Sortierung Seitenware, sorting side products, chargement de produit lateral

Bis auf den letzten Millimeter ausgenutzt EN Utilised down to the last millimetre

The Swedish company Åsljunga Pallen decided to invest in a new sorting system and stacking line in order to increase the sawmill's output and level of automation at the same time. Kallfass was chosen as the supplier. The mechanisation expert used all his expertise to harmonise the customer's requirements with the available space.

Åsljunga Pallen from Örkelljunga in southern Sweden specialises in the manufacture of pallets and packaging goods. The company produces around 7500 pallets a day. The sawn timber required for this comes from their own sawmill. Around 60,000 m3 of sawn timber is produced there every year, 99% of which is processed in-house. “This makes us one of the largest pallet manufacturers in Sweden”, reports Stefan Nilsson, owner and managing director of Åsljunga Pallen. The pallets are sold to customers in Sweden and Denmark within a radius of around 300 kilometres.

Best solution offered

Sorting the side goods was the bottleneck in production. “The quality control was done manually - that was very time-consuming”, explains Oscar Elzén, Production Manager at Åsljunga Pallen. For this reason, the decision was made to invest in a new sorting and stacking line from Kallfass, Baiersbronn-Klosterreichenbach/DE. As part of these conversion measures, the company also expanded its sawing line to include a resawing machine from EWD. "This means that it is now possible to cut the entire log to size for our pallet production”, the production manager continues.

“Kallfass understood how we work and which process is best for our plant, and offered a technical solution for our requirements that we liked”, explains Nilsson, who is the third generation of his family to run the company.

Space and time - two challenges

The building in which the new sorting and stacking facility is housed dates back to 1956. This has recently been expanded somewhat. “However, we had to make do with the available space for this extensive project and utilise every millimetre”, explains Dominik Hauser, who supervised the project on behalf of Kallfass, with a grin: “During installation, there were even bets as to whether the robot would actually have enough space for its intended function without having to make any adjustments to the building. To the detriment of some sceptics, however, the robot was commissioned as planned”. He is referring to the robot that is responsible for automatically filling the moulding magazine. But more on that later.

In addition to the available space, there were other points to consider: Initially, a large part of the installation was carried out during ongoing operations. “We only had six weeks of downtime”, Elzén informs us. And the roof must not be opened during installation. “Thanks to the cooperation of everyone and the high level of flexibility on the part of Kallfass, we were also able to master this”, says Nilsson and is very satisfied with the mechanisation specialist's handling. Assembly began in March and the sorting system for the main and side products has been in operation since the beginning of August.

Niveauwechsel, level changer, changement de niveau

To make optimum use of the space, the Kallfass concept has several level changes.

“Kallfass understood our processes and offered us the best technical solution. We anticipate an increase in production of at least 20%”.

- Stefan Nilsson, Managing Director Åsljunga Pallen -

Complex mechanisation

Kallfass supplied the mechanisation with transverse take-off, rising diagonal conveyor as well as cycle-in and thickness measurement between the existing sawing line and the new EWD resawing machine. “Before the resaw, there is the option of transporting the main product to an existing stacking system via an automatic take-off device, depending on the dimensions, output, adjustment or maintenance work on the main line”, explains Hauser. In addition to a direct side product infeed, a stock edger is located under the new main product infeed to the resaw, which also feeds the boards for sorting. Each of the three feeders has its own buffer level. “The main goods are buffered on one deck and the side goods on two decks. When a floor is full, it is emptied automatically so that the sawing line does not come to a standstill”, Hauser explains. A level changer takes the boards to the top. The goods are first aligned there before the Tongloader cycles them into the carrier conveyor at a rate of up to 120 parts per minute. There is also the option to cut back at zero line.

Kallfass feeding of main products, chargement de produits principal

View of the feeding of the main product to the resaw machine.

After another level change downwards, a Microtec scanner recognises the wanes and gives each board the corresponding quality or dimension. These are then placed in one of the 15 vertical boxes. The boxes are emptied downwards onto a chain conveyor, which transports the box contents further onto a traversing chain conveyor feeding the timber to the parallel stacking system. “This solution was also due to the space available”, says Hauser. A step separator and an unscrambler transfer the boards to another cross conveyor for layer formation. The Kallfass project manager estimates their output at up to 14 layers per minute. The downstream multiple cross-cut saw from Kallfass is equipped with four saw aggregates - three of which can be positioned automatically. The layers of boards are then transported to the stacking machine, which has six magazines with automatic strip placing.

High degree of automation

The robot mentioned above fills the stick magazines. Kallfass installed an automatic feeding system for this purpose. A forklift driver places the stanchions filled with sticks onto a conveyor, from where they are fed into the system. Two different types of sticks can be fed separately via a hoisting unit. After the stanchions are emptied, the sticks are fed to the scanner via a step separator and unscrambler. The scanner checks the timber for dimensions and damage. Unsuitable sticks can be automatically ejected. This is followed by the formation of bundles, so the robot can grip several strips at once and fill the magazines. Kallfass also supplied the automatic pallet feeder for the stacking system. The number of pallets required can be determined according to the length of the timber. The empty pallets are automatically removed from the magazine and pre-positioned so that the pallet is always in the centre of the workpiece length. The layers of boards are then automatically stacked on pallets. The maximum stacking height including pallet is 1.9 m. Hauser specifies a target output of up to 90 packages per day.

Kallfass dépose de liteaux automatique, automatic stick placement

Kallfass supplied an automatic stick feeding system to ensure a high degree of automation …

Roboter für Leistenhandling, magazin filling with robots, remplissage robotisé d'un chargeur de liteaux

... and a robot for filling the magazines of the stacking system.

Thanks to the high degree of automation, Åsljunga Pallen is able to operate the entire sorting and stacking line with just two employees. “We are currently carrying out the final optimisations. Then we expect an increase in performance of at least 20 per cent”, says Nilsson.

Sortierung Seitenware, sorting side products, chargement de produit lateral

Feeding the side material to the wane scanner.

Visual control before cross-cutting

Visual assessment of the goods before the multiple cross-cut saw.

Kallfass feeding of cross-cutting saw, chargement de tronçonneuse multiple

The side material is unscrambled, cut and then stacked.

Text: Martina Nöstler, Holzkurier

Holzkurier 51/52

Stacked wood packages

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

New restacking system eliminates bottleneck

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

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

Kallfass Robeta project team

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

Complete package instead of the “basic”

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

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

Kallfass destacker

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

Clean separation

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

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

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

Kallfass separator of cut wood

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

Adjustable magazines

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

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

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

Kallfass stick magazines

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

"I am happy every day about the successful project"

- Robeta Wood Production Manager Christian Rockel -

Kallfass wood monitoring

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

Kallfass cross cut saw

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

Kallfass foil dispenser

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

Text and images: Martina Nöstler, Holzkurier

Holzkurier 47/23

Kallfass scandinavian stacking pack

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

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

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

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

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

More yield with “Scandinavian stacking”

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

Kallfass stacking line, système d'empilage

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

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

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

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

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

Kallfass shift of the zero line

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

Kallfass scandinavian stacking pack

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

Kallfass multiple cross cut saw

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

Kallfass stick magazines for placing stacking sticks, dépose de liteaux

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

Text and photos: Martina Nöstler, Holzkurier

Holzkurier 37/23

Kallfass vertical box sorter

Neues Sortierwerk überzeugte mit Technik EN New sorting system impressed through technology

Three years ago, the Lemaire sawmill decided to invest in another sawmill for small diameter timber. This means that the entire log spectrum can now be processed. Kallfass was chosen for the sorting and stacking plant, as the mechanisation specialist impressed in many respects.

After a fire in 2020 at the headquarters in Moussey/FR, the owners of the Lemaire sawmill decided to rebuild the line with a log band saw while investing in a new sawmill for cutting small diameter timber at the La Petite-Raon site a few kilometres away. "This step means we can process the entire log spectrum from the forest", says Managing Director Maxence Lemaire, explaining the move. They bought an industrial site in La Petite-Raon in 2006 which they previously used for sorting logs and operation of a planing unit. Installation of the saw line began two years ago. The sawmill was to be initially housed in the existing hall. However, the Lemaire family eventually decided to erect a new building. The log infeed came from Holtec, the cutting line was supplied by Veisto and Kallfass from Baiersbronn-Klosterreichenbach/DE was chosen for the sorting and stacking plant. "We looked at several providers. Kallfass impressed us both in terms of the technical execution and the expertise of the employees", explained Lemaire, adding that "Kallfass is also active in further processing and has already supplied us with a bundling system for the planing line". Kallfass handled the project with its French representative, VBI from Barr/FR.

Kallfass Lemaire project team

Excellent cooperation: Lemaire Project Manager Antoine Glé, Kallfass Managing Director Hans Haist, Lemaire Managing Director Maxence Lemaire, Lemaire Production Manager Anthony Receveur and Kallfass representative Jonathan Bleesz (from left)

Main and side products via a single line

The first log passed over the new saw line, which processes logs up to 55 cm in diameter, in September 2022. Larger dimensions are sent to the large diameter timber mill in Moussey. "Our goal is to cut 300,000 solid cubic metres per annum at both locations in the future. About 20 % of the volume involves large diameter timber", explains the Managing Director. All the main and side products produced on the new chipper line are conveyed separately on two decks to the Kallfass system. "The sorting and stacking system is designed for an output of up to 140 cycles per minute, lengths of 2 to 6.2 m and cross sections up to a maximum of 100 by 250 mm", relates Kallfass Managing Director Hans Haist.

New type of flexible alignment

The timber is conveyed via a transverse buffer conveyor and a separation station to an assessment station where an employee checks the material and pulls the pieces forward for a subsequent trimming if necessary. The boards and squared timber then pass through a Goldeneye 900 scanner from Microtec. This determines the quality and dimension, transmitting the data on to the subsequent Kallfass trimmer. Kallfass installed a novelty between the Goldeneye and trimmer: a flexible alignment. "This can adjust the boards - depending on the scan result - by up to 300 mm with centimetre precision. This means that shorter cuts can also be made on the end faces, ultimately increasing the yield", explains Haist. The trimmer is equipped with 13 saws. The timber is then divided into 71 sorting boxes.

After the boxes have been emptied, the wood is fed to another employee for a follow-up check via a step feeder and separator. Following the creation of layers, the timber pass through the tried and trusted multiple circular cross-cut saw from Kallfass. This saw is equipped with four sawing units, three of which are completely automated and can be positioned as required. Remaining pieces are discharged via a waste belt in the direction of the Vecoplan disposal unit. "The downstream stacking line has a capacity of up to 14 layers per minute and is equipped with six double magazines for stacking", elaborates Jonathan Bleesz from VBI. The finished packages, which are mainly 600 mm high, are sent to the Fromm strapping unit. Kallfass supplied a squared timber milling machine for this purpose. As mentioned at the beginning, the Kallfass plant sorts main and side products. However, space for another side product sorting unit was already taken into consideration in the conceptual design.

Lemaire is convinced that investing in the new sawmill was the right step: "We have already been able to win four large customers who previously imported sawn timber. Now we can generate added value domestically".

Kallfass flexible alignment of cut wood before trimmer saw

Installed for the first time: The flexible alignment in front of the trimmer saw can compensate for up to 300 mm.

Kallfass trimmer saw

The trimmer saw from Kallfass has 13 chop saws arranged in a 50 cm grid.

„Kallfass impressed us in terms of technology. The cooperation has been impeccable.“

Managing Director Maxence Lemaire

Kallfass vertical box sorter

Main and side products are divided into 71 boxes. There is still room for another sorting unit next to it should this be necessary.

Kallfass multiple cross cut saw

The multiple cross-cut saw from Kallfass is equipped with four sawing units, three of which can be positioned automatically.

Kallfass stick magazines for placing stacking sticks

The stacking unit has six double magazines and a capacity of up to 14 layers per minute.

Kallfass stacked wood pack

The 600 mm high wood packs which are stacked with the Kallfass system are typical for France.

Text and images: Martina Nöstler, Holzkurier

Holzkurier 19/23

Kallfass stacking with stick magazines

Anlage überzeugt in jeder Hinsicht EN The system meets all expectations

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

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

Project team Weiss and Kallfass

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

Multiple reasons - for investment and equipment supplier

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

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

Kallfass destacking of packs

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

Kallfass destacking of bundles

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

Restacking wood packages or bundles

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

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

Kallfass longitudinal sorting of bundles

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

Kallfass Unscrambler

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

Kallfass cross-cutting sawn timber

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

Kallfass feeding of pallets for stacking

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

Kallfass stacked packs

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

Text and images: Martina Nöstler, Holzkurier

Holzkurier 12/23

Wet and dry sorting line of Kallfass

Das voll automatisierte Sägewerk EN The fully automated sawmill

Sorting, drying, and packaging – completely without the use of forklifts

From the log infeed upstream of the sawmill to the finished board made of cross-laminated timber (CLT), the entire material flow at the new facility of best wood SCHNEIDER® GmbH in Messkirch, Germany, takes place with minimal manual interaction. Kallfass supplied all the sorting and automation solutions, starting from the point where the saw takes over until the link to the future CLT plant.

“We were seeking partners who would join us in planning an unusual sawmill with us. In Kallfass we found that partner, who also has the necessary open mind to think about matters in a new and alternative way. In addition, we already knew Kallfass who had successfully completed projects in our main factory in Eberhardzell, Germany. So it was easy for us to decide to collaborate again on this major project”, says Andreas Schilling, site manager at best wood Schneider in Messkirch, Germany, describing the excellent cooperation with Kallfass.

The scope of delivery of the mechanical engineering firm from the Black Forest starts at the takeover of the timber directly downstream of the two sawing lines. Whilst using two log band saws and a chipper-canter line for all logs with a crown diameter of less than 30 cm, Schneider GmbH will be cutting approx. 350,000 solid m3/year once the production has reached its full expansion stage. “By combining band and circular saw technology, we are particularly flexibly positioned and can act as a full buyer for the forestry sector. In times when procurement situations become increasingly problematic, this is particularly important”, reports Schilling.

Kallfass and best wood Schneider project team

A successful project for customer and supplier alike: Marvin Faust, Head of Wood Purchasing Messkirch, Site Manager Andreas Schilling, Kallfass Project Manager Stefan Günther, Kallfass Managing Director Hans Haist, and Max Schneider, Junior Managing Director at best wood Schneider GmbH (from left), in front of the sorting line.

The fully automated dry (right) and wet (left) sorting lines were also a very special order for Kallfass.

Flexible sorting

Four buffer levels, one level directly above the other, take over the sawn timber. “Each level is designed for the exact filling quantity of the subsequent drying package. This enables us to time the wet sorting process selectively”, explains Managing Director Hans Haist of Kallfass. The entire sorting system can process boards measuring 3,600 to 4,300 mm long and 95 to 259 mm wide. Thicknesses from 36 to 53 mm can also be processed, ensuring the greatest possible flexibility for further processing in the company’s sorting area. In terms of efficiency, the system also meets all requirements. It operates at 80 cycles per minute in both wet and dry areas.

28 m³ of sawn timber per dry wood package

During the process, the individual levels are emptied one by one. Subsequently, the boards are separated before their thickness is measured, and the Kallfass’ multiple circular cross-cut saw trims the excess length of the lumber as required.

The wood packages are then automatically stacked for drying purposes. best wood Schneider GmbH works with mixed widths and thicknesses. “This makes little difference for the continuous kiln, and the Kallfass systems also cope very well with it”, Schilling informs us.

Many companies already rely on a drying chamber solution; therefore, mixed packages are nothing unusual in the timber world. When you walk through the factory, what immediately strikes you is the size of the individual packages of sawn timber. “The wood packages measure 2 m wide by 4 m long. The most impressive aspect, however, is the height of these packages, each one standing 6 m tall. That means, depending on the moisture content of the lumber, up to 30 tonnes are transported through the halls with each package. The demands on our automation systems were, therefore, exceptionally high”, explains Haist.

“The complete material flow is 100 % automated. This means zero forklift operations and zero manual transport whatsoever between the individual production phases.”

Andreas Schilling, Site Manager of best wood Schneider GmbH

Kallfass sorting system with bypass

Bypass system: Slats containing too much moisture can simply be returned to the wet sorting process.

Kallfass fully automatic transport

New dimensions: The sawn timber packages can weigh up to 30 tonnes and are transported through the plant fully automatically without the use of forklifts.

Fully automated transport

Subsequently, the finished stacked wood packages are hydraulically lowered and automatically taken over by the dryer infeed. “The complete material flow is 100 % automated. This means zero forklift operations and zero manual transport whatsoever between the individual production phases”, says Schilling enthusiastically about the concept and the mechanical implementation provided by Kallfass. A total of 150 transport trolleys are in circulation simultaneously, ensuring a constant flow of material throughout the entire production system. “The fully automatic charging of the continuous kiln on rails is something unique and certainly one of a kind, at least in Central Europe,” Haist comments on the operator-free material transport.

Sorting system with bypass

Once the wood packages are ready and dried, Kallfass takes over again and uses a vacuum lifter to destack the packages. Next, a brush automatically sweeps and tosses the stacking sticks onto a conveyor belt. The latter moves the stacking sticks along the dry sorting unit back to the wet sorting area. Here, before the sticks are used again, they are measured and checked for their ongoing suitability using a board shape scanner.

The dried slats are then separated again, and their dimensions are measured using a laser before the wood moisture content is measured without contact in a continuous process. The downstream multi-level sorting system extends over a length of 128 m, has 35 levels and—like the wet line—has a capacity of 80 cycles per minute. The uppermost level is about 20 m above the factory floor. “Our unsorted cutting method places increased demands on the sorting process, which Kallfass addressed and was also able to comply with”, explains Schilling.

An absolute Kallfass unique feature is the integrated bypass system, which connects the dry with the wet sorting line. If a slat does not pass the moisture test, it is immediately fed back to the wet sorting line and thus reintroduced into the process.

Connection to CLT plant

The Microtec Optiside cup scanner detects each dried and sorted slat leaving the sorting system. Subsequently, the Kallfass planing machine infeed is accelerated by the up to 250 m/min. Downstream of the pre-planing machine, a Microtec Goldeneye scanner optimises each slat for subsequent cross-cut processing. Finally, the slats are packaged again using a cross-stack method and transported directly to the future CLT plant, or strapped and temporarily stored using a hoisting unit to load the lorry.

Visuelle Qualitätskontrolle von Schnittholz

Relaxed at work: After separation on the wet sorting line, a visual inspection can still occur. Together with the cull lumber pieces, the damaged wood falls directly into the central scrap wood removal unit.

Kallfass mechanisation on rails for large drying packs

The perfect drying chamber solution for large packages: Mechanisation on rails in the circulation system.

Kallfass fully automatic transport

New dimensions: The sawn timber packages can weigh up to 30 tonnes and are transported through the plant fully automatically without the use of forklifts.

Text and images: Raphael Kerschbaumer, Holzkurier

Holzkurier 10/23

Etagensortierung von Kallfass, tray sorter of Kallfass

Produktivität und Effizienz gesteigert EN Added productivity and efficiency

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

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

A confident, long-standing partner

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

Ransford Sawmill

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

Etagensortierung von Kallfass, tray sorter of Kallfass

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

Mehrfachablängsäge, multiple cross-cut saw

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

Kallfass Kappsägen zum Anspitzen von Pfosten

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

New tray sorter

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

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

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

Significantly reduced manual handling

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

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

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

Etagensortierung von Kallfass, tray sorter of Kallfass

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

Kallfass milling with claming device

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

Kallfass Stapelpaket spitze Zaunpfosten

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

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

Holzkurier 09/23