Subscribe Archives Events ContactTimberWestMadison's Lumber DirectoryAdvertiseMedia Kit LSJ Home Forestnet

Untitled Document

Logging and Sawmilling Journal October/November 2011

September 2012

On the Cover:

The installation of more advanced sawmilling equipment is a big part of the equation in the quest by many forest companies to achieve greater efficiency, recovery and value uplift in forest products. A good example of that is the significant investment West Fraser Timber has made in its Blue Ridge Lumber sawmill—read all about the upgrade beginning on page 8 of this issue (Cover photo of Blue Ridge Lumber's logyard crane by Tony Kryzanowski).

Spotlight: A century of Service to B.C. forests

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the B.C. Forest Service, which at one point was one of the main engines driving access to the tremendous forest resources in Canada's number one forestry province.

Maintaining the sawmill edge

West Fraser's Blue Ridge Lumber sawmill in Alberta focuses on advanced equipment—including new equipment from a recent upgrade—and a skilled work force to maintain a competitive edge.

Proper maintenance keeps skidders on track

Skidders are the lifeblood of many logging operations, crucial tools for extracting logs from the forest to the landing quickly, efficiently, and safely. As with all forestry equipment, skidders need proper maintenance to ensure maximum productivity.

Making room for small contractors

In an era of large logging contractors, Ainsworth Lumber in Alberta is
making room for smaller contractors with an Owners/Ops Group that
allows a group of individual owner/operators to work cooperatively to
harvest and deliver wood to roadside.

Alberta's Top Logging Contractors,
Lumber Producers

Logging and Sawmilling Journal presents its authoritative list of the top logging contractors in Alberta, and the top lumber producers in the province.

Multi-generation sawmillers

New Brunswick's Tompkins sawmill may be small, but it has managed to weather industry downturns—turning out high value hardwood lumber and bread and butter products, such as railroad ties—for three generations.

Managing Wildfire Risks

The city of Prince George—smack in the middle of Canada's largest softwood lumber producing region— is making wildfire protection a high
priority with the management of its community forest, but it brings its own set of challenges.

Generating new revenues with Scrimtec

An engineered wood product called Scrimtec—developed in Australia and now being produced in the U.S. South—could help B.C. forest companies further utilize beetle killed wood.

A bit different demo

B.C. heavy equipment dealer Great West Equipment took a bit of a
different approach in presenting their equipment to potential customers
this past summer, setting up a demo site at one of Tolko's mill facilities.

The Edge

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

Tech Update

Logging and Sawmilling Journal has the latest product information on kiln equipment in this issue's Tech Update.

The Last Word

Tony Kryzanowski notes that the digital revolution is taking a toll on the market for wood chips, and sawmillers would be well advised to look for additional uses for their chips outside of pulp and paper mills.

Supplier newsline


Bookmark and Share  Or CLICK to download a pdf of this article

TECH UPDATE - Dry Kiln Technology

SII Dry KilnsSII Dry Kilns

SII Dry Kilns recently began offering a heat recovery system designed for package loaded kilns.

The system includes two fan ducts inside a single opening, each with a 22" fan blade, connected by a common shaft to a motor with reversing capability. Both the exhausting warm air and the intake cool air are drawn across an "exchange core" using the warm air to assist in heating the "new" air before entering the kiln chamber.

A stainless steel collector captures the condensate to be drained to the outside of the kiln. In addition, powered vents may be used, if required, during peak venting demand in conjunction with the heat exchange system. SII heat recovery systems are in place on new kilns in both the United States and Canada.


Wellons offers a wide range of conventional lumber dry kilns controlled by Wellons' Winkiln computer control system and TCS in-kiln moisture monitoring system. The kilns are designed for low maintenance and increased profitability.

The multi-zone kiln designed by Wellons provides the ultimate in drying capability, says the company. It allows the operator to dry all species, softwood or hardwood, to a final moisture content with a very tight standard deviation. Multi-zone kilns can be hot water, steam or thermal oil heated. The Winkiln control system is said to be user friendly, provides flexibility in developing drying schedules and has a new HT certification tracking system and wood core temperature measurement.

Wellons' TCS in-kiln moisture monitoring system is designed to control kiln schedules and provides an incredibly accurate end point shut off. The new kiln design features include a steam trough for low heat humidity control, glycol kiln rail heat, and improved kiln chamber sealing.

Frank ControlsFrank Controls

Frank Controls supplies an automatic kiln control system. It is a dynamic process that continuously monitors and controls the temperatures and relative humidity in a dry kiln and is true process control, not a schedule scheme, resulting in quality lumber and energy savings, says the company.

New for 2012 is the Energy Management System with a possible rebate from the energy or gas supplier in your area. The company has further information.

Frank Controls offers installation, start-up, training and continued drying support North America-wide.


USNR's Counter-Flow dry kiln is longer and easier to operate than traditional batch kilns, says the company. With the Counter-Flow design, operations can increase kiln production by up to 50 per cent with their existing heating system, it says.

Lumber stacks run in opposite directions through the kiln; heat coming off the dry lumber preheats the green lumber packs, and moisture coming off the green lumber conditions the dry lumber. This energy efficient process occurs at both ends, and uses staging and loading to keep packages moving through the kiln continuously and automatically.

Kiln Boss controls provide an easy way to control wood drying variables, and tracks custom drying schedules. It alerts operators to trouble or system changes, and reports batch and historical statistics. Kiln operators can examine and change the parameters for each kiln that is under the Kiln Boss system, with the click of a mouse.

SCS Forest ProductsSCS Forest Products

SCS Forest Products announces the launch of KilnScout, an innovative, wireless, in-kiln moisture meter developed for both continuous and batch lumber dry kilns to maximize production and minimize variation.

Before KilnScout, in-kiln moisture meters were fixed to the kiln. With KilnScout, this go-anywhere solution hunts out moisture related problems anywhere in the mill, wiping out issues before they affect production. Built to withstand the harsh environment of a kiln (-40°F to 257°F), the wireless transmitters are capable of measuring both temperature and moisture content to provide reliable, accurate readings up to 100' from the receiver.

Scalable from one sensor up to 100 sensors, KilnScout is a good option for both softwood and hardwood mills, plus it easily integrates with other SCS products. Intuitive software easily tracks moisture content and temperature by zone, allowing operators to meet the challenging demands of their drying operation.

Custom Dry Kiln CompanyCustom Dry Kiln Company

Custom Dry Kiln Company Ltd., a member of the Custom Group of Companies, is a privately-owned Canadian company specializing in products and services for the timber drying industry.

It has developed leading edge technology including computer controls, high performance dry kilns and specialized service programs.

Evolving from the service end of the lumber industry, Custom Dry Kiln Company Ltd. made its breakthrough in the kiln industry with three patented improvements to the drying process.

It has advanced lumber drying significantly and its innovative patented drying processes have generated savings in time and energy, while increasing recovery in dried products.

Custom Dry Kiln also provides upgrades to existing kiln sites through its computer control system, new boilers, burners, reconditioned buildings and other related components


The Lignomat wireless monitoring system is an extremely diverse tool that has provided valuable information to the company's customers in various industries over the years. From million board feet air drying yards to heat treating lumber to the microclimate inside a concrete slab, the wireless monitor delivers environmental conditions in an easy-to-read window with the data in graph and text format.

The majority of Lignomat's wireless monitoring systems are used in the lumber industry for lumber drying and heat treatment applications. The wireless monitor is a cost effective way to add temperature, moisture content and EMC sensors to a kiln and is often a precursor to a fully automatic kiln control system.


With the new Muehlboeck type 1003 drying kiln system, both the electricity consumption and thermal energy consumption are reduced in half, says the company.

The type 1003 drying system is a combination of several drying kilns or a progressive kiln and represents a combination of several patented developments. Besides reducing energy consumption, insulation losses are also a thing of the past with this system, according to the company.

In Europe alone, it was possible to save up to 25 million megawatt hours or 2.5 billion litres of heating when using the drying kiln system 1003 to dry sawn timber.

The core of the system is the heat recovery unit 1003 for which a patent has been filed. This comprises a range of cross-flow heat exchangers. The waste air from a drying kiln flows through this heat exchange system and transfers up to 90 per cent of the energy to the supply air. All of the additional air warmed in this way is led to another drying kiln or to a drying zone in the drying channel, and is then used in the patented through-air system for drying. Further heating of the air is no longer necessary.

Wagner MetersWagner Meters

Proven in hundreds of mills worldwide, Wagner Meters' MC4000 In-Kiln Moisture Measurement System combines moisture measurement with data analysis to improve grade, optimize energy costs and provide consistent results for kiln operators.

Wagner's state-of-the-art technology stands alone or integrates seamlessly with most kiln control systems to allow operators full insight into each charge. Real-time, on-screen trending also allows immediate performance changes to reduce overdry or degrade issues in up to 12 kilns. Hot checks can be virtually eliminated as the built-in relay can trigger an alarm or auto shutdown at the target moisture content level. Its rugged design can withstand temperatures up to 300 degrees. The MC4000 features on-line diagnostics, upgrades or trouble shooting for Wagner Meters customer support. The MC4000 is real-world design for today's wood products mills.

Brunner HildebrandBrunner Hildebrand

Brunner Hildebrand offers a complete range of lumber dry kilns and control systems including progressive dry kilns for big softwood mills and vacuum kilns for selected hardwood operations.

Moreover, it does the planning and delivers turnkey. The latest development from Brunner Hildebrand are the Hildebrand trademarked GreenKilns. This technology improves on the energy use of conventional lumber dry kilns by interconnecting many kilns together. This way the kilns can share their redundant energy between each other. Energy savings between 10 to 20 per cent are possible without any additional costs compared to conventional kilns without the GreenKiln technology, says the company.


When it comes to operating a dry kiln, even the smallest efficiencies add up to big savings and much-needed profits. Choosing the wrong propeller size or model can cost an operator thousands of dollars each year. That's why Smithco includes application engineering that is tailor-made to the dry kiln specifications and configurations.

As more and more softwood operators move to sophisticated drying operations, including continuous dry kilns, this service has become critical. Most drying operations require specific fan configurations to ensure that optimal sticker velocities and drying rates are achieved. Smithco's computerized performance modeling shows customers what air velocities are expected in their own dry kilns. Smithco's fan performance data is based on AMCA registered lab tests with the propeller mounted in typical dry kiln shroud and panel arrangements without inlet or outlet ducts.

Smithco's computerized data system means that customers can get fast and accurate information for their specific needs. This basic airflow modeling is provided as part of the Smithco evaluation process.

Better Built KilnsBetter Built Kilns

Better Built Kilns is a supplier of track and package kilns, cross-flow pre-driers, and walnut steamers, featuring stainless steel heating systems with Enercon orifice traps on each coil bank.

All interiors can be supplied in stainless steel, and heat exchanger vents are available. Turbo tubes improve air flow by 15 per cent over panel fans. The Enercons reduce boiler load by 15 to 17 per cent. Better Built kilns can be provided with an anodized aluminum structure to further reduce corrosion.