Iswepe Timber averages over 100m3
a shift using Mill Industries machines
Just over five years ago, the Paul family decided to expand their 75-year sold tree farming business to add value to their resources by establishing a
small sawmill. However, when they completed the research and chose their supplier of choice, they were surprised to find they had a full-blown sawmill.
“In some ways, it helped that we are not really from a sawmilling background because we were open to new ideas,” remarks Ralf Paul, the managing director of Iswepe Timber.
“We did extensive research and visited sawmills all over the world to make sure that we knew what technologies were available and whether it would work for our raw materials outlook and markets. We wanted an uncomplicated, extremely sturdy processing line with low operating costs that delivers high throughput and recovery rates,” explains Paul.
Ralf manages the Iswepe Timber’s sawmilling arm while his brother Bruno runs the forestry operations to produce the sawmill’s log intake. The mill also buys logs from local private growers. “We tried to take the best ideas we came across during our research and combine them to design the most efficient operation possible,” explains Paul. When decision-time arrived, the Nukor Group assisted in designing, planning, and laying out the plant. “It was refreshing to find a company prepared to work with us according to our plans.”
Paul says Nukor introduced them to the Brazilian range of saws from Mill Industries. “The machines are highly
productive and reliable and require minimal maintenance. The three tonnes strain on the blade results in extremely high cutting accuracy.”
Nukor and Iswepe opted for a combination of machines from Mill Industries that would tick the boxes for
quality products and recovery.
THE ORDER OF BUSINESS IS:
• First Cut horizontal saw
The line begins with the horizontal
First Cut saw opening the face of the log. The machine has a wide sharp chain, which provides good stability for the log and achieves a highly accurate cut. It is the only machine in the line that is part of the Mill Industries L Pro range that cuts logs with diameters up to 550mm.
• Twin band Bloco bandsaw
The saws remove the sides, leaving the cant “breadloaf” and one edge unprocessed.
• Six-head horizontal resaw
The “breadloaf” passes through the six-head horizontal resaw to be cut to size and stacked for further processing.
The log sides that remain go to the recovery line, where they are cut to smaller sizes and stacked separately.
The re-saws after the edger can be adjusted to saw the final thickness of the boards. It means the machines can
run faster than they would when sawing un-edged slabs. This process allows for much higher accuracy, as the blades are cutting through the board’s constant width, which reduces thickness variation.
THE RIGHT CHOICE
Sawmill machines are a significant investment affected by fluctuating exchange rates. Paul says, “we probably
spent a bit more money than was necessary, but our focus was on quality.
To get that right, you have to ensure that every element is as good as it can be to achieve an optimal output.”
Iswepe Timber is very competitive in the sawmilling industry, providing top quality timber for furniture manufacturing, mouldings, and laminated timber beams.
“We made the right choice in going with Mill Industries. We bought the machines to process 70 and 80 cubic metres of wood a shift. Instead, we are averaging above 100 cubes of high-quality wood in an eight-hour shift,” he comments.
Paul believes that the factors contributing to Iswepe Timber’s superior quality products are the cutting accuracy in the wetmill and its drymill processes. The drymill includes de-stacking, optimised cross-cutting, finger-jointing and planing operations. “Preventative maintenance, good housekeeping, and keeping to a regular schedule of changing and sharpening blades are also critical factors for consistently good results.”
Article written by WoodBiz.co.za