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Tech Update - Kiln equipment

by Diane Mettler

Better Built
Better Built has recently installed a centre fan wall pre-dryer set-up to predry hard maple. The system was designed with a great deal of heat and airflow, as well as powered venting. The pre-dryer is three zones in length. Each zone has frequency inverters attached, giving the system the ability to change airflow, as well as save on energy costs. The system has overhead coils, as well as re-heat coils between the load. Each coil is individually trapped with an Enercon orifice trap, ensuring even heat distribution across the load. 866-710-22 5.

Hildebrand Brunner
Hildebrand Brunner has provided vacuum kilns for 0 years and currently offers the HIGH VAC-S and HIGH VAC-MASTER. With the HIGH VAC-MASTER, heating is accomplished with saturated steam. Critical lumber species will dry at temperatures from 150 to 200 degrees F without danger of cracks or honeycomb due to controlled steam shocks. Changing the steam climate results in a gentle drying. Working at this ideal point results in shorter drying times without the defects. The HIGH VAC-MASTER’s steam pulsation technology switches between regular steam and saturated steam, creating a continuously conditioning/ break/reconditioning pattern profile. This allows for absolute stress released lumber. The measured and controlled lumber internal steam pressure is responsible for the differentials necessary for a controlled moisture drop from the core to the shell of the lumber.

Coe Newnes McGehee
Coe Newnes McGehee (CNM) offers a line of track and side loading designs to meet mill requirements for drying softwoods and hardwoods. The Series 22M computerized process control system in conjunction with the Smart-Trac-MMS in-kiln moisture measurement system allows for automatic control of the drying process from start-up to shut down. CNM dry kilns are available with heat systems fueled by steam, thermal oil, or direct-fired by natural gas, oil, propane or waste wood. High-performance air systems decrease drying times, resulting in reduced energy costs and increased throughput.

Cathild offers a new high efficiency softwood kiln—the VSB model. The VSB dry kiln is specially designed for high value softwood lumber like MSR and finger-joint products. It combines the latest technology advances in heat transfer, air velocity, air extraction and climate control and is already in operation in Canada, Germany and Austria. Cathild supplies both dry kilns and kiln control systems and will quote any new project or retrofit project.

Frank Controls
The complete FC kiln control system provides a fully automatic dynamic drying mode. The control removes the free water from the lumber in the fastest time physically possible without damaging the lumber. The dynamic process drying mode will increase lumber grade quality while reducing the amount of energy required for drying. A desktop computer acts as a user command centre and offers an easy-to-use graphical interface. Some features of the control centre are trending, report generation and historical databases. 

Temperature inputs are provided by the DTS system, an accurate and reliable temperature source. The DTS has a physical appearance like an RTD probe, but the difference is the digital process. The DTS provides an accurate reading for consistent controlling, compared to an RTD probe, which measures temperature by resistance and often fluctuates due to wire connection faults from the humid kiln environment.

Innovated Control Systems
Innovated Control Systems (ICS) manufactures turnkey dry kilns, heat treat units and steam chambers—made from pre-manufactured aluminum or stainless steel—from the ground up to meet mill requirements.                                   

The controls are what are said to set ICS kilns apart. They are straightforward, intuitive and reliable. The controls allow precise control of the entire drying process and are self sufficient. They do not require a PC to operate, but when combined with a computer can provide logging and remote monitoring and control capabilities. ICS also designs and builds special purpose units. All equipment is designed for maximum performance and efficiency.

Wireless monitoring systems can be used in many different applications—as yard monitors, for heat treatment documentation, as stand-alone, in-kiln monitoring systems or integrated into any kiln control system. The wireless system can be used in any application where information and/or documentation about relative humidity, wood moisture content, ambient/kiln temperatures and/or a materials core temperature would be beneficial.                                   

System operation is straightforward. Up to 100 remote transmitters can be connected to one or several receivers. The receivers are connected to a PC to pick up the signals. The transmitters’ operating range reaches from approximately 75’ inside a kiln up to 1,000’ where a straight line of sight exists. The PC displays all readings numerically or graphically. Wood moisture content readings are corrected for individual wood species and temperature to increase accuracy.                                   

Simplicity, versatility, competitive pricing and ease of operation are said to be the outstanding features of the wireless Lignomat system.

Mühlböck has developed a new generation of drying kilns called the 60 , which caters to the needs of the Canadian market. North American sawmills have timber that has very high and different initial moistures and the goal is to attain the fastest possible drying speed. Until now this resulted in considerable losses in quality.                                   

Mühlböck recognized that the moisture dispersion in timber drying is higher, the higher the temperature in the drying kiln above fibre saturation. Thus the temperatures common in Canada between 90°C-120°C don’t have a great effect when it comes to evening this out—they lead to under-drying. Boards that are too wet or too dry produce a greater amount of waste. Under the fibre saturation point, however, an increase in the temperature can accelerate the drying progress considerably.                                   

These new findings have now been put into practice at Mühlböck with the new kiln generation type 60 and corresponding drying programs. For users this means: less waste as a result of even drying results; reduced drying times; and energy savings. The results are significant, and Mühlböck has already installed 0 kilns with 60 more on order.

Northern Milltech Inc
Northern Milltech Incorporated’s (NMI) inline moisture meter system, MC-Pro 2500-T, uses state-of-the-art digital pulse technology to determine moisture content. Vertical board movement is measured using a laserbased displacement sensor so board movement in the field is no longer an issue. Board temperature is determined by a built-in, infra-red temperature sensor to automatically adjust MC for warm or cold wood.                                   

NMI’s proprietary method of background suppression eliminates the need for any calibration. Set-up is based on pre-determined values derived by NMI through extensive oven drying testing. The embedded controller and Windows-based monitoring program eliminate the need for a dedicated computer.                                   

The MC-Pro 2500-T has the ability to tie in with the MMS 2000 in-kiln meter, giving mills total moisture content management and control.

Nova Dry Kiln
Nova Dry Kiln, formerly Koetter Dry Kiln, is a world-class provider of lumber dry kiln equipment and pallet heat treat chambers. These systems enable the company’s customers to realize an excellent return on investment both in the short term and in the long term.                                   

Nova Dry Kiln is pleased to introduce a new medium size dry kiln rated for 12,000 board feet of 4/4 lumber. This unit has been designed to greatly reduce the assembly cost and yet maintain the high quality standards that customers have come to expect. Nova Dry Kilns’ hot water-based systems, incorporating powered variable exhaust, provide the best process control of any dry kiln on the market, says the company.

MEC Dry Kilns MEC builds custom dry kilns that meet customer requirements and expectations. MEC continuously innovates to ensure that its products remain at the leading edge of technological development. Flexibility, reliability, simplicity in operation are just a few characteristics valued by its customers.                                   

In addition, the company prides itself on outstanding customer service.

Secovac International
Secovac International announces its new in-kiln moisture measurement system—AccuStop. This new technology optimizes and reduces degradation losses due to overdrying.                 

The system includes pairs of plates inserted into the lumber and connected to outside transmitters, which communicate via an RS485 network to the main computer. There is no coax cable inside the kiln that can be damaged over time and the system can easily be integrated with existing PLC or OPTO22 systems. In addition, the AccuStop system is the only system able to show the apparent resistance of the lumber between the pairs of plates. This information can in turn be used to determine with greater precision the fibre saturation point during the drying schedule, and to develop more efficient drying schedules for MSR lumber. Twelve-month financing with trial period is available to qualified customers.

SII Dry Kilns
Founded in 1969, SII Dry Kilns is proud of its reputation for quality design, manufacturing, installation and service of dry kilns. They are committed to improving all aspects of drying lumber. SII manufactures conventional package-loaded kilns, single and double track-loaded kilns, various types of fan sheds, heat treating units, as well as multi-zoned pre-dryers (cross-flow and downdraft). Through the use of improved technology, innovative products and good, old-fashioned hard work, SII’s network of satisfied customers has grown immensely. SII strives to stay ahead of the technological curve by providing such products as heat recovery systems, in-kiln weighing control systems (samplewatch), and fibreglass siding and roofing. The company has over 60 employees and more than 1,000 drying facilities in operation.

Timber-Pro Industries
Timber-Pro’s new kiln trucks offer customers the features they want for their kiln operation. Besides being inexpensive, they’re also adjustable to any width load and run on a steel flat bar track that won’t damage forklift tires. They are low profile (5”), which allows more capacity in small kilns, and the wheels have grease fittings and bearings. The kiln trucks can be used on planer or green chain as lumber carts and are light enough to be manually transported.                                   

The kiln trucks are available with vertical load supports for edgings, posts, rails or logs and are also available in 2,500-lb and 5,000-lb capacities. In addition, “tees” are available for long units requiring intermediate support.

USNR-Irvington Moore presents the sloped grate green sawdust burner with turbo technology which gives mills the economy of direct-fired kilns and the clean performance of steam-heated kilns, all in one package.                                   

Due to the ash and soot they produce, direct-fired kilns often discolour the lumber which reduces its value. But direct-fired kilns are generally cost effective because they use wood residue as fuel. Steam-heated kilns produce cleaner wood, but the daily operating costs are significantly higher.                                   

USNR’s sloped grate green sawdust burner eliminates these common burner problems while increasing lumber value. Burning sawdust for an economical heat source, the unit employs turbo technology to ensure complete combustion, which keeps high value lumber in the kiln remarkably clean and free from ash.

Vacutherm has been a leader in vacuum lumber drying technology since 1980. Its vacuum kilns are designed to dry lumber and wood components that require the highest quality in colour, flatness, and stability and are time tested and proven by over 475 installations worldwide. The VacuPress vacuum dry kiln is easy to use for any operator and requires very little training. It is said to be perfect for operations drying from 10,000 board feet to 10 million board feet or more of high quality wood per year. The company’s customers depend on the VacuPress system to improve the value of their products and maintain a just-in-time supply to their customers or manufacturing process.

Wellons Canada
Wellons offers a wide range of conventional lumber dry kilns controlled by Wellons Winkiln computer control system and TCS in-kiln moisture monitoring system. The kilns are designed for low maintenance and increased profitability.                                   

The multizone kiln designed by Wellons provides the ultimate in drying. It allows the end user to dry all species, softwood or hardwood, to a final moisture content with a very tight standard deviation. Multizone kilns can be hot water, steam or thermal oil heated. The Winkiln control system is user friendly, provides flexibility in developing drying schedules and has a sophisticated energy management capability.                                   

Wellons’ TCS in-kiln moisture monitoring system was designed to drive kiln schedules and provides an incredibly accurate end point shut-off. And the air circulation fan system is custom designed to suit mill requirements—up to 2,500 fpm for very fast drying softwoods or slower velocities determined by product requirements.

Wellons FEI
Wellons FEI Corp supplies high quality all-aluminium, stainless steel dry kilns. Serving eastern North America for the past 25 years, Wellons FEI also supplies and installs wood-fired energy systems to produce steam, hot water or thermal fluid.                                    Some of the kiln features include: 100 per cent reversible fans; up to 1,200 ft/min exit air velocity; high performance in-kiln or external motors; brush type air baffles; stainless steel heating coils with extruded integral aluminium fins; and 100 per cent modulating control valves with available multizone temperature control. Wellons’ FEI is now offering the TCS (true capacitance moisture meter) system in order to improve drying quality and cut back on drying times. It also offers complete kiln control system and kiln control retrofits as well.