Timber Processing’s May issue presents Hampton Affiliates’ Willamina Lumber in Oregon, which has started up a new optimized log merchandising system as well as primary breakdown and cant processing stations. Also, it is discussed whether lumber quality and process control are about commitment or lip service.
The Siuslaw National Forest in western Oregon took a major hit during the past decade when the Forest Service began emphasizing wildlife and habitat protection over timber management, especially in Oregon’s Coast Range mountains, where timberland ownerships are fragmented. As a result, today only 16,000 acres in the forest are available for long-term, sustained timber management.
Hampton Affiliates’ Willamina Lumber Co. has moved into the post-startup phase of its new small log line here. Log throughput is averaging 10 per minute, up from six to seven on the previous system, and the count is reaching a baker’s dozen at times. One of the most progressive and innovative sawmill companies in the U.S., Hampton Affiliates installed a new, in-house designed log merchandising line, followed by an Optimil double length infeed canter twin primary breakdown, and McGehee curve-sawing gang.
What is quality control in a sawmill operation? Ernie Buckman, quality control manager, Bibler Brothers Lumber, Russellville, Ark., writes that quality control is a “Continuous process inspection to provide the best possible product for the end user while maximizing utilization of raw materials.” Buckman was one of 151 respondents to this magazine’s Quality Control Survey, which appeared with the January issue.
For the past 23 years I have had the pleasure of working with many sawmills to help them improve lumber quality and process control programs. One factor stands out above all others in determining the success of a quality and process control program: a commitment to quality excellence over the long-term at all levels in the mill. I will discuss this factor in more detail in a moment, but first let’s take a closer look at the term “quality control.”
More than 10,000 attended the 27th annual Wood Technology Clinic and Show March 24-26, and they certainly had plenty to inspect. Exhibits took up 115,000 sq. ft. at Oregon Convention Center here, and most exhibitors had something new to show off or talk about. Following is a slice of what was seen and heard at this year’s show... CAE Newnes, which recently opened a new office in Covington, Ga., highlighted several new products, including double-length and sharp-chain infers.
Hardwood Manufacturers Assn. (HMA) set records at its National Conference and Expo March 10-12 at the Charleston Place Hotel in Charleston, SC. More than 400 industry executives and 65% of all member companies attended the annual event. Highlighting the two days of technical seminars were presentations and roundtable discussions on handling treelength logs at the sawmill; log bar coding; drop sorters; starting a kiln drying operation; pre-dryers; and advanced sawmill maintenance.
Pallet Management Systems Inc. is stronger than ever thanks to highly automated plants like the one here. The Rogersville facility was established by PalEx to service a Chep contract and was taken over by Pallet Management Systems after PalEx dropped the Chep account. The Chep business, while demanding high quality, is high volume and allows for the straightforward focus of plants like Rogersville.