Schmuckstück:
Neues Schwachholzsägewerk EN
An Absolute Jewel:
New Thinnings 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 DBH lamellas, is intended for the supply of laminated wood plants. Side boards which cannot be processed are supplied to packaging customers. “The sawmill will reduce purchasing considerably for both companies in future. 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.

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

Clean sorting and packetising

Main and side boards from the HewSaw line are conveyed in two decks to the sorting and stacking system from Kallfass in Baiersbronn-Klosterreichenbach/DE. The mechanisation specialist also installed an automated stick feeder. The main and side boards are fed through a separator 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 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 fresh 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 chop saws. Placement forks then transfer the completed layers to the packet assembly system. Stacking output is up to twelve layers per minute.

The Kallfass packet assembly 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. Fresh 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, a fixture collects the sticks, bundling ten sticks together in each case. Dispatch sticks are provided using a manually charged pouch 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.

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

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.

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

Kontinuierlicher Zufluss
mit Leistenroboter EN
Continuous inflow with stick robot

Handling of stacking sticks often appears to be something of a “side issue”. However, the Kallfass installation at the Sägewerk Egger sawmill in Brilon demonstrates the enormous workload reduction automatic feeding brings in packet assembly.

Several thousand stacking sticks need to be handled daily at the Sägewerk Egger sawmill in Brilon. “Previously, the continuous filling of stacking plant magazines during main and side board sorting was an enormously laborious task”, relates Jens-Michael von Werder who is responsible for production technology at the sawmill. Up to nine workers were involved in each shift, which meant a considerable number of personnel were working during three-shift operation. For this reason, it was decided to invest in an automated stick handling system with robot charging of magazines at Egger.

Flexible solution

“We found the standard variants available too rigid. We wanted a flexible solution which we could use to handle both drying chamber and stabilisation battens and squared timbers”, continues von Werder. Kallfass, Baiersbronn/DE, offered Egger the perfect solution. “We’d already gain a positive impression of Kallfass during a project in the planing mill. Aside from this, Kallfass has always proved to be a good partner when it came to tackling challenging tasks”, says von Werder. The mechanisation specialist presented those responsible at Egger with a flexible solution that appeared to offer them cutting-edge technology. “We had already installed other automated stick systems in the past, but the project at Egger in Brilon was the most comprehensive to date”, explains Kallfass Managing Director Hans Haist.

In front of the sticks being fed in: Ernst Kallfass, Jens-Michael von Werder and Hans Haist (l. to r.)

Two lines, three robots

The “open-heart surgery”, as von Werder describes it, was performed from April to September, with Kallfass realising the entire automated stick line installation while plant operation continued. The actual installation took two months. “The project went very well and, most importantly, free of accidents. We had practically no downtimes”, confirms von Werder. Egger in Brilon cuts around 1 million m² per annum. The timber is sorted in main and side board plants which are installed in parallel. The new Kallfass line charges both plants with drying chamber and stabilisation battens and squared timbers. Stacking sticks from the dry sorting station are fed together with the squared timbers in uprights to the new Kallfass line. The uprights are discharged onto a buffer conveyor. The system automatically separates the squared timbers from the sticks. The squared timbers are then fed to a stacking system via a separate chain buffer line. The Kallfass control system assigns the squared timbers to both stacking plants based on package data. The sticks take another route, with the Kallfass mechanism separating these and feeding them through a scanner. This determines the dimensions and curvature. Unsuitable sticks are discharged through a flap. The system handles eleven sticks together in each case on an inclined conveyor.

“We anticipate the new stick handling system paying off within a very short space of time”.

Jens-Michael von Werder, responsible for production technology

Andrea, Hubertus and Paul

Andrea, the first robot on the line, grabs these eleven stacking sticks and cycles them into the buffer conveyor. “This is designed for around 3000 sticks”, explains Haist. Hubertus and Paul, the two other robots with swivel arms, pick up the stacking sticks if necessary and deposit them in the new Kallfass packet assembly magazines. “The system is designed for an output of 100 sticks per minute”, estimates Haist. “We hold the property rights to this robot charger”, he adds. There is only one stick length for all package widths in the case of stabilisation battens. These are adapted to the package through positioning and shifting of stick placement. “This solution means we are considerably more flexible than with different lengths, but the cost of materials is higher”, says von Werder. Kallfass also upgraded the stacker and delivered the entire control system over the course of this investment. This means that it is now possible to control the placement of more sticks in the lower five to six layers to prevent timber breakage. From Egger’s point of view, operation of the new stick handling system has been both smooth and absolutely satisfactory. “The goal in the area of stick handling is to now manage with four employees per shift. This means the investment will pay off within a very short space of time”, concludes von Werder.

Feeding the stacking sticks towards the scanner that determines the dimensions and curvature.

… while "Hubertus" is responsible for the main board plant.

The Kallfass system picks up eleven sticks in each case which are cycled onto the buffer conveyor by Andrea.

Kallfass also upgraded the stacker during the course of the new system installation.

"Paul" grabs these sticks and fills the side board plant magazines with them …

More stacking sticks can be placed in the lower five to six layers to prevent timber breakage.

Photos and text: Martina Nöstler, Holzkurier 51-52/2020

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.

VerleimenVerpressen_Erzeugen_Querlagen

Alles aus einer Hand EN Everything from a single source

Kallfass, located in Baiersbronn/Germany, is well known as a mechanisation specialist. The same applies to the fact that the mechanical engineering company equips cross laminated timber systems. With this in mind, we can refer to some well-known projects. Recently Kallfass has added a CLT press (Cross Laminated Timber) and a CLT turning device.

The mechanical engineering company Kallfass from the Black Forest has already been involved as a supplier in several cross laminated timber projects in Austria and Germany. The most recent work completed was that of Stora Enso in Gruvön/Sweden. Construction work on this site began in 2018 and the system has been running in automatic mode since the beginning of 2019.

To date, this is the largest project for Kallfass in the area of cross laminated timber applications. The company not only supplied the entire mechanical equipment—from the feeding of packages to the acceptance of the finished pressed elements—but was also responsible for the overall layout and the complete safety control system. The fact that Stora Enso has selected Kallfass as its supplier is probably also due to the fact that Kallfass has already been involved in the Austrian CLT plants in Ybbs and Bad St. Leonhard, Austria. The total capacity in Sweden totals 100,000 m3/year.

Large packages also possible

Stora Enso also operates a sawmill in Gruvön, Sweden which supplies the raw materials for the laminated timber elements. The sawn timber (dried and battened or pre-planed) is transported by truck to the Kallfass feeding station. This feeding station is also designed for large packages up to 5.8 m long, 2 m wide, and 3 m high. A vacuum-operated de-stacking device separates the packets layer-by-layer. If stacking strips are available, a brush automatically scrapes them off and collects them. The Kallfass mechanism separates the layers and feeds the boards piece by piece to Finscan's quality scanner. In this area, the strength and the moisture of the timber is also measured. Any unsuitable workpieces are ejected from the process.

Two paths for the boards

“The scanner provides us with the information whether there are cracks on the front sides or knots in the base of the finger joints. If this is the case, we trim the front sides," says Kallfass Managing Director Hans Haist. The boards pass through a front end cross-cut with adjustable servo stop. Subsequently, the zero line is changed and the same process takes place on the other side of the board. If the scanner also finds undesirable wood features in the centre of the board, these pieces are ejected to an upper level where a cross-cut system made by PAUL Maschinenfabrik GmbH cuts out these areas. “However, this concerns only about 5% of the total quantity. Most of it goes straight on to the Grecon finger-jointing system”, describes Kallfass Project Manager Helge Widmann.

The Kallfass mechanisation cycles both the long workpieces and the cross-cut lengths from 800 mm upwards at a rate of up to 50 boards per minute. They travel in the direction of the finger-jointing system with the continuous press. Subsequently, the mechanisation takes over the finger-jointed lamellas again downstream of the moving cross-cut saw. These lamellas are between 8 and 16 m long. The applied adhesive can now cure on a 25 m long buffer section before Kallfass feeds the lamellas into the Rex planing machine. After the lamellas are pre-planed, they are cycled in the direction of the board press: First, a system provided by OEST Mineralölwerk GmbH, applies a layer of adhesive to the the lamellas. Subsequently, these lamellas are fed into the glueing press made by DIMTER GmbH. The single-layer boards produced in this way are then taken over again by a Kallfass system.

This is where the paths split: A VOITH crane picks up the longitudinal layers and transfers them to the intermediate storage. Previously, a chop saw, installed downstream of the glueing press, has already cut the longitudinal layers to the width required by the order. In order to make the best possible use of the DIMTER press, the longitudinal layers are always produced in 16 m lengths wherever possible. If shorter boards are required, Kallfass has developed a special system to recycle the remnants of the longitudinal layer.

Transverse layers measuring up to 1.5 m are stacked by Kallfass to a height of 2 m and are also transported by a VOITH crane to a second storage area. These processes are fully automated. A controller determines the suitable storage location.

Vereinzelung der Pakete

Sawed with millimetre precision

Now, the longitudinal and transverse layers are combined to form a layer package. The longitudinal layer already has the right format. The transverse layers, measuring up to a maximum of 1.5 m long, come from five buffer locations and are transferred to a 16 m long conveyor. Several boards are placed one after the other on this conveyor until the required board length is reached. If the length is exceeded, a saw cuts the transverse layer accordingly. The timber offcut then becomes the beginning of the next layer. Subsequently, vacuum systems alternately lift the single-layer boards onto a conveyor belt upstream of the press until the layer package is completely assembled. “Several CTL boards can also be laid on top of each other using a dry joint”, explains Widmann.

Downstream of the MINDA CLT press, Kallfass again takes over the multiple press layer package, separates the elements by means of a push-off process, and transports the elements to the grinding machine. Downstream, they are supplied to a VOITH crane, temporarily stored or transported to one of the three Hundegger machining centres.

In the interview Widmann mentions two more figures regarding the safety concept: “At the Stora Enso factory in Gruvön, 1.2 km of fencing and 82 safety doors were installed”.

Full-service provider

However, Kallfass cannot “only” supply the mechanisation for a cross laminated timber factory. Since last year the company also has a CLT press in its product range. “We have developed this CLT press in response to numerous customer requests”, explains Haist. Thanks to it modular and stand-alone segmental design, it makes no difference whether the layer package is built up of boards or pre-glued panels. The customer also has flexibility when it comes to the design of the workpiece. The board dimensions range from 7 to 20 m long, 2.2 to 3.6 m wide, and 6 to 60 cm high. The hydraulic system forms the core of the system. It enables an almost isobaric (without pressure difference) pressing process. In addition to vertical pressure, Kallfass also equips the cycle press with cross pressure units on request. The area-dependent pressure control enables a pressure in excess of 1 N/mm2 even at maximum plate width.

Kallfass will complete its CLT product range with a further innovation in the future: “We have developed a board turning device for cross laminated timber, which can turn the elements very easily and quickly”, explains Widmann. The turning device handles CLT up to 16 m long, 3.6 m wide and 300 mm thick. It is designed for a weight of more than 10 t. “With this device, CLT can be turned over without any risks and without hurting anyone. For example, in joinery centres, one area of application is for two-sided processing", concludes Haist.

Kallfass presented its new CLT press for the first time last year at the LIGNA Expo in Hanover, Germany.

Vereinzelung der Pakete

Kallfass supplied Stora Enso with the entire mechanisation in the cross laminated timber system – the picture shows the separation of the packages in layers.

The scanner (A) detects cracks and knots, the Kallfass saws (B) cut off the front sides accordingly.

Modular design: Kallfass manufactures the CLT press in segments so that it can be adapted exactly to customer requirements

Mechanisation of the longitudinal (left) and cross layers (right) before they are assembled into the layer package.

Turn once, please: To bring the longitudinal layers to the correct side, Kallfass installed a board turning device.

Text Martina Nöstler, Pictures Kallfass, Holzkurier BSP-Special 2020

Sortierung_Etagensortierung

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.

Sortierung_Etagensortierung

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

Sortierung_Etagensortierung

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

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
Sortierung_Boxensortierung

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.

Sortierung_Boxensortierung

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.

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

Alles Palette EN Perfect pallets

New planing line ensures high quality

PKF Post produces almost six million pallets at two locations in the Netherlands, all of which are special formats. The company invested in a mechanised planing machine from Kallfass in 2017 for its northern Finsterwolde location. Based on the positive experience gained with this plant, a decision was reached to implement a similar project in Venlo.

PKF Post primarily supplies the paper, food and chemical industry with its special pallets. However, anybody who associates pallets with poor timber quality should think again. Pallets also need to meet continually stricter requirements, with customers demanding absolute dimensional precision and equally clean timber quality. PKF Post invested in a new and completely mechanised planing line at the Venlo/NL location to meet these demands and increase both efficiency and output. “Stacking around the planing machine had been extremely complicated previously, which is why we decided to purchase a new plant”, says Project Manager Erwin de Jong. Finsterwolde personnel also noted that planed boards reduced the occurrence of disruptions during pallet production. The positive cooperation that developed during conversion work at Finsterwolde two years ago encouraged PKF Post to once again choose a mechanised solution from Kallfass in Baiersbronn-Klosterreichenbach, Germany. The new Kallfass plant and a planing machine (the same as in Finsterwolde) have been in operation in Venlo since March.

PKF Post manufactures up to 12,000 pallets each day in Venlo – some of which involve an order quantity of 1. Data for pallet production and the Kallfass systems is obtained from the work scheduling department. “Control is completely automatic, with personnel in production fulfilling more or less a monitoring function and only intervening in the process when necessary”, explains de Jong. “PKF Post controls the entire plant through a PC interface. The link from work scheduling to the planing machine worked perfectly”, says Kallfass Director Hans Haist. The pallet program in work scheduling automatically calculates parts lists and dimensions required for each order. The system then generates a recommendation regarding the packages to be produced based on timber stock lists.

The new Kallfass mechanisation system starts with an infeed station which can accommodate several timber packages. The system is designed for infeed lengths of 2 to 6 m. Cross sections range from 16 x 75 mm to 22 x 150 mm. Destacking of layers is realised with a vacuum lifter. According to Hans Haist, output is seven to eight layers per minute. A scanner on the cross chain conveyor determines whether there are any battens on the respective timber layer. “This means the strip brush only moves over the position when necessary, and we can maintain a high output”, explains Haist.

A worker checks the timber in the transverse throughfeed and turns it if necessary so that the wane is facing upwards

The good side is automatically on top

A worker checks the timber quality in the transverse throughfeed, ejecting unsuitable timbers through a hatch. He simultaneously turns the timbers manually so that the wane is facing upwards. “Following planing, the mechanism turns all the boards again so that their good side is on top. We also nail them in this position during pallet production, because it’s important for the visual appearance of the pallets”, points out Stefan Geutskens. He is responsible for sales at PKF Post and knows exactly what customers want. Quality assessment is followed by longitudinal feeding into the planing machine. This calibrates the boards at a feed rate of up to 250 m/min. A belt downstream of the planing machine slows the boards. These are then removed to the right and transported under this unit to the left in the transverse transport in the direction of the Kallfass CNC crosscutting plant. This process positions the boards with the good side facing upwards (as indicated above).

“The CNC crosscutting plant has seven chop saws, six of which can be variably adjusted”, explains Haist. PKF Post uses this to cut timbers to the length desired for pallet manufacturing. Control is realised from the work scheduling department. Stacking tongues transfer the pallet boards to the stacking system. Kallfass has installed five batten magazines here that automatically position themselves. Packages are transported away using a paternoster lift. The completed packages are then strapped together before been sent for actual pallet production.

People at PKF Post are very satisfied about the manner this project has been handled by Kallfass. Sooner or later, the new system will replace the old completely. “This investment means we can meet our customers’ demands even quicker while also enhancing quality”, reckons Geutskens.

A scanner checks whether stack battens are present in the position, with a strip brush automatically brushing across this if necessary

Infeeding or longitudinal feeding into the planing machine

Stacking with batten magazines

The precise batten positioning is realised automatically.

Following planing, the timbers are removed to the right and turned automatically to ensure that the good side is on top

Kallfass CNC cross cutting plant: The battens required can be manufactured with six variable saws.

HOLZKURIER 41/2019, pictures and text Martina Nöstler

 

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