Following increases in demand for its sawmills (up 35%) and even more for its blades (50% more) in 2006, Wood-Mizer is expanding production of both, as well as extending its geographical coverage in its American parent's 25th anniversary year.
In Europe alone production of its band sawmills and ancillary wood processing kit went up 50% and already looks like reaching 50% more in 2007, according to Richard Vivers who heads operations in Europe, Africa and Asia. He explains:
“Use of our blades grew even more and are set to do so again this year, not only because of the enlarged population of our sawmills and secondary processing equipment but because of uptake by operators of non-Wood-Mizer equipment too.
“In effect, we’ll treat our blades activities as a separate business.
“Unlike our colleagues in the USA who are holding state-by-state events we hadn’t planned any serious anniversary celebrations but recent good news over here together with impending launch of a serious new processing system at Ligna in May, have created our own kind of party, he concludes.
The 1982 development work that preceded launch of the first Wood-Mizer sought a mobile sawmill transportable enough to saw logs in the forest and avoid the damage and cost of heavy extraction and transport. It would feature a patented monorail construction with a cantilever head that turned out smooth, flat cuts even on uneven ground.
The real breakthrough lay in economy and it is still the principal attraction of the various mills in the range. The narrow blades’ thin, 2-mm cut effectively delivers an extra board from each log, when compared with other sawing technologies. Less engine power conserves energy and cuts lumber cost. The cutting mode – board by board – gives operators a view of the wood’s grain so maximum value can be harvested from each log. Transport savings are possible because only final products are removed from the forest.
Since then, over 40 000 sawyers around the world have adopted the technology, increasingly in stationary timber processing set-ups rather than mobile operations. Cost savings, ease of maintenance and control, timber quality and environmental benefits have aided entrepreneurs – not least in Eastern Europe and in other emerging economies – to start and ‘grow’ their own woodworking operations.
“In many cases individuals’ dreams really did come true with these sawmills”, claims Richard Vivers. 25-years celebrations in style throughout N. America Portable sawmills vice president steals shows
In the USA where Wood-Mizer began 25 years ago, the parent company is celebrating in style with major events in 17
states, coast to coast as well as in Canada. Right, Dave Mann, vice president of the portable sawmill division performs his ‘Little Nemo’ act at each occasion. With his own head and the hands of driver-cum-show coordinator Chris Hooten, heplays a comic lumberjack, describing and demonstrating safety gear. The act includes cant hook and blade handling as well as physical exercises. His finale is an hilarious preparation of a high fibre lumberjack’s drink. On a more serious note, the 17 events include: educational workshops; past and present Wood-Mizer products; prototypes of future products; sawmill demonstrations; instructional ‘projects’ on-site; project plans which owners and spectators take home; good food; and live music. Even so, ‘Little Nemo’ steals the show.