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Logging and Sawmilling Journal October/November 2011

August/September 2013

On the Cover:
Managing mobile equipment effectively is a key part of an efficient sawmill. B.C.’s S & R Sawmills is finding that investing in new Cat wheel loaders from Caterpillar equipment dealer Finning is paying off in reduced fuel costs. See the October issue of Logging and Sawmilling Journal for a full report on the new wheel loaders at
S & R (Photo of S & R Sawmills millyard by Paul MacDonald).

Home-grown wood pellets for NWT?
The Northwest Territories sees a business opportunity for home-grown wood pellet production with the growing use of wood pellet heating, supported by a strategy to reduce greenhouse gases.

L & M Lumber: a tradition of innovation
A mill upgrade at B.C.’s L & M Lumber—involving a new optimized log breakdown and processing line—positions the independent producer well for recovering lumber markets, and continues a tradition of innovation and improvement.

Tackling tough B.C. roadbuilding
Mark Ponting and his construction crews tackle building logging road in some of the toughest ground in the country, on the B.C. Coast, and they rely on their equipment dealers to help out in minimizing equipment downtime when they are “miles from nowhere”.

Mistik manages growing wood demand
Saskatchewan’s Mistik Management is adapting to the growing timber needs of the NorSask Forest Products mill, which is adding a shift, and is going to require twice as much wood—but it’s a challenge they’re very happy to have.

How does your kiln system stack up?
With mill management always on the lookout to improve their drying operations, it was no surprise that a recent kiln drying seminar in Quebec City drew good attendance, and lively conversations.

OSB on the way up
The market for Oriented Strand Board has improved with the recovery of the U.S. housing market, and Ainsworth Lumber—which is in the process of being purchased by forestry giant Louisiana-Pacific Corp.— is looking at ramping up its OSB operations to meet the increased demand.

Bring on the wood ...
The Miramichi Lumber sawmill in New Brunswick has recently completed an upgrade, including an entirely new small log saw line, and is now raring to go to meet recovering lumber markets.

Turning biomass power on,
diesel off
A wood biomass-fired power system in the works in the small village of Kwadacha, B.C. could be a model for other remote communities looking to wean off costly diesel and propane for power production.

Rolling with the changes
Logger Clint Lightburn is rolling with the changes as forest company Canfor is asking its contractors in southeastern B.C. to move from delivering tree length wood to cut-to-length to its upgraded mill facility at Elko.

The Edge
Included in The Edge, Canada’s leading publication on research in the forest industry, are stories from the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Alberta Innovates - Bio Solutions and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.

Tech Update – Mill Wide Information Systems
LSJ looks at the technology and systems available to help mill management better manage and operate mills.

The Last Word
Jim Stirling takes a look at the debate surrounding the creation of more area based forest licences in British Columbia.



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TECHUPDATE - Mill Wide Information Systems

By Tony Kryzanowski

Wonderware PacWestWonderware PacWest

The Wonderware System Platform provides a single, scalable software foundation designed to integrate new and existing industrial systems into a unified operations management solution.

System Platform is an object-based approach with a common set of applications that allow users to build a custom-fit and easily maintained manufacturing system that represents the exact processes that require control, monitoring and management at production facilities.

Leveraging Wonderware’s unique ArchestrA technology, System Platform can meet the most demanding industrial manufacturing requirements, the company says.

It can achieve increased manufacturing supply chain efficiency through reliable and optimized information flow between the plant floor and business systems. The Wonderware System Platform enables business continuity throughout the enterprise by interfacing with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Supply Chain Management (SCM) and many other enterprise business systems.


MyMill from USNR is a mobile machine monitoring and control system that allows mill personnel to interact with equipment using mobile devices. This new tool gives people the freedom to move around the mill, carrying the tools and information necessary to do the job from wherever they are, the company says.

With a dozen systems now sold, MyMill is catching on as a time and money saving solution for streamlining mill operations. The system delivers all the functionality that is typically available through a stationary HMI touch screen, at a fraction of the cost, according to USNR.

MyMill is not limited to sorter and dry kiln functionality. It can be used for operations, maintenance, quality control, and monitoring of virtually every machine centre. Operating with built-in safety features over a dedicated and secure wireless in-plant network, MyMill reduces downtime and simplifies maintenance and troubleshooting.

TradeTecTradeTec Computer Systems

Effective sales campaigning helps forest companies to identify prospects, contact these prospects and turn those leads into customers. Campaigning can be incorporated into a company sales strategy with a simple to use web-based interface, capable of working on anything from a smart phone to a desktop, and run from within the company’s inventory program.

Salespeople won’t have to jump from inventory to CRM to email when making sales; one program, TallyWeb, brings it all together and is easily adapted for multiple users and multiple mill applications. With built-in CRM, sales campaigning, Voice Over I/P, and Microsoft Outlook interface, sales progress can be tracked right down to the call or email level, and success measured.

Microsoft’s SSRS reporting tool is built right into TallyWeb so that reports are easy to generate, detailed, relevant, and crystal clear.

TradeTec is designing a new tally app designed to run on Android devices, with availability this fall.

SICam SystemsSiCam Systems

SiCam Real Time Size Control gives sawmill managers the tools to manage their ‘on-size’ performance. What is the value of catching a size problem right away and not half-way through a shift or worse yet at the planer mill? Or knowing when a saw blade needs changing? By minimizing size variations, sawmill managers can confidently reduce target sizes and improve lumber recovery to get a respectable increase in the bottom line.

SiCam 3D line lasers measure the profiles of cant faces, side board widths or wane balancing out of the edger. High speed point or line lasers are used on the planer infeed and outfeed.

At a glance, graphic displays show the health of each machine centre and which saws or chippers are on or off size.

SiCam’s ‘Fence Verification’ provides fast results. A high-speed laser measures the board end position after the fence. Whether stacked cylinders or advanced fences, this technology can determine whether or not each paddle, lift gate or roll is working. SiCam has identified an issue within 30 minutes of start up at several installations.


The Milltrack Inventory Management System (IMS) offered by SOFTAC provides a variety of tools specifically for the forest industry.

MillTrack IMS’s functionality includes integrated inventory capabilities, as well as a control system, production monitoring, order entry, shipping, and report and analysis.

It is said to be a fast and flexible system for conducting searches, and includes such features as manual package entry, complete tally entry, order entry and shipping, inventory analysis, inventory recap and reconciliation, purchased lot analysis, package de-stacking, lumber value calculation, kiln loading, the ability to export reports to Excel and Adobe, as well as multi-user security.

By incorporating the power of SOFTAC’s IMS with the mobility of its Lumber King technology, companies can also track a number of lumber yard activities.

Raptor IntegrationRaptor Integration

Raptor Integration Inc. offers a Web based architecture of its scanning and control system interface that allows for simple client deployment using only a web browser. The web server can reside on the mill floor or in a remote, environmentally friendly server room.

For lumber handling applications, the scanning and sorting configuration resides in a single product, all with a common product database, creating a single unified solution. The days of trouble shooting hand-off issues between multiple computers are over, says the company.

Redundancies in the PLC and software architecture provide a mechanism for data restoration, to get back up and running in record time in the event of a hardware failure or loss of a PLC program.

The system database and PLC code comes with all the necessary hooks to support data gathering by the enterprise and maintenance system of the client’s choice.

Raptor’s mobile version provides full capability from a remote device and is included as part of Raptor’s standard offering.

PMP SolutionsPMP Solutions

Lumber drying has great impact on mill throughput, product quality and global productivity. However, negative impacts of drying are usually only observed down the line, at the planer mill, if not at customer sites. Two processes and two teams can result in no available solution, even though the problem seems obvious.

There now is a solution thanks to PMP Solutions’ GPS tracking technology, when loaders move bundles in the yard.

In addition, PMP Solutions has developed a proprietary software solution that synchronizes all grade and moisture content measurements of every piece graded in the planer mill, and links these results back to the original rough material. This way, errors observed at the planer mill can be associated with sawing or drying operations, and necessary adjustments can be put in place.

To accelerate the adoption of its software in the industry, PMP Solutions has joined with Comact to develop a specialized interface that reports the performance of every production run at the planer mill. This specific interface is now available with every GradExpert implementation. Requiring no configuration, this solution is an entryway to modern and sound data management for the entire production chain.


MiCROTEC’s high-speed, inline CT-scanner looks right into the log and recognizes the quality of the final products before the breakdown at 120 metres per minute.

The technological highlights of the company’s CT.LOG include complete log and stem description in real time; digital reconstruction of the dimension and quality of the log and virtual cutting; identification of the cutting pattern with the highest value; sorting based on quality, value and optimized cutting pattern; and it comes standard for logs up to 650 mm in diameter and up to 120 metres per minute of conveying speed.

Compared to other technologies CT.LOG is said to allow sawmills to detect large splits inside a log; detect knots, size of knots and how they transpire through the log; and, detect pith and core inside the log, allowing the sawmill to cut out the core from each log.