Mr. Vukasin Marcetic started his own sawmill company, Balat Promet, in the Serbian village of Radicevic in 1989.
"At that time," shares Mr. Marcetic, "there was a huge demand for construction timber. The nearest sawmill was 50 km away from our village. We built our first sawmill ourselves. It weighed eight tonnes and could cut logs only two metres long."
The small business grew. One of their first major contracts was from an Italian automobile manufacturer for wooden components in Italian luxury cars.
"We had to cut 300 poplar logs and each one was 2-3 metres in diameter! It was incredibly challenging," recalls Mr. Marcetic.
As the business grew, several Italian vertical bandsaws were installed to increase quality and production levels to a more industrial scale. In 2005, Mr. Marcetic transferred ownership of the company to his sons, Mile, who manages production, and Luka, who manages log supply, harvesting, and transportation.
Their main products are components for pallets that carry ceramic tiles, for the agricultural industry, as well as box pallets used in supermarkets to display fruits. Balat Promet converts approximately 12,000m3 of poplar and pussy-willow a year using their Italian bandsaws. The bandsaws use Wood-Mizer blades exclusively.
"Honestly, in the entire history of the business," shares Mile, "We have never had a Wood-Mizer blade break while running them on our vertical band mills. We have tried blades from many different manufacturers, but we finally chose Wood-Mizer blades. They were the best performers for us."
At any given time, six Wood-Mizer blades are running at once, so blade maintenance is done daily. Blades with the same tooth profile are used to make sharpening with the same CBN wheel easier.
Only recently did the company begin to use Wood-Mizer sawmills as well in their production.
"We had seen the sawmills at the Wood-Mizer Balkans office in Kikinda," shares Mile. "But we had never really considered buying them. To us, they just looked too lightweight."
In 2010, they purchased a used LT15 as the price was low and they decided to give the narrow band technology a try. The sawmill soon made a profound impact on the production. Compared with the Italian vertical bandsaws, the LT15 could cut longer logs with a higher board quality.
The following year, they purchased a Wood-Mizer HR115 horizontal resaw in order to make pallet material from wide beams 15-20mm wide.
Very recently, Balat Promet has installed a TVS sawmill from Wood-Mizer’s industrial line. "The Twin Vertical Saw converts logs into two-side cant in one pass," shares Mile. "Productivity is 5m3 per hour, which has significantly increased our output."
With two generations of experience running the family business, they are optimistic for future growth in the coming years.