Band sawmill efficiency and economy demonstrated at Ligna
In the teeth of the recession, new approaches and techniques are emerging to exploit natural resources more efficiently and economically.
Typical is a series of innovations based on the thin kerf technology devised by Wood-Mizer 25 years ago. Its benefits have included high output, low energy consumption and minimal operating costs.
Now the company is taking it a step further. In response to the difficult trading conditions being experienced by producers and consumers alike, it has worked on its own manufacturing process. By concentrating on engineering redesign and through the application of ‘lean’ manufacturing principles it has reduced product costs and thereby its sawmills’ price without detracting from the functions of its timber processing machinery.
On its traditional outdoor stand at Ligna, new technical solutions to narrow band sawing were demonstrated….
‘Orange’ band sawmills and equipment
One novelty is its ‘B’ sawmill bed. This new bed consists of two-metres long modules providing the option to easily increase cutting length for single logs or even to load two logs end-to-end on the same bed and use one head to cut two logs in rotation. The low bed position eases log loading. The ‘B’ bed was shown with the small to medium LT20 mill’s cutting head at Ligna. The modular bed is disassembled for sawmill delivery on a pallet to slash transport costs. The new sawmill sits in the middle price range of the company’s mills. The LT20 series head on the ‘B’ bed at Ligna make for a useful mill for small to medium businesses.
The LT20 series itself is widely used on Wood-Mizer standard beds and can be equipped with an electric, diesel or petrol engine as well as with a hydraulic loading system. It can be used as a mobile sawmill, crucial to custom sawing. The LT20 series has upgraded ‘Setworks’ as well as an optional debarker.
Another mill adapted for hard times is the second smallest, the LT15 Series which is popular in Europe and Africa – indeed, in any location where there is a need to cut relatively small volumes of wood. Wood-Mizer demonstrated an electric version equipped with a 7,5 kW motor and optional debarker. The Wood-Mizer debarker in concert with thin band blades in effect increases blade life and therefore minimizes operational costs. The mill is fitted with an optional, upgraded ‘setworks’ replacing the previous version. The new setworks have more functions with a memory that permits several preset board thicknesses.
The smallest Wood-Mizer mill, the LT10 with a 5,5 kW electric motor, is shown on a pallet and is suitable for cutting limited volumes of boards on farms and estates for home purposes.
The most widely used Wood-Mizer product, the LT40 sawmill, was demonstrated at Ligna again. This is the reliable model that represents the lion’s share of 40.000 Wood-Mizer sawmills working around the world. The series has the widest engine selection. Diesel, petrol and electric versions are equipped with an auto’ clutch and the new setworks is standard. Latest design improvement is an optional wireless remote control which will be complemented by yet more advanced setworks. The Ligna LT40 was a mobile version with an hydraulic loading log system.
Semi-industrial wood cutting was represented by the LT70 Series. High capacity, increased productivity, reliability and safety convert this sawmill into the basis of the next level – industrial cutting. In 2009 Wood-Mizer is launching an LT70-Remote-controlled sawmill into European, Asian and African markets. The LT70-Remote has a remote operator control stand enabling the operator to site himself in the optimum sawing position. Normally, with the addition of an optional log deck, inclined conveyor for board removal and transfer table, the sawmill repeats a lot of features of Wood-Mizer’s most productive mill, the LT300. However, the Ligna machine reflects engineers’ incorporation of less costly components and the conveyor and transfer table are replaced by manual roller ‘out-feed’ tables. Another example is manual- instead of electrically-operated hydraulic valves to cut costs without compromising functions. In terms of overall operation the LT70-Remote is similar to the LT300 but costs 40% less. Productivity is about 30% less.
‘Green’ line of wood-processing equipment
The company also demonstrated components of its Small Log Processing (SLP) line which enjoyed a successful debut at the last Ligna. About 150 of the line’s individual units have been installed in Europe over the past two years. SLP components permit conversion of normally non commercial lumber into pallet wood or other products. Initial capital investment is minimal although throughput is high.
An SLP line consists of several modules arranged in various layouts depending on production requirements. Typical components are a twin vertical saw (TVS) log infeed system, a twin vertical saw itself, a TVS slab cross-transfer conveyor, a single vertical saw (SVS) to remove third sides, an edger and an horizontal resaw (HR) with a capacity that can be increased by adding two-head modules, up to a six-head machine.
A new Edger with a more powerful 18,5 kW engine, in-feed and out-feed tables was unveiled. Known as the EE20, the power feed is smoothly adjusted from 0-25 m/min via the operator’s control panel. It has two circular blades, one of which is fixed and the other adjustable. The Edger can be transformed into a multirip with five blades, one of which is fixed and the others adjustable. The moveable control panel can be fixed in a comfortable position and the mill design is modular with three components: cutting mechanism, in-feed and out-feed tables. It is more compact, easier and cheaper in transportation than its predecessors.
As a leader in narrow blade technology, Wood-Mizer also exhibited a wide range of its own blades as well as new semi-industrial blade maintenance equipment.