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Logging and Sawmilling Journal October/November 2010February/March 2011

On the Cover:

With business conditions for the
forest industry gradually improving, things are getting busier out in the woods. Logging and Sawmilling Journal recently caught this Hitachi ZX 210 supplied by dealer Wajax Industries, equipped with a Waratah HTH 622B processing head, working north of Kamloops for Quesnel Bros. Logging. Watch for a story on the Quesnel Bros. operation in an upcoming issue.

(Photo by Paul MacDonald)


The mountain pine beetle scourge was late in hitting the Smithers area in west central B.C., but the Wetzin’kwa Community Forest has been acting quickly to harvest and utilize as much of the infected wood as possible.

Sinclar Group wins award for reducing energy use

Sinclar Group Forest Products in British Columbia is taking a serious cut at reducing its energy use. The company and its employees—such as those at the Apollo Forest Products sawmill in Fort St. James—were recently recognized with an award from BC Hydro for their efforts.

People Power Energy

Conservation at Tl’oh Forest Products

The right equipment combo

Logger Jamie Enright has found that a TimberPro 620 carrier with the Risley Rolly II processing head is the right equipment combination to fell and process logs at the stump on the private land that he logs in southeastern Ontario.

Log Max 10000XT heads for Vancouver Island

Logger Steve Pierce has been a pioneer in mechanical harvesting on Vancouver Island, and has been a long time user of Log Max heads. Pierce is finding their newest head, the Log Max 10000XT, is the perfect fit for large west coast wood.

Logging in the Old Country

Though there are differences, there are also some striking similarities to the harvesting that goes on in Scotland with that of Canada, as Jim Stirling’s recent visit to the Scottish Highlands revealed.

Tech Update — Sawfiling Equipment

With the uptick in the lumber market, sawmills are looking at making improvements on the sawfiling side. Logging and Sawmilling Journal has the latest sawfiling equipment information in this issue’s Tech Update.

The Last Word

We should help save an endangered species—the Ontario logger, says Tony Kryzanowski.

Supplier Newsline



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Log Max heads tackle west coast wood

cutting costs at kyahwood

B.C. finger jointing operation Kyahwood Forest Products is now back and operating, thanks to technology improvements that lowered unit production costs—and finding new markets in China.

By Jim Stirling

Kyahwood Forest Products had been down for 20 months. The only feasible answer to getting it up and running again and getting Moricetown Indian Band members back working was to lower unit costs and improve the finger jointing plant’s overall efficiency.

The way to achieve that, Kyahwood’s owners decided, was to invest in technology.

By early 2011, thanks to the upgrades and an uptick in market demand, Kyahwood was, and is, making progress up a gradual improvement curve. The operation recommenced production in July 2010 after the enforced hiatus.

Patrick Olivier, Kyahwood’s general manager, talked about the company and the challenges it has faced.

Kyahwood Forest Products is located on Moricetown Indian Band land about 32 kilometres west of Smithers in west-central British Columbia. It started up in 1995 as a stud finger jointing and re-man joint venture with Northwood Pulp & Paper. Canfor acquired Northwood and the relationship with Kyahwood until the forestry giant opted out of the agreement in 2008. That left the Moricetown Indian Band the sole owner.

To get Kyahwood up and running again, the company had to reduce manufacturing costs, increase productivity, increase the accuracy of grading blocks and improve recovery.

“We still have a close working relationship with Canfor, including a watertight supply for our feedstock, trim ends from Canfor’s planer in Houston, B.C.,” says Olivier. “We also have a sales and marketing agreement with Canfor which is a massive advantage for a small operation like ourselves. Our products are jointly branded between Canfor and Kyahwood and the arrangement has been working well.”

The first stage of the finger joint plant’s upgrade really began under Moricetown Indian Band ownership and just prior to the markets’ collapse and the enforced plant closure in October 2008.

There was a change to the bulk collection and delivery system for the plant’s feedstock at Canfor Houston; they moved to using Keith Mfg. Co. Walking Floor trailers and they had to change their infeed system to accommodate that, explains Olivier.

“To get the mill up again (in 2010) we had to reduce manufacturing costs, increase our productivity, increase our accuracy of grading blocks and improve recovery. Those were the objectives to getting people back to work,” he continues.

Part of the chosen solution was installation of a scanner optimizer trim line positioned in line with the revamped infeed system.

Softac supplied the process controls and software. PLC’s help direct product movement while the paddle wheel and portable fence system designed to handle the mill’s short pieces of 0.6 metres and less was manufactured by Mike Cesselli, Sawmill Equipment Company, in Enderby, B.C.

Processing on the line begins with singulating and unscrambling the trim end material and positioning each piece in a lug for scanning. The scanner determines the widths and trimming and edging requirements and the fence system helps direct the pieces appropriately. Waste material is removed, any 2 x 8 and 2 x 10 material is separated: about 80 per cent of the volume is 2 x 4 and 2 x 6.

After trimming there are three further sorts separating the 2 x 4 and 2 x 6 finger joint ready blocks and a direct feed to the finger jointer.

During the winter, blocks have to be palletized to thaw: frozen blocks won’t take the finger jointing glue. A separate sort takes blocks requiring it to a DelTech pocket edger.

Kyahwood’s primary product range is in finger jointed stock 2 x 3 to 2 x 6.

Olivier says 100 per cent of the plant’s product is now committed.

The Moricetown Indian Band has a 10 per cent ownership stake in the Houston wood pellet manufacturing plant with Canfor Houston and Pinnacle Pellet and is a market for Kyahwood’s residuals. The plant’s percentage of economy grade lumber —”the bane for every finger jointer,” says Olivier—now has a market in China.

Olivier says training the plant’s workers in the operation and maintenance of new generation sawmill technology has been and continues as an important issue. Most of the plant’s workers, which are drawn from the Moricetown Indian Band, have little or no previous sawmill experience or exposure to the incorporation of computer-controlled wood handling systems.

Olivier credits the yeoman training work on going in plant by Barry Nikal, who is also the new chief of the Moricetown Indian Band, and David Rice, operations manager. “It’s been improving—but it’s a huge difference in the plant from what was an all-manual process,” points out Olivier.

But the plant is up and running, wages are being earned and that’s vital to the Moricetown community.