TECH UPDATE - Lumber Marking Systems

Gateway GraphicsGateway Graphics

Gateway Graphics specializes in manufacturing and supplying a complete line of marking equipment and products designed to meet the needs of the wood products industry.

Its lumber, panel and pallet printers have been an industry standard for decades and have stood the test of time, proving to be a reliable, dependable and cost effective method for applying grade marks and other information on lumber, plywood, OSB and all heat treated wood products, says the company. Gateway Graphics says that the solid construction and rugged durability of its printing equipment will keep marking customers’ products when other equipment becomes outdated or in need of replacement. Many of its printers have been in use for over 25 years.

From rubber stamps, hammers and inks, to high end automated printers, the company says it has everything needed for marking wood products.

Jet Marking SystemsJet Marking Systems

The team at Jet Marking Systems works to diagnose and resolve costly packaging and labeling issues.

By integrating 2D barcode printing systems using the technology of a Leibinger CIJ printer and Microscan AutoVision camera, the company has assembled a system to eliminate commonly found human error typically introduced in the packaging process of a lumber planer mill.

Jet Marking Systems has a factory- and industry-trained team with a pool of dynamic and dedicated technicians that cover all of Western Canada. The company says that it has carefully selected and partnered with first class technology and manufacturers of coding, labelling, case sealing, tracking and traceability, RFID and conveyor systems to offer customers the very best options for industry.

Samuel PackagingSamuel Packaging

Samuel Packaging describes itself as a leader in ink jet grade mark systems in North America with numerous innovative features and speed capabilities for dimension lumber mills of over 300 boards per minute. There have been constant improvements and features added to the Samuel ink jet grade mark systems since the first systems were installed in 1990. Samuel ink jet grade mark systems have been installed in numerous companies including Canadian Forest Products, Carrier Lumber, Conifex, Irving Forest Products, Resolute Forest Products, Tolko, West Fraser and many more.

Samuel Packaging creates the ink jet grade stamps as required and obtains approval from all grading authorities including WWPA, NLGA, ILMA, RIS, PLIB, CLA, AFPA, CMSA, COFI, PLIB, TP, SPIB, NHLA, NLPA, CLA, OLMA, and MLB.

Samuel PackagingInternational Bar Coding

International Bar Coding (IBC) is a one-vendor solution for bar coding, labeling, and tracking wood products throughout the value chain.

With over 20 years’ experience, IBC’s solutions are used in tree nurseries, timberlands, log yards, sawmills, kilns, planers, and inventory yards.

IBC says it is a trusted source for automatic label printer applicators, HMI and machine vision integration, manual tagging solutions, custom data collection, pack labeling, labels and tags, and mill automation and safety.

Whether customers are making lumber, boards, plywood, or engineered wood, IBC says that it can help keep score.


Autolog, celebrating 30 years of innovation in the lumber industry this year, continues to invest in the advancement of their products, including their lumber marking system, the ProGSP grade stamp printer.

Built on its reputation for high print quality, durability, reliability and lowest cost of ownership, Autolog says its ProGSP now offers many new features such as a convenient end printer enclosure add-on, dynamic bar coding, configurable print density per field reducing ink consumption, integrated print quality camera system, MS Windows 10 LTSB (Enterprise) operating system and optional 100 per cent aluminum pen stalls, to name a few.

With its fully integrated HP TIJ (Thermal Ink Jet) technology, using reliable OEM components with a hassle-free lifetime warranty, Autolog says that this customizable, reliable, compact and innovative system is specifically designed for harsh mill environments.

Z-TecZ-Tec Automation Systems

The WinJet II Lumber Marking System was the first to bring HD printing capabilities to the wood products industry, and continues proving its reliability with over 100 installations across North America and overseas, says Z-Tec Automation Systems.

For 25 years, Z-Tec has focused its efforts on reliable and robust solutions for industrial processes. With an ongoing R&D culture within the company, Z-Tec says that its solutions maintain their lead by remaining flexible and responsive to customer needs, and the company being proactive to meet the future demands of the industry.

WinJet II is fully customizable, designed specifically for each installation.

Utility CompositesUtility Composites

Utility Composites Inc has introduced Sundog UHF RFID staples for advanced inventory tracking applications of products with rough wood surfaces such as pallets, logs, utility poles and railroad ties.

Sundog is a state-of-the-art UHF RFID tag in a staple form, made in collated packs for sequential installation. The company says it is the only RFID tag that can be quickly installed into rough wooden surfaces and will not fall off or blow off in outdoor environments or during transport.

Each staple contains a unique microchip that can be instantly read when the load comes into proximity with a programmed RFID scanner, yet these tags will not trip metal detectors. The staple’s external antenna has long distance and angle read range capabilities and UHF RFID allows for hundreds of reads per second. Sundog is described as the ideal product for those who desire a reliable, real-time inventory management system, reduced inventory losses, faster and efficient multi-tag readings, high read range capability and the elimination of labor for individual barcode reading.

Sundog staples can be easily driven into dense wood with a specially designed hammer tacker. The tool can apply 25 staple tags before reloading is required. The pneumatic Sundog stapler, created for accurate staple placement and production tag installation, will be available in the first quarter of 2018.


Signode offers a lumber marking system that emphasizes both speed and quality. Many of its systems are operating at over 200 lpm.

The Signode system permits such marking features as grade, quality, and board identification for simplified marketing and traceability.

The lumber marking system features robust, all-steel construction with a fully enclosed design to handle challenging situations on a lumber production line.

The open architecture with robust PLC controls has no custom interfacing software.

It is an eight-head system using both an advanced ink and ink delivery method, which also features a vision system for quality control management.


The Microtec Grade Scanner is a very useful tool for operators to manually grade and trim boards, says the company. It can either be implemented stand-alone or integrated with a quality scanner. Grade scanner recognizes manually applied grade, trim and sort marks on lumber and interprets them. Installed on the trimming/sorting line, Grade Scanner reads the manual mark assigned by the grader and links the mark information to the corresponding board quality, trimming or sorting information.

Grade Scanner quickly recognizes customized grade and sort marks and speeds up production as manual data entry is no longer required. Modular design allows an easy integration between planer and lug sorter or trimmer. Depending on the production scope, Grade Scanner may be easily adjusted to customer’s needs.

Logging and Sawmilling Journal
October 2017

On the Cover:
Producing wood chips for manufacturing pulp is an important part of the forest industry in Canada, but producing forestry biomass for energy facilities is also of growing importance. Industry research organization FPInnovations has some solid tips on achieving the standards expected of biomass in a story on page 45 of this issue of Logging and Sawmilling Journal (Photo of B.C. Interior chipping operation by Paul MacDonald)

Keeping lumber on track
The rail system is an essential link in the supply chain for Canadian lumber producers, and industry associations are stressing that the system needs to be maintained and reviewed to get the best service—especially as the industry seeks to develop overseas markets, and get lumber to ports.

Maxing out value from logs
B.C.’s Skeena Sawmills has launched a broad-based effort to improve log utilization, and that effort includes the installation of a new small log canter line—and it’s also looking at a new log scanner, to maximize the value from each log.

New planer mill technology delivers
A new planer mill at IdaPine in Idaho is helping Evergreen Forest Products meet growing market needs—and standards for the company’s appearance grade products have been greatly enhanced by innovative Finnish scanning technology created by FinScan.

The right stuff—all the way ‘round
Nova Scotia logger Peter Archibald understands full well that he needs the right gear to deliver the right wood to the right mill, and he now has some new equipment—and some newly-trained operators—to deliver that wood.

Rolling uphill with logging changes
The B.C.-based Clusko Group is used to adapting to new environments and making changes, and the latest is a move to higher ground and steep slope equipment, with the Remote Operated Bulldozer (ROB) winch assist system.

Resourceful sawmilling
Vancouver Island sawmiller Lawrence Wheatley has weathered two decades of the ups and downs of the sometimes unpredictable wood products market by being extremely resourceful, and having a strong focus on local customers.

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, Alberta Agriculture and FPInnovations.

The Last Word
The forest industry must lead on developing a national carbon credit trading system, says Tony Kryzanowski.


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