Designed to reduce work and costs
NECESSITY IS the Mother of Invention ... or so the saying goes, and that’s what has helped shape and build the credentials of two major players in the timber machinery business.
MPB Engineering and Jim Magee (Victorian Timber Engineering) approach every job with a view to making things easier and cheaper for their clients. Take the recent case of Matthews Timber. They needed a new dust extraction system, so, their obvious choice was to ask Jim and MPB what could be done.
The answer .... a brand new modular system that can grow with the business needs -- and far cheaper than would normally be expected.
“Most timber companies have very old hoppers that are long past their use by date,” says Jim. “Some are too small and some just let their dust just fall to the ground and pick it up with a wheel loader.
“Many small to medium manufacturers have three cubic metre bins under their extractors that fill up every two to three hours; we can modify these extractors to blow dust up into a much larger hopper that can hold 40, 50, or 60+ cubes of dust. In many cases this is about one week’s dust accumulation,” he said.
Jim was proud to extol the virtues of the new hopper system --- “it’s modular; it can be designed to hold from 20 to 120 cubic metres; it’s free standing; it takes about one week to install; it’s a very solid unit; it comes with four hydraulic bottom swing down doors and simply bolts to the ground. The panels are galvanised and the hardware is stainless,” he says.
There’s a free site inspection and quote for those interested in this machine and upgrades are available for entire dust extraction systems.
Jim’s been in the timber industry for 40 years and has worked in conjunction with MPB since 1988. “We’ve had numerous very successful projects together and the hopper is the latest,” he says.
Who were the driving forces behind the hopper system? “Peter Bottomley and I decided that we wanted to build a modular system so we could accommodate requests from mills from 20 cubic metres up to 150 cubic metres, and we came up with the modular system that grows as the need grows.
“We designed the hydraulics for the hydraulic doors. We can build it to suit. We can build it to fit in any space,” says Jim.
“People are currently dumping dust into little 3cubic metre bins -- we can swap the over to 60cubic metre bins quite easily with a few modifications to their system. Some people are changing four or five bins each day. Put it all into one big hopper get a semi to come in and empty it all at once.
“We can retrofit these hoppers to almost any extraction system,” he said.
Jim started off as a wood machinist at the age of just 16 in Victoria and he’s still in the timber industry and supplying machinery to some of the largest suppliers/producers and manufacturers in Australia.
He started his own business back in 2000 and at one stage had seven employees but, according to Jim, it became far too difficult and he decided “the consulting line was much more down my alley” and he’s been a consultant for the best part of a decade. Part of his expertise is also relocating machinery --- definitely a specialist job!
Jim is currently doing a lot of work at Powelltown Sawmill. “They’re going through an upgrade at the moment ad I’m in and out of Powelltown quite a lot. They’ve got a fantastic new owner, Harold Fox. He’s a man with great vision. He’s revolutionised that sawmill,” says Jim.
He’s very strong on the MPB connection and its specialised machines.
“We are currently doing a million dollar project in Tasmania. They’re upgrading plant and equipment, and they’ve given the majority of it to Victorian Timber Engineering.
“Peter (Bottomley) is currently building handling systems and a brand new end matcher which will accommodate flooring up to 450mm wide. It’s a revolutionary machine. It’s a throughfeed machine, that’s what makes the difference.
“It will be the first of its kind anywhere in the world, so that’s going to be groundbreaking.”
“Aaron manages MPB now and he’s very switched on; very smart guy. MPB really do great work.”
Modular system grows with business needs.