BC Saw Filer’s

BC Saw Filer’sAnother Successful COnvention Expected For BC Saw Filer’s

The B.C. forest industry is facing challenges, but this year’s BC Saw Filer’s Convention & AGM—being held May 27 to 28 in Kamloops, B.C.—is expected to be just as big and successful as it was pre-COVID.

The current state of the B.C. forest industry may be one of challenges with duties on lumber exported to the U.S., a depleted timber supply and supply chain issues due to flooding and the lingering effects of COVID, but the saw filing industry does not seem to be feeling the effects, or at least not for the time being.

In fact, says BC Saw Filer’s Association (BCSFA) secretary and Tolko Industries Lavington Division 16-year saw filer Matt Graves, he is expecting just as many attendees at the 2022 BC Saw Filer’s Convention & AGM as they have seen at the last show, pre-COVID.

“We had approximately 150 attendees a few years ago, and we certainly hope, and even expect to see, just as many this time around,” says Graves.

The BCSFA is an independent, grassroots organization, which aims to encourage the wide-ranging dissemination of knowledge and resources for the benefit of all those involved in the saw filing trade. The association has been holding the convention for many years and during that time, Graves says he has seen how important the event has become to the industry.

“One of the great things about the convention is the comradery between the filers; it opens up a communication hub between filers—they get to know each other in person. The feedback we get each year is positive and the general sentiment is members want to know it’s going to continue for many years to come,” says Graves.

To be held a little later than normal this year with the dates being May 27 to 28, the convention location itself has not changed and neither has its reputation as being the place to go for the “latest in technology, products and services” not to mention, that it’s one of the largest events of its kind in North America, says Graves.

BC Saw Filer’s“We will be hosting it again at the Coast Hotel & Convention Centre in Kamloops as it is very central for those who attend and it is spacious enough to accommodate us.”

Graves and his team already had a robust list of convention exhibitors started that includes a variety of state-of-the-art saw-tech companies.

Well-known names in the industry, ones that conference attendees would expect to see at the show, will be part of this year’s event as well. These include Thode Knife & Saw Ltd., Andritz, D.K. Spec, Williams and WhiteUSNROptimilPromac, Hodgson Saw, Supersaul Chemmex and Precision Machinery, just to name a few.

One growing trend in the industry is the use of robotic technology, which is something Graves expects to see or hear about at the show once the vendor list is complete. He says with the industry still struggling to fill the jobs vacated by an aging workforce—a challenging issue that has been apparent for a while—robotic technology helps to fill the gap.

“It’s definitely the path we’re going down,” says Graves. “Robotics seem to be the trend for the bigger modern filing rooms.”

Robotic technology in a saw room can address everything from better overall recovery results to optimizing production techniques. The technology is slowly expanding to all parts of the saw filing room, but is seen most frequently in the form of automated benching systems for band saws, robotic grinding systems for round saws and automated tipping systems.

“As the industry’s aging workforce continues to grow and businesses are faced with a looming labour shortage, for the companies who can upgrade to robotic equipment, it is a viable option.”

On the presentation side, Graves says attendees can expect to hear from, once again, Thompson Rivers University’s (TRU) Williams Lake campus certified staff. It continues to be the only campus in Canada and the Western United States that offers technical training for the trade. At their campus, students can get hands-on training and as a result become certified in saw filing, which is broken down into two industry trades: saw filer, and bench person. 

The saw filer apprenticeship program at TRU requires students to complete 840 hours of work-based training, working in a saw filing room and assisting saw filers in their work before attending level 1 of the program. Apprentices also need to secure employers who are approved to provide on-the-job training in saw filing as well as be willing to register the apprentice and keep a record of their performance.

New this year at the convention, the association is bringing in speakers who will hold talks on fire suppression systems for grinding equipment.

“That is something we all have to think about—any risks we face when working,” says Graves.

Saw filing rooms no longer have to depend on just fire extinguishers in the event of a blaze. Graves explains equipment manufacturers have higher-end equipment to offer that includes self-contained sprinkler systems for the machines that run with high flash point oil instead of traditional grinding fluid.

“You have to have suppression systems front and centre. If there is a fire, you need to get out quick.”

Attendee and exhibitor registration are both now open. Anyone interested in registering early can just email Graves at [email protected] and he will confirm their spot. Those interested in attending will also have the option to register at the event but Graves encourages them to sign up sooner.

“We’ve had cases where we have had to turn away vendors—the same could be potentially said for attendees. Having people pre-register also allows us to streamline registration and get a better idea of numbers which is particularly important for the dinner.”

He adds, “And of course, when you pre-register, you don’t have to stand in line.”

As in past years, filers, mill managers and maintenance supervisors are encouraged to attend. Those interested in learning more about the industry may also want to consider attending as topical industry seminars will be featured throughout the Friday and Saturday.

To learn more about the annual conference, visit https://www.bcsfa.ca/.

To learn more about saw filing careers visit: http://www.itabc.ca/program/saw-filer.

To learn more about Thompson Rivers University’s saw filing training program, visit https://www.tru.ca/trades/trades-programs/saw-filer.html.

Logging and Sawmilling Journal

March/April 2022

On the Cover:
Moggie Valley Timber, located in southwestern Ontario, is a sawmill that sells to lumber wholesalers and retailers, and has been in business for nearly a quarter-of-a-century. Moggie Valley Timber also carries out logging, cutting about 10 million board feet per year. On the logging side, in order to harvest the larger trees that Moggie Valley Timber comes across on woodlots in this part of Ontario, the company has invested in an Eco Log 590F harvester. Read all about how the Eco Log 590F is working out for Moggie Valley in this issue, beginning on page 34. (Cover photo and story photos courtesy of Moggie Valley Timber).

B.C.’s ILA show leading the pack …
B.C.’s Interior Logging Association is leading the pack when it comes to the re-start of forest industry events, with its equipment show and AGM coming up in May.

Cutting edge equipment—from cutting edge suppliers
A mill upgrade for Vicksburg Forest Products led to the company sourcing cutting edge equipment from a variety of suppliers—including from B.C. and Quebec.

Northland moves to partial processing—at the mill
Facing narrow log delivery windows, Alberta sawmill Northland Forest Products has decided to move to partial millyard processing, with two TreeKing processors.

Another successful convention expected for BC Saw Filer’s
The B.C. forest industry is facing challenges, but this year’s BC Saw Filer’s Convention & AGM—being held May 27 to 28 in Kamloops, B.C.—is expected to be just as big and successful as it was pre-COVID.

Iron investment handles bigger timber
Moggie Valley Timber has invested in an Eco Log 590F harvester to handle the larger trees that it comes across on woodlots in southwestern Ontario.

Canada’s Top Lumber Producers: West Fraser and Canfor on top!
Logging and Sawmilling Journal’s authoritative listing of Canada’s Top Lumber Producers—produced in association with leading forest industry consultants FEA—shows that West Fraser and Canfor are still the top lumber producers in the country.

New and Noted at the Oregon Logging Conference
The Oregon Logging Conference in February kicked off with great expectation following two years of in-person restrictions due to COVID. The OLC is widely known for its extensive, state-of-the-art equipment display—and we take a look at what was new at the show.

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.

Tech Update
From power upgrades to production improvements, read all about what’s new in small scale logging equipment in this issue’s Tech Update.

The Last Word
Forest giant Canfor is applying sustainability across its entire culture in a bid to prosper in a post-pandemic world.


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