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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

Resilience in spite of the crisis

Resilience in spite of the crisis
Throughout the crisis, this Czech company describes how they actually expanded into new EU markets while relying on four LT40s cutting for two shifts per day.

Pila Zachotin is owned and operated by Miroslaw Cekal in Pelhrimov, Czech Republic. In 1999, he bought his first LT40 sawmill, and since then, his business has expanded enough to warrant a total of four LT40s running side-by-side to keep up with demand. His sawmills have been entirely paid for, enabling him to invest in other equipment for his business.

Even with four sawmills available to him, the mills receive very few breaks. Mr. Czecal’s company runs all four sawmills for two shifts per day. One of the sawmills is configured with bed extensions to produce roofing materials.

Out of his 24 employees, eight are trained to run the sawmills. They cut primarily poplar, spruce, oak, and pine sourced locally in the Czech Republic, as well as purchased in Moravia, Slovenia, and Hungary. Their primary final products are pallet material, and oak timbers for builders. They kiln dry their own wood with two kilns each with 100m3 of volume.

When the crisis began affecting sawmills throughout Europe, Mr. Cekal took an aggressive business plan approach and sought out new customers and contracts outside of the Czech Republic. He found new customers in Poland, Slovenia, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

Four Wood-Mizer LT40 sawmill cut all day for two full shifts
"Before the crisis, we primarily only supplied wood to our local market," recalls Mr. Cekal. "However, we now have customers in five additional countries." Annually, Pila Zachotin processes 15,000m3 of wood. Slabs are not considered waste, but are profitable for the company, being sold as firewood to a company in Austria.

"To be honest with you, we have had so many orders, we never noticed any effects of the crisis," shares Mr. Cekal."I am confident in my LT40 sawmills. They are trouble-free in operation." He credits the quality and reliability of his Wood-Mizer sawmills, as well as the service and support from the Wood-Mizer representative in the Czech Republic, for much of their success.

More about the LT40 sawmill model
Wood-Mizer has produced the LT40 model sawmill for close to three decades, and more than half of the 60,000+ sawmills sold by Wood-Mizer are LT40s. Through the years, they have proven themselves worthy of their slogan – "The industry’s workhorse." Although they have been continually refined, they remain remarkably close to the original band sawmill first invented by Wood-Mizer’s founders in the early 1980s.

40 sawmill blades are sharpened every day. Blades are sharpened with the BMS500 industrial sharpener. Tooth set is checked and corrected with the computerized BMT300.
The LT40 cuts logs up to 90cm in diameter and 5-8.6 m long. Manual, hydraulic, or Super Hydraulic log handling configurations are available to match productivity and budget requirements. The LT40 Remote is a complete sawmilling production line.

With the standard computer SW Setworks, simply select the board thickness required and the head height automatically positions for each cut - no waiting for calculations. Forward and reverse movement is made by the adjustable power feed.

The blade is kept clean during sawing by a water tank which feeds lubrication directly to the cut. The electric blade guide arm keeps the blade supported while cutting various sized material. Blade tension is easily adjusted, and keeps the blade at the proper tension for cutting.

With the optional trailer package, the sawmill can be made fully mobile. The optional Debarker prolongs blade life by clearing away dirt and rocks from the bark. Various electric, petrol and diesel engine options are available.

We didn’t feel the effects of the Crisis, shares Miroslaw Cekal
Blade Maintenance is an essential component of sawmilling companies. Many opt to utilise Wood-Mizer’s ReSharp centres for worry-free blade sharpening. But also, many other companies take advantage of Wood-Mizer’s blade sharpening and setting equipment and learn the art of blade sharpening themselves.

Each day, Mr. Cekal’s company sharpens many DoubleHARD bandsaw blades for continued cutting. They use the BMS500 CBN sharpener to quickly and professionally sharpen the blades, and then use the BMT300 toothsetter to ensure that blade set is accurate.

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