With the help of a Wood-Mizer sawmill, this Romanian family built a new home and is developing a growing woodworking business.
Eduard Ichim, an experienced carpenter, and his wife Monica, a talented wood carver, established their family business in 2001. Living in a heavily forested region of Viisoara, the idea to work with wood came naturally to them.
"I used to work in Italy and have seen how woodworking enterprises were operated there. When I returned home, I realized that it would be interesting to start a similar company of my own," recalls Eduard.
He began the process of cutting wood for his venture and tried several different approaches to sawing, while studying various products on the market, before he chose Wood-Mizer sawmills.
"First I liked the company history and the fact the Wood-Mizer was established in the USA," says Eduard. "Then I learned that there is a manufacturing plant in Poland with a representative in Romania. And when I received the quote I saw that the sawmill price was good, too."
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This was how Eduard came to own his first Wood-Mizer LT40 band sawmill with hydraulic log operation and put it to work for Nedymon.com, the family company founded by his and his wife.
The foremost advantage of Wood-Mizer technology lies in the use of narrow band blades, which make a cut only 2mm thick. Compared to other technologies, Wood-Mizer sawmills produce more boards and less sawdust from each log.
Eduard put this advantage to good use for himself in a very unexpected way.
"The day before I bought my first Wood-Mizer sawmill, my house burned down," remembers Eduard. "So we learned to saw logs on the Wood-Mizer very quickly and built a new house within a month and a half."
Less than two years later, Eduard purchased another LT40 hydraulic. And then only one year later, a LT20 hydraulic sawmill, his third sawmill! Behind his new home, the three sawmills are kept very busy. Logs are cut for eight hours each day, producing 700-800m3 of timber a month. Approximately 10% of the lumber is destined for local construction companies, while the rest, mostly spruce construction material, is exported to Saudi Arabia.
Eduard buys logs at auctions and from private forest owners, though getting a consistent supply of logs can be challenge in the region. Many forests tracts belong to the royal family and are not available for logging, which limits what is available. However, demand is quite competitive because large Austrian wood panel producers operating in the region constantly buy logs, and log prices remain high.
"To keep my sawmills working nonstop, I have to bring in a lorry of logs every two days," explains Eduard.
As a good master of his enterprise, Eduard works hard to solve problems and create plans for the future. Even in hard economic conditions for small family-owned companies, his business continues to generate profit. They feel confident for continued success due to their flexibility and capacity to produce various wood products at competitive prices.
Wood-Mizer sawmills are commonly used for this type of business. These mills provide both the flexibility and the high quality timber which keeps Eduard’s customers in Arabia pleased. And as a result, they are not simply growing, they are thriving!
In the near future, they have a plan to move the production to a new location. With this in mind, Mr. Ichim has procured 1.5 ha of land approximately two km from his home. A kiln dryer has been already installed at this site.
"I want begin pellet production because the sawmills generate sawdust that could be used for wood pellets. Currently I sell the sawdust to a neighboring thermal generation plant."
Eduard’s cooperation with Wood-Mizer continues as his business grows. He finds that for his application the LT40 sawmills and the LT20 work together very well. He would also like to install a Wood-Mizer EG300 multirip edger soon.
The sawmills use Wood-Mizer SilverTip blades with a general purpose10/30 profile that cuts well in both hard and soft woods. Eduard buys about 30 new blades a month.
"Right now, every operator sharpens his own blades, but when we relocate to our new location I am going to organize this differently: one specialist will handle sharpening and setting for all blades," shares Eduard.
Of course, business does not take up all of Eduard’s time. Every now and then he takes a drive deep into the forest on his ATV to relax. While he is gone, his wife Monica – a key person in the enterprise – is perfectly capable of managing the business affairs.
This is the story of how this Romanian family not only generates profit, but enjoys the freedoms which comes from owning one’s own business, and being able to work with wood, which is what they both truly love.