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

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

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


Produktion verdoppelt EN Production has been doubled

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

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

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

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

Doubling capacity

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

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


13 levels are available following sorting

Simplified variation options

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

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

Everything for pallets

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

Training for employees

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

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

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

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


13 levels are available following sorting

The batten magazine has an automatic stick placement system

The completed wood packages can be transported away from outside

Holzkurier 10/2020, pictures and text Ulrike Knaus