Timber Processing’s April issue features a report from economist Henry Spelter and his peers at the Forest Products Lab, profiling today’s North American softwood sawmill. Also, the fifth and sixth generation Almond family has spent most of the last two decades developing a strong international presence.
RoyOMartin is selling its hardwood lumber sawmill in LeMoyen, La., 10,000 acres of hardwood timberland, certain recreational rights, and 20-year timber-cutting rights on an additional 140,000 acres of hardwood timberland in the south-Louisiana region to an investment fund controlled by The Forestland Group, LLC (TFG) of Chapel Hill, NC.
According to many lumbermen in North America, and contary to popular belief, the accounts of the lumber industry’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Fifty-three percent of the respondents to a Timber Processing Sawmill Capital Expenditure Survey expect their respective softwood lumber sawmills to spend at least $1 million for machinery and systems during the remainder of this decade, and another 12% will spend almost as much, at $750,000 to $1 million.
Since 1991, the percentage of Almond Brothers Lumber production shipped overseas has grown from 5% to 85-90%. “Things had gotten to the point that you either had to get real big or specialize,” notes company President Ardis Almond, who is one of six family members involved in the business today. “We found that we could convert to the export business easier than we could get really big.”
As of June 2007, the mainline softwood lumber industry in the U.S. and Canada consisted of approximately 990 sawmills. Their combined capacity of 190.2 million m3 (80.6 billion BF) employed 93,000, producing 171 million m3 (72.3 billion BF) of lumber and generated 57 million oven-dried metric tons of wood residues, excluding bark (Table 1).
Gregory Wood Products, Newton, NC, reports it has significantly improved operating efficiency and reduced wood scrap by replacing linear displacement transducers (LDTs) on an edger with the GEMCO 953 Series Vmax from AMETEK Automation & Process Technologies (APT).
A forestry carbon credits contract based on new protocols issued by the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) is available to owners of sustainably managed “working” forests through AgraGate Climate Credits Corp., which is a subsidiary of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. The CCX launched trading in December 2003 in a program allowing companies to purchase carbon credits to offset a portion of their greenhouse gas emissions.
Advanced Sawmill Machinery’s new Series 140 trimmer design is targeted at the hardwood lumber market. Featuring a chain-driven saw ladder in an enclosed oil bath, the saw ladder offers 12" saw spacing, torque limiter on each saw, no saw ladder belts to maintain and speeds up to 150 lugs per minute. This design is also available on ASM trimmers for customers with wider saw spacing requirements.