Tech Update – Wood Dry Kilns and Technology

by | Jul 1, 2023 | 2023, July/August, Logging & Sawmilling Journal, New Technology, Sawmill, Tech Update, Value Added


E+E Elektronik

For more than three decades, E+E Elektronik has been manufacturing high quality digital sensors that measure environmental factors for industrial applications like wood kilns.

E+E’s digital sensors address all three principal factors—humidity, temperature and air circulation—for the highest quality wood drying. The stainless steel encased EE310 and EE75 sensors provide the most accurate readings, says the company, and can withstand temperatures up 180 degrees C. (356 degrees F.). E + E Elektronik says that customers can instantly lower their scrap rate, operator costs and energy waste with this powerful combination that pays for itself in less than a year, and lasts at least 10 years.

With the ability to be linked to the kiln, the sensors can initiate a sequence of changes, like turning off the heater, opening vents or increasing fan speed, the same way an operator would. Simply put, these digital sensors take the place of a wet-bulb system, perform the calculations continuously and autonomously, and provide accurate and reliable results, ensuring the highest quality product, says the company.


Brunner-Hildebrand, located in Tennessee, has many different types of lumber dry kilns in its large product portfolio and a long and successful history. The new Hildebrand Continuous Kiln (HCK-series) has a unidirectional feed with an individual zone design, which, in combination with the most modern wood moisture measurement, allows for the best quality in a continuous drying process.

In the HCK-series, in contrast to the older development stages of continuous kilns, lumber packages are transported through different drying zones in the longitudinal direction. This enables separate and independent drying zones that are individually designed and equipped with powerful intermediate heaters. The unique GreenKilns system from Brunner-Hildebrand ensures that the individual drying zones work together in a thermal compound, which optimizes energy efficiency and drying time.

Each zone is equipped with temperature and humidity measurement on both sides, supplemented by temperature measurement on the booster coils. The intelligent software knows how quickly and evenly the individual packages dry based on the change in temperature and humidity, and can intervene accordingly. These findings are specified and checked by the weight measurement built into the kiln carts. Together with the stored database, the current wood moisture content can be determined.

Brunner-Hildebrand says that it offers even more technical features and, with its new HCK-series together with its well-known reliability and experience, it has a great solution for medium-sized and large sawmills.


As a leading developer and leader in continuous kilns, Valutec says that it has delivered more than 1500 continuous kilns to sawmills around the world. The latest development is the “TC continuous kiln”. It is a sustainable state-of-the-art kiln that combines high capacity and flexibility with excellent quality and low energy consumption, says the company.

The TC kiln is probably the market’s most sustainable timber kiln, according to the company. Constructed of stainless steel, and resistant to thermal expansion and fatigue, the kiln has superior longevity and requires minimal maintenance. Studies shows that Valutec’s stainless steel TC continuous kiln emits 23 tonnes less CO2 per year than the corresponding kiln built in aluminum, it says. That amount of CO2 is about as much as three hectares of coniferous forest absorb in a year.


USNR’s UniFlow kiln uses the same automated approach as Counter-Flow kilns, but lumber tracks move in the same direction instead of opposite directions, achieving increases in throughput and lumber quality. It acts as a combination pre-dryer, kiln, and equalizer that smooths and reduces the energy required to dry lumber, allowing moisture content to equalize and achieve a low standard deviation comparable to Counter-Flow kilns. The uni-directional process provides an ergonomic mill flow with fewer hydraulic units.


A belt dryer with an annual capacity of 112,000 tons, to be commissioned in 2024 for Moelven, Scandinavia, is the largest belt dryer Mühlböck has built to date.

To ensure the reliable and energy efficient drying of sawdust and wood chips, Mühlböck revolutionized belt drying technology, with its efficient 1003 Premium Heat Recovery system, making energy savings of up to 50 per cent possible compared to traditional drying systems.

As with their continuous kilns, Mühlböck uses the thermal energy in the final drying zone’s exhaust steam to heat the pre-drying zone.

“Thanks to our willingness to continually improve, we have turned from a new competitor in the belt dryer sector into a technology leader,” says CEO Richard Mühlböck. “By being the first manufacturer in the world to put our revolutionary heat recovery system in a belt dryer, as well as many innovations in the areas of chip drying, we have set a milestone,” he said.


Since 1995, EBI says that it has been the top quality brand of high temperature, totally enclosed, dry kiln duty motors of durability and long-term reliability.

From 1 to 30 hp, 900, 1200 and 1800 rpm, EBI motors are used by batch lumber dry kiln manufacturers and sawmills in North and South America, Europe and Australia.

EBI dry kiln duty motors are available through a North American distributor network for quick availability. They are built in NEMA or IEC frames for North American or European batch dry kiln users, and EBI says that they are covered by the best warranty on the market (up to three years). EBI kiln motors are rated at 120 degrees C. (248 degrees F.) ambient temperature. They come with regreasable or sealed bearings and with custom length connection wires depending on each customer preference. The company provides a sturdy high temperature kiln motor made in Canada, and built to save maintenance time.

BID GroupBID Group

BID, with its DelTech brand, has introduced a real-time kiln moisture tracking system. Developed in collaboration with a cutting edge sensor technology provider, it has become a game changer for wood drying, says the company. Specialized sensors monitor and regulate the wood’s moisture content, enabling kilns to adjust push rates and temperature for optimal drying conditions, reducing wet or overdried wood.

There are said to be many benefits. Improved control over temperature and humidity boosts productivity and ensures consistent results. The integrated operator interface makes data easily accessible, enhancing adaptability, says BID.

DelTech HMI offers high-level control and traceability for each load, including moisture information, meeting exportation standards. Operators can make informed decisions during product changes and seasonal variations, optimizing performance with fewer staff.

Innovative systems like the thermal oil system, skid filtration, and real-time kiln moisture tracking sensors exemplify BID and DelTech’s commitment to cutting-edge technology, streamlining productivity in sawmills while minimizing environmental impact, says the company. As trusted partners, BID says it empowers sawmills to maximize timber value while minimizing costs and waste.

Finna SensorsFinna Sensors

Do your operators have an impact on kiln performance and profit? What impact does seasonality have on the performance of your kilns? Which kiln deserves capital to improve throughput and profit? These questions and more can be answered by the experts at Finna Sensors, says the company. As one of the lumber industry’s leading providers of moisture measurement and tracking solutions, Finna Sensors offers a range of solutions to address your needs and guide you towards process and profit optimization.

To optimize the drying process and profitability, Finna Sensors offers its wired and wireless In-kiln moisture systems. With kiln control integration, the company can stop/pause the cycle or control your push-rate to achieve your target moisture content. Adding ProTrac Kiln Performance Software and the company’s scalable range of automated bundle tracking solutions provides optimal control of the kiln process, and returns value in short order.

In addition, Finna Sensors offer sawmill moisture/density sorting systems, lineal and transverse planer systems, MSR grading systems, and a biomass moisture measurement system for energy system optimization.

American Wood DryersAmerican Wood Dryers

American Wood Dryers LLC has been producing quality, efficient dry kilns for the lumber industry for over 30 years, with installations throughout the world.

This includes everything from package kilns for smaller volumes of hardwoods to large volume, high throughput conifer kilns such as high temperature batch track or continuous track kilns.

Kiln structures are aluminum or steel. Enclosures are Alclad aluminum or type 304 stainless steel for some hardwoods. American Wood Dryer’s prefabricated panel system reduces installation time and maintenance costs. Continuous kilns use a combination of steel and aluminum to optimize performance and cost.

Heat systems include hot water, steam, hot oil, and natural gas or biomass direct-fired.

Fan systems are either direct drive kiln duty motors or standard motors mounted external of the kiln chamber. Variable frequency drives can be supplied to reduce electrical cost and optimize drying schedules.

Drystar PC-based proprietary control systems or PLC systems are supplied to customer preference.


Value, support, quality and connection with installations and field support out of southern Indiana—these are the building blocks of Lignomat’s 40+ years of success, says the company. The connection through technology aspect is prominent with Lignomat’s MP32 control platform.

Lignomat believes improvement and potential savings start with data. One or more MP32’s interface with customer’s data collection and analysis infrastructure using a built-in API. Single and multi-facility drying operations using, or in the hunt to integrate data analysis tools, stand to benefit from Lignomat’s MP32 Kiln Control System platform.

With MP32, the kiln control system will text and email individuals with kiln specific and condition specific updates. Whether a kiln charge is complete or you have another event during the charge cycle, the MP32 reaches out immediately so that the correct person knows as soon as it does.

PMP SolutionsPMP Solutions

PMP WeDry is a cutting edge wood drying surveillance system that measures and improves the quality of wood drying operations. One of the key features of WeDry is its comprehensive reporting capabilities in the form of moisture distribution graphs. By monitoring moisture content during planing, it provides essential feedback about the drying process and its impact on planing results.

Unlike conventional methods, WeDry provides intelligent color-coded displays with real-time data of individual readings of each board. The benefits are said to be far-reaching, including reduced under-drying and over-drying, decreased drying times, improved understanding of mechanical dryer health, and the establishment of repeatable drying procedures.

Traceability and production scheduling are key elements of drying best practices. WeDry can be integrated to WeTrack and WeSchedule, making it an essential tool not only to optimize drying operations, but also to lower inventory levels, improve planer mill throughput and increase grade-out with no additional operational cost.


Incomac is capable of providing all types of kilns for softwood and hardwood drying—track kilns, package kilns, heat treating, and thermal treating of wood for colour.

They have two product lines that are new, with emphasis on reducing the carbon footprint and providing value-for-money.

The Incomac Viscous Dissipation Kiln (model IDV Kiln) requires no external heat source, no boilers or gas burners.

This is a kiln design that uses airflow to produce heat using the concept of viscous dissipation. The term viscous dissipation refers to the conversion of mechanical energy into heat as a result of the friction between a moving fluid and a solid surface. In the context of drying wood, high airflow can aid in the drying process by promoting viscous dissipation.

With the Incomac MAC-Hybrid drying kiln, mills can use available electric energy in combination with a boiler—and make the most of both—to get a better drying performance.

This innovative hybrid drying kiln allows mills to increment the temperature in the kiln and save a significant amount of money, optimize the energy produced by the wood waste boiler and the condensation machine, and use the hot water produced by the boiler to speed up the drying process.

Nyle Dry KilnsNyle Dry Kilns

Nyle Dry Kilns has launched its all-new ProDRY high temperature continuous kilns. As an industry leader, Nyle says that it has redefined lumber drying with this cutting edge series, combining European-style progressive kiln designs with its deep knowledge of the North American lumber drying industry.

These ProDRY kilns set new standards for energy efficiency, incorporating a range of innovative features never before seen in dry kilns, says the company. With advanced state-of-the-art technology, Nyle says that they deliver exceptional performance for both the hardwood and softwood markets.

Customers can customize their drying process by selecting from Nyle’s steam/hot water, gas-fired, or high temp heat pump energy options to suit their needs. The company says that customers will experience unparalleled precision and control in lumber drying like never before.

Wagner MetersWagner Meters

Proven for over 50 years in hundreds of mills worldwide, Wagner’s moisture measurement systems and moisture analysis software have provided solutions to minimize wet claims and maximize profits.

Providing critical moisture quality control data, mills can also rely on these valuable tools to alleviate product degrade due to overdrying. Utilizing state-of-the-art electromagnetic wave technology, the MC4000 includes recent innovations for in-kiln moisture measurement.

The MC4000 Advanced In-Kiln Moisture Measurement System enables the kiln operator to monitor the moisture content (MC) of each charge and develop consistent drying time schedules for improved kiln performance and reduced operating costs.




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