Kallfass CLT Press

Ein BSP-Werk für Profis EN A CLT plant for professionals

Exceptional overall concept sets new standards

Log in, finished CLT element out - and all without a forklift. This is how you could describe best wood Schneider's extremely ambitious Greenfield project in just a few words. At the newly founded site in Meßkirch, Germany, the company is implementing a trend-setting, end-to-end production line. Currently the CLT plant is being commissioned. The planned output in the sawmill is 350,000 cubic meters/year. After the final expansion, the CLT production will reach an output of 100,000 m³/year. As in the sawmill, Kallfass also plays a leading role in further processing.

Actually, best wood Schneider “only” wanted to build a cross laminated timber plant at the new Meßkirch site. “Large-format CLT was the only product that we still lacked as a complete supplier for our approximately 5,000 active timber construction customers”, reports Managing Director Ferdinand Schneider during the Holzkurier visit. In addition to solid structural timber (KVH), glulam, glued laminated timber and box girder elements, the family-owned company offers its customers numerous wood fibre insulation systems as well as comprehensive planning and consulting services.

“But then we decided to do it right from the logs and to realise a continuous line from the logs to the finished timber construction products”, says Schneider, describing the process that began seven years ago with the planning phase and continues to this day. According to Kallfass Project Manager Stefan Günther, this constant development and improvement of ongoing projects, both large and small, is characteristic of the company: “Schneider projects are organic and continue to grow. However, these further developments are always constructive, with the best solution coming out on top, regardless of who it comes from”.

The basic idea for Meßkirch was as follows: to implement a continuously automated material flow–from the log feed to the finished and glazed CLT and box elements for walls and ceilings–completely without forklift traffic and almost without manual intervention.

The dried raw material is transported from the sawmill ...

Kallfass material transport via conveyor belt

directly to the next hall, using conveyor belts.

Kallfass stacked wood packet

There, the timber is assessed, stacked and temporarily stored in a high-bay warehouse. From there it continues to the BSP line or onto the lorry.

Well-established team

While the sawmill is already rapidly approaching full-load operation, the first expansion stage of the CLT plant is in the middle of the commissioning process. As in the sawmill, Kallfass is responsible for the majority of the mechanisation, the cross laminated timber press and numerous detailed solutions. “In addition, Kallfass, as our vendor of choice, had the planning authority”, adds Schneider, who has already successfully completed numerous projects with the Black Forest system specialists.

Conveyor belts provide the transfer between the sawmill and processing steps down the line. Subsequently, the dried and sorted goods are transported to a Microtec Optiside cup scanner, where the timber is turned to the correct side, if required. In the next processing step, the planer infeed, also from Kallfass, accelerates the goods up to 250 m/min before they are levelled and scanned, and defects are marked. The timber is then packaged in a crosswise offset, strapped if necessary, and fed on roller conveyors to a high-bay warehouse with 1,450 storage locations.

Precise production

For cross-laminated timber production, the pre-planed raw material from the high-bay warehouse is transferred to a finger-jointing line and then to a longitudinal press. Here, white glue or hot melt is used to create an assembly joint. A vacuum lifter removes the assembly joints and transfers them to another part of the Kallfass system.

Whilst the longitudinal layers are directly used to lay a dry press cake in reverse order, cross-layer segments are produced from some of the single-layer boards. “As the longitudinal layer press always produces exactly a multiple of the desired cross-layer length plus kerf, our cross-layer saw does not produce any waste”, emphasises Günther, adding that particular attention is paid to precision when formatting the individual layers and when subsequently arranging the cross-layers and laying the boards. “This means that the panel no longer has to be formatted with a saw after pressing, which saves us time and, above all, material," emphasises Schneider, who runs his panels through a sanding system, a cross-cut saw and a multi-spindle processing machine for the production of any profiles between the press and the joinery systems.

Kallfass CLT cross-layer production

In the cross-layer production process, the single-layer panels are cut to length using high precision and joined together to form cross-layers.

Ingenious details

When laying the dry cake in reverse order, the single-layer boards are sprayed with water on both sides for the upcoming glue application before they are placed in the actual laying station. Apart from the adhesive application system from Oest, Kallfass is also responsible for the entire plant construction, including the subsequent cross laminated timber press. The latter can hold elements measuring up to 3.6 x 16 m and a maximum thickness of 360 mm.

Once the boards have been pressed, sanded and profiled, they move on to one of Technowood's joinery lines, where Kallfass also carries out the mechanisation upstream and downstream of the machines. This includes a specially developed panel turner for CLT, which enables the elements–which may weigh several tonnes–to be turned quickly and safely.

“This means that Kallfass is responsible for the end-to-end material flow–from sorting in the sawmill to the finished panel–and I have to say that all the parts they have implemented run flawlessly”. Schneider praises the installation and the Kallfass team.

Managing Director Ferdinand Schneider (right) together with Kallfass Project Manager Stefan Günther.

Still a lot to do

While the existing line at Schneider is designed for the production of large-format wall and ceiling elements in non-visible quality, the second line will eject elements in visible quality including glaze. Commissioning is scheduled for the coming winter. As a third expansion stage, the Managing Director mentions a production facility for hollow box and rib elements, as used in roof and ceiling constructions, which Schneider summarises under the “Box” product line. This means that the company will have numerous other essential products in its portfolio for its customers.

Schneider describes the planning and implementation of a cross-laminated timber line as extremely complex, whereby he believes there is no ideal solution: “Depending on the objectives and framework conditions, each new CLT plant is always a path of the best compromises, which we realise together with Kallfass in the best possible way”.

Kallfass CLT cross-layer production

In the cross-layer production process, the single-layer panels are cut to length using high precision and joined together to form cross-layers.

Kallfass CLT Press

The cross laminated timber press is just one of many components that Kallfass implemented in best wood Schneider's new CLT plant.

Kallfass CLT Press

The finished pressed CLT panels are fed to the downstream sanding machine via a travelling roller conveyor.

Text and photos: Günther Jauk, Holzkurier
Holzkurier issue 14
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 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

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

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

Zuführung Schnittholz aus Sägelinie, feeding timber from saw line

Flexible Sortierung EN Flexible sorting

The sorting plant at the Sägewerk Kolb sawmill needed to be rebuilt following a fire. The sophisticated concept involved prompted Wolfgang and Fabian Kolb to choose Kallfass as a supplier.

A fire on 30 May 2020 destroyed the sorting system at the Sägewerk Kolb sawmill, Ruppertshofen/ DE. Speedy intervention by the fire brigade and a sprinkler system prevented flames from spreading to the sawing facility and surrounding buildings. However, the sorting system was completely destroyed, but a decision to rebuild it was made immediately. Although the new sorting and stacking plant was rebuilt as before in the same location, completion was delayed due to construction regulations. The new sorting system in the Sägewerk Kolb sawmill was commissioned around 14 months later during the summer this year.
Zuführung Schnittholz aus Sägelinie, feeding timber from saw line

Infeeding from the saw line: Side products on the upper level, travel towards the boxes, while the main product travels below towards the stacking system.

The best concept

The choice of a supplier for the new plant fell on Kallfass, the mechanisation specialist from Baiersbronn-Klosterreichenbach/ DE. “Naturally enough, we took a look at different suppliers, but Kallfass offered us the best concept”, related Wolfgang Kolb, justifying the decision he reached together with his son, Fabian Kolb. One aspect appealed in particular to the pair. “Kallfass was the only supplier to develop a combined solution for the main product and side product, being in fact the only one to come up with the idea. Together with the close proximity to Baiersbronn and the excellent reputation Kallfass enjoys, the latter was the decisive factor”, explained Kolb.

„Kallfass was the only supplier to offer us a combined solution for the main product and side product.“

Wolfgang Kolb, owner of Sägewerk Kolb

Vermessung Schnittholzdimensionen, measuring timber dimensions

The length, width and thickness of the side product and smaller main product dimensions are measured …

Befüllung Schrägboxen, Charging of inclined boxes

… and then assigned to one of the 75 inclined boxes.

No worker needed for the side products

Kallfass delivered a complete sorting system to Kolb, with 75 boxes, a stacking system and a connection to the sawmill. During a tour of the facility, Kallfass Managing Director Hans Haist pointed out the separating unit behind the board edger. “Depending on the sawing pattern, up to five boards positioned closely next to each other can be delivered to the existing cross conveyor. We integrated a further separating unit in this area by installing a single feed unit in the sawmill, ensuring continuous and uninterrupted transport down the line”. The side products from the board edger are conveyed to the upper deck of the sorting system via a conveyor belt. They continue their journey from a curved conveyor to a cross conveyor towards the boxes. Feeding on a carrier chain continues in this area, and the length, width and thickness is measured. This data is used for box classification. The boards then continue their journey into one of the 75 boxes. “What’s special here is that, in principle, the side boards are sorted without worker intervention. A worker assessing the product and, in effect, standing one floor lower can intervene in the process if necessary”, explained Kallfass Project Manager Dominik Hauser. This means that the entire plant can be operated with just one worker.

Kallfass installed its reliable inclined boxes at Kolb. “The advantage of this is that – due to a filling level control – the boards only have a minimum drop height and, as a consequence, fewer breakages occur”, explained Haist. “Also, a box can now hold almost twice the previous volume”, added Fabian Kolb. A box that has been suitably filled is then discharged downwards. The journey to the assessment station continues via a longitudinal conveyor and unscrambler. Where necessary, the worker can eject boards with waney edges or of unsuitable quality downwards though a flap. The layers of boards then pass through the tried and trusted multiple cross-cut saw from Kallfass. This is equipped with a zero line and three variable saw aggregates. Finally, the layers are transferred to the stacking systems through automated stick placement, with the completed packages travelling downwards and being strapped manually by the forklift operator. The installation of an automated strapping system is planned in this area.

Stacking of the main product is also automated

As mentioned at the outset, Kolb can also move main products of up to 6 m in length on the new Kallfass plant. These travel from the circular re-saw on a conveyor belt to the sorting system on the lower floor. They move from here through a separating unit to the worker and complete the same journey as the side products through the multiple cross-cut saw and layer formation to the stacker. “Moving the side boards and part of the main product over the same system gives us enormous flexibility”, emphasised Wolfgang Kolb.

The new Kallfass plant is designed for lengths of 2.5 to 6 m and side products with a thickness of 18 to 100 mm. When stacking the main product, Haist estimates the thickness to be 120 mm. The sorting system is designed for an output of up to 50 cycles per minute, while the stacker can complete up to ten layers each minute. Kallfass installed the control cabinets and electronics in a container which was delivered to Kolb as a turnkey unit. The supplier also delivered the entire control system. The layout of the sawmill, with the plant on two sides of a stream, led Kallfass to construct the new sorting and stacking system 0.5 m higher. The walls of the sawmill, constructed with cross-laminated timber (CLT), are also at the same distance from the floor. “There are also no motors in this area, so the plant can begin operating quickly again following any flooding”, explains Haist.

Zweite Zuführung von Schnittholz in die Fertigung, second feeder of timber to production

Infeeding from the saw line: Side products on the upper level, travel towards the boxes.

Projektteam Kolb und Kallfass, project team Kolb and Kallfass

Hans Haist (l.) and Dominik Hauser (r.) with Wolfgang (2nd from left) and Fabian Kolb in the sorting system.

Mehrfachablängsäge mit vier Sägen, multiple cross-cut saw with four trimmer saws

The multiple cross-cut saw from Kallfass enables final trimming of the main product and side products before the timber enters the stacking system.

Visuelle Qualitätskontrolle von Schnittholz, visual quality control of sawn wood

Kallfass designed the new sorting and stacking plant for both the main product …

Visuelle Qualitätskontrolle von Schnittholz, visual quality control of sawn wood

… and side products. The worker can eject unsuitable timbers downwards through a flap.

Images and text: Martina Nöstler, Holzkurier

Holzkurier 47/2021

Visuelle Qualitätskontrolle von Schnittholz, visual quality control of sawn wood

Für alle Dimensionen gerüstet EN Equipped for every dimension

Planing unit no. 5 has been in operation at Rettenmeier Holzindustrie in Ramstein, Germany since April. During the design phase, those responsible placed enormous importance on achieving a high level of flexibility, as Rettenmeier specialises in particular in supplying DIY stores.

The goal of Rettenmeier Holzindustrie is to increase added value in the company. “That’s why we invested in a further planing line in Ramstein”, explained Rettenmeier CEO Dr. Stephan Lang. He indicated that timber production in Ramstein is 600,000 solid cubic metres per annum in two shifts. The capacity of the planing units is about 200,000 m³ per annum. The sawmill group distributes around 35 % of the products it produces in the DIY sector. 35 % goes to the specialist German and international trade, 20 % to the industry and packaging sector and 10 % involves sawmill by-products.

Hobeleinzug, feeding of planers

Rettenmeier CEO Dr. Stephan Lang and Kallfass Managing Director Hans Haist (from l.) in front of the planing machine feeder.

Rapid output achievement

Those responsible primarily focused on flexibility and, simultaneously, a high level of availability with regard to the new planing line. For this reason, mechanisation was entrusted to Kallfass in Baiersbronn-Klosterreichenbach, Germany. “We knew Kallfass would supply the solution we wanted”, Lang emphasised. The mechanisation specialist had already converted an existing planing line in Ramstein, and this worked out perfectly. In retrospect, Lang is more than satisfied with handling of the project. “I’ve rarely experienced such a perfect commissioning. We achieved almost 100 % output after four weeks, and 6000 m³ of battens had already been bundled in this period. If we had to, we’d construct the plant in the same manner again”.
Kallfass adapted the new planing line to fit an existing facility exactly. The plant can process lengths ranging from 2 to 5 m, widths of 60 to 300 mm and thicknesses of 14 to 120 mm. Issues relating to available space mean the vacuum lifting device destacks the dried timber packages in layers. A stick stripper brushes the stacking strips down and conveyor systems collect these. An operator initially assesses the workpieces visually in the transverse transport. Following this, they are checked with a Brookhuis moisture measuring. “Unsuitable timbers can still be ejected here”, explained Kallfass Managing Director Hans Haist. Kallfass subsequently installed the longitudinal feed in the direction of the WJS planing machine. Depending on the timber length, this can achieve up to a maximum of 80 cycles a minute.

„Kallfass handled the entire project impeccably. We achieved almost 100 % output within four weeks.“

Dr. Stephan Lang, CEO of Rettenmeier Holzindustrie

Zwischenlagerung Schnittholz in Filmetagen, temporary storage of timber in film layers

Unsuitable dimensions can be stored temporarily onto a conveyor in film layers and then fed into the production process again.

Resorting for higher quality

There are two options downstream of the planing unit. Timbers that can be classified as a higher quality through cutting are sorted out to the left onto a conveyor in film layers. These can be fed into the process again if, for example, a dimension change occurs in the planing machine. “This resorting dispenses with the need for a further stacking system and complex trimmer station”, said Haist. The majority of planed workpieces are pulled onto a cross conveyor behind the conveyor with the temporarily stored film layers. An operator examines the workpieces here, ejects timber pieces of unsuitable quality and, by drawing on the timbers, can determine the chop cuts. In addition, Rettenmeier opted for a bundling system. In the case of single pieces, this simply involves “running over” these with transport chains. Kallfass also integrated a labelling system in this section. Kallfass was already involved in the development of this solution at Cordes, and it is also employed in Ramstein. “Both the bundles and wooden strips can be labelled”, explained Haist.

Following this, the timbers pass through the tried and trusted multiple cross-cut saw from Kallfass. The saw is equipped with four variable saw aggregates. The layers are then transferred to the stacking system which is equipped with magazines with automated stick placement. The stacker is also suitable for DIY packages (i.e. quarter packages). Finally, the finished packages are foil-wrapped and prepared for shipping. When it comes to foil wrapping, Kallfass provided yet another machine that mills the grooves in squared timbers. “This has proven its worth on numerous occasions”, said Haist.
“The new planing line allows us to achieve classic four-sided planing and, also, separation, or simply tongue and groove sections. That makes us extremely versatile. Kallfass provided us with a simple, but extremely efficient solution that allowed us to cover all requirements”, Lang confirmed.


Rettenmeier processes four types of timber in Ramstein (including Douglas fir) to create products for the construction industry and specialist trade.

Leistenabstreifung mit Leistenbesen, stick stripping with brush

Following destacking in layers with a vacuum lifter, a stick stripper brushes the stacking strips down.

Visuelle Qualitätskontrolle von Schnittholz, visual quality control of sawn wood

A worker examines the workpieces and can realise chop cuts by drawing on the timbers.

Bündelungsanlage, bundling unit

Kallfass also provided Rettenmeier with a bundling system complete with marking station…

Mehrfachablängsäge mit vier Sägen, multiple cross-cut saw with four trimmer saws

… and the tried and trusted multiple cross-cut saw with four saw aggregates.

Leistenmagazine zur Holzleistenlegung, stick placement via magazines

Hans Haist and Stephan Lang observe stick placement and the stacking of packages.

Images and text Martina Nöstler, Holzkurier

Holzkurier 38/2021

Kallfass Sonderlösungen für Deckenelement-Werk

Leimholzwerk spielt alle Stücke EN Glued timber plant has it all

Multi-storey production for multi-storey timber construction

Step-by-step, Best Wood Schneider has filled its new ceiling element plant with more and more processing steps over the last few years. On three floors it now has a BSH line (glued-laminated timber) and a BSP line (cross-laminated timber) line, from which trimmed and glazed rib elements can be produced downstream. The bulk of the highly complex production was planned and realised in close cooperation with Kallfass.

With the “best wood CLT Box Ceiling”, Best Wood Schneider from Eberhardzell in Germany, has successfully combined the positive properties of BSP and BSH. The combination of glued-laminated timber and ribbed beams results in a structurally effective and at the same time space-creating timber element which is comparatively low in weight. Finish-trimmed and glazed, the result is a high degree of prefabrication with quick installation times on site.
Explained in a few short sentences here, these wooden box elements are the result of many years of development work, which also posed major challenges in terms of machine and plant engineering too. “We produce exclusively to order and offer our customers a wide range of products and finishing steps,” explains Schneider Project Manager Andreas Schilling and adds: “In addition, there is the complex arrangement of the production lines over a number of levels.” Schneider realised the plant over three storeys with numerous interim levels – the timbers are transported back and forth for the individual processing steps between the levels at 0 m, 6.5 m and 12.5 m by two lifts, before the automatic transfer of the finished elements to a high-bay warehouse. “This arrangement saves building land and above all means shorter distances within production,” says Managing Director Ferdinand Schneider, explaining the advantages of this arrangement.

Vollautomatisches Regalbediengerät

A fully automated storage and retrieval system links the individual processing steps with each other.

New production process

As one of the main suppliers, the tradition-steeped Swabian company Kallfass was commissioned for much of the planning work and also supplied large system components for all three levels of the production system. The Kallfass installation begins on the top floor where the single-layer boards are taken in. Elements which are later used for the transverse layers of the BSP, which is up to 1.25 m in width, are cut to length by a chop saw. The transverse layers are then lowered by a lift table and rotated through 90°. The downstream lay-up station uses longitudinal and transverse layers as well as a glue application station to produce the 16 m long layer package, which is transferred to the CLT press of another manufacturer.

“For the production of the ribbed ceilings we developed and realised a process with Schneider which had not previously existed in this form before.”

Hans Haist, Managing Director at Kallfass

After the press the boards seem to be spoilt for choice – but they always end up exactly where they are supposed to be, in dependency on each order. “A roller conveyor on rails installed by us picks up the boards and, in accordance with the instructions from the master computer, brings them to the glazing line, planer, trimming centre or to the storage and retrieval system realised by us,” says Kallfass Managing Director Hans Haist, explaining the options. The latter is fully automated, places the components in interim storage and links the individual processing steps with each other. For example, the storage and retrieval system also charges the rib element production system, whereby Haist does not wish to provide further details about this part of the installation, with the following reasoning: “For the production of the ribbed ceilings we developed and realised a process with Schneider which had not previously existed in this form before.” The rib elements can be finish-trimmed and/or sanded and glazed after production – just like the BSP elements.

Ready-made laminated beam ceilings

On the middle floor, 6.5 m above ground level, Schneider produces the laminated beam elements. This is dealt with by Kallfass and it transfers them on – depending on the order – for further processing or stretch foil wrapping, after which the elements are moved on to the high-bay warehouse immediately downstream.
In the same way as for the box elements, Schneider also offers its customers glazing for the laminated beam ceilings. If this is required, an inclined lift, also from Kallfass, brings the parts to the ground floor. Here, Schneider employees rectify any surface damage before the elements run through a two-stage sanding and glazing process. On this level Kallfass is responsible for the complete mechanised solution between the machines.

The glazed elements are transferred back to the middle floor again by the same inclined lift, where they are also packetised, packaged and placed in storage. From the high-bay warehouse the packages are transferred via a conveyor system to a central truck loading station, which was realised by Kallfass some years ago.

Erfolgreiches Projekt von Kallfass und best wood Schneider

Following the successful project at the headquarters, talks get straight under way about the next major project together in Meßkirch.

Maximum flexibility

In the event of a fault – for example, the failure of one of the two glazing lines – Schneider can reschedule the elements along the running line at any time. “This maximum flexibility in terms of production, namely that every element can run through all possible production stages and can be fed in and out at any point was demanded by Schneider and was one of the biggest challenges of this project,” stressed Haist. That this worked out successfully and all other promises made by Kallfass were fulfilled to the satisfaction of Schneider is perhaps best confirmed by the follow-up order: In Meßkirch, Best Wood Schneider is currently realising a production line which is envisaged to set new standards, especially in terms of logistics – from log deliveries to the finished BSP, the aim is to completely dispense with stackers. The systems from Kallfass will once again play a central role here too.

Kallfass Wender zur Positionsausrichtung

A turning device moves the element into the correct position. Since many of the timbers are produced in exposed quality, this is particularly gentle on the material.

Zwei Kallfass-Aufzüge verbinden drei Produktionsebenen

Two lifts from Kallfass connect the three levels for the timbers.

BSP-Platten lasiert und abgebunden

Depending on the order, the BSP boards are glazed, trimmed and/or processed further into rib elements.

Kallfass Sonderlösungen für Deckenelement-Werk

Kallfass is one of the main suppliers at the Schneider ceiling element plant and supplied numerous special solutions.

Erfolgreiches Projekt von Kallfass und best wood Schneider

Following the successful project at the headquarters, talks get straight under way about the next major project together in Meßkirch: Max (left) and Ferdinand (third from left) Schneider and Andreas Schilling (right) from Best Wood Schneider together with the Kallfass managing directors.

Images and text: Günther Jauk, Holzkurier
Holzkurier BSP-Special 2021