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TP&EE 2018 equipment spotlights

Oct. 30, 2018 – Canadian Forest Industries was among the exhibitors and attendees at the 2018 Timber Processing and Energy Expo (TP&EE) in Portland, Ore. from Oct. 16-19. Over a thousand attendees came to see the latest equipment on display from nearly 200 exhibitors, and hear presentations about mass timber, new technologies and more.

October 30, 2018  By Canadian Forest Industries Staff

As part of our coverage, we have spotlighted 18 different booths showcasing the latest top-of-the-line equipment. For a recap of the show, click here, and to find out the latest in mass timber, click here.


Variable tool opening debarker

BID Group’s booth was kept busy throughout the show with the launch of Comact’s Variable Tool Opening (VTO) debarker. The VTO debarker is a market first to offer variable flare reducer that does not require complicated rotating tools. The machine uses four hourglass-shaped chipping heads. Logs are scanned for anomalies and flares and the heads are positioned to remove the problematic fibre. The design uses feller buncher teeth as cutting tools, which can be swapped for knives in stand-alone applications for improved chip quality. The VTO tools open and close based on desired tool arm pressure using a single servo motor, and automatically unload on trailing end of the log to eliminate shock. It can operate over 600 FPM, up to a 31-inch ring diameter. See VIDEO here.


Stationary electric chipper/grinder

Brunette Machinery’s booth just outside the expo centre afforded enough room for the new dealer of CBI chippers and grinders to show off the newest model – the CBI Magnum Force 5400SE-SA stationary horizontal grinder/chipper. Brunette president Kirk Forbes says stationary grinders are increasingly popular for sawmills. The 5400SE-SA model is ideal for grinding pallets, construction and demolition, storm debris, slash, dunnage, regrind and yard waste. The hog box is heavily reinforced with bolt-on AR 450 wear liners, and forged steel plate hammers. The hammers are surrounded by fins that protect the machine from overfeeding itself and from large pieces of steel in the feed. The rotor is driven by a 300, 400 or 500 hp electric motor.

Smart sensors optimize cutting solutions
LMI’s Gocator 3D smart sensors were on display at the show. The Gocator multi-point profile scanners project multiple laser spots and white light onto boards moving at 300 feet/minute in sawmill and planer mills. The multi-points generate discrete profiles and colour images for optimal cutting solutions. The modular design of the Gocator allows users to create a system that fits their specific needs, mixing 3D profiling, colour vision and tracheid detection. The Gocator point and line profile sensors scan moving targets with a suite of built-in 3D measurement tools and smart features that deliver a complete solution to optimize material breakdown and minimize waste. See VIDEO here.


Optimizing production planning
Vancouver-based HALCO Software Systems featured its WSO Production Planning Optimization system at TP&EE. The system works with a sawmill’s current machine centre optimizers to determine the optimal production mix based on current market prices, minimum/maximum sales mix constraints and process flow bottlenecks. This information is then fed into the optimizer parameters to produce this mix. The WSO also determines the sales target feedback to the marketing department. The results are increased sales average, increase production rate, potential increased recovery through overrun, reduced inventory-holding costs, and increased customer satisfaction from on-time deliveries.  


Butt reducer reduces sawing times

Veneer Services’ latest butt flare reducer was on display at the Biomass Engineering and Equipment booth. Ideal for specialty lumber and veneer producers, the full-automated, one-button operation machine easily removes butt flares in seconds. The machine is easy to maintain, and provides a quick payback by improving debarking quality and speed, improved scanning accuracy and improved sawing, slicing and peeling. This results in less wear on downstream machinery and better transport on log decks and troughs. The durable construction of the butt flare reducer will allow it to withstand years of heavy use.


Automated prototypes
Samuel Strapping Systems’ booth drew a lot of attention, thanks to two new prototypes on display. Dave Gagnon told CFI that one of the prototypes, a robot, removes the need to take a piece of dunnage and manually put it into a magazine, simultaneously eliminating the need for handling and slivers. While it’s only a concept at the moment, Gagnon said there has been a lot of customer interest. Another prototype on display was a strapping machine, which can put a strap on a package in six to eight seconds, compared to the typical speed of 12 to 14 seconds. The machine applies a corner protector, compresses the load and puts a piece of dunnage on the bottom. Ultimately, it will minimize the need for installing multiple lines for packaging, Gagnon said. See VIDEO here.


High precision log scanning
Raptor Integration brought its Log Profiler X to the Portland show. The Log Profiler uses RemaSawco’s unique dual plane scanning technique with movement compensation to scan the logs with high precision. Movement compensation ensures that vibration and sideways log movement do not influence the measurement accuracy. The result is an accurate 3D model of each log. With the real 3D shope of the log, X-ray, visual and under bark measurement accuracy is raised to a new level. The software includes metal detection, bucking optimization, primary breakdown optimization, species identification, scaling and supplier revenue calculation and log sorting.

Scan head with snap mount system

JoeScan debuted its new JS-50 scan head at TP&EE, which features a single-cable interface and snap mount system to eliminate time-consuming calibration. The snap-mount design is inspired by U.S. military Picatinny rail system, clicking quickly and easily into place within seconds. The scan head is smaller than JoeScan’s older models, and boasts a higher strength to weight ratio and dual cameras remove occlusion from flights. Designed with direct input from sawmill operations and optimization staff, the JS-50 is an ideal solution for lineal log scanning and transverse trimmer/edgers.

Preventative maintenance software
TradeTec Industrial Software’s booth saw a lot of traffic, especially after sales and marketing manager Laurie McCabe showcased the company’s latest tool, Visual MaintenanceMan, at the Lumber Manufacturer workshop. Visual MaintenanceMan is designed to visually manage machine scheduling and maintenance for mobile and desktop users. The product features automated maintenance scheduling, alerts for scheduled maintenance and custom reporting on scheduling, maintenance hours, downtime, part management and more. The software enables users to determine key maintenance points using drill down hot spots, and also manages corrective/preventive work orders, purchase ordering and part inventory tracking.


Template wheel shaper
Armstrong Machinery, part of Simonds International’s booth featuring several new tools and solutions, showcased its newest product: the Armstrong Shape Up Pro. The template wheel shaper features a dresser disc that is rotated to present a fresh cutting edge. Template release tabs allow for tool-free changes and sharper discs are available with a long-lasting smooth edge or toothed edge that helps open the wheel during shaping. With linear rail and bearings for accurate dresser movement and a pivot lock to keep the dresser parked after shaping, the tool fits on any No. 2, No. 4 and No. 6 VariSharp, and is designed to accommodate a wheel thickness of 3/8-in. to 1.2-in. and a wheel diameter of 12-in. to 8-in.


High-speed log debarker
At TP&EE, VK featured its Kodiak Debarker, a high-speed debarker capable of removing bark from various log species in North America, offering feedspeeds up to 600 feet per minute for high speed sawing lines. The debarker includes a rotor with a straddle-mounted 4-in. tool shaft that eliminates overhung loading. Available in five rotor sizes (17-in., 22-in., 27-in., 32-in., and 36-in.), it also comes with rebuildable carbide tool tips (available in 3-in., 3.5-in., and 4-in. widths). The debarker also has new large diameter FibreMax feedrolls with replaceable bolt-on inserts that provide more surface contact to the log, and a number of control and safety features, including diameter scanning for automatic feed speed and tool pressure selection, and large access doors for safe service.


Automatic brazing machine
BGR Saws, also a part of Simonds International, brought its LK Pro automatic brazing machine to the show. The LK Pro is ideal for saw tip removal and retipping in mid-size to large sawmills. This machine is the first on the market to close the loop by providing complete on-site retipping capabilities. Featuring a user-friendly design, CNC controls for enhanced accuracy and optional RFID technology, the LK Pro is a clean source of heat that will not alter the steel structure of saws. See VIDEO here.


Top and face grinder
Vollmer debuted its new CHX 840 and CHX 1300 sharpening machines at TP&EE, designed for TCT circular saw blades up to 840 or 1300 mm in diameter. The CHX allows for efficient and high-quality machining of circular saw blades. Machining of tooth faces and tooth tops happens in one set-up thanks to original Vollmer double grinding wheel technology and automatic A1 axis. Five CNC-controlled axes are also used for the complete machining of all commonly used tooth geometries in one set-up. The bevel grinding angle can be individually chosen, while the grinding speed can be steplessly adjusted. The CHX 840 and CHX 1300 are ideally designed for efficiently grinding even complex tooth geometries and group toothings. Optional software for negative tooth face geometries and chip breaker machining is available.


Quality control system closes the loop
B.C.-based SiCam Systems’ latest technology was familiar to CFI, since the company will be presenting on the solution at our OptiSaw event in Montreal on Nov. 28. Using machine intelligence, SiCam’s closed loop technology automatically adjusts cutting tools to maintain quality and size in the sawmill. It automatically measures and trends size performance, determines the correct equipment to adjust, and moves the cutting tool to maintain size and quality.


Mass timber planer
Gilbert is capitalizing on the big timber trend with its latest planer, the Timber Power Planer. The planer is built for big timbers up to 16-in. high and 36-in. wide ¬– glulam, CLT, log cabin beams and more. Featuring an exclusive, user-friendly automatic positioning system, safety systems and automatic adjustments, the planer produces high quality mass timber. Its sturdy, heavy-duty frame prevents vibration, while the Gilbert automatic positioning system controls the cutterheads and an unlimited number of additional axes. Equipped with electric motorization, the planer ensures steady speed and high accuracy.


Photo courtesy Autolog
Log optimizer compares simulations

Autolog previewed the new GEN3 log optimizer, available January 2019, which uses software to give users the tools they need for their day-to-day job, Mario Godbout told CFI at the show. The optimizer features a scan density of 0.5-in. at 650 ft./min, and is suitable for all types of optimized primary log breakdowns: log tuner, log sorters, chipper canter, twin, quad, etc. Typically, if users try to optimize their product, they may do 10-15 simulations, says Godbout, which is difficult to analyze. Autolog has therefore incorporated a comparison tool that highlights the differences in multiple simulations. GEN3 also features a live simulation tool, where the optimizer and simulator will use the same log as the one in production and show the difference. Users can thereby see if the new parameters are good for production. See VIDEO here.


All-in-one system
VAB Solutions, now represented by Timber Automation, had a number of solutions on display at their booth, including a video on their newest product, Opti-Trim. Opti-Trim is an all-in-one lug loader, positioning system (fence) and trimmer. The unique and patented system produces every length of boards in one production shift, and performs cut-in-two without modifying the production line. It can be installed in both green lumber mills (sawmills) and planer mills, in 102 in. of space. Capable of processing seven to 16 footboards that are 2×3 to 2×8, the system processes 220 boards per minute with a board positioning of 0.005 in.


Automatic wrapper
DO2 showcased its new DO2 Rapid Wrapper, a patented automatic wrapper that can wrap up to 4,500 linear feet roll and apply up to 5,000 staples per coil. Featuring a patented label printer by thermal process, the wrapper prints the label directly on the wrap. Operator free, it provides consistent wrapping quality, low maintenance and consistent staple positions. Featuring an automated alarm system, a yellow alarm that warns users about a low level on a consumable, a red alarm that indicates the wrapper needs an intervention or a fill up on a consumable, and a lower pressure alarm, the Rapid Wrapper is available with lath breaker/centering, a wrap lifting tool, safety walls, and more.

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