Etagensortierung von Kallfass, tray sorter of Kallfass

Produktivität und Effizienz gesteigert EN Added productivity and efficiency

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

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

A confident, long-standing partner

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

Ransford Sawmill

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

Etagensortierung von Kallfass, tray sorter of Kallfass

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

Mehrfachablängsäge, multiple cross-cut saw

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

Kallfass Kappsägen zum Anspitzen von Pfosten

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

New tray sorter

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

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

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

Significantly reduced manual handling

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

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

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

Etagensortierung von Kallfass, tray sorter of Kallfass

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

Kallfass milling with claming device

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

Kallfass Stapelpaket spitze Zaunpfosten

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

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

Holzkurier 09/23

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

In May 2022, Cordes Holz of Bremerhaven, Germany, started a new planing line. The company relies on the expertise of Kallfass, Baiersbronn, Germany, for the line’s automation. In fact, skill was in high demand: The planing line is highly flexible, increasing its complexity simultaneously.

The distinctive feature of the planing line and quality sorting line starts with the package feed. In order to achieve this, Kallfass used a two-level design. “At the lower level, the packages are transported in a straight line, moving towards the laminated timber production system. A long roller conveyor moves the wood from the upper level to the tilt destacker”, explains Enrico Goldhahn, Kallfass’ Project Manager. The packages are separated in layers, and the stacking strips are automatically collected. During the transport, the boards are guided to a pre-separator which then passes the boards on to the unscrambler. A thickness measurement device is integrated into the latter. If two pieces of wood are placed on top of each other, both pieces are ejected and returned to the unscrambling trough. The aim is to keep all manual operations as low as possible. After alignment at the zero line, a TongLoader® unit separates the board film. Goldhahn puts the TongLoader’s® output at a maximum of 80 boards per minute.

All measurements are taken during the transverse run-through

While the lumber follows the transverse run-through, it also passes the Mesutronic metal detector and a face cutter, which prepares the lumber for the subsequent strength measurement process. Microtec also supplied the M3 Scan moisture meter, the Optiside cup scanner and annual ring detection system, the Curvescan 3D board shape scanner, and the Viscan strength grader. All measurements take place during the run-through process. The Optiside scanner transmits a signal to the downstream Kallfass turning device, prompting it to rotate the lumber. Workpieces that do not meet the specified criteria are rejected.

Metal detactor

Mesutronic metal detector

Planing or quality sorting

At this point, the paths diverge: If a pure quality sorting operation is selected, a bypass is used to convey the good lumber past and beyond the REX planing machine at a speed of up to 400 m/min.
Variant 2: The good parts requiring planing are fed into the Kallfass planing machine, where an acceleration conveyor optimises the infeed of the timber. Goldhahn indicates that the intake system can reach up to 80 cycles per minute. The feed speed of the planing system can reach up to 350 m/min. Behind the planer, a conveyor belt advances the boards to the Microtec Goldeneye. The entire intake, scanning, and outfeed areas can be shifted to the left out of the planing line or to the right into the bypass line. If scanning is not selected, a motor pushes a bypass belt into the line instead of the scanner. After scanning, the parts move into the marking station, which can also be pushed into the line. Slowdown belts transfer the parts to the roof-top chain conveyor. “Here, the parts can come either from the bypass or the planing line – never from both lines at the same time”, Goldhahn explains.

At the sorting station, an operator arranges the boards according to three quality levels. He advances the pieces manually—one piece at a time—onto the assessment chain conveyor. A ram infeed unit transfers the goods (80 pieces per minute) to the infeed conveyor of the level sorting unit. In this area, the widths and thickness are measured. In addition, three Lumi scanners read the applied marking and the control system compares the marking with the scan result. After that, they part ways again.

Kallfass Etagensortierung, film sorter

Kallfass level sorter

Bundling systems at a height of 6 m above the level sorter

Only workpieces that have been split in the planing machine and are narrower than 70 mm, as well as profiled boards, enter the Kallfass bundling system. The latter is installed 6 m above the level sorting unit. The sticks are labelled on an ascending belt conveyor before an aligning roller conveyor adjusts the sticks at the zero line. A motor-driven, height-adjustable gantry for applying labels is fitted with two labelling devices. Kallfass automatically assembles the sticks into bundles and straps them together. “We delivered six bundling units—so there is less adjusting required”, explains Goldhahn. Another labelling unit for the finished bundles is installed in the outfeed area.

All other boards enter one of Kallfass' six sorting levels. “Depending on the dimension, a package may have to be separated and placed on two levels. Because of the existing structural constraints, we had to proceed with this option”, Goldhahn explains. A pivoting conveyor is used to empty the individual levels. These boards are labelled as they pass through the production line.

Once the filling level has been reached, the levels are emptied, and the layers are formed. The boards pass through the Kallfass multiple cross-cut saw with five sawing units. The shortest cutting length is 800 mm. “The pivoting saws are equipped with tandem cylinders. This allows us to vary the cutting height up to 160 mm. In addition, the zero saw can be adjusted by 500 mm”, explains Kallfass’ project manager.

Subsequently, the stacking takes place. The machine is equipped with eight stick magazines. In order to achieve greater stability for the ongoing transport, the Kallfass system can also stack the boards diagonally. For lower packages, an auxiliary hoisting unit with swivel forks increases the capacity.

The wood packages intended for the subsequent production of glue-laminated timber are fed directly into this production area using a roller conveyor. A forklift truck can be used to remove packages halfway along the line. At the end of the roller conveyor, an automatic crane made by Voith automatically removes the packages. Shipping packages are moved to the right-hand side and below the stacker. Here, a height-adjustable film dispenser automatically places the film on the stack first. The Kallfass mechanical system transfers the stack to the strapping unit, which includes a packaging press and applies four edge protectors to the stack. Squared timbers are then placed on the package. The roller conveyor is partitioned into three sections so that strapping and placing the squared timber can take place simultaneously. Finally, the wood packages can be stacked by the downstream stacker. “As an alternative to foil wrapping or strapping, there is a bypass that is integrated inside a foiling tunnel. In order to use this option, the packages are deflected to the left-hand side downstream of the stacker”, explains Goldhahn.

Bündelungsanlage, bundling unit

The Kallfass bundling station, 6 m above the level sorter

This is the third installation

Kallfass already delivered a smaller planing line for Cordes in 2018, which was completely rebuilt in 2020 and upgraded in order to include a bundling system. The assembly of the large-scale project described here started in 2021. Since 2022, the processes have been gradually improved and optimised. “We delivered approximately 65 lorries containing system components to Bremerhaven in order to construct the new quality-sorting and planing facility”, says Goldhahn, describing the overall scale of the project. The system can process lengths ranging from 2 to 6.2 m, widths of 75 to 310 mm and 16 to 125 mm thicknesses.

Entstapelung, destacking

Starting the Kallfass system: Package infeed and subsequent tilt destacking

Visuelle Qualitätskontrolle von Schnittholz, visual quality control of sawn wood

Downstream of the TongLoader®, an employee assesses the product...

Metal detactor

…before it passes through the Mesutronic metal detector

Hobeleinzug, feeding of planers

Kallfass intake into the planing machine; capacity: up to 80 cycles a minute

Qualitätsscanner, quality scanner

View of the Microtec Goldeneye and the Rex planing machine

Bündelungsanlage, bundling unit

The Kallfass bundling station, 6 m above the level sorter

Kallfass Mehrfachablängsäge, multiple cross-cut saw

Tried and tested: The multiple cross-cut saw made by Kallfass

Diagonale Versatzstapelung, diagonal offset stacking

In order to achieve greater stability, the boards can also be stacked diagonally

Text: Martina Nöstler, Holzkurier, Images: Kallfass, Gerd Ebner Holzkurier

Holzkurier issue 51/52

Project team B.D.D.

Ausbau des Sortierwerks EN Expansion of the sorting system

Expansion of the sorting system as part of the big investment plan

Thirteen years ago, Bois Du Dauphine (B.D.D.) suffered a heavy blow when a fire destroyed the production. Today, the sawmill is one of the foremost timber industries in France. Those responsible prepared an extensive investment package until 2024, including the expansion of the sorting system.

Firma B.D.D., company B.D.D.

The family-run Bois Du Dauphine is located in the Alpine region between Grenoble and Chambéry, France. Founded in 1983, the company was originally a forestry operation. In the meantime, a timber industry has developed in Le Cheylas, France: B.D.D. operates a sawmill, and the neighbouring sister company A.E.B. produces pellets, heat, and electricity. In keeping with the saying, “stagnation is regression”, those people responsible have devised a sensible investment strategy for 2022 to 2024. The objectives are clearly defined:

  • Increase in cutting capacity by approx. 25 %
  • Improving the yield by 3 % based on more accurate defect detection, precise cuts, and sorting in several boxes when the length is distributed from 2.5 to 6 m in 50 cm increments
  • Additional increase in yield to be achieved by doubling the number of side products
  • Increasing the capacity in the pellet plant and stabilising power generation in the winter season
Project team B.D.D.

Pleased with the successful expansion of the sorting system made possible by Kallfass: Bertrand Jurdic (Technical Manager), sawmill manager Sylvain Mangournet, and Frédéric Hiegel (conversion project manager) at B.D.D. (from left to right)

New sorting system in operation

In September of 2022, B.D.D. was able to complete one of these investment steps: Kallfass, Baiersbronn, Germany, installed and expanded the sorting system, including the wood package and strapping system.

First, Microtec installed at B.D.D. a Goldeneye scanner to replace an existing one. When using the downstream trimmer saw, which was subsequently installed by Kallfass, undesirable wood features can be effectively removed. Thereafter, the sorting takes place: In the past, B.D.D. separated all sawn timber (main and side products) using 25 sorting boxes. In order to expand the system, Kallfass added 50 more inclined boxes. According to Kallfass, the charging system can output 160 pieces per minute. The board cross-sections range from 12 x 60 mm to 100 x 250 mm, whilst the lengths vary from 2.4 to 6 m.

The boxes are emptied downwards onto a long buffer chain conveyor. After the boards have been separated, they pass in layers through a multiple cross-cut saw with seven saw aggregates.

Kallfass Boxensortierung, box sorter

The sawn timber is now sorted according to length and cross-section in 75 inclined boxes – previously B.D.D. sorted the main and side products in 25 boxes

Flexible stacking

Subsequently, the boards are transferred to the stacking unit, where 16 layers per minute can be produced. B.D.D. opted for the Kallfass stick placement system, which comprises seven adjustable double magazines. This design allows thin sticks (14 x 25 mm)—that were previously intended to be disposed of—or thicker kiln sticks (25 x 50 mm) to be used.

“Now, this system allows us to produce different packages”, explains Bertrand Jurdic, Technical Manager at B.D.D. The package sizes range in width, height and length from 1,000 x 450 x 900 mm to 1,200 x 1,400 x 6,000 mm.

The finished packages enter a swivelling package discharge system, which changes from the transverse to the longitudinal direction. The strapping station, made by Fromm System GmbH, is supported by a layer of squared timber. In addition, Kallfass will supply an extended aligning roller conveyor, thus increasing the buffer area.

Kallfass Stapelanlage, stacking unit

For its stacking system, B.D.D. opted for seven double stick magazines from Kallfass

Little downtime

Kallfass completed the modification effort in the summer, requiring about three and a half months. “We only required three weeks of downtime for the saw line during this time, in order to connect the new sorting system to the existing plant from 2010”, Jurdic explained. Kallfass delivered the steel and mechanical parts for the project using 13 lorries. B.D.D. decided to use a wooden construction method for the new hall.

The entire preliminary discussions, consultation, development, and handling of the project were organised by Hans Haist, Managing Director of Kallfass when he interacted with Jonathan Bleesz of VBI (Kallfass' representative in France). “When we expanded the sorting system, we were able to achieve an important step in our expansion plans”, says Jurdic.

Kallfass Mehrfachablängsäge, multiple cross-cut saw

Kallfass also supplied B.D.D. with the tried-and-tested multiple cross-cut saw with seven saw aggregates

Kallfass Boxensortierung, box sorter

The sawn timber is now sorted according to length and cross-section in 75 inclined boxes – previously B.D.D. sorted the main and side products in 25 boxes

Qualitätsscanner, quality scanner

The Goldeneye-Mircotec detects undesirable wood defects, ...

Kallfass Trimmersäge, trimmer saw

... which the downstream Kallfass trimmer saw cuts out with appropriate accuracy

Kallfass Stapelanlage, stacking unit

For its stacking system, B.D.D. opted for seven double stick magazines from Kallfass

Text: Gerard Bouchereau, images: B.D.D., Kallfass and Holzkurier

Holzkurier no 47

Kallfass CLT Press

“Wir können auch pressen” EN “Pressing is also our forte”

First successful CLT press delivered to the Czech Republic

Up to 120,000 m³ of cross-laminated timber will be produced yearly in future in the new Stora Enso plant. With a wealth of expertise and experience gained in three successful CLT projects, the Finnish/Swedish company is, in its collaboration with Kallfass, now placing its faith in a completely new player in press manufacturing. The success achieved indicates just how right those responsible have been.

Kallfass project at Stora Enso Ždírec

Successful project management: Kallfass Managing Director Hans Haist with Stora Enso Project Manager Markus Weiss-Moser and Kallfass Project Manager Helge Widmann (r. to l.) in front of the first Kallfass CLT press.

Ever since the initial CLT location in the Carinthian town of Bad St. Leonhard, Kallfass has been responsible for overall mechanisation at Stora Enso. Ždírec in the Czech Republic will now see the opening of the fourth and, henceforth, largest Stora Enso CLT plant. “We're delighted to have found a partner like Kallfass who we known and value since our CLT production was first launched. The overall mechanisation and press concept it has presented has completely convinced us”, says Markus Weiss-Moser, the Project Manager at Stora Enso. Kallfass Managing Director Hans Haist agrees. “We're very proud to unveil our first complete CLT reference project in Ždírec. The plant is among the foremost locations on a global level”.

Fully integrated location

“One enormous advantage of this project is the fact that it's not a completely new greenfield construction in the classical sense, as we can rely on structures that have developed over decades at this location”, says Markus Weiss-Moser. Following its purchase by Stora Enso in 1999, the sawmill has been continually expanded. Sawing capacity (around 550,000 m³ per annum) was expanded two years after the takeover through the addition of solid structural timber production (150,000 m³ per annum). Pellet production also commenced in 2015, with around 80,000 tonnes being produced each year since then.

The addition of cross-laminated timber rounds of the comprehensive package of services the plant provides. The production capacity of the Finnish/Swedish group will, in total, exceed 400,000 m³ per annum as a result.

The zero-joint principle

Cross-laminated timber is manufactured according to the same principle in all four Stora Enso CLT plants. Both longitudinal and transverse layers are produced as single-layer solid wood boards before being joined to create CLT panels. Process reliability is paramount. “Industrial production of more than 100,000 m³ per annum needs to be a very tight operation. Using single-layer boards means we work without loose lamellas. Naturally enough, this high level of quality is also reflected in the approval values the boards must meet”, explains Markus Weiss-Moser.

Cutting transverse CLT layers

Trimming the transverse layers: Transverse layers produced as single-layer boards are trimmed to the later board width upstream of the lay-up station.

Minimising interfaces

In Ždírec, practically everything between the outlet of the throughfeed press for single-layer board production to subsequent joining is from Kallfass. “Minimising of interfaces was one of our central goals in the new plant. Having Kallfass as our main machine supplier enabled us to achieve this”, explains Markus Weiss-Moser.

Boards intended for the transverse layer are automatically cut to the desired length and placed in an appropriate intermediate buffer. Creation of the board can commence as soon as all layers are prepared, and the Oest gluing carriage starts to apply glue on the stationary lay-up table. “A special feature deserving mention here is our exclusive use of PU glue in the entire board. This includes the join, edge and surface of the board”, explains Markus Weiss-Moser.

Kallfass CLT Press

80 press cylinders spread over ten press modules ensure particularly even pressure distribution.

Press number one

The finished layer package is then conveyed into the Kallfass press on a modular belt conveyor. “The conveyor unit is reversible. The great advantage of this is that, should a problem arise during gluing, the incomplete layer package can be moved quickly and easily into the press”, says Hans Haist. “This emergency press operation also enables us to prevent the loss of valuable raw material in rare cases where incidents arise”, adds Markus Weiss-Moser.

The maximum thickness of the layer package is 600 mm. The dimensions of the completed board are between 8 and 16 m in length and 2 to 3.6 m in width. “We're working with four cylinders per press line. This means we can ensure that the pressure required is applied to every square millimetre of the board”, explains Hans Haist. The plant can achieve pressures of up to 1 N/mm2. “Naturally enough, considerably less pressure is required where spruce is the raw material. But we see this as an investment in the future. Who knows which wood types may be interesting in future for cross-laminated timber? This solution means we can react flexibly, regardless of what happens”, says Markus Weiss-Moser.

Following pressing, the individual boards are automatically pushed off at the dry joint and separated again before being transferred to the sanding machine and subsequently trimmed in a total of three portal processing machines from Hundegger.

Kallfass CLT Press

Series production begins in 2023

The first board was successfully produced in August, and the final authorisation and approval phase is currently under way. “However, everything should be completed as planned by the end of the year, then we can begin single-shift production. We will gradually increase this to four-shift operation by 2026. We'll need around 110 new employees for this at the location”, explains Markus Weiss-Moser.

Kallfass project at Stora Enso Ždírec

Successful project management: Kallfass Managing Director Hans Haist with Stora Enso Project Manager Markus Weiss-Moser and Kallfass Project Manager Helge Widmann (r. to l.) in front of the first Kallfass CLT press.

Cutting transverse CLT layers

Trimming the transverse layers: Transverse layers produced as single-layer boards are trimmed to the later board width upstream of the lay-up station.

Kallfass CLT Press

80 press cylinders spread over ten press modules ensure particularly even pressure distribution.

Pictures and text Raphael Kerschbaumer, Holzkurier

BSP Special

Kallfass Postpointing Gates

Ransford bringt es auf den Punkt EN Ransfords makes a point

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

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

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

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

Kallfass Zaunpfosten Anlage

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

Kallfass Kappsägen zum Anspitzen von Pfosten

Four circular saws cutting the posts on all four sides.

Kallfass automated post-pointing system

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

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

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

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

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

Kallfass milling with claming device

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

Kallfass milling with claming device

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

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

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

Reduced manual handling

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

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

Kallfass Stapelpaket spitze Zaunpfosten

Finished stacking package with pointed posts.

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

James Davies, mechanical engineer at Ransfords

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

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

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

Further investment

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

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

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

Kallfass Abschiebeentstapelung, push-off destacking

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

Kallfass Kappsägen zum Anspitzen von Pfosten

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

Kallfass milling with claming device

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

Kallfass milling with claming device

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

Kallfass Stapelpaket spitze Zaunpfosten

Finished stacking package with pointed posts.

Kallfass Stapelpaket runde Zaunpfosten

Shipping package of round-topped posts.

Pictures Kallfass, Text Stephen Powney, TTJ Timber Trade Journal

TTJ Timber Trades Journal Online

Projektteam CDB Bois

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

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

Pufferdecks für Schnittholz

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

Visuelle Qualitätskontrolle von Schnittholz

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

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

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

Magali Castillon, Plant Manager CBD Bois

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

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

Kallfass Leistenlegung; dépose de lattes d'empilage

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

New customers gained through a high level of accuracy

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

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

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

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

Projektteam CDB Bois

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

Umreifungshilfe; aide au cerclage

A strapping aid is provided downstream of the packing system.

Pufferdecks für Schnittholz

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

Visuelle Qualitätskontrolle von Schnittholz

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

Sandwichpaket; paquets en sandwich

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

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

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

Kallfass Leistenlegung; dépose de lattes d'empilage

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

Text and photos: Martina Nöstler, Holzkurier

Holzkurier 33/2022

Schnittholz in Pufferspeicher, cut wood in buffer levels

Optimales Kurzholzhandling EN Optimum short log handling

Tailored solution for an exceptional sawmill

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

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

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

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

Andrius Zimnickas, Juodeliai Group CEO

A challenging project

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

Kallfass Abblätterer, peel-off system

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

Adequate capacity

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

Solution-oriented approach

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

Holz Imprägnierung, impregnation of wood

Application of an impregnation agent

Kallfass Abblätterer, peel-off system

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

Sortierförderer, sorting conveyor

Kallfass sorting conveyor for ejecting unsuitable products.

Pufferetagen mit Seitenware, buffer levels with side products

Side view of the products buffered in 4 levels.

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

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

Images: Kallfass, text: Günther Jauk, Holzkurier

Holzkurier 17/2022

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

Hobellinie Van Roje, planing line, ligne de rabotage

Flexibles Hobeln kleiner Chargen bis 8 m Länge EN Flexible planing of small batches up to 8 m in length

Holzwerke van Roje installs a new planing mill in its existing facility at the Oberhonnefeld-Gierend location (Rhineland-Palatinate).

Holzwerke van Roje strengthened its own finishing with the installation of an automated planing mill last year. Connected to the sawmill, around 50% of the main product is processed further here. The company invested around 3.7 million euro for this purpose in the new plants.

Satisfied with the cooperation and results of the project (from left): Planing Mill Manager Eduard Dück, the Managing Director of Holzwerke van Roje, Gerhard Hauschulte and Kallfass Director Hans Haist.

Holzwerke van Roje GmbH & Co. KG operates a sawmill at its Oberhonnefeld-Gierend location (Rhineland-Palatinate) with an annual timber output of around 450,000 solid cubic metres. 90 % spruce and 10 % Douglas fir are currently processed, but Managing Director Gerhard Hauschulte estimates that pine will be added to this again to ensure the availability of timber logs in future. A planing mill and pellet production facility producing 80 000 t per annum are attached to the saw mill, and a cross-laminated timber production facility is currently under construction. Holzwerke van Roje currently has a workforce numbering 160 employees.

The planing mill was completed last year as a completely new installation at the plant and adapted to meet the special needs of sawmill production. The objective is to clearly strengthen processing of sawn timber. Up to 70,000 m³ of planed workpieces will be produced per annum from the main product, which is equivalent to about 50 % of the main product produced in the sawmill.

Kallfass GmbH in Baiersbronn delivered the complete fully automated mechanisation technology for the new Rex “Big Master” planing machine from Georg Schwarzbeck GmbH & Co KG in Pinneberg, including a wrapping station. A cupping and moisture meter, a “Golden Eye” quality scanner from Microtec, a marking station from REA JET and the strapping unit from Fromm are integrated in this facility.

Hobeleinzug, Planer Infeed, chargement de raboteuses

Kallfass planing machine feeder

Einzug REX Big Master Hobelmaschine

Infeed side of the REX “Big Master” planing machine

During conversion planning in April 2020, the two existing planing lines were dismantled in June of last year. Kallfass began at this time to install parts of the mechanisation technology in cleared areas of the facility while production was still underway. Commissioning of the complete plant then followed at the beginning of September. The plant was producing around 400 m³ of planed workpieces a day in 2 shifts by the end of the year.

Production at the van Roje sawmill is very customer-oriented, serving buyers all over Europe. There is a focus on markets in the Netherlands and United Kingdom with the majority of orders for lengths exceeding 6 m. Van Roje has also concentrated on the European market in recent years, exploiting domestic sales opportunities freed through the booming US sawn timber market. Stock dimensions up to 620 mm and log lengths of 3 to 14 m are cut. The maximum length in the timber sorting system is 8 m. Frequent product changes of up to four times an hour are part of everyday production at van Roje. This means that, when it comes to the cross section and length, a broad variety of dimensions is encountered in the planing mill, and it is necessary to work with relatively small batches. The smallest batches frequently involve only two packages per dimension. The planing mill therefore needs to be very flexible and produce everything from roofing battens with numerous special dimensions to raw solid structural timber. The maximum dimensions of completely planed products at van Roje are 150 x 320 mm. In particular, the maximum possible length of up to 8 m means the plant differs from the majority of industrial planing mills.

Minimum adjustment times and “profile management” on the planing machine

The flexibility required at van Roje is reflected in the configuration of the Rex “Big Master” planing machine: With ten planing cutterheads (four horizontal and two vertical tools and four individual chamfering tools for an all-round workpiece chamfer) finished product widths of 60 to 400 mm and heights of 15 to 200 mm can be created with continuously adjustable feeds of 30 to 150 m/min. In addition to planing and profiling, single and multiple cutting to length of the workpiece is also possible, and van Roje uses up to five saws.

Different board widths can be processed in layers simultaneously on the machine with only narrow gaps between them. Width adjustment is servo controlled at an adjusting speed of 20 mm/s. The Rex profile management control system enables storing of working shaft positions which have been configured. If a particular profile needs to be repeated, the operator, after deploying the required tools, can select the profile using the assigned workpiece name. The machine then automatically moves each spindle into the correct position. Shafts not required for a procedure go into idle mode, leading to a palpable reduction in the electric power input.

Hobelline, Planing line, ligne de rabotage

Schematic depiction of the van Roje planing mill. The material moves from charging and tilt destacking via a sorting conveyor to the Kallfass planing machine feeder. A triple cross-cut saw is installed upstream. A Microtec quality scanner (1) is installed behind the Rex planing machine. Options then available are a bundling station (2) and marking station (3), after which the product is transferred to the wrapping and strapping station (6) by one of the two stackers (4 and 5). The packages are output to the right onto the acceptance point in front of the plant (7). Ejection of material from the sorting conveyor is possible (8).

Compact mechanisation for workpiece lengths up to 8 m

Kallfass installed a fully automated mechanisation solution here with an interface connection to the van Roje ERP system (Timbertec). With regard to operation of the planing mill, aside from the plant operator and a stand-in, only two other employees are required for wrapping.

Following tilt destacking of the raw material packages (presorted in the sawmill in the case of freshly cut material) and separating, unsuitable material can still be ejected from the sorting conveyor prior to planing machine charging. The plant can therefore also be used for stacking of drying packages. A growth ring detector (cupping detector) integrated on the unscrambler and a moisture meter from Microtec combined with a board turner contribute to the improvement of planing quality. Timber that is too moist can be ejected and raw material turned, depending on the growth ring position.

A freely positionable triple cross-cut saw is installed upstream of the planing feeder and frequently used at van Roje. Cutting upstream of the planing machine achieves absolutely fringe-free cuttings. The feeding of the planing machine achieves 50 cycles/min. Directly downstream of the planing machine, the workpieces pass through a “Golden Eye” scanner from Microtec that organises the product into strength classes C16 and C24. They can then be separated from each other in the passage and either sent directly to one of the two stackers or, previously, to a bundling unit. Adaptation of CE certification for mechanical sorting is currently underway at van Roje. The customer can therefore be offered a combination of mechanically and visually sorted planed workpieces.

Four strapping stations are available at the bundling unit. Up to ten stick bundles can be created there every minute. Packages can be produced on stackers equipped with stick magazines at a rate of 10 layers/min.

Flexibility and rapid dimension changes are core requirements of mechanisation at van Roje, given the frequent product changes involved. A dimension change upstream of the planing machine takes around 1 minute under practical conditions and 20 seconds downstream of the planing machine, meaning each dimension change takes a total of 1 to 2 minutes. The entire mechanisation is designed to provide a feed of 200 m/min. The compact mechanisation layout can accommodate timber lengths of 8 m with ease, while the minimum length for raw material is 2.00 m and 1.80 m for planed products. Package lengths up to 8 m can also be wrapped on the package wrapping unit.

CLT marketing from May

The planing mill is not only designed for finishing the main product, but also represents an important downstream production section for the cross-laminated timber production facility under construction. B sorters for lamellas originally created in the sawmill for other products are calibrated and quality sorted here for use as top layer lamellas in cross-laminated timber (CLT). Lamellas cut especially for the top layer in the sawmill are planed directly in the cross-laminated timber plant. Raw lamellas created from side products are planed and quality sorted for use as (non-dovetailed) transverse layers in the CLT. The option to create different board widths in a layer on the planing machine really pays off here. Exploitation of side products can therefore be considerably increased.

When compared to the usual contemporary production process in CLT manufacturing, the entire production process is to be optimised for resource efficiency, from production of raw lamellas in the sawmill to the completed CLT construction element. Particular attention is also paid to the conservation of raw materials in the cross-laminated timber plant (which bears the project name “Cross Works”). Window and door cutouts are returned to the raw materials cycle again through a treatment process. The cutouts created are separated and recycled in the cross layer. These efforts to achieve resource efficiency have also encouraged support of the overall project through funding of EUR 5,993,815 from the environmental innovation programme of the German Federal Ministry of the Environment. 75,000 m³ CLT should be manufactured annually as of April in 2-shift operation. van Roje wants to begin marketing its cross-laminated timber in May.

Hobeleinzug, Planer Infeed, chargement de raboteuses

Kallfass planing machine feeder

Einzug REX Big Master Hobelmaschine

Infeed side of the REX “Big Master” planing machine

Hobelline, Planing line, ligne de rabotage

Schematic depiction of the van Roje planing mill.

Kippentstapelung, tilt destacking, dépilage par renversement

Charging and tilt destacking from Kallfass.

Bündelung, bundling, bottelage

The view into the front part of the van Roje planing mill facility. The bundling unit is in the foreground, with the feed for the first stacker behind. Visible in the background are (from the right) the sharpening center, the noice-protection cabin of the planing machine and the “Golden Eye” scanner.

Bündelung und Stapler, bundling and stacking, bottelage et empilage

The rear part of the facility, with the bundling unit in the foreground again and the line with the second stacker behind.

Graphics: Kallfass / Images and text: J. Härer, Holz-Zentralblatt

Holz-Zentralblatt Nr. 3/2022