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Lavern Heideman & Sons’ Kris Heideman talks upgrades

Dec. 20, 2016 - It was announced earlier in December that Lavern Heideman & Sons would be upgrading its facilities.

The Eganville, Ont.-based company’s $16.9-million expansion project includes modernizing infrastructure, purchasing new equipment and consolidating operations.

“Right now we have two sawmills on the site — a bandmill for larger diameter logs and a scragg mill for nine inches and under,” vice-president of Lavern Heideman & Sons Kris Heideman told Canadian Forest Industries. “And it’s the big log line, the 10 inch and up line that we’re rebuilding. And then we’re also adding in kilns and planing and remanufacturing capabilities.” 

Heideman said specific equipment has already been chosen for the upgrade. 

“There will be a 130-bin sorter and stacker by Piché, T-S Manufacturing for the sawmill [and] the rest is to be determined,” Heideman said. “The sorter and stacker will start up in December 2017 and the new sawmill will start up in spring of 2018.”

Heideman says productivity and efficiency gains are the main goals of the expansion project, which will also create 18 new jobs.

“There is the potential to add another shift on top of what we’re doing currently, but that being said there will be jobs added on the finishing, remanufacturing and packaging lines,” Heideman said.

He also added that production will go up about 60 per cent as a direct result of the upgrades.

“Just through our improvements and our processes for the big log line, and the newer equipment, and significant upgrades, and optimization and scanning capabilities will all improve our efficiency and our productivity,” Heideman told CFI.

Heideman said he is most looking forward to the modernization of the plant and the security that will be provided for employees “that will be competitive well into the future.”

The Lavern Heideman & Sons upgrade is poised to be a positive project for the entire Eganville area.

“It’s significant to note it’s not just the hundred and some jobs at the mills,” Heideman said. “It’s the harvesting activities that support the wood flow not only in our mill, but other sawmills and pulp mills, biogas plants, MDF plants, all benefit from the increased harvesting activity on the landscape. And it’s good for the forest management and our forests going forward.”
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