Wood-Mizer Industrial breakthrough for La Provance Sawmill

By Chase Warner, Wood-Mizer


The Wood-Mizer Industrial line that went live at La Provance Sawmill recently is one step closer to Hein Mohr’s fierce determination to pursue sawmilling excellence to the nth degree.  
Fierce describes Hein well – his unbending faith, the soldier in him that still fuels tireless discipline in business and life, and his appetite for quality, are all parts of the flame that spurs Hein further, higher, faster, better. 
Hein’s sawmiller stepdad introduced him to timber. 
A harvesting contractor job, and salvaging fire-damaged timber on a home-made sawmill to build early sawmilling successes, were some of the first stepping-stones in Hein’s timber journey.  
The cash from these initial victories allowed Hein to build further, a partnership with his brother and business partner Otto leading to Holkay Sawmill’s start in 1997. 
Holkay’s successes with kiln dried structural timber matched to high recovery figures cemented the brothers astute sawmilling skills and Holkay’s profitability.   
A new era started in 2017 with Otto focussing on Holkay and Hein buying a profiling company that he renamed La Provance Sawmill.  
First step for Hein was to tool the new mill into the business he knew it could become, an early Wood-Mizer sawmill line then the first promise of the Industrial line that went live in 2021.  

Always Wood-Mizer 

Hein’s association with Wood-Mizer goes back far. 

A Wood-Mizer SLP line commissioned at Holkay in 2013 first forged the relationship.   
Hein opted for Wood-Mizer again to execute his vision of becoming a choice supplier of high-quality, precisely cut and kiln dried 25 mm sawn material sold at a premium to profiling and furniture manufacturers in SA. 
Although the Wood-Mizer LX450 sawmill, EG250 Edger and HR200 Resaw line that he put in to do achieve this was a good start, it needed work.  
Recovery could be better because a lot of saleable timber still remained after the through and thought cut slabs from the LX450 were edged on the EG250.  
Hein’s sense was also that they could improve on the double rise cutting pattern (2 x 25 mm boards from one slab in one pass) that they were getting from the HR200. 
His aimto boost recovery, volumes, speed, and producing a triple rise cut (3 x 25 mm boards in one pass) for overall efficiency improvements turned his attention to the TITAN line. 


Industrial boost 
Hein and his two son’s Alex and Heinrich, who also joined La Provance, had a simple brief for the Wood-Mizer Industrial team during the Industrial line’s planning phases.  
“The 25 mm market we service demands solid accuracy and perfect cutting surfaces.  
“From an operational point of view, we wanted a simple, high-production, mechanized sawmilling process that can process high volumes of large diameter logs into the quality we need  with speed and high recovery further important requirements,” Alex Mohr says.  
“The Wood-Mizer team’s solution was equally simple – opt for the Industrial range to tick all these boxes,” Alex continues.  
The Industrial line that went live at La Provance in 2021 consists of a Wood-Mizer Industrial WB2000 high production industrial primary breakdown sawmill, matched to a HR2000WIDE Double-Head Resaw and EG800WIDE resaw.  
The WB2000 breaks the predominantly 500-600 mm diameter logs into through and through cut slabs that then pass through resawing and edging with 25 mm ready-sawn material exiting the process for kilning. 
Wood-Mizer material handling solutions assists with log-loading and material movements from primary to secondary breakdown for a seamless mechanized process reliant on minimal manual inputs in total.  


Key Industrial benefits  
Line configuration: 
The layout of new Industrial line resolves La Provance’s recovery issues and also builds broad efficiencies across a number of fronts. 
The HR2000WIDE double-head resaw placed after primary breakdown now splits the slabs into  
25 mm triple rise cuts with the wany sides now left for removal recovering significantly more saleable timber with less work than previously when the slabs were edged first and then resawed.  
With less wastage, output has taken off, and with recovery now also solved, it adds to the overall processing speed of the line. With the previous recovery bottleneck smoothed out and material handling in place, manual inputs to make everything flow previously has decreased and the monthly salary bill has fallen.   
The WB2000 brings high-production, heavy-duty and large diameter cutting capacity into play – a perfect match for the +600 mm diameter x 6 m long log lengths that La Provance cuts.  
The twin post sawmill head, large throat and heavily engineered sawmill bed makes the WB2000 a solid option for mills processing medium to large diameter logs (≤ 900 mm | 6-tons) and log lengths of between 4.5 and 7.5 meters. A 30kW electric main motor is standard, with a 37kW upgrade optional.  
PLC Industrial Setworks and a raised operator control station allows a single operator to manage all sawing and log handling functions.   
A 19cm touch-control operating screen consolidates all the cutting metrics with these controls matched to two hydraulic functions joy sticks and a hydraulic speed reduction foot pedal giving the operator precise control of all sawing and log handling functions. 
Depending on the processing requirements of the sawmill, the cast iron crowned bandsaw wheels can be customized to run 50 – 75 mm spring-set blades or 100 mm stellite-tipped blades.  
HR2000WIDE Double-Head Resaw 
Wood-Mizer’s Industrial HR2000 resaw that is part of the Hybrid range, offers heavy duty, single or double head resawing capacity at a very affordable price.  
The double-head HR2000WIDE at La Provance is specked specifically to split the large slabs of up to 600 mm wide exiting the WB2000 into the thicknesses needed.  
The unit has ballscrew quick size changing added to give the WB2000 operator full flexibility to adapt the sawing pattern to the shape and size of the log.   
The ability to run blade widths that vary in size from 32 to 80 mm (1.25 – 3 inch) and that can be customised further with the choice to run spring set, swage set and Stellite tipped (65 to 80mm wide) blades adds further productivity increases.  
Pneumatically assisted, powered hold-down rollers at the in and outfeed ends and a heavy-duty slat-chain with variable speed adds to the stability and accuracy of the cut.  
EG800WIDE Edger 
Wood-Mizer’s Industrial EG800 Manual Board Edger offers high-production robust edging and multirip capacity with the WIDE unit at La Provance packing even more punch.  
The motor there has been upgraded from the standard 30 kW to 37kW (45 or 55 kW also available). The throat width has been boosted up from the standard 640 mm to 900mm. This gives La Provance full flexibility to process any width that comes its way.   
The entire Wood-Mizer Industrial multirip and edger range uses 20mm thick plate and components that are pre-cut on CNC systems and then webbed and welded together for the rigid frame needed to give exceptional cut alignment for the lifespan of the unit.  
4 x Bottom / 2 x Top heavy-duty, large diameter, high traction and driven hold-down rollers ensures that the board enters and passes through the cut square and flat. The blade configuration going onto the single arbor can be adapted to the requirements of the producer.  
Feed speeds from 0-60m/minute are possible with electronic variable feed also standard.  
Laser lines for alignment adds to the accuracy of the cut. 


A final word 
“The Wood-Mizer Industrial team made this all possible,” says Hein Mohr. 
“Their assistance during the planning, installation and commissioning phases was exceptional, 
 and it now continues with great after sale service and technical backup,” Hein concludes. 
But watch this space!  
Hein’s already pacing the floor impatiently, his wired sawmilling mind already searching for gaps to go further, higher, faster, better. 



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