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2021 kiln showcase

A look at the newest kilns on the market for drying lumber

May 4, 2021  By Canadian Forest Staff

DelTech is a primary manufacturer of continuous and batch kilns as well as biomass-fueled energy systems. DelTech’s innovative designs are always triggered by the analysis of the client’s drying requirements. The drying system production capacities range from 60MM to 160MM BFM/yr. The kilns can be heated directly using low NOx natural gas-fueled burners, sloped grate green sawdust burners or dry fuel suspension burners. On sites with centralized heating plants (thermal oil, steam or hot water), multi-zoned indirect heating systems are used within the kiln. Experienced field teams ensure high-quality installation, commissioning and maintenance.

American 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 – everything from package kilns for smaller volumes of hardwoods to large volume, high-throughput conifer kilns such as high-temperature and/or continuous track kilns. American Wood Dryers’ heat systems include hot water, steam, hot oil, and natural gas or biomass direct-fired. Circulating air systems can be direct drive kiln duty motors or standard motors mounted outside of the kiln chamber.  VF drives are supplied for power economy. Drystar P-based proprietary control systems or PLC systems are supplied based on customer preference.



As a leading supplier of lumber drying technology for over 50 years, Wellons continues to provide effective lumber drying technology. Using specialized expertise, Wellons provides full turnkey installation. Offering both greenfield and batch kiln conversion options, Wellons’ continuous drying systems provide significant advantages over traditional batch kilns, including production guarantees that are met or exceeded, increased annual drying production, up to 30 per cent thermal energy recovery, and improved grade recovery. The systems also provide lower standard deviation on target moisture control, optimal utilization with the chamber always 100 per cent full of lumber and more consistent lumber feed through the planer.

Finna Sensors

The innovative Finna Sensors KilnScout system provides the industry’s leading wireless in-kiln moisture control system for batch and continuous kilns. Using capacitive measurement technology, KilnScout allows lumber manufacturers to control the drying process from direct moisture content input. This eliminates the costly feedback loop from the planer mill and unreliable time-based drying schedules. The result is improved grade recovery, increased throughput and a significant impact on the bottom line.


Cathild’s high-capacity, low-temperature dryer for softwood uses the same technique as for pre-drying hardwood but in optimal condition year-round. The temperature, air speed and relative humidity are constant, so no drying cycle is needed. The energy consumption is low and losses in downgrading due to drying are almost non-existent. It is ideal for secondary processing applications.


Smithco offers adjustable pitch and fully reversible propellers ranging from 30 to 84 inches. The company also offers engineering and application support to make sure operators are getting the results they need. Smithco’s decades of experience and lab-tested results can give reliable performance estimates to improve drying times, which means less trouble-shooting and more throughput.

Player Design Inc.

The Player Design Inc. (PDI) kiln heating system utilizes PDI’s proprietary waste wood burner and air-to-air heat exchangers to provide ash-free heat for up to two kilns at a time. PDI’s economical waste wood burner is capable of providing a steady, stable source of heat while burning a variety of waste fuels with varying moisture content. A heat exchanger allows the combustion heat to be transferred to the inside of the kiln without exposing the final product to any ash or disrupting the airflow balance inside the kiln. PDI’s kiln heating system includes its own control system and supports full integration with kiln controls.

MEC Dry Kilns

With more than 200 VIP II Kiln Controllers in operation, the VIP II provides numerous advantages such as drawing a real curve of the drying cycle, allowing access to several climate zones per kiln, a user-friendly and intuitive interface, 100 per cent remote management, and modulating controls, vents, heating valves, burners and other critical components. It also provides a complete alarm program, which can be sent by email or text for proactive and immediate corrections. The controllers are controlled by an Allen-Bradley programmable logic controller (PLC). Many payback evaluations have been done with mills who opted for the VIP II kiln controller. The results have shown an average return on investment between four to six months, based on energy savings, an increase in lifespan of certain critical components through proactive controls and time savings on problem solving.


Brunner-Hildebrand Lumber Dry Kiln Co., based in Nashville, Tenn., has introduced Hildebrand Weight Precision Technology (HWPT), a wood moisture measurement system capable of weighing entire lumber stacks in wireless mode. The patented system comes as a new feature of Brunner-Hildebrand´s currently remodeled kiln control software B-Vector. The HWPT system is an improvement over common in-kiln-probe systems or electrical resistance metering because it produces more accurate results. It may be integrated into the daily work routine easily by using these weighing devices in lieu of regular 4x4s. The system also is available for installation in kiln carts. Customers benefit from a superb level of accuracy and its practical implementation.

SII Dry Kilns

Since 2008, SII has continuously monitored the “thermally modified wood” equipment industry with great interest. WDE Maspell, based in Terni, Italy, has produced wood vacuum dryers since 1962 and Thermo-Vacuum (the combination of vacuum technology and thermal modification to provide higher lumber yield and machinability) equipment since 2011. Many industrialized European countries have eliminated the use of “chemically” infused lumber traditionally used outdoors. This created an opportunity to use this new technology to make products that could fill that void. The lumber is super-heated to approximately 200 C for a few hours in an oxygen deprived chamber. The final product is much less susceptible to insect infestation and has much less water absorption than other exterior woods.


KBI and Secovac offer an integrated product suite for lumber manufacturers’ dry kilns, optimizing drying operations while increasing the bottom line. The Kiln Booster enables efficient drying at lower temperatures while decreasing drying times by up to 25 per cent. The AccuStop in-kiln moisture reader measures the lumber moisture content (MC) during the entire drying process within one per cent endpoint accuracy for highly repeatable and consistent results, completely eliminating the need for hot checks. When used with Secovac’s Dry Kiln Control System, it allows for full automation and standardization of drying schedules. It is the only integrated system in North America to utilize the real MC readings to automatically advance the drying schedule segments in real-time and shut off the kiln, resulting in five to 10 per cent shorter drying schedules, tighter MC distributions and higher grade outturn.


One of Mühlböck’s latest innovations is the Progressive kiln FLOW. This unidirectional CDK ensures simple and fast (un)loading, while the automatic transport system with buffer zones can eliminate night shift forklift operation. By combining these features with the drying quality of conventional batch kilns, the Mühlböck Progressive FLOW fills in the logistic gap and increases productivity. With their first-of-its-kind green energy biomass project well underway, the Meadow Lake Tribal Council of Saskatchewan has already decided on this most modern kiln drying technology, to be installed this summer.

EBI Dry Kiln

Since 1995, EBI has been a top-quality brand of high-temperature, totally enclosed, reliable and durable dry kiln duty motors. From one- to 30-hp, 900, 1200 and 1800 RPM, EBI dry kiln duty motors are used by lumber dry kiln manufacturers and sawmills in North and South America, Europe and Australia. EBI dry kiln duty motors are available through a distributor network for quick availability. They are built in NEMA or IEC frames, covered by warranty for up to three years and are rated to 120 C ambient temperature.

KDS Windsor

In business since 1992, KDS Windsor specializes in the design, manufacturing and installation of batch and continuous lumber drying kilns, wood waste heat plants and material handling systems. KDS Windsor offers equipment for both hardwood and softwood markets. The advanced DrySpec family of electrical controls and DryTrack in-kiln moisture measurement system gives users the most precise, automatic and trouble-free drying systems in the lumber industry.


The new UniFlow kiln is a continuous kiln similar to the CounterFlow kiln, but the heating chamber in the UniFlow has been moved from the middle to the ends. In the Counter-Flow kiln, lumber is loaded at opposite ends onto a cart with a hydraulic pusher system that indexes through the kiln at specified rates based on ambient temperature, moisture content, and desired throughput. The UniFlow kiln uses the same pusher system, except both tracks are loaded at the same end. Instead of having the hydraulics on either side of the kiln running opposite each other, both pushers are on the same side of the kiln, indexed together moving in the same direction. The result is impressive push rates, gaining two more feet per hour with 20 degrees less heat.


Valutec has delivered more than 1,500 continuous kilns to sawmills around the world. Valutec’s state-of-the-art TC continuous kiln feature high flexibility and superior capacity. Operators can create the ultimate drying process with unlimited freedom to mix dimensions, minimal moisture content variation and reduced risk of checking. Annual capacity can reach 125 MMBF with target moisture contents down to around 12-18 per cent. The principle is based on the timber package being fed length-wise through zones in which the air circulates laterally across the drying channel. This enables the separate regulation of the climate in different zones according to a schedule that comes very close to the ideal schedule of a batch kiln.

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