Sawmilling

Dec. 13, 2018 – “It was either just run the other equipment into the ground and walk away, or dive in head first,” says Kris Heideman, vice-president of Eganville, Ont.-based Lavern Heideman & Sons Lumber, about the company’s recent $17 million upgrade.
Dec. 3, 2018 – Since 2015, Canadian Forest Industries has hosted OptiSaw mill optimization and automation forum in Montreal, now a biennial event where sawmill owners, managers and optimization staff gather to hear about the latest technologies from major industry manufacturers.
Nov. 21, 2018 - OptiSaw may just be the most efficient way to keep up-to-speed on new and future sawmill solutions, and in touch with your peers. There's only a week to go before this exclusive event takes place in Montreal. 
Nov. 15, 2018 - B.C.-based Canfor Corporation is heading to Europe. The company has agreed to purchase a 70 per cent stake in Sweden's largest privately owned sawmill company, VIDA Group. 
Nov. 6, 2018 – CFI toured Eganville, Ont.-based Lavern Heideman & Sons, which recently invested $17 million to upgrade their sawmill, adding a new large-log line, two dry kilns and more. Vice-president Kris Heideman gave us a warm welcome! 
Nov. 1, 2018 – The lumber industry is facing a significant surplus of wood chips. This situation may well worsen in the coming years as pulp and paper mills consume fewer chips.
Dec. 10, 2018 - Irving Forest Services, a division of J.D. Irving Ltd., has seen success with virtual training through the Northern Lakes College (NLC) and Plant Engineering & Maintenance Association of Canada (PEMAC) Maintenance Management Professional (MMP) program, which was designed for maintenance personnel and supervisors to learn effective management of physical assets.
Sept. 28, 2018 - In the old days, gas welding was the choice of most sawfilers, and for many it still is. In modern times, however, the mig welder has become more popular. Unfortunately, there is a learning curve when you switch over, and re-cracks are a common curse on new users. As with anything in saw filing, there are many ways to do the job and so, at the risk of offending filers who swear by their own methods, this is what works for me.
March 26, 2018 - Sawmillers in Canada today have more technology options to consider than ever before for every aspect of an operation. When it comes to kiln drying, batch systems are the more common choice, but there isn’t one application that fits every sawmillers’ needs. Canadian Forest Industries spoke to three suppliers of continuous dry kilns (CDKs) to offer insight for sawmillers trying to decide what would work best.
March 13, 2018 - Ontario is supporting Columbia Forest Products to expand its plywood mill in Hearst and Rutherglen, helping to create and maintain almost 350 jobs and boost economic growth. The province is investing nearly $3.2 million over five years in Columbia Forest Products’ infrastructure project, which will enable the company to grow its business and increase efficiency by modernizing its infrastructure and purchasing new equipment to maximize production capacity, increase competitiveness and expand into new markets, while ensuring resources are managed sustainably. “A respectful working relationship between the Ontario government, our union partners and Columbia’s leadership team in Ontario continues to strengthen as evidenced by the ongoing expansion and modernization of Columbia’s Ontario hardwood plywood and veneer operations — a positive case study that witnesses complementary organizations working together to build a solid future for Columbia’s dedicated Ontario team members,” said Gary Gillespie, executive vice-president of Canadian plywood and decorative veneer operations at Columbia Forest Products. Columbia Forest Products is one of North America's largest manufacturers of hardwood plywood and hardwood veneer products. Columbia's decorative interior veneers and panels are used in high-end cabinetry, fine furniture, architectural millwork and commercial fixtures. “I am happy to see the investment we are making in northern Ontario, and the support this will provide to families in Ontario,” said Minister of Economic Development and Growth Steven Del Duca. By generating over $15.3 billion in revenues and supporting approximately 172,000 direct and indirect jobs, the forestry sector is a significant part of communities across the province. “Our government understands how important a strong forest products sector is to Ontario’s economy and the key role it plays in many northern and rural communities,” said Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Nathalie Des Rosiers. “The Forestry Growth Fund, under the Jobs and Prosperity Fund, is assisting the sector to increase production capacity and expand into new markets while continuing to ensure our forests are sustainably managed.”
Feb. 27, 2018 - In 1999, thousands of hours of dedicated volunteer work and more than 20 years of community input came to fruition with the incorporation of the Harrop-Procter Community Co-operative.
Dec. 1, 2017 - Canfor Pulp Products Inc. announced today that it has taken a temporary and unscheduled outage on one production line at its Northwood Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft (NBSK) pulp mill located in Prince George, B.C., as a result of a tube leak in the number five recovery boiler. Canfor Pulp anticipates the number five recovery boiler to be down for approximately two weeks, and is currently projecting 15,000 tonnes of reduced NBSK pulp production during the fourth quarter 2017, as well as higher associated maintenance costs and lower projected shipment volumes. To mitigate the impact of the incident, Canfor Pulp is continuing to operate the second production line at the Pulp mill and will advance certain mill maintenance activities previously scheduled to be performed in the first quarter of 2018. Due to mitigation efforts by Canfor Pulp the temporary outage is not expected to have a material impact on the financial condition of the Company. The company will be making a claim under its insurance program.
Dec. 10, 2018 - CFI has a rundown of the newest kiln technology for drying Canadian lumber in 2018.
Dec. 4, 2018 – Rayonier Advanced Materials (A.M.) is investing to update the primary breakdown line at its La Sarre, Que. plant. The company is installing a new small log line from USNR that will feature a knuckle turner and extended length infeed with slew, skew and tilt capabilities, PGLR log rotation monitoring and correction system, canter, sideboard profiler, quad arbor sawbox and VSS vertical shape sawing gang system. The stud mill operation processes Eastern SPF logs from three to 17 inches in diameter, with the line’s maximum operating speed at 600 fpm. The La Sarre mill will also install a sawmill multi-track fence as it re-tools to improve its process.
Nov. 27, 2018 – One of the earliest beneficiaries of Industry 4.0 manufacturing techniques has unveiled a detailed guide to adoption that avoids a negative impact on current production.
Nov. 6, 2018 – At JoeScan’s TP&EE (Timber Processing and Energy Expo) booth in October, a group of sawmill industry leaders gathered to toast Galloway Lumber, the winner of the Longest Running JoeScan contest. This announcement ended the months-long search for the longest continually operating JoeScan 3D laser scanner.
Oct. 31, 2018 – Samuel Strapping Systems unveiled two automated prototypes at TP&EE 2018, a robot that places dunnage and a strapping machine.
Oct. 31, 2018 – At TP&EE 2018 in Portland, Ore., Autolog introduced the new GEN3 log optimizer.
Dec. 5, 2018 – A university student from the UK once asked me on LinkedIn what my take was on target zero incidents or accidents at the workplace, and whether this is achievable. To be honest, I was thinking that she (the student) had been asked this question as an assignment, but then I realized this was a great opportunity to spread the safety message to a different part of the world.
Sept. 27, 2018 - Conifex, the forestry company headquartered in British Columbia, has been fined more than $191,000 for a worker injury and safety violation at its Fort St. James sawmill site. 
Sept. 13, 2018 - In the fall of 2017, after a record-setting wildfire season in the history of B.C., the provincial government estimated that 53 million cubic metres of timber had been burned in the Interior — an entire year’s worth of harvest. At the time of writing this column — mid-summer 2018 — it looked as though this year’s wildfire season would be similarly severe. Much of that timber was and will be salvageable, but processing fire-damaged wood presents its own set of risks and hazards that need to be evaluated, planned for, and mitigated. In addition to the technological and quality issues that can arise, potential health and safety risks to workers need to be addressed by employers. The most immediate exposure hazards for sawmill workers handling burnt timber are the ash and char that accompany the fire-damaged wood. Ash and char from forest fires can be complex mixtures that will vary depending on the temperature of the fire. Char is composed of a variety of carbon-based compounds, which are formed at lower fire temperatures, some of which may be carcinogenic. As char is only partially combusted wood, char dust will remain combustible. Higher-temperature fires will also result in wood ash (calcium carbonate), which is no longer combustible but is a lung irritant. Char dust and wood ash are both much finer than wood dust and will be easily breathable; long-term, repeated exposures at high concentrations have the potential to cause respiratory illness. Short-term health effects from exposure to wood char and ash can include eye, nose, and throat irritation, coughing, and allergic reactions. In the long term, exposure may lead to more serious health issues, including lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). As with any kind of respiratory hazard, employers must evaluate the exposure and minimize it with appropriate control measures. If a work process continues to expose workers to potentially harmful levels of these air contaminants, workers must be provided with a filtered booth or work area, or wear appropriate respiratory protection. In addition to exposure hazards, the dust produced during processing may pose a higher risk of combustion. Burnt timber can be lower in moisture than intact timber, and the drier and finer the dust, the greater the risk of deflagration, or explosion. Char dust is itself highly combustible, so additional control measures may be required to ensure combustion risks are properly managed. Beyond dust, new variables mean every aspect of production must be scrutinized through the lens of health and safety. Drier wood may behave differently, creating other risks as it moves through the production process. For more information on evaluating, planning for and mitigating risks, the following resources can be found at worksafebc.com: Guide: Combustible Dust in Wood Products Manufacturing Safety bulletin: Exposure to ash — logging operations https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/risk-advisory/exposure-ash-logging-operations-wildfires?lang=en Barry Nakahara is WorkSafeBC’s manager of prevention field services in Prince George, B.C., and manager of interest for the manufacturing and occupational disease strategies.  
Aug. 17, 2018 - Getting sawfilers to agree on anything is a challenging proposition at best. Name any aspect of the trade and the filer from the mill by the river will tell you that the filer from the mill by the lake is out of his mind. The one thing that almost any head filer will agree on: the trade is in danger without an excellent training program for new filers.
June 22, 2018 - Dust Safety Week is coming to a close after five days of coverage on dust safety best practices, technical information and solutions to help pellet plants and sawmills keep their operations and operators safe.Our video this year highlights the importance of learning from each other’s experiences through sharing stories. Fornebu Lumber’s safety and training co-ordinator Christian Fournier describes an incident where two fires were both ignited and safely put out in one day. “We were very lucky that our staff acted very quickly and safely in order to contain the fire from spreading,” Fournier said.Fournier said he chose to share this experience with others, including Fornebu Lumber’s corrective actions following the incident, to prevent this type of situation from occurring elsewhere. You can also find more details about the incident in Fournier’s article published this week.Among our other main stories, you can also read about preventing a dust collector inlet explosion by regular CFI contributor and dust mitigation expert John Bachynski.Fike’s Jef Snoeys, Jeff Mycroft, and Dave Buchanan outline concerns that arise from dust created during the processing of wood biomass, and best practices in the industry to mitigate those concerns. And don’t miss the six questions to ask when choosing a dust collection system contractor by the VETS Group’s Erin Rayner.Find those stories and much more from our archives on the Dust Safety Week 2018 landing page, which will continue to be a hub for the industry to learn best practices and find the latest information on dust safety and mitigation.Content on our landing page will be hosted there for the next year for readers to reference.Thank you to our sponsors and safety partners VETS and Fike:
June 21, 2018 - A dust collection system is an integral part of a facility and needs to be maintained and updated properly. The knowledge of the team in charge of keeping this vital system in tip top shape is also critical. This is especially because, as per NFPA 664, the owner has a responsibility to ensure that the facility and the combustible dust system are designed, installed and maintained properly.
May 4, 2018 - File Week 2018 wraps today after five full days of coverage focused on new technology and processes for the file room, as well as strategies for filers to continue advancing their skills. Here’s a snapshot of what we learned from the featured articles, videos and columns.
May 4, 2018 - It is no longer just a man’s world, it’s our world too! As a female breaking into the sawfiling trade, I often face odd looks of surprise when asked about my occupation. The fact is women are just as capable as men in all aspects of the trade.
May 2, 2018 - In an ideal world, it would be a joy to come to work knowing that all your co-workers were on the same page. You would all agree on what your daily objective was and would work together to achieve it. There would be no petty jealousies, no power struggles and no bad attitudes. In short, it would be a delight. Unfortunately, no such workplace exists or at least if it does, I have never heard of it.
May 1, 2018 - “A Few Good Filers” could be the title of a blockbuster film coming to a sawmill near you! I kid of course, as there is no movie. It is however a phrase that I feel aptly sums up the plight of our trade. There are fewer and fewer good filers left out there, as we transition away from the old guard and usher in a new era of youthful exuberance.
April 30, 2018 - Matt Williams, president and CEO of Williams & White, introduces the German-manufactured Kohlbacher Shark 3000 profile grinder to the North American market at the BC Saw Filers Association 2018 convention in Kamloops, B.C. 
April 30, 2018 - More than 30 saw filing vendors filled 60 booths at the Coast Kamloops Hotel & Conference Centre in Kamloops, B.C., April 26-28, to show off their newest machinery for filing rooms.

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