Sawmilling

Aug. 7, 2018 - Maibec is happy to announce that it concluded a transaction with Groupe Lebel of Rivière-du-Loup for their acquisition of the Maibec lumber mills located in St-Pamphile, Que., and Masardis, Maine.
July 31, 2018 - The oldest of seven boys, Leo Eby grew up on a dairy farm with his family. Whenever his dad didn’t need his help on the farm, Leo would help out at his neighbour’s sawmill.
July 3, 2018 - A partnership between three Ontario First Nations reached an agreement to re-open Nakina sawmill, which had been shut down for a decade.The Agoke Lumber Limited Partnership, (which consists of Aroland, Eabametoong and Marten Falls First Nations) and Nakina Lumber Inc. signed the deal on Friday.Agoke partnership president Mark Bell said the decision will provide more employment opportunities and provide another revenue stream for First Nation communities. "This [joint venture] agreement is part of an overarching Agoke strategy that will help us continue to ensure that local forest resources are protected, managed and developed for the mutual benefit of our First Nation partners and peoples," Bell said in a statement.Read the full story here.
June 7, 2018 - From machine “deep learning” artificial intelligence for lumber grading to using near-infrared spectroscopy to sort species, speakers at OptiSaw mill automation and optimization forum gave their audience a rare glimpse into the future of sawmilling.
May 30, 2018 - It is said that if you want to truly understand somebody then you have to know all about where they live and where they come from. That is certainly the case with the Kalesnikoff family and the sawmill complex they operate on the bank of the idyllic Kootenay River between Nelson and Castlegar, B.C.
May 23, 2018 - Interfor Corporation announced that it has resumed operations at its sawmill in Grand Forks, B.C., following severe flooding in the area over the past two weeks.
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.
April 13, 2017 - You know the old saying that you can tell a lot about a person by the way they dress, and how they present themselves? The same rule applies to business.  I had lunch with a friend the other day and like usual, we were talking shop. He seemed agitated, like he wanted to say something but kept stopping himself. Eventually I blurted out, “Just say it already!” As it turns out, he wanted to suggest a topic for me to write an article about. Something that he’d been noticing for awhile about sawmills, and it needed to be said. I love receiving topic suggestions from people. Usually when someone in the industry sends me a topic, it’s something a lot of people want to hear about and is very relevant. My friend wanted me to write about hygiene in sawmills; how clean and organized they are. He told me he could tell the financial state of a sawmill by its cleanliness. I paused for a moment and thought about all the sawmills I’ve been to over the years (hundreds!). I hadn’t looked at it from that aspect before. Looking back, I realized that yes, when mills looked dirty, disorganized or otherwise unkempt, they were often struggling financially. Why a dirty sawmill is a failing sawmill  I hadn’t considered the correlation between the financial health of a sawmill and its emphasis on cleanup as being related. But, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.  For the people working in sawmills, or the forestry sector, you’ve been there, right? I’ve heard of many people not wanting to go back to certain mills because they felt uneasy. It just seemed like there was something wrong there. I get it. When you enter a sawmill, there is literally wood flying everywhere. There’s lots going on, people bustling about. The more productive the mill, the more wood flying and bustling people. Don’t get me wrong, I love to watch productivity at work! It’s so nice to see a mill running smoothly. The problem is when you go into a mill where what looks like productivity, is actually chaos in disguise. What your dirty sawmill says about you When you visit someone’s house, or business, and it’s dirty or cluttered, it tells you a lot about that household or business. Often it can mean not having pride in their surroundings, or themselves. Personally, I wouldn’t go back to a house that’s dirty. I’m not talking about a few newspapers left out, I mean like really filthy! This is what my friend was implying when he suggested the topic of sawmill hygiene. More than just appearances, when you go into a business that’s dirty and unkempt, what does it say about them? Do you think they have an emphasis on safety? Are their employees their number one concern? I can’t imagine that any disheveled business would have a good safety record. If they do, they’re on borrowed time until a real disaster hits. And in a business like a sawmill with powerful equipment and human machine operators, that disaster could mean someone’s life. My friend had another great point. He truly believes that companies who don’t emphasize proper cleanup or organization probably also don’t care much about maintaining their equipment. This stands to reason that if their maintenance is as bad as their filth, the company isn’t going to be around for the long term. It reminds me of those old, rundown stores you see when travelling around the world. One day they are just gone, but nobody wonders why. It was just a matter of time. Here, we analyze and overanalyze and fret. We ask ourselves, “Why did they fail?”  It was just a matter of time. Keeping your sawmill organized and productive A productive facility can make quite the mess! Mess doesn’t always equal a downward spiral. The real measure of a company, or sawmill, is how they deal with the mess. It shows their commitment to themselves, and the safety and health of their employees. Next time you’re walking around your shop, think about how you’d perceive it if you were brand new and it was your first visit there. Look around, see what could be organized better, or cleaned up better, or what needs maintenance soon.  You can’t make a product with a broom in one hand. But after you’re done making a product, then pick up a broom! Another great old saying is ‘everything in moderation’. I believe in that. A little mess, a little cleanup, they go hand in hand.  With sawmills, and all other businesses, first impressions are important. Many companies are having trouble attracting good skilled workers. Well, maybe a factor in that is how those companies present themselves. Potential employees will see that mess and think, “No way, I’m not working here, it’s not safe.” Your customers will see the mess too, just like a rundown roadside store. Don’t let your customers think it’s only a matter of time for you.
Feb. 13, 2017 - Several years ago, Foothills Forest Products had a difficult time finding a home for the shavings being produced by its planer mill operations at its sawmill in Grand Cache, Alta.
July 27, 2018 - Eight Solutions Inc., a technology company offering Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform for everyone, announced that a letter of intent has been signed with BID Group Technologies Ltd. to form a joint venture called Oper8.
July 25, 2018 - Neiman Enterprises has selected the Epicor LumberTrack system to seamlessly manage its business and prepare operations for future growth.
July 20, 2018 - TradeTec Computer Systems of Parksville, B.C., a leading solutions partner to the lumber industry since 1986, is committed to providing decision-makers access to the best information possible, in real-time. The TradeTec product development and implementation services team are the largest dedicated team in the industry; and with over 200 years collective experience, the impact of TradeTec solutions become increasingly popular every year. TradeTec is widely known for its TallyWorks and TallyWeb solutions that manage logs and lumber inventory in mills and warehouses; and TradeTec is the only lumber industry partner to have developed a computerized maintenance management solution (CMMS), Visual Maintenance Man (VMM). The impact of TradeTec as a partner is financially measurable almost immediately; the financial returns of this impact of a TradeTec partnership are characterized consistently as stable, configurable, and intuitive products delivered by highly-qualified implementation services. The TradeTec impact is sustained by six pillars:I – Important TradeTec knows their work is important for local and global lumber markets. M – Mode TradeTec operates in an entrepreneurial mode driven by learning. P- Preparedness TradeTec prepares an enterprise to make critical decisions using the best information possible. A- Actionable TradeTec takes action in response to the lumber industry only. C- Connected TradeTec solutions connects the enterprise in real-time. T- Time-sensitive TradeTec solutions are time-sensitive; and render immediate access to historical and forecasted information that describes critical enterprise functions. The rendering of real-time information from TradeTec solutions impacts the enterprise from the first moment logs are identified through the entire production and distribution process because they represent both disruptive and sustaining innovations. Disruptive innovations are distinguished as those which create a demand for something, which never existed before, and is often a product improvement; whereas a sustaining innovation enhances something already in place, and is often a process improvement.As depicted in the graphic, production and distribution processes are becoming increasingly automated, leveraging a variety of sensors, drives, interface, and controls; and with that, the criticality of interfacing operations technology (OT) and information technology (IT) is also increasingly important. This phenomenon of interfacing OT into the resulting IT, is known also as the Internet-of-Things (IoT) or Internet-of-Everything; and is the inevitable outcome of the fourth Industrial Revolution wherein everything locale and global is being digitized and connected. The technologies necessary to interface OT and IT include both disruptive and sustaining innovations, such as what TradeTec provides the lumber industry. OT refers to hardware and software that monitor and direct tangible units, people and assets. IT refers to information rendered for decision-making functions; and in general, IT does not include embedded technologies that do not generate data for enterprise use. TradeTec solutions render real-time data that describe OT and IT. TallyWorks is an IT solution resulting often from OT; and VMM is both IT and OT solution. For instance, an automated tally of a bundle of lumber results from vision enabled OT and becomes IT or information that describes inventory and is referenced while making decisions like “how much should I sell this bundle for?” As an OT solution, VMM allows bi-directional human interface into equipment (HMI) that is connected using sensors (temp, RPM, hours, etc.) and automated controls (PLCs). These bi-directional signals over a network of sensors that trigger HMI or PLC controls to engage, is referred to as SCADA, supervisory control and data acquisition. TradeTec VMM is an OT or a SCADA system and is also an IT system wherein information stimulates human involvement beyond HMI in the form of work orders, purchase orders, and learning. While most SCADA allows HMI for bi-directional control of assets, it does not create a traceable stimulus for human engagement such as the function of a work-order. Similarly, in the process of completing a work-order, inventory is relinquished and becomes the stimulus for a purchase-order. This process of maintenance tracked in CMMS (i.e. work-orders and purchase-orders) is accomplished by ongoing learning. Unlike a bi-directional SCADA interface (i.e. OT), VMM is also the information (i.e. IT) that engages the workforce by stimulating accountability measures and human resources development (HRD) through facilitated learning. The IT result of OT for monitor/control assets is the information describing workforce interactions with assets in the past to influence decisions about workforce interactions with assets in the future. Likewise, the IT result of OT HRD/learning is a knowledge base describing a skilled workforce of the past to influence decisions HRD/learning for a skilled workforce in the future. TradeTec plans to stay dedicated exclusively to the lumber industry for the long-term. So, if you are a lumber producing enterprise or a lumber distributor, you can be confident that TradeTec has the product and process innovations you require now and in-the-future. TradeTec is committed to providing your decision makers access of the best information possible, in real-time.
July 19, 2018 - USNR has designed a new all-electric Stick-N-Stacker (Lunden style) that boasts many advanced features. You can take advantage of the newer technology through upgrades to your existing stacker.The Rake Off Assembly upgrade converts your system from hydraulic to electric, achieving a smooth operation up to 20 cycles per minute while maintaining ability to retract forks, even if boards are out of position, without damaging the Rake Off. Wide target design with breakaway pins prevents damage when contacting broken boards Target closely follows the fork taper and pan contour preventing stick rake back issues “Safe zero potential” prevents Rake Off from falling even with broken chains! Removes rack and spur gears (formerly for equalization) Click here to watch it in action.USNR is continually making upgrades available for our existing systems as technology advances. For more upgrade options, click here.
July 18, 2018 - Are you a manufacturer or researcher in the sawmill industry offering an innovative optimization or automation option that can help modern sawmill operations succeed? Send us your proposal to present at OptiSaw.
July 18, 2018 - Sennebogen has introduced the new 855 E model to its line-up of material handlers to complete the largest product line of purpose-built material handlers worldwide.
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.
June 19, 2018 - Dust collectors containing combustible material are required to have an explosion backflow preventor installed on the main inlet duct to prevent an explosion occuring inside the dust collector from travelling back into the building.
June 19, 2018 - The Wood Products Safety Summit 2018 held in Prince George, B.C., on June 6 offered more than 50 delegates a day of diverse presentations on safety – with a clear focus on the value of both increased collaboration and process safety. Manufacturing Advisory Group (MAG) member and Conifex’s safety manager, Darren Beattie, provided an update on B.C.’s new Forest Industry Forum, on behalf of MAG. He said that the new Forest Industry Forum was a model that allowed for an all-inclusive consultative and collaborative forum between industry, the regulator and labour, with one shared focus: to bring about the best solutions for improved safety outcomes.[This article is part of our 2018 Dust Safety Week coverage. Find more articles here.]Darren shared how the latest forum had come about, going back to the 2012 Lakeland and Babine sawmill explosions; subsequent fatality inquests; and then the Macatee Report.While industry has previously worked with the regulator on safety matters, things had come to a point that there needed to be a process for consultation and collaboration with industry, labour, and the regulator on safety issues. He said the initial forums had become less effective over time because the structure and format of those forums was not designed for collaboration. As a result, he and Matt Franks, another MAG member and Canfor’s safety manager, had been charged by MAG to consult with WorkSafeBC on a process to address a need for sustained collaboration that would allow the building of a strong working relationship between industry, the regulator and labour to fully address emerging issues, risk reduction and compliance.With better communications, collaboration and shared commitment between the three groups to solve challenges, they have developed a more efficient and effective process built on broad, qualified stakeholder input and engagement that they all believe will lead to improved safety standards and performance.The framework has evolved away from looking at areas of concern to forming technical working groups – manufacturing and harvesting working groups. Both MAG and the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) feed into the technical manufacturing working group.While the groups meet quarterly, they communicate constantly on current and emerging issues.Darren explained that the participants on the manufacturing side included safety leaders from industry, labour, WorkSafeBC and the BC Forest Safety Council; and that there was equal representation on the harvesting side as well.In regards to harvesting, the focus is on addressing fatigue, load securement, self-loading truck guarding and phase congestion. On the manufacturing side, the focus is on the Part 12 regulation section review on safeguarding and the conflict between lockout and safeguarding, high risk strategy updates and wood fibre storage.Darren said the safeguarding technological advancement initiative, undertaken at Conifex, and supported by MAG and WorkSafeBC, had identified conflict within the regulation. The ultimate goal is to enable regulation to be formulated and implemented properly, which requires input, consultation and shared understanding in the early phases of testing and implementation. “There is an opportunity for industry to give input very early on in the process which is very important,” said Darren.Meetings have been scheduled for the rest of 2018 including planning for the annual forestry summit as well as a part 12 review of regulations re safeguarding.“We have one goal,” said Darren. “We are not there to lobby for any specific interests. We are there to find ways to achieve safer outcomes that see everyone go home safe.” Read more about the Wood Products Safety Summit here.
June 18, 2018 - Preventing wood dust fires is always a challenge for any company in the forestry industry. You might think you have everything under control or say, ‘We aren't that bad,’ but the truth is, the risk is always there and we must remain vigilant in order to minimize the risk of fires from wood dust.
June 18, 2018 - In 2017, WorkSafeBC continued its focus on combustible dust and undertook formal inspection initiatives to verify compliance with combustible dust requirements and to ensure the presence of effective combustible dust management programs in all operating British Columbia sawmills.
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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