This year continues to challenge the forest industry in many ways.
While normal operations have been disrupted across the industry due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the sawmill sector is currently taking advantage of record high softwood lumber prices, with operations running full tilt, supplying lumber to North American home builders and renovators. U.S. home sales in July spiked by an amazing 24 per cent. Single-family construction rose by more than eight per cent and single-family permits increased 17 per cent.
Now, perhaps more than ever, sawmills are relying on mill equipment suppliers to keep them supplied with the latest equipment and parts—and to help keep their mills running. Many mills are looking at making improvements to increase their production—and they need equipment to do that.
To help readers keep on top of new equipment in these uncertain times, and help mill equipment suppliers share information with their customers, we’ve included a special feature in this issue of Logging and Sawmilling Journal— “The Sawmill Supplier Forum”.
We know it’s important to continue to get information out to the industry.
We certainly know that mill equipment manufacturers have not stopped developing new products and we hope we can help bring those to light with this feature—and through quality marketing platforms including our print and online magazine, bi-weekly E-newsletters, industry-wide E-blasts and of course our diverse social media platforms of Logging and Sawmilling Journal.
With over 30 years of experience in the wood transformation industry, Autolog has proven itself to be an instrumental player in creating easy to use solutions from the front end to the back end of the mill, says the company.
As a leader in automation, optimization and vision for the lumber industry, Autolog continues to invest heavily in R&D to ensure the company is at the cutting edge of today’s technology to meet the growing needs of their clients.
A great example of how Autolog partners with their clients to improve mill performance is their ability to work with any original equipment manufacturer, as well as a variety of suppliers and layouts, says the company. This offers the customer an automation and optimization alternative to their existing mechanical manufacturer. From primary and secondary breakdown, to planers, stackers, robotic equipment and Industry 4.0 (just to name a few), Autolog is ready to adapt their solution to cater to their customers’ needs—and this is just one key element to Autolog’s business model, it says.
FinScan’s BoardMasterNOVA is a non-turning auto-grading scanner for sawmills and planer mills. It offers complete analysis of green and dry boards, performed in 10 different directions, including accurate defect detection and reliable optimization results.
It supports WWPA, NLGA and ALS grading rules for dimensional lumber, common grades, clear cut components and shop grade.
BoardMasterNOVA has comprehensive graphical reporting tools for operators, production planners and top management.
FinScan’s auto-grading systems can be easily installed in existing or new grading lines, says the company.
The Microtec Goldeneye 600/900 scanner family now delivers full biological defect scanning and optimization for high speed board edgers, in both lineal and transverse infeeds.
Upgrading to biological defect-based edger optimization provides both increased value and reduced trim loss, resulting in an extremely fast return on investment, says the company.
Goldeneye 600 Lineal and 900 Transverse series edger scanners feature:
LINCK’s Small-Log-Profiling-Line has been developed by the company for swiftly and efficiently processing small diameter logs (in principle from 7.5 cm to 36 cm (3’’ to 14’’).
The line can operate in Scan & Set or Batch mode. With its narrow and short footprint (down to 50 m (170’) or less), the line can possibly be installed within existing equipment.
No log turning devices are needed, reducing the amount of initial investment and subsequent maintenance costs, says the company.
It features modular and enclosed design to provide noise reduction and better dust collection. All traditional LINCK features are available: only one operator for the line, straight sawing, curve sawing, spline sawing, durability, reliability, and flexibility.
The line is said to be particularly suitable for thinning timber and northern fibre, and the line has gained a remarkable momentum in Nordic countries, says LINCK.
The Sawquip Multi-Axes Profiler eliminates edging of boards by profiling logs and cants sideboards. Six axes are required as two profiler heads are each positioned vertically and together are positioned laterally (by the carriage).
The Profiler is used both in primary log breakdown and in cants being processed into lumber. It can be installed after a canter producing vertical two-sided cants or before a cant chipping canter or multi-saw edger. The profiler heads are positioned vertically and horizontally by servo-cylinders.
The Sawquip Multi-Axes Profiler is the perfect solution if mills need to increase their production while having space constraints, says the company.
The Rawlings wood hog is recognized in the industry as the “Green monster hog”, says the company. This monster hog provides the crushing and shearing power needed to handle really tough jobs like green waste, cypress, redwood, cedar, black spruce, poplar and a wide range of other stringy and fibrous material.
Each machine is equipped with the Rawlings Super Hi-Inertia Solid Steel Rotor. With the increased inertia of the solid steel rotor, the machine runs at lower RPM’s than competing equipment, resulting in overall savings of electricity and maintenance costs. The machines are tolerant of contaminants, rocks and metal, without catastrophic maintenance costs if metal enters the grinding chamber.
Eberl Vacuum Kilns takes pride in having manufactured vacuum kilns since 1999, and is a pioneer and leader in high-efficiency vacuum wood drying technology.
These drying technologies require a high degree of engineering and wood science knowledge, and precision manufacturing capability.
Innovations like Eberl’s heat pump vacuum kiln are of special interest for clients with limited or no available steam or hot water supply. Using a heat pump system would eliminate the need to purchase a new boiler system and can be beneficial for those who can use low cost “green” electricity. If a thermal source is available on site, this can be used without the heat pump system or can be combined with the heat pump where the kiln pre-heating would be hot water or steam and the drying conducted by the heat pump.
All Eberl vacuum kilns accept standard lumber packs stickered with conventional stickers. Kiln gross capacities can range from 5,000 BF to 45,000 BF. Vacuum kilns can be strategically configured side-by-side using lateral transfer carts and loaded/unloaded automatically. They can also be configured so that two vacuum kilns face each other, sharing a common track system. Various options are available.
In recent years, Eberl has also expanded their product line to include specialty container kilns called Air Classic Kilns that can be used to dry specialty wood products like firewood, small loads of thinner stock material and for heat treating.
The container kiln can also be used as a pre-dryer for thick stock oak species and configured in-line with a vacuum kiln, for efficient high-grade oak drying.
Samuel Coding and Labeling Div. is an industry leader in custom and off the shelf solutions for the wood products industry. With years of experience in the wood products industry, the company says it is uniquely suited to provide customers with solutions that are tailor made to suit their facilities. Samuel Coding and Labeling provide a full system solution with design, fabrication, installation and ongoing support. With hundreds of installations across North America, it offers unparalleled industry experience.
Samuel Coding and Labeling systems for wood products include ink jet grade mark systems, ink jet printers for marketing information, ink jet stencil machines for sawmills and planer mills, automatic board bar coding for retail sales, automatic package tag systems to print labels and staple them to finished packages, product tracking integrating printers and scanners for 2D bar codes.
Carbotech specializes in maximizing production efficiency and high-speed board handling in sawmills and planer mills. Always working on new ideas and patents, Carbotech is a highly valued partner in the industry, relying on a skilled 100-person workforce. Its mission over the past 30 years has focused on these four principles: speed, precision, know-how and durability. Carbotech relies on several business partners, parts and service distribution centres and mechanical intervention centres to serve its markets around the world.
Flexpak has been creating new innovative packaging for lumber and engineered wood products since its founding.
It’s woven lumber bags and covers ask customers to think recyclable. Flexpak believes recyclability is the future. Its new patent-pending woven bag is more recyclable than any other woven lumber bag on the market, it says, and it can be used on dimensional and engineered wood products.
Flexpak describes its railcar covers as moving billboards. It has designed the largest printed full railcar cover in the industry. Mills looking to advertising can reach more market segments with the largest logo possible on the side of the railcar.
Flexpak produces a variety of both woven and lighter poly covers that are breathable, greatly reducing the chance of mold and mildew.
And Flexpak has developed the highest graphic print in the industry on woven wrap and covers, the company says. This is a great option for retail display packaging for advertising impact.
Specializing in wood processing and material handling systems for over 75 years, Brunette Machinery Co. provides custom engineered solutions designed to customer specifications. The company manufactures heavy duty drum chippers, whole log chippers, and horizontal chippers, available in various size models. It supplies the rugged CBI Grizzly Mill Hog and CBI Magnum Force Stationary Horizontal Grinder across North America.
The company’s Brunette BioSizer is a high-speed waste-wood grinder designed to produce a uniform-sized output ideal for the biomass industry. The Brunette BioSizer is built to be low maintenance, with a high inertia rotor and fixed hammers. With four rows of staggered hammers, this grinder efficiently processes oversized “bush-grind”, hog fuel, trim blocks, wood chips, and typical urban wood-waste, converting it all to fine consistent fibre.
Brunette also manufactures and supplies other complementary equipment such as vibrating conveyors, disc scalping screens, E-Sweeps, and log singulators to ensure customers get the most from their mills.
At Gilbert, understanding the needs of customers, and adapting the company’s planers accordingly, has always been a priority. From a smaller operation to a high speed planer mill, Gilbert presents five different models of planers: Gilbert S Series up to 1800 FPM; Gilbert 6 Roll up to 2800 FPM; Gilbert High Speed up to 4000 FPM; and Gilbert Moulder and Gilbert Mass Timber Planer.
Gilbert is comprised of a team of 130 workers, all devoted to making the best planers, and a solid team of after-sale technicians, available 24/7 to support customers, says the company.
There are already more than 30 DO2 Rapid Wrapper systems operating on three continents.
According to DO2, it is the only proven, automatic wrapping solution that can run woven wrap, with no operator required, and offers a fast return on investment. With the capacity to print product labels directly on the wrap and to integrate the equipment, DO2 offers an automated outfeed solution that can fit all production systems, including turnkey projects. The company says that it has many wrapper models to align with all types of production, even fitting in well with mills with high speed production.
Started as a specialized machine for lumber about 10 years ago, DO2’s wrappers are now adapted to wrap panels and engineered wood products. So all wood product types can be automatically wrapped, including finished products, by using a specialized solution. With a new design in 2018, the Rapid Wrapper is more flexible in terms of package sizes, capacity and speed, but with a smaller design.
Prodesa designs and provides turnkey solutions for pellet production, being a technological and innovative leader in the market. The company covers all technological stages such as design, manufacturing and supply in the development of wood pellet plants and pellet production process lines.
The corporation’s headquarters are in Spain while its delegations are located in Vietnam, France, Latvia and the U.S. Prodesa owns and operates an extensive network of workshops to guarantee a reliable supply of spare and wear parts.
With projects in more than 15 countries and four continents, Prodesa is the benchmark for turnkey projects, supplying the main players in the biomass industry.
Signode describes itself as a leader in forest industry innovation and says that its equipment and strapping solutions have a history of proven performance.
Its BPX lumber and panel strapping machine is an innovative design for seamless operation. It has a modular design for ease of care and maintenance. There are a number of intuitive features for improved production. Its large capacity for consumables means that there is less operator intervention, with multiple operator safety features.
Signode’s Z20-SSR strapping machine has the ability to unitize green lumber resulting in increased kiln grade. Its Grade Marking Digital Ink Jet can be used for species identification, indicating dimensions and for installing barcodes.
As a world leader in continuous kilns, Valutec has delivered more than 1,500 facilities to sawmills around the world. Last year, the company commissioned North America’s first TC continuous kiln at Pleasant River Lumber’s Moose River site in Jackman, Maine, and since then another three TC kilns have been sold in North America.
A TC-kiln comes with distinguishing features such as high flexibility and superior capacity, says the company. It gives the operator the possibility to create the ultimate drying process with unlimited freedom to mix dimensions, minimal moisture content variation and reduced risk of checking. Annual capacity can reach 125 mmbf with target moisture contents down to around 12 to 18 per cent.
LumberShield’s protective wrap is designed for the highest level of protection against extreme weather, as well as damage caused by transportation and excessive handling. The company says that its product is a proven choice to protect lumber, plywood, treated wood, remanufactured wood, I-joists and beams, structural panels, all types of sidings and other building materials.
Lumber wrap is LumberShield’s major product line. It has five products in this line. With the highest strength-to-weight ratios, these products deliver excellent durability and flexibility, says the company.
With the ability for quick turnaround and custom sewn sizing options as well as custom print, LumberShield can provide high quality poly woven lumber covers.
Their Lumber Wrap Repair Tape is the same poly woven type material, but with an adhesive applied to the underside and produced on a 3” wide roll. It is a cost effective and efficient way to quickly repair small tears and punctures that occasionally occur during on site handling. It can also be used to help secure the wrap to the load.
Slow response from air cylinders and valves can be a source of frustration on some sawmill equipment. Supersaul Chemmex’s CVS Air System Lubricant is said to eliminate those kinds of frustrations in mill air systems. It is not affected by temperature fluctuations, and is not affected by and prevents corrosion from moisture. As well, it has low personal and environmental safety concerns when it’s exhausted into the atmosphere.
Since 1972, Linden has been delivering quality metal fabrication to the forest resource industries in North America. The company’s decades of experience are assurance that every project will be undertaken by a team of highly skilled steel detailers, fabricators, and machinists who take pride in the quality of their work, says the company. Linden’s history of manufacturing sawmill equipment has made the company a recognized brand name for North American sawmill and related industries. Its manufacturing facility is located in Prince George, B.C., the transportation hub of Northern B.C., with easy access to all major truck routes for conventional and oversize transportation.
Fromm Packaging Systems offers end-of-line packaging solutions for forest products include hand strapping tools, strapping machines, wrapping machines, and inline automatic systems. The equipment has been specifically designed to unitize and palletize a wide variety of forest products, including frames, trusses, firewood bundles, timber packs, panels and MDF, softwood, and hardwood.
The heavy duty applications in this industry require the best quality products, tools, and packaging machines. Fromm Packaging Systems custom designs its packaging solutions in partnership with its forest clients to withstand harsh transport conditions and environments and protect valuable products.
Its products keep loads secure during transit with the company’s high performance polyester (PET) strap or high tensile zinc-coated steel strap.
Larger machines can include top and size compression for load stabilization, and applicators such as corner protection, robot devices, and labels can be used to enhance the strapping machines.
The company’s wide range of spiral wrappers for lengths and timber products will provide a four- or six-sided protective skin. These high speed machines can process even the largest forest products, including 1800 mm board.
Technological advancements in today’s mills are causing increasing environmental interference due to electrical noise such as radios, CB’s, VFD’s, and EMF’s, which is why Metal Detectors, Inc. (MDI) continuously strives to develop metal detector systems that can operate at maximum sensitivity in even the harshest of environments.
MDI’s newest innovation is the View-Link Remote Diagnostic Module, a network interface that provides “live” real-time information from the MDI Metal Detectors at mills directly to MDI’s facility in Eugene, Oregon. This enables MDI technicians to monitor the metal detector and its environment to make custom adjustments and tweaks to the system’s software remotely. Combined with the significant advancements the company has made to its premier TWA-2000-HD Metal Detector Search Coil (its most advanced Metal Detector Search Coil to date) the MDI View-Link will further slash downtime and increase profitability. Leading North American mills call the View-Link a “game changer”, says the company.
Examples of problems that MDI View-Link has been able to solve for customers include unknown false tripping caused by a broken weld in a nearby catwalk and detecting and then ignoring minerals and saps found in specific wood species.
The View-Link will give MDI the ability to make on demand software upgrades, customizing the system’s programming to the specific needs of a mill’s application, in order to more fully optimize the performance and capability of its Metal Detector System.
With its own in-house team of engineers and product designers, HewSaw is currently developing industry leading technology in various areas of the primary breakdown process.
Some of the latest updates from HewSaw include a new 3R log positioner, which will allow for faster feed speeds of over 700 fpm and additional accuracy in log positioning, and a predictive maintenance program, which will result in increased uptime; and DX sawing, which is available on all new sawlines. The DX sawing option offers sawmills faster speeds and a thinner saw kerf by reducing the depth of cut with two sawing phases instead of one.
Mill operations can now experience all the benefits from the artificial intelligence (deep learning) revolution. BID’s concentrated investments in R&D have enabled the company’s team to combine its industry-leading optimization software with artificial intelligence (AI) to create the next proven, powerful innovations in optimization performance.
The company says that customer results have been remarkable, with unsurpassed accuracy of defect and species identification, up to 100 times faster than generic algorithms, improved grading, and much more. The Comact GradExpert with AI offers the fastest return on investment in the industry, says the company.
The company partners together with mill operations, and improves their competitive advantage through leading technologies.
Wellons Canada is a premier manufacturer and turnkey provider of energy systems and lumber drying equipment in the forest products industry.
Biomass and Gas Fired Energy Systems
Lumber Dry Kilns
Wellons Canada is a leading CDK supplier, with 15 installations in Canada. It provides both greenfield and batch kiln conversion options with a production guarantee that the company says it meets or exceeds every time.
Titan Chain’s construction incorporates the latest result of Tsubaki’s R&D to improve roller chain’s wear life for harsh and high speed environments. Tsubaki’s Titan Series Chain embodies all the best features of the company’s standard ANSI chain paired with the latest and exclusive features.
Tsubaki Titan Chain offers distinct advantages that the company says deliver the ultimate in strength and extended wear life:
• Special coated pins that provide an extra hard, low friction surface that limits the wear between the pin/bushing area, significantly increasing wear life, and providing robust performance even in high debris environments.
• Zinc coated pin link plates and black oxide roller link plates provide an extra layer of protection for corrosion.
• Solid Lube Groove Bushing - Tsubaki’s PERFORMAX bushings are cold formed from a solid piece of steel, providing seamless construction and providing better surface between the pin and bushing, while the lube grooves on the inner surface of the bushing retain oil at the point of contact further increasing wear life. Offered in sizes 80-140.
• Tsubaki’s patented ring-coining connecting link increases fatigue strength and durability of the chain. The unique process causes positive compressive stress around the pitch holes to counteract shock loads.
Titan Series Chains are available in a variety of options for your chain applications including single and multi-strand, attachment chain, made-to-order and available in sizes 35-240.
USNR is continuing to make advances in its Deep Learning technology, and applying it to the complete portfolio of products available under the USNR vision scanning umbrella. The Transverse High Grader (THG) shares the same Deep Learning optimization platform with all other USNR vision grade scanning products: Lineal High Grader (LHG), BioVision for green mill grade scanning, and AddVantage chop and rip scan products for the secondary manufacturing sector. Recent additions to this platform are the NV4g and GSc2000 for green and dry veneer grade scanning. This technology is proven on a wide variety of species and wood processing sectors.
Allied Blower provides turnkey air systems. Specializing in resource-based industries, Allied has been a leading supplier of design, supply, install and maintenance for industrial air systems since 1974. Allied has experience with the following industries: agri-bulk, mining, manufacturing, sawmill, planer mill, board plant, pellet mill and power generation.
Allied has several proprietary products and has significant experience with combustible dust. Allied is service oriented with locations in Surrey, B.C., Williams Lake, B.C., Vernon, B.C., Edmonton, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and most recently, Mobile, Alabama.
Optimil Machinery Inc. is a high quality designer and manufacturer of state-of-the-art sawmill machinery.
In business since 1983, Optimil currently employs 150 people in management, design, fabrication, machining, assembly, painting and testing at its modern plant in Delta, B.C.
The company’s capabilities include strong control systems, design, manufacture, commissioning and service including robotics, computer and PLC support. Optimil’s main business is building new sawmill machinery and equipment.
It has also developed a specialized expertise in refitting older, less efficient sawmills with up-to-date high speed, high recovery upgrades. It also provides a parts service for its clients.
The objective of Optimil has been to establish a design, marketing and manufacturing capability, with strong emphasis on state-of-the-art and innovative machinery to fulfill sawmill industry needs.
On the Cover:
Freya Logging has proven to be a versatile and diversified logging contractor in the B.C. Interior, taking on a range of logging jobs, including commercial thinning, with a variety of harvesting equipment, such as a Ponsse Buffalo King forwarder. Watch for the story on Freya Logging in the next issue of Logging and Sawmilling Journal (Cover photo courtesy of Freya Logging).
Keeping the pedal to the metal in beetle battle …
Alberta is working hard to keep its foot on the gas in battling the mountain pine beetle, but the beetle keeps knocking on Saskatchewan’s western door.
LSJ Exclusive—Sawmill Supplier Forum
To help readers keep on top of new equipment in these uncertain times, and help mill equipment suppliers share information with their customers, we’ve included a special feature in this issue of Logging and Sawmilling Journal— “The Sawmill Supplier Forum”.
Maxing out on communications tools—in logging
Alberta logger Seth Dickinson is gaining benefits on a number of fronts using communications tools now available on John Deere logging equipment.
B.C. firm key to building new Alabama sawmill
A new sawmill to make use of under-utilized small logs is now turning out upwards of 200 million board feet of lumber a year at the relatively new $65 million (U.S.) Two Rivers Lumber sawmill in southwestern Alabama—and B.C.’s BID Group was instrumental in building the state-of-the-art mill.
Tolko’s new pellet, energy plant in Alberta
Despite the COVID-19 situation, Tolko Industries has been busy of late, completing work on a new state-of-the-art $60 million pellet plant, and $33 million energy facility, in Alberta.
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 (CWFC), and the Faculty of Forestry at the University of B.C.
The Last Word
B.C.’s forestry communities are fed up and frustrated with the industry’s ups and downs—and loss of jobs, says Jim Stirling.