PlyVisions 2/2003

Focus on technology:
Smart-Peel Concept
Schauman Pellos 3
Paneles Arauco
Sveza Ust-Izhorskiy
Alberta Plywood
Smurfit Rol Pin
Paged Sklejka Morag
Peeling innovation from Raute
Schauman Wood demonstrates
successful 8 x 8-ft plywood
Mr. Vesa Rautiainen, Manager of the Pellos
Operations: “Schauman has always invested
in new technology in order to reach the cost
efficiency that keeps us competitive in the
Chooses Raute as main
supplier for greenfield plywood
Investment in 5 x 10-ft plywood
improves market position.
Upgrade at Alberta
Plywood improves drying
New LVL lay-up system
offers full automation and high
Mr. Alexander A. Sovetnikov, General
Director of the Sveza Ust-Izhorskiy mill: “We
are constantly developing and upgrading the
operations process, implementing the latest
technologies and technical developments in
plywood production.”
Mr. Rick Hiraoka, Project Manager, Alberta
Plywood: “The dryer upgrade projects have
resulted in less handling, better recovery, less
downgrading and are enabling us to sustain a
higher level of production over longer periods
of time than was previously possible.”
World’s largest automatic
patching line improves quality
and productivity.
Mr. F. Brunel, Plant Manager, stated that
Smurfit Rol Pin decided to invest in
automatic patching in order to strengthen
their market position.
Growing and succeeding with
Raute technology.
Veneer stacking
Published by Raute OYJ, P.O. Box 69, 15551 Nastola
Finland. Tel: +358 3 82 911, Telefax +358 3 829 3200
Editor-In-Chief: Leena Färm. Editorial Group: Matti Aho, Jarmo Asp, Leena Färm,
Merja Hakala, Markku Korhonen, Rick Massey. Layout and art work: Non-Stop
Studiot Oy, Paul Hitchman.
Cover Photo: Kimmo Häkkinen
Copyright Raute OYJ, All Rights Reserved.
Reproduction permitted with permission from Raute OYJ.
ISSN 1459-3165
Dear Reader,
In the first issue of PlyVisions, we highlighted
our service commitment with customerfocused articles from around the world. This
time, technology takes center stage.
As a technology company, our aim is to
assist our customers in achieving greater competitiveness and profitability through improvements in recovery, productivity and quality.
Success by our customers in realizing these
goals will guarantee our own success.
With this in mind, this issue of
PlyVisions examines peeling technology, with
special emphasis on the new ‘Smart-Peel’
Concept, that delivers maximum value from
your raw material.
You will read an update on the success
of Schauman Wood’s 8 x 8-ft. plywood production line in Finland. Other topics deal with
veneer stacking, as well as a recent dryer modernization project that helped the customer to
dramatically improve his dry end operations.
A ‘hot’ technology issue - automatic veneer
patching - is also reviewed, as are the experiences of our Russian, Chilean and Polish customers.
So, Dear Reader, we invite you to discover how Raute technology has been of assistance to the customers profiled in the following pages. This same success is available to you,
Risto Mäkitalo
President and CEO
The Smart-Peel
Peeling can be considered the most critical step in veneer production
because quality and recovery are created during the peeling operation.
Smart-Peel Concept
Raute’s new
addresses the growing need of plywood and
veneer producers to maximize value from their
raw material, regardless of species, size or
capacity requirements.
Flexibility is the key element of the
Smart-Peel Concept.By providing the best possible solution with respect to raw material,
product quality and capacity needs, the SmartPeel Concept goes far beyond simply offering
one solution to suit the needs of all producers.
In Smart-Peel, Raute has created a common
peeling platform, which adapts to the specific
needs of the producer. After all, high capacity
may not be your most important production
concern. Perhaps the key concern in your operation is to produce the highest possible quality or, if you are supplying product to the commodity softwood market, you require highspeed production and the highest possible
value recovery.
The Smart-Peel Concept is the result
of three years of R&D and is part of Raute’s
ongoing efforts to provide the best possible
peeling technology. With Smart-Peel, we have
created a peeling system that incorporates new,
Optimized Peeling Geometry (OPG), precise
digital knife carriage feed and the most rigid
and accurate gap adjustment method seen yet.
Much of the technology has already been
proven under actual operating conditions with
excellent results.
Flexibility that satisfies your raw
material and end product requirements
Not all raw materials respond the same. A single peeling solution, therefore, will not satisfy
all needs with respect to capacity and quality.
The Smart-Peel Concept, however, does satisfy these needs because it is a purpose-designed
peeling solution,one that ensures that the maximum value is recovered from your raw material - high recovery, high quality, high production efficiency, high capacity. The performance
data collected to date from the Smart-Peel
Concept is impressive:
peeling capacity 5-50m3/h
18 cycles/minute and up
spin-outs < 1%
up to 10 % more recovery (volume/value)
veneer thickness variation coefficient < 1.5 %
Optimal Peeling Geometry (OPG):
synchronized control of key parameters
Veneer quality is created during the peeling
stage. Once created, peeling defects can’t be
undone later. For this reason it is essential that
the peeling process be tightly controlled, from
the first turn of the spindles until the core drops.
The Smart-Peel Concept achieves positive peeling results through the implementation of Optimal Peeling Geometry (OPG).
Simply stated, it means synchronizing control
of the key peeling parameters so that they all
perform in concert:
veneer thickness, Smart-Peel has a dramatic
impact on recovery and quantity of veneer. In
simple terms, Smart-Peel produces more
square feet/meters of veneer because of more
precise thickness control.
With Smart-Peel, veneer producers will
become used to the expression - ’extracting
maximum value’. This means going beyond the
usual parameters of high productivity and high
capacity. Producers must associate value creation with peeling performance because quality cannot be added to the veneer at a later stage.
It is a common fallacy that poor thickness control is easily compensated for at the press or the
sander. In reality, by minimizing deviations in
veneer thickness at the lathe, recovery in the
form of square meters of peeled veneer is maximized. Quality is thus assured and value is
achieved. This is the Smart-Peel philosophy.
Optimal Peeling Geometry (OPG) means synchronizing control of the key peeling parameters
precise block centering data
precise knife carriage feed
precise knife gap adjustment
precise block drive and position control
precise digital pitch angle control
These important peeling parameters are synchronized more accurately than ever before,
resulting in precise thickness control and fewer
spin-outs. Veneer quality is improved and
recovery is increased. Veneer thickness is controlled to an accuracy of 0.01 mm, from roundup to core drop. With such a precise control of
Tangible results offered by Smart-Peel
The benefits of the Smart-Peel Concept are
provided by its revolutionary peeling geometry that effectively eliminates a fixed back-up
roll assembly, opting instead for precise, 5point rotation and 3-point support of the block
during peeling. This control is provided by the
two spindles, the two driven back-up rolls and
the roller or flat bar. When combined with synchronized retraction of the spindles, the block
is under precise drive control down to core.
The digital knife carriage feed assembly also plays a key role in peeling high-quality veneer through the elimination of carriage
skew. Knife positioning is always positively
maintained and vibration is eliminated.
Digital pitch angle control further improves
peeling by optimizing vertical checking, a
major cause of veneer fracture. The net result
of these innovations is quality veneer all the
way down to core.
The common platform of the SmartPeel Concept means that adaptation of the line
can be accomplished quickly and inexpensively. Should your raw material change, for example, it is a simple matter of changing out components to suit the new peeling requirements.
Easy to learn user interface
Special attention has been paid to making sure
that the user interface is as easy to learn as possible. All important process parameters - pitch
angle curves, spindle pressures and peeling
speeds - are selected from the ’Recipe Library’
or adjusted at the ‘Touch Screen’. Frequently
selected peeling functions are also available to
the operator in the conveniently located ’Dual
Joysticks’. The operator is free to override the
automatic peeling process, when necessary.
All the elements of the Smart-Peel Concept have been
tested at Raute’s R&D Center, with many having been
tested under actual mill operating conditions as well.
During peeling, parameters are monitored in real time and displayed on the operator’s screen. All interruptions to the peeling
process, together with explanations, are also
displayed. Downtime reporting and login/log-out information pages are also available
as part of a Raute ‘Mill-Wide MIS System’.
Round-up lathe available
to further improve efficiency
A round-up lathe, installed ahead of the primary lathe, will further improve peeling efficiency. Pre-rounding of the block before peeling raises lathe productivity by up to 40%
because excessive knife wear is eliminated. This
has the positive effect of improving veneer quality also because micro-beveling of the knife can
be used to its fullest effect. In some cases, it is
also possible to peel unbarked blocks when a
round-up lathe is installed ahead of the lathe.
Smart-Peel is available as an upgrade
The Smart-Peel Concept is also available as an
upgrade for existing peeling lines. Raute is able
to supply and install lathe upgrade packages
ranging from digital knife carriage feed (DKCF)
and gap adjustment systems (GAS) to a comprehensive management information system
(MIS). The customer can decide whether to
carry out a whole upgrade project simultaneously or do it step by step. This second upgrade
option will ensure minimal downtime while
enabling a faster start-up. It will also allow staff
to undertake a more gradual learning and training curve.
By adding the latest technology solutions to your existing peeling line, you can
extend its life cycle and increase its overall efficiency. All Raute’s upgrade programs are tailored to suit your scheduling requirements. ●
Pellos 3
Each of the three plywood mills that make up the Schauman
Wood Pellos complex in Ristiina, Finland has been an
innovation. They have earned a reputation for production
efficiency based on their technically advanced methods of
operation. Schauman’s most recent investment, the Pellos
3 mill, was the first plywood mill in the world to use the
8 x 8-ft manufacturing process.As Mr. Vesa Rautiainen,
Manager of the Pellos Operations puts it,“Schauman
has always invested in new technology in order to
reach the cost efficiency that keeps us competitive in the market.”
Mr. A. J. Aarnio established a wood processing
facility at the Pellos site in 1963. Particleboard
production began the following year, followed
by the production of birch plywood in 1968.
Annual plywood production at the time stood
at 30,000 m3,making the Pellos 1 mill the largest
plywood plant in Finland. In 1983, the Wilhelm
Schauman company bought the Pellos mills
and in 1988 Schauman was merged with the
Kymmene Corporation.Since 1996,Schauman
Wood has been a part of the UPM-Kymmene
Particleboard production ceased in
1994. Eight months later the Pellos 2 spruce
plywood mill was started up and it was expanded in 1998-99 to an annual capacity of 200,000
m3. Pellos 1 was converted to produce spruce
plywood. A log yard and conditioning ponds
were added at that time. In 2002, the Pellos 3
mill started up, bringing the annual production capacity at the Pellos complex to an
impressive 480,000 m3.
Focus on quality spruce
plywood production
The Pellos mills specialize in spruce plywood
production. Products are sold under the
‘WISA’ plywood brands, with 93% of production being exported mostly to European countries, such as the Netherlands, Germany,
France, England, Italy, Spain and Sweden.
Production from the Pellos 1 mill is
used for industrial applications in the flooring
and transportation industries, and for construction purposes. Plywood from the Pellos 2
and 3 mills, where thicker spruce veneers are
produced, is used mainly as construction pan-
els. According to Mr. Rautiainen, the success of
‘WISA’ spruce plywood is based on cost efficient production and the technical qualities of
the product, such as its strength properties:
“Our aim is to provide the market with products that have consistent technical quality for
a suitable price.And for us, quality doesn’t only
mean the product. It refers also to the quality
of all our operations. We are proud that we can
offer our customers weekly deliveries, exactly
on time and to the shipping address they
Pellos 3 - the latest technology
for cost efficient production
Pellos 3 employs 140 people and has an annual capacity of 180,000 m3. The mill is based on
the 8 x 8-ft plywood manufacturing process
that represents the latest in plywood production technology. Raute was the main supplier
to the Pellos 3 project.
The engineering that has gone into creating the 8 x 8-ft manufacturing process is quite
sophisticated, although the principles are relatively simple. Pressed plywood panels are
made in dimensions measuring roughly 2.5 x
2.5 m, after which they are sawn into commodity sizes measuring either 4 x 8-ft (short
grain face) or 8 x 4-ft (long grain face). One
production line only, consisting of a peeling
line, a single drying line, a composing line, one
lay-up line, one 8 x 8-ft pressing line and a
panel handling line, is required to produce
180,000 m3 of spruce plywood annually.
Efficiency is ensured by monitoring and controlling the processes using the new Raute millwide MIS and production control software.
With annual capacity of 1.2 million m3, Schauman Wood is the
largest producer of plywood in
Europe. The company’s range of
WISA brand plywood and readyto-install components are widely
used in the construction and
transportation industries worldwide. All told, Schauman operates
14 plywood and veneer plants in
Finland, a veneer and plywood
mill in Russia, a plywood mill in
France and a joint venture operation in Estonia. Schauman Wood
concentrates its efforts on veneer
and plywood production with
special emphasis on product
The Pellos 3 drying line with 6-deck, 6200 mm wide dryer, is the largest in the world.
An efficient operation after
only one year of operation
The Pellos 3 plywood mill has been operating for
over a year now and Mr. Rautiainen has made
positive comments regarding the results.“We have
been very satisfied with the technical merits of 8
x 8-ft production. Of course, the practical experiences of large sheet production have caused us
to encounter many challenges along the way.
However,we have been able to come up with solutions in cooperation with Raute. The Pellos 3 mill
has already achieved most of the targets set at the
beginning of the project and, at this point, we
know we will reach the rest of our targets as well.”
Mr. Rautiainen continued, “Pellos 2 has
been the best performing softwood mill for a long
time with respect to wood yield, but we expect
Pellos 3 to achieve even better results in the near
future. In almost all other production parameters, Pellos 3 is already superior to Pellos 2.”
Peeling line control room.
The Pellos 3 Mill Delivery
log debarking and cutting line
peeling line
automatic green veneer storage
drying line
core composing line
automatic lay-up line
prepressing and pressing line
sawing and grading line
puttying line
storage system
sanding and grading line
packaging line
millwide MIS and plywood
production control software
According to Mr. Rautiainen, the main
reason behind the decision to base production
on the 8 x 8-ft process was efficiency.“We needed to invest in efficient production technology, but it was just as important to maintain the
same ‘WISA’ product quality as in the Pellos 1
and 2 mills. The starting point was that new
technology would be required in order to
achieve the cost efficiency needed to be competitive in the market. Technical and operational quality then had to be based on the new
Valuable experience from Pellos 2
The 8 x 8-ft. concept had already evolved during discussions between Raute and Schauman
Wood prior to the Pellos 2 project being undertaken. The advantages of large sheet production were already apparent at that stage. Mr.
Rautiainen,stated,“Just think about sawing the
pressed panel into its final 8x4 dimension. The
8 x 8-ft process saves considerable trim loss
because the only loss is the width of the saw
blade, compared with the considerable trim
loss in conventional 8x4 production. The fact
that there are 50% fewer panels to be handled
prior to saw line stacker also results in numerous production advantages.”
Experience gained from the Pellos 2
mill has been successfully applied in the Pellos
3 operation. There are many similarities to be
found in both mills. For example, core material at the Pellos 2 mill is in the 8 x 8-ft dimension prior to lay-up, at which point it is sawn
into cross bands.
The training of operating and maintenance
personnel for the new Pellos 3 mill was
arranged in cooperation with local employment authorities and was based on a tailormade training and recruiting program. In
2001, Pellos trained four groups of 20 people.
When Pellos 3 moved to its continuous threeshift operation in the summer of 2002, 50 more
personnel were trained. At first, hands-on
training was undertaken by personnel at Pellos
2, after which they were transferred to Pellos
3, once it became operational.
that clearly reduces the number of operators.
Handling fewer large sheets and only one common sheet size means better raw material utilization and a more efficient production
process. The use of foam gluing in the automatic lay-up means less glue consumption and
shorter pressing times. It also raises the possibility of being able to utilize veneers with
higher moisture contents in the pressing operation. The 8 x 8-ft size also provides greater
flexibility. For example, we can easily make
both long grain and short grain faced plywood.”
Mr. Rautiainen went on to emphasize
the importance of on-line monitoring and
process measurement. “It is essential to have
real-time feedback from the process at all
times. This information, and the actions taken
based on the information, are the only way to
keep recovery high and maintain efficient
operation.” ●
Automatic dry veneer grading by Mecano VDA visual defect analyzer and moisture meter.
There are many similarities between
the Pellos 2 and 3 mills due to the fact that
they are producing the same product,
Schauman management wanted to ensure the
flow of know-how from the number 2 mill to
the number 3 mill. For that reason, experienced shift supervisors and key operators from
Pellos 2 were moved to Pellos 3. As Mr.
Rautiainen explained, “To ensure quality and
efficiency, we continuously benchmark and
exchange technical and production intelligence between all three mills. We call this the
Pellos synergy.”
Fully-automated production
well received by operators
The handling of 8 x 8-ft veneer lends itself to
the benefits of automation, but also requires
an automated process in order to be efficient.
Manual handling of the veneer is not feasible,
due to the large dimensions of the sheets. For
this reason, it became evident that the Pellos 3
mill needed to be as fully-automatic an operation as possible. According to Mr. Rautiainen,
feedback from the operators has been very positive. In his words, the operators feel a high
degree of professional pride in being able to
produce quality plywood with the latest production technology.
Simple production process
combined with real-time information
The 8 x 8-ft pre-pressed panels are automatically fed
into the hot press.
The pressed 8 x 8-ft raw panels are sawn into
8 x 4-ft finished panel size.
Mr. Rautiainen summed up the benefits of
8 x 8-ft plywood manufacturing. “Having one
automatic production line is a simple solution
Paneles Arauco S.A. has chosen Raute as the main equipment sup-
plier to their greenfield ‘Itata’ plywood plant, to be located in Nueva
Aldea, 50 km northeast of Concepcion, Chile. The project has been
named after the nearby Itata River. Delivery is set for late 2003 and
early 2004, with the plant to be operational by the end of 2004.
Arauco’s cooperation with Raute started with a project at their
first plywood mill in Los Horcones. The mill was built in two
phases and is now producing over 1000 m3 of plywood per day.
is one of the world’s largest
forestry enterprises in terms of available plantation timber, production of kraft pulp, sawn
lumber and panels. The company’s forest plantations and industrial facilities are located in
Chile and Argentina. Paneles Arauco S.A. was
founded in 1995 to produce plywood and other
panels from radiata pine.
All wood raw material comes from
Arauco’s own 600,000-hectar well-managed
radiata pine plantations. Systematic pruning,
which Arauco started in the 1970s, produces
first-class branchless logs. For this reason, a
major part of the Arauco plywood is A- or Bgrade sanded plywood.
Repeat order from Raute
Capacity of the new Itata plant will be 210,000
m3 /year of sanded high quality pine plywood
sold under the AraucoPly brand. Raute will
supply the veneer manufacturing equipment,
automatic gluing and lay-up lines and panel
handling lines for the new plant. The delivery
will include one 8-ft and one 4-ft high-tech
peeling line, log cutting, three drying and grading lines with automatic feeders, dry veneer
stackers and Mecano moisture meters, one
VDA visual defect analyzer for grading, two
core composers, two automatic lay-up lines,
panel repairing and packaging lines. Raute will
also supply by-product processing systems for
turning process wastes into pulp chips and to
fuel for the power plant. Reasons cited by
Arauco for their decision to buy from Raute
were Raute’s advanced plywood technology
and understanding of the processing requirements for the mill’s raw material, plantation
High level of automation
In order to further improve productivity and
quality, the level of automation will be higher
than in Arauco’s first plywood mill. The two
automatic lay-up lines, Mecano VDA and the
advanced veneer moisture management systems
included will help achieve these goals. Cross
grain veneers will be processed efficiently as a
single 4 x 8 ft sheet throughout the process with
a 4-ft peeling line and a 6,2 meters wide dryer.
Previous mill delivery to
Arauco Los Horcones mill
Arauco’s cooperation with Raute started with
a similar project at their first plywood mill in
Los Horcones. The mill was built in two phases and is now producing over 1000 m3 of plywood
per day. The deliveries comprised three veneer
peeling lines, four veneer drying and grading
lines, four veneer composing lines, semi-automatic gluing stations and four 40-daylight hot
presses with pre-presses. Trimming, sanding,
grading and patching lines were also included.
In connection with the new order,
Arauco has placed an order for an automatic
lay-up line and two Mecano VDA veneer grading systems for this plywood mill. ●
Sveza Ust-Izhorskiy
Plywood mill, Russia
Mr. Alexander A. Sovetnikov, General Director of
the Sveza Ust-Izhorskiy plywood mill.
The Ust-Izhorskiy mill in
St.Petersburg, Russia has
a long history in the
plywood industry.
Established in 1910, UstIzhora is today part of the
Sveza group, a verticallyintegrated holding
company that owns
several lumber and woodprocessing companies in
Northwest and Central
Russia. Sveza, whose core
business is in the woodbased panel industry, also
owns the Fanplit and
Novator plywood mills.
The total capacity of the
three mills is around
300,000 m3 of birch
veneer annually.
From small beginning
comes major growth
The plywood mill that now goes by the name
Ust-Izhorskiy was founded as a privatelyowned plywood mill by Russian engineer and
technologist Vladimir Khorvat. In 1910, the
projected annual capacity of veneer was a mere
80 m3, which today equals less than one day’s
production. Following reconstruction in 1935,
the mill became one of the largest state enterprises in the USSR involved in the manufacture
of plywood. In 1949, the mill began exporting
its products for the first time. Two years later,
in April of 1951, the name of the plant was
changed to Ust-Izhorskiy plywood mill. It
remained that way until 1991 at which time it
underwent restructuring into a privately-held,
joint-stock company. In 1997, the company was
again restructured into a public company,
becoming part of the Sveza Holding Company.
Today, the Ust-Izhorskiy plywood mill
is one of the largest companies of its kind in
Northwest Russia with a project capacity of over
100,000 m3. At the moment, annual production
of the mill exceeds 85,000 m3 of veneer and 3000
m3 of form-pressed plywood.The product range
includes dried veneer,medium and higher water
resistant veneer, bakelite plywood, wood plastics, slats, form-pressed and other plywood
products, all sold under the Sveza brand.
Ust-Izhorskiy utilizes Russian birch as
its raw material, which is brought to the mill
in St. Petersburg from the Northwest, Central
and Volgo-Viatskiy areas of Russia, as well as
the Sverdlovskaya region. Logs are transported by train and truck, and along the Izhorka
River during the summer.
According to Ms. Ludmila Bobrova,
Deputy Director for Production of the UstIzhorskiy mill, 80 % of the mill’s production
is exported to countries such as USA, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and China.
Customers are mainly in the furniture, construction, automobile, and carriage building
5 x 10-ft investment
improves market position
The Ust-Izhorskiy plywood mill has invested
in Raute technology on a number of occasions.
The latest investment, a 36,000 m3 plywood
mill for making 5 x 10-ft plywood, was started up in 2001. The delivery included log handling, peeling and drying lines, veneer and byproduct handling, a pressing line and a grading line for sanded plywood.
Mr. Victor Melnik, Technical Director
of the Ust-Izhorskiy plywood mill, stated that
the underlying goals in making the investment
in 5 x 10-ft plywood were to improve quality
and raise capacity, as well as to take advantage
of improving Ust-Izhorskiy’s market position
by broadening the range of products the company is able to offer. Better efficiency was also
an important factor behind the investment decision. Raute’s highly automated production lines
will reduce the level of manual labor that is
required in the mill.
Mr. Melnik further explained the company’s decision to purchase Raute technology.
“Our philosophy is the continuous improvement and upgrading of our production
processes. Therefore, we need reliable partners
in order to achieve this. We know we can trust
Raute because they know our raw material and
are continuously carrying out research and
development of their own technologies.”
According to Mr. Melnik, most of the goals set
for the project have already been reached:
“Raute has been a reliable partner and has
responded quickly to problem situations.”
Operators adapt well to automation
The Ust-Izhorskiy plywood mill’s 5 x 10-ft production is highly automated. The peeling line is
fully automated and has a capacity of 10 m3/h
at a block diameter of 215 - 225 mm. Ms.
Bobrova stated that the operators have adapted
well to the automation. “All in all, I have to say
that Raute’s way of implementing automation
is quite clear and rational. On our side, we wanted to ensure an optimal start-up by choosing
both experienced operators from our other production lines and by hiring young, open-minded people from outside. We have also been quite
satisfied with the training provided by Raute.”
When asked about Ust-Izhorskiy’s
plans for the future, Ms. Bobrova stated, “Of
course, everything is dependent on how the
plywood markets develop. Our development
strategy is mainly aimed at export. The major
goal is to improve the market position of UstIzhorskiy plywood mill. To achieve that, we are
constantly developing and upgrading the operations process, implementing the latest technologies and technical developments in plywood production, extending our product
range, and increasing the level of training for
our personnel. ” ●
Mr. Victor Melnik, Technical Director and Ms.
Ludmila Bobrova, Deputy Director for Production.
Upgrade at
During the 90’s, plywood mills in North America went from
averaging around 180 million sqft (3/8 inch basis) or
160,000 m3 of production annually to around 225 million
sqft (3/8 inch basis) or 200,000 m3, a significant increase.
For the most part
, mills have been
able to make adjustments to their production
equipment to accommodate this growth.
Often, however, bottlenecks in production
have been created. Dryers, in particular, are
often called upon to exceed their original production design limits. A proven solution is to
undertake a modernization program aimed at
improving equipment efficiency and lowering
operating costs. Raute recently completed a
comprehensive dryer modernization program
at Alberta Plywood in Edmonton with positive
The mill, a division of West Fraser
Timber Company Ltd., has been in operation
for over 40 years. It produces approximately
245 million sqft (3/8 inch basis) or 225,000 m3
of plywood annually, mostly from veneer produced at its mill in Slave Lake, north of
Edmonton, Alberta.
Part of a complete dry end upgrade
Inefficient dryer production prompted Alberta
Plywood management to undertake a comprehensive dry end modernization, beginning
in 2002. Raute Wood, Canada was successful
in securing the project, which included the
installation of two 9-bin dry veneer stacking
systems,VDA G2 camera graders and upgrades
to two dryers. The mill’s intention was to
improve efficiency of the drying lines, which
had inadequate controls, poor production volumes and lack of automation.
Said Alberta Plywood’s Project
Manager, Rick Hiraoka, “After studying the
situation at our mill, we determined that
improvements needed to made at the dryers.
These included improving grading accuracy,
better energy utilization, reducing overdry,
raising the efficiency of our dryer production,
eliminating double feeding, reducing manpower, getting a tighter handle on moisture
control and improving ergonomics for the
Starting at the infeed to both dryers,
Raute installed sheet accumulators to reduce
idle time between load changes and ensure a
high fill ratio in the dryers. While supporting
the last few sheets in the stack, the new stacks
of wet veneer are conveyed onto the hoists in
Alberta Plywood
From left: Mr. Rick Hiraoka, Project Manager,
Mr. Trevor Wendt, Raute Area Sales Manager, and
Mr. Chris Fowler, Quality Control Supervisor.
front of the dryer. Once the loads are in place,
the rolls retract and the feeding operation continues without any lost time at the dryer infeed.
A 3-head vacuum feeder was also
installed to automatically feed full sheets to
the dryer feeder. One operator only is required
to monitor the process. “The vacuum feeder
quickly demonstrated its value in terms of
labor savings and its ability to reduce the risk
of repetitive motion injury”, stated Mr.
Hiraoka. The incidence of sheet splitting has
also been eliminated, as has double feeding,
lessening the chances of plug-ups and helping
to maintain a constant volume of veneer
through the dryer. Overlap gates were also
installed to eliminate gaps between sheets in
the direction of flow and further improve the
fill ratio of the dryer.
At the outfeed ends of both dryers,
sequential unloaders were installed to ensure
the even flow of material out of the dryer and
onto the outfeed conveyor. Prior to installation of the dry stackers, veneer had been hand
pulled, a labor-intensive process that was inefficient and often resulted in poor grading.
According to Quality Control Supervisor, Chris Fowler, the project proceeded
with minimal disruption to production. “We
timed the job to meet our dryer clean-out
schedule, which meant we experienced a minimal amount of production interruption.
Good planning up front paid dividends.”
New controls tie it all together
The inclusion of a veneer sheet accumulator and three-head vacuum feeder ahead of the dryer
has greatly improved dryer efficiency by raising throughput and maintaining a high fill ratio.
Moisture meters were installed ahead
of each stacker. The moisture data is used to
control dryer speed. If the data indicates that
veneer is too dry, the dryer will be sped up. If
too wet, the dryer will be automatically slowed
down. Said Mr. Hiraoka, “We have only been
operating with humidity and moisture control
for a short time and we are experimenting with
these two important elements of the drying
operation before we go to fully automatic operation. Before, all elements of the drying operation were handled manually, so we see good
potential for automated control.”
A dry chain was installed on one dryer
to handle dry randoms. On the other line, a
sheet refeeder was installed. The moisture
meter determines final moisture content as the
veneer enters the dry stacker. Overwet veneer
is assigned to bins in the stacker, after which it
is sent for redrying. Veneer only marginally
over the moisture threshold is stored off-line
to enable moisture equalization, after which it
is reintroduced to the dry stacker infeed conveyor by the sheet refeeder.
Prior to the modernization, dryer control was
unsophisticated, relying on the operator’s
experience with no analytical evaluation of the
drying process.
Controls consisted of push-buttons,
manual damper control, analog indicators and
manual speed control. The operator had no
way of determining the atmospheric condition
in each zone. Raute installed a humidity analyzer on each of the three zones per dryer to
provide accurate humidity measurement. Data
is used to control damper actuator motors,
which control the amount of humidity present inside the dryer. This ensures that the
atmosphere inside the dryer is kept at its optimum level to prevent case hardening of the
veneer and to ensure that the super-heated
steam inside the dryer is properly utilized for
All functions of the dryer are now tied
to a central location and are easily accessible
from a touch-screen monitor. Both dryers now
have touch-screen control, as well as reporting
and troubleshooting capabilities, due to the
inclusion of a Raute Management Information
System (MIS). The MIS. provide data on energy consumption, downtime causes, overdry/
overwet veneer and other valuable drying information.
Camera grading proves valuable
Part of the dryer modernization project included installation of VDA G2 camera graders
ahead of each dry stacker has also proven to be
The mill installed cameras at the 90º transfer after the dryer to
enable the dry stacker attendant to monitor the dryer outfeed.
a valuable inclusion in the mill’s dry end operations. Stated Rick Hiraoka in support of the
mill’s decision to install the automatic graders,
“I suppose the thing we have noticed most is
the consistency of the grading, which was never
the case before. We are also realizing better
value from our wood because we are finding
higher grades in the mix and we are not losing
good wood through downgrading, as we did
projects at the mill in 10 years, it was quite a
shock to the employees, who had to learn new
technology and deal with work in progress.
Raute provided good training and always had
sufficient staff on hand to deal with any problems that arose.Our desire to deal with an OEM
that provides good service is one of the reasons
why we chose Raute, and they haven’t disappointed us”, he added. ●
Upgrade yields positive results
“The dryer upgrade projects have resulted in
less handling, better recovery, less downgrading and are enabling us to sustain a higher level
of production over longer periods of time than
was previously possible. We also have less forklift activity because of the better loads coming
out of the dry stackers”, stated Project Manager,
Rick Hiraoka, who had responsibility for both
the dry stacker and dryer modernization projects at the mill.
“I have to say that our overall experience in dealing with Raute on these projects
was very positive. As these were the first major
A sheet refeeder feeds sheets of dry veneer back onto the infeed conveyor ahead of the dry stacker.
New dryer infeed system comprises a sheet accumulator and 3-head vacuum feeder.
Lay-up System
The process of automating LVL lay-up presents numerous
challenges, due to the inconsistency of the wood itself.
Sheet feeders use vacuum to place sheets onto the conveyor without causing damage to the veneer sheets.
Drying, in particular, causes significant changes
in the characteristics of wood.As the water evaporates, the veneer shrinks. The amount of
shrinkage will depend on which part of the tree
the veneer came from and the set-up of the dryer
itself. Heartwood shrinkage, for example, differs
considerably from that of sapwood. Each sheet
of dry veneer also varies in surface quality, the
degree of waviness, and the size and numbers
of defects, such as knotholes and splits.
Typically, the dimensions of the veneer
sheets used in the production of LVL are 50”
to 52” (1250 - 1300 mm) wide and 100” to 102”
(2500 - 2550 mm) long, in thicknesses ranging
from 1/10” to 1/6” (2.5 - 4.0 mm). Due to the
effects of wood’s inconsistency, the actual size
of each sheet after drying will vary.
Traditionally, veneer is laid up into LVL
using a semi-automatic process by which the
operator(s) manually assists in placing each
sheet of veneer against a solid fence in order to
create a reference edge. By ensuring proper
alignment along one edge of the lay-up, trim
loss is reduced at the saw line.While this process
is still used by many LVL producers, it is labor
intensive and may present a risk of repetitive
motion injury to workers. While there are
other, semi-automatic lay-up methods available, all require some degree of operator assistance in order to accurately lay up the veneer
Even fully-automatic LVL lay-up systems have their drawbacks.They offer relatively
low capacity and poor veneer placement accu-
The curtain coater applies an even coating of glue to the veneer and is offset to prevent shadowing.
The vacuum belt prevents veneer from skewing on the conveyor.
The lay-up station precisely places veneer sheets in the correct sequence.
racy,resulting in inconsistency in the end product and excessive trim loss. It was the desire to
overcome these inefficiencies that prompted
Raute to develop a fully-automatic lay-up system for LVL.
Design criteria for
new LVL lay-up system
Raute has invested considerably in the research
and development of a fully-automatic veneer
lay-up system that exceeds the performance of
competing units in the market.
To accomplish the task, a team of senior Raute engineers was charged with the
responsibility of designing and building a layup system that satisfied or exceeded the following criteria:
No veneer handling by an operator.
Ability to lay up face, center and
core plies at the same speed.
Ability to handle a variety of veneer sizes.
Modular design to enable
the future increase in capacity.
Open design to enable access to
veneers in case of manual veneer reject.
High placement accuracy.
High capacity.
Once the design concept had been
decided upon, a computer-generated simulation of the design was created. An actual-size
prototype of a LVL lay-up system was then built
and extensively tested at Raute’s plant in
Canada. Following adjustments to the prototype, the system performed in accordance with
the design criteria.
A new, simple process
The lay-up process starts at the veneer feeding
line where sheets of veneer are transferred onto
a transport conveyor by vacuum feeders. All
sheets are placed on the line with the grain running in the direction of flow.
PF glue is then applied to the upper
surface of the veneer by curtain coater or glue
extruder as the veneer sheets move along the
transport conveyor. Each sheet is then automatically aligned to a straight edge by a
crowding alignment rollcase, assisted by a
live vertical belt. Edge alignment is important in producing an even edge on the continuous LVL lay-up because it will minimize
trim loss.
After edge alignment, each sheet is
transferred onto a vacuum belt conveyor, the
purpose of which is to ensure that the aligned
sheet is maintained firmly against the belt and
to prevent it from shifting or skewing.
The veneer sheet next enters the dual
tablet lay-up station. The conveyor belts are
under vacuum, and powered by AC Vector
drives, which can be slowed down or sped up,
depending on the position of the veneer. As the
veneer approaches the alignment fence used to
determine the front edge position, it is slowed
down. Simultaneously, the right hand tablet
begins to retract beneath the fence and the front
edge of the veneer drops down onto the lay-up
conveyor. The left hand tablet then retracts and
the back end of the veneer sheet drops onto the
lay-up conveyor. The sheet is the precisely
located in its desired lay-up position.
When laying up LVL, the veneer joints
are staggered by a predetermined distance
along the length of the billet. To achieve this,
movement of the dual tablet frame is precisely controlled. This process of laying up the
veneer is repeated until the desired number of
plies has been assembled. A target thickness of
1 3/4”(45 mm), for instance, typically consists
of 15 plies of 1/8” (3 mm) thick veneer.
Once the sheets have been laid up, the
lay-up device moves back to receive the first
sheet of veneer and the process is repeated.
This type of lay-up is called step-lay-up and
can be undertaken in front of stationary platen presses.
Shop tests on the new lay-up line were
carried out using various veneer thickness,
sizes and with veneer traveling in both grain
directions. Double and triple sheets were also
tested. The ability of the system to handle multiple, pre-aligned sheets has resulted in a rapid
and dramatic increase in capacity. In every
instance of testing, the dual tablet device performed flawlessly, handling veneer without
damage and meeting all design criteria.
We strongly believe that this new layup technology will add a new dimension to
LVL automation. ●
3-D rendering of the new automatic LVL lay-up line.
Few people might associate the Bordeaux region of southwest France with excellence in
wood products manufacturing. Yet, this world-famous wine producing region is also home
to the largest plantation forest region in Europe, the Landes Gascony forest, which covers an
area of over 1.2 million hectares, a significant portion of which is Maritime pine.
patching line
The Smurfit Rol Pin fully-automatic patching line has four patching heads, enabling it to make 150,000 patches per day.
Located in this region, in the
town of Labouheyre, is the Smurift Rol Pin plywood mill, established in 1970 under the name
Bois Deroulés Océan.Four years later it became
part of the Saint Gobain Group and, in 1994,
it was acquired by the Jefferson Smurfit Group,
a global leader in paper and containerboard
products with over 600 production units
worldwide.Today,the mill is part of the Smurfit
Europe Paper Division.
In recent years, significant investment in
peeling, drying and handling equipment at the
mill has helped raise annual production capacity
to 100,000 m3 of Maritime pine plywood.The mill
makes a versatile range of products, including
concrete shuttering, roofing and flooring panels,
exterior and interior wall panels, and interior
décor panels. To the joinery and furniture industries, Smurfit supplies plywood that is used in fixtures, fittings, shelves and tabletops. The company’s plywood is also used in the production of
floor and wall elements for commercial vehicles
and in containers and pallets. A product recently
added to the list is heat treated plywood.
The Smurfit Rol Pin plywood mill presently exports 60% of its production to Germany, the
Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Austria and
countries within Eastern Europe.
The largest automatic
patching line yet delivered
Smurfit Rol Pin’s most recent investment is an automatic Raute patching line, which was started up in
November, 2002. The line has the distinction of
being the largest of its kind in operation, with four
patching heads producing 150,000 patches per day.
The first step in the project was to
install a Mecano VDA G2 at the end of the roller
dryer as a means to improve dry veneer grading accuracy and to use the camera grader as
a tool for training mill personnel in the functions of vision technology. Although the mill
has been manufacturing under ISO 9002
accreditation for several years, the mill recognized the higher level of defect recognition
available using vision technology compared
with the human eye.
The operation of the patching line is
based on the Mecano VDA G2 machine vision
camera system. Veneer is conveyed through the
scanner and its defects are mapped by the computer. This information is then processed and
relayed as coordinates to the patching heads,
which automatically cut out the defects and
replace them with approved industry patches.
Patched sheets are then conveyed to grade bins.
The technical capabilities of the VDA G2
has also created the opportunity for new products,due to its ability to define grades more exactly. This enables a more precise working relationship to develop between the production and sales
departments, an important issue to Production
Manager, Mr. Jean Marc Domecq.
The most apparent benefit of automatic patching is the significant savings in labor costs.
However, there are other, equally important benefits. These include an improvement in production efficiency that results from the more accurate placement of the patches and the higher level
of optimization that machine vision provides.
Veneer quality is also improved, often because
lower grade veneers can be utilized as face material. Changing patching recipes is done simply by
entering data at the touchscreen monitor.
position. A clear improvement in veneer quality has been realized. “We now patch lower
grades of veneer and effectively upgrade them.
Previously, 40% of our plywood used to be the
lowest grade due to our inability to generate a
sufficient volume of face grade sheets.
Automatic patching will drop that number to
25 - 30%.”
Concerning Maritime pine,Mr.Brunel
stated that it can be a very demanding raw
material when it comes to patching and, for
that reason, the human eye tends to be better
than a camera at seeing some particular defects.
The number of pitch pockets present in
Maritime pine is, for example, very high and
they can easily be mistaken for knots or similar defects. However, according to Mr. Brunel,
the cooperative approach,particularly between
Project Managers, Mr Pascal Carrère of
Smurfit and Mr Petrus Honkanen of Raute,
in ”teaching” the automatic patching system to
deal with the unique demands of the species
has been very successful. In his words, the
patching line’s ability to recognize and make
patching decisions concerning pitch pockets
now closely resembles that of the human eye.
In addition to realizing the quality
improvements in their product, the Patchman
has made it possible for the mill to replace 10
manual patching machines (20 operators), a
significant savings in labor and maintenance.
As to the installation and start-up of
the 4-head automatic patching line, Mr. Brunel
stated that the project went according to schedule and that cooperation between Smurfit and
Raute was of the highest level. He was equally
complimentary of the training program provided for the mill’s maintenance personnel. ●
According to Plant Manager, Mr. F. Brunel,
Smurfit Rol Pin invested in automatic patching
to strengthen their market position.
Automatic patching
offers measurable benefits
Plant Manager, Mr. F. Brunel, stated that
Smurfit Rol Pin decided to invest in automatic patching in order to strengthen their market
and succeeding with
Mr. Waldemar Czarnocki, General Manager of
Paged Sklejka S.A. says: “Modern production
machinery plays a key role in efficient production
and utilization of raw material.”
History and products
Paged Sklejka S.A. was born out of a sawmill
and building products company whose ownership was taken over by the Polish government
in 1948.Originally known as Mazurskie Zaklady
Przemyslu Drzewnego, the company was headquartered in Olsztyn with their production
facility in Morag. Today, the company operates
as Paged-Sklejka S.A. and its headquarters have
moved to Morag. There are two primary manufacturing arms - plywood and veneer.
Paged Sklejka S.A. Morag has its customer base in the transportation, construction
and furniture industries. The company produces conventional hardwood and softwood
plywood, as well as technical plywood. Their
product portfolio also includes panels overlaid
with both colored and decorative phenol and
melamine films, as well as plywood for laser
cutting applications and as a component in
blockboard panels. Products are sold under the
‘Paged Ply’ brand.
Mr. Waldemar Czarnocki, General
Manager of Paged Sklejka S.A. explained,“Our
product is not simple standard plywood. We
also produce specialty products, such as technical plywood, and very high-quality blockboard used in the manufacture of furniture,
for example, kitchen fixtures and furniture. As
to technical plywood, we just received certification from Germany for a specialty plywood
used for growing mushrooms. We are a spe-
cialty producer and always look for new applications and products.”
To support their broad product range,
Morag utilizes a wide variety of raw materials,
including pine, birch, alder, oak, beech and
spruce. Seventy-five percent of their production is exported,mainly to the U.S.A.,Germany,
the Benelux countries and Scandinavia.
Modern technology fuels
strong growth at Morag
At the time of privatization in 1996, the annual production of Sklejka Morag was a modest
10,000 m3. Strong growth, however, lay ahead.
As Mr. Czarnocki puts it,“Our aim was to grow
and the starting point for development was to
invest in new, modern technology. Modern
production machinery plays a key role in efficient production and utilization of raw material. Also, if you look at the world today, everything is changing all the time. In order to stay
competitive, you need to be able to react to the
changing markets. Modern production technology also makes this possible.”
The mill’s investment in new production equipment began in 1996 with delivery of
a Raute peeling line and a veneer drying line.
Since then,Raute has also supplied a semi-automatic scarf-jointing line, a 15-opening pressing
and overlaying line, a scarf-jointing press, a
dryer extension, a 25-opening pressing line and
Growth and continuous development define the Paged Sklejka Morag company in Morag, Poland.
With two plywood mills and a blockboard mill producing 50,000 m3 annually, it is the largest
plywood producer in Poland . The Morag mill was founded in 1951 and privatized in 1996. The
principal stockholder is Paged S.A. with over 70% of shares, while the remaining shares are held by
the Polish Treasury, and company employees. The Paged company also owns three furniture mills.
Raute technology
The Paged Sklejka Morag mill’s investment in new production equipment
began in 1996 with delivery of a Raute peeling line and a veneer drying line.
a scarf-jointing line with two presses. The latest addition to the list is a veneer composing
line that is due to be delivered in autumn, 2003.
Mr. Czarnocki continued, “Seventy
percent of our machinery has been delivered
by Raute. We have repeatedly chosen Raute as
supplier because we trust their technology and
see them as the leading supplier of plywood
technology. Our experiences from this vendor
cooperation have been very positive, whether
in sales, project management, installation or
Raute’s response to any problems, which may
have arisen. Raute has also kept us well
informed about new developments in technology.”
Capacity rises from
10,000 m3 to 50,000 m3
Since 1996, Paged Sklejka Morag’s plywood
production has grown at an annual rate of 30%
and today stands at 50,000 m3.
When asked about the company’s
vision for the future, Mr. Czernocki answered,
“ We will continue with our specialty plywood
products and look for growth in export markets. With ongoing product development programs we intend to stay competitive by staying in step with the changing markets. Our corporate determination, together with Raute’s
technology, will play a big part in helping
Morag to achieve this vision.” ●
Automatic stacking is a critical step in the efficient production of
veneer and plywood. Good stacking practices reduce the need for
labor, lessen material damage and improve the flow of materials.
Properly stacked product can be handled automatically, without
the need for manual intervention. This, in turn, reduces the cost
of manufacture, improving profitability.
For mills producing green veneer only, it is
important that the wood is delivered ready for
drying, without the need for re-handling.
Similarly, lay-up requires that dry veneer be
correctly graded into neat, square bundles.
Raute addresses these needs with a
range of stacking solutions that include green
and dry veneer stackers, random veneer stackers, and stackers for handling thin veneers.
Stackers range from single-bin units to
multi-bin systems complete with automatic
grading and moisture control. Custom-built
units include stackers for handling multiple
sizes and thicknesses of veneers.
Good preparation ensures good drying
High-production peeling lines place a burden on
dryers.In species where both heartwood and sapwood are present, moisture separation is important in order to prevent under/ overdrying.
Green veneer moisture sensors,
installed ahead of the stacker, accurately measure moisture in green veneer at up to 1000 fpm.
This data is used to stack veneer according to
moisture content. Sensors may also be installed
ahead of the clipper to determine the potential for shrinkage during drying. This enables
narrower sheet clip, resulting in less veneer loss
at the clipper.
An engineered solution to successful
veneer stacking
Automatic stackers typically use vacuum conveyors to transport veneer sheets. Poor design
will lead to erratic stacking and poor stack
quality, especially if the veneer is wavy or curly,
is split or has loose knots.
To ensure proper stacking, Raute
employs high-bypass principles that induce
aerodynamic lift rather than relying purely on
suction. The vacuum chamber that holds the
veneer against the belts produces low static pressure. This, coupled with the fact that the length
of each chamber is greater than the length of the
veneer sheet, provides passage for air to move
in and around the box, instead of choking off
the negative airflow every time a veneer sheet
covers the chamber. The result is quieter operation and fewer fans to handle a similar volume
of veneer. It is gentler on the veneer and requires
less knock-off force, enabling more precise
placement of the veneer on the stack.
At installation, fans and damper controls are set according to the characteristics of
the wood, including species, specific gravity
and peel thickness. Location of the mill and
ambient conditions are also considered. Mill
personnel are instructed in correct set-up procedures by a Raute service technician. All data
pertaining to the veneer is input into a PLC
program and adjusted as personnel become
familiar with the stacker.
Once all parameters have been identified and input to the PLC, operators are free to
use the touch-screen to make their selections
with respect to species, thickness, size, etc.
Stackers handling a range of thicknesses have
fans fitted with variable speed drives to enable
simple adjustment to air flow.
Controlling placement
of veneer in the stacker
Precise stacking relies on all elements working
together.Inconsistent cylinder response time,for
Freres Lumber produces square stacks of veneer at their veneer mill in Lyons, Oregon.
The VDA G2 camera grader has significantly
improved grading accuracy and reduced downgrade.
example, causes inconsistent load quality, sheet
skew and damage to veneer. For these reasons,
knock-off cylinders should be chosen for their
reliability and consistent performance. Raute
uses cylinders with proven, high-performance
features, such as a cushion sleeve and internal
bumper that provide full air pressure; a piston
rod wiper that prevents fibers and pitch from
getting into the cylinder; and cushioned, highstrength piston rods with steel or brass barrels.
Controls may be chosen according to
mill preference, their compatibility with existing equipment or other factors, such as species.
Raute customers have indicated good success
with SoftPLC® technology, which combines
the high-speed operation of microprocessors
and the user-friendliness of PLCs. SoftPLC®
processors enable scan times of < 0.5 milliseconds, making it possible to knock off green
veneer sheets in increments of 0.2 inches, up
to speeds of 1,000 fpm. Inputs allow moisture
readings to be summed for determining the
weight of individual sheets, data that is used to
automatically adjust the knock-off position,
compensating for heavier sheets that require
greater knock-off force. This feature may be
complimented by split knock-off and independent knock-off cylinder timing.
Dry stacker programs may incorporate
Metriguard and moisture readings, as well as
scanner and manual grading inputs in order for
stacking decisions to be made.The program supports up to 31 grade bins and multiple menus.
Stacking dry veneer
After drying, the characteristics of veneer
change considerably. Drying may induce waviness, which prevents the dry veneer from lying
flat against the vacuum conveyor.Here the benefits of Raute’s high-bypass technology are evident. Stackers that rely purely on suction
require greater vacuum to keep wavy veneer
from skewing or coming loose from the conveyor. This creates greater force on the veneer
and damage, in the form of splitting or knot
fallout, is possible. Greater force is also need-
Sensors are located at the infeed to the stacker to
accurately detect moisture levels in green veneer.
The stacker set-up can be quickly changed to handle 8, 9 and 10-ft veneer.
One of the two 9-bin dry veneer stackers installed
at Alberta Plywood.
ed to dislodge the veneer from the vacuum,
further increasing the risk of damage to the dry
Conversely, drying may actually
improve the performance of Raute’s dry stackers because, with moisture removed from the
veneer, it is lighter and responds better to the
aerodynamic effect of the vacuum. Piece count
is also high. Raute’s dry stacker can handle the
output of two dryers at up to 70+ sheets/min.
When combined with an automatic veneer
camera scanner, the process is fast, precise and
requires a minimum of labor.
Benefits are considerable. Firstly, the
reduction in manual handling reduces damage
to the veneer and the risk of repetitive motion
injury to personnel. Secondly, only one operator is needed to grade over 10,000 sheets/shift.
And, thirdly, grading is more consistent
because there are fewer operators making grading decisions.
This stacker handles multiple veneer
sheet sizes.It doesn’t use vacuum,ensuring that
thin veneers are not damaged and it produces
extremely square stacks, resulting in efficient
further handling.
Handling thin veneers
Dry veneer random stacker
Mills acquiring veneer from outside sources
must often regrade, creating extra handling
and risk of damage. Raute’s thin veneer stacker is available to accomplish this task. It is available as a single- or multi-bin unit, and may
include auto-feeding, caul handling and
dimension clipping. A single operator only is
required. Its modular design enables the simple addition of bins.
A stacker is available for handling dry random
veneer in widths from 10” to full sheet. The
operator’s job is to pull gaps between veneers
in order to ensure proper knock-off control
and to pull damaged veneer and veneer marked
for moisture. The stacker can form a variety of
stack types - haystack, concave or flat, which
are selected from the PLC. Observation by mill
personnel will determine the most suitable
stack type and height.
Alberta mill achieves
positive results, reduces injuries
Alberta Plywood, a division of West Fraser
Timber Company Ltd., operates a plywood
operation in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. In
2002, the mill installed two 9-bin Raute dry
veneer stacking systems incorporating camera
graders to replace manual handling and stacking after drying. According to Quality Control
Supervisor, Chris Fowler, “The investment
has been a valuable one. Higher profitability in
veneer grading has been achieved because the
incidence of downgrading has been greatly
reduced, while the accurate recording of data
through the MIS has enabled production to be
more closely linked to inventory requirements.
The hard data now available has helped streamline the lay-up operation and provided valuable trending information”.
Added Operations Manager, Ray
Ferris, “Although it is early days yet, we have
been satisfied with our decision to go with
Raute on this project. Raute’s training program
did a good job in educating our staff, who went
from a mostly purely manual operation, to a
high level of automation. Support from Raute
has been good and, apart from the higher ongrade percentage we are realizing, we have seen
a reduction in the injury rate of nearly 40%,
most of which can be directly attributed to the
stackers.” ●
Oregon veneer mill benefits from
Raute stacking technology
Larry Cobb, Production Superintendent of
the Freres Lumber mill in Lyons, Oregon.
Prior to installing a 7-bin automatic Raute
green stacker to handle their 8, 9, and 10-fh
veneers,the Freres veneer mill in Lyons,Oregon
employed manual off-bearers. According to
Production Superintendent, Larry Cobb, the
process was often less than satisfactory due to
the fact that the off-bearers were also required
to visually determine heart and sap grades.
Since installation of the stacker and moisture
sensors, heart and sap sorting has gone from
being average to excellent. One customer that
buys veneer from the mill reports redry of less
than 2%. Production has also improved, with
over 100 sheets of veneer being stacked every
Alberta Plywood, Quality Control Supervisor, Chris Fowler (right) with dry Stacker Attendant, Tony Worobec.
Raute Wood Inc.
Raute Oyj
Raute Wood
Rautetie 2
P.O.Box 69
FIN-15551 Nastola
Tel: +358-3-82911
Fax: +358-3-829 3511
Intercomer S.R.L.
Via Paracelso 14
20041 Agrate Brianza
Tel: +39-039-605 8057
Fax: +39-039-605 6462
Renzo Orbolato
Luigi Gaviraghi
10240 SW nimbus, Suite 1-11
Tigard, OR 97223
Tel: +1-503-684-1166
Fax: +1-503-620-7954
Raute Wood Indonesia
Jl. Kelapa Tiga/Joe No. 75
Jagakarsa, Jakarta 12620
Tel: +62-21-788 86461
Fax: +62-21-788 89867
Raute Wood Santiago
Hernando de Aguirre 162
Raute Wood
Of. 704
Customer service
Providencia, Santiago
Yentür Ticaret
P.O.Box 69
Tel: +56-2-233 4812
General Nekmi Öktem Sok 4/1 Fax: +56-2-233 4748
FIN-15551 Nastola
Tel: +358-3-829 11
81060 Istanbul
24 h: +358-3-829 3600
Tel: +90-216-368 3573
Fax: +358-3-829 3345
Fax: +90-216-368 4756
Oscar E. Bruschstein
Demaria 336
RWS-Engineering Oy
(1846) Adrogué
Tuhkamäentie 2
Tel: +54-11-4294 1488
FIN-15540 Villähde
Fax: +54-11- 4293 5997
Association of Wood
Tel: +358-3-829 61
Processing Manufacturers
Fax: +358-3-762 2378
T.G. Masaryka 24
96053 Zvolen
Indumec Indústria
Tel: +421-45 5330 278
Jymet-Engineering Oy
Mecánica Ltda
Hakkutie 3
Rue General Potiguara 1115
FIN-40320 Jyväskylä
Fazendinha, PR Curitiba
Roman Reh
Tel: +358-14-445 4400
Fax: +358-14-445 4429
Tel: +55-41-347 2412
Fax: +55-41-347 4545
Raute Oyj
Arhangelsky per., 1
Mecano Group Oy
Eduardo Koller
101934 Moscow
Syväojankatu 8
Stefano Koller
FIN-87700 Kajaani
Fax: +7-095-207 8794
Tel: +358-8-877 6700
Fax: +358-8-612 1982
Equipos Interpulp
S.A. DE C.V.
Eugenio Sue 35,
5 Capilano Way
New Westminster, B.C.
C.P. 11560 Mexico
Finnso Bois S.A.R.L.
Tel: +1-604-524-6611
18, quai Louis Blériot
Fax: +1-604-521-4035
Tel: +52-5-5279 0540
F-75016 Paris Fax : +52-5-281 0689
Tel: +33-1-452 773 40
Customer Service
Fax:+33-1-452 773 41
Eurico de Faria Amaro
USA and Canada
Rodolfo Velazguez
Spare parts
Christian Lallia
Toll free: +1-877-297-2787
Fax: +1-866-615-1379
Raute Group Asia Pte Ltd
24-hour emergency pager:
35 Jalan Pemimpin # 06-02
Adecor Consulting S.L.
Wedge Mount Industrial
Calle Azalea 88-3-1
28109 El Soto
Equipment Service
Alcobendas, Madrid
Tel: +65-6250 4322
Toll free: +1-877-728-8373
Tel: +34-91-650 1130
Fax: +65-6250 5322
Fax: +1-866-517-6811
Fax: 34-91-650 6093
24-hour emergency pager:
Hannu Vainio
Raute Wood Beijing
Kauko Metex Ltd.
Office 969 Poly Plaza
Raute Wood Inc.
Sloneczna 35
14 Dongzhimen Nandajie
50 Commercial Loop Way,
00-789 Warsaw
Dongcheng District
Suite A
Tel: +48-22-330 1200
Beijing 100027
Rossville, TN 38066
Fax: +48-22-330 1212
Tel: +86-10-650 116 98
Tel : +1-901-853 7290 Fax: +1-901-853 4765
Fax: +86-10-650 117 98
Artur Kozohorski
PT Wooil Indonesia
Jl Raya Pasarkemis, Desa
Sindang Sari
Tel: +62-21-593 50101
Fax: +62-21-593 50123
Um Soo Eui
Nicholson Manufacturing
Pty. Ltd
P.O.Box 339
Englands Road
Coffs Harbour
Tel: +61-2-6652 2066
Fax: +61-2-6652 3650
Bernard Streblow
Nicholson Akarana
Engineering Ltd
P.O.Box 58403, Greenmount
13 Newark Place, East Tamaki
Tel : +64-9-274 9160
Fax : +64-9-274 5216
Phil Wood
J & C Corporation
RM 922 You One Golden
474-80 Bujeon 1 Dong,
Tel: +82-51-803 6586
Fax: +82-51-803 6588
Nicky Yao
12 Katherine St.
Parkway Village
Balintawak, Quezon City
Metro Manila
Tel: +63-2-414 5747
Fax: +63-2-362 2320
S.W.D. Machinery Co. Ltd
35/172 Moo 4 Soi Yuviju,
Banga-Trad Rd km 1
Bagna, Bangkok 10260
Tel: +66-2-399 2113
Fax: +66-2-399 2119
Santhiti Siricheowsakul
Automatic patching raises production efficiency
through improved accuracy, uniform quality
and production flexibility. Changing the
patching parameters is quick and easy.
A single operator can control the
entire line from veneer feeding
to stacking.
Growing demands?
Call for high technology.
Higher quality, stricter scheduling, tougher competition – to meet these growing challenges,
high technology is a must in your engineered wood processes.
Raute responds with forward-thinking technology that secures your competitive edge,
both now and in the future. How? By providing tailor-made solutions based on our in-depth
process knowledge and broad experience with raw materials worldwide. Responding to
your needs keeps our R&D staff busy creating new solutions for better wood processing.
For you, Raute’s advanced technology means satisfying your quality requirements,
meeting your production schedules and staying ahead of the competition with improved
recovery, higher quality, greater productivity and increased capacity. That’s what high
technology is all about.