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Logging and Sawmilling Journal October/November 2011

June/july 2013

On the Cover:
Lumber prices may be moving up and down of late, but they are certainly moving up and down at very healthy levels, helping to spur activities in the woods and in log sort yards. While the Chinese lumber market appears to be cooling down, the U.S. housing market is heating up, creating growing demand for Canadian lumber (Photo of TimberWest North Island Log Sort by Paul MacDonald).

Biting into a billion dollar biofuel market
Ontario’s Woodland Biofuels Inc. is knitting technologies together to produce ethanol from wood waste—using feedstock from wood chips to pallets—for a multi-billion dollar market.

Mill construction experts
B.C.’s Salem Contracting has proven its construction—and demolition— expertise year after year, with its most recent project being a $19 million upgrade at Interfor’s Grand Forks sawmill in southeastern B.C.

Meadow Lake megawatts
As the result of a recent upgrade project, NorSask Forest Products is now getting more value from the lumber produced at its Meadow Lake sawmill, and it will soon be breaking ground on a 40 megawatt bio-energy plant.

The Future of Logging Equipment—from the top equipment manufacturers
Logging and Sawmilling Journal talks with the top executives of the leading logging equipment companies—Cat, Deere and Tigercat—on trends in logging equipment, and how the companies are going to meet the future needs of loggers.

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

Elmia Wood 2013 served up something for everyone
The Elmia Wood 2013 show held in June in Sweden drew major crowds, all keenly interested to see the wide variety of logging equipment that was
on display. Logging and Sawmilling Journal was there at the show and
highlights what was new in logging technologies and logging iron.

New flail delimber working out in B.C.
The use of a new-to-Canada flail delimber—the Chambers Delimbinator—in logging operations in B.C.’s Southern Interior region looks to be one of those situations where a new approach to harvesting is truly a win-win, with a very significant reduction in the time it takes to delimb small wood.

Forest industry: Help wanted
The B.C. forest industry is working to meet its current—and future—people needs, through several initiatives, including classroom visits.

Tech Update
LSJ looks at that most essential of equipment in finishing and dressing lumber: planers

The Last Word
The Canadian forest industry recently took an important step to verifying its environmental impact—and taking on competitive building products, steel and concrete.



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TECH UPDATE - Planer Mill Support Equipment

By Tony Kryzanowski


Comact hydraulic rotary lug loaderComact

The secret to the Comact hydraulic rotary lug loader is its infeed modulation, which achieves over a 95 per cent fill rate and a steady feed, up to 250 boards per minute.

This patented rotary lug loader is a two-section infeed transfer system designed to regulate speed. It includes a catch-up system with speed compensation, with the ability to straighten skewed boards and adjustable gripping strength.

The drive system features servomotors for quick response to a variety of widths and lengths, wane-edged wood handling and short board handling.

The Comact stacker is a piece of equipment that could improve stacking by up to 50 per cent, says the company. Comact says it is among the fastest systems among equipment suppliers, at 23 cycles per minute. This new stacker is especially designed to stack curved lumber, and helps the flow of high speed production lines. Two series of independent forks allow its operation in simple or double fork for easy maintenance and no production shutdown time.


For over 25 years, Gilbert has been a market leader in the design and manufacture of planermill equipment. From molding applications to high speed mills, the company says that the Gilbert planer is among the fastest planers in the world and turns out a beautiful lumber finish.

Totally oriented towards innovation, Gilbert’s engineering team has spent a great amount of time on research and development in designing new parts on the machine to make the planer extremely safe for all planer operators.

The Gilbert Automatic Positioning System installed on all Gilbert planers, and installed on many other planers as well, controls the four cutterheads.

Gilbert has now adapted this system to control many other axes on the machine, to make planing even more accurate, turn out very precise lumber, save time when changing recipes and making adjustments. The company has put a strong focus on making the planer a much safer machine.

The jointing system is motorized and controlled outside the planer room by the Gilbert Automatic Positioning System.


USNR’s innovative TransLineator technology is a leader in the next generation of planer mill systems. Its consolidated board feeding design will reshape how planer mills are designed and upgraded, the company says. The system is the most space-saving design of its kind, USNR says, with applications at both planer infeeds and outfeeds.

It is capable of operating at speeds up to 4000 fpm. Micro-Gapping technology ensures a controlled and predictable gap, and the roll angle allows lumber to rapidly turn the corner from transverse to lineal, or vice versa.

Tapered rolls rapidly accelerate boards to planer speeds, requiring no pineapple rolls, no shear, and no long bridge. It can be fed via smooth or lugged chain.

Use of this technology can improve system performance by 20 to 40 per cent, improve uptime with less breakage and jams, and narrows and wides can be fed with the same gap.

The TransLineator technology is designed to work with USNR’s new pull-through planers and existing planers. Retrofit application allows for a shorter bridge.

Atelier FabricationAtelier Fabrication RY Inc

Atelier Fabrication RY Inc specializes in Yates, Newman and Coastal refurbishings and parts. RY is one of the industry leaders in Eastern Canada, it says, and two years ago bought Moreau’s planer line of products. Its engineers went through the design and specifications and launched RY Modular Planer products. This means that from a four-head, original RY modular planer, companies can add either a RY profiler or a RY horizontal or vertical re-saw to the outfeed.

Atelier Fabrication RY planers can be built to meet individual needs, with different feed speeds, from 300 up to 1500 linear feet per minute.

To complete its product line, RY has also developed a Timber Sizer with openings up to 30" wide and 24" high. All equipment is made from 1.25’’ thick steel plates that are laser cut. RY high speed feed and bridging tables are also available.


Cobra Technical Services LLCCobra Technical Services LLC

In the majority of mills, the feed table can need a lot of attention, and it is often the weak link in the system, says Cobra Technical Services.

To increase production and uptime, the feed table must operate at maximum efficiency. The biggest downfall to most feed tables are the pineapple and short stock system, which includes the tensioning, positioning, drive and how it is tied together mechanically.

It is important to note that mills don’t have to purchase a new feed table to get the needed results. They can choose the Cobra Tech feed table pineapple and short stock stands. With the Cobra feed table stands, mills receive a state-of-the-art system, from the drive to the pineapple to the tensioning and positioning—with a fully automatic system if needed—all as one package. By choosing these stands, the mill can focus and update an area of the feed table that will get the quickest pay back. Whether mills replace one or all three, the installation can be done on a long weekend, the company says, meaning no extra down time.

Cobra Stands are available for Coastal, USNR, Newman, Yates, Stetson Ross, Kimwood, Woods, and Gilbert planers.

Murray Latta Progressive MachineMurray Latta Progressive Machine

Since 1954, Murray Latta Progressive Machine has been a trusted manufacturer and distributor of planer mill equipment, parts and consumables, while offering a number of retrofit upgrades to enhance planer mill operations. It provides installation, maintenance, repair and training services throughout Western Canada and the United States.

Through the company’s in-house engineering, it has designed and fabricated an industry leading fully-automatic cutterhead grinder that grinds flat planer knives, along with traditional ‘L’-type and finger joint knives. Its Pro Edge-Tec II Grinder is all electric, with automatic traversing, indexing and down feed capabilities.

The company also offers PLC’s Continuous Breakdown Tilt Hoist, with its unique set of two independent hoist arms that ensure a steady feed from one main source, as well as the PLC Tong Loader, which handles a wide variety of board sizes up to 250 lugs per minute and random width boards.


Wolktek IndustriesWolktek Industries

For over 27 years, Wolftek Industries has been a planermill solution specialist. Its two facilities in Prince George offer engineering design, controls automation, machining, chroming, welding fabrication, and part inventory.

It carries lines of equipment from Carbotech International, VAB Solutions, DK Spec, Johnson Innovations, Rawlings Hogs and many others. With its industry partners and its own internal and external crews, it can offer everything from a complete planermill right down to knives and consumables.

Wolftek Industries is currently rebuilding a Newman M990 planer and feedtable as well as a Stetson Ross 614 planer from the ground up to targeted speeds of 2500 fpm-real time, no gap. The Stetson Ross will be outfitted with a new feedtable and bridge.

Most of Woltek’s retrofitted machines are keeping pace or leading in production numbers versus new machines.

Some of the retrofits on these machines will include features such as dynamic tensioning, electric setworks, cutterhead and feed works electric drives, felix automatic grinders, and new generation cutterheads.


Mill Tech IndustriesMill Tech Industries

The Mill Tech planermill trimmer incorporates many performance, maintenance-friendly and safety features. The company notes that a great deal of thought went into safety and maintenance access when designing this trimmer.

On the infeed side, the front of the trimmer opens up and locks out to allow excellent access to the electric motors, the ladders and the easy-change belts. The chain runs on the infeed are fully sheeted, which allows for a stable safe position to work from, and good access to the machine.

On the outfeed of the trimmer, a checker plate walkway with a full length handrail folds into the trimmer, providing excellent safe access for saw changes. The company also offers a unique hinged plate step, which folds out of the sheeting of each chain run to fill the gap between the chains, thus allowing maintenance personnel the luxury of not having to tie off.

The Mill Tech trimmer for the planer also incorporates provisions for sawdust collection directly at each saw location, which minimizes the airborne sawdust.

This machine has proven itself at speeds up to 240 LPM in stud applications and up to 190 LPM in full dimension operations.


Newman Machine CompanyNewman Machine Company

The Newman Machine Company’s PM-1600 high-speed, four-sided planer matcher produces a high quality finish on lumber ranging in size from 1” x 2” to 6” x 15”.

An electrically driven planer with computer controlled roll speed synchronization, cutterhead positioning, optimized speed control and touch screen operator interface, the PM-1600 comes standard with Quick Change Head (QCH) modular assembly, allowing for a variety of tooling. It is capable of feed speeds of up to 3000 fpm. The PM-1600 is available with an inboard or outboard profiler, an additional mid-roll to make it an eight-roll machine and a high quality finish module to make it a six-head model.

The heavy-duty four-sided planer/matcher, with 16” diameter steel feed rolls, is built to last in a demanding environment, without sacrificing production or quality. Newman Machine has led the industry with innovations such as helical carbide cutterheads, quick-change cutterheads, computer diagnostics, electric and/or pneumatic feed works and fabricated steel frames.