Small log processing, the principal demonstration, showed how small logs of often previously unviable species are converted to profitable lumber. It is achieved by a set-up comprising a twin vertical saw (TVS), a TVS log infeed system, a TVS slab cross-transfer conveyor and an edger for edging slabs before resawing. The main cant is passed to a single head splitting saw to remove the third side or split the cant. The three sided cants and edged slabs then pass through a single head resaw (although for maximum productivity a MultiHead is normally used) for conversion into boards.
The five-machine system, which incorporates the same narrow kerf technology as all Wood-Mizer sawmills, was demonstrated by six people. Generally, such a configuration would be economically manned by three.
The arrangement costs roughly 60 000 euros, compared with usually-utilised wide band arrangements at around 200 000 euros.
Combined power requirement of the line of five machines is 78 kW, whereas five ‘tra
ditional’ machines would consume 55 kW each, burning three or four times more energy. Theoretically, the whole line could run on an ordinary generator.
The system Wood-Mizer demonstrated is designed to process small logs from 10cm to 40cm in diameter and 1m to 3.6m length. In Europe it is particularly aimed at softwoods like pine, spruce, poplar and other minority species like western red cedar.
Worldwide interest is expected. From Africa, for example, where it could process plantation wood from either clearfell or thinnings of managed forests which would otherwise be consigned to landfill, burning or pulp. Typical African species would be rubberwood, acacia and eucalyptus.
The potential for sustainable harvesting of such common species is large. Currently, the pallet wood market, which relies on such species, is so competitive that dedicated pallet wood sawyers using traditional wood processing equipment find it difficult to cope.
Now, with lower capital investment and advantages like easy transport, faster set-up, less space (150m2
– compared to normally twice that area) and between 5% and 10% increased recovery of pallet wood, pallet makers and their components suppliers can look to a rosy future.
Wood-Mizer has designed this small log processing equipment to utilize common parts and blades where possible, and has made all components modular so that a customer can ‘mix and match’ to suit individual needs.