Timber Processing’s May issue spotlights the North American softwood lumber industry, which is enduring its fourth year of an industry-wide recession. The issue re-caps the recent Bio-Energy conference in Atlanta and provides an approach to gang sawing mechanisms. Also featured are motion controllers, which enable high productivity in integrated saw lines, and an exhibitor’s list for the May 21-22 Richmond show. The Newsfeed section highlights the release of payment numbers from BCAP. As in each issue, the Product Scanner section highlights new products.
USDA Farm Service Agency reported recently that biomass producers, energy facilities and communities are benefiting from USDA’s Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). Through April 2, USDA had approved 4,605 agreements for the delivery of more than 4.18 million tons of biomass and paid eligible biomass owners $165,274,695 in matching payments under BCAP’s first phase.
Since the beginning of 2010, softwood lumber prices have reversed direction from the long slide experienced through most of 2009. The question is: Is this just another blip in the market or the real thing? Several U.S. lumbermen contacted for this report are encouraged but not yet ready to say “we’ve turned the corner” on this industry-wide recession, now in its fourth year.
Our affiliate magazines, Panel World and Wood Bioenergy, hosted two conferences in early February at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center in downtown Atlanta. The larger conference was entitled the “Panel & Engineered Lumber International Conference & Expo.” The smaller was entitled “Bio-Energy, Fuels & Products Symposia & Expo.”
In the current economic environment, lumber mills are working hard to improve overall mill performance by improving grade-out and by increasing yield, throughput and productivity. Obviously, the gang edger plays a crucial role in each of these areas, because if boards exiting the gang are off-size, it affects all downstream operations.
The newest integrated saw lines are benefiting from sophisticated multi-axis motion control. For example, the Veisto Group of Mantyharju, Finland, has totally automated the log breakdown process. The company’s compact sawing lines (Figure 1) are designed to perform all of the processing steps, from handling of raw logs through production of made-to-measure finished lumber, in a single processing pass.
Proper roll position and tension are essential for optimum performance and efficiency of a planer and infeed system. Too much tension causes the boards to be delayed while they overcome the excess pinching action of the roll, while too little does not give optimum traction. Position too high or low has a similar result. A&M Mfg. and Pacific Fluid Systems have come up with a solution utilizing Moog Linear Servo Motors.