Stacked wood packages

Erstes gemeinsames Projekt erfolgreich abgewickelt EN The first joint project has been successfully completed

New restacking system eliminates bottleneck

The mechanisation specialist Kallfass was able to successfully commission the first system at Robeta Holz in Milmersdorf, Germany, at the beginning of January. What was initially planned as a more straightforward restacking plant for dried-sawn timber has become a real gem. This eliminated a production bottleneck at Robeta Holz.

“Previously, we also had to re-sort and stack the dry goods at our sorting plant. Since the demand for dry goods has risen steadily, re-sorting was only possible with considerable extra hours - sometimes the system also ran on Saturdays or we started on Sunday evening”, remembers Christian Rockel, Production Manager at Robeta Holz. This bottleneck had to be removed. Those responsible for the sawmill in Uckermark, Germany, approached Kallfass, Baiersbronn-Klosterreichenbach, Germany, with a relevant enquiry. “Kallfass has a very good name in the industry”, Rockel reasons. “We have also been approached by pallet manufacturers who said: If you cut the sawn timber with a Kallfass system, then we'll buy from you”, says the production manager and smiles. He is referring to the high accuracy of the mechanisation specialist's multiple cross-cut saw.

Kallfass Robeta project team

Robeta Wood Production Manager Christian Rockel with Enrico Goldhahn, Matthias Link and Rick Stille from Kallfass (from left)

Complete package instead of the “basic”

“Originally, a smaller restacking system was envisaged” recalls Kallfass Project Manager Enrico Goldhahn, and continues: “However, during the discussion it turned out that Robeta wanted to be more flexible and we ultimately delivered a fully comprehensive system with some technical refinements”. Among other things, Robeta Holz also paid attention to ergonomics: All system components are easily accessible and the walkways are particularly wide. This results in the best work conditions for the employees. “We had enough space for the planning and for the system, so we optimised the process. A great reference project has been created”, Goldhahn clarifies. His colleague Matthias Link, responsible for sales at Kallfass, adds: “All the responsible people, such as electricians and locksmiths, were involved in the project right from the start. That made the coordination much easier.”

Robeta Holz built a new hall for the Kallfass system. The assembly work started on 6 September 2022. In January, the trial operation could already begin. As mentioned, the new restacking equipment is intended for dry goods. However, Robeta Holz can also use this equipment for fresh sawn timber. The system is designed for cross-sections from 16 x 75 to 125 x 200 mm with a length from 0.8 to 6.3 m.

Kallfass destacker

During the tilt destacking process, the layers are briefly held back (see arrows), so that the stacking sticks underneath are separated much easier and slide off.

Clean separation

The sawn timber feed offers space for several packages. “For a higher output, the system is equipped with two conveyors”, Link explains. The hydraulic tilt destacking unit has pneumatic pawls for better stick separation. “The pine is slightly tacky - with the slight push, however, the sticks detach better from the lumber layers”, Goldhahn explains. The sticks are collected separately and space-optimised in stanchions.

After separation and downstream of an alignment roller conveyor, the workpieces reach the assessment station, where an employee performs a final quality check. The subsequent Tongloader® cycles the boards and planks – regardless of the cross-section – onto the downstream chain conveyor at a rate of up to 120 cycles per minute. The Tongloader® is equipped with an anti-twist device. “This ensures that cross-sections that are approximately square are not transported on edge”, explains Goldhahn. The workpieces pass through the Brookhuis moisture measurement system in a transverse run-through. “Pieces that don't fit are ejected, as are the rejects”, Link points out during the tour. The respective boards drop down through a sorting flap onto a belt below and arrive at two points on a table where they can be removed separately.

Subsequently, the good parts move through the Kallfass multiple cross-cut saw. The latter is equipped with five saw aggregates – four of which can be positioned automatically.

Kallfass separator of cut wood

Like a mini sorting system: The sticks in the tilt destacking unit are removed, separated and collected in stanchions in a space-optimised manner.

Adjustable magazines

The stacker has a capacity of up to 12 layers per minute. Kallfass has further strengthened this stacker for large wood dimensions. The system has eight double magazines for stacking sticks and sticks being disposed of. “The magazines can be positioned automatically. This also allows more sticks from a magazine to be placed on the sawn timber layers if required. The motorised adjustment allows the sticks to be positioned closer to the cutting edge. The minimum distance corresponds to a stick width plus 10 mm”, Link explains and adds: “We have also equipped the existing sorting system with these new stick magazines.”

The finished packages arrive at the Kallfass automatic foiling station. “This station can also be equipped with unfolded film up to 3.6 m wide”, informs Link. The wrapped packages then enter the Fromm package press with two squared timber magazines, are strapped and transported out of the hall through a high-speed door. The parcels are transferred to the pick-up point for the stacker via an angular transfer device.

“Kallfass has done a very good job. The cooperation was impeccable – the handling of the installation was also smooth due to the good planning”, reports Rockel. “We can now respond to customer requests much faster and have brought the working hours back to a normal level. The system is operated by three employees and one forklift operator. The output of the system is very high, consequently requiring only a single-shift operation. I am happy every day about the successful project”, says the production manager, visibly satisfied.

Kallfass stick magazines

The stacking unit is equipped with eight double magazines - these can be moved and positioned exactly at the cutting edge.

"I am happy every day about the successful project"

- Robeta Wood Production Manager Christian Rockel -

Kallfass wood monitoring

After the lumber has been separated, an employee can inspect the timber manually.

Kallfass cross cut saw

After the Tongloader® and the layer formation, the sawn timber reaches the multiple cross-cut saw from Kallfass which consists of five saw aggregates.

Kallfass foil dispenser

Kallfass also supplied Robeta Holz with the foiling station, followed by the package press and the transport of the finished packages.

Text and images: Martina Nöstler, Holzkurier

Holzkurier 47/23

Kallfass scandinavian stacking pack

Neue Stapellinie mit einer technischen Raffinesse EN New stacking line with technical sophistication

The previous stacking system at Holzwerke van Roje was already approaching the end of its useful life. For this reason, the decision was made to rebuild, which was primarily aimed at increasing efficiency in the new CLT plant, explains Gerhard Hauschulte, Managing Director at van Roje.

Holzwerke van Roje, Oberhonnefeld-Gierend, Germany, originally focused on rather small batch sizes with its sawmill and primarily serves niche markets with its products. In the past year, however, something has changed significantly: When the company's CLT plant is up and running, around 25 to 30% of the sawn timber produced in the sawmill is sent for further processing. “Many of our investments in recent years have been aimed at further increasing profitability in production. The new stacking line is also part of this”, explains Gerhard Hauschulte, Managing Director at Holzwerke van Roje and adds: “Now that we have the new stacking line, we can get more out of the side products”. When it comes to the implementation, Holzwerke van Roje relied on the expertise of Kallfass, Baiersbronn-Klosterreichenbach, Germany. “We have already worked with Kallfass many times, for example in the planing mill. We were always fully satisfied. Moreover, Kallfass offers solid mechanical engineering”, Hauschulte justifies and says with a smile: "Besides, Kallfass had a building time frame that we had to use”.

The schedule was very demanding and the machine builder completed the conversion at the turn of 2022/23: Dismantling of the existing system, installation of the new one and commissioning were completed in less than three weeks.

Holzwerke van Roje Managing Director Gerhard Hauschulte and Kallfass Managing Director Hans Haist (left to right) in front of the new stacking line.

More yield with “Scandinavian stacking”

The new stacking line from Kallfass makes it possible to form sawn timber packages with different lengths and stack them flush right/left. In the CLT plant, the boards are placed in a finger-jointing line. This means that the length of the raw material is not important. If short boards with different lengths can be cut and stacked without a grid, which we previously had to cut back to fixed dimensions, we can significantly increase our yield”, Hauschulte informs right in advance about the advantages of the new system. “In the German-speaking countries, such packages with Scandinavian stacking have been rather uncommon so far. But we have already installed several such plants in export markets”, reports Hans Haist, Managing Director at Kallfass.

Kallfass stacking line, système d'empilage

Kallfass delivered a new stacking line to Holzwerke van Roje at the turn of the year 2022/23.

Kallfass supplied the new stacking line starting from the separation and alignment unit of the side goods downstream of the box emptying unit. The boards are first transported past the employee, who can still eject timbers that are not acceptable. A Tongloader® cycles the workpieces in the direction of the next cross conveyor at a rate of up to 80 cycles per minute. If Scandinavian packs are formed, the zero edge is shifted every second board thereafter. The system is designed for a board length of 2.5 to 6.1 m. “If we require shorter dimensions, there are end stops at 3.6 and 4.6 m when shifting the zero edge”, Hauschulte points out during the tour. "The alignment for the Scandinavian packages can be deactivated so that completely “normal” stacks can also be formed”, adds Haist.

The subsequent multiple cross-cut saw from Kallfass is equipped with two sawing aggregates for zero and end cutting. Following the layer formation and transfer, the stacking system is installed. This system outputs up to ten layers per minute and is matched to the edging system. The stacker has nine stick magazines for automatic stick placement process. For workpieces up to 6.1 m in length, all stick magazines are used to stabilise the package in the best possible way. For workpieces of shorter lengths, fewer stick magazines are used. “We haven't had any problems with stability so far”, Hauschulte confirms. "We have also already made preparations for an automatic stick placement using a robot”, Haist emphasises.

Hauschulte is very satisfied with the process and the investment decision: “We can now generate more yield and we want to continue to add value in the future”.

After emptying the boxes and unscrambling the workpieces, the Tongloader® cycles the boards in the direction of the multiple cross-cut saw.

Kallfass shift of the zero line

This is followed by another Kallfass innovation: the shift of the zero line for Scandinavian packages.

Kallfass scandinavian stacking pack

The Kallfass stacking system enables the formation of Scandinavian packages – the different lengths allow the yield in the CLT plant to be increased.

Kallfass multiple cross cut saw

The multiple cross-cut saw at Holzwerke van Roje and supplied by Kallfass is equipped with a total of two saw aggregates.

Kallfass stick magazines for placing stacking sticks, dépose de liteaux

During stacking, the stacking sticks are placed automatically - nine stick magazines are in use.

Text and photos: Martina Nöstler, Holzkurier

Holzkurier 37/23

Kallfass stacking with stick magazines

Anlage überzeugt in jeder Hinsicht EN The system meets all expectations

Jürgen Martlmüller, the Managing Director, had several incentives for investing in a new restacking line, as well as his decision to opt for Kallfass as the supplier.

Weiss Holzwerk GmbH, a company with roots in the Bavarian town of Julbach in Germany, dates back to the 12th century. It produces a wide range of standard and custom pallets, as well as all types of wooden packaging. The raw material for this comes from the company's sawmill. “We cut around 36,000 solid cubic meters of soft wood every year. The majority of production is used for our own further processing whereas the superior quality is sold to carpenters, joiners, timber construction companies, and individuals”, according to Jürgen Martlmüller, the Managing Director. He attaches particular importance to regional marketing and the comprehensive use of wood. For example, they also take back old pallets and repair them. “Only when a repair is no longer possible are the pallets dismantled, components reused if possible. Then the leftovers are shredded and the shredded material is thermally recycled in the company's biomass heating plant in a CO2-neutral way”, Martlmüller emphasises. The machines and equipment receive the same level of care: these are carefully maintained and, if necessary, repaired, upgraded and overhauled by our staff, so that you can get the most out of the equipment's useful life.

Project team Weiss and Kallfass

In front of the stacker: Managing Director Jürgen Martlmüller at Weiss Holzwerk GmbH and Matthias Link, Sales Manager at Kallfass (from left).

Multiple reasons - for investment and equipment supplier

However, this was no longer possible with the previous restacking line: “These systems had definitely reached the end of their service life”, says Martlmüller, thus stating the first reason why he decided to make the investment. To guarantee our pallet customers a 24 hour delivery window, we are equipped with a backup system for nearly every line—from a standby gen set to a second pallet line. As we have discontinued the use of our old cross-cut saw, we have had to introduce a new system that accurately stacks and cross-cuts the sawn goods for our pallet production”, is the second rationale. Thirdly: The stacking feature allows the wood packages produced in the new system to be directly loaded into the drying chamber. This was not a viable option in the past.

Thus, Martlmüller made a decision in favour of a restacking unit from the Kallfass location in Baiersbronn-Klosterreichenbach, Germany. “After reviewing multiple suppliers, Kallfass’ system excelled in many ways”, says the Managing Director. The system manufacturer provided the best concept in terms of technology, economy, and price. Additionally, Kallfass is renowned in the industry for its excellent designs and its robust products. The initial commissioning of the new restacking system took place in March 2022. This past January, the Kallfass increased the size of their systems with the addition of a buffer chain conveyor and a step feeder. “After the first few months it became apparent that feeding bundles is the rule rather than the exception. For this reason, we have again upgraded these systems”, explains Matthias Link, responsible Sales Manager at Kallfass.

Kallfass destacking of packs

In an “orderly” fashion: Tilt destacking of the sawn timber packages, the stacking strips are disposed of automatically.

Kallfass destacking of bundles

Since a large part comes to the new restacking plant in the form of bundles, Kallfass expanded the installation at the beginning of 2023.

Restacking wood packages or bundles

The Kallfass restacking system starts with a package chain conveyor or the downstream tilt destacking for wood packages and bundles. The stacking sticks fall automatically onto a conveyor belt and are collected. The boards—measuring up to 5 m long—first slide onto a buffer chain conveyor and then enter into the step feeder. “In these systems, both steps move so that the load is divided. This ensures a reduced energy consumption”, Link explains. The boards fall into the unscrambler’s trough, are subsequently right-aligned and transported to the accumulation chain conveyor. Here, an employee checks the timber and sorts out any unacceptable goods. This is followed by the layer-by-layer charging of the Kallfass multiple cross-cut saw. This saw is equipped with seven sawing units, six of which are completed automated and can be positioned as required. According to Kallfass, the shortest cutting length is approx. 760 mm. A waste conveyor is used to remove the scrap wood. Utilising placement forks, the board layers that were cut exactly to size are transferred to the stacker. This stacker has a unique feature: In order to facilitate further internal package manipulation, the boards are stacked on a pallet. To do this, the operator places the pallets in stacks onto a roller conveyor that has space for three wood packages. “First, the stacks are precisely aligned and then fed to the empty pallet magazine. Which feeds the hoisting unit with the pallets”, Link explains during our tour. Only when all the pallets are positioned can the hoisting unit move upward and begin the stacking process. The stacking system is equipped with board magazines. “Currently, Weiss Holzwerk only uses boards as intermediate sticks. In the future, sticks with a cross-section of 40 by 18 mm or 48 by 18 mm can also be used”, informs Link.

Martlmüller is enthusiastic about working as a team with Kallfass: “It was always a cooperation built on fairness”, confirms the Managing Director. “The employees, whom we involved in the project from the very beginning, are also happy with the new system.”

Kallfass longitudinal sorting of bundles

Due to space constraints, a longitudinal sorting system has been incorporated at Weiss Holzwerk, where the sawn timber is collected in bundles.

Kallfass Unscrambler

New additions include a buffer section and the step feeder, which feeds the bundles smoothly to the separator.

Kallfass cross-cutting sawn timber

The multiple cross-cut saw at Weiss Holzwerk supplied by Kallfass is equipped with a total of seven saw units.

Kallfass feeding of pallets for stacking

Pallet feed to the stacker: The wood packages are precisely aligned in order to avoid faults.

Kallfass stacked packs

Carefully stacked wood packages: The timber stacked on pallets is ready for pick-up.

Text and images: Martina Nöstler, Holzkurier

Holzkurier 12/23

Etagensortierung von Kallfass, tray sorter of Kallfass

Produktivität und Effizienz gesteigert EN Added productivity and efficiency

The British company Charles Ransford & Son has been pursuing its consistent investment strategy for years. However, the primary goals of the modernisation are not an increase in production but an increase in production efficiency as well as the degree of automation. Kallfass was able to deliver two systems last year that are equipped to do just that.

Charles Ransford & Son is located in Bishops Castle—about an hour and a half’s drive west of Birmingham, England—where, among other things, the company focuses on manufacturing fencing and landscaping products for the domestic market. In its in-house sawmill, where Douglas fir, larch and spruce are processed, the company’s 58 employees produce around 55,000 m3 of sawn timber. The company has invested more than €22 million in further development in recent years. In 2022, two projects—a layer sorting system for long cross-sections and a post-pointing system—were successfully completed when the system specialist Kallfass from Baiersbronn in Germany, was commissioned. “When we made the investments, we first and foremost wanted to add to our productivity, not necessarily our volume”, explains Craig Leitch, Purchasing Director at Ransford. “Having the two new Kallfass systems, we can now respond more quickly to orders, improving our customer service in today’s challenging market. In addition, we have been able to add a seven-fold increase in our production output”, adds James Davies, Mechanical Engineer at Ransford.

A confident, long-standing partner

Ransford and Kallfass enjoy a partnership that goes back a long time: the first Kallfass stacking line was purchased 26 years ago. Ten years later, a box sorting system followed, which is still in operation today. “Kallfass is a very reliable partner who delivers the best technology available on the market. And when it comes to customer support, Kallfass is outstanding. The first discussions for the post-pointing system—a fully automatic fence production system—started in 2018. “The sale and planning then coincided exactly with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to Ransford’s confidence in our technology, we were able to handle the signing process exclusively online via team meetings”, Matthias Link, responsible for sales at Kallfass, explains the challenges.

Ransford Sawmill

Charles Ransford & Son from Bishops Castle, England, specialises in the manufacture of fence posts, among other things.

Etagensortierung von Kallfass, tray sorter of Kallfass

Around 30% of the sawn goods produced are sorted using the layer sorting system —the cross-section at Ransford ranges up to 200 by 200 mm.

Mehrfachablängsäge, multiple cross-cut saw

The tried-and-tested multiple cross-cut saw from Kallfass cuts the timber to the required length before it is stacked.

Kallfass Kappsägen zum Anspitzen von Pfosten

In the Kallfass post-pointing line, four circular saws “point” the posts in a cross-cutting cycle – after each saw, the post is rotated 90°.

New tray sorter

Upstream of the post-pointing plant, is Kallfass’s new sorting system, which has been in operation since October 2022. This system is specially designed for thicker cross-sections, measuring up to 200 by 200 mm and lengths of 1.8 to 4.8 m for gate posts or wooden sleepers. “Until now, we have been implementing the stacking of these systems by hand, requiring an enormous effort. When the new Kallfass tray sorter line is installed, we have taken another important step towards increasing productivity”, says Leitch.

The saw line made by EWD GmbH separates the squared timber and transfers the parts to the Kallfass roller conveyor at a speed of 120 m/min. Workpieces longer than 5 m or unsuitable can be discharged into a green chain. Subsequently, a curved conveyor transports the good parts to the new sorting system. After aligning the timber, an employee assesses the quality of the workpieces and rejects those pieces displaying unsuitable qualities. The measurement is carried out in a crosswise pass. Based on the measurement data, pivoting conveyors are used to place the timber on one of the four levels.

Immediately after emptying of the workpieces, the Kallfass automated system creates the layers. These layers enter the multiple cross-cut saw, equipped with zero-cut and two variable saws. The subsequent stacking uses five magazines where the sticks are placed automatically. Next, the system forms bundles with a cross-section measuring up to 1.2 by 1.2 m. The bundles then leave the hoisting unit, and a roller conveyor transports the bundles to the strapping unit. Here, a stacker picks them up and moves them to the post-pointing unit.

Significantly reduced manual handling

Previously, several employees were required to do the work; now, the post-pointing line takes over this process. “Today, however, only one operator is needed to complete the task“, explains Alex Cooper, the responsible engineer at Ransford. The post-pointing line processes wood cross-sections of up to 200 by 200 mm and post lengths ranging from 1.5 to 3 m.

Inside the new system, the packages are first destacked in layers, and the sticks are automatically stripped. Next, the operator assesses the lumber’s quality and uses a piece of chalk to mark any piece of timber that does not meet the required qualities. The identified parts can be automatically ejected later in the process. In the longitudinal pass, the squared timber enters the incisor (a device for scoring the wood, ensuring better penetration of the impregnating agent). Subsequently, automatic zero-point alignment takes place upstream of the post-pointing station. Finally, in the cross-cutting station, circular saws with a maximum cutting depth of 200 mm point the posts on all four sides while the timber rotates 90° automatically between saws.

Alternatively, the squared timber can also be processed using a radius milling cutting station instead of the circular saws. The squared timber is aligned beforehand and fixed in place using clamps. Two profiling units mill the rounding in synchronous and counter-rotation and thus ensure uniform processing without fraying of the posts. “The milling station has a capacity of up to six pieces per minute”, Link explains. The downstream Kallfass stacking system stacks sawn posts in single or multiple lengths, and places the sticks automatically. According to Link, the system has an output of up to five layers per minute. For Ransford, the clean packages, in particular, are also a definite benefit compared to the past: “The beautiful appearance of the uniform stacks makes a much better impression on the customer”, confirms Leitch.

Etagensortierung von Kallfass, tray sorter of Kallfass

Last year, Kallfass delivered two systems to Charles Ransford & Son: at the end of October 2022, the sorting system with four levels went into operation; before that, the system specialist had already installed a post-pointing system.

Kallfass milling with claming device

In addition, Kallfass installed a milling station in the fence production system when a profiling unit was installed for circular milling of the squared timber.

Kallfass Stapelpaket spitze Zaunpfosten

For Ransford, an added bonus of the post-point system: neatly stacked parcels.

Text: Martina Nöstler, Holzkurier, Images: Ransford (3), Kallfass

Holzkurier 09/23

Kallfass Postpointing Gates

Ransford bringt es auf den Punkt EN Ransfords makes a point

Sawmiller Charles Ransford & Son’s latest investment is an automated post-pointing line which has helped to transform the operation.

Charles Ransford & Son proudly declares itself as a timber specialist operating since 1876. It has a rich history as a producer of British timber products operating on a 38-acre site at Bishops Castle in Shropshire. During this recent period of the Covid pandemic, the sawmiller has seen exceptional demand for its range of products, which include fencing (garden, commercial, agricultural and equestrian), gates, acoustic sound panels (such as motorway fencing) and pallets and packaging.Fencing and landscaping products represent the lion’s share of its production – 70 % of this material goes to stockists, 20 % to contractors and 10 % to the highways segment. Small volumes of carcassing and pallet/packaging wood are produced, but not a significant volume.

The 55 employees work on a single shift and deal predominantly with redwood (60 %) such as Douglas fir, with spruce accounting for the remainder. Its most recently available annual results show a turnover of approximately £17m in 2020, with sales and demand remaining high last year. “Since Covid, fencing and garden products went through the roof and we could not cut the wrong thing, basically everybody wanted it,” said Ransfords engineer Alex Cooper. The massive increase in demand seen in 2020 and 2021 has since moderated in recent months to more normal seasonal demand.

To stay on top of things, Ransfords has a policy of continuous investment, with about £20m invested in the sawmill in the past 12 years. An EWD sawing line was the largest single investment. One of its main technology partners is German timber processing machinery specialist Kallfass. Its relationship with Kalfass extends many years. Ransfords bought a Kallfass saw stacker 26 years ago, followed by several investments including a drop sorting system 16 years ago. The most recent investment, completed in March 2022, was an automated post-pointing line, while a tray-sorting system for large items is currently being installed at the sawmill.

Kallfass Zaunpfosten Anlage

Zero point alignment takes place before the post-pointing station.

Kallfass Kappsägen zum Anspitzen von Pfosten

Four circular saws cutting the posts on all four sides.

Kallfass automated post-pointing system

The intention with the Kallfass automated post-pointing line was to increase productivity in the fence and gate post production by reducing manual work. The previous manual post-pointing and feeding of the incising system had been a very time-consuming and labour-intensive manual process.

The project was first discussed between Ransfords and Kallfass about 5 years ago, before the Covid pandemic. At first the focus was automating the feeding process for Ransfords’ incising operations. After Covid hit, discussions took place remotely on Microsoft Teams, but the Ransfords team was able to visit an automated post-pointing system that Kallfass had installed at A J Scott in 2020.

“It was all on Teams, it is a big advantage to have that tool and to show Ransfords what we were able to deliver,” said Matthias Link, Kallfass sales manager. “The decision was made really fast. “Kallfass and Ransfords have a really trustworthy relationship and that gives us the ability to do business in that way and it was a big advantage.” “This whole project went really well despite not able to meet up, with all the meetings done remotely,” added Ransfords mechanical engineer James Davies.

Previous to the new Kallfass line, Ransfords operated a Stenner bandsaw for pointing in a manual sawing and stacking process. For gateposts, a manually fed Graule crosscut saw was used, while round-topping was completed on a small individual machine. The new line is designed to process posts with a width of 75-200mm and length of 1.5-3m, with stacked packs being 1.2m x 1.2m.

It starts with a longitudinal push-off destacking with strip stripping, followed by automated feeding of an RJH Enterprise incising system. Before incising, bad quality wood is marked manually with luminous chalk. After incising a lumi sensor on the sorting conveyor detects the coloured marked wood and opens a flap for disposal via a chute. Then zero point alignment takes place before the post-pointing station. Four circular saws with a maximum 200mm cutting depth point the posts on all four sides, with pieces turned three times automatically between saws.

Kallfass milling with claming device

A radius milling cutting station for round-topping of square or rectangular posts.

Kallfass milling with claming device

Before milling, the posts are fixed in a clamping station.

A radius milling cutting station is designed for round-topping of square or rectangular posts, complete with clamping operation. Two motors, one turning in- and one against feed direction save the quality without tears at the edge. This station can process 5-6 pieces per minute.

Kallfass’ stacking system stacks sawn posts in single or multiple lengths with automatic stick placement at a rate of five layers per minute. The final strapping operation was a Mosca system sourced by Ransfords and integrated by Kallfass.

Reduced manual handling

“In terms of the actual machines themselves,” said Mr Cooper, “it has removed massive amounts of manual handling. “The operators don’t have to touch the wood, whereas beforehand two or three people were handling quite big pieces such as 200mm x 200mm gateposts. All of that aspect has been removed so it is significantly safer.” Staff have been redeployed in the new line.

“We can react to orders quicker now,” added Mr Davies. “In the past we tended to do products on an order by order process, but because of the way these machines work we try and batch produce and hold more in stock of the more popular products.”

Kallfass Stapelpaket spitze Zaunpfosten

Finished stacking package with pointed posts.

“Even when the pointed part of a fence post goes in the ground, it’s good the customer can see down the side of the pack that all the points are in line and all look the same. That’s part of the Ransfords quality we strive to achieve.”

James Davies, mechanical engineer at Ransfords

Previously, the manual process to produce a four-way pointed post measuring 125x75mm would take three operators 30min to produce a pack of 126 pieces. Now it can be done in 5-10mins. The round-topping and incising process is also now considerably quicker. It used to take two hours to complete the manual incising and round-topping process for a pack, as opposed to approximately 10mins on the Kallfass line. The quality of finish is also important, particularly with gateposts which are a visible feature at the entrances of properties.

“If someone is doing this cutting by hand there might be a discrepancy, maybe you get a slightly different angle on each side,” said Mr Cooper. “On the new line, the machine guarantees every cut is the same.” “Even when the pointed part [of a fence post] goes in the ground, it’s good the customer can see down the side of the pack that all the points are in line and they all look the same,” added Mr Davies. “That’s part of the Ransfords quality we strive to achieve.”

With the incising process, Ransfords had been unable to visit the supplier RJH during Covid restrictions, but it did visit a similar unit at James Jones to see it in action. The existing AV Birch incisor is still being used for small orders or orders of longer lengths. “Incising seems to be the new normal now, the standard,” said Mr Cooper. “For instance, part of the Highways Agency’s requirement is the posts are incised and treated to UC4 to achieve 30 years’ service life.”

Further investment

The automated post-pointing line is not the only recent investment at Ransfords. In 2018, a building was constructed on site to house a new treatment plant, comprising a high pressure autoclave and two working solutions tanks – one UC3 and the other UC4. The autoclave has a 30m3 capacity per trolley, using Wolman preservatives and is able to run 24/7. It represents a doubling of treatment capacity. A new biomass boiler was installed to heat the solution in the facility, while also heating the previously existing treatment plant, comprising of three small tanks and a kiln. “The new treatment tank was fantastic timing to cover the demand over the past two years, because the old trolleys would only hold 15m3, so there is a doubling of capacity on each charge,” said Mr Davies. The older treatment plant is still used for one-offs, small packs, half packs and brown treating.

Meanwhile, currently a further Kallfass installation is taking place at Ransfords and will be completed in October. This is a new tray sorter process at end of the main EWD sawmill line and before the post-pointing operation. The tray sorter deals with large 6-8in square sections for gate posts and sleepers. The installation will feature automated stacking and crosscutting processes. At the moment Ransfords is using a forklift to offload items, which creates a bottleneck and items are crosscut on a small machine. “It is a huge installation and a big investment for Ransfords,” said Mr Link. The installation will improve Ransfords’ production time still further.

These large investment projects certainly show the company’s confidence for future business and there are likely to be some further spends to come, according to Ransfords. Ransfords is a single shift business with an annual sawn capacity of 50,000m3. There is no intention to increase output much beyond that, Ransfords is looking for more efficient ways of doing things. The next significant investment will be high speed edging. The current edging system was installed in 2004 and that is the oldest part of the mill now, so over the next five years that will be one the changes. It will not be an investment to drive production output but to keep Randsfords as efficient as possible and replacing what they think needs replacing. According to Ransfords they are not a business out there trying to rule the world but quietly go ahead and do their own thing!”

Kallfass Abschiebeentstapelung, push-off destacking

Longitudinal push-off destacking with automated strip stripping to remove intermediate strips.

Kallfass Kappsägen zum Anspitzen von Pfosten

Zero point alignment before the post-pointing station. Four circular saws point the posts on all four sides.

Kallfass milling with claming device

Kallfass radius milling cutting station for round-topping of square or rectangular posts.

Kallfass milling with claming device

Before milling, the posts are fixed in a clamping station.

Kallfass Stapelpaket spitze Zaunpfosten

Finished stacking package with pointed posts.

Kallfass Stapelpaket runde Zaunpfosten

Shipping package of round-topped posts.

Pictures Kallfass, Text Stephen Powney, TTJ Timber Trade Journal

TTJ Timber Trades Journal Online

Projektteam CDB Bois

Palettenbretter exakt
stapeln und paketieren EN
Precision stacking and packing of pallet boards

CBD Bois in Craponne-sur-Arzon has been established in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region since 2014, and the sawmill has been gradually expanded since then. The latest investment involves a new cutting, stacking and packing system from Kallfass in Baiersbronn-Klosterreichenbach, Germany. This became necessary as a response to an increase in the production volume.

Pufferdecks für Schnittholz

Adequate buffering. Main and side products are conveyed towards the new Kallfass stacking and packing system via two decks.

Visuelle Qualitätskontrolle von Schnittholz

An employee examines the boards again, with unsuitable timbers being ejected manually.

CBD Bois currently cuts around 100,000 solid cubic metres per annum at its main facility in Craponne-sur-Arzon on two saw lines (for large and small-diameter logs respectively) and at their ETS RAZ mill. The latter is located around 15 km away in Dore-l'Église and was acquired in 2016. CBD Bois mainly processes fir and Douglas fir, with logs being obtained within a radius of approximately 100 km. Construction timber is cut in Craponne-sur-Arzon on the large-diameter log line using a block band saw and band resaw. A used Kallfass stacking system is employed behind this. “We’re so satisfied with this system from Kallfass that we decided to also engage them to address stacking of pallet products behind the small-diameter log line”, says Plant Manager Magali Castillon. As cutting has increased enormously since 2018 and stacking was previously a manual process performed by four employees, CBD Bois saw that action needed to be taken. The new cutting, stacking and packing line from Kallfass has been in operation since January 2021. Kallfass handled the project through VBI, its French representative in Barr, France.

“We’re more than satisfied with the way Kallfass and VBI have handled this, particularly with regard to the service involved.“

Magali Castillon, Plant Manager CBD Bois

Mehrfachablängsäge mit vier Sägen; tronçonneuse multiple de Kallfass avec 4 scies

One zero saw and three variable saws are available in the Kallfass multiple cross-cut saw.

Kallfass Leistenlegung; dépose de lattes d'empilage

Stacking sticks are (still) laid manually, but measures have already been taken to introduce automatic stick placement.

New customers gained through a high level of accuracy

“We can now operate this part of the line with only one employee”, notes an evidently pleased Magali Castillon. “We’ve also gained new customers, as our pallet products are now cut and stacked with millimetre precision. This is an important quality feature. We can also process as much as 30 % more timber with this line”.

The Kallfass system is designed for infeed lengths of 2.2 to maximum 4 m. The width can be set between 70 and 300 mm, and the maximum thickness is 100 mm. “The smallest cross section that the system can process is 60 by 15 mm”, explains Jonathan Bleesz from VBI. Main and side products are drawn transversely to the left behind the small diameter line, with the main products landing on the upper buffer deck and side products on the lower. “The timbers are then fed to the stacking system, depending on the filling quantity, as each deck can accommodate sawn timber for around one to two packages”, explains Kallfass Director Hans Haist. An employee also has the opportunity to examine the workpieces after separation. Any poor products can then be ejected, if necessary, in this area. These are then conveyed to the woodchipper via a vibrating conveyor.

Following the creation of layers, the timber is conveyed through the multiple cross-cut saw. This is equipped with four saw aggregates, namely one zero saw and three variable saws. This means that up to three boards can be created, depending on the infeed length. The cut lengths are then transferred to the packing and stacking system which can create 14 layers a minute. An employee currently lays the stacking sticks manually, but Kallfass has already made preparations for retrofitting an automatic stick placement system. Chains stabilise the position from above during transferring. The completed packages have a length of 0.8 to 4 m and a width of 1 to 1.2 m. The Kallfass system can also create sandwich packages, primarily to facilitate handling of short stacks. The first and last layers consist of continuous boards in this context, with short pieces placed in between. The completed packages are conveyed via a hoisting unit for strapping with squared timber.

“We’re more than satisfied with the way Kallfass and VBI have handled this, particularly with regard to the service involved”, concludes Magali Castillon.

Projektteam CDB Bois

Kallfass representative Jonathan Bleesz, CBD Bois Plant Manager Magali Castillon and Kallfass Director Hans Haist (from l.) in front of the new packing system.

Umreifungshilfe; aide au cerclage

A strapping aid is provided downstream of the packing system.

Pufferdecks für Schnittholz

Adequate buffering. Main and side products are conveyed towards the new Kallfass stacking and packing system via two decks.

Visuelle Qualitätskontrolle von Schnittholz

An employee examines the boards again, with unsuitable timbers being ejected manually.

Sandwichpaket; paquets en sandwich

Sandwich packages. The Kallfass system effortlessly stacks multiple lengths for simpler transportation of packages.

Mehrfachablängsäge mit vier Sägen; tronçonneuse multiple de Kallfass avec 4 scies

One zero saw and three variable saws are available in the Kallfass multiple cross-cut saw.

Kallfass Leistenlegung; dépose de lattes d'empilage

Stacking sticks are (still) laid manually, but measures have already been taken to introduce automatic stick placement.

Text and photos: Martina Nöstler, Holzkurier

Holzkurier 33/2022

Schnittholz in Pufferspeicher, cut wood in buffer levels

Optimales Kurzholzhandling EN Optimum short log handling

Tailored solution for an exceptional sawmill

With log lengths of 1.1 m and over, the Lithuanian Juodeliai Group recently commissioned a high-performance sawmill for producing raw material for pallets. Machine suppliers were also faced with major challenges, given the short logs involved and a planned output of 250,000 m³ of sawn timber per annum. Extensive experience and the level of commitment on the part of suppliers such as Kallfass ensured the success of the project.

The latest and, simultaneously, largest sawmill in the Juodeliai Group is currently operating in Marijampole/LT. The largest sawmill group in the country encompasses four locations and is responsible for cutting over 1.3 million solid cubic metres of logs per annum. Juodeliai aims to produce around 650,000 m³ of pallet timber in 2022, generating over € 200 million in turnover as a result. With customers in over 40 countries, the company is highly export oriented, although, according to CEO Andrius Zimnickas, no business relations are cultivated with Russia or Belarus, despite their geographic proximity. The company mainly obtains its spruce and pine logs and, also, hardwoods from Lithuania, a fact that also makes Juodeliai the largest consumer of timber in the country.

The company commissioned a fourth sawmill in 2020 in Marijampole, about a two-hour drive west of the capital Vilnius. Designed for an annual capacity of 250,000 m³, Juodeliai also produces pallet timber there for the global market. When it came to machine suppliers, the company opted for proven plant solutions from companies such as Linck, Holtec, Microtec and Kallfass. The latter is responsible for the mechanisation, sorting and stacking of main products and side boards.

„A practical, solution-oriented approach is the main reason we are cooperating again with Kallfass.“

Andrius Zimnickas, Juodeliai Group CEO

A challenging project

Kallfass takes charge of the main product upstream of the two multi-blade saws. A vertical system transports the separated logs as a whole to a peel-off system. Aided by gravity, these form a veritable carpet of boards. After passing a visual inspection station, layers are formed and the boards are cut at both ends before being fed layer by layer to a stacker.

Kallfass Abblätterer, peel-off system

Separated logs are transported to the Kallfass peel-off system to create layers of boards.

Adequate capacity

Kallfass collects the side boards in buffer levels. “As we had little experience with these short dimensions, the design was partially based on assumptions that, ultimately, worked out very well indeed”, reported Kallfass Project Manager Matthias Link.

Solution-oriented approach

This was neither the first nor the last joint project for Kallfass and Juodeliai. The German plant engineers had already been involved in a greenfield project for the Lithuanian timber industry in 2014. “We’re delighted to have opted again for Kallfass. They never try to offer us prefabricated solutions, but rather concentrate on our ideas and implement these. This practical approach is the main reason we decided to work with Kallfass again”, emphasised Andrius Zimnickas, adding that the next project, a second main product stacking system for Marijampole, has already been commissioned. This will be commissioned in the 1st quarter of 2024 at the latest.

Holz Imprägnierung, impregnation of wood

Application of an impregnation agent

Kallfass Abblätterer, peel-off system

Separated logs are transported to the Kallfass peel-off system to create layers of boards.

Sortierförderer, sorting conveyor

Kallfass sorting conveyor for ejecting unsuitable products.

Pufferetagen mit Seitenware, buffer levels with side products

Side view of the products buffered in 4 levels.

Versandpaket mit Kufen und Umreifung, shipping package with strapping and supporting runners

The completed shipping package, with triple strapping and supporting runners.

Images: Kallfass, text: Günther Jauk, Holzkurier

Holzkurier 17/2022

Die Leistensortierung mit Roboter

Automatisch im Vorteil EN Automatic Benefits

Murray Timber Group has installed a Kallfass stacking line to increase automation and boost capacity. Sally Spencer reports

Installing a new stacking line at a busy sawmill in the middle of a pandemic might be a challenge too far for some, but for Murray Timber Group (MTG) and Kallfass it was pretty much business as usual.

The Irish sawmiller, a major processor and exporter of construction, fencing, pallet and packaging timber, had been keen to increase capacity and reduce manual handling at the Ballygar mill and back in May 2019 had placed an order with Kallfass for a stacking line for squared timber for kiln drying and dispatch packages.

The working relationship between MTG and Kallfass stretches back to the installation of a cross-cut and stacking line in 1995. The quality and technical ability of that line had impressed, said Matthias Link, Kallfass sales manager and the companies had maintained contact since then. So when the time came for an upgrade, Kallfass was the name in the frame and after visiting the company and seeing some examples of similar installations in Germany and Austria, the deal – worth around €2m – was struck.

At that point, of course, no one had even heard of Covid-19, let alone knew the impact it would have, but MTG was determined to press ahead and installation started in June last year. Prior to the work starting, the existing building was extended and a new concrete floor was poured, but the mill continued to operate as normal and there were no shutdowns during the installation.

“MTG wanted to have the machinery installed and they did everything to realise that. The pandemic didn’t hinder the early stages of the installation."

Matthias Link, Kallfass sales manager

The Kallfass operatives on site included one mechanic (sometimes two), two electricians and, at the end of the year, one programmer – but Matthias stresses that they “had very good support” from the MTG team. “It was very good to work together with them,” he said, adding that the company was always in step with Kallfass’s schedule and always ready for the next stage of the installation.

However, at the end of the year it became more and more difficult for Kallfass to travel to Ireland and a lot of improvements had to be made via remote service. “MTG had installed cameras at different points of the installation so it was possible for us to see what was happening, recommend adjustments and then to look back to see if they had helped,” said Matthias. It also helped that the MTG team is very skilled technically and was able to describe issues and relay information very precisely.”

The cross-cutting and stacking line can be charged in two different ways. One entry point is from the existing sorter, where the material is taken in batches via an angle transfer and transported to the new line. The complete content of a sorting box (the maximum wood length is 5.3m) is emptied in a batch onto a cross conveyor and transported to the new part of the line. The other entry point takes material from the kiln or from other packages and is de-stacked, cut to length, stacked again and strapped.

If the material is fed via the tilt destacker, the packages (maximum size 1240mm wide x 1500mm high x 5300mm long) are destacked and the sticks removed from the wooden boards and then ejected into a deposit box via a belt conveyor. The boards are transported in layers via an angular chain conveyor to a step feeder. An unscrambler separates the material which is then aligned on a common zero line. Now the operator visually assesses the timber and if end trimming is necessary, pulls the board for subsequent trimming of flaws and wanes.

The boards are now fed layer by layer to the multiple cross-cutting saw, which is equipped with five variably positioned, pneumatically controlled chop saws. Two of the saw units can be pivoted by 30°. The indirect drive allows boards to be sawn to a minimum length of 750 +/- 1mm. A maximum of 10 layers per minute are stacked into packs. The packs are either taken from the front with the forklift, or transported to the strapping machine.

“If the material is going on into the kilns it doesn’t need to be strapped, but packs ready for dispatch will be strapped,” explained Matthias.

“The big decision maker was the robot sticking machine, which was the solution we had been searching a long time to find.”

Spokesperson Murray Timber Group

Die Leistensortierung mit Roboter

The robot sticking machine in action

One of the main attractions of the new stacking line for MTG was Kallfass’s patented automatic stick feeding system with a performance of 80 sticks a minute. This is the first installation of its type in the UK and Ireland. The stick bundles are placed with the forklift between the guide walls of the buffer conveyor and are then transported to the unscrambler. The separated sticks pass a scanner and damaged sticks are ejected. The sticks then move to the stick bundling part of the process where they are grouped into packs of 12. These are fed to buffer conveyors and, following alignment, Kallfass’s patented robot grabs the bundles and feeds them into eight double magazines equipped with two shafts each. The double magazines are needed to handle two different stick sizes.

The automatic stick feeder is used for the sticks measuring 44x22mm that are used in the kilns. The smaller sticks (44x10mm and 35x10mm) used for timber packs ready to be dispatched are placed manually in a designated buffer conveyor from where the robot picks up the sticks and feeds the second shaft of the stick magazines.

The strapping is equipped with two bearer magazines. The bearers are strapped together with the pack. A strapping cycle, including pack positioning, takes no longer than 18 seconds. The packs are taken off the subsequent angular transfer with a forklift.

Matthias estimates that the line is running at around 90% capacity and says that as soon as Covid restrictions ease and international travel is allowed, Kallfass will return to the Ballygar mill to carry out some final fine-tuning.

MTG says it is very familiar with the Kallfass equipment and is very comfortable with it from a quality, design and performance point of view.

“The big decision maker was the robot sticking machine, which was the solution we had been searching a long time to find,” said a spokesperson. "It was perfect for what we wanted, fully automated, high performance and completely flexible as to where the sticks can be placed,” he continued. “We are very proud to have one.”

Stapelanlage mit Leistenmagazinen, Befüllung durch Roboter

The stick sorter line - the robot can be seen in the background

Installation of the new line began in June 2020

TTJ Timber Trade Journal May/June 2021, pictures Murray Timber Group and text Sally Spencer
TTJOnline May/June

A&J Scott, UK investiert in neue Linie EN A&J Scott, UK invests in new line

A&J Scott has made its secondary/value-added production automatic with the addition of a new line by Kallfass. A&J Scott MD Robert Scott tells Stephen Powney how the investment has revolutionised its operations.

Long established family sawmilling company A&J Scott was one of those timber industry businesses which kept operating right through the Covid-19 lockdown period. Based in Alnwick, Northumberland and with an extensive product range which is heavily focused on fencing components, landscaping and garden products, the company has experienced huge recent demand. Recent significant investment in technology – an automatic value-added product line from Kallfass – has helped service the demand during this unique period.

“We managed to keep working two shifts right though the whole period, including the initial 2-3 week lockdown period when it appeared quite bleak for many people,” said Robert Scott, managing director of A&J Scott. “We only dropped two shifts in total when we had a bit of self-isolation.” The sawmill ran at about 75% for a couple of weeks initially and was up to normal speed within a couple of weeks. “In the main it has been good. The fencing and landscaping sector has been very busy, so I feel we have capitalised on it as best as we could. The demand has been insatiable since April and we have been struggling to keep people satisfied with timber.

“It’s been a perfect storm, you had a lot of people sitting at home on 80% pay, mortgage holidays, not having to work but they can’t go anywhere, they can’t go to the pub, there is no sport on and they’re sitting looking at the fence which probably blew down in February. They’ve all taken the decision to invest in the garden which is great.” The decision of some other mills to shut for a period also opened the door to new customer conversations for A&J Scott. “We have a far greater customer base then we did prior to this episode. So, it’s been a difficult but overall positive experience.”

Investment with Kallfass

A&J Scott has a primary sawmill line – (hybrid of Soderhamn Eriksson and Brodbaek technology) for cutting small to medium sized logs and another line (EWD) for cutting the oversized logs. The new Kallfass line installed in May, 2019 is focused on secondary processing.

“We had quite a sprawling, manually-operated secondary processing department which over the years had grown arms and legs and consisted of lots of small machines across the site,” said Mr Scott. “We wanted to consolidate it and upgrade the machinery in the process. Essentially the aim was to increase the volume of wood processed per hour per person – which we have done with the Kallfass line. We have also improved health and safety / environmental provisions and future proofed secondary processing/value-adding for the next 10-20 years.”

Conversations started between A&J Scott and Kallfass three years ago and included some visits to Kallfass customers in Germany and Holland, as well as several visits to Alnwick to find a solution to automate the mill’s secondary production processes.

“We looked at what was available in the market,” added Mr Scott. “We deemed the Kallfass solution and the equipment to be the best and chose them as our supplier and further developed the project with them.” A&J Scott had not previously worked with Kallfass as a technology provider – Kallfass was the turnkey technology partner for the project. “We designed the line, integrated the different machinery and also installed the complete line in the building,” said Matthias Link, Kallfass sales manager.

Kallfass technology included cross-cutting, strapping, pointing, round-topping, stacking and destacking. It also integrated an existing resaw, a new Rex planer, Mosca mini-bundling and a Fromm bundling system. The cost of the entire project was in the region of £4m and installation took about six months. All work steps for the manufacturing of fencing products are now integrated in one fully automated production line in a confined space. The line process starts with a forklift truck feeding the line with raw material ranging from 800-4900mm in length, 75-250mm in width and 16-200mm in thickness. This is followed by destacking, cross-cutting to length, post pointing, radius trimming of fence boards, resawing of single parts/cants, singling out and planing, mini bundelling and multiple crosscutting and stacking/strapping.

“We have an extensive range of everything from a 450mm 50x50mm peg which is 4-way pointed to a piece of decking and everything in between – panel battens, featheredge boards, panel cappings,” added Mr Scott. “Everything we produced up until the installation for the Kallfass line we did on smaller machines so the idea was to consolidate, take out those smaller machines, upgrade and also build in some extra capacity as well.”

New line features

One of the biggest advances for A&J Scott has been the revolution of its post-pointing operations. “We expanded into the highways post and rail market, not long before we commissioned the line,” explained Mr Scott. “That market involves a lot of post-pointing. Previously, we had a man working full time, overtime, all sorts of hours just to keep-up doing it all manually. Now we can comfortably cope with the level of demand within normal hours in a fraction of the time using the Kallfass line. “We’ve gone from doing 1-2 posts per minute at the very most to doing 10-12 a minute, so it’s a huge uplift in productivity. It has revolutionised that product operation.”

Kallfass designed a fully automated post pointing machine with four motors for pointing posts with a biggest section of 200 x 200mm. Mr Link highlighted the haunching machine for profiling fence boards as another important feature. “In this line Kallfass shows the ability that we can build up the whole process of fencing and post pointing in a line. There is not another line which includes so many functions as this line. It was not so easy to design it, but at the end it is really impressive. “In this line, the post pointing, haunching and feeding the planer were important, as well as integrating the existing resaw.

“In conjunction with other parts of the line, the post-pointing can offer a very flexible very versatile, very extensive product offering,” added Mr Scott. “In the line we can post-point, incise, bundle and stack and crosscut. We can do everything, it’s a bit like a Swiss army knife!”

Mr Scott said producing the featheredge boards in the resaw and then stacking them as a pack afterwards in the stacker was a highlight and had increased feed speeds. “The stacking and destacking functions are integrated so it’s fully automatic. We now have end-to-end production whereas previously we had to have a slight wait.” Mini-bundling is another interesting feature of the line, giving A&J Scott the ability to build mini-bundles as part of a larger pack. “Mini-bundles has been something the company has been asked for over the years, so it’s something we wanted to build into the line. “This helps for the DIY chain business. Bundling 8-10 featheredge boards together in mini-bundles keeps the quality of the product better, so if takes a while to finish the pack off, you don’t get that horrible banana-shaped featheredge board that you get when it sits in the sun. “The DIY market isn’t a huge market for us, it’s something we dip into and out of, but it’s always nice to be able to do it.

Increased productivity

A&J Scott ran the new line on a double shift in April and again in July. “Because the new line requires so few people to staff, we now have the ability to easily increase the shifts without taking on lots of people,” said Mr Scott. “Essentially we can double the throughput for a short period of time very easily. So operationally it’s far easier to turn up and turn down so it has allowed us to capitalise on the market and help internal pressure with customer demand and backlogs. “That’s given us something we didn’t have before because previously to double shift a department required an extra 25-30 people which isn’t easy. “It is far more efficient and we are getting a lot more cubic metres per head per hour per day than we were previously. We are processing about 600m3 of value-added products a week now and we could easily double that if we wanted to.”

Mr Link said the UK fencing market was very big and very specific in terms of its requirements. “This installation gives A&J Scott the ability to produce everything automatically and that is the unique feature of this installation,” he said. Mr Scott agreed, adding that there are fencing lines in the UK that destack and stack automatically but none that have as many features. “They may only be for featheredge or for battens or grading but there’s nothing that does everything.”

Kallfass is working with other UK and Ireland sawmillers and it is currently installing a line at Murray Timber. Other installations include at Glennon Brothers, James Jones & Sons and Ransfords. “At the moment the market is really good and we have a long delivery time,” said Mr Link. For A&J Scott, further operational tweaks will be made to the new line in the coming months. While business has been very good in 2020, Mr Scott is mindful that Q4 and early next year may be more challenging. “As a company and as an industry we need to be aware of what’s coming around the corner. When you look at the job loss numbers in the UK it can’t be good in the medium term.”

However, having invested in a flexible, automated value-added line, A&J Scott seems ready to deal with future challenges and market opportunities.

The Kallfass line was installed in May last year

The line focuses on secondary production

Post Pointing is now 10-12 posts per minute

The line enables A&J Scott to double the throughput for a short period of time very easily

Neue Nachsortierung EN New re-sorting system

The Pfeifer sawmill in Uelzen has been in business for almost 30 years and, while timber production was originally around 200,000 cubic metres p.a., the anticipated volume this year is 500,000 m³. This enormous increase over the years means that bottlenecks are experienced at a variety of production stages. One of these was remedied around the turn of the year 2018/19.

The Pfeifer Group sawmill in Uelzen/DE is primarily involved in the production of packaging material and timber. “We’re a completely integrated location, utilising every product created at the site”, stresses site manager Marco De Gennaro in reference to the associated block production and CHP plant. Timber production has more than doubled since the mill was commissioned in 1991. The target volume for 2019 is 500,000 m³. The Pfeifer Group invests constantly to maintain its state-of-the-art technological capability and continuously enhance performance. A further step in this direction was taken in the autumn of 2018 when Kallfass (Baiersbronn/DE), specialists for mechanisation, installed a new sorting system for dry material. A re-sorting plant was already in operation Uelzen, but this had reached the limits of its performance. “We liked the Kallfass concept very much, and the company had proven to be a good partner”, explained De Gennaro. The new system is designed for a volume of 90,000 m³/p.a. “All our dry timber will run through this line in future”, says the site manager. He is particularly satisfied with the millimetre precision with which boards from 600 mm in length are cut, a point he emphasised in our discussion.

Sophisticated solution

The new dry sorting system enables Pfeifer to process raw material from 2.5 to 4 m in length. Karsten Gottschalk, project manager at Pfeifer in Uelzen, quantifies board cross sections at a thickness of 12 to 100 mm and a width of 70 to 250 mm. The generously dimensioned sawn timber discharge is suitable for either double packets with a width of 1.2 m or 2 m wide large packets. A tilt destacker separates the timbers in layers, whereby the stack battens fall automatically onto a conveyor belt. Kallfass installed an additional automatic batten collector for this purpose which, in effect, is a miniature sorting system. “As packets are often stacked in double layers, we separate the boards using a separation stage. In the case of single-layered packets, this can be passed over for a higher output”, explains Kallfass Managing Director Hans Haist during the tour. The boards pass by the operator in a transverse run-through, with the operator assessing them and ejecting substandard examples. This is followed by the tong loader that separates the board film. Kallfass guarantees a performance of 120 cycles per minute. A moisture meter measures the wood moisture. Material that is too moist is separated and dried again. The downstream Kallfass CNC crosscutting saw in Uelzen has four chop saws. This means that cutting with millimetre accuracy is possible as of a capping length of 600 mm. The stacking unit is equipped with magazines for automatic batten positioning. The finished packets are lowered using a hoisting unit where they are strapped and coated in film by an existing plant. The clean packets then stand on a roller conveyor ready for removal. Kallfass project manager Enrico Goldhahn summarises the advantages of the system: “No time is lost during destacking by the buffer, and just as little during packet assembly, thanks to continuous stacking with the auxiliary hoisting unit”. The new Kallfass re-sorting plant currently operates in two shifts. “But we can add another shift if necessary”, says De Gennaro.

Discharge: Kallfass installed a cross conveyor that provides space for several packets – then the process continues to the tilt destacker


During separating in layers, the stack battens fall automatically downwards to the automatic batten collector.


The boards run in the transverse transport past the worker who assesses them and, where necessary, ejects substandard examples.


Packet assembly and removal: Batten magazine with automatic stick placement.


Individual cycling with tong loader: This has a capacity of up to 140 pieces a minute.


The Kallfass CNC cross-cutting system enables cross-cutting of boards to the desired length.

Holzkurier 42/2019, pictures and text Martina Nöstler