Timber Processing’s June issue features Ashton Lewis Lumber’s new sawmill in Gatesville, NC, which is geared for producing a long list of dependable domestic and export products with grade in mind. Lumber drying operations can ill afford to grow lackadaisical with basic drying practices. Also, true multi-zone kiln control must accomplish several objectives.
Neiman Enterprises Inc., based in Hulett, Wyo., completed the purchase of the former Pope & Talbot sawmill and pellet operation in Spearfish, SD. The 45,000 ton a year wood pellet operation represents Neiman’s first venture in the renewable energy industry. The pellet company will be operating under the brand Heartland Pellets, with Casper, Cheyenne and Riverton as three of the biggest markets.
Design and layout of Ashton Lewis Lumber Co.’s new sawmill, which started up in early 2007, reflects a different mindset from conventional SYP sawmill producers. High volume is not a primary driver. In fact, in comparison production throughput would be considered slow. “We don’t look at production like most industrial engineers would in a normal sawmill,” states owner and President Tom Coxe.
Doing the basics right is a good formula for success in most endeavors, but is especially true in lumber drying. Drying takes place in a big black box over a period of many hours or days, and so mill operators do not always make the connection between cause and effect. At FPInnovations – Forintek Div., we are working on a project to help make that connection. The project is called Best Drying Practices, and one of the objectives is to develop tools and methodologies to quantify the impact of various actions (or inactions) on drying performance.
Two positive developments in the 1980s were multi-zoned kilns and a moisture content (MC) sensor using as its basis temperature drop across the load (TDAL). TDAL has been used since then as the basis for controlling the lumber MC from multi-zoned kilns. However, control systems based on TDAL do not effectively control a multi-zoned kiln because individual zone TDALs are not comparable and, when used as such, introduce error.
Twenty-nine percent of hardwood lumbermen responding to a survey believe their operations will invest at least $500,000 in machinery and systems during the remainder of the decade. The Sawmill Capital Expenditure Survey, conducted by Timber Processing magazine, was completed in March by 80 hardwood lumber sawmill owners, executives and management personnel.
Titan Trailers’ R&D operations, Quality Control and Final Finish has moved into a new 37,000 sq. ft. facility at Delhi, Ontario that will also accommodate all scheduling, accounting and training facilities. Using his personal philosophy of “The only way to change the future is to invent it,” Mike Kloepfer, Titan Trailers’ President and founder, has done just that with the company’s new facility.
June 2008 marks the 20th anniversary for HALCO Software Systems of Vancouver, BC. HALCO was founded by Howard Leach, creator of the SAWSIM Sawmill Simulation Program, along with Tim Sargeant and Brad Turner. Since then HALCO’s software and services have grown to encompass the entire forest industry production process, hence the company slogan “Simulation and Optimization...from the Forest to the Finished Product.”