Timber Processing’s September issue discusses Collins Pine’s new edger from Timber Machine Technologies. The inherent goodness of owning land creates a strong legacy for the Barge family. Also, Coastal’s hardwood mill undergoes a multi-phase modernization program geared to improving yields and efficiency.
A mid-August decision on the Canadian softwood lumber issue by a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) panel may send both sides scurrying to the bargaining table as the issue becomes cloudier than ever thanks to several non-definitive decisions handed down by trade bodies such as NAFTA and the WTO (World Trade Organization).
The newly renovated Collins Pine sawmill here is the kind of place where 20+ in. cants are regularly produced at the headrig, and where the small log line handles diameters well into the 20 in. range. At this random length and width cutting mill, new equipment and much-needed automation and optimization are making the facility more productive, efficient and competitive.
Forty-eight thousand acres of forestland in east-central Mississippi are owned and managed by C.A. Barge Timberlands, LP, based here. Stretching across Noxubee and Winston counties, the timber inventory is predominantly pine, accompanied by an assortment of hardwood species found along bottomland areas. The timberland primarily serves the Barge family’s grade southern yellow pine sawmill, providing Barge Forest Products, Co., Inc. with approximately 90% of the mill’s log supply.
Coastal Lumber Co. recently completed the third phase of its five-year modernization program at its mid-’80s vintage hardwood mill, located here. As one of eight hardwood sawmills in Coastal’s Northern Div., the Hopwood facility was selected to be the first to begin the capital improvement project in 2001. The program has provided significant improvements in yield and throughput, resulting in a nearly 50% gain in hourly production and an estimated 15% increase in overall recovery.
Over the past quarter century, technological advancements have enabled North American sawmills to increase recovery of lumber volume and value. Machinery improvements are the result of advances in applied computer technology as well as electronic and hydraulic processing capability. Most sawmill machine centers operate independently, not largely affected by the machine centers ahead of them (for example, variation in lumber thickness from the headrig has little effect on the edger or trim saw).
A changing raw material base and building products market dynamics are the primary drivers for the forest products industry’s continuing expansion into engineered wood products, providing manufacturers with new and profitable premium price products. In many ways engineered wood products—primarily laminated veneer lumber (LVL), glulam and wooden I-joists—are the perfect antidote for an industry beset by commodity competition and seeking new areas of growth.
Coe’s objective is to help customers maximize the value of each finished lumber package leaving the planer mill. The opportunity for maximizing value begins when the log is broken down into rough lumber in the sawmill and continues through the lumber finishing process in kilns and/or planing and final grading.