J.D. Irving’s Sproule Lumbe in Truro, N.S., has recently completed a major upgrade to improve operations and productivity. The extensive modernization project, spanning over a year, encompassed improvements to nearly every area of the mill.
During the seven-week shutdown, the mill underwent intensive mechanical, civil and electrical work, with more than 100 contract workers involved at the peak. J.D. Irving employees also offered their support, assisting with fire watch and cleaning tasks throughout the shutdown period.
Key upgrades included the replacement of outdated equipment with new, state-of-the-art machines. Replacing these machines results in faster saw operation thanks to larger motors and advanced scanning technology. These upgrades will also result in better log recovery. This refers to how many board feet that can be recovered from the log and how many chips the log can provide to ensure maximum usage of every log. The new machine scans the logs and sends data to ensure the log is cut appropriately to maximize value.
A new planer and associated infeed and sticker handling systems were installed, further streamlining the production process. The trimmer/sorter line underwent multiple upgrades, allowing it to run up to 180 boards per minute. The sorter was expanded with 15 additional bins for dressed lumber and a second stacker was relocated from Deersdale. These machines will ensure that the sorting process of boards by length will be faster and smoother. To complete the upgrades, the mill also added an automated wrapper to allow for less manual labor and a safer workplace.
The Truro team has embraced the challenge of implementing this upgrade with enthusiasm and determination. With these improvements, the Truro Sawmill stands as a frontrunner in the industry, equipped with cutting-edge technology and improved capabilities. The upgrade is expected to enhance overall efficiency, quality and solidify the mill’s position as a leader in lumber production.
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