Timber Processing’s June issue spotlights Suwannee Lumber in Crystal City, Florida. The company brought in small log technology new to the southern yellow pine, and after a challenging implementation, it has “all systems go.” Gilkey Lumber tightened its belt and survived the recession of recent years, in part by expanding its global presence. Also, an overview of the Ligna show in Hannover, Germany is included.
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Timber Processing magazine Associate Editor Jessica Johnson visits Suwannee Lumber in Cross City, Florida. Southern yellow pine is gummy, that’s nothing new. What is new, however, is that Suwannee Lumber, after a few years of tireless effort, and lots of support from manufacturer HewSaw North America based in British Columbia, Canada, is successfully running a HewSaw R200 PLUS in place of its Chip-N-Saw line. The HewSaw R200 PLUS is a programmable logic controller-operated hydraulic sawmill. It is, effectively, as Maintenance Director and Assistant Mill Manager Wes Grant puts it, “a sawmill in a box.” Round logs go in, and very quickly flat boards come right out, stacked and looking like one of those perfect can’t breakdown solution illustrations.
Timber Processing magazine Associate Editor David Abbott travels to Rutherfordton, North Carolina to visit Gilkey Lumber Company. Gilkey Lumber Co., an Appalachian hardwood sawmill owned by the Parton family, is cautiously optimistic that the perceived recovery has a broad base. Mike Parton, Secretary/Treasurer for the company, states that the mill will be able to move back to near 100% capacity this year now that log supply and markets are supporting full production. Keeping the mill current with technology and maintaining a low debt margin allowed the company to expand with the export market's rebound and growth. Forecasts that favor increasing activity in domestic housing, large scale multi-family projects, remodeling and housing growth abroad are all encouraging news.
Sawdust Diaries is a new column in Timber Processing magazine that will appear in every other issue. Its author, Connie Grenz, has worked in the wood products industry for 34 years. In her June article, Grenz discusses maintaining optimum mill operations while upgrading processes and machinery. Grenz says, “You know what needs to be done to be competitive: innovate, recreate, modify and, whatever you do, you can’t stand still. The hardwood mill I began managing had not seen major improvements in production machinery for several years. Eric Schooler had taken over as president about the same time and so improvements were about to be made in a big way thanks to our hardworking, confident, CAN-DO type of team.”
Timber Processing magazine Editor-In-Chief Rich Donnell reports on his recent trip to LIGNA 2013 in Hannover, Germany. Donnell writes, “More than 90,000 industry professionals from 100 nations attended the LIGNA trade show held here at the fairgrounds May 6-10, and it seemed like most of them were in Halls 27 and 13 where many of the sawmill machinery manufacturers and suppliers exhibited their technologies and goods. The biennial event caters to all aspects of wood products manufacturing, from panels to furniture components, and also timber harvesting and wood bioenergy, but the worldwide lumber industry captured much of the attention.”
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