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Sept 2004 - The Logging and Sawmilling Journal

EQUIPMENT PROFILE

Hitting the target

The new Hornet 620 multi-stemming delimber/processor is hitting the performance target for contractor Victory Bar V Resource Management’s recently launched venture in Ear Falls, Ontario.

By Tony Kryzanowski

Calgary-based forestry attachment manufacturer Votec Innovation has launched a new multi-stemming delimber/processor that looks to hit the target in a number of areas. Votec’s Hornet 620 can process up to eight smaller diameter trees at a time, at a high rate of speed, and with consistent accuracy, the company says. Komatsu dealer Coneco Equipment currently has the exclusive right to market the first batch of Hornet 620 processors, mounted on its Komatsu PC200-7 LC carrier. Capable of processing trees from six to 24 inches in diameter, the 620 processor really shines in situations where loggers are processing high volumes of small wood, according to Votec Innovation president Alain Duval. That translates into a steady diet of 10 to 14 trees per cubic metre.

Victory Bar V owner Boog Graham with the Hornet 620 on the Komtasu PC200-7 LC carrier (left) and operating the equipment combo (below). “The 620 Hornet matches the criteria we were looking for in a processing head. And the Komatsu 200 has lots to offer in terms of hydraulics and power.”

The patented 620 Hornet processor can multi-stem up to eight, five-inch trees at a time. “In small wood, the 620 processor doubles the production of any other processing head,” claims Duval. What this means in practical terms is that by using the 620 processor, loggers can possibly achieve the same production with one processor as they previously had with two processors. The result would be a savings in the cost of equipment, maintenance and fuel. In some cases—because of the savings derived from operating a single 620 processor instead of two competing brands—Duval says forest companies might consider to harvest small wood in areas they had rejected as uneconomic in the past. The Komatsu PC200-7 LC carrier and 620 Hornet processor package has proven itself in the commercial logging environment. Alberta-based contractor Victory Bar V Resource Management Ltd recently launched a new venture in Ear Falls, Ontario, supplying logs to Weyerhaeuser.

The company has an annual allowable cut of 250,000 cubic metres, and is processing logs to eight-foot lengths at the stump. They average four to six trees per cubic metre, and have put over 2600 operational hours on the processor. “The 620 Hornet matches the criteria we were looking for in a processing head,” says Victory Bar V owner Boog Graham. Configured with the butt plate option, the 620 processor gives Victory Bar V the accuracy and productivity the company needs to operate efficiently in that particular logging environment, Graham says. The processor comes with or without the tail and butt plates. They are sold as options, and can be bolted on.

 With the Hornet 620, trees are fed by the feed rollers at 13 feet per second, achieving full speed between 0 and 12 inches. In reality, by processing five trees at a time, the operator actually processes 65 feet per second.

The butt plate is adjustable from 96 inches to 120 inches. As far as Duval’s claims that the 620 processor can do the work of two competing processors, “I would say that he is definitely very close to that,” says Graham. “It’s definitely true as long as you can make sure that you are doing three and four trees at a time. That process starts from the bunching of wood and how you plan the whole harvesting of a block to ensure that the machine is working productively.” Graham says that the 620 processor and Komatsu PC200-7 LC carrier match up very well. “What we have found is that the Komatsu 200 has lots to offer in terms of hydraulics and power,” he says. “It has been operating very, very well.” He suggests using the high and wide configuration on the carrier undercarriage for maximum stability. The Komatsu carrier’s reach potential has yielded decks stacked as high as 22 feet at roadside.

The rotator has a lifting capacity of 115,000 pounds, a bearing capacity of 198,000 pounds, and rotating power of 6,350 foot pounds at 1,700 psi. Not only is the Hornet 620 a fast and accurate processor in small diameter softwood, but the topping saw cabinet swings away 60 degrees to allow the operator to trim hardwood tree forks up to 12 inches in diameter. This unique concept minimizes the time required to trim hardwood forks, and results in a major impact reduction throughout the entire attachment structure and carrier hydraulic components. Votec Innovation broke into the logging attachment market in 1994 with its popular Hornet 825 processor.

Since then, the company has sold over 100 of the 825 units. Duval says he has been thinking about a multi-stem delimber/processor for the past 10 years. But recent technology advancements made the complete 620 processor package possible. “I couldn’t have done it five years ago,” he says, concerning the technology used to achieve a consistently accurate, multi-stemming processor. Among the innovations on the attachment is the synchronized ALL wheel drive on the roller system, on the four feed rollers. Working in combination with the six delimbing knives, trees are gripped strongly and move in a synchronized motion. Votec staff claim that this is what makes reliable multi-stemming possible. “The whole concept of the feed rollers and arms has worked right to our expectations,” says contractor Graham. “If anything, it was a surprise that they worked so well. The most important part of the processor, in my opinion, is the feed rollers and extra arms. That’s the part that has worked the best out of all the new ideas on the head.”

A continuous diameter reader is mounted on the closest set of knives to the butt saw for optimum accuracy. It is able to read diameter measurements within .03 millimetres. The continuous length reader measures within 1.2 millimetres. Graham describes the 620 processor’s computer control system as high tech, without being complicated. “The technology offered with the processor is just perfect for what we need because it is easy to use,” says Graham. “It’s not a hard concept for the operator to figure out. Everything is very adjustable on the computer, which saves a lot of time.

The computer is very good.” Duval says ease-of-operation concerning the entire package is what he had in mind. “It’s easy enough for any reasonably skilled operator to achieve three full cycles per minute,” he says. In terms of maintaining fibre quality, the 620 comes equipped with Votec Innovation’s patented roller wheels as an option. Better surface contact between the feed rollers and the log results in less spinnage and reduced damage to usable fibre. When appropriate maintenance is applied, Duval says these wheels are designed to outlast other wheels on the market. The wheel assembly is made of replaceable parts that allow the contractor to refurbish the wheels at a much lower cost. In addition to handling volume and performing accurately, the 620 processor and Komatsu PC200-7 LC carrier package works fast.

Trees are fed by the feed rollers at 13 feet per second, achieving full speed between 0 and 12 inches. In reality, by processing five trees at a time, the operator actually processes 65 feet per second. Duval says he is very pleased the processor is being launched through Coneco Equipment because the company has offered tremendous support dating as far back as when he introduced his popular 825 processor to the market. “We have always worked very closely,” says Duval. “Coneco has always worked hard to try to fix any problems with our equipment before calling us. They also believe in the potential of the 620 processor.”

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