Timber Processing’s November issue spotlights Pope & Talbot’s softwood sawmill in Spearfish, SD, which has always been a survivor thanks to a little tweaking here and there to machinery and products. Small changes double production at Harrigan Lumber Co. Also, MoCo Engineering blends performance and durability with lower costs, resulting in more productive and consistent stacking and drying.
The new U.S. and Canada softwood lumber agreement kicked in October 13 at the stroke of midnight. The Commerce Dept. dropped the collection of countervailing and dumping duties that had been ongoing for more than four years. Meanwhile the Canadian government began charging an export tax on softwood lumber bound for the U.S.
Timber sales on the Black Hills National Forest (BHNF) have been well below the Allowable Sales Quantity (ASQ) since 1997 when the forest’s original land and forest management plan officially expired. Annual volumes in four of those years were at or below 50% of the ASQ, with the low point being 11.5% (9.5MMBF out of 83.8MMBF ASQ) in 2001. Total shortfall over that nine-year period is about 250MMBF.
Independent family-run sawmills are not yet a thing of the past. Harrigan Lumber Co. is still one of the steadfast family sawmills that hum along in rural areas, producing quality lumber and providing jobs for this south Alabama community. The Harrigan name has been synonymous with lumber production for more than three decades in south Alabama. Harrigan Lumber Co. was started in 1972 by William (Billy) Harrigan and his son Dwight.
The old photos they keep at the office say it all: Grinning at the camera inside in an unheated garage, with a chain hoist hung from a wooden rafter, MoCo Engineering principals Erik Humble and Chuck Moles are having a blast as they start a decade-plus journey that’s taken their company from small-time lumber stacker service jobber to major stacker manufacturer with growing market share as industry increasingly appreciates MoCo Engineering’s high-performance stacking systems.
“In the past, projects with the tribes were often looked at as short term and a quick way to make some profits and get out. We looked at this as a long-term commitment and as a way to provide the jobs the Yakama Nation so desperately needed.”
USNR installed a Precision Log Rotation System (PLR) at Tolko’s mill in Merritt, BC in 2005 and Kevin Moore, QA Manager, is thrilled with the results. He says, “We have a phenomenal recovery off the line because of it.” Log turning has been an area of frustration over the years for sawmills. According to PLR Product Manager Paul Strebig, “Any time you let go of the log, there‘s a possibility of unintentional movement that results in turn errors which will ultimately lower your recovery.”
Balluff’s BML linear position encoder family provides direct measurement of a load’s linear position regardless of actuator backlash or mechanical wear. The BML sensing head floats above a precision-encoded magnetic band that provides an incremental position reference to the sensing electronics. This configuration provides up to 24 meters of non-contact, wear free position tracking up to 10m/s with no signal degradation over time.