Timber Processing’s September issue spotlights Pine Tech, which continues to modernize an impressive red pine lumber operation in Lake City, Mich. Also featured are Rex Lumber Brookhaven LLC and Virginia’s Fortress Wood Products. The Machinery Row section highlights Sennebogen LLC, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in a new facility. The issue announces the SFPA Sawmill Safety Award winners, and the Newsfeed section discusses a meeting of the Wood Fiber Coalition. As in each issue, the Product Scanner section highlights new products.
Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) plans to update an older sawmill in Sonora, Calif. that closed in 2009. The remodeled mill is expected to begin operation in May 2011. The Sonora mill closed in July 2009 amid weakness in the lumber market, reduced timber harvests on nearby national forest lands, and increasing state regulatory burdens.
It’s full steam ahead for Rex Lumber Brookhaven LLC. That’s the name of the new operation at the former Columbus Lumber sawmill in Brookhaven, Miss. There’s a lot of lumber tradition in this integration, and an interesting twist on the Columbus Lumber side. On the Rex Lumber side, this magazine has previously depicted the highly successful sawmill run of the McRae family.
The driving force behind Pine Tech Inc.’s recent planer mill upgrade was the growing demand for appearance graded lumber. “With today’s appearance grade demand we needed to be able to pull an additional grade, which meant only 50% of our lumber was going to the stacker,” states President and co-owner Larry Markey. “To be able to pull more grades and automate all that hand sorting that we were doing we went with a trimmer and sorter installation on the output side.”
Fortress Wood Products, headquartered just north of the North Carolina state line, operates three wood products treating plants, all in North Carolina: Greensboro, Henderson and Elizabeth City. Fortress is one of many companies owned by The Lester Group, also based in Martinsville. The Lester Group started out as a sawmill in late 19th century.
In spite of overcast skies and a continual downpour, the mood was bright and sunny as hundreds of equipment dealers, customers and suppliers came together in March at the new head office of Sennebogen LLC for the company’s 10th Anniversary celebration and the grand opening of its new 54,000 sq. ft. parts and training facility.
Southern Forest Products Assn. presented Sawmill Safety Awards to 22 member mills and treating plants in recognition of outstanding safety records during 2009. Division I facilities produce or treat 50MMBF or less; Division II facilities produce 51 to 150MMBF; and Division III facilities turn out more than 150MMBF. Facilities with the lowest incident rates in each division receive the award.
Properly implemented optimization of raw board can improve yields by 15% or more. In a larger sawmill cutting an average of 80MBF per shift, two shifts, resulting in 40MMBF per year, an additional 15% results in 6MMBF per year, which at $225 per MBF equals a return of $1,350,000 per year.