Timber Processing Expobenefits from continued industry investments

By Tony Kryzanowski

The Timber Processing and Energy Expo recently held at the Exposition Center in Portland, Oregon was another success, featuring industry-leading manufacturers and service suppliers. The success of the show underlines the continuing growth of the industry, and the focus on efficiency improvements by wood products producers, through investments in new and updated equipment.

Logging and Sawmilling Journal reviews some of the highlighted equipment from the Portland Show below:

DeltaDelta Computer Systems

Delta Computer Systems has expanded its family of machine motion controllers with the new RMC200 electro-hydraulic motion controller, with capability of controlling up to 32 axes simultaneously.

It extends the company’s high performance motion control product line, which also includes the RMC75 two-axis and RMC150 eight-axis controllers.

The Delta controllers provide precise closed-loop position, velocity, pressure, and force control for electric, hydraulic, and pneumatic applications. Controller design is supported by extensive “help” information on the company’s website and a powerful, free development software suite called RMCtools, which includes automated wizards for application tuning, motion programming, and plotting of motion results.


burton sawBurton Saw and Supply

Burton Saw and Supply is a distributor of Wright Machine welder and annealer saw tipping equipment, with the new TW-3 automatic DC tip welder/induction annealer now available.

An advanced computer PLC handles machine control. The DC weld head reduces sensitivity to incoming voltage fluctuations and allows welding on plate thickness down to 0.030” with tips down to 0.050” wide. The annealing unit is a compact device that is manufactured using solid-state technology. Each has an embedded microprocessor that guarantees stable power output as well as optimum operating frequency. The microprocessor also performs monitoring and diagnostic functions to keep the user informed of device status.

The Talon TW-3 tipper makes use of innovative, preformed Stellite tipping technology, making the tipping process easier and more affordable. The unit’s unique weld system turns slag into an advantage by keeping it in the weld zone. This not only strengthens the weld but allows for full annealing of the slag material. Burton Saw and Supply says that in addition to being the fastest tipping and annealing machine on the market, the TW-3 cuts grinding times significantly. The triangular design of the tip has the top and face angles already in place. With the TW-3’s ability to accurately place the tips centered on the saw, side-grinding time is also reduced. All of this adds up to added Stellite tip life, lower abrasive wheel use, and time savings, says the company.



Is it possible to debark and reduce log flare in one machine? USNR thinks so with its CamShift system, which was on display in Portland.

USNR’s CamShift combines debarking and flare reducing in a single machine, with pull out sections designed for easy set-up and tool changes.

The module-designed CamShift system can be delivered with or without flare reducing, and with one or two debarking rotors. It comes with three rotor size options for feed speeds of up to 130 metres per minute (425 ft/min) with one debarking rotor, and up to 150 metres per minute (490 ft/min) with two debarking rotors.

The CamShift 600 offers both log-releasing tools and tool pressure adjustment during operation. The manually adjusted flare reducer rotor is infinitely adjustable for reduced diameters up to 560 millimeters (22”). The modular, pull-out design makes set-up and tool changes easy.

Variations are available to accommodate minimum log length and top or butt-end feeding.


Z-tecZ-Tec Automation Systems

In the fast-paced, lumber production line environment, wouldn’t it be great to eliminate the chance of a tag on lumber stacks going missing? Z-Tec Automation Systems offers a solution to that problem with its Z-MARK system.

Z-MARK eliminates the manual application of tags on lumber stacks by printing directly on to the side of a pack, with high resolution printing of barcodes, QR codes and pack details.

It is a stand-alone product that includes the hardware, software and display screen for quick installation. Also, it uses many of the same parts as the Z-Tec WinJet II Lumber Marking System, allowing for interchangeable parts.

Features include pre-assembly and pre-wiring for quick and easy installation, customizable printing data for such information as shift number and date and time. The system also includes reporting software to assist with inventory and production performance.



JoeScan, Inc., a leading manufacturer of 3-D laser scan heads for sawmills, has released the newest scan head in its JS-25 X-Series, the JS-25 X6B.

The JS-25 X6B is a high-performance, six-laser scanner, specifically designed for high-density, snapshot-scanning of logs on carriage headrigs.

Each JS-25 X6B scan head can be mounted end-to-end to scan any length of log on 6” spacing. The JS-25 X6B was designed to make it easy for optimizers and sawmills to upgrade obsolete carriage scanning systems, often reusing the existing scan frame.

“The JS-25 X6B is an easy upgrade that provides higher scan rates, double the scan density, and is based on the sawmill-proven reliability of the JS-25 platform,” says Joey Nelson, president and founder of JoeScan.

The JS-25 X6B requires only 24V DC and an Ethernet connection for operation. The scanner’s Ethernet interface allows the optimizer to communicate directly with the scanner without special hardware.

“The JS-25 X6B’s built-in profile processing eliminates the need for large numbers of PCs to process the image data, resulting in a simpler, more reliable system,” says Nelson.



Optimizing scanner manufacturer Autolog presented some of its most recent technological advances for both the sawmill and planer mill in Portland, highlighting its transverse optimizer and ProGrader scanner module.

Autolog demonstrated its split and shake and obvious unsound wood detection feature using only 3D sensors in a fully operational transverse optimizer, as well as knot detection on green/rough lumber using only tracheid data, including blond knots.

Expo participants were also introduced to the new color camera with higher resolution and better color sensitivity in the ProGrader scanner module as well as the new TBS-2 tracheid sensor to detect knots, including light colored knots such as blond knots, and unsound wood.

Also featured was a complete ProGSP Grade Stamp Printer.



Signode Canada, a Division of Signode Packaging Group Canada ULC, and International Bar Coding (IBC) have entered into a strategic partnership that enhances Signode’s position in wood products printing and bar coding while significantly expanding IBC’s reach into North American wood products mills.

The partnership is expected to increase Signode’s position in being a one vendor solution, while growing their market share in wood products, using IBC’s label applicators and printer applicators.

The new partnership also broadens the tools that Signode offers wood products customers and acts as a catalyst for further advanced research and development at IBC, while driving scale and efficiency in both partners’ respective supply chains.



For Expo attendees looking for a better knife grinding solution, DK SPEC displayed its Filex MK 2, multifunctional knife grinder.

DK SPEC describes this grinder as one of the easiest grinding solutions on today’s market, making repetitive tasks much easier and with very little handling.

This knife grinder can handle a cutting head diameter of up to 20” up to 15” long. It has sharpening capabilities of up to 0.001” precision, with a direct drive, 5 hp motor on the grinding wheel, capable of running at various speeds from 900 to 3500 rpm. It is possible to program the system for up to 50 knives.

The ground footprint for the unit is only 9’ X 7’.


Miller ManufacturingMiller Manufacturing

Miller Manufacturing introduced its new high-speed planer in Portland, describing it as being able to achieve the same production as competitors, but at slower speed. The company says operating at slower speed delivers high quality lumber and less downtime.

“We don’t dress air; we dress boards,” says the company.

Powered by Comact PLC and controls, it consists of modular components for quick intervention and repairs.

“In the competitive planer market, several factors came into play in our decision for going with the Miller planer,” says Jim Anderson from Charles Ingram Lumber Company. “Here at Charles Ingram, we have a large range of products and we felt that the robust design of the Miller planer would give us a high-quality product from a reliable machine for many years.”

Miller Manufacturing is a member of the BID Group of Companies.



Carbotech brought its Accu-Gate high speed lug positioning hardware to Portland.

Capable of operating at 300 lugs per minute (LPM), it can execute up to 24” positioning with a precision of less than 1/16th”.

The company says that it offers the only system that is not limited by reaction time, because even at speeds of 240 LPM, each board has 1.5 seconds to be positioned.

Positioning works smoothly, as each piece is delicately located with no bounce back, and positioning is not affected by the shape or condition of each board.

Carbotech says that its Accu-Gate high speed positioning system can easily replace existing systems without major modifications to the line.


Utility CompositesUtility Composites Inc

Forest companies are becoming more and more interested with being able to track trees from the forest to the yard and beyond, especially in this age of sustainable forest harvesting certification and verification. Utility Composites presented a solution to that challenge in Portland.

GRIZZLY RFID are inventory tracking polymer composite staples. They are for log tagging and tracking from forest to finished product. 

Manufactured by Utility Composites, they eliminate labor for reading tags—users can instantly read multiple tags, track real time inventory, and reduce inventory losses. 

GRIZZLY RFID staples will not trip metal detectors, are rugged and flexible, attach to rough wood, and are inserted with a proprietary hammer tacker tool. The tool can apply 25 tags before needing to be reloaded.

Made from aerospace grade polymer composite, the tags are equipped with a UHF radio frequency ID, with both a high distance and angle read range.



The patent pending Cortex knife was developed to revolutionize the reversible chipper knife market.

Cortex is the first reversible chipper knife to use perpendicular grinding, which eliminates the deep grinding marks associated with traditional reversible chipper knives. This smooth, friction-reducing knife edge is the optimal edge for harsh wood chipping conditions, such as frozen wood as well as hardwood.

Where traditional reversible knives have deep parallel grinding marks, which cause knife life in frozen wood to be reduced by up to 50 per cent, the Cortex knife is designed for these tough conditions.

The knife fits existing bases and conical heads.


WemaWema Probst

Wema Probst brought its profiling line for small timber processing to Portland.

The line is designed for production of sawn timber from pre-sorted wood in the diameter range from 10 centimetres to 25 centimetres. Two versions are available, processing logs from 1 metre to 3 metres or from 1.2 metres to 6 metres.

Easier logs like spruce or more difficult logs like maritime pine, birch or oak can be processed through this system.

Depending on log diameter, this profiling line can process 20,000 to 60,000 board feet per shift.

The profiling line has a small footprint, and products manufactured from it can be used for pallets, parquet, and elements for laminated beams.


Logging and Sawmilling Journal
November 2016

On the Cover:
Jemi Fibre Corporation does just about a bit of everything in the forest industry, with its operations including stump-to-dump contract logging operations in Mackenzie and Cranbrook, B.C. and Saskatchewan, post and peeling facilities and two pressure treating plants, and, most recently a chipping operation. Read all about Jemi Fibre beginning on page 10 of this issue (Cover photo by Paul MacDonald).

Spotlight – First Nations forestry in Ontario
A local forest management corporation has been launched in northwestern Ontario to help provide economic development opportunities to First Nations and it’s now been followed by a new First Nations-owned logging enterprise, Mkwa Timber, that is supplying timber to local mills.

Logging, manufacturing …and more
B.C.’s Jemi Fibre Corporation does just about a bit of everything in the forest industry, from logging through to added value manufacturing—and it’s looking to do more, says company president, Mike Jenks.

Workhorse wood chipper
Sutco Contracting is one of the leading trucking companies in B.C. , but it also has a chipping division—BC EcoChips—that does contract chipping with what the company describes as a “workhorse”: a Peterson 5000H chipper.

New scanner eyes mill improvements
The Teal-Jones sawmill in Surrey, B.C. has seen a number of equipment additions over the years—the most recent one came earlier this year with a new Springer Microtec Goldeneye 900 Multi-Sensor Scanner that is reducing the mill’s trim loss and improving its on-grade accuracy.

Field testing Cat’s new 538 forest machine
Veteran B.C. logger Alfred Poole was a clear choice for field testing a new piece of Cat equipment—the new Cat 538 forest machine, which came equipped with a SATCO 323T processing head—and he reports it offers good power, and is stingy when it comes to fuel consumption.

From carpenter...to logger
Nova Scotia’s Justin Thibault tried his hand as a carpenter and crewing on fish boats, but he found that logging suited him better—and has recently expanded his iron line-up with a new Tigercat/LogMax harvester to work alongside another Tigercat/LogMax harvester, and his Ecolog and John Deere forwarders

Show Reviews
Logging and Sawmilling Journal takes a look at what was new at Portland’s Timber Processing & Energy Expo and the InterSaw show in Montreal.

The Edge
Included in this edition of The Edge, Canada’s leading publication on research in the forest industry, are stories from the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre and Alberta Innovates.

The Last Word
It’s time to clamp down on unrestricted ATV access to unprotected public lands, says Tony Kryzanowski.

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