Roseburg EWP Plant Improves Flexibility
By Dan Shell
Installing a new fingerjoint line for solid sawn flange production and a new cold press has given Roseburg’s massive engineered wood products facility the ability to bring five process centres under one roof: drying and grading, hot press, an I-joist line, fingerjoint line and cold press.
By Dan Shell
The ability to offer solid sawn flanges “enables us to get into new markets and pick up new customers not only for the solid sawn products but other products as well,” says Dave Vculek, LVL I-Joist plant manager who’s been at the helm since the plant started up in 2001 as North America’s largest combination LVL/I-joist plant.
“The cold press enables us to offer thicker billets and beams and be able to produce it all on site and not have to use secondary manufacturers,” he adds. “Very few plants in North America have all these processes on site.”
Total investment during the past three years is $35 million, which includes a new Spar-Tek cold press, a new fingerjoint line with Western Pneumatics fingerjoint machine and table, SRT RF dryer, Systech proof loader and extensive handling and transfer systems from Convey Keystone.
The projects give the plant more control over quality and consistency in its products, the flexibility to respond to customer needs and the ability to ride out the current downturn while providing capacity and efficiency for when markets return. There’s also the opportunity to add new products.
“We can never hear enough from our customers about new products, so we keep adding SKUs,” says Vculek.
The recent projects have significantly boosted the plant’s work space, which now covers more than 700,000 square feet thanks to the new process upgrades and a rail spur improvement that added more rail and concrete loading pads.
The fingerjoint line started up in February 2008, and the cold press line started up in March 2009. The fingerjoint line was installed on the outskirts of the plant building, which was originally constructed to provide plenty of expansion room. The cold press was installed adjacent the original Raute LVL hot press to minimize billet handling.
The new cold press line allows the plant to produce LVL billets 4 feet by up to 66 feet long. Using billets from the hot press that range up to 1¾ inches thick, the cold press produces finished billets in 3 ½-, 5¼- and 7-in. sizes. Billets are transferred from the hot press to the cold press staging area via a 15-ton Coastal crane. The single-opening cold press from Spar-Tek is preceded by a glue applicator that applies melamine glue from Arclin. The billets’ latent heat from the hot press aids in the glue setting and curing process. After leaving the cold press, billets are fed through an existing Willamette Valley Co. sealant booth.
The plant’s new fingerjoint lumber line utilizes 2×6 material bought on the open market, roughly 60% from Canada at present. The fingerjoint stock is purchased in 8- to 20-ft. lengths and ripped to final width with a new Progressive rip saw. Defects are chopped out and the resulting flange material is fingerjointed with blocks down to 7 in. The material has already been MSR-rated before purchase, and Roseburg is adding an MSR machine at its nearby Dillard sawmill to bring more of the lumber sourcing in-house.
Components on the line include an NMI moisture meter, glue application system and SRT RF dryer. The line’s dust collection system and baghouse were supplied by Western Pneumatics.
Fingerjointed lengths are fed from 400 to 600 fpm through the RF dryer. Convey Keystone provided much of the line’s handling equipment. Fingerjointed boards leaving the line are routed to a curing tower designed by Roseburg personnel and built by Convey-Keystone.
The plant sources more than 90% of its veneer in house, thanks to Roseburg’s extensive peeling capacity at the adjacent Riddle plywood plant and nearby Dillard facilities. Veneer is dried with two Moore dryers, which have recently been restarted after being out of operation for a while due to high natural gas prices and plenty of overall Roseburg drying capacity.
Grading lines include a Metriguard 2800 machine and Ventek scanner, plus Elliott Bay moisture detector and Coe 14-bin stacker. Veneer from the stacker is transferred to inventory. Units of veneer are routed to two Raute layup lines featuring three dual-bin feeders that allow layups of up to six different grades at a rate of up to 60 sheets/minute. Vacuum feeders place sheets on a belt transfer that flows past a visual grader and through an Elliott Bay MC detector, under a Koch curtain coater and to the layup station, where sheet ends are staggered so the joints aren’t on top of each other.
The billet then flows in a continuous ribbon to a single-opening Raute cold press that adds compression and flattens the billet. Coming out of the cold press, the billet is cut to length, goes to a corner transfer and into storage before hot pressing.
The hot press is an eight-opening Raute unit 90 ft. long that can handle multiple billets on each platen. The hot press is heated by GTS thermal oil heat systems. Cycle times may range up to 25 minutes depending on product. Exiting the press, billets flow past an EWS blow detector and to a USNR billet stacker before being transferred to a storage area via a Coastal 15-ton crane. From storage, billets are moved to either the I-joist or header processing areas – or to the new cold press line.
Header stock is routed to a USNR gang rip saw that cuts the billet to desired width, and receives an eased edge cut as well through a second saw arbour. Header material is graded and stamped, then goes through a Willamette Valley Co. sealant booth before being moved to a USNR stacker.
Billets being made into I-joist flanges are sent to the same rip saw for final width cutting, then are graded and routed to the I-joist line.
Designed by RFP and manufactured by Convey Keystone, the I-joist line operates extremely fast, up to 600 feet/minute, with recent modifications that allow production of joists to 24 in. deep. I-joist line components include Western coping saws that cut flange grooves, Progressive profiling heads that machine the I-joist webbing edges and a Progressive CTL saw that makes final length cut.
Headers and I-joists are routed to two initial packaging lines that feature Convey Keystone PET saws and Signode strapping machines. Those two lines feed a finished product packaging line that includes Signode strapper and automatic batten placer.
Dan Shell is the managing editor of Panel World magazine. He originally produced this article for Panel World and it is reproduced in Canadian Wood Products with permission.