Gebündelter Erfolg EN Bundled success

Bois Brever in Luxembourg modernises its stacking and bundling system. The Kallfass system ensures precision production of many different products while simultaneously reducing personnel and labour costs.

Versatility redefined

A system for bundling, cutting to length, milling and stacking across a length of just under 18 metres: the Kallfass project at Bois Brever in Luxembourg is an impressive example of how customised mechanical engineering solutions can be implemented for medium-sized companies.

"It's impossible to put specific figures to the breadth of our product range. We produce what the customer orders", explains Carlo Brever, Managing Director at Bois Brever, in an interview with Holzkurier. "The diversity of products also increases the demands on the machine manufacturer, as their system needs to be able to handle all dimensions. Kallfass convinced us that they were the right people for the job and looking back, we can confirm that they were right."

The Bois Brever sawmill is located not far from the Belgian border, in the north of Luxembourg. With an annual cutting capacity of 50,000 cubic metres, this is already the country's largest sawmill by far. "To be able to survive alongside the large timber industries from Germany, Belgium and France, you have to find your niche and define yourself through quality", reports Brever, who runs the family business together with his daughter, Corinne.

Focus on making work easier

The firm has been a Kallfass customer in Luxembourg for over 20 years. "The partnership and relationship with Brever have always been excellent over the many years we have been working together. As a machine manufacturer, we value these types of customers particularly highly", reflects Enrico Goldhahn, Operations Manager at Kallfass in Wernigerode, Germany, referring to their positive and long-standing relationship with Brever.

After more than 20 years of continuous use, it was finally time to replace the stacking and bundling system in 2023. The aim was not to significantly increase output, however. For Brever, it was important to reduce labour costs and at the same time make the day-to-day work of what would now be the sole machine operator much easier.

"Automation is also a very important issue for small and medium-sized enterprises, and one that should not be ignored under any circumstances. With the new Kallfass system, we have modernised another key area of production. An investment that also increases our appeal in the labour market", explains Corinne Brever.

Kallfass Brever project team

Successful partnership: Corinne Brever with Enrico Goldhahn from Kallfass, her father, Carlo Brever, and Raphael Franzen, Technical Manager at Brever (left to right)

"Automation is also a very important issue for small and medium-sized enterprises, and one that should not be ignored under any circumstances."

- Corinne Brever from Bois Brever -

A lot of machines in a small space

In addition to timber construction and since 2017, solid structural timber, Brever primarily serves the outdoor sector and produces made-to-order planed timber. Boards, mouldings and profiled timber necessitate one thing above all: the need to handle small-scale products in production. "I don't know of any system in our company that has been designed for so many products. An exciting challenge for mechanising the individual work processes", explains Goldhahn.

However, product diversity was not the only challenge that the German machine manufacturer had to overcome. All work steps, starting with the downstream separation of the planing system through to the final stacking of the packages, had to be realised over a maximum possible total length of just 18 metres. "We had to economise on space and buffer paths wherever possible without losing continuous production flow", says Goldhahn, referring to the spatial constraints. For this reason, Kallfass also installed a vertical ascending conveyor at the start of the line: "We need the height to be able to re-stack the timber later on. Due to the specified hall width, we had to use an ascending conveyor based on the paternoster principle", reports Goldhahn.

The next step is for a worker to visually check the quality of the timber. Damaged goods, or broken items in the case of thin mouldings, drop directly into a disposal chute.

Kallfass Steigförderer, paternoster system

The key requirement is to save space: The timbers of up to 6.3 metres in length are conveyed up to a height of 2400 mm by an ascending conveyor ...

Kallfass bundling

before being transported to the bundling system.

Fully automatic bundling

This is followed by the centrepiece of the system, in which, according to Kallfass, "a great deal of experience and expertise has been gained over many years". Boards and mouldings are stacked fully automatically into small packages by the bundler, then strapped with precision to form compact timber packages. The system's capacity is designed for up to ten bundles of wood per minute. "Without bundling, it would not be possible to handle these large quantities of small goods", explains Brever. The advantages of bundling are also immediately apparent on the multiple cross-cut saw, as the ends of several pieces of timber can be cut at the same time. Immediately following the saw, Kallfass came up with a very special feature that absolutely had to be integrated into the system at the customer's request, and that represents Brever's high level of product diversity and individuality. "We have had a major customer for face-profiled planed products for many years", explains Brever, and Goldhahn adds: "To support this, we installed two milling heads after the multiple cross-cut saw, which also permit machining on the face side. The challenge here clearly lies in the degree of precision. The timber must be guided to the milling head with an accuracy of one tenth". After custom processing, the individual boards and mouldings are lastly stacked and transported to a strapping station via a cross conveyor before being transported to the warehouse ready for dispatch.

Kallfass trimming

System based on customer requirements: The mouldings are cut as bundles

Kallfass milling station

Milling tools permit additional profiling of the end faces

"We stand for quality with our products, and we have the same expectations of our machine manufacturers. The responsible engineers at Kallfass are always ready to listen and actively endeavour to meet all customer requirements. This is how positive collaboration succeeds across many years", summarises the experienced sawmill owner Brever.

Kallfass bundling

Fast and reliable: The bundling process is fully automated – from stacking the individual mouldings to strapping the small packs of wood a total of four times.

Kallfass trimming

System based on customer requirements: The mouldings are cut as bundles

Kallfass milling station

Milling tools permit additional profiling of the end faces

Text and images: Raphael Kerschbaumer, Holzkurier

Holzkurier 15