Timber Processing’s May issue discusses the latest upgrade at Southern Lumber Co., which is second primary breakdown headrig for large log processing. Oregon’s C&D Lumber has retooled with a new optimized edger and tighter focus on lumber appearance. Also, it is mentioned that the industry is maturing and the equipment community is consolidating, and the sawmilling business is as dynamic as ever.
A new monthly version of the international solid wood report, WOOD Markets Quarterly— now renamed WOOD Markets—profiles the rapid number of global consolidations and notes 15 companies globally now produce more than 1 billion BF and seven have the capacity to produce more than 2 billion BF. “At the start of the 1990s,” says Russell Taylor, Publisher of WOOD Markets and author of the report, “only three U.S. companies could lay a worldwide claim to producing more than one billion board feet of lumber.
For the past 15 years, the trend in southern pine dimension sawmills has focused on high-speed, small log breakdown. In recent years mills in the South have been gearing up for the vast acres of plantation timber now coming of age. But Southern Lumber Co. Inc., headquartered in Jackson, has taken a different tact with its latest capital investment. Instead of shifting over to small timber, managers here have increased their commitment to large log production.
Responding to ever-tightening log supplies and seeking higher-value markets, C&D Lumber Co. is benefiting from the recent installation of a new optimized LandEast gang edger and a continuing effort to boost product value by striving to produce blemish-free lumber. The edger system has increased recovery and production, while the installation of plastic transfer chains, plus plant modifications to eliminate lumber drops and keep lumber cleaner throughout the manufacturing process, is enabling the mill to more closely pursue high-end markets such as exposed beams.
The sawmill industry may be maturing, but that doesn’t mean it’s getting boring. Indeed, during the last few years the industry has been anything but stagnant. There have been mergers and acquisitions galore—and that’s in the equipment supplier community. New technology—derived from intensive research and development efforts by both mills and machinery manufacturers—is driving a dynamic surge of activity within industry.
Hands-on management has been the key to sustainable growth and keeping a positive balance on the bottom line at Bass Lumber Co., based here on the north side of Montgomery. Prices of raw goods have gone up and the prices of finished pallets haven’t kept pace, so those costs have to be recouped by gaining efficiencies. Pat McGinn, son of owner Larry McGinn, recognized that fact right away when he joined the business in 1994.
The CAE SL2000 Small Log Processor is the next generation in high-speed curve sawing for small logs. Profiler chipping heads and a vertical arbor gang are combined to produce dimensional lumber, decking or timbers in a single operation. A flying log turner and positive log steering maximizes SL2000’s recovery of valuable wood products from logs 8'-20' long. Curve control is achieved through adjustable anvils and feed rolls.