Sawmilling

July 17, 2017 - Canfor has temporarily closed its Vavenby sawmill and suspended logging operations in the area due to the worsening wildfire situation in B.C.
July 14, 2017 - Bonfield, Ont., is the chosen site of a new sawmill proposed by International Wood Industries (IWI), which plans to invest $140 million into the project. The facility will include a mill to process hard and softwood as well as produce value-added products, and a pellet plant for the residuals. 
July 12, 2017 - Tolko Industries' forestry operations near Williams Lake, B.C., are among those forced to shutdown until further notice due to wildfires in the area. 
July 11, 2017 - West Fraser has suspended operations at three of its mills in B.C. as the province declares a state of emergency due to escalating wildfire activity.
July 10, 2017 - The evacuation of 100 Mile House, B.C., due to an encroaching wildfire has caused Norbord to temporarily suspend production at its OSB mill in the area. 
July 5, 2017 - Galloway Lumber Company in B.C. has cut its production and laid off eight employees in response to U.S. duties on softwood lumber imports. 
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.
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. 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: https://www.woodbusiness.ca/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=73&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriadaee7539f8 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.
July 17, 2017 - The VETS Group has partnered with Flamex Inc., to distribute their line of customized industrial process fire prevention and protection equipment throughout Western Canada.
July 11, 2017 - Export Development Canada (EDC) today announced the successful closing of a $13.5-million equity investment into BID Group Holdings Ltd., part of a larger equity transaction led by Highland West Capital Ltd. 
July 4, 2017 - Williams & White is proud to announce a new partnership with Kohlbacher GmbH, German manufacturer of band saw grinding and tipping machines. With decades of experience, Kohlbacher has grown to become one of the most well known and trusted brands with over 1,000 installations across the globe.
June 30, 2017 - BID Group Holdings Ltd. is pleased to announce the successful closing of an equity investment into the company. The transaction, led by Highland West Capital Ltd., brings a leading group of institutional investors, into the BID team.
May 19, 2017 - Laser-based wood processing line BLT WoodCut from Biatec Laser Technology will premiere at the Ligna 2017 trade fair May 22–27 in Hanover, Germany. Biatec Laser Technology introduces the new era in wood processing with its technology designed for optimal cuts in timber and other wood with up to 80 millimeters’ thickness using an ultimate laser cutting system that opens a whole new window of opportunity for production. The main challenge wood processing companies face is pressure to maximize material yield and production value. Only a low percentage of the wood is ever utilized and too much is wasted, and with constantly rising raw material costs, profit is negatively affected. Decisions sawmill workers usually make often cause errors and quality material to be lost. BLT WoodCut was developed as a comprehensive production line to solve these long-existing problems by significantly increasing material yield, minimizing waste and maximizing profit from each board. Intended to cover more areas of production, this technology processes valuable temperate and tropical woods as well as softwood. Besides timber and other primary wood products, it can also be used with product groups such as parquet top layers, veneer and furniture components. With its unique laser system which enables cutting of wood material in thickness up to 80 mm, it brings an innovative alternative to traditional saw-cutting. Complemented by an enhanced scanning and x-ray solution and fully automated robotic handling, high-tech manufacturing in wood sector becomes the new reality. Biatec Laser Technology s.r.o., based in Bratislava, Slovakia, specializes in custom development of laser cutting machines and special laser solutions for wood processing, tooling industry, automotive, healthcare and other sectors.
May 19, 2017 - Simonds International and Scies B.G.R. Inc. announced the merger of the companies in a transaction that will create a producer and marketer of cutting tools and related equipment for the primary wood fibre industry. The combined entity will continue to operate in the United States and Canada with nine facilities located in the major wood fibre regions of North America. All products and customers segments currently served by Simonds and B.G.R. Saws will continue uninterrupted during the integration process and thereafter. “This merger will combine the two leading companies in our industry with a deep history of product innovation, quality products and customer focused organizations providing value added services to our customers. The cultures of the two companies are similar and will strengthen our service to the industry. The Simonds and B.G.R. brands are prominent in the industry and will remain a core part of the combined company in the future," said president and chief executive officer of Simonds Ray Martino.“The merger brings together the strengths of two great companies with a common goal, efficient and innovative solutions to the industry we serve. The products and services offered by the merger will enable both companies to go beyond the product offering and bring a complete solution through products, services and equipment that reflect the changes in the industry requirements," said president of B.G.R. Saws Sylvain St-Hilaire.
June 30, 2017 - Dust Safety Week 2017 is wrapping up today after five days of coverage on new developments and processes to help sawmills and pellet plants manage combustible dust.
June 29, 2017 - In the last few years we’ve hosted introductory dust collection courses across Western Canada for dust producing facilities. Regardless of size of the facility or dust particulate produced there are a few key things to look for when evaluating whether or not your system is a fire or explosion waiting to happen.
June 28, 2017 - There are several regulations (NFPA) and health & safety standards (CSST) that govern dust collection in the woodworking industry. 
June 26, 2017 - Earlier this spring 2017, the Wood Pellet Association of Canada Safety Committee (WPACSC) created a new safety working group – the Wood Fibre Storage Working Group (WFSWG) – to facilitate the development of proposed guidelines to assist employers in understanding and assessing the hazards and options for storage and infeed processes along with risk mitigation strategies and assessment.
June 27, 2017 - In 2016, 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 B.C. sawmills.
June 26, 2017 – Dust Safety Week 2017 has arrived! Canadian Biomass and Canadian Forest Industries have all the coverage to keep you informed as we highlight best practices, technical information and solutions for keeping your operations safe, every day this week!
May 5, 2017 - File Week 2017 wraps up today after five full days of coverage focused on new technology and processes for the filing room.
May 5, 2017 - The trade of sawfiling goes back to when men first started cutting wood with saws. In the beginning, filers were largely self taught and performed their mysteries behind the locked doors of their shops where even the mill owners needed permission before being allowed to enter the shadowy realm of the “Saw Doctors”. The secrets of the trade were guarded jealously and if you wanted to become an initiate, you first had to convince a master of your worthiness to be taken on as an apprentice; and then you would typically pay up to a year’s wages to be taught the trade. Your tenure as a neophyte would last years but eventually you would earn the right to wear the top-hat and tails. That was a pretty good system and it worked, albeit on a smallish scale, but the level of knowledge passed from master to apprentice was inconsistent and the demand for new filers was much higher than the ad hoc training program was able to produce.Enter the age of the organized saw school. Here in B.C. we have long relied upon our forest industry for the livelihood of our province. Sawmills were the main employer and indeed, the reason for existence of small towns all up and down the coast and throughout the B.C. Interior. You cant run a sawmill without sawfilers so the need for a school to teach new workers the technical side of the trade and to standardize the level of training became vital.In relatively modern history, going to saw school meant a trip to Vancouver to attend the well-equipped facilities at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. The early days of the school were casual to say the least; with ping-pong being a major part of the curriculum. But under the direction of veteran sawfiler Dennis Reid, the program was tightened up with proper testing put in place and the school began to crank out world-class filers at the rate of about 75 per year.The school at BCIT ran for many years but in the late 90s the forest industry as a whole suffered a devastating downturn. Mills struggled to survive and the expensive prospect of hiring new apprentices and sending them to school lost a great deal of it's appeal to mill managers who had to count every penny to survive. The number of people attending the classes dropped dramatically and since the school took up a very large chunk of valuable trade school real estate, the decision was made by the school trustees to close the school and use the space for other purposes. This was devastating news to saw filers as without a school, there is no recognized trade in B.C.A company named North Pacific Training and Performance Inc. was tasked with not only relocating the school but with revising the program and the trade itself. A group of experienced head filers from around B.C. was put together to come up with a new curriculum, one of these industry experts was John Hebert, head filer at Gorman Brothers Lumber in Kelowna. John and the rest of the team poured over the old resource material, wrote new text books and exams and set about finding a new home for the backbone of our trade. One of the things the group felt needed addressing was the fractured structure of our trade. Until recently, saw filing was split into three separate trades depending upon the level of experience of the trainee and the needs of the mill where he was employed. The designations of fitter, circular-filer and benchman were discontinued and now an apprentice goes to school twice over two years to become a sawfiler and has the option of attending a third year to achieve a benchman’s endorsement on their ticket.The program was eventually transferred over to the Industry Training Authority and Thompson Rivers University in Williams Lake agreed to host the school. Greg Daykin was hired as head instructor and was given the daunting job of converting the texts into a real-world program for the eager students that were, by that time, chomping at the bit to complete their journeyman status.As with any venture of this scope, there were some misfires at the start. A disconnect between the school curriculum and the provincial testing resulted in difficulties for the students but over a year or two, exams were reworked and passing rates improved significantly. Since the new schools inception in 2013, 188 men and women have passed through the Williams Lake campus and Greg is hard at work readying the new benchman course so that full training is available.Despite the early teething-pains the new sawfiling trade school is progressing nicely. Greg would dearly love to retire, so the search is on for an instructor to fill his shoes. If such a thing interests you and you are perhaps a semi-retired sawfiler, please contact human resources at http://www.tru.ca. There is also an ongoing need for materials for the school such as saws, tools and at the moment, a pony edger. If you can help out, contact the school at TRU.
May 4, 2017 - “The world as I know it will never be the same!”This was the thought running through my head as I wrapped up the last section of the mechanical aptitude test, so sure of myself that I had passed. I had grown tired of sorting boards, flipping cants, operating tilt gates, and had decided that I would sign the next apprenticeship posting when it became available. I was about 22 years old, had done various jobs on the mill production floor and knew I needed a change. As a high school dropout, I didn’t have a lot of options in front of me either.
May 3, 2017 - The LK Pro from Kirschner was in action at BGR Saws booth, showcasing its ease of use for saw tip removal and retipping of circular saw blades. Dan Betteridge, senior manager of west coast sales/equipment sales for BGR Saws, gives a rundown of the LK Pro features. CLICK HERE for more File Week 2017 stories.
May 2, 2017 – Canadian Forest Industries takes a look at the new filing room technologies and processes on display at the BC Saw Filers Association convention and trade show that took place in Kamloops on the weekend. 
May 2, 2017 - Michael Kohnle, managing director of iBlade, introduces the SAWCONTROL 800V2 at the BGR Saws booth at the BC Saw Filers Association convention trade show in Kamloops. The measuring tool rotates the saw blade automatically and analyses every tooth with four cameras at different angles.CLICK HERE for more File Week 2017 stories.

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