Feb. 22, 2017 - A fire at NorSask Forest Products has meant half of the company's workers have been laid off. CBC News reports. | READ MORE.
Feb. 22, 2017 - Patrick Lumber Company has acquired a portion of Mary’s River Lumber Company in Philomath, Ore. The eight-acre purchase encompasses five dry kilns andthe reman plant.  McCool Millworks Inc., based in Sweet Home, Ore., will head operations. The Philomath operation will begin by processing primarily high grade Douglasfir and Hemlock lumber creating an opportunity for a dozen employees with plans for expansion.  This acquisition is expected to add approximately twenty percent to Patrick Lumber’s processing capacity.
Feb. 15, 2017 - Morbark, a manufacturer of equipment used in forestry, recycling, tree care, landscaping, sawmill and biomass markets, has strengthened its senior management team with the appointment of Walt Niziolek as the new vice-president of operations and supply chain. Niziolek joins Morbark at a time of continued business growth to take charge of supply chain and site operational requirements. This includes managing local, U.S. and overseas vendors and suppliers, all warehouse and distribution activities, quality initiatives and liaising with business unit engineering support. Niziolek’s extensive expertise includes holding many previous senior leadership roles in manufacturing with companies such as CPG Building Products and Pride Mobility Products, where he specialized in deploying standardized work and other lean initiatives to improve safety, quality, delivery, supply chain management and cost. “I’m excited to bring Walt to the Morbark team,” said Dave Herr, Morbark CEO. “Walt has a proven track record of driving change through lean manufacturing and continuous improvement techniques. This, along with his experience in complex manufacturing environments producing customized, engineered products, makes him a great fit for Morbark.” Prior to his 20-plus years in manufacturing operations, Niziolek served as a captain in the U.S. Army, where he held multiple leadership and staff positions, both in peacetime and periods of conflict. “Working with Morbark is an exciting opportunity to take a solid company to new heights,” said Niziolek. “I look forward to developing many productive working relationships with both internal personnel and external suppliers and stakeholders.” Niziolek earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Southern Illinois University, as well as an MBA from the University of Michigan. Morbark, LLC, based in Winn, Mich., is celebrating 60 years of innovating and manufacturing durable, high-performance equipment for forestry, recycling, tree care, sawmill and biomass markets. Morbark equipment helps customers harvest, process and convert wood and other organic waste materials into valuable, useful and profitable products. The Company produces a full line of whole tree and waste wood chippers, flails, brush chippers, horizontal and tub grinders, sawmill equipment, material handling systems and more. “Like” on Facebook, follow on Twitter or subscribe to our YouTube channel. For more information, please visit
Feb. 13, 2017 - Lumber company Hefler Forest Products is being sold to merchant bank Hawthorne Capital and wind farm company Katalyst Wind Inc. for an undisclosed amount.The N.S.-based company had been under creditor protection since July 2016.Among the assets, Hefler's biomass plant is what remains running, but Hawthorne Capital president Trevor Hannigar told the Chronicle Herald there are plans to revive the sawmill.“Although the energy side is important and we are excited to be contributing to renewable energy in the region, our team is considering all options to get the sawmill running again, including the possibility of having a third party operate it,” Hannigar told The Chronicle Herald.The business deal is set to close on Feb. 24.Read the full story.RELATED: Hefler asks creditors for more time
Feb. 13, 2017 - Maibec has optimized its Saint-Pamphile, Que., mill by using data available at all stages of the sawmilling process to make real-time decisions. Welcome the 4.0 sawmill.
Feb. 6, 2017 - OptiSaw West is calling for presentation proposals. Are you a manufacturer or researcher in the sawmill industry offering an innovative optimization or automation option that can help sawmill operations succeed? Send us your presentation proposal now! OptiSaw is a one-day workshop focused on the future of optimization and automation in sawmilling, including challenges and opportunities on the cutting edge of this side of the industry. Taking place in Richmond, B.C., on April 25, OptiSaw offers a time-effective and affordable learning and networking opportunity for those driving the future of sawmilling operations.  We welcome sawmill management and owners, process engineers, continual improvement managers, optimization staff, researchers and design consultants. Registration for this exclusive event is limited to a select 50 seats. Previous presentations have covered data-driving sawmilling, fibre supply, planer grading optimization, primary breakdown efficiencies, scanner scaling, avoiding equipment obsolescence, and more. Send your presentation proposal to Maria Church ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) by Feb. 22. For more information or to register, visit about last year’s OptiSaw East.
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.
Feb. 13, 2017 - Warp can be the result of both the inherent characteristics of wood as well as a number of introduced (process-related) variables. Through proper handling and management of the drying operations we can have an influence on the severity and amount of warp occurring from either cause. This article will highlight a number of specific ways in which those losses can be minimized to have a positive monetary impact on your operation.
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.” Kris Heideman, vice-president of Lavern Heideman & Sons Kris Heideman, vice-president of Lavern Heideman & Sons Kris Heideman, vice-president of Lavern Heideman & Sons Kris Heideman, vice-president of Lavern Heideman & Sons The Lavern Heideman & Sons sawmill in Eganville, Ont. The Lavern Heideman & Sons sawmill in Eganville, Ont.   View the embedded image gallery online at: RELATED: Lavern Heideman & Sons embarking on $16.9-million sawmill expansion Sawmill has limited options
Nov. 25, 2016 - The name of the game in the saw trade is precision. Measurements are to the thousands of an inch. Tension, clearances and speeds are all carefully calculated. It makes sense therefore that the machinery upon which we mount those saws should be equally precise, thus the necessity for grinding bandmill wheels.
Oct. 13, 2016 - If you have worked in a sawmill for any length of time, then you have seen it happen many times. The saws are running great, the mill is producing and everybody is happy. Then all of a sudden, the saws start wandering, or there is a wreck, and then another wreck. Nobody is too worried at first, these things happen right?
Aug. 16, 2016 - On the surface, levelling a saw sounds pretty simple. You just put a straight edge against the saw with a light behind it and look for a dark spot. Then you hit it with a hammer until it is gone. In reality, levelling a saw is very difficult to learn and perform properly.
Feb. 22, 2017 - LMI Technologies (LMI), a developer of smart 3D inspection and scanning solutions for material optimization and factory automation announced the promotion of Len Chamberlain to vice-president of sales.Len has worked for the company over the last three years, starting out as the business development manager for the HDI product line and moving quickly into the director of sales role. Over his two years as director, Len’s proven track record for developing and executing a strategic vision has resulted in the growth of a highly successful global sales group.Len brings a wealth of industry knowledge and business acumen to LMI with over a decade of experience working in senior roles in the 3D machine vision industry. Len holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Colorado.“Len is a rare breed — an articulate 3D sales professional who can quickly grasp complex technology and its implications for developing new market opportunities. His talent to connect with people, develop trusted sales channels, and cultivate long term customer partnerships are the many reasons Len has moved into this senior role at LMI,” expressed Terry Arden, CEO of LMI Technologies. “I look forward to working with Len as we roll out our next generation products in the coming years to drive further leadership in the 3D inline inspection market”, said Arden.
Feb. 2, 2017 - Lug loaders to date have traditionally either been hydraulic or pneumatic systems, but wood processing equipment supplier USNR has introduced a different take on the machine. Its ElectraTong lug loader is all-electric. USNR’s engineering manager of its Salmon Arm, B.C. division, Thomas Congdon gave Canadian Forest Industries the details of this new system. “One of the biggest things is, by being all-electric, you get away from the nuisances that come from hydraulics or pneumatics. You’re not worrying about leaks and it’s easier to maintain,” Congdon says. “The other thing with the all-electric is that we can set up parameters and a recipe. So at a push of a button, you can change from a recipe that’s aimed at a certain species of lumber or a certain wood diet.” “If it’s a planer mill application, then it can be set up per batch of the product you’re producing,” he says. Congdon explains that the set up refers to timing points or when lumber is picked up and released, as well as how quickly lumber can be moved into the lug loader.Congdon says those aspects make the ElectraTong more appealing to sawmillers because pneumatic and hydraulic systems don’t allow changing such specifications through a computer interface. “You have to go over and physically adjust things, so this way it can all be done through the control system,” he says. “You can switch from a certain set up from one species of wood to another, or frozen wood and non-frozen wood; that type of thing. So there are a lot of advantages to the electric.” Glen Sorenson is the maintenance manager at B.C.-based Gorman Bros. Lumber. He says the company is happy with their new ElectraTong lug loader. “We’ve been able to move our operators from the lug loader [and] we’ve also increased our lug-per-minute rate through the line,” Sorenson says. Congdon says the ElectraTong lug loader can run over 250 LPM in certain applications. Gorman Bros.’ old lug loader ran off a hydraulic system. Sorenson says installation of the ElectraTong went very well. “We did several pieces of equipment at the same time. We took out our hydraulic fence and installed the USNR fence. We also took out the scanner and put in [USNR’S] new scanner.”Congdon says the electric system also allows for sensing how hard the board is being clamped. “We can do that through electrical feedback and load sensing. And therefore we can, on the fly, adjust how hard we are clamping the wood,” he says. “You don’t want to over-clamp it and mark it and you don’t want to under-clamp it and not grab the board well. So that’s something that can be set up as part of the electric recipe based on what you’re trying to do.” Sorenson mentions two other differences Gorman Bros. noticed since the new installation. “We’re able to run the line at a higher speed and we’ve increased our piece count through the line as well,” Sorenson says. He says the increased piece count and getting the operators away from the lug loader are the main changes with the new equipment, adding that the latter also makes operations safer. Congdon says USNR has not experienced any issues with retrofitting the lug loader to certain space requirements. “It fits in a similar footprint to other lug loaders. It does require a slight offset elevation, but we have a way to make that up and fit it into an existing level trim line space,” Congdon says. “It’s gone very nicely in. All of our installations to date have been retrofit installations except for one. It was a stud mill in British Columbia, that was a new line,” he says.As pleased as Gorman Bros. is with their new machine, Sorenson says there is one limitation. “What we do is we cut three-inch to 12-inch, so it is a challenge to deal back-to-back 12-inch pieces with three-inch mixed in,” he says. “And I don’t think we can get much higher at this point in piece count than where we are.” “That said we haven’t been able to do what we’re doing now with our old lug loader,” Sorenson adds. To date, four lug loaders have been installed in Canada and three in the U.S., but Congdon says six have now been sold in the U.S. Congdon says the lug loader is for both sawmills and planer mills. “In the planer mill application we can use a different gripping tong to not damage the wood. It’s for all types of products. It can do one-inch to over four-inch, stud mills, full dimension mills,” he says. “Being a tong style lug loader, it’s very good at random widths and random thicknesses,” Congdon says. “The way we do backlog control is unique and we’re using our product called Mill Track, which is a camera-based system that looks down over top of the lug loader and lug load infeed, and then we control those backlog tables with the camera systems.” Sorenson’s favourite aspect of the ElectraTong? “It’s tunable, the clamping pressure is adjustable; everything is just much more controlled with servos controlling the infeeds and the clamping… We’re happy with it.”CREDITS:Video: Maria Church, Canadian Forest Industries editorTop photo: Thomas Congdon, engineering manager of USNR's Salmon Arm, B.C., division. Courtesy//USNRBottom photo: The ElectraTong lug loader. Courtesy//USNRWATCH Thomas Congdon talk about the ElectraTong with CFI editor Maria Church in Portland, Ore.
Jan. 20, 2017 - The new WSM Pin Chipper is a high capacity fibre preparation machine that converts lower value mill residuals (shavings and hogged wood) and alternate fibre supply sources into a high percentage of “pin chips” with long fibre length. The WSM Pin Chipper is available in rotor diameters of 42”, 48”, and 60” and rotor lengths from 36” to 88” long and typically operates with 200 – 800 HP. Modular and adjustable tooling includes either rigid or swing hammers with replaceable tips, combined with modular sizing screens allow adjustment to product sizing. Field proven performance at rates up to 75 tph, and when combined with a WSM pre-screen the processing rate is confirmed at rates of 150+ tph. System integration into your woodyard is no problem – WSM offers complete infeed and outfeed options to help you supplement your chip supply with lower cost fiber from the WSM Pin Chipper.Need to see it to believe it? WSM’s test lab can process your material to demonstrate how the WSM Pin Chipper performs on your specific low cost fiber materials. This machine isn’t for everyone – but where it’s a “fit” – it’s a game changer.  If you are looking for a way to reduce incoming fiber cost and can handle a percentage of “pins” and “fines” in your pulping process, then the WSM Pin Chipper can deliver value by expanding your sources of wood fibre, reducing hauling costs, and substituting high cost fibre with low cost fibre. To learn more about WSM’s Pin Chipper and how it might benefit your operation, visit, email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or call your WSM technical specialist at 800 722 3530 to discuss your application in more detail, or schedule a test on your materials.
Jan. 19, 2017 - It is with great pleasure that Jean Berube, president of VAB Solutions announces the appointment of: Mr. Michel Gosselin as a wood grading expert and Mr. Danick Dupont eng. as an expert in wood processing. About Michel Gosselin Michel joined the VAB Solutions team in October 2016. As an expert in wood grading, he will add value to VAB Solutions' business partners. With more than 36 years of experience in the forestry industry, Michel has held a number of important positions at Domtar and Eacom, such as: regional quality coordinator and planer mill and kiln supervisor. Michel has been a member of the Drying Committee of the Quebec Forest Industry Council for 20 years. About Danick Dupont Prior to joining VAB Solutions in October 2016, Danick contributed more than 15 years as a technical expert to the development and integration of new technologies in the field of wood processing. As an engineer, he demonstrates a keen interest in well-designed, high-performance equipment that will enable mills to achieve a high level of productivity that is sustained over time.
Dec. 22, 2016 - Carbotech has announced the nomination of Claude Laprise as CarboCare service director. Laprise undertakes his new role beginning Jan. 1, 2017. As a graduate with various specialized degrees such as drawing, mechanical, pneumatic and hydraulic design, among others, he began his career with the multinational firm, Bose Inc. For the next 18 years, Laprise was directly involved in project management coordination for both prototypes and large-scale product distribution. With the Bose Corporation he played a direct role as liaison between engineering and client services on a technical level and in after-sales service for various projects and facilities. In the summer of 2003, Laprise decided to become co-owner of Cyme Tech, a company specializing in the design and manufacturing of wood components, primarily for the acoustic and furniture industries.   For the past two years, Laprise has been a member of the Carbotech project management team. With his deeply developed sense of customer service over the past 30 years coupled with his knowledge of Carbotech’s equipment specs, and already having great relationships with most of Carbotech’s active clients, Carbotech believes he is the perfect candidate to oversee the new service department, CarboCare, which will include top-quality service before, during and after each sale. Carbotech offers Laprise its sincere congratulations for this nomination and wishes him great success in his new position. Carbotech is confident that his commitment, fine-tuned knowledge of service issues as well as his strong expertise will all be tremendous assets in fulfilling his mandate in the continual improvement of CarboCare service. 
Dec. 22, 2016 - A pillar in mining and quarrying operations, the John Deere wheel loader family welcomes the addition of the 844K Series-III and 844K Series-III Aggregate Handler configuration. The workhorse machines offer customers increased uptime and the ability to sell more material more efficiently to improve their bottom lines. “The 844K-III is designed to take on the toughest aggregate and material-moving applications in the world. We worked closely with our customers to design these productive machines to be even more rugged and reliable,” said John Chesterman, product marketing manager of production class four-wheel drive loaders at John Deere Construction & Forestry. “The Aggregate Handler configuration of the 844K-III can load out 24 short tons of non-heaping, lower-density processed matter in just two passes into on-road dump trucks. Heavier heaping materials achieving 12-plus tons is not a problem.” The new wheel loaders offer a 13.5L John Deere PowerTech Final Tier 4 diesel engine that delivers exceptional power at 380 horsepower for the 844K-III and 401 horsepower for the Aggregate Handler configuration. The models are equipped with a standard five-speed transmission with torque-converter lockup in gears two through five. This feature increases acceleration, speeds and cycles, and optimizes power and fuel efficiency during transport, roading, and ramp climbing. Other Series-III updates include more robust plumbing with additional bulk heads, which improves service and uptime by minimizing hose rubs. Over three dozen steel tubes replace 81 feet of hoses. The Aggregate Handler configuration is purpose built for two-pass loading with increased power, larger tilt cylinders, higher hydraulic pressure and increased counterweighing to handle bigger material-handling buckets (9.3 cubic yard/9.8 cubic yard), reduce fill time in processed aggregates and ultimately conserve fuel in applications. New enhanced performance buckets boast a narrower integrated spill guard and curved side cutters to improve load visibility and load retention. The Aggregate Handler option cuts loading time by 30 per cent with reduced fuel consumption by eliminating that third pinch pass. The new models retain everything the industry values about the K-Series, including the Quad-Cool System with reversing fan, which provides wide-open access to both sides of the coolers for easy cleanout. The John Deere exclusive integrated tire monitoring reports pressures and temperatures clearly on the monitor and remotely through JDLink Ultimate to help reduce tire wear and replacement cost. In the operator station, standard productivity-enhancing features include joystick steering with integral forward/neutral/reverse, advanced LCD color monitor, sealed-switch module, ride control and hydraulic controls integrated into the deluxe heated seat.Outside the machine, John Deere has slip-resistant steps, platforms and handrails to provide uninterrupted three-point access. Fleet managers looking to get the most out of their 844K-III wheel loaders can rely on their John Deere dealers to provide Ultimate Uptime featuring John Deere WorkSight. With Ultimate Uptime, owners receive predelivery and follow-up inspections; five years of JDLink telematics, machine health prognostics and remote diagnostics, and programming capability; and the ability to add dealer-provided uptime solutions to customize the package to individual needs. To learn more, visit or contact your local John Deere dealer. The 844K-III Aggregate Handler will also be on display at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017, March 7 – 11, 2017, at booth N12525.
Feb. 13, 2017 - For as long as mill workers have been running wood through saws we have understood the importance of having every part of the machine positioned at exactly the right pre-determined location and angle to facilitate the smooth passage of the log and the straightest cut possible. A very small change in the inclination of a roll can mean the difference between a good day and a disaster. A slightly off angled saw will heat up and destroy itself in short order.
Feb. 1, 2017 - J.D. Irving, Limited has been charged with two counts of violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act.William Gregg, 52, died in February 2016 after suffering a head injury while on the job at J.D. Irving’s Sussex, N.B., sawmill. The charges were laid on Tuesday and cite that the company failed to provide adequate supervision on site and failed to prevent the use of a machine that was to be cleaned.The incident was investigated by WorkSafeNB.The charges come at a time when workplace safety is at the forefront in other parts of the country as well. Flags fly at half mast at J.D. Irving sawmill in Sussex following the death of mill worker William Gregg @Global_NB — Andrew Cromwell (@Andrew_GlobalSJ) March 3, 2016 Related article: J.D. Irving sawmill death under investigation 
Feb. 1, 2017 - Grim news of workplace deaths are serving as yet another reminder to practice safety on the job. Ivor Lundin, 57, was a Tolko employee. He went out on the water on Okanagan Lake in a boom boat on Monday night while working near the company’s Kelowna, B.C. plant. According to reports, Tolko lost contact with Lundin at 9:21 p.m. and what started off as a rescue mission became a recovery one. RCMP officers recovered Lundin’s body on Tuesday. The investigation is ongoing. No details have been released on what may have caused the incident. Another man also died while working at a log yard operation in Lumby, B.C., on Friday. No details have been released on the name of the victim or the company. Both the RCMP and WorkSafeBC are investigating. The B.C. Federation of Labour (BCFED) released a statement calling for the B.C. government to put increased workplace safety measures into place. “All workers must enjoy the basic right to be safe on the job and to come home safely to their families at the end of their shift. But these two deaths — along with a third involving a Victoria construction workers two weeks ago — are a sign that more needs to be done to protect workers,” says Irene Lanzinger, president of the BCFED. “Our view is that government and employers aren’t doing enough to keep workers safe on the job,” Lanzinger says. “Health and safety protections are weak and not always rigorously enforced. Worker safety is being compromised. Injured workers aren’t fairly compensated, and employers whose negligence kills or seriously injures workers are let off with a slap on the wrist.”The BCFED says it will continue to push government to improve safety on the job. Online tributes are pouring in for Ivor Lundin who lost his life in a workplace accident #tolko #kelowna @WorkSafeBC — Carmen Weld (@carmenweld) January 31, 2017
Oct. 24, 2016 - Martin Engineering has announced the publication of the world’s first aggregation of global best practices dedicated to reducing conveyor risk and injuries. Modeled after the company’s respected Foundations reference volume, now in its fourth edition, Foundations for Conveyor Safety from Martin Engineering provides an unprecedented collection of information, assembled specifically to help conveyor system operators achieve safe production. To assess the true value of safety, the book includes ground-breaking methodology for calculating the payback from safety investments, sometimes referred to as ROS for “Return On Safety.”
Aug. 22, 2016 - Councillors in Coldstream, B.C., have flagged the safety of dust mitigation technology that Tolko recently installed at its planer mill as a possible concern, among others, in a letter to the province's Ministry of the Environment. 
 April 26, 2016 - Nine southern pine sawmills – all members of the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA) – are recent recipients of the 2015 Sawmill Safety Award. SFPA lumber manufacturer members are considered for the award based on information submitted regarding occupational injuries and illnesses. Safety performance is judged by how each mill’s safety record stacks up against facilities with comparable lumber output throughout the year. Division I includes sawmills that produce 50 million board feet or less; Division II covers facilities that produce 51 to 150 million board feet; and Division III includes mills that produce more than 150 million board feet annually. The nine sawmills being honoured for outstanding safety records during 2015: Division I            Ray White Lumber Company – Sparkman, Arkansas Weyerhaeuser Company – Zwolle, Louisiana Division II            Deltic Timber Corporation – Ola, Arkansas                       Interfor US Inc. – Eatonton, Georgia and Swainsboro, Georgia Weyerhaeuser Company – Millport, Alabama Division III           Weyerhaeuser Company – Idabel, Oklahoma; McComb, Mississippi; Bruce, Mississippi “All nine mills receiving the award for 2015 recorded perfect safety records, with zero lost-time accidents or injuries,” said SFPA executive director Tami Kessler. “We commend these companies that excel at making safety in the workplace a top priority.”

Subscription Centre

New Subscription
Already a Subscriber
Customer Service
View Digital Magazine Renew

Popular Articles