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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.

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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

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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