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Logging and Sawmilling Journal October/November 2011

October/november 2012

On the Cover:

Aspen Planers mill manager Surinder Momrath (right) with long time Aspen Planers employee Shalinder Wahid, who runs the mill’s LeTourneau equipment. Read all about how the LeTourneau equipment is helping Aspen Planers to efficiently manage their millyard, beginning on page 20.
(Cover photo by Paul MacDonald).

Dust audits for B.C. sawmills

Following two tragic mill explosions/fires earlier this year, British Columbia’s major forest companies are creating a third party-certified dust audit that is expected to cover areas such as the equipment used to reduce dust levels in mills, and what can be done to generally create a safer work environment.

Nice growth curve for Nic Pac

First Nations-owned Nic Pac Logging started out with a few pieces of equipment, but has grown over the years, and now has the latest in processing heads, with two 7000XT LogMax processor heads mounted on Deere and Hitachi carriers.

Managing the millyard in Merritt

Faced with limits on the space they have for log storage—and a good appetite for timber from their sawmill—Aspen Planers of Merritt, B.C. has found LeTourneau log stacking equipment to be a good ally in managing their millyard efficiently.

Top of The pack in plywood

The Columbia Forest Products plywood plant in St. Casimir, Quebec, may be the company’s smallest, but it certainly is near the top of the pack when it comes to being resourceful and productive, with a number of changes and upgrades in recent years.

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, Natural Resources Canada, Alberta’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department and Universite Laval.

What was new…at DEMO 2012 and the Timber Processing & Energy Expo

Logging and Sawmilling Journal reviews what was new at these two recent major industry shows at opposite ends of the continent, DEMO 2012 in Quebec and the Timber Processing & Energy Expo in Portland, Oregon.

Buncher boost

The new Rapid Cycle System (RCS) boom on John Deere bunchers is delivering a productivity boost, generally simplifying and speeding up the feller bunching process.

Ready-made homes

An automated home building company in Alberta is helping to bring an end to on-site framing crews, and could open a new market for direct wood products sales for forest companies and sawmills.

Portland timber/energy show sees a solid turnout

Getting more ROI on your truck tires

Straightforward maintenance checks in tire-related areas such as air pressure and proper alignments can boost the Return on Investment on your truck tires.

The Last Word

The new Wood Innovation & Design Centre proposed for Prince George, B.C., could spur emerging wood use technologies, says Jim Stirling.




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Portland timber/energy showPortland timber/energy show sees a solid turnout

The Timber Processing & Energy Expo held in October at the Metropolitan Exposition Center in Portland, Oregon, saw a good turn-out. And from talking to attendees and exhibitors, it’s clear that most people feel the industry has turned the corner, and is now well into recovery mode.

The three-day event saw about 2,000 people—attendees and exhibitor personnel combined—gather to look at and talk about the latest technology in lumber, panel, and engineered wood products production, as well as wood energy. More than 160 exhibitors participated in the show.

As with other forest industry trade shows, exhibitors used the opportunity to introduce new equipment.

SCS Forest Products introduced its MC Pro 2400 Transverse Planer Meter at the Portland show. Using innovative digital pulse technology, the MC Pro 2400 takes multiple measurements of a board as it passes over its non-contact sensors. Sensors are arranged in a transverse configuration along the length of the board to measure final moisture content and identify wet spots for either drop-out or trim decisions.

The benefits of the MC Pro 2400 include non-contact sensors; its background suppression eliminates the need for sensor calibration and it easily integrates with auto-graders and its advanced technology compensates for board warp.

Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) had SonicAire fans on display at the show. SonicAire fans clean by using high velocity and mass airflow to prevent combustible particles from accumulating throughout a plant. This means that everything—including steel structures, pipes, ducts and process equipment—can be cleaned to meet or exceed government regulations. Its products are timely, considering the two explosions/fires at sawmills in British Columbia. Using SonicAire equipment, companies can virtually eliminate the fire hazards associated with combustible dust and fibre, the company says.

At the Optimil booth, company representatives explained that its new cant profilers are designed to profile the top and bottom boards before the vertical gangs; these high speed variable profilers will reduce the pieces sent to the board edger by processing these pieces in line. Optimil profilers incorporate linear bearings and heavy duty positioning cylinders or high speed electric actuators to position the chip heads. The profilers use four independent setting heads and are able to produce nominal 2 x 3 to 2 x 12 lumber. The units can be retrofitted to existing saw boxes, and offer feed speeds of up to 700 fpm.

VAB Solutions had its Lineal Grading Optimizer equipment on display at Timber Processing & Energy Expo. The equipment offers a number of advantages such as increased production speeds, a decrease in trim loss of one to three percent, and gains in value of between $5 and $20 per TBFM compared to graders. It easily manages multiple grades in one recipe and increases the amount of premium grades and reduces the amount of lower grades of lumber. Features include: lasers and high-resolution cameras on four sides; a non-contact measurement system; it is specifically engineered for limited planer space, at 30 inches overall length; and it can be close coupled to the planer.

Portland timber/energy showWaneShear had its edger equipment on display. According to the company, WaneShear is the only edger that can process lumber at a rate independent of the length of the lumber. It processes up to 60 pieces per minute, no matter the piece length. WaneShear will fit into any mill because it takes only one lumber line of space, the company says. The edger system has the ability to send waste in up to five different directions and send the edged lumber in up to four different directions. WaneShear uses state of the art servo motors for positioning the flitch, and all-electric actuators for speed and efficiency.

MyMill is a new software suite developed by USNR that enables mill personnel to interact with mill equipment using mobile devices, and was on display at the show.

MyMill HMI is an application within the MyMill suite that replicates, in a mobile device, all of the functionality that is typically available through a stationary HMI touchscreen, offering real time data in the palm of your hand. MyMill offers: mobile machine monitoring and control; powerful information and communications capabilities; it replaces consoles and reduces capital cost; it offers easier troubleshooting and maintenance; it reduces downtime; and it offers a dedicated wireless infrastructure, on secure in-plant network. It is available as an upgrade to USNR controls systems or with new installations

USNR also presented its TransLineator board feeding system. At planer infeeds, the system allows pull-through action featuring Micro-Gaping technologies, feeds via smooth or lug chain, and it replaces the need for pineapple rolls, shear and a long bridge section. At the outfeed, it slows down the board and feeds directly into lugs.

Brunette Industries had its veneer chipper on display at the Portland show. The chipper is designed with the knives extending the full-face width of the drum, which produces a uniform quality chip and maximizes the life of the pocket hardware. The contour of the drum allows the anvil to be placed in a position where the knife forces stay behind the anvil, creating clamping force between the material to be chipped and the anvil, which prevents the material from tipping towards the drum. The veneer chipper processes veneer, cores and spin-outs. It features powered feed works, electric drive, heavy duty construction and unobstructed infeed, and is 39¼” wide.

Lacey-Harmer featured the next generation of the company’s Sense-A-Cut Bandsaw Deviation Control System. Featuring an improved Industrial Logic Controller (ILC), the Sense-A-Cut is capable of millisecond response times, improving its effectiveness as a dynamic cut optimization system. Along with the hardware speed increase, a complete revision and optimization of the proven Sense-A-Cut software suite has been implemented, improving efficiency and adding a variety of new options.

According to the company, one of the most exciting features in the new Sense-A-Cut software suite is the addition of an enhanced and highly flexible communications system. This new communications system allows remote monitoring through Ethernet, wireless, and even mobile devices (iPhone/iPad, Android phone and tablets, Kindle Fire). Dedicated monitoring and reporting applications are available to allow access to the system through the network, or remotely through the Internet (when an outside connection is present). Ongoing development and technological advancement will continue to provide even more enhanced Sense-A-Cut integration options.

The Novilco Falcon stick placer is an integral part of a high speed stick placing system designed to significantly increase efficiency and eliminate bottlenecks in the stacking section of sawmills. The magazines can be combined with a manual feeding system or a fully automated feeding system.

Features of the stick placer include: two modular “quick connect” mechanical assemblies that allow quick installation and easy access to carry out maintenance; it can perform up to 35 cycles per minute with a proven efficiency rate exceeding 99.9 per cent; it places sticks with extremely high accuracy—sticks are always placed straight on the bundle; it is able to handle every dimension of stick with lengths up to 8 feet; it is able to handle sticks with defects like bow, twist, crook and cup; and it can be placed every 12 inches, which makes it highly suitable for hardwood applications.

At the Portland show, PMP Solutions displayed its proprietary software solution that synchronizes all grade and moisture content measurements of every piece graded in the planer mill, which links these results back to the original rough material. Thanks to bundle traceability, errors observed at the planer can be associated with sawing or drying operations and necessary adjustments can be put in place.

PMP Solutions develops user-friendly interfaces that facilitate data interpretation. The flow of information through PMP Solutions’ software is accurate, seamless, and done in real-time.

In order 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 planning stage. This specific interface is now available with every GradExpert implementation. Requiring no configuration, this solution is surely the entry-way to modern and sound data management for the entire production chain, the company says.

International Bar Coding had its new PA10G Printer Applicator, a programmable bar code label applicator purpose-built for the wood products industry. The PA10G is able to print on over 300 pieces per minute. It is designed from the ground up for the rugged requirements of the modern mill environment. Implementation of a PA10G provides accurate and robust labeling solutions at the speeds of next generation handling lines in an adaptable package configurable to operate through PC, PLC, or Manual Control. Enclosed in a warehouse grade heavy duty steel case, the PA10G’s internalized components and limited amount of moving parts means less wear on components, longer periods between tune-ups and better return over the lifetime of its purchase, the company says.