill upgrades—and a team effort—they are well on their way.

Dynamic duo
A Link-Belt carrier/Southstar head combo times two is working out nicely for Moffat Falls Contracting, processing wood for Tolko Industries in B.C.’s Cariboo country, delivering good production numbers—and fuel efficiency.

Converting low value … to high value
A Peterson 5900 disc chipper—the first 5900 machine in B.C.—is proving to be a consistent and reliable converter of low value pine beetle-ravaged timber into high value wood chips in the B.C. Interior.

The Edge
Included in The Edge, Canada’s leading publication on research in the forest industry, are stories from the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Alberta Innovates-Bio Solutions and FPInnovations.

The Last Word
Tony Kryzanowski suggests some bullet-proof strategies for retaining logging employees.

DEPARTMENTS

Tech Update-Millyard Equipment
Millyard equipment is key to the efficient operation of any sawmill, and in this issue’s Tech Update, we review the Millyard Equipment that keeps logs moving at the sawmill.

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Lind Logging

On their way to hitting production goals

Newfoundland’s Burton’s Cove Logging and Lumber has an ambitious goal: to reach annual production of 20 million board feet. With recent mill upgrades—and a team effort—they are well on their way.

By George Fullerton

Burton’s Cove Logging and Lumber has a clear goal: to grow the annual production of their sawmill to 20 million board feet. They have the innovative team, an affinity for technology and are reaching out to serve new markets. It’s a very good bet they will soon be hitting their goal.

Fred Osmond is a third generation sawmiller (and former logger) who along with his wife, Zeta, owns and manages the mill located at Hampden, at the head of White Bay, on the east coast of Newfoundland. The sawmill directly employs 40 residents of the Village of Hampden.

Fred follows the family business initiated by his grandfather James, who operated a water-powered sawmill at the outport of Burton’s Cove on White Bay, a considerable distance from Hampden.

“In those days they would log through the winter and saw in the summer, and in the autumn a schooner would come into the cove, load the lumber and sail off with it,” he explained.

Fred Osmond is a third generation sawmiller (and former logger) who along with his wife, Zeta, owns and manages the Burton's Cove Logging and Lumber mill located at Hampden, at the head of White Bay, on the east coast of Newfoundland. Fred is following the family business initiated by his grandfather James, who operated a water-powered sawmill at the outport of Burton’s Cove.

James’ sons—including Fred’s father Hubert—continued the sawmilling tradition but moved operations out of the outport, as land transportation developed. Fred shared the passion for the woods and sawmilling, and following high school and technical college, ran a chainsaw/skidder harvesting operation and a seasonal sawmill. He eventually expanded to a couple of harvesters. Similar to other logger/sawmillers in the White Bay region, Fred sawed primarily square stock with a mobile turndown carriage. The low-tech mill operated mostly through the summer, and moved often, following harvesting operations.

Fred’s operation borrowed the family heritage, taking the name Burton’s Cove Logging and Lumber Ltd. Pulpwood from the logging and sawmilling operations was delivered to the pulp mill at Corner Brook. Square timber was sold to milling operations like Jamestown Lumber, who would saw lumber products from the square stock, kiln dry it, and dress and market various lumber products.

Fred’s brother Corey (the current sawmill manager), joined the operation and he noted the talent that their father, Hubert, and Hubert’s brother Solomon lent to Burton’s Cove Logging and Lumber.

“When we moved the mill often, our father and Solomon would be around and they would take care of getting the carriage set up and level, and then they would work on it until it was sawing right,” says Corey. “They had an amazing amount of knowledge and they knew what it took to get it sawing right.”

Even at 103 years of age, Hubert continued to exercise his love for sawmilling, making visits to Fred’s new mill. “Yes, Hubert loved to come see the mill, and he would have a look around, then come into the office and we would all have a cup of tea,” explained Zeta.

While the small mobile sawmills generated lumber stock, and created significant employment, the forest industry raised the concern about fibre loss through slabs and trim from the small sawmills, and lobbied and promoted the concept of integrated sawmills which would debark and produce pulp chips from milling residues.

In the 1990s specifically, the small milling operations came under pressure from government and industry to modernize their operations into efficient integrated mills which would debark logs and produce chips to supply the pulp mill on a year round basis.

The logger/sawmillers recognized that their industry was changing and they saw the future was one integrated mill in the region, or, maybe no sawmills at all. Fred Osmond took on the challenge to build and operate an integrated mill, and other logger/sawmillers agreed to halt sawing and, for the most part, focused on logging and supplying logs to Burton’s Cove and pulpwood to Corner Brook.

Hampden, the Osmond’s’ home base, was the logical place to establish the integrated sawmill since it is located in the centre of the regional wood resource, has good road access and is an hour-and-a-half from the Corner Brook pulp mill.

Fred began construction in 1997, and the mill started up in 1998. The new mill set-up included a 24 inch debarker, a Forano twin saw, a PHL bull, a PHL style resaw, trim saw and an enclosed manual green chain. While the mill was a major step up from the old turndown carriage, the Osmonds realized there was opportunity for greater efficiencies and higher production.

Chief scaler Terrance Fudge looks over scan scale records. Lumber orders are communicated to Terrance, who ensures the right logs are feeding into the new HewSaw (below, left).

In 2012/13 the mill got a major upgrade with the addition of a HewSaw R200 A.1 MSA (Moveable Saw Assembly) with a mechanical prefeeder, a Prologic-based scanning and sort system and a 170,000 board foot Sechoir MEC hot air kiln matched to an Ideal Combustion biomass burner.

Bryant Hollins from 100 Mile House, B.C., was contracted to undertake the construction and installation of the HewSaw, and the scan and sort system, while HewSaw technicians from the company’s Abbotsford, B.C. office were also on site for the start-up and commissioning of the HewSaw infeed and machine.

Fred settled on HewSaw technology after visiting and assessing a good number of highly efficient sawmilling operations outside the province, and determining it would be the most efficient system to process the log resource in the White Bay region.

Fred understood that one step to achieving high potential from the HewSaw would be to sort logs by diameter and length, program the sawing profile in the HewSaw and saw batches of sorted logs.

Rather than scan and batch logs in bins inside the mill as they emerged from the debarker, Fred’s strategy was to scan and sort logs as they came off trucks, stage the batches of logs in the mill yard, then feed the batched logs into the mill.

Fred’s logic convinced him that if he was making the investment in 3-D scanning logs as they come off the truck, why not use that scanned data to calculate the log scale and make required payments to truckers, producers and Crown, based on that highly precise and expensive 3-D scanning.

While the theory may sound logical and practical, it does not necessarily sound like, or fit easily with, the log scaling regulations of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

“When you are sawing ten million board feet of lumber, you are handling a lot of logs. With the provincial scale system, we had to spread all those long logs down, then stick scale top end - inside bark diameter of every single log. That takes a lot of manpower, and our scalers were out in every kind of weather.

“When you handle logs that way, in wet weather, there is always mud and dirt. On occasion, we had been forced to shut down the mill, simply because the logs were getting so dirty, we could not keep the saws sharp. To keep the mill productive, we had to find a better way to scale logs, and getting the scale from the 3-D scan looked like the best bet to us,” explained Fred.

Ultimately, Fred took the proposal to use the 3-D scan data for scale volume to the Department of Natural Resources and they agreed to work with Burton’s Cove to develop and test a system, and protocol, for deriving log scale volume from 3-D data.

Terrance Fudge is Burton’s Cove chief scaler. In addition to scaling, he also oversees the log scanning/sort system and yard inventory. Terrance was the central talent who worked hand-in-hand with DNR officials to build, test and fine-tune the ‘3-D scaling’ application.

The Prologic system scan measures volume (and other attributes) outside the bark of the log, while log scaling measures inside the bark. Terrance manually stick scales samples of purchased logs and develops a co-efficient between the Prologic 3-D outside the bark volume and the inside the bark - conventional stick scale measurement. The co-efficient is used to calculate the log scale from Prologic data.

The co-efficient calculation for individual species is not a simple one-off measurement that is used continually through the year. Terrance explained the coefficient changes from dormancy to growth season. He adds that even the same tree species from different regions of the wood supply area will produce subtle differences in co-efficient calculation. As a result, samples from loads are stick scaled often, to calculate the co-efficient figure.

To ensure the Prologic 3-D scanning remains consistent, a steel template consisting of a large rectangle to represent large logs, and a small rectangle representing small logs, is scanned at the start of each workday.

Terrance maintains detailed calibration and other data records, for DNR’s oversight. While the system seems to be working well for long logs, DNR continues to require Burton’s Cove to stick scale loads of eight foot logs (trucked piled across trailers).

Burton’s Cove recognizes they get less recovery on eight foot logs because stick scaling does not account for sweep and crook which the Prologic scan picks up.

On the drying side, when they decided to buy a kiln, it came down to looking hard at three options, and in the end they decided a MEC hot air application would be the best fit for the operation, explained Fred.

Ideal Combustion supplied the two stage burner (using planner shavings). Kiln operator Hardy Fudge explained the burner is highly efficient and combusts the gases produced from the initial shaving burn. The system expels very little particulate from the chimney and very little ash.

Hot air is circulated into the kiln (170,000 bf capacity), and then circulates back through a heat recovery system, brought back up to working temperature and circulated again into the kiln.

Hardy, who gained his kiln operating credentials in mills in Alberta, likes the hot air drying technology. “It is a very fast system, twice as fast as a conventional steam system. We don’t use weights and we have very little loss as a result of twisting.”

Hardy, along with Robert Osmond (Corey’s son), operates the kiln and have pagers that alert them if there is an issue with the kiln.

“If we are home when the pager goes off, one of us goes on our home computer and checks out the system, and usually we can fix it right then. Anything we do on the kiln computer, we can do from our home computers. It is a very nice system,” said Hardy.

Bob Dingwall, who formerly owned a sawmill at Jamestown, Newfoundland, hired on with Burton’s Cove to handle lumber sales. Bob gets daily reports on log inventory and lumber production, and in turn, communicates lumber orders to the mill, more specifically to Terrance Fudge, who ensures the right logs are feeding into the HewSaw, and the right kind of lumber is coming out the other end to meet the lumber orders.

If necessary, Terrance will tweak the log sort to the saw, to see that the right mix of lumber is produced to make the orders.

“You can’t simply operate by throwing logs at the mill,” Bob says. “You have to have a strategy to have a successful operation, and everyone in the team needs to know the plan, so everyone is working toward the goal.”

Bob went on to say that while Burton’s Cove is a very modern and efficient mill, they understand there is no sense to saw lumber that does not have a market. He pointed out that the data accumulated on the log sort and the efficiency of the HewSaw—combined with communications on sales—makes the entire operation highly productive.

While the ultimate scenario is to have the mill produce exactly what the order book dictates, such is never the case. There is always lumber in the inventory that sells slowly. In an effort to expand their marketing opportunities, Burton’s Cove secured CFIA certification for their kiln, so they are able to sell into U.S. market.

“Newfoundland has a small population, and is a relatively small market,” explained Bob. “We need other markets to take pressure off our inventory. We already sell some loads into New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and the U.S. market is vast—and with certification, we have an additional market.”

While mill production has climbed to over 12 million board feet, Fred and Zeta are still looking towards 20 million. Toward that 20 million goal, a new DK debarker will be added in 2014, in addition to an edger tool for the HewSaw. Fred adds that there are also plans to modernize the green chain and add a new office building.