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Logging and Sawmilling Journal November 2014

November 2014

On the Cover:

Sawmills in the Canadian forest industry continued to be active places this fall, thanks to healthy U.S. housing starts—which were recently over the one million mark for the third time this year—and continuing demand for lumber from China, as well as steady demand from other markets. Add to this a lower loonie, and the outlook for the industry looks reasonably bright going into 2015.
(Millyard photo by Tony Kryzanowski)

Fort Nelson wants your sawmill
If you’re looking to set up a sawmill operation, B.C.’s Northern Rockies Regional Municipality and the town of Fort Nelson want to talk to you—and they have a basket of sustainable green timber in their back pocket.

One-two punch in harvesting equipment
B.C.’s Mattey Bros. Logging has a relatively new one-two punch on the harvesting end these days, in the form of a John Deere 959K tracked feller buncher and an 870C Tigercat tracked buncher, and both machines are delivering the goods.

Harvesting trees—and crops
A logging and farming combination approach to business is working well for brothers Marcel and Alain Chalifour of logging contactor Almar Limbing in Saskatchewan, with the brothers sometimes dividing their time between harvesting trees, and crops.

Malakwa mill resurrection
A sawmill in the small B.C. Interior town of Malakwa has been resurrected with some capital—and plenty of hard work—and is now producing green hemlock lumber for the Chinese market.

Ready for Mother Nature
B.C. Interior logging contractor John Himech Logging Ltd has to be ready for whatever Mother Nature sends their way—including wildfires that can throw harvesting schedules out of whack.

Award-winning sawmill partnership
The award-winning Opitciwan sawmill partnership between Resolute Forest Products and the Atkamekw Council of Obedjiwan Quebec First Nations stands out as a model for other First Nations/forest industry partnerships across Canada.

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…

The Last Word
Jim Stirling talks about how B.C.’s Forest Practices Board keeps an eye on the forests.


New & Noted: at Timber Processing and Energy Expo in Portland, Oregon






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By Tony Kryzanowski

PrimetechPrimeTech has Demo Day in Edmonton

The Canadian branch of PrimeTech Shredding Equipment—in co-operation with the local dealer—hosted a Demo Day in October in Spruce Grove, near Edmonton.

PrimeTech is part of Italian-based FAE Group, which has over 25 years of experience in the design and manufacturing of attachments and carriers, and specializes in self-propelled, tracked carriers for forestry, agricultural and construction applications.

The schedule for the day included a tour of the company’s new distribution, parts, and support centre and a field demonstration of four different models of the PT series:

The PT-175: a forestry mulching machine for light and medium duty applications, equipped with a Cummins QSB4.5, 4.5 L turbocharged and after-cooled engine, with 4 in-line cylinders and 160 hp. This carrier was equipped with a FAE 140/U mulching head, said to be ideal for cutting seismic lines, vegetation management and lighter land clearing applications.

The PT-300: a medium-size, very low ground pressure tracked carrier powered by a John Deere 6068HF485, 6.8 L turbocharged, after-cooled engine with 6 in-line cylinders and 275 hp.

There were two PT-300 units available for a test drive on the Demo Day. One PT-300 was equipped with a FAE 300/U mulching head, a new, bigger type mulching head for the PT-300 with bigger rotor diameter for higher productivity. The second PT-300 was equipped with a FAE 200/S subsoiler head, a head that can mill up roots and stumps as deep as 16 inches, and is said to be an ideal head for land conversion and site preparation.

The PT-600: a tracked carrier designed for the hardest and toughest jobs, equipped with a Cummins QSX15 turbocharged in line 6 cylinder diesel engine producing 600 hp. The PT-600 was demo’ed with the FAE 500/U mulching head with rock drum.

Hands-on demonstrations allowed dealers and customers to operate all these units on site and experience the features, benefits and productivity of these four models.

“It was awesome to have our dealers and customers together for one day,” said Riccardo Camatta, general and sales manager of the Canadian branch. “They were all excited about the PrimeTech machines, in particular about the new redesigned PT-300 and PT-175, and were very impressed with the power and productivity of the PT-600.”

Autolog OptimizerAutolog offers optimizer system that detects split and shake defects

Autolog recently introduced a new version of its transverse optimizer system (trimmer, edger and gang). After 20 years’ experience manufacturing transverse technology, the company launched a new up-to-date design based on the experience gathered over time and the latest technical hardware and software available.

The new optimizer features configuration parameters tailored for each mill: Windows 7, 64 bits platform, browser style navigation, support for languages and unit modes, improved editing, customizable profile, security settings per user and more. The flexible design allows for easy maintenance and upgrades resulting in a faster response time to customer requests.

The new Autolog optimizer is supplied with Hermary high speed/high resolution geometric sensors which scan the length of the boards every ¼” at 3000 scans/sec allowing the system to detect split and shake defects. This feature is offered as an option to the base system and has shown great payback, especially for lumber affected by the pine beetle. The ability to trim these affected boards at the sawmill represents important savings on the overall operation.

Montreal conference focuses on advanced technologies for forest machines

FPInnovations will host the first Forest Machine Technology Conference in Montreal from April 21 - 23, 2015.

The Forest Machine Technology Conference (FMTC) will focus on advanced technologies for forest machines of the future. Integrating advanced technology solutions such as robotics and automation is part the dynamic direction the Canadian forest products industry is taking to provide its labor force with a safer, more satisfying and efficient working environment. As the industry continues to transform its business practices, it is imperative to keep an eye toward ergonomically and environmentally enhanced productivity gains which advanced technologies can possibly offer.

The FMTC will feature prominent international keynote speakers, invited technical presentations, technology forum presentations, supplier kiosks, working groups and a host of networking opportunities. FPInnovations says it will be a unique opportunity to help shape a vision for the future.

Its objectives are to define the needs, gaps and challenges around advanced technologies in forest operations; identify possible game-changers, as well as potential partners and suppliers; showcase technological opportunities from other fields; and, create networking opportunities to help foster new partnerships and R&D initiatives.

Those most likely to benefit from this event are forest company managers, equipment manufacturers and supply chain managers, technology suppliers, members and partners of Unmanned Systems Canada, universities, and R&D institutions.

FMTC 2015 is organized in collaboration with Unmanned Systems Canada, the Forest Products Association of Canada, Université Laval, L’École de Technologie Supérieure, Skogforsk and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Wood-Mizer debarkerWood-Mizer adds automated debarker to portable sawmill

Wood-Mizer has added a new debarker for the LT35 portable sawmill.

Engineered to extend overall sawmill blade life, the redesigned LT35 debarker improves functionality and efficiency for LT35 owners.

Featuring a powered in-and-out function, the LT35 debarker is now controlled completely at the operator’s fingertips. With this automation, sawyers experience an increase in overall sawing efficiency by eliminating manual set-up time and effort. Additionally, the cutting blade rotates to direct debris away from the operator, enhancing visibility for the sawyer and providing a clean groove for the sawmill blade to pass through. The new LT35 debarker is also positioned behind the rotating pivot arm to reduce operator difficulties if the debarker blade catches irregular knots in the bark.

Two Ontario forest companies presented with top health and safety award

Each year, Workplace Safety North—Ontario’s occupational health and safety organization for the forestry, mining, and paper, printing, and converting (PPC) sectors—recognizes provincial workplaces that have a strong safety culture.

At the organization’s recent annual general meeting, two provincial health and safety awards were presented to Thunder Bay’s Shuniah Forest Products for the forestry and small business sectors, and one to Kruger Inc. Packaging, for the PPC sector.

Earlier this year, several forestry companies received a Workplace Excellence Award, recognizing workplace excellence in health and safety. These included: Brinkman & Associates Reforestation Ltd.; Domtar Dryden Mill; Domtar Espanola; EACOM Timber Corporation Nairn Centre; Haveman Brothers Forestry Services Ltd.; Kruger Inc. Brampton Division; RW Forestry Inc.; and Shuniah Forest Products Ltd.

Kubota diesel engines receive certification for CARB Tier 4 final emissions regulations

The next emissions regulations for non-road diesel engines with an output range between 56 and 130 kW will come into effect in North America in January, 2015, and Kubota’s non-road diesel engines between 56 and 130 kW are in compliance with the latest regulations.

These include the Kubota 3.8 litre, turbo inter-cooled for V3800 engine and 6.1 litre engine turbo inter-cooled for V6108 engine.

These engines have been certified by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Union (EU) and most recently by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). They will be installed in Kubota brand tractors and construction machinery.

Tier 4 Final and Stage IV are very stringent emission regulations. They require NOx (nitrogen oxide) reductions of about 90 per cent in comparison with the current regulations. Kubota has adopted selective catalytic reduction (SCR) for NOx reduction. Together with the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC), Kubota has developed the integrated technology and system to comply with the latest regulations.

Kubota has maintained its compact design with these new engine models and in some cases has even increased the output compared to previous engine models.

GEM harvester barGEM introduces new line of harvester bars

After several months of field testing, Gem Chain Bar (GEM) has introduced its own line of 404 harvester bars.

Development of this new product line was driven by customer request. The ¾” pitch bars are made from premium grade raw materials and proven CNC manufacturing processes. All of the company’s new GEM 404 bars will have a replaceable external tip. Bars are powder-coated a bright white to provide maximum visibility while operating at night. The product is available in 59 centimetre, 64 centimetre, 75 centimetre and 90 centimetre sizes.

New fire suppression product available for forestry equipment

Tyco Fire Protection Products now offers the Ansul brand CHECKFIRE 110 electronic detection and actuation system.

Designed for mobile equipment that operates in harsh environments, the CHECKFIRE 110 system keeps operators informed of potential fire hazards and enables advanced fire suppression if flames occur, helping protect vital assets, including those used in forestry.

CHECKFIRE 110 provides a single-zone detection and actuation system for customers that want highly customizable fire suppression solutions that are easy to install and service, and integrate seamlessly with their mobile equipment.

CHECKFIRE 110 integrates seamlessly with industry-leading Ansul brand fire suppression systems, including the LVS Vehicle Fire Suppression System, which uses a wet chemical agent that provides both fire suppression and superior cooling of superheated surfaces while blanketing the fuel and cutting off oxygen to help prevent reflash.

Deere grapple and axle upgrades for skiddersJohn Deere introduces new grapple and axle upgrades for skidders

John Deere is now offering new larger grapples and enhanced heavy-duty axle upgrades for the 648H and 748H skidder models.

The company says that these new options offer improved productivity and longer axle life, making it easier to move more wood, more reliably.

The new larger grapples allow more wood to be delivered to a landing with fewer skids. Heavy-duty Super-Wide Extreme-Duty Axles (SWEDAs) provide a solid foundation for the new grapples and have been enhanced to bolster long-term reliability. The more robust axles also feature a larger bearing for improved durability in various applications.

With the 648H skidder, customers can upgrade to a new grapple with a huge 14.9 square foot area with a 127” wide opening for even more productivity. Owners who upgrade to the new grapple are also required to upgrade to the more robust SWEDA. For those only seeking improved axle durability, the option to upgrade to the heavy-duty SWEDA axle without needing to upgrade to the new grapple is also available.

With the 748H skidder, the new optional grapple features an 18 square foot area with a 134” wide opening for more productivity. Owners who choose to upgrade to the new grapple are also required to upgrade to the more robust SWEDA II axle. An option to upgrade to the extreme-duty SWEDA II axle without upgrading to the new grapple is also available.