Sawmilling

Sept. 13, 2017 - Georgia-Pacific is building a new $100-million, state-of-the-art sawmill in Talladega, Ala., the company announced today. 
Sept. 6, 2017 - EACOM has successfully completed the installation of a Wellons continuous dry kiln at its Timmins sawmill, the company announced today.
Aug. 23, 2017 - Valutec has secured one of its largest deals of all time in the Finnish sawmill market. The Keitele Group chose to invest in six continuous kilns for their sawmill in Alajärvi. The higher drying capacity is a part of a major investment program comprising a total of EUR 32 million. With these investments, the Keitele Group’s total production capacity will increase to one million cubic meters per year (423 776 MBF).
Aug. 22, 2017 - It’s time to register as an exhibitor for the 2018 Montréal Wood Convention taking place March 20-22!
Aug. 21, 2017 - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved West Fraser's acquisition of six sawmills and a finger-joint mill from the Howard Gilman Foundation and other shareholders. 
Aug. 11, 2017 - The mill in Ignace, Ont., an almost three-hour drive northwest of Thunder Bay, is more than just a modern sawmill. For the town of about 1,200, Resolute Forest Products is one of its biggest employers.
Aug. 2, 2017 - As filers we do it every day but we all hate it. It isn’t hard and it doesn’t take a lot of time, but we do our very best to do as little of it as possible. I’m talking about swadging; the process of shaping flat steel into sharp teeth for bandsaws.
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
Sept. 13, 2017 - This month, Brunette Machinery will launch their newest in log singulation technology. The patented Retract-to-Load (RTL) Log Singulator. With the patented pre-stage log positioning, robust design, heavy duty torque tube drive assembly, re-enforced steps, RTL Log Singulator has already proven to reduce maintenance costs and will give a mill tighter log gap control.
Sept. 5, 2017 - The Simonds 095 AB is the newest model that can level, tension, adjust the back, and set the tire line. And unlike other auto benches, the Simonds AB has a new “Learning Mode”.
Aug. 28, 2017 - Modern Engineering's general manager Udo Jahn has launched a YouTube series focused on topics affecting machine shops and sawmills today: automation, the skillsgap, and innovation. 
Aug. 9, 2017 - CFI has a rundown of the latest scanning and optimizing equipment available for sawmills in Canada.
Aug. 4, 2017 - Sensors in the sawmill industry have come leaps and bounds over the last several years, and there are seemingly endless new players in the manufacturing game.
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.
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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