USNR’s new UniFlow kiln is a continuous kiln advancement that achieves further increases in throughput. The system uses the same automated approach to lumber drying as the Counter-Flow kiln but lumber tracks move in the same direction instead of opposite directions.
“The two systems are similar,” says Lee Smith, Engineering Manager at USNR. “But the main heating chamber in the UniFlow was moved from the middle to the ends. It’s a reconfiguration of components to achieve higher throughput using an existing heat source.”
In the Counter-Flow kiln, lumber is loaded at opposite ends onto a cart with a hydraulic pusher system that indexes through the kiln at specified rates based on ambient temperature, moisture content, and desired throughput.
The UniFlow kiln uses the same pusher system, except both tracks are loaded at the same end. Instead of having the hydraulics on either side of the kiln running opposite each other, both pushers are on the same side of the kiln, indexed together moving in the same direction.
“We are seeing impressive push rates, gaining two more feet per hour with 20 degrees less heat,” says Chad Smith, Senior Account Manager, USNR. The first two installations have exceeded customer expectations, beating the extrapolated target production rate by five mmbf per year.
There is no loss of lumber quality with the UniFlow kiln. The continuous process produces lumber with less stress and the kiln’s equalizing chamber allows the moisture content of the wood to equalize, achieving a low standard deviation comparable to the Counter-Flow kiln.
As a leading supplier of lumber drying technology for over 40 years, Wellons Canada says that it continues to provide the most effective lumber drying technology available. The company describes itself as the leading supplier of continuous dry kilns (CDK) in Canada and can provide full, turnkey CDK installation.
With its expertise, Wellons Canada guarantees it will meet or exceed its customers’ expectations.
Offering both greenfield and batch kiln conversion options, Wellons says its CDK drying technology provides significant advantages over traditional batch kilns including: providing production guarantees that are always met or exceeded; increased annual drying production; up to 30 per cent thermal energy recovery; improved grade recovery; lower standard deviation on target moisture content; optimal utilization with the kiln always 100 per cent full of lumber; and, more consistent lumber feed through the planer.
In business since 1992, KDS Windsor specializes in the design, manufacturing and installation of batch and continuous lumber drying kilns, wood waste heat plants and material handling systems.
Offering equipment for both hardwood and softwood markets, the company’s product lines use quality materials and innovative designs providing the ultimate, ruggedly-built drying, heating and handling systems, it says. KDS Windsor says that its advanced DrySpec family of electrical controls and DryTrack in-kiln moisture measurement system give its clients the most precise, automatic and trouble-free drying systems in the lumber industry.
With over 25 years of expertise in satisfying clients’ drying needs, the company says that it is a leader in lumber drying.
DelTech is a primary manufacturer of continuous and batch kilns as well as biomass-fueled energy systems.
The company says that their innovative designs are always triggered by client requirements.
In response to safety issues concerning kiln carts, DelTech designed an innovative automatic attachment system compatible with all types of loaders. The operator no longer needs to get out of his vehicle to connect the carts together. Thanks to their pivoting hooks, the kiln carts connect and disconnect easily, and minimize the time required for bundle loading. The efficiency and reliability of this system has been proven and it ensures a high level of safety since it is easy to use, durable, and performs very well, says the company.
DelTech’s field teams offer high quality installation, commissioning, and maintenance services for the profitability of client operations. More information is available through BID Group sales representatives.
EBI says it has been producing a top quality brand of high-temperature, totally-enclosed, dry kiln duty motors of durability and long-term reliability since 1995.
From 1 to 30 hp, 900, 1200 and 1800 rpm, EBI motors are used by batch lumber dry kiln manufacturers and sawmills in North and South America, Europe and Australia. EBI dry kiln duty motors are available through a North American distributor network for quick availability. They are built in NEMA or IEC frames for North American or European batch dry kiln users and they are covered by a warranty of up to three years.
EBI kiln motors are rated at 120 degrees C. (248 degrees F.) ambient temperature. They come with regreasable or sealed bearings, and with custom-length connection wires depending on each customer preference. EBI says it builds a sturdy high temperature kiln motor made in Canada and they are built to save maintenance time.
American Wood Dryers has been producing quality, efficient dry kilns for the lumber industry for over 30 years with installations throughout the world.
They supply 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, says the company. 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 external 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 based on customer preference.
Eberl is a German-based kiln manufacturer that has been manufacturing high efficiency vacuum kilns and specialty container-type kilns since 1999. The company now has over 550 installations worldwide, drying a variety of high value wood products including dimension stock, live edge slabs and large dimension timbers. This technology is now available in Canada.
Steaming certain hardwoods for color control can also be conducted with the vacuum kilns. The container kilns are primarily designed for drying thinner stock material, heat treating pallets and lumber, and drying firewood.
One innovation that has developed strong interest is the Eberl V-Premium, high efficiency, heat pump vacuum kiln. The energy saving heat pump V-Premium vacuum kiln is said to be well-suited for clients with no or limited on site thermal capacity such as steam or hot water.
All Eberl vacuum kilns accept standard stickered lumber packs. Kiln capacities can range from 1500 to 30,000 board feet.
The benefits of adding Finna Sensors’ KilnScout-Wired to a dry kiln are both increased throughput and improved quality, says the company.
From a throughput perspective, by optimizing kiln drying times, operators can run more charges through existing assets, thus improving productivity by an average of 10 per cent. This has been proven with many species at hundreds of installs.
The improved quality results from a lower standard deviation of moisture content because mills are able to more consistently shut down at a target point. Over the course of many kiln charges, more consistent shutdowns mean a tighter standard deviation at the planer. By increasing throughput and improving the standard deviation, a typical plant will realize a six-month payback on investment in normal economic times, according to the company. If the price of lumber is higher than normal, this will rapidly reduce the payback time frame.
PMP Solutions says that drying wood is a complex process driven by availability, the product mix in kilns, and demand. Without the appropriate measurements, planning, and recipes, the results at the planer mill may not be what lumber producers expect.
PMPWEDRY changes that, says the company.
PMPWEDRY enables tracing of wood packages back to drying operations according to what they yield at the planer mill. This empowers kiln owners to improve the quality of drying, maximize throughput, and increase the value of their product mix.
PMPWEDRY also offers an easy-to-understand view of drying distribution according to dimensions, lengths, and location in charges. This makes improving drying rules and recipes, and then scheduling, while optimizing charges, possible.
PMP Solutions describes itself as a leader in software solutions for the wood transformation industry. It develops systems that aggregate and contextualize data from multiple sources in the supply chain and then presents it in ways that users from all levels can leverage to enhance operational control and performance.
Wood-Mizer offers dehumidification and solar kiln kits with capacities ranging from 300 to 35,000 board feet for drying lumber.
Kiln drying lumber is a simple, cost-effective method recommended for anyone who wants to increase profits by selling dried lumber. Kiln-dried wood typically sells for a third more than green lumber and eliminates the need for customers to incur costs associated with drying lumber before use.
The Wood-Mizer KD series of kilns feature 100 per cent corrosion resistant aluminum cabinets and specially-coated dehumidification coils to ensure quality, controlled lumber drying performance and an extra-long life. The KS solar kiln is a simple and economical system for starting to kiln dry lumber.
Through its patented Heat Recovery and Industry 4.0-ready drying control systems, Muelhboeck says that its dryers guarantee the highest quality drying at lower thermal and electric energy usage. These systems can be implemented on a customer’s full line of products, including their Progressive Continuous kilns and sawdust/chip wood belt dryers.
One of Muelhboeck’s latest innovations is the Progressive kiln FLOW. This unidirectional continuous dry kiln ensures simple and fast loading and unloading while the automatic transport system with buffer zones can eliminate night shift forklift operation. By combining these features with the drying quality of its conventional batch kilns, the Muelhboeck Progressive FLOW fills in the logistic gap and increases productivity.
With the first-of-its-kind green energy biomass project well underway, the Meadow Lake Tribal Council in Saskatchewan has already decided on this most modern kiln drying technology. It will be installed this summer.
Valutec is the only company offering TC continuous kilns, it says This is a kiln type that comes with distinguishing features such as low energy consumption, high flexibility and superior capacity. Annual capacity can reach 125 mmbf with target moisture content down to around 12 to 18 per cent.
TC kilns are equipped with Valutec’s control system, Valmatics 4.0, which has an integrated simulator that enables simultaneous optimization of capacity, quality, and energy consumption.
Valutec says that its TC kiln has quickly become a favourite among sawmills around the world. Eighteen months ago, Valutec installed North America’s first TC kilns at Pleasant Rivers’ sawmills in Dover and Moose River, in Maine. This fall, Valutec will commission TC kilns at J. D. Irving’s Grand Lake Timber location in Canada and Hampton Lumber Company’s location in Warrenton, Oregon.
Proven for over 50 years in hundreds of mills worldwide, Wagner’s moisture measurement systems and moisture analysis software have provided solutions to minimize wet claims and maximize profits.
Providing critical moisture quality control data, mills can also rely on these valuable tools to alleviate product degrade due to over-drying. Using state of the art electromagnetic wave technology, the MC4000 includes recent innovations for in-kiln moisture measurement.
The MC4000 Advanced In-Kiln Moisture Measurement System enables the kiln operator to monitor the moisture content (MC) of each charge and develop consistent drying time schedules for improved kiln performance and reduced operating costs.
MEC Dry Kiln offers almost 30 years of wood drying expertise to its customers, consisting of companies from all areas of the wood industry. It is a Canadian field-proven leader, innovative in the design, manufacture, installation, and repair of wood drying equipment, says the company.
The MEC team is constantly improving and adjusting its solutions to best serve the lumber market as well as the environment. It now offers a 100 per cent electric dry kiln.
Electric dry kiln technology allows for a reduction in air evacuation and therefore significant heat loss through a dry calorific ratio that does not require an oxidizer. Only moisture from the wood is purged. The power can be modulated instantly and controlled precisely, while keeping the temperature evenly distributed.
Electricity is a clean resource for the environment that allows 100 per cent of the energy produced by the heat element to be applied to the drying process.
Value, support, quality and connection are said to be the building blocks of Lignomat’s over 40 years of success. The connection-through-technology aspect is prominent with Lignomat’s MP32 control platform.
Lignomat believes improvement and potential savings starts with data. One or more MP32’s interface with customers’ data collection and analysis infrastructure using a built-in API. Single and multi-facility drying operations using, or in the hunt, to integrate data analysis tools stand to benefit from Lignomat’s MP32 Kiln Control System platform.
Kiln control systems will text and email individuals with kiln specific and condition-specific updates. Whether a kiln charge is complete or there is another event during the charge cycle, the MP32 reaches out immediately so that the correct person knows as soon as it does.
On the Cover:
New Brunswick logger Marco Caron knows that business success in harvest contracting depends on basics: a well-motivated team, keen business skills and good equipment. In that last area, Caron’s harvesting equipment includes two Ponsse Scorpions. In fact, Caron was so impressed with his 2017 Scorpion harvester that he added a second 2018 Scorpion model to his operation. (Cover photo by George Fullerton).
Big things are happening at GreenFirst Forest Products—the company has bought six sawmills in Ontario and Quebec from Rayonier. We get the scoop on what’s going on at the company, with an interview with its new CEO—and lumber industry veteran—Rick Doman.
New sawmill investments by Resolute Forest Products
A look at recent sawmill investments by Resolute Forest Products, as it works hard to generate more production in super-hot lumber markets.
Innovative logger meets innovative iron
VanNatta Brothers Logging is seeing solid success with the first Quadco 4400 (QB4400) feller head in North America, which is now manufactured in B.C.
New Hampshire mill gets new Canadian technology
The upgrade of the Milan Lumber sawmill involved a fair bit of Canadian mill equipment, including i-DNA species identification technology from Autolog.
Delivering gains at Downie Timber
Downie Timber of Revelstoke, B.C., is investing to upgrade its edger line with USNR’s BioVision technology, to deliver the utmost in recovery, with New West Mill Installations as the contractor assigned to deliver the finished product during challenging COVID times.
Successful logging formula
New Brunswick logger Marco Caron’s formula for business success includes family involvement, solid equipment operators, and logging iron that delivers day-in, day-out in the bush.
Tech Update: Dry Kiln Suppliers
We take a look at the new features and technology among Dry Kiln Suppliers in this issue.
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 FPInnovations.
The Last Word
In spite of the COVID-19 virus, the forest industry is buckling down and—as it always has—is getting the job done, says Jim Stirling.