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Tech update: Spotlight on kilns in 2019

December 12, 2019  By Canadian Forest Industries staff

American Wood Dryers

CFI has the latest updates on kiln technology for drying Canadian lumber in 2019.


American Wood Dryers
American Wood Dryers recently manufactured, installed and started up a single pass continuous kiln at Teal Jones in Antlers, Ok. This is a newly patented design where all green lumber on both tracks goes in one end of the kiln and exits the opposite end. Traditional continuous kilns feed lumber in a counterflow arrangement where kilns are fed and discharged at opposite ends and on opposing tracks. The single pass design acts more like a track kiln by simplifying and reducing handling time, fork trucks, and site footprint size. A single pass also has applications in cold climates because frozen condensation is minimized and localized compared to the counterflow design.

The moving kiln is a concept dedicated to improve the drying process. With this concept the kiln moves on a rail to reach the bundles to be dried. This reduces the cost of handling by at least 50 per cent (when the wood is dry you leave it on the slab until you have to take it to the planer). It also eliminates carts, as carts are not needed to load or unload. The moving kiln also upgrades drying capacity by at least 20 per cent and upgrades loading time, since the bundle can be left on the slab waiting to be dried. It also reduces repair cost for the loader (especially in winter) and makes it easy to restart a new load – within 15-20 minutes, you’re done and you don’t need a loader.


KBI and Secovac offer an integrated product suite for your dry kiln, optimizing your drying operations while increasing your bottom line. The Kiln Booster enables efficient drying at lower temperatures while decreasing drying times by up to 25 per cent. The AccuStop in-kiln moisture reader measures the lumber’s moisture content (MC) during the entire drying process within one per cent endpoint accuracy for highly repeatable and consistent results, completely eliminating the need for hot checks. When used with Secovac’s Dry Kiln Control System, it allows for full automation and standardization of drying schedules. It is the only integrated system in North America to utilize the real MC readings to automatically advance the drying schedule segments in real-time and shut off the kiln, resulting in five to 10 per cent shorter drying schedules, tighter MC distributions and higher-grade outturn.

EBI Dry Kiln
Since 1995, EBI has been the top-quality brand of high temperature, totally enclosed dry kiln duty motors of unsurpassed durability and long-term reliability. From one- to 30-hp, 900, 1,200 and 1,800 rotations per minute, they are used by lumber dry kiln manufacturers and sawmills in North and South America, Europe and Australia. EBI dry kiln duty motors are available through a distributor network for quick availability. They are built in NEMA or IEC frames, covered by the best warranty on the market (up to three years) and rated 120 C ambient temperature.

Nova Dry Kiln
Nova Dry Kiln, LLC, announces a significant design improvement for the loading doors on small- and medium-size dry kiln systems. The new design incorporates moisture- and corrosion-resistant panels set inside a sturdy aluminum frame. The weight of the new side hinge doors is less than half the weight of the old doors and improves the tightness of the seal around the doors.

As a leading supplier of lumber drying technology for over 40 years, Wellons provides full turnkey installations with production guarantees that are consistently met and exceeded. Wellons’ CDK drying technology includes optimized zoning within each kiln chamber along with automatic lumber advancement through the drying chamber based on moisture content. This is accomplished with the DryTrack Echo in-kiln moisture measurement system. This provides significant advantages over traditional batch kilns, including: meeting or exceeding production guarantees, increased annual drying production, up to 30 per cent thermal energy recovery, improved grade recovery, lower standard deviation on target moisture content, optimal utilization with the kiln always 100 per cent full of lumber, and reduced deformation and warpage resulting in more consistent lumber feed through the planer. www.wellons.ca

SCS Forest Products
Did you know your mill can save as much as 10 per cent on its energy costs, just by optimizing its lumber drying and control strategies? The KilnScout wireless in-kiln moisture meter from Finna Sensors gives you the power of optimization by reporting accurate lumber moisture content during kiln drying. Powered by direct in-kiln moisture content input, KilnScout features real-time moisture and temperature readings, advanced reporting software and remote monitoring options to optimize batch and continuous kilns. No more costly manual feedback loop between planer and kiln. Now, KilnScout’s real-time readings control drying, save energy, improve grade recovery and increase profit.

Wagner Meters
Whether your company is a primary lumber mill or a secondary wood products operation, the Omega In-Line Moisture Measurement System should be your most important moisture measurement and analysis tool. Whether it is installed upstream or downstream of your planing or moulding operation, a sideways or end-to-end configuration, the benefits of having an Omega system are the same: It keeps moisture problems out of your mill and improves your kiln drying, your grade recovery and your bottom line by minimizing moisture-related degrade, excessive drying energy costs, wet claims and overall moisture quality control issues.

Valutec is one of the world’s leading suppliers of timber kilns with more than 4,000 delivered kilns throughout its history. A strong focus on research and development has resulted in more than 20 international patents in technical solutions and guiding principles for drying and control systems. In recent years, Valutec’s TC continuous kilns have changed the way sawmills operate with a never-seen-before combination of flexibility, capacity and quality. In a TC, the timber is dried during transport through a number of zones with separate climates. In November, Valutec started its first TC kiln in North America at Pleasant River Lumber, Maine. www.valutec.ca

Brunner Hildebrand
Brunner Hildebrand has been serving the lumber industry for almost 70 years and has developed unique products, such as the world’s largest vacuum dryer High Vac or the Hildebrand Continuous Kiln Alexander. Recently, the company introduced the brand-new Hildebrand Weight Precision Technology (HWPT), which is capable of weighing entire lumber stacks wirelessly. In contrast to the former Brunner Hildebrand in-kiln-probe-system, it is a massive improvement because it produces more accurate results and it may easily be integrated into the daily work routine by using weighing devices that look just like regular 4x4s. Customers benefit by a superb level of accuracy and its practical implementation. The latest kiln development by Brunner Hildebrand is the HCK, the all-rounder among continuous kilns. It is designed for mills that produce large volumes of lumber, e.g. dimension SPF. It features individual drying zones, which are customized to the drying state and moisture of the lumber passing through.

One of the biggest cost factors in producing lumber is thermal energy. With Muhlbock’s drying systems Type 1003 already in operation at many sawmills, these costs are reduced by about half. Muhlbock’s innovative CDK systems, dynamic and flow deliver consistent high-capacity, high-quality drying results, and logistic benefits due to automatic unidirectional lumber transport. Customized buffers for (un)loading reduce operating costs by eliminating the need for nighttime forklift operation. Delco Forest Products in New Brunswick decided on one of Muhlbock’s largest CDK to dry 100 mmbf. The installation is currently being completed.

SII Dry Kilns
SII Dry Kilns of Lexington, N.C., recently completed a project for Penn Cherry in Mercersburg, Penn. Penn Cherry purchased six cross flow kilns with 110,000 board feet holding capacity each. These kilns are made of aluminum and stainless steel and utilize steam heat and a centre fan wall, which utilizes loading areas on each side of the wall. This unique design is referred to as an “SII Design” and provides the most uniform airflow in the kiln industry. The Kiln Dry computerized control system with Siemens PLCs is equipped with steam management software, which allows controllers to prioritize kilns and reduce available steam to low-priority kilns when boiler pressure drops due to high steam demands.

Sechoir MEC
Sechoir Mec Inc. designs and builds dry kilns responding to the needs and requirements of the industries. Sechoir Mec’s all-aluminum kiln has six-inch thick walls, valued R24, an eight-inch thick roof, valued R32, and has custom dimensions to meet customers’ criteria. Sechoir Mec innovates constantly to offer a product that is always state-of-the-art in the technology. Flexible, reliable and easy to operate are only some qualifiers to describe its products.

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