Sawmilling

May 19, 2017 - Vida Alvesta has chosen to invest in a continuous kiln from Valutec. This deal is the second within a short space of time between Valutec and Vida Alvesta, a customer that chose a drying solution of the same type just five years ago. The investment will increase the drying capacity at Vida Alvesta from around 175,000 m3 to 225,000 m3 and will help to even out production and facilitate stock management. “We already have a very good relationship with Valutec. They are highly knowledgeable and provide excellent support. Therefore we saw no reason to switch supplier,” says Christian Drott, chief executive officer of Vida Alvesta.   The plant to be delivered is a 2-zone FB continuous kiln, which means that drying takes place in two separate zones. The first zone provides quicker humidifying, which reduces the risk of dry cracks at the input end. The second zone acts as an equalisation zone and reduces moisture distribution. The continuous kiln is equipped with Valutec’s Valmatics control system and will solely be used for drying spruce down to a moisture ratio of 18 per cent.   “Opting for an FB once again was a fairly obvious choice. Logistically, everything runs smoothly with continuous kilns, and our existing FB continuous kiln runs problem-free with no stoppages. By siting the new kiln right next to the existing one we also hit on a financially beneficial solution for both parties,” says Christian.   Vida is Sweden’s largest privately-owned sawmill group with around 950 employees at 18 production facilities, nine of which are sawmills. Production mainly focuses on construction lumber for a number of different markets. Roughly 85 per cent of the production output is exported to Europe, the USA, Australia, Africa and Asia.   “It’s a great feeling to be involved and continue to contribute to Vida Alvesta’s development. We know one another well and look forward to continued positive collaboration with Vida,” says Robert Larsson, chief exective officer of Valutec.  The continuous kiln will be delivered and installed in the autumn and put into operation in November. Vida Alvesta already has ten batch kilns and one continuous kiln from Valutec. 
May 8 , 2017 - We are proud to announce that EACOM Timber Corporation was granted Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Certification to the Fiber Sourcing Standard and Chain of Custody Standard, at our Ear Falls sawmill.The Fibre Sourcing certification, which is valid until April 2020, further demonstrates that EACOM is committed to responsibly sourcing wood fibre for its products and to ensuring that fibre originates from sustainably managed forests.The Chain of Custody certification, which is valid until April 2022, allows EACOM Ear Falls to track SFI certified forest content through its production process.
May 3, 2017 - Advanced woodworking and tool grinding machinery company Colonial Saw Inc. is introducing a new, hi-tech solution for sharpening a high volume of carbide saw blades. Saw mills, lumber manufacturers, and grinding and sharpening shops will benefit from its robot loading system that enables unattended and overnight grinding.  The Premium-Loader, an 8 axes grinding machine, is built by global pioneer ABM Grinding Technologies. Colonial Saw will formally introduce the new solution to the market in July at the AWFS show in Las Vegas, Nevada, North America's largest woodworking show. This new generation machine minimizes human labor with a robot and probing system, allowing for true unattended processing with superb accuracy and superior finish grind quality.  “We’re very excited to introduce this new technology. It will revolutionize workloads and deliver unprecedented cost savings, helping shops get ahead in an increasingly competitive industry,” said Dave Rakauskas, Vice President of Colonial Saw. “We have two U.S. customers who were so excited about its potential they purchased the Premium-Loader in advance of its formal introduction. Their feedback tells us being able to run Premium-Loader overnight with no personnel delivers dramatic productivity increases and boosts the bottom line.”  Designed to meet the increasing demand for automation by today’s circular saw manufacturing and grinding service centers, Premium-Loader offers vast range of production capacity for woodworking blades. It delivers a high ease-of-use factor with a user-friendly control system, web camera monitoring, live error notification and a familiar Windows platform. Shops will also appreciate its compact footprint and efficient power consumption. 
May 1, 2017 - File Week 2017 has arrived and Canadian Forest Industries has all the coverage to keep you in the loop as we highlight innovations and accomplishments in the file room every day this week!
April 28, 2017 - Sawmills in Eastern Canada have been running at record high levels in 2016, with production reaching levels almost ten percent higher than in 2015 and almost 40 percent higher than five years ago. This has been very good news to the forest industry, with sawmills running at 97% operating rates in late 2016, according to the WWPA. However, there are also worrisome developments regarding the large volumes of residual chips that are being generated and where the chips can be sold.
April 28, 2017 - CFI toured Andersen Pacific Wood Products high value custom cut sawmill in Maple Ridge, B.C. The mill produces high quality specialty wood products for markets across the globe.
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.
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.
April 25, 2017 - Autolog proudly introduces its new knot detection technology for the sawmill.   Easy to add on to a new or existing Autolog 3D modular scanner system, this new feature detects knots on rough green lumber using proven tracheid data technology without the use of a conventional vision system, at a new affordable price point.   Autolog will showcase both the new tracheid and existing 3D data detection technology in a fully operational modular frame at their booth #1827 at Expo 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia, along with other products and demos.
April 17, 2017 - Equipment obsolescence is a growing issue for sawmills as the pace of technology and the sophistication of sawmills increases.
April 4, 2017 - British Columbia-based 3D scanning and inspection solutions developer LMI Technologies has announced the official launch of the Gocator 3210 and 3506, the latest additions to the Gocator line of smart, all-in-one structured light 3D snapshot sensors.The Gocator 3210 achieves 3D snapshot scans at 35 μm. With a large FOV (100 x 154 mm) for picking up multiple features at once, and onboard hardware acceleration to achieve 4 Hz scan speeds, the 3210 is ideal for high-speed, high-resolution inline inspection of large parts such as automotive components and body assemblies.The Gocator 3506 achieves an industry leading 12 μm resolution 3D snapshot scan at a 3 Hz acquisition rate. This medium FOV (30 x 45 mm) sensor is designed for highly accurate small parts inspection such as step-height, gap, roughness and coplanarity measurements common in electronics enclosure, PCB and battery/IC connector applications.The key advancements common to both of these inline-ready sensors include a new embedded dual-core controller with onboard hardware acceleration to achieve fast production speeds, and a new long-life industrial LED projector offering up to 10 years of continuous operation.Snapshot sensors are pick-and-place friendly for robotic inspection applications, while providing the added benefit of scanning the target when it is stationary, effectively eliminating errors due to vibration. “The Gocator 3210 and 3506 are a breakthrough in speed, resolution, and industrial design. These smart snapshot sensors are the first in a line-up that fit in many applications where reduced complexity and cost are driving the decision away from traditional motion-based profiler solutions. Built on the scan-measure-control experience that Gocator customers expect, snapshot is now an inline choice for 100% quality control”, said Terry Arden, CEO of LMI Technologies.                                Includes Gocator Firmware 4.6 ReleaseGocator Firmware 4.6 is available with the launch of the Gocator 3210/3506. Firmware 4.6 features hardware acceleration with on-board compression and Gocator Accelerator (GoX) to enable Gocator snapshot sensors to achieve industry-leading speeds required for 3D inline inspection. The 4.6 release also includes expanded multi-sensor support and faster acceleration speeds for laser line profile sensors, as well as new geometric measurement tools. Gocator Firmware is available for free to anyone who owns a Gocator 3D smart sensor.
April 4, 2017 - The VETS Group has announced a Canadian Partnership with Flamex Inc. Flamex supplies dust collection and industrial process fire protection including the development, sales and service of: Flame & Spark Detection & Extinguishing Systems, Deluge Systems, Abort Gates and Backdraft Dampers.  Now proud partners throughout Western Canada, Flamex customers will be ably supported by all VETS Group divisions. In conjunction with VETS Sheet Metal and AirTek Pneumatics, VETS Electrical will offer their expertise with installation and our facility services department will offer service to new and existing systems within our territory.Interested in more information? Contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or better yet stop by to visit our team at booth 7 at the Council of Forest Industries show from April 5 – 7 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West.
March 31, 2017 - Wrecks, we all have them. We hate them and we wish they would never happen but sadly, they always have and always will. We can’t stop them completely but we can work to minimize our catastrophic failures and maximize the safety of the workers who have to get in and clear out the tangled, unpredictable razor-tipped steel that is all that remains of what were once productive saws.
March 24, 2017 - A fire destroyed the Elite Forest Products sawmill in Malakwa, British Columbia on March 9.The sawmill, located in the Shuswap Lake area, was completely destroyed along with half of the buildings on site, Global News reported.The planer mill was not damaged.The sawmill was closed for the winter, but was set to resume operations one day later on March 10. | READ MORE.
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 pic.twitter.com/MWKqMeHg7Q — 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 https://t.co/s1WQMYZoTh pic.twitter.com/U9DM5SOnnE — 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. 

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