Au­to­ma­tion is key to sur­vival in sawmill in­dus­try

Australasian Timber - - NEWS -

THE SAWMILL in­dus­try has long since aban­doned labour-in­ten­sive man­ual op­er­a­tions in favour of ef­fi­ciency-en­hanc­ing au­to­mated pro­cesses. At the LIGNA 2017, the in­dus­try event for wood­work­ing and tim­ber pro­cess­ing in Han­nover, Ger­many , all the lead­ing global providers will be show­cas­ing tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions that take au­to­ma­tion to the next level.

Achiev­ing sus­tained prof­itabil­ity in sawmilling hinges on sys­tem-wide process op­ti­mi­sa­tion. Con­se­quently, sawmill com­pa­nies around the world are look­ing to in­vest in ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies across a range of ar­eas, from log han­dling right through to tim­ber dry­ing, optimization and pack­ag­ing. LIGNA, the world’s lead­ing trade fair for ma­chin­ery, plant and tools for the wood­work­ing and tim­ber pro­cess­ing in­dus­tries, is the per­fect place for them to do their re­search and en­sure they make the right de­ci­sions.

The show will fea­ture a solid line-up of mar­ket lead­ers, in­clud­ing Linck, USNR and Veisto, who will be pre­sent­ing in­te­grated sys­tems com­pris­ing state-ofthe-art round-wood han­dling and cut­ting sys­tems.

Vis­i­tors look­ing for round-wood yard op­ti­mi­sa­tion so­lu­tions will also find fully au­to­mated de­bark­ing sys­tems from a range of providers, in­clud­ing Bal­jer & Zem­brod and Valon Kone.

EWD will also be there with its cam­era-as­sisted log grad­ing and saw­ing pat­tern optimization soft­ware for max­i­miz­ing sawn tim­ber yield. The pri­mary fo­cus of in­no­va­tion in this area is on elec­tronic mea­sure­ment sys­tems. Tech­nolo­gies for de­ter­min­ing round-wood and lum­ber di­men­sions and qual­ity are an­other im­por­tant means of adding value in sawmilling. X-ray scan­ners, such as those pro­duced by Mi­crotec, are a prime ex­am­ple of this. The same is true of au­to­matic board edg­ing sys­tems, such as the lat­est edg­ing lines by Pri­mul­tini. Then, of course, there are spe­cial­ists like PAUL Maschi­nen­fab­rik GmbH & Co. KG, whose op­ti­mised dock­ing saws max­imise out­put and min­imise trim waste.

There is al­ways some de­gree of waste, of course, and so there is grow­ing in­ter­est in re­cy­cling sys­tems. For ex­am­ple, Ve­coplan and Ur­bas will be show­cas­ing their so­lu­tions for pro­cess­ing sawmill residues into valu­able prod­ucts and bio-fu­els. An­other ex­cit­ing op­tion in the sawmill ef­fi­ciency game re­lates to high-tech tim­ber kilns of the type show­cased by Mühlböck and Eberl. Th­ese kilns en­able sawmill op­er­a­tors to get high­qual­ity tim­ber to mar­ket faster and more eas­ily than ever be­fore. An­other key de­vel­op­ment is that more and more sawmill com­pa­nies are di­ver­si­fy­ing their port­fo­lios. In­creas­ingly, they are sup­ple­ment­ing their lum­ber of­fer­ings with pro­cessed, value-added tim­ber prod­ucts. LIGNA has this area cov­ered as well, with an ex­ten­sive ar­ray of prod­ucts rang­ing from small “plug & play” plan­ing so­lu­tions to the large-scale fin­ger-joint­ing plants de­vel­oped by the Weinig Group.

Event or­gan­is­ers say that in 2017, the LIGNA show’s re­vamped the­matic layout will make it much eas­ier for vis­i­tors to find what they are look­ing for. Prod­ucts and so­lu­tions for all stages of the sawmill value chain will be lo­cated un­der one roof, in Hall 25, while the dis­plays of mo­bile sawmill tech­nol­ogy will be lo­cated on the open-air site.

Meanwhile, the lat­est tech­nolo­gies for pro­cess­ing lum­ber into con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als such as struc­tural lam­i­nated tim­ber and ply­wood will be on show in the neigh­bour­ing Hall 27.

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