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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

Small Log Processing: A Quantum Leap in Pallet Wood Production


Small Log Processing: A Quantum Leap in Pallet Wood Production Traditionally, making money from the conversion of small logs is tricky. It depends on a lot of factors. For a start it is a quite complicated, with many variables. On one hand its seems attractive since small logs –– say, 100-400mm in diameter and 900-400mm long –– are easy to get and inexpensive. On the other hand it is a tricky business making a commercially feasible product from low grade timber. Sawmilling costs have to be carefully calculated in order to maintain a margin. This explains why manufacturers of suitable processing kit have dragged their feet in coming up with an answer. Now, Wood-Mizer has brought to bear its sawmill know-how to the small log processing quandary.

Complicated equation
A quarter of a century ago the company pioneered the technology of narrow band sawing. This is widely known. But now it has cast its beady eye on processing low grade timber too. Currently non-waste wood processing is becoming a European requirement and the use of narrow blades with their narrow cuts and high output is turning such cheap wood into a valuable commodity. Less energy is used in the process since narrow blades function with smaller engines. Furthermore, band sawmills are not expensive to purchase –– yet turn out good quality sawn stock.

Finding a balance
Aware of these advantages and under their AWMV trademark Wood-Mizer engineers developed a small log processing set-up that comprises not simply mills but also a series of materials handling conveyors.

The arrangement minimizes labour costs yet maximizes productivity. Such a group of kit is adaptable and responsive to changing needs in the market or variations in raw materials supply. The layout is quickly, easily adjusted to differing products’ needs. Costly, massive foundations are unnecessary, saving installation costs. Should the market temporarily decline, the set-up can relocate to a region where demand is healthy –– for example, where there might be a construction boom.


Small log processing – the kit
There are four sawmills which comprise the SLP set-up and they can be arranged in line or separately:

TVS – Twin vertical saw, which produces two sided beams. It has a log ramp and a bottom cross transfer conveyor for slab removal.
SVS – Single vertical saw, which converts two sided beams to three sided ones.
HR – Horizontal resaw which, depending on productivity requirements can have from one to six heads.
Edger / MultiRip that converts slabs into three sided beams that subsequent pass through an HR, too. The Wood-Mizer SLP set-up costs less than those of wide band mills. Furthermore, maximum energy demand is just 100 kW. Productivity is between 30 and 70m3 of logs in eight hours depending on log size. Ideal production area is about 150-220m2. Individual SLP components are designed to use the same blades and spare parts, minimising stock resources. The list of comparable advantages is long.

Wood-Mizer’s SLP idea is to stem the waste of timber resources. Business with Wood-Mizer sawmills is not only for producing boards but also for the generation of profit from logs hitherto viewed as commercially useless.
Its SLP concept represents a quantum leap in timber processing.


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