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Timber Automation acquires VAB Solutions

Timber Automation says as part of its continuing focus to produce industry leading equipment for woodyards and sawmills, it has acquired VAB Solutions.

VAB Solutions offers a wide range of technology solutions for lumber production lines from sawing to planing, designed to uncover hidden value in every piece of lumber.

It will become one of the Timber Automation divisions, which also includes the well-known sawmill and log handling equipment manufacturers Baxley Equipment and LogPro LLC. Timber Automation provides custom engineered equipment and control systems for woodyards and sawmills that maximize yield, increase uptime and reduce production costs.

“We have trusted the reliability, accuracy, and innovation of VAB technology for years, regularly recommending our clients use their products. Knowing they hold similar values of quality, value and commitment to their customers made this decision an easy one,” says John Steck, President, Timber Automation.

VAB Solutions will continue to operate in Lévis on the South Shore of Québec City, while Timber Automation’s headquarters remain in Hot Springs, Arkansas, with a manufacturing location in Baxley, Georgia.

Dale Brown, President of USNRUSNR announces promotions

USNR has promoted four long-time USNR and Mid-South Engineering employees.

“USNR has grown dramatically over the last several years, both organically and via the acquisitions of Söderhamn Eriksson, Ventek, and most recently, Mid-South Engineering,” said USNR Chairman and CEO, George Van Hoomissen. “These promotions will allow us to better manage our larger, more complex business and to continue to deliver the excellent products and services that our customers expect.”

Dale Brown, President of USNR, will be responsible for overseeing all day-to-day operations of USNR. Since joining USNR in 1986, Brown has been promoted a number of times, progressively gaining greater responsibilities within the company and, along the way, developing experience and expertise across all the major functions of the business.

Eric Brousseau, Vice President-Manufacturing, will be responsible for overseeing USNR’s global manufacturing operations. Brousseau has been the General Manager of USNR’s Plessisville operations, where he has driven a program of continuous innovation and process improvement.

Chuck Van Horn, Vice-President-Capital Projects, will continue to be responsible for overseeing USNR’s capital machinery projects, but now as a Vice President.

Along with a team of project managers, Mark Culpepper, Vice President, Turnkey Projects, will be responsible for managing all turnkey projects for USNR. Culpepper comes into this role after more than 32 years at Mid-South Engineering, most recently as Vice President. He has served as project manager for over 25 greenfield and major brownfield sawmill projects, in addition to managing hundreds of other industrial projects involving wood pellets, LVL, plywood, structural wood products, and other industries outside of wood products.

AutologAutolog offers log infeed camera solution for log gaps

At the primary breakdown, Autolog says that it is well-known that proper gap management has a direct impact on production and bottom line profits.

In essence, when the gap between logs is too small, the line must stop to position cutting tools. When the gap is too long, throughput is reduced. Therefore, it is important to maintain a constant gap between logs, which the company says is easier said than done.

The Autolog solution is a camera for gap management that is located at the log infeed of a sawing line. By adding the camera, it will detect with precision the beginning of the log in the feeder, or the absence of the log, as well as the end of the log on the conveyor, maximizing the use of the sawing line while maintaining a constant gap between each log.

The system also eliminates virtually all log crossings. For example, Autolog says that a log that is too small to be detected by other types of sensors may result in two logs crossing over each other in the chain, triggering a production stoppage to separate these two logs.

Without this camera solution, companies must use several types of sensors to detect these two logs, only to achieve average results.

Autolog says that early adopters of this technology have achieved excellent results while reducing downtime and production costs.

SPRINGER Group acquires a majority stake in FinScan

SPRINGER Group, a leading international technology supplier, has acquired a majority stake in Finnish company FinScan. It specializes in scanners and software for automated optimization of lumber in sawmills. FinScan has installed more than 400 scanners in over 20 countries around the world.

“With the majority stake in FinScan, we extend our market product portfolio as an integrated technology provider for the wood processing industry,” says Timo Springer, CEO of SPRINGER Group. “We now have an extensive range of optimization systems in the wood processing industry at our disposal and that way, we can expand our technological and innovative leadership. We see good opportunities to grow and strengthen our position in the future together. We are looking forward to working together.”

“FinScan is very successful, has long time customers and has a clear portfolio of sophisticated scanner solutions at its disposal,” says Jyri Smagin, CEO of FinScan Oy, who will continue running the company at the same managing position “Through the merger with SPRINGER, we expect further technological progress.”

RotochopperRotochopper launches 1,000 horsepower electric horizontal grinder

To help customers process increased volumes of waste materials, Rotochopper now offers a new 1,000 horsepower, dual motor drive option for the B-66 E electric-powered horizontal grinder.

The dual motor drive is designed to reduce operating and maintenance costs compared to a single motor drive, as well as minimize amperage surges at start-up.

Due to the sourcing challenges of bigger electric motors, grinder owners have often opted for lower horsepower.

“The dual motor drive brings the best of both worlds, the convenience of smaller motors along with the production capacity of higher horsepower,” says Rotochopper CEO, Art de St. Aubin.

Benefits of a dual-motor drive over a single-motor drive include lower start-up amperage surges and lower repair costs in the event of downtime. Major downtime is rare with industrial electric motors. Yet should a breakdown occur, the dual motor drive decreases the lead time and cost of replacement parts compared to a single larger motor.

Logging and Sawmilling Journal
May/June 2018

On the Cover:
Rod Dillman Contracting crews were recently harvesting wildfire-blackened timber in the south Cariboo region of British Columbia. The fire-ravaged timber is the legacy from B.C.’s worst forest wild fire season, in 2017. Read about how they are approaching the salvage logging in this issue of Logging and Sawmilling Journal, beginning on page 20 (Cover photo courtesy of Southstar Equipment).


Spotlight: First Nations and forestry partnership
A new training program in B.C.—adopted from Ontario—hopes to help make a difference for First Nations youth, and the forest industry.

Big yarder investment
B.C.’s Western Forest Products has invested in logging equipment big-time recently, with the purchase of a LC650 grapple yarder from T-Mar Industries.

Australian Salvage Logging
Two Australian entrepreneurs have mastered a means of harvesting still-standing drowned forests from the bottom of hydro lakes in the Australian island state of Tasmania, and it involves some pretty interesting equipment.

Harvesting B.C.’s fire-ravaged forests
Rod Dillman Contracting is now tackling harvesting fire-salvage timber in the Cariboo region, one of the areas hit by B.C.’s worst forest fire season, when more than 12,000 square kilometres was burned by megafires.

Veteran sawyer chooses veteran mill equipment
When it came to setting up his own business, veteran sawyer Gary Francis decided to opt for decades of mill manufacturing experience, and purchased a TimberKing band mill—and it’s now at the centre of the business, known simply as … Gary’s Mill.

New and Noted at the Interior Logging Association’s 60th
We take a look at the new products that were one of the highlights of the 60th annual Interior Logging Association Conference and Trade Show, held in Kamloops in May.

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 FPInnovations.

The Last Word
The Softwood Lumber Board may have a low key approach, but it has delivered some very solid results, says Jim Stirling.


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