A collection of stories and articles about Wood-Mizer sawmills in use around the world, new business ideas, and available market niches in the wood industry
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Xylexpo, Milano, Italy, 4th-8th May
Economies and new opportunities from extra-narrow band sawing will be presented at Xylexpo.
With an eye to the fragility of many economies, the leading manufacturer of narrow blade band sawmills will demonstrate what it claims is wood processing kit at Xylexpo that fits the bill.
Aware of customers' financial constraints, Wood-Mizer put sawmills and other wood processing machinery with enhancements but not with undue price increases on show.
Moulder/Planer could open opportunities
A moulder-planer attachment which can be fitted to the company's smaller mills and is expected to attract interest amongst log buildings producers was unveiled. Logs and cants can be planed or moulded to unlimited lengths and the attachment can be installed on the bed of LT15 or LT10 band sawmills. Called the MP100, its planing is achieved by four blades on a 4kW electric motor-powered shaft. Four straight (or shaped) blades produce a smooth surface to fit logs together. Changing blades is simple and configured blades can be fitted to produce beams, columns and other shaped wooden products. The fact that LT15 owners can install the moulding head on their existing mills' beds is significant. In effect, users gain entry to new, remunerative markets for little extra investment. To achieve such add-on services, Wood-Mizer recommends an additional bed segment to install the LT15 and MP100 heads simultaneously on the same bed. A log is loaded on to the bed and converted to a beam by the LT15 head which moves to the bed-end as the moulding head starts its work. Beam loading and operating times are slashed. Wood-Mizer claims its log moulder broadens the sphere of activities available to small sawmill owners.
More rugged mill goes remote!
A sawmill combining the attributes of two of Wood-Mizer's mills – one small, the other small-to-medium - without costing as much as the larger, will show its paces and now has remote control! The company explains that the mill meets requests from customers who operate the small mills for something more 'chunky' and with more functions but without recourse to a larger version. Now it has gone a step further, using remote control to deliver particularly large amounts of sawn lumber without sawyers suffering fatigue. Greater productivity and quality result, say the company. Actually, the LT20B combines what the market appears to regard as the prime features of both the small LT15 and the LT20 small-to-medium unit. The LT20B bed maintains Wood-Mizer’s patented construction but now consists of two-metre sections that allow selection of cutting lengths. Unlike the LT15’s removable log wedge, a new screw-jack on the LT20B bed improves tapered log levelling. Bed legs are adjustable for easy assembly. Log ramps and a manual winch are optional extras. The main advantage of the bed for the LT20B is the combination of modularity from the LT15 with the accuracy and equipment of the LT20 and LT40 series. The LT20B bed smoothly adjusts and logs are easily levelled. The new mill has the cutting head of the LT20 series with 11kW electric up/down feed, ‘Setworks’ and an optional debarker. The mechanised cutting head operations contribute to increased productivity according to Wood-Mizer. Other options such as different engines or equipment are also available.
Small mill's power feed enhances production throughput
Wood-Mizer's second smallest mill will demonstrate a new power feed function which requires less manpower. Electrical forward and back movement of the cutting head is improved as a result. The LT15 now requires less costly manpower and is certainly more efficient than with the standard 'crank' method. It can now be fitted with optional, upgraded ‘Setworks’, the computerised, pre-set dimensional sawing system, which replaces the earlier version and increases functions with a memory that permits several pre-set board thicknesses . Resulting production throughput enhancements contribute to the profitability of relatively small wood processing operations, claims Wood-Mizer.
Faster industrial band saw blades sharpener
Virtually halving the time its takes to sharpen and reset bandsaw blades, a new industrial scale sharpener will be in action. Wood-Mizer's industrial sharpener takes three to 3.5 minutes to sharpen a blade. It is designed to suit bigger band sawmills, be easily installed and its band blades removed simply. An electronic tooth counter can be pre-set to automatically cease sharpening after the full cycle. It is powered by a new 0.75 kW, electric motor which runs an 4280-rpm, eight-inch (203 mm) CBN (cubic boron nitride) borazon grinding wheel. All functions are controlled from an operator panel and an inspection window with LED lighting is added. The company's factory and field tests indicate that the new motor, large diameter CBN wheel and precise blade-feeding almost double sharpening speed when compared to its smaller brother. Wood-Mizer's industrial sharpener suits needs of productions with 3-5 band sawmills and its small log processing (SLP) system.
Automatic blade teeth setter
An industrial, computerized pneumatic setter gives very high accuracy of the tooth-set and ensures a high level of repeatability. It also incorporates an electronic control panel giving access to all the setting parameters required and also diagnostics should there be a failure. All these factors contribute to precise, repeatable setting from tooth to tooth – in turn providing accurate, straight cutting and a smooth surface. The Industrial equipment (sharpener and setter) is designed for enterprises where three, five or more narrow band sawmills operate as well as for Re-Sharp Service centres whose business is based on blade maintenance.
Small log processing line
Additionally, the increasingly used Wood-Mizer small logs processing system will illustrate how small logs can be transformed into profitable lumber. It comprised a twin vertical saw(TVS) a single vertical saw (SVS) an horizontal saw (HR4) and an Edger, one of many possible combinations. In times of financial restrictions it has proved successful in providing operators with an additional benefit that they can move their entire operation to other locations where profits are for the taking!
'Workhorse' band sawmill
Finally one of the company's mid-range LT40 mills will be demonstrated. The LT40 Series, with many thousands out in the field, is the 'workhorse' of Wood-Mizer's range particularly for the mobile operators who concentrate on custom cutting. The series, as with all the company's mills, can be used in stationary applications. Even so, many owners in Central and Eastern Europe use them in multiple shift operations clocking up tens of thousands of hours. With a range of engine, log handling and control options they can be tailor-made to individual requirements.
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