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CaterpillarCat distributor Finning to work closely with Weiler to expand relationship in purpose-built forestry products

Canada’s largest Cat distributor, Finning, has announced its intention to expand its dealer relationship with Weiler, Inc., following Caterpillar Inc.’s announcement that it has entered into a preliminary agreement to sell its Cat purpose-built forestry business to Weiler.

“Finning already has a productive and mutually beneficial relationship with Weiler and we look forward to growing that relationship through distributing this portfolio of machines for the forestry industry through our extensive dealer networks in Canada and South America,” said Juan Carlos Villegas, COO of Finning International.

Founded in 2000, Weiler has a long-standing history of successfully manufacturing purpose-built equipment distributed through the Cat dealer network and currently produces an extensive portfolio of products.

Finning will work to distribute Weiler’s purpose built-forestry machines including wheel skidders and track feller bunchers, while continuing to provide Cat’s forestry excavators designed for log loading, processing and other forestry applications. Weiler’s product offering is complementary to other specialty forestry lines already offered through Finning.

“We remain strongly committed to our forestry business and expect Weiler’s forestry customers will benefit greatly from the exceptional sales and service experience that Finning, as Caterpillar’s largest equipment dealer, is proud to be known for,” added Villegas. “We will work with Caterpillar and Weiler during their transition to ensure a seamless customer experience.”

Weiler has been manufacturing purpose-built equipment for the asphalt paving market since 2005, with sales and service through the Caterpillar dealer network.

“We believe that the purpose-built forestry product line is the ideal addition to our current product portfolio,” said Pat Weiler, owner and founder of Weiler, Inc.

The company has a proven track record of working with Cat dealers, including Finning, to respond rapidly to customers with specialized product needs. Weiler is said to be an engineering-based company that has designed and developed more than 50 products, and is a recognized manufacturer of quality products. It has distribution exclusively through the Cat dealer network.

“We are confident that our existing product line-up, our flexible manufacturing strategy, and our unrivaled customer focus will differentiate us within the forestry segment,” said Weiler.

Weiler anticipates retaining the approximate 270 employees supporting the forestry business, adding to the nearly 500 employees currently employed at the Knoxville, Iowa-based manufacturer’s corporate office and manufacturing facility.

The sale includes Cat operations and facilities such as the manufacturing plant and warehouse in LaGrange, Georgia, the demonstration and training center in Auburn, Alabama, and the legacy Prentice parts distribution center in Smithfield, North Carolina.

And more forestry equipment could be on the way from Weiler. “Utilizing the capabilities of both the LaGrange and Knoxville facilities, we have plans in place to expand the existing forestry product line to further meet customer demands,” said Weiler.

Cat remains committed to forest industry

Caterpillar, Inc. announced in August that it had entered into a preliminary agreement with Weiler, Inc. to sell the Cat purpose-built forestry business. The sale is subject to negotiation of a final agreement, the closing of which is expected by early 2019.

But Cat will continue to serve the very significant forest industry market. An important point is that Caterpillar will continue to provide forestry excavators designed for log loading, processing and other forestry applications, in addition to supplying core Caterpillar equipment to the forestry industry. Forestry excavators have a high degree of design and parts commonality with hydraulic excavators. It’s thought that this is a good fit with Cat’s construction equipment business.

“We remain committed to supporting our forestry customers and the forestry industry,” said Tom Pellette, Caterpillar Construction Industries Group President. Among the drivers for the deal was how best to serve customers for purpose-built forestry equipment, to ensure that the demand for these specialized products can be met. The company acquiring the purpose-built business, Weiler, Inc, has a proven track record of working to respond rapidly to customer needs in other specialized product segments.

“The sale of the purpose-built forestry business enables Caterpillar and Weiler to serve the complete forestry industry while providing customers with the same outstanding sales and service support they’ve come to expect,” said Pellette.

Caterpillar will supply engines, axles, transmissions and other components to Weiler for the purpose-built forestry machines, following the sale.

CBI and Ecotec forum in New Hampshire to feature all-new 6800CT horizontal grinder

Logging and forestry professionals are invited to the 2018 CBI & Ecotec Factory Forum taking place from October 2 to 4 in Newton, New Hampshire.

Headlined by the all new 6800CT horizontal grinder, this year’s demo line-up features grinders, shredders, screens, material separators, flails, conveyors, and attachments. The event will include technical workshops, factory tours, industry presentations, awards, an authentic New England dinner, a night out in the historic city of Portsmouth, and live entertainment, all in the backdrop of New Hampshire’s world class October foliage.

USNR expands Eugene facility

USNR is expanding its operations once again, this time at its Eugene, Oregon facility. The investment moves the company’s existing operation to a new, expanded facility that USNR says will be outfitted to meet the growing needs of its business.

The Eugene facility is described as home to a thriving team that supports and advances USNR’s optimization and veneer handling activities. It is the U.S. base for USNR’s optimization technology, from hardwood, shop and moulding, and green lumber grade scanning, to veneer scanning and grading solutions. From logs to lumber and blocks to dry veneer, USNR says that the Eugene team has a key role in the development of innovations for the solid wood and engineered wood industries.

The new facility encompasses over 60,000 square feet, situated on 3.2 acres. The majority of the space will house electrical manufacturing, with the remainder for engineering, R&D and training facilities, warehousing and sales offices. The new facility is expected to be operational in January 2019. 

Brunner-Hildebrand has highly efficient, continuous-type dry kiln

Brunner-Hildebrand now has a 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, such as dimension SPF. While designing its HCK-A dry kiln, the company put great emphasis on creating exactly the right temperature, climate, and air speed drying conditions 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 HCK-A kiln 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.

VKENew VKE veneer and Itipack VKB panel products strapping machines

The new VKE Veneer Strapping Machine has been designed with both efficiency and flexibility in mind, says the company. With a very reliable top and bottom dunnage feeding system, and the latest version of the Advanced Systems Diagnostics HMI, strapping veneer has never been easier, says the company.

This new machine also comes equipped with the new Itipack ITP-80 strapping head, which utilizes 45 per cent fewer parts than its reliable predecessor. Operations can even use old dunnage/bunks—typically that would not be possible with standard dunnage/bunk feeding systems.

The new Itipack VKB Panel Products Strapping Machine is said to be a robust, innovative and uniquely designed strapping machine. Itipack designed the VKB with operators and maintenance personnel top of mind, with modular functions and features such as quick head change technology, fixed strap tracks, head float system and HMI programmed servicing positions.

Modular options (which can be added at any time) include top, side and/or bottom edge protectors, side compression and different quantities of dunnage magazines (including the potential to add a mass dunnage feeder if desired).

The VKB works with dual compression rollers, allowing for the load to be transferred to the machine’s base, preventing warping of the machine or its floor anchor points over time.

Itipack has employed a side seal head design on the new VKB Panel Products Strapping Machine that indexes on a new monorail system. When activated, the HMI Head Servicing Button allows for the head to automatically index offline. Once fully indexed offline, maintenance personnel can complete regular PM away from the compression and pressure points of the machine, ensuring a safe work environment. The strapping heads’ ergonomic placement on the side of the machine allows for easy and comfortable access for daily, weekly and monthly PM.

In conjunction with the side seal head location, Itipack has introduced a quick-change head system that will allow for easy head changeovers to be completed in less than two minutes. The heads share a common mounting system, meaning there is no need for any changes to the mount when installing on the machine or test stand.

AndritzMill achieves payback on Andritz chipper heads

Andritz Iggesund Tools focuses on quality, reliability, and maximum production from their chipping heads, making them one of the most economical canter heads to operate today.

The company’s engineered canter heads, used in the highest production sawmills worldwide, are backed by best in class technical and field service support.

Andritz Iggesund Tools has long been a leader in developing superior knife quality from the TurnKnife system, coupled with innovative chipping heads like its Powerhead conical head and its TKD drum style head, that tackle even the most severe applications. Producing superior chip quality and unmatched board finish with maximum uptime is the common goal with all of the company’s canter head installations. Whether upgrading just the chipping heads, or installing a greenfield mill, Andritz Iggesund Tools says that its canter heads are by far the choice of mills today.

Its most recent upgrade improved the mill’s chip quality and uptime allowing the payback of new chipping heads to be realized in just three months.

LinckLINCK cutterhead discs good for producing pulp chips or wood pellet fine chips

LINCK cutterhead discs allow for either the production of chips for the pulp industry or fine chips for wood pellets. Retrofit sets are available to change between the production of pulp and fine chips at any time.

Regardless of the kind of chips, LINCK says that their excellent quality is guaranteed. The shape of the pulp chips produced meets the high requirements of the pulp industry. A pre-cutting saw ring ensures an even and tear-free surface on the two-sided cant produced by the chipper canter.

The cutterhead discs are arranged in multi-steps. The knives for the outer step that are less in use than the ones of the inner step must therefore be changed less frequently. The possibility of re-grinding and re-using the knives several times reduces cutting costs.

An anti-friction bearing-supported disc in the cutterhead ensures reliable guiding of the cants during processing, and provides for excellent product dimension accuracy, says the company.

Murray Latta acquires Kimwood operations

Murray Latta Progressive Machine, Inc. of Surrey, B.C., announced that it has acquired the operations of Kimwood Corporation, a Cottage Grove, Oregon-based manufacturer of machinery for the forest products industry.

Kimwood’s manufacturing line-up includes sanders, planers, re-saws, rotary hogs and cylinders. Murray Latta designs, manufactures and distributes industrial machinery for several industrial sectors including forest products, oil, gas, mining, material handling, construction—and the company is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. 

“Murray Latta has been a licensed manufacturer and distributor of Kimwood products in Canada for more than 30 years,” said Dan Reader, President of Murray Latta. “Our long working relationship with Kimwood, familiarity with Kimwood’s products, reputation and brand, as well as our respect for the employees of Kimwood, made this an easy decision. Our goal is to keep operations in Oregon and invest in reinvigorating the Kimwood brand and products.”

Kris Woodard, President of Kimwood Corporation added: “Kimwood has been in business in Cottage Grove for more than 70 years. As a family owned business in a smaller community it was important that we choose wisely who might acquire the Kimwood operations; a buyer who would respect the community, Kimwood’s long history and, foremost, Kimwood employees. 

“The combination of the Kimwood operations with Murray Latta simply gives the operations a broader international reach and opportunities for the Kimwood employees,” said Woodard. “This transaction ensures the continued presence of Kimwood manufacturing operations in Cottage Grove for many years to come.”

The new company will be operating under the name Kimwood Machinery Inc. All Kimwood employees will be retained, including Woodard, who will continue to manage the new company’s operations.

Alberta association launches social media campaign

The Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA) has launched its #Foresters social media campaign. It will focus on telling the stories of the women and men who work to manage Alberta’s 38 million hectares of forested lands.

“Foresters are unique professionals,” says AFPA President and CEO Paul Whittaker. “They have a solid academic background combined with an intimate connection with the land they work to manage. Foresters also bring an incredible passion for our landbase and environment to their job. It is a real pleasure to tell their stories.”

Six video profiles of Alberta forestry professionals will be at the core of the campaign. A new video will be released at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays for the campaign's duration. Videos and other content can be found on the AFPA’s Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as the association's website.

Alberta has more than 1,500 forestry professionals, including Registered Professional Foresters and Registered Professional Forest Technologists

New rep for Peerless Saw

Peerless Saw Co. of Groveport, Ohio is now being represented by longtime head saw filer, Jimbo Davis of Longview, Washington.

Following the untimely death of Paul Duclos, the company says it believes Davis will fit perfectly with their strategy to aggressively grow their share in sawmills throughout the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada.

Davis is well known and respected throughout the territory from his previous 36 years as a saw filer and his record as a former president and officer of the Western Sawfilers Educational Association, says the company. Davis prides himself as a third generation sawfiler, who will offer his problem solving skills to filing rooms throughout the territory.

Recent consolidation in the cutting tool industry has increased the demand for alternative, independent suppliers like Peerless Saw. Mill managers and saw filers throughout North America are searching for viable alternatives to supply high quality, competitively priced round saws in faster delivery times. Peerless Saw is positioned well to provide the sawmill industry with this option, says the company. And adding Davis’ expertise to the Peerless sales team makes a powerful offering to cutting tool customers.

Peerless Saw became an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) company in 2016 and has steadily been gaining market share in round saws throughout the U.S. In business for 87 years, the company has grown to 60 employees, encouraged by the opportunities offered with employee ownership.

Peerless Saw is one of the few round saw manufacturers that employs its own in-house heat treatment of American-made Nickel Alloy saw steel. The hardening furnace uses an exclusive quench press technology employing hydraulic pressure and water cooled platens to simultaneously flatten and harden the steel. Add a robotic, Gerling auto-tensioning system plus a hydraulic leveling process and customers can understand why the Peerless Saw factory produces among the flattest round saws available.

First Nations and Canadian Kraft Paper Industries form forestry management company

A historic partnership has been forged between Nekoté, a corporation representing seven First Nations, and Canadian Kraft Paper Industries (CKPI) in Manitoba.

Under this 50-50 partnership, Nekoté and CKPI will form a new company called Nisokapawino Forestry Management Corporation (NFMC) to co-manage 8.7 million hectares of boreal forest.

Nisokapawino will operate within a tenure designated as Forest Management Licence 2 (FML-2). It is the largest forest tenure in North America, which overlaps with the traditional territories of nine First Nations.

Since November 2016, CKPI and Nekoté have been working diligently to create partnership agreements that improve communication with rightsholders and stakeholders on the FML, enhance understanding and opportunities around forest management decision making, and create better access to employment and business development opportunities.

CKPI will transition the work associated with the FMLA responsibilities to Nisokapawino.

Canadian Kraft Paper Industries Limited is located in The Pas, Manitoba, and focuses solely on the production of unbleached extensible kraft papers. These high performance extensible papers are sold to converters throughout the world for various demanding applications.

ponssePonsse's new solutions for harvesting, factory expansion

Ponsse’s products and services that improve productivity and profitability had a strong presence at the recent FinnMETKO trade fair in Jämsä, Finland.

The Ponsse Bison forwarder and Ponsse Cobra and Fox harvesters were launched at the fair. These products will complement Ponsse´s already extensive machine range.

The new products are part of Ponsse’s Boost/Save philosophy enabling customers to improve the productivity and cost efficiency of harvesting through the right products, information systems, training and service.

Apart from forest machines, Ponsse presented new features, products and solutions for environmentally friendly and responsible harvesting.

The Ponsse Bison Active Frame is said to be a ground-breaking innovative forwarder. The company says it is a next-generation forwarder that performs at its best over long transport distances. Featuring a modern Mercedes-Benz/MTU engine, powerful loader and robust CVT gearbox, the Bison Active Frame is an unbeatable powerhouse for timber transport, says the company.

The Ponsse Bison Active Frame is equipped with Active Frame cabin suspension system. The structurally simple, yet effective system ensures that lateral swings affecting the driver are eliminated in an efficient and unnoticeable fashion.

The Ponsse Cobra is an eight-wheel all-round harvester with an extensive range of options. The Cobra’s strengths include a powerful six-cylinder engine, a high-performance hydraulics system powered by a large 210 cm3 working pump, and a robust and thoroughly tested structure.

Thanks to the high quality of its basic solutions, the Cobra is a reliable and fuel-economical package, says the company. The accurate and easy-to-use crane, great balance and powerful six-cylinder engine make it an excellent solution for varying conditions, says Ponsse.

Thanks to the latest technology and reliable basic solutions, the Ponsse Fox is an economical and efficient harvester. Suitable for demanding conditions and soft terrain, the Fox can easily tackle harvesting challenges thanks to its accurate and powerful crane, good visibility, great stability and low surface pressure. The eight-wheel Ponsse Fox is right at home at thinning sites and on soft terrain. The crane is powerful, easy-to-use and located near the cabin, with excellent visibility to the work area.

The Ponsse Active Crane offers a new way of controlling the loader and boosting work performance. Active Crane is a new method the driver uses to control the grapple movement, instead of individual functions. This allows the driver to concentrate on loading.

The Active Crane is said to be easy to control using two control levers, one of which controls the grapple height from the ground and the other the direction. What is essential is that the driver does not need to control all the functions simultaneously. When the desired grapple location is specified for the machine, the system performs the lifting, folding and extending operations automatically.

All of this forestry equipment is being produced at Ponsse’s newly opened factory in Vieremä, Finland.

Ponsse has made the largest factory investment in its history, expanding its production facilities from 2,700 square metres to 4,000 square metres.

The investment means a leap forward in production technology.

“The new factory facilitates the strong development of quality, flexibility, occupational safety and productivity,” says Juho Nummela, President and CEO of Ponsse Plc. “We are able to react with more flexibility to changes in the market situation and ensure effective customer variation of Ponsse forest machines in serial production conditions.”

The new factory uses new smart storage technology that enables a smooth flow of components to production lines. This has significantly increased productivity of storage logistics and reduced manual handling of components. Storage automation includes 15,500 storage places for small goods and 3,900 pallet places.

The construction of the new factory started in early 2016. All Ponsse forest machines are manufactured in Vieremä.

Logging and Sawmilling Journal
September 2018

On the Cover:
A new Sennebogen 830 M-T at the Cameron River Logistics operation in northern B.C. moves 16-foot CTL logs from truck to rail for the Dunkley sawmill. Watch for the next issue of Logging and Sawmilling Journal, and a feature story on how a Sennebogen 830 M-T log handler’s stacking ability has boosted yard capacity for Saskatchewan’s Edgewood Forest Products (Photo courtesy of Sennebogen).

Securing safer sawmills
Forest industry veteran—and safety advocate—Kerry Douglas has seen safety become a higher priority over the course of his 48-year career, with more focus on mill safety, especially in areas like dust containment.

B.C.’s Conifex Timber goes south…
B.C.-based Conifex Timber is doubling its production capacity with major sawmill investments in the U.S. South—including a significant upgrade to its El Dorado mill.

Capital investment delivers production boost
Ontario sawmiller Lavern Heideman & Sons has invested $17 million in its operations, and it has paid off big time, with an expected production boost of 60 per cent.

Idaho mill gets high tech makeover
The Idaho sawmill of Woodgrain Millwork is definitely on the upswing, thanks to a high tech makeover with equipment from suppliers, including HewSaw and Bosch Rexroth.

Going full tilt…
Tilt Contracting’s Russ Parsons has grown his operation, thanks to a strong focus on having logging equipment that delivers on B.C.’s steep slopes—and counts himself fortunate for having a solid crew, both at work and on the home front.

Upping veneer volume
Family-owned ATCO Wood Products has been able to double its production of veneer products over the last five years, with a series of smaller equipment upgrades and changes—and a team approach at the company.

Sawmilling is sometimes like a box of chocolates…
Operating a small sawmill for Saskatchewan’s Vernon Heatwole can be like Forest Gump’s box of chocolates, in that he never knows what kind of unusual lumber order the next phone call will bring.

Keeping their options open—even with logging equipment
Maintaining their independence and keeping their options open—including being open to buying and selling equipment at any time—has paid off for veteran logging operation D & L Rehn Contracting.

Mountains of wood residue
A hog fuel working group that had sought workable solutions to the problems presented by the growing volumes of wood residues on the B.C. Coast has found there are no easy solutions to dealing with these mini-mountains of residual wood.

Saskatchewan sawmiller Dean Christiansen has taken a leap forward in equipment with an upgrade to a Wood-Mizer LT70 electric band sawmill, which has allowed him to double his production potential.

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


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