In addition to being a major tourist attraction, the Black Forest is also a centre of development in the area of wood processing, with numerous global market leaders and mechanical engineers in the region involved in this sector. Forum Weisstanne reports on this in its anniversary magazine.
Forum Weisstanne, an association run by volunteers that seeks to improve the market situation of the Black Forest SILVER FIR, issued the Faszination Weißtanne magazine, a publication dedicated to the allure of the silver fir, in September to mark the occasion of its 25th anniversary. Over 40 reports address construction, architecture and marketing associated with regional timber. One contribution is dedicated to the Northern Black Forest and its global leaders in wood technology and engineering, including firms such as Linck, Kallfass, Homag and Schmalz.
The following is an excerpt from the article:
The Northern Black Forest – global leader in woodworking and wood processing engineering
The Northern Black Forest is a densely wooded area rich in timber that is frequently popularised as an attractive tourism destination or, indeed, a booming forestry and timber region.
And all this is true! But it is not the entire story, as the Northern Black Forest is also a region that produces many inventors. Most Germans are familiar with the Fischer plug, and many of them also know that these fixing elements were invented and are produced in the Black Forest. However, beyond the Black Forest, not many people know that the Northern Black Forest is centre of invention and development in woodworking and wood processing machinery.
The most widely known inventor in this respect is probably Max Himmelheber. Born in 1904 in Karlsruhe, Max grew up in a carpentry and joinery shop where he saw at first hand how large quantities of wood chips largely went unused. He began to tinker about with this material at an early age and, later as an electrical engineer, he examined options for using waste wood material. Max ultimately invented the chipboard in the 1930s, a development that we would today call a “turning point in the utilisation of wood”. Max Himmelheber then founded a company in Baiersbronn and established chipboard factories all over the world, issuing production licences to around 80 firms.
However, this was only the beginning of the machinery boom for woodworking and wood processing in the Black Forest. Numerous machine manufacturers are active today in this sector.
Kallfass GmbH – Maschinen plus Automation, Klosterreichenbach, District of Freudenstadt
KALLFASS has been developing and producing machinery and systems for sawmills and the global timber processing industry in Klosterreichenbach, Germany since 1949. Kallfass solutions are customised and range from charging of small process units to the mechanising of complete production lines for sawing, planing, glueing, pressing and sorting of timber.
As a family-run business in its third generation, KALLFASS employs around 120 people at its main facility in Klosterreichenbach, Northern Black Forest, and another production location in Wernigerode (Saxony-Anhalt). The development, design, production, assembly and programming of plants are all realised completely in the company.
Wood harbours enormous potential for further development, thanks to the numerous options available for its use. KALLFASS helps its sawmill customers to implement innovative product ideas and achieve special production requirements in practice and develops tailored fully automated process and plant technology. KALLFASS has readied a wealth of new developments for series production.
This success has also been demonstrated by the KALLFASS multiple circular cross-cut saw. Designed in 1965, its precision and flexibility in wood cutting has today made it the global leader among multiple circular cross-cut saws in this sector, and it is integrated in cutting systems and sorting and planing plants. The tried and trusted KALLFASS box sorter is a further success story. Timber in a variety of dimensions can be stored in the interim in large space-saving boxes for further use. This means that packages with the same dimensions and quality can be created later from different boards from the same log.