Timber Processing’s September issue spotlights Plum Creek Timber Co. for converting a softwood plywood mill into a high-production, high-tech southern yellow pine sawmill in Joyce, Louisiana. Amelia Lumber is in a state of constant change with its machinery centers. Also, high raw material costs and regional timber shortages are forcing sawmill operators to re-think log merchandising and to study where scanning/optimization systems are headed.
Lowe’s Companies, Inc., the world’s second largest home improvement retailer, has issued an environmental policy that gives preference to the procurement of wood products from independently certified well-managed forests and that recognizes the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) program as the company’s preferred certification system. Retailer Home Depot recently announced a similar policy.
Seattle-based Plum Creek Timber Co. made its debut in the South in 1996 when it purchased Riverwood’s Louisiana and Arkansas timberlands along with several of its mill sites. At the time, the facilities here included a plywood plant and sawmill, both slightly outdated and in need of capital improvements.
Amelia Lumber, based here, is a family owned mill on the move. A new dry end has just come on-line and there is a sash gang installation under way on the green end. “It’s every year or every other year that we’re adding a new machine,” says William Scott. “If we make any money, we put it back in the mill, particularly in the last five years because sawmills have come so far in efficiency that we try to keep up.”
Log bucking or merchandising systems are again a popular subject with wood products manufacturers and machine system suppliers. Even though the number of sawmills has dramatically decreased over the last 15 years, we still keep setting records for production. This production, coupled with better recovery tools, has driven the manufacturing cost down while the raw material cost has gone up.
HMC Corp. President Peter Taylor learned early on that his company could provide more for its customers by doing less. Always committed to excellence, this New Hampshire-based manufacturer has been a leading designer, maker and distributor of sawmill equipment for almost 50 years. Initially, the company’s thrust was in manufacturing its own line of mill equipment, mostly rosserhead debarkers.
Second-stage drying is a process in which latent heat from a dry kiln is captured and used to heat a smaller secondary kiln. Three second-stage chambers were constructed and three different heat exchanger profiles were tested. Twenty tests were run with primary kiln conditions of 250° F dry bulb and 212° F wet bulb. Equations were developed which predicted the amount of attainable heat based on the heat exchanger design and the temperature of the second-stage chamber.
In 1873, a young man named David Steele started a lumber business in Surry County, Virginia. Steele, a native of New Jersey, saw an opportunity in the forests of southeast Virginia. Large tracts of land and timber were available at low prices in much of the South, and this part of Virginia was no exception. Landowners, still trying to recover from the Civil War and the breakup of the plantation economy, were hard pressed for money.