Emptying sorting box

Sortierwerk kann trocken und nass EN Sorting system for wet and dry

Sorting and stacking of dry timber and fresh wood in a single plant. Mostovdrev in Belarus has invested around EUR 2.5 million in an automated Kallfass sorting system.

Mostovdrev is a joint stock company and one of the largest wood processing enterprises in the Republic of Belarus. In addition to being sold in Belarus, its furniture, construction and finishing products are also exported to the CIS countries, Europe and the Middle East. Mostovdrev is firmly committed to strict quality control and use of the latest production technology. For this reason, the company decided to expand its sawmill through the addition of a new combination timber sorting system with connected stacking plant from Kallfass. Installation was completed last year, followed by commissioning of the plant. Mostovdrev’s declared production target is to process 100,000 m³ per annum.

Vertical Box Sorter

Kallfass timber sorting system with 20 vertical boxes and a box for non-assignable pieces

Transparent processes in the sorting system

Both dry timber and fresh wood from spruce and pine are processed at the Mosty location in two shifts. The main product and side boards are received from the EWD saw line and fed to different buffer conveyors for unscrambling. Alternatively, the dried or damp product can also be fed to the unscrambler via a tilt destacking system. A package chain conveyor upstream of the tilt destacking system buffers up to 3 packages (with sizes of 1.5 x 1.5 and 1.2 x 1.2 m). The separated timber is backed up and cycled onto an assessment chain conveyor for manual quality control. Each board is individually accommodated and rotated for inspection on both sides before being deposited again on the conveyor. A worker examines the product and can realise chop cuts by pulling waney timbers a little from the conveyor. Product dimensions are subsequently checked and classified before forwarding to the sorting system. Mostovdrev has chosen a compact sorting system with 20 vertical boxes and a box for non-assignable pieces that can be filled with timber lengths of 2,000 to 6,200 mm at a rate of 60 cycles/min. Sorting programs and Kallfass visualisation software facilitate management and enhance the transparency of processes in the sorting system. Fault messages and board data can be archived and recorded.

Stick placement with magazines

Stick magazines for automated placement of dry sticks on stacking layers

Stacking with automated stick placement

In order to stack the sorted timber, the first 5 sorting system boxes are first emptied contrary to the conveying direction onto a conveyor and, only then, conveyed further in the conveying direction to avoid tilting of timbers. The batch then needs to be unscrambled before layers can be created with widths between 1,200 mm for shipping packages and 1,500 mm for drying packages. The downstream Kallfass multiple cross-cut saw is equipped with 4 freely adjustable saw units and cuts the trimmed product precisely in layers to desired lengths (shortest crosscut length 1,200 mm). Stored cutting programs facilitate quick batch changes where necessary.

Individual layers can be stacked in the stacker in single or multiple layers of packages with a maximum width of 1,500 mm. Placement forks then pick up the individual cut layers and place them on the package to be formed. Placement of drying sticks between each layer is automated and realised at a defined distance with 12 stick magazines. Dispatch sticks are laid manually. Finally, the completed packages with a maximum length of 6,000 mm are marked with a label and strapped to increase stability.

Assessment chain conveyor_measurement

Classification of timber prior to sorting through quality assessment with an assessment chain conveyor (rear) and dimension measurement system (front)

Feeding box sorter

Charging of vertical box sorting system at 60 cycles/min.

Emptying sorting box

Emptying of boxes onto a discharge conveyor, with the first 5 boxes contrary to the conveying direction to avoid tilting


Unscrambling of batches following emptying for subsequent formation of layers

Multiple cross-cut saw

The Kallfass multiple cross-cut saw cuts timber in layers to desired lengths

Stick placement with magazines

Stick magazines for automated placement of dry sticks on stacking layers

Zuführung Schnittholz aus Sägelinie, feeding timber from saw line

Flexible Sortierung EN Flexible sorting

The sorting plant at the Sägewerk Kolb sawmill needed to be rebuilt following a fire. The sophisticated concept involved prompted Wolfgang and Fabian Kolb to choose Kallfass as a supplier.

A fire on 30 May 2020 destroyed the sorting system at the Sägewerk Kolb sawmill, Ruppertshofen/ DE. Speedy intervention by the fire brigade and a sprinkler system prevented flames from spreading to the sawing facility and surrounding buildings. However, the sorting system was completely destroyed, but a decision to rebuild it was made immediately. Although the new sorting and stacking plant was rebuilt as before in the same location, completion was delayed due to construction regulations. The new sorting system in the Sägewerk Kolb sawmill was commissioned around 14 months later during the summer this year.
Zuführung Schnittholz aus Sägelinie, feeding timber from saw line

Infeeding from the saw line: Side products on the upper level, travel towards the boxes, while the main product travels below towards the stacking system.

The best concept

The choice of a supplier for the new plant fell on Kallfass, the mechanisation specialist from Baiersbronn-Klosterreichenbach/ DE. “Naturally enough, we took a look at different suppliers, but Kallfass offered us the best concept”, related Wolfgang Kolb, justifying the decision he reached together with his son, Fabian Kolb. One aspect appealed in particular to the pair. “Kallfass was the only supplier to develop a combined solution for the main product and side product, being in fact the only one to come up with the idea. Together with the close proximity to Baiersbronn and the excellent reputation Kallfass enjoys, the latter was the decisive factor”, explained Kolb.

„Kallfass was the only supplier to offer us a combined solution for the main product and side product.“

Wolfgang Kolb, owner of Sägewerk Kolb

Vermessung Schnittholzdimensionen, measuring timber dimensions

The length, width and thickness of the side product and smaller main product dimensions are measured …

Befüllung Schrägboxen, Charging of inclined boxes

… and then assigned to one of the 75 inclined boxes.

No worker needed for the side products

Kallfass delivered a complete sorting system to Kolb, with 75 boxes, a stacking system and a connection to the sawmill. During a tour of the facility, Kallfass Managing Director Hans Haist pointed out the separating unit behind the board edger. “Depending on the sawing pattern, up to five boards positioned closely next to each other can be delivered to the existing cross conveyor. We integrated a further separating unit in this area by installing a single feed unit in the sawmill, ensuring continuous and uninterrupted transport down the line”. The side products from the board edger are conveyed to the upper deck of the sorting system via a conveyor belt. They continue their journey from a curved conveyor to a cross conveyor towards the boxes. Feeding on a carrier chain continues in this area, and the length, width and thickness is measured. This data is used for box classification. The boards then continue their journey into one of the 75 boxes. “What’s special here is that, in principle, the side boards are sorted without worker intervention. A worker assessing the product and, in effect, standing one floor lower can intervene in the process if necessary”, explained Kallfass Project Manager Dominik Hauser. This means that the entire plant can be operated with just one worker.

Kallfass installed its reliable inclined boxes at Kolb. “The advantage of this is that – due to a filling level control – the boards only have a minimum drop height and, as a consequence, fewer breakages occur”, explained Haist. “Also, a box can now hold almost twice the previous volume”, added Fabian Kolb. A box that has been suitably filled is then discharged downwards. The journey to the assessment station continues via a longitudinal conveyor and unscrambler. Where necessary, the worker can eject boards with waney edges or of unsuitable quality downwards though a flap. The layers of boards then pass through the tried and trusted multiple cross-cut saw from Kallfass. This is equipped with a zero line and three variable saw aggregates. Finally, the layers are transferred to the stacking systems through automated stick placement, with the completed packages travelling downwards and being strapped manually by the forklift operator. The installation of an automated strapping system is planned in this area.

Stacking of the main product is also automated

As mentioned at the outset, Kolb can also move main products of up to 6 m in length on the new Kallfass plant. These travel from the circular re-saw on a conveyor belt to the sorting system on the lower floor. They move from here through a separating unit to the worker and complete the same journey as the side products through the multiple cross-cut saw and layer formation to the stacker. “Moving the side boards and part of the main product over the same system gives us enormous flexibility”, emphasised Wolfgang Kolb.

The new Kallfass plant is designed for lengths of 2.5 to 6 m and side products with a thickness of 18 to 100 mm. When stacking the main product, Haist estimates the thickness to be 120 mm. The sorting system is designed for an output of up to 50 cycles per minute, while the stacker can complete up to ten layers each minute. Kallfass installed the control cabinets and electronics in a container which was delivered to Kolb as a turnkey unit. The supplier also delivered the entire control system. The layout of the sawmill, with the plant on two sides of a stream, led Kallfass to construct the new sorting and stacking system 0.5 m higher. The walls of the sawmill, constructed with cross-laminated timber (CLT), are also at the same distance from the floor. “There are also no motors in this area, so the plant can begin operating quickly again following any flooding”, explains Haist.

Zweite Zuführung von Schnittholz in die Fertigung, second feeder of timber to production

Infeeding from the saw line: Side products on the upper level, travel towards the boxes.

Projektteam Kolb und Kallfass, project team Kolb and Kallfass

Hans Haist (l.) and Dominik Hauser (r.) with Wolfgang (2nd from left) and Fabian Kolb in the sorting system.

Mehrfachablängsäge mit vier Sägen, multiple cross-cut saw with four trimmer saws

The multiple cross-cut saw from Kallfass enables final trimming of the main product and side products before the timber enters the stacking system.

Visuelle Qualitätskontrolle von Schnittholz, visual quality control of sawn wood

Kallfass designed the new sorting and stacking plant for both the main product …

Visuelle Qualitätskontrolle von Schnittholz, visual quality control of sawn wood

… and side products. The worker can eject unsuitable timbers downwards through a flap.

Images and text: Martina Nöstler, Holzkurier

Holzkurier 47/2021


Neues Schwachholzsägewerk EN
An Absolute Jewel:
New Small Diameter Sawmill

Smart, clean and safe

Kickoff in Wunsiedel was December 2019, with the first trunk being fed through the new line exactly one year later. Construction of the GELO Timber sawmill continued during the most difficult times imaginable. Despite all the adversities the Corona pandemic presented, it proved possible to adhere to an already tight schedule.

The main product, predominantly lamellas for glulam timer, is intended for the supply of glulam plants. Side boards which cannot be processed are supplied to packaging customers. “In future, the sawmill will reduce purchasing considerably for both companies in Wunsiedel and Weißenstadt. However, 100 % self-sufficiency is not possible”, explains Küspert. Wunsiedel primarily proved attractive as a location because GELO Timber had in WUN Bioenergie a pellet producer and cogeneration plant operator as a neighbour. But WUN Bioenergie is not just any neighbour: Küspert is co-initiator of the energy park and, additionally, a shareholder and Managing Director. This creates attractive synergies with, in essence, sawmill waste being exchanged for electricity and heat. Küspert calls the sawmill the “Smart solution 4.0”.

An enormous feat

Construction commenced in Wunsiedel in December 2019. An already tight schedule was adhered to, despite the Corona pandemic, and the first trunk was fed through the saw line a year later in December 2020. “It was an enormous challenge for everyone involved, but we were able to commission the plant within the given time”, says the Managing Director, and he is proud of how successful this cooperation has been. A second shift was already launched a few weeks ago. The sawmill has been designed for an annual output of 350,000 solid cubic metres in two shifts. “That may not seem a lot at first glance, but more than 18 million linear metres of logs need to pass through the plant every year to achieve this output. Our sawmill in Weißenstadt, where we process larger diameters, is only handling 4 million linear metres for an output of 250,000 m³/per annum”, relates Küspert. The Wunsiedel sawmill is intended for thin-end diameters of 8 to 25 cm and a timber length of 2.5 to 5.3 m.

Gelo Boxensortierwerk

Excellent cooperation: Wolf-Christian Küspert (l.) with Kallfass Project Manager Matthias Link.

Clean sorting

Main and side boards are conveyed via a tilt destacker onto two separate decks towards the sorting and stacking system from Kallfass in Klosterreichenbach/DE. The mechanisation specialist also installed an automated stick feeder. The main and side boards are fed through an unscrambler onto a curved conveyor. The worker assesses the timbers on the downstream conveyor. If a face section is necessary, he pulls the board up to 0.5 m from the conveyor. During the visit, Kallfass Project Manager Matthias Link pointed out the rollers that make handling of even heavy boards extremely easy.

Single feeding with a TongLoader towards the wane scanner and trimmer occurs in the transverse run-through. The TongLoader grips each piece in a manner similar to a hand, separates the board film, singulating and feeding it into the next conveyor. The significant advantage of the TongLoader is that it can also handle different timber dimensions, piece by piece. Link indicates that the Kallfass sorting system output is up to 120 cycles per minute.

A Microtec scanner determines the dimension and detects the wane. The Variosort sorting control system assigns each board an appropriate box number and information for the downstream Kallfass trimmer. The latter has seven saw blades and can also be used for destructive cuts. “The operator can also indicate additional characteristics for boards through colour marking, indicating conditions such as beetle damage, blue stain or rot”, explains Link.

“This is an absolute jewel, and we’re proud to have commissioned the plant on schedule, especially in such a challenging time”.

Wolf-Christian Küspert, Managing Director GELO Timber

Boxes up to 30 % larger

GELO Timber decided to pick 40 inclined boxes. In order to reduce stacking on the premises, the Kallfass system can stack packages with a width of up to 1.65 m and a height of 2 m. These dimensions also facilitate best possible exploitation of the Valutec continuous kiln. Kallfass created larger inclined boxes than usual for this reason. “The boxes are around 30 % larger”, says the Kallfass Project Manager.

Full boxes are emptied downwards onto a cross conveyor and separated by a step separator. Kallfass also installed the re-sorting system for kiln packages above the cross conveyor, with one kiln package making up to two or three shipping packages. These are separated in layers through tilt destacking. The stacking sticks fall automatically onto a conveyor belt and are collected separately.

A worker can even assess the quality of both damp and kiln timber again if necessary, or reject undesired pieces. Subsequent to this, the Kallfass mechanisation system creates the layers according to the package specification, and these are conveyed through the Kallfass multiple cross-cut saw. This is equipped with a zero line and four variable saw aggregates. Placement forks then transfer the completed layers to the stacking system. Stacking output is up to twelve layers per minute.

The Kallfass stacking system is equipped with eight double magazines for kiln and dispatch sticks. Kiln sticks are 1.6 m long, while dispatch sticks have a length of 1.2 m. Strip laying is automatic. Finished packages are lowered using a paternoster lift. Damp material is conveyed from there to the Valutec continuous kiln opposite. Shipping packages are conveyed to a Fromm strapping station which Kallfass has retrofitted with an automated feeding system for squared timbers.

As initially mentioned, Kallfass also provided the automated stick feeder for kiln and dispatch sticks. The feeder was automated to cope with the volume of kiln sticks required. Stick bundles are transferred to a cross conveyor and separated. A scanner checks the dimensions and detects damage to sticks such as knotholes and splitting. Unsuitable sticks can be ejected downwards through a flap. Following scanning, the sticks are collected and bundled with ten sticks per bundle. Dispatch sticks are provided using a manually charged belt conveyor. A robot grips the stick packages, filling the stacker magazines with them. The major advantage of this solution is the option to position the magazines variably and still fill them automatically.


Successful project

Complete administration of the sawmill is handled by GELO in Weißenstadt. This enabled them to keep personnel figures low in Wunsiedel. “We currently have 32 personnel working in two shifts. The sawmill can be operated by a mere eleven people during each shift. We wanted to build an absolute jewel – and we’ve succeeded in this in every respect. All the solutions involved were implemented exactly as we imagined. The new sawmill means we are well equipped to face the future”, says Küspert. He is particularly proud of the overall concept involving the neighbouring pellet and cogeneration plant – “It’s a location advantage that nobody can take away from you”.

The complete investment involved EUR 38.5 million. The sawmill location covers an area of 11 ha, 7 of which are presently in use. Küspert also has a few pleasant ideas regarding the rest of the location. “But first, our main focus will be on the new sawmill”, concluded the Managing Director.


The main and side board assortments are fed to the Kallfass sorting and stacking system via two buffer decks and a curved conveyor.

The worker pulls the boards forwards for the end section, with rollers facilitating the work.

Eintaktung mit Tongloader

The TongLoader ensures a rapid cycle feed towards the scanner and inclined boxes.

Mehrfachablängsäge mit vier variablen Sägen

The multiple cross-cut saw from Kallfass trims the layers with a zero line and four variable saws.


GELO Timber employs a stick robot from Kallfass to facilitate filling of the double magazine.

Gestapeltes Schnittholzpaket

One of the first completed timber packages from GELO Timber in Wunsiedel – cleanly cut, stacked and dried and destined for laminated wood production.

Images and text: Martina Nöstler, Holzkurier 11/2021

Flexibilität auf eine neue Ebene gehoben EN Flexibility raised to a new level

Hegener-Hachmann Sawmill

The 12 October 2019 saw commissioning of the new sawmill at Hegener-Hachmann. This involved probably the most flexible production processes every realised in a medium-sized sawmill enterprise, posing a planning and technical challenge to all involved.

“Hanxleden 4.0 online sawmill – innovative, resource-efficient sawmill concept for SME” was the project title of the approx. € 11 million investment made by Hegener-Hachmann, Schmallenberg/DE. The new construction took exactly a year from October 2018 to October 2019. After a further twelve months, the planned cutting volume has, in terms of figures, been achieved – but right from the outset.


Exploiting as many resources as possible

Hubertus Hegener-Hachmann heads the company in what is now the fourth generation. He receives significant support in this role from Markus von Weichs who, as his business partner, is primarily responsible for purchasing logs. Having started as a forestry business with an originally small sawmill as a sideline, Hegener-Hachmann had a used head saw and a circular saw when he invested in the first expansion in 2007. “We decided in favour of a completely new construction to ensure the sustainability of our business and, insofar as possible, to be able to cut a broad variety of log types, including in part from our own forestry. Among other things, this enabled us to continue production independently at the location during the production phase. Our goal is to ensure careful and effective use of the resources used during the entire production process”, says Hegener-Hachmann. “We want to process everything at a single location. As a medium-sized enterprise, we can only continue to exist on a broad basis”. What he means by this is not only classic sawn timber such as the raw material for solid structural timber, construction timber or landscaping timber. Hegener-Hachmann is well known in the region for his solid wooden flooring consisting of hard and softwood that goes by the name of “Gutshofdiele”. Larch, Douglas fir and Norway spruce are also processed.

As the entire endeavour is regarded as somewhat of a supra-regional flagship project in terms of flexibility, efficiency and conservation of resources, it received ERDF funding from the Ministry for Environment, Agriculture, Conservation and Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia as part of the “Ressource NRW” call for projects. This covered 50 % of the components eligible for funding.

What has been created is a modern sawmill with a planned annual cutting capacity of at least 40,000 m³ for soft and hardwood. This has proven highly complex in terms of the processes involved. When it came to the cutting technology, Hegener-Hachmann chose an inclined log bandsaw with a chipper-canter for logs up to 10.5 m in length and with a diameter of 1.3 m. Around 70 % of the timber comes online from the log yard for cutting without presorting. Hegener-Hachmann placed his trust in the know-how of Kallfass (in Baiersbronn, Germany) when it came to mechanisation and the sorting and stacking system. “Aside from the economic viability of the investment, what was decisive for us was the supplier we placed our faith in to accompany us on this journey. The Kallfass solution also impressed us very much, and the company gave us a commitment to realise the project within the estimated time” reasoned Hegener-Hachmann. “Online cutting and the wide variation in product dimensions posed major challenges for us”, remembers Kallfass Managing Director Hans Haist. Kallfass also provided the control unit for the sorting system. “The demanding timbers and varied dimensions meant our programmers were faced with a difficult task“, explains Haist.

A lot of things are possible

The log is in all cases precut on the bandsaw and, following trimming, conveyed on to the Combimes BNK and/or head saw in the Kallfass sorting and stacking plant. However, two other options are also available: “Products with a length exceeding 6 m and a thickness of more than 105 mm, blocks or individual high-quality pieces can be conveyed into special discharge 1 on the head saw or special discharge 2 behind the BNK. These can then be lowered with care to the lower level using a hoisting unit”, explains Hegener-Hachmann. 

50 boxes and multiple occupancy

Timbers with a thickness of up to 105 mm, a width of 300 mm and a length of 6 m are fed into the Kallfass sorting system at Hegener-Hachmann. 50 inclined boxes are available here. With inclined boxes, the timber slides down more gently onto the chain conveyor during emptying. This is primarily an advantage where hardwood is involved. “Due to the enormous diversity of our products and the numerous wood types involved, the computer frequently assigns three different types to a single box if necessary”, says Hegener-Hachmann. In this case, the box is emptied when the filling level is reached and the dimensions which are not required are fed once again over a return run and sorted anew.

The timbers to be stacked are separated and assessed again by a worker with regard to quality in the transverse run-through. Inappropriate workpieces can be ejected or shortened here again. The boards are then fed through the Kallfass CNC multiple circular cross-cut saw. This cuts the timbers with zero and four variable saws, depending on requirements. “Cutting is perfect and realised with millimetre accuracy”, confirms the operator. This is followed by layer formation and packet assembly. Haist estimates the output to be up to ten layers or 60 boards a minute during cycling in. The packing system is equipped with eight magazines with automatic stick placement.

Finished packages are lowered using a hoisting unit. Space conditions mean that they are deposited on a roller conveyor located on one side. This pivots the package (which is on rails) through 90°. The package is then strapped and prepared for shipping. Half packages or packages that need to be unpacked without sticks after drying can be picked again using the connected tilt stacker during a renewed passage through the stacking plant.

Both the Hegener-Hachmann sawmill and Kallfass confirm their satisfaction with implementation and commissioning. The focus now is on ensuring together the continuous improvement of in-house processes and the data flow.


Kallfass is responsible for a major part of the mechanisation at Hegener-Hachmann in the sawmill and the complete sorting and stacking plant.


A special feature: Hegener-Hachmann can sort different dimensions in a single box.


A worker takes a final look at the boards before they enter the stacking plant.


Kallfass also installed the reliable CNC multiple cross-cut saw.


A speciality, thanks to the space conditions: The packages arrive on the right from the stacking plant on the lower level, are pivoted through 90°on rails and then enter the strapping station.


Excellent cooperation: Markus von Weichs, Kallfass Managing Directors Hans Haist and Ernst Kallfass and Hubertus Hegener-Hachmann (l. to r.).


Gutshofdiele: The Hegener-Hachmann sawmill markets its high-quality solid hard and softwood flooring under the Gutshofdiele name.


Produktion verdoppelt EN Production has been doubled

Claude Schnepf, Managing Director of SCS, employs 70 personnel, 40 of which are working directly at the sawmill in the Alsatian commune of Steinbourg/FR. SCS generates an annual turnover of € 22 million. Schnepf’s goal is to reach € 30 million per annum, which is why he decided to double the capacity of his existing plant. Construction of the plant and conversion of the premises cost around € 10 million.

Scierie et Caisserie de Steinbourg (SCS) is one of the largest beech wood sawmills in France. It began life as a sawline consisting of a log bandsaw from the French manufacturer Rennepont, a Techrnan mechanization system and a trimmer. There was no automated sorting system. The beech wood is dried and dampened (steamed) using twelve fresh air/exhaust air dryers from Mühlböck, and there are plans to add a further five. The original line produced 50,000 m³ p.a. of high-quality beech timber for furniture manufacture, squared timber and wood for pallet production. 80 % of products are exported to China, Asia, the Levant region, Spain, Italy and Germany. A number of reasons led Claude Schnepf to choose Kallfass as a partner for this major project.

The two most important were the geographical proximity (the Kallfass plant is only about 100km away) and linguistic commonality. “Kallfass played a leading role in the planning and realisation of my new sawline, and our cooperation worked perfectly”, stressed Claude Schnepf.

The project was completed at an impressive speed. The planning phase started in autumn 2016, with the new line commencing operation in the summer of 2018.

Doubling capacity

The new line consists of a Primultini log bandsaw, with the mechanization, sorting and stacking systems being supplied by Kallfass. The trimmer was provided by EWD, with a multi-blade circular saw being supplied by Primultini.

The part of the plant provided by Kallfass commences downstream of the EWD trimmer. The trimmed timber is conveyed through the contactless measurement system by a cross conveyor. The dimension measurement system from Kallfass measures the thickness and width using a laser/encoder and length with a safety light barrier. Quality is assessed with the aid of chalk markings and luminescence sensors. The beech timber is then classified in thirteen levels. The customer can individualise sorting as required.


13 levels are available following sorting

Simplified variation options

When a box is filled, it is forwarded automatically to the packet assembly station, with stacking selectively possible using wooden or aluminium battens. The batten magazine is equipped with an automatic stick placement system. The completed packets can be collected by a forklift truck through a packet discharge on the outer wall.

“We configured the entire Kallfass plant with great care to avoid any damage to the high-quality timber involved”, explains Hans Haist, CEO of Kallfass.

Everything for pallets

Timber that does not meet quality criteria for furniture manufacture (e.g. squared timber with red heartwood) is cut to the desired length on a separate line using the Kallfass CNC crosscutting saw. The CNC crosscutting saw has four chop saws, enabling cutting of square timber with millimetre accuracy. Crosscut lengths ranging from 800 to maximum 3200 mm can be achieved. The capped square timbers are automatically forwarded downstream to the multi-blade circular saw for separation.

Training for employees

The second complete sawline has enabled SCS to double its capacity. Full exploitation of the machinery is only possible with training of additional personnel. Four employees working in two-shift operation are currently responsible for two band saws.

At least one additional machine is planned. Four employees are also working on the trimmer, with another worker currently undergoing training. “This completely new increase in production capacity is of little use to me without competent machine operators. We’re trying to give our current workers effective instruction while training new personnel to assist us”, adds Claude Schnepf.

Hans Haist, Claude Schnepf and Matthias Koch (EWD) in front of the new Kallfass sorting plant

The CNC cross cutting saw consists of four chop saws working with millimetre accuracy


13 levels are available following sorting

The batten magazine has an automatic stick placement system

The completed wood packages can be transported away from outside

Holzkurier 10/2020, pictures and text Ulrike Knaus


Ausgezeichnete Ressourcenschonung und Innovation EN Excellent resource conservation and innovation

With an investment in a new sawmill, Hegener-Hachmann changes its production process and expands its cutting capacity
In the Hochsauerland District, in the east of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, a complete new sawmill is under construction. In the future this sawmill will also serve other SMEs as an example of how the use of round timber can be improved and the efficiency of sawmill production can be increased: The Hegener-Hachmann GmbH & Co. KG had submitted its investment project in April 2017 for the “Resource NRW” call for the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises and received the funding decision in November 2017. The system will go into trial operation in October and will then be open to all interested parties for viewing.


Kallfass sorting system with 50 inclined boxes for triple allocation

The Kallfass multiple crosscut saw produces cutting lengths as short as 600 mm

-Excerpt from article-

System configuration


Kallfass from Baiersbronn, Germany, supplied the sawmill mechanisation and the sorting and stacking plant. The material to be cut travels at a speed of 60 to 80 cycles/min from the resaw or from the log band saw or the gang saw and can be transported via curve conveyors both to the stacking unit and to the sorting system. The aim is to send over 70% of the production directly to the stacking unit. Eine Mehrfach-Ablängsäge kann Schnittlängen bis zu minimal 600 mm erzeugen, für die Stapelung müssen Längen unter 800 mm allerdings mit einer Doppellänge in der ersten Paketlage abgestapelt werden. Die Stapelmaschine mit automatischer Lattenlegung bildet 8 bis 10 Lagen pro Minute.


The sorting system can handle a maximum width of 280 mm and a maximum thickness of 100 mm. The incoming timber is measured in a grid of 500 mm. The sorting system has a capacity of up to 60 cycles/min. There are 50 inclined boxes available, having a volume of 3 m³ each, which can be filled with up to three different widths. Subsequently, a re-sorting unit upstream of the stacking system, from which two widths of the timber are returned for sorting purposes.


The minimum cutting lengths of a multiple crosscut saw is 600 mm, however, lengths shorter than 800 mm must be stacked with a double length in the first package length. A stacker with an automatic batten laying function forms 8 to 10 layers per minute.


Lighthouse Project in North Rhine-Westphalia


The state government of NRW recognises the company as a nationwide lighthouse project (a model project that aims to have a signal effect for numerous follow-up projects). Visits are possible by arrangement with business partners Hegener-Hachmann and von Weichs. Commissioning of the sawmill is scheduled for mid-October.


Pictures Kallfass, Text Jürgen Härer, Holz-Zentralblatt, Issue 40.


Diversifizierung mit Sägewerk EN Diversification with a sawmill

There has been a new face in the European sawmill industry for a year now: Grupo Losán, from La Coruña, Spain, decided to invest in a sawmill in Soria. What is particularly special about this is that the company mainly relies on technology made in Germany.

German technology in Spain: Linck has installed a profiling line at Grupo Losan eine Profilierlinie, Kallfass delivered the mechanisation and the box sorter with 45 boxes

The company, which was founded in 1964 by the brothers Manuel, Luis and Emilio López Sánchez, is specialised in the production of particle boards, medium-density fibre boards (MDF), veneer panels and plywood panels, and it has eleven production sites in Spain, Romania, the Netherlands, the US and Chile. The biggest factory for particle boards is located in Soria in the north-east of Madrid, approx. a two-hour drive away, and this is where the new sawmill started production in March 2017. Jorge A. González Sánchez, plant manager in Soria, describes the motivation for this investment in an interview with Holzkurier: "We wanted to diversify our product portfolio and broaden our position on the market. In addition, we can use the scrap wood to supply our particle board factory and the biomass-fired CHP plant in Soria."

Located right where the wood grows

When travelling from Madrid to Soria, the barren landscape makes one wonder how the sawmill is actually supplied with logs. However, Soria is located on a high plateau at more than 1,000 m above sea level and right in the middle of one of Spain's pinewood growth areas. Losán mainly processes the local species Pinus pinaster (maritime pine) and Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine). Pinus radiata (Monterey pine), which is characterised by greater firmness, comes to Soria from the Basque region further up north. Thus, the sawmill does not have any problems at all when it comes to its supply of logs. In addition, from a logistics point of view, Soria is ideally located with regard to Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona.

„It was particularly important for us to rely completely on our suppliers and to purchase high-quality machinery. This is why we decided to purchase technology made in Germany."

Jorge A. González Sánchez, plant manager in Soria

Reliable suppliers

When the company selected its suppliers, it decided to rely nearly exclusively on technology made in Germany. With the exception of a few installations performed by Losán itself, Linck from Oberkirch,Germany, acted as a general supplier and was responsible for the log yard and sawing line. Other major suppliers of the new sawmill include Kallfass from Baiersbronn-Klosterreichenbach, Germany, Vecoplan from Bad Marienberg, Germany, Sennebogen from Straubing, Germany, and Mahild from Nürtingen,Germany. "We wanted only the best suppliers to ensure that the new sawmill could start production without any problems," explains González the decision which was definitely the right one as he confirms. "We are highly satisfied with the suppliers. This ensures a quick start of production." And, indeed, the sawmill began operating in May 2017. After just two months, a second shift was introduced, and a third one only six months later. Next month, the company wants to start a fourth shift.

The company originally intended to produce 50% construction timber (dimensions adapted to constructional timber work and furniture-making applications) and 50% packaging material. However, due to the high demand for sawn timber for pallets, this area currently accounts for 90% of the sawmill output. "The market has calmed down a bit, but packaging material still sells very well," says González. As already mentioned, the log yard is where the equipment supplied by Linck can be found. Material handling equipment made by Sennebogen supplies the feed table with logs. After their separation, the logs pass through a Microtec scanner. Logs that are too thick or thin are automatically sorted out.

The subsequent debarker made by Valon Kone is equipped with eight feed rolls – four of which are driven. "This is particularly advantageous for short logs," explains Martin Huber. He is the head of project planning at Linck and in charge of the installation at Losán. As a next step, another 3D scanner made by Microtec determines the master data for sorting the logs into one of twelve boxes. Under the system, the bark disposal system and the concrete boxes have been installed by Losán.

Full optimisation – value before volume

The debarked logs are stored only as briefly as possible (pinewood develops blue stains rather quickly) before they are transported to the sawing line. The sawing line and the sorting station are located in an existing hall which Losán has expanded by 30 m. The Linck line is intended for logs of 2 to 4.6 m and a top diameter of 12 to 40 cm. Due to the specialisation in pallet products and because of the raw material (maritime pine can be rather crooked), Losán mainly produces short timber with a length of 2.5 m. In the log infeed area, Linck has installed a partition that can be lifted and lowered to ensure that even short logs reach the separating system in a neat manner. The feed rate of the profiling line can be continuously adjusted between 30 and 100 m/min. Via a conveyor, the logs reach a Microtec 3D scanner. The resulting data are used by the Linck full optimisation system to determine the optimum cutting pattern. "All of the sawn timber dimensions and the corresponding values are stored in the program. The optimisation system calculates a suitable cutting pattern in terms of the board width, length and thickness for the main product and sideboards," explains Martin Huber. This is done based on the following rule: Value before volume. The cutting process is based on a specified number of finished products. The logs can be fed into the system either from their top end or butt end.

The infeed system brings the logs into their correct position in line with the optimisation data. The first chipper-canter produces two plane surfaces. After a 90° rotation of the cant, the first profiling group is the next station. In a single working step, a chipper-canter, a profiler unit and a circular saw work on the cant. The profilers profile the sideboards while the circular saws cut off up to three sideboards on every side of the cant. Then, these sideboards are separated and transported to the sorting system provided by Kallfass.

After another 90° rotation, a profiler unit in the resawing group once again produces sideboards. This is then followed by the Linck multi-blade circular saw with fixed spacing. It cuts the wood into sideboards and the wane-free main product (pallet boards). "The line has been designed for an annual output of 250,000 solid cubic metres in two shifts. However, this depends strongly on the raw material. In the case of large diameters, the feed rate must be adjusted accordingly," explains Huber.


Discharge of the sideboards after the primary processing group and transport towards the Kallfass sorting system.


An employee checks the quality of the sawn timber.


Cycling-in of the boards by the way of a tong loader for the transfer towards the boxes.

Transfer to the sorting system

Via a roller conveyor with transverse discharge, the main product and sideboards are transported to a joint buffer conveyor. This is where Kallfass takes over. In line with the configuration of the sawing line, the sorting system has been designed for sawn timber with a length of 2 to 4.6 m. The board width can be between 70 and 250 mm and the thickness between 17 and 120 mm. A separation station and a curved conveyor transport the sawn timber to an assessment station. A worker classifies the sawn timber according to its quality. If necessary, the boards can be cut to length by way of a chop saw.

A tong loader feeds the individual items into the sorting system in a cycled manner: The loader, which works like tongs, grips the individual boards from the layer of boards and places them onto the carrier conveyor. A measuring system determines the length, width and thickness of the boards while they pass crosswise through the system. They are then sorted into one of 45 inclined boxes. "The system has a capacity of 100 cycles per minute," explains Dominik Hauser of Kallfass. "The grades for the sorting program can be entered at the office via an Excel table and supplied to the sorting program via a network. The operator can transfer the grades into the current program, e.g. if new grades are added. Conversely, the grade tables can be output as CSV files which can then be read into and edited in Excel," adds Hauser.


Kallfass has installed 45 boxes for sorting the sawn timber - further expansion is possible

Stacking of boards with different widths per layer

The control system automatically indicates the fill levels. They are monitored by the workers of the sorting system and also by the operator/supervisor of the sawing line via a screen. Once a box is full, it can be emptied at the bottom. In a first step, the boards are separated by way of a step feeder and then by way of a typical separator. The sawn timber then reaches another inspection station where the quality can be reassessed. The handling system forms layers in line with the package width. A multiple circular cross-cut saw cuts the sawn timber to the required length. For this purpose, a zero saw and four variable chop saws are available. The layers of sawn timber, which has been cut to a fixed length, are stacked with the aid of stacking tongues to form a package. This is where Kallfass has installed an automatic batten positioning system with eight magazines. According to Dominik Hauser, the system has an output of up to twelve layers per minute. The stacking system can also form layers with different board widths.

A hoisting unit transports the complete package to the next lower level where it is strapped and provided with a package note. In a next step, the pallet products must be treated in accordance with the applicable regulations. To do so, a machine manufacturer from Soria has installed a dip tank. In addition, Mahild has provided four drying chambers.


Separation after the boxes have been emptied


Inspection prior to stacking


Up to 5 chop saws in the multiple cross cut saw ensure the correct length of the boards


Exact size: The straight layers prove the boards have been cleanly cut and stacked

Further extension possible

Although Losán was a novice in the field of sawmill operations, the company says that it quickly reached a high output, which was also thanks to the excellent support provided by the machine suppliers. "In our best month so far, we realised an output of 20,000 solid cubic metres," says González with pride. However, the sawmill is not the end: The managing director is already thinking about further investments. "We would like to expand our business here. The next step could be a planing system or a pellet production line," he concludes.

Pictures and text Martina Nöstler, Holzkurier 38/2018