tech update - Dry Kilns


Having supplied over 500 kilns, Wellons Canada has extensive kiln expertise. This includes: both continuous and batch kilns; double track, single track and side loading configurations; double and single air pass fan systems; direct fired, thermal oil, steam or hot water heating systems and multi-zone configurations; with steel, aluminum, stainless or hybrid kiln material options. Wellons offers its WINKILN control system with Wellons TCS real-time, in-kiln moisture measurement. Notably, some of Wellons’ recent batch kiln conversions to continuous kilns have shown 100 per cent production increases and a 20 per cent energy reduction, says the company.

American Wood DryersAmerican Wood Dryers

American Wood Dryers has been producing quality, efficient dry kilns for the lumber industry for over 30 years with installations throughout the world.

The company has supplied everything from package kilns for smaller volumes of hardwoods to large volume, high throughput conifer kilns, such as high temperature batch track or continuous track kilns.

Kiln structures are aluminum or steel. Enclosures are Alclad aluminum or type 304 stainless steel for some hardwoods. American’s prefabricated panel system reduces installation time and maintenance costs. Continuous kilns use a combination of steel and aluminum to optimize performance and cost.

Heat systems include hot water, steam, hot oil, and natural gas or biomass direct fired. Fan systems are either direct drive kiln duty motors or standard motors mounted outside of the kiln chamber. Variable frequency drives can be supplied to reduce electrical cost and optimize drying schedules.

Drystar PC-based proprietary control systems or PLC systems are supplied to customer preference.


USNR has manufactured track and package kilns for over 100 years. USNR says it has installed the largest number of continuous dry kilns in North America, and it continues to improve the design of its counter-flow kiln and related systems, including the 8-grate burner.

The 8-grate burner is the largest green fuel burner in the industry, capable of producing 40 mm BTUs, says the company. This powerful system offers the widest variety of heat sources including steam, shavings, green fuel, and natural gas. It can also be manufactured as a hybrid burner that uses a combination of different sources in the same system. This flexibility allows mills to use the fuel that gives them the best savings.

A new hybrid burner project in the U.S. South will provide natural gas and green fuel options. The ability to switch between different heat sources lets mills take advantage of price fluctuations and other market conditions.


Hildebrand-Brunner recently introduced a new highly efficient continuous-type kiln, the Alexander Hildebrand Continuous Kiln (HCK-A).

This type of continuous kiln is designed for mills that produce large volumes of lumber product, e.g., dimension SPF. While designing its Alexander Hildebrand Continuous Kiln, the company put great emphasis on creating exactly the right drying conditions (temperature, climate, air speed) for the respective lumber moisture content. The technical features of each individual drying zone are customized to the drying state and moisture of the lumber passing through.

Lumber is placed length-wise on carts and dried during transport through a number of zones with separate climates. Ultimately, customers will dry lumber in the company’s continuous kiln HCK-A just as they would in a conventional package kiln. Conditions are perfectly adjusted to the lumber moisture content at all times.

It features the company’s new “greenkiln” technology for energy management and the Hildebrand Turbo Technology (HTT) ensuring tight final moisture distribution for maximum planer yield.

Innovated Control SystemsInnovated Control Systems

With over 20 years of industry experience, Innovated Control Systems offers cutting edge turnkey dry kilns and prefabricated systems ranging from 10,000 FBM to 200,000 FBM that are delivered ready for production. The company says its high efficiency heating systems are built with the highest quality materials, latest design features, and impeccable quality control. The company says that when customers choose Innovated Control Systems, they receive a quality product customized to meet their needs, paired with service from its passionate team.

Its PLC and PC controls offer full remote monitoring and support. By opting for Innovated Control Systems’ unique vent heating recovery system, customers are able to reduce drying times and energy usage by 20 per cent, it says. Variable speed fans maximize drying rates and quality while stainless steel and corrosion resistant aluminum ensure longevity. Innovated Control Systems also offers advanced wood preservation equipment, control systems, and specialized equipment for the wood industry


Using industry-proven technology, the KilnScout Wireless moisture system allows wood producers to control dry kilns from direct moisture content readings. This in-kiln system eliminates the need for costly hot checks by shutting down confidently at target moisture content. The result is improved grade recovery, reduced energy costs and increased throughput. SCSFP by Finna Group has updated its flagship KilnScout-Softwood model and added two new application-specific lines.

KilnScout-Softwood is the original KilnScout, and has been updated with a two-chamber design and heavy-duty leads for increased durability. New software gives users the ability to send IOT alerts via text or email. An enhanced interface provides SPC control and automated push rate on continuous kilns.

KilnScout-Hardwood is customized for unique hardwood applications. This model meets the accuracy and durability needs specific to the hardwood market.


Valutec’s focus in North America is on unidirectional continuous kilns.

Unidirectional continuous kilns offer advantages such as: corrosion resistant stainless steel enclosure; controlled kiln condensate collection; accurately controlled kiln schedules; high flexibility due to multiple, independently controlled drying zones; pneumatic pressure frames to replace hazardous kiln weights; no in-kiln lumber moisture measuring due to unique control system with drying schedule simulator; extremely low final standard deviation; and, more than 2,000 installations worldwide.  

Valutec says that the desire to increase the use of wood is the ultimate reason for its work. For almost 100 years, it has supplied sawmills around the globe with what it says is the most advanced lumber dry kilns.

The Valutec Group has offices in Canada, Sweden, Finland, Germany and Russia.

Sechoir MECSechoir MEC

MEC Dry Kiln designs and builds dry kilns responding to the needs and requirements of the wood industry. MEC custom builds dual path kilns (DPK) for both the softwood and hardwood industries.

The company innovates constantly to offer a product that is always state-of-the-art technology, it says. Its dry kilns offer flexibility and are easy to operate, it says.

Nova Dry KilnNova Dry Kiln

Nova Dry Kiln is a world-wide manufacturer of lumber dry kilns, pallet heat treating systems and firewood dry kiln systems.

They are designed to produce a brighter, higher quality, kiln dried product for their customers.

Its large dry kilns come standard with Timber-Dry Management controls. This fully automatic system manages the kiln drying process, precisely controlling the rate of drying for maximum quality. The dry kiln operator is fully in control, with the ability to make changes as the dry kiln schedule is executing. Remote operation and networking is optional.

EBI ElectricEBI Electric

Canadian-based EBI Electric manufactures dry kiln motors and has supplied about 20,000 motors to more than 400 different sawmills around the world.

The motors are purpose-built, designed for the harsh conditions imposed by dry kilns and recognized for dependable operation up to 120 degrees Celsius.

EBI Electric manufactures motors anywhere from 1 to 40 horsepower, in speeds from 900, 1200 and 1800 rpm. They are built with Class H insulation and inverter duty magnet wire for resisting transient voltage variation, totally enclosed air over (TEAO) heavy duty cast iron frames, and oversized regreasable bearings. The high efficiency unibody cast iron construction provides superior strength.

EBI Electric uses up to 20 per cent more iron in the stator than competitive motors, says the company, for better heat dissipation. Their dry kiln motors have a high-temperature seal (200°C/392°F) on the motor drive end. Extra winding tropicalization provides resistance against humidity and condensation. The motors are available in Nema and IEC (metric) frames.

Frank Controls

Frank Controls Ltd provides an automatic kiln control system, using a dynamic process, rather than a schedule type scheme. The control continuously monitors and controls the temperatures and humidity in a dry kiln. It is a true process controller, with proven results in grade improvements on all softwoods, in new and existing kilns. Frank Controls is dedicated to technical drying support for each customer, and is currently interested in an exclusive arrangement with a kiln manufacturer or distributor, says the company


Designed and manufactured in their home state of Vermont, the Parker family has been running Vacutherm since 1980. With the involvement of the most recent generation of Parkers came a shift in the company’s approach to their kiln development. Having focused on smaller run specialty businesses for 29 years, the introduction of the VacuPress 8000 and now the model 12000 has seen their market change to operations drying over 6 million board feet per year. They also offer the ability to dry up to 2 million board feet of hardwood a year, with a single kiln that fits on the back of a flatbed truck.

Vacutherm says it prides itself on letting their customers’ feedback and business needs drive their innovation. By optimizing the drying process, Vacutherm offers their customers increased cash flow, reduced inventory carry, and an up to 40 per cent increase in throughput.

Wagner MetersWagner Meters

Wagner says it is a leader in the forest products industry in innovative moisture sensing and moisture measurement systems.

The MC4000 Advanced In-Kiln Moisture Measurement System offers a real-time view of the moisture content for each sensing zone, and a moisture content trend graph of all the sensors during the drying schedule. Used as a stand-alone system or interfaced with computerized kiln control system software packages, the MC4000 can help customers cut losses due to drying related degrade, minimize labor-intensive manual checking, and make the lumber drying process more efficient.

For a better way to measure moisture deep in the middle of lumber stacks, Wagner recommends the L722 Stack Probe attachment coupled with the pinless L622 Digital Recording Moisture Meter. Take multiple accurate readings of an entire stack in minutes without the danger of broken pins. This combination allows users to store and download kiln readings to reports, to help improve moisture content quality control procedures.


For those looking to upgrade or purchase dry kilns or predryers, Lignomat offers its MP32 kiln and predryer control system.

The MP32 system is backwards compatible with the last kiln control platform. With multi-platform and network capabilities, the MP32 can be remotely controlled and monitored from any mobile device, via any operating system via the customer’s network without a paid service such as TeamViewer. No longer dependent on a Microsoft Windows PC, the secure, open source controller includes detailed installation documents and troubleshooting tools allowing for a smooth and timely installation by a Lignomat technician or by able staff.

Lignomat offers quality hardware and software design for the worldwide lumber industry to reduce drying times and energy consumption. All of the control systems, monitoring systems, inline moisture meters and handheld moisture meters are built in the U.S.



Nyle Systems was founded in 1978 with the patenting of the XDH dehumidifiction system by its founder, Don Lewis. Today, Nyle’s Lumber Division product line has expanded to include: DH kilns, gas fired kilns, conventional kilns, heat treaters and industry-leading controls.

Recently, Nyle was awarded a patent for its VHT systems: super-efficient, high temperature DH driers, the next generation of lumber drying for the softwood industry. The first system was recently started up at one of the top three softwood lumber producers in North America.

Nyle says it stays ahead of the competition with innovation and very strong after-sales service. Wireless technology and tablet computers allow customers to monitor and control their kiln remotely, and the list of repeat customers is constantly growing, the company says.

All the kiln systems are manufactured at the Brewer, Maine factory, and are supplied with in-house control systems. Systems are installed by Nyle field crews, making Nyle Systems a one-stop shop company for drying needs.

Smithco ManufacturingSmithco Manufacturing

Smithco manufactures a variety of propeller fans from 30” to 84” in diameter. Its SMI propellers come in 4, 6, 8, and 12 blade models. There is a Smithco propeller for every kiln application, says the company. The company’s propellers are made of stress-relieved, heat-treated, high grade cast aluminum alloy for trouble-free service in rugged kiln environments to 350° F. All Smithco propellers have tested reversibility with full flow in both directions. In addition, Smithco propellers have adjustable pitch blades, keyed split taper bushings and stainless steel hardware. Every blade of a specific size is balanced to a master blade and is interchangeable with blades of the same size.


Wood-Mizer offers dehumidification and solar kiln kits with capacities ranging from 300 to 35,000 board feet for drying lumber. The Wood-Mizer KD series of kilns feature 100 per cent corrosion-resistant aluminum cabinets and specially coated dehumidification coils to ensure quality performance and an extra-long life.

The KD150 Dehumidification Kiln Kit is a compact, entry-level dehumidification kiln for drying lumber between 300 and 1000 board feet.

The KD250 Dehumidification Kiln Kit is a high-quality dehumidification kiln for controlled lumber drying of 1,500 to 4,000 board feet.

The D450 Dehumidification Kiln Kit is a high-performance dehumidification kiln for producing up to 15,000 board feet of kiln dried wood.

The KD550 Dehumidification Kiln Kit is a commercial dehumidification kiln for precise controlled lumber drying up to 35,000 board feet.

The S50 Solar Kiln is a cost-effective solar kiln for drying lumber up to 3,000 board feet.

Logging and Sawmilling Journal
November 2017

On the Cover:
While others shy away from oilpatch logging, Alberta's JD Haggart Contracting pursues this business for one simple reason—it pays better and they have the experience to be able to mobilize quickly when an opportunity comes their way. They also have the equipment to deliver the wood, including two John Deere 2154 processor carriers, both equipped with Waratah heads. Read all about the operation beginning on page 10 of this issue. (Cover photo by Tony Kryzanowski)

Balancing out the forestry workplace
There’s a movement underway to encourage more women to work in the forest industry, and it’s getting some solid traction from forest company Tolko Industries—and full support from women who are now working in the industry.

Ability and availability = logging success
Alberta logging contractor JD Haggart—managed by the husband and wife team of Dave and Roxanne Haggart—know that ability and availability are keys to logging success, especially in oilpatch logging.

Front end focus following mill fire
Saskatchewan’s NorSask Forest Products is bouncing back from a fire that hit its sawmill earlier this year, and has invested $21 million on a major front end redesign following the fire.

Bringing on the next generation...
Nova Scotia’s Sebastien Pouliot knew he wanted to be a logger at a very young age—and he’s now successfully ushering in a new generation of equipment operators, through a training program.

Salvage logging in B.C.—but this time it's for burned wood
Forest companies and logging contractors are getting ready to go into salvage mode big-time to tackle the burned timber from the worst fire season B.C. has ever seen. It’s been estimated that about 53 million cubic metres of timber has been burned, about four times the provincial allowable annual cut.

Sawmill/speedway combo
Paul Hargrave and his son, Scott, have a passion for sawmilling—and for race cars, too, since they have a combination sawmill/speedway operation on B.C.’s Vancouver Island.

Team logging effort
The husband and wife team that manages Ontario’s St. Onge logging has been successful in directing their operations through the industry’s rocky times—and now has a very successful chipping operation, and recently started logging for EACOM and Weyerhaeuser.

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, Alberta Innovates and Alberta Agriculture.

The Last Word
Jim Stirling on B.C.’s wildest wildfire season, and looking at how to prevent a repeat performance.


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