UCL Sawmill About to Conclude Two-year Sawmill Efficiency Upgrade


UCL Sawmill began a massive equipment upgrade in 2015 in order to increase feed speeds and overall production levels, all while keeping their investment to a reasonable cost.

UCL originally had two frame saw processing lines. In order to meet their objectives, they first installed a sawmilling line manufactured at the time by Multisaw, bringing their total number of processing lines to three.

In 2016, the intellectual property for Multisaw’s sawmill equipment range was acquired by Wood-Mizer.

The new sawmilling line consists of primary and secondary sawmilling equipment, board edgers, plus all the necessary material handling equipment to automate the movement of timber from start to finish, as well as the removal of waste products for chipping.

At the beginning of the sawmilling line, an elevated operator station allows the main operator to have a clear view of the whole process, along with having all equipment controls at his fingertips.

Debarked logs from the log infeed deck are singled onto the infeed loader. The log loader unit rotates each log to the optimal orientation for cutting, and then it is fed into a wideband twin vertical saw, which handles logs from 120 mm to 450 mm.

The twin 6 inch blades of the T6-TBLT can handle cutting speeds of up to 60 metres per minute, producing a two-sided cant and two side slabs. The cutting width of the twin vertical sawheads are adjusted by a servo motor and can change the cutting width from log to log, if necessary, to help to maximise sawn recovery from the round log.

Powered hold-down rollers keep the log securely resting on the spiky chain during sawing. As the cants exit the Twin Vertical Saw, side rollers keep the slabs held tightly against the cant until they are ready to drop down onto a cross transfer slab removal conveyor.

The cant continues to move down the line to a Wood-Mizer double arbor multirip, which handles cants up to 160 mm thick. Before it enters the multirip, the cant is flipped onto a flat side by an automatic kicker.

Optical sensors engage powered hold-down rollers that keep the cant moving swiftly and securely through the multirip at speeds up to 40 metres per minute. The multirip is capable of producing several boards from one cant, while maintaining very highly accurate cuts and a smooth surface finish.

Finished boards exit the multirip and are stacked for drying. Precise board thicknesses and the high cut quality of the multirip improves overall timber recovery and reduces the need for further processing further down the line. The slabs are sent to a resaw for additional processing.

The resaw is capable of making almost instant height adjustments between each cut, enabling better recovery of the slabs being fed into the resaw. In as little as 0.3 seconds, the resaw’s servo height adjustment motor can reposition the sawing head to the appropriate height for an incoming slab.

The waney edge boards are sent to an unscrambler, which separates the boards and indexes them ready for the automated optimising edger.

By utilising the latest optical scanning technology, the optimising edger provides more value recovery from every board. Each board is scanned and the computer determines where it should be edged to get the best possible recovery. The board is then automatically aligned and edged at a speed of up to 140 metres per minute.

A testament to the success of the recently installed line is UCL’s decision to replace their existing manual edger setup on the two frame saw lines with an optimising edger. This will enable the frame saw lines to increase production. The addition of the edger will complete their equipment upgrade project in early 2017.

They are already experiencing the benefits of their new sawmilling line – more efficiency, higher production, and lower production costs.

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