S.A.Plywood expands its plywood business Issue 7 Punkaharju new LVL line starts up in record time Louisiana Pacific starts up new dry end Improved productivity with preventive maintenance Raute Customer Magazine ­ June 2006 Contents From the CEO New LVL line starts up in record time S.A. Plywood increases plywood production Short news Cross Wrap ­ a high-tech packaging solution Improving productivity with proper care and maintenance Smart Scan in the S.E. United States Louisiana Pacific starts up new dry end Southeast Asia in transition Great Visions from Mecano Fairs Appointments 3 4 8 12 13 16 20 24 26 28 30 31 New mar Dear PlyVisions Reader, Summer has arrived here in the Northern Hemisphere, whereas our friends south of the Equator are heading into winter. Due to Raute's worldwide business activities, we operate year round within these global climate conditions, which are not unlike the changing market situations we all face on a regular basis. Whatever the case, we must prepare for the changes we know are coming and adapt accordingly. MARKET CONDITIONS CHANGE QUICKLY. At this time last year, Raute experienced strong demand for investments in process improvement, such as upgrades, modernizations and individual machines. The target of our customers in making these investments was to improve the performance of their existing processes, rather than add new production capacity or replace existing lines. For Raute, that demand materialized in the form of a steady order flow. On the other hand, investment plans based on building new mills were mostly still in the planning stages. The situation at the start of 2006 was almost the reverse. Demand for investments in process improvement has been slower, investment decisions have been postponed and we have not received as many orders compared with the same period in 2005. However, there are several large investment projects pending and we expect to see decisions on adding new capacity materialize in the coming months. Certainly, these investments will be interesting, both from a technological and market-related perspective. The changes in market conditions clearly show how Raute's decision, taken some years ago, to invest strongly in the development of our service offerings, was the correct one. We believe the best way to enhance the future output and productivity of a particular production line is to secure quality maintenance throughout the life-cycle of the investment. An article in this issue of PlyVisions focuses on Raute's Technology Services. The fast startup of the new Finnforest LVL line in Punkaharju, Finland, demonstrates how bringing together an experienced customer who knows his project targets and Did you know... ...that 25 Smart Scan XY+ systems have been sold to mills in North and South America, Europe and Asia since 2004. More about Smart Scan and AutoCalibration on pages 20-23. PlyVisions is Raute Corporation's Customer Magazine. Editor-In-Chief: Molli Nyman, molli.nyman@raute.com Editorial Group: Matti Aho, Veli-Matti Lepistö, Rick Massey, Tapani Kiiski Layout: Onnion Oy Printing house: Libris Oy Address changes: tuija.leppanen@raute.com Publisher: Raute Corporation, P.O.Box 69, FI-15551 Nastola, Finland, Tel. +358 3 82 911, fax +358 3 829 3511, www.raute.com Copyright Raute Corporation. All rights reserved. Reproduction permitted only with permission from Raute Corporation. Cover photo: Veli-Matti Lepistö Photos by Raute if not mentioned otherwise. ISSN 1459-3165 >> from the CEO ket conditions in-house capabilities with Raute's proven technology, will lead to success. It goes without saying that we aim to duplicate this success with all our customers. Of course, we believe that we have the products and technology to ensure our customer's success, but we also understand that not all customers have the experience of a company like Finnforest. In the market conditions that exist, there will be customers joining the industry who don't possess experience in the products and production processes they intend to pursue. To ensure that these customers, too, enjoy the same smooth startups and success as experienced producers, Raute puts great effort into broadening and strengthening the technology services we offer. In addition to the scope of basic training included in all our deliveries ­ safety, operator and routine maintenance training ­ we have developed comprehensive production process training packages. We have also added a new kind of service contract, which combines training and operations development. We believe that this will be the most cost effective and secure way to start production in a new mill by a crew with only limited or no prior experience. You can read more about the Punkaharju LVL mill start up and our training services later in PlyVisions. Our newest block centering technology, Smart Scan XY+, has enjoyed success, both as an upgrade product and as part of Raute's new peeling line technology. Mr. Ben Crim, Director of Engineering for Hood Industries in the United States, describes his company's experiences in two Smart Scan installations undertaken by Hood. Whereas Raute's main strategy is to provide services that support our equipment, when a clear interface can be defined, as in the case of an XY charger retrofitted into an existing peeling line, we want to be able to serve our customers with improvements to our competitor's equipment as well. An essential part of Raute's strategy is to be the leading supplier of technology to the industries we serve. To support this strategy we invest heavily in R&D. Often this involves collaboration with a technology partner, the result of which is innovative and advanced technology that neither partner could have achieved alone. The Cross Wrap method of packaging goods is an example of this partnering and one that delivers benefits. Naturally, there were technological and commercial issues that needed to be addressed along the way, but in the three years since Cross Wrap was also made available to the wood products industry, the technology has captured the attention of plywood producers. Please acquaint yourselves with Cross Wrap and read the comments from a satisfied Mill Manager at UPMKymmene's Kaukas plywood mill. The articles presented here are examples of what Raute has to offer and how our expertise fits with specific market conditions. We believe you will find a lot of other interesting information as well that will assist you in your daily businesses. Please enjoy reading PlyVisions, in whichever hemisphere you conduct your business. Tapani Kiiski President and CEO call for strong service! PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 3 1 2 New LVL line starts up in record time 3 4 4 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine text: Rick Massey Finnforest, Europe's largest company in the mechanical wood products industry, produces LVL at its mills in Lohja and Punkaharju, Finland. Combined output of its popular Kerto brand is 220,000 m3 of product annually. 1 The new 6 ft. LVL line optimizes all aspects of production. IN 2001, the company installed the world's first 8 ft. wide LVL line at its Punkaharju mill. The success of the line and the growing demand for their product prompted Finnforest to invest in a new 6 ft. LVL line, which started up in record time in December, 2005. In again choosing Raute as the primary technology provider for their new LVL investment, Finnforest management cited Raute's reliable and proven step-press technology as offering them the best opportunity for success, due to its ability to produce saleable LVL on a continuous basis and within acceptable operating costs. 2 "Raute's solutions were the best for meeting our company's requirements" ­ Mr. Eero Lampola, Manager of Finnforest's LVL facility in Punkaharju, Finland. 3 The new dual-tablet layup station automatically places veneer into the layup. Determining the best solution Finnforest's decision to begin producing 8 ft. wide LVL at their Punkaharju mill was influenced by the success of the UPM 8'x8' spruce plywood mill in Ristiina, eastern Finland. They had observed a key similarity between the 8'x8' plywood produced at UPM's Pellos III mill and the Kerto-Q LVL that Finnforest intended to make at their Punkaharju LVL mill, namely, the inclusion of cross-bands. Kerto-Q is used in the production of load-bearing panels and requires the inclusion of cross-bands. Kerto-S, Finnforest's other LVL product, is typically used in the production of load-bearing beams in which all the plies run parallel. The high degree of automation in the 8'x8' production process appealed to Finnforest management and so they proceeded with the purchase of LVL machinery and equipment from Raute based on 8'x8' technology. It was towards the end of 2001 that Finnforest's 8 ft. wide LVL line came online at the Punkaharju mill. 4 Finnforest's Kerto brand LVL is sold worldwide. Prior to undertaking the expansion of their Punkaharhu LVL mill, Finnforest representatives met with Raute technology management to determine the best course of action. Two proposals were put forward. The first was for a 3-opening press line based on 4'x8' veneers, and the other a 2-opening press line based on 6'x8' veneers. Finnforest chose the second alternative based on the fact that the market for 8 ft. wide LVL was already being met by the existing line and existing raw material requirements were meeting the needs of the 8'x8' veneer production with respect to average block diameter and peeling line capacity. To Finnforest management, also, processing 6'x8' veneers posed no risk because they were already peeling 6 ft. wide veneer and processing 6'x4' veneers into LVL at their Lohja mill. The main difference with the new line would be that the 6 ft. veneers would be clipped from an 8 ft. wide ribbon of veneer and so they would be laying up 6'x8' veneers. During negotiations, Raute representatives were able to show Finnforest management that installation of a 6 ft. wide LVL line based on 8 ft. wide peeling would be a better and less expensive investment than going with a 4 ft. line, based on a number of issues, including less trim loss and the more extensive range of products that could be produced from the wider LVL. Drying ­ a key issue The 6 ft. LVL project brought with it the need to add drying capacity at the Punkaharju mill. On this issue, Raute technology management and Finnforest's project group came up with an excellent solution. It involved instal- PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 5 5 6 lation of a new 6.2 metre wide, 6-deck dryer to handle the existing 8'x8' veneer sheets, while drying of the 6'x8' sheets would be handled on the older 4.8 metre dryer that had been originally installed to handle the 8 ft. veneers. At the time the order was placed for the 8'x8' LVL line, 6.2 metre wide, 6deck drying technology was in its infancy and Finnforest management had been skeptical about its probable success. In addition, the roof of the Punkaharju mill was too low to accommodate the height of a 6-deck dryer. Management went with what they saw as a proven solution and installed a 4.8 metre wide dryer that handled a combination of 8 ft. and 4 ft. wide veneer sheets and, on occasion, a single 8 ft. sheet. With the new investment, however, came the funds required for expanding dryer capacity, which included building a new facility to accommodate the 6.2 metre, 6-deck dryer. This has enabled the mill to all but eliminate its 4 ft. wide sheets because the new 6.2 metre wide dryer is able to dry two 8'x8' sheets at a time. The existing 4.8 metre wide dryer has been freed up to dry all the 6 ft. wide veneers with the result that it is now able to achieve full operational capacity of their dryers. With the addition of extra peeling shifts, the 8 ft. lathe has been easily able to keep up with the demands of the mill also. Automatic veneer handling proves successful Spruce is the raw material used in Finnforest's Kerto LVL. In order for this species to meet the MOE and MOR performance specifications for structural strenght LVL, special care and attention must be given to every stage of the production process. In this case, the Punkaharju mill has some clear advantages. The mill does not buy veneer for their LVL from outside sources and so they have complete control over every aspect of production ­ conditioning, peeling, drying, grading, layup and pressing. This enables them to fully realize the advantages of in-line scarfing, which requires that the veneer be of high quality and integrity because they know the quality of every sheet passing through the scarfing saw. It has also enabled them to successfully utilize the dual-tablet layup system that is an integral part of the new 6 ft. wide line. Finnforest management was at first cautious about the ability of the fully-automatic system to place veneer sheets with the degree of accuracy required to achieve the necessary strength values. The challenge they presented Raute was to provide a guarantee that the quality of the LVL produced on the new 6 ft. line would be as good as, or better, than that of the LVL made on their existing lines. It has proven to be so. A quick and successful startup When they placed the order for a 6 ft. wide LVL line with Raute on 17th February, 2005, Finnforest's demands were for a successful startup and capacity test by year end. Site preparation began immediately with installation of equipment commencing in early September. Line operators were on-site during the first week of November and the installation sign-off was done on November 14th. Finnforest had undertaken the training of the new operators using in-house expertise and personnel. On November 17th the first billet of 6 ft. wide LVL rolled out of the press and a week later Finnforest received certification of their new product. As of December 5th the new line has been operating on a 3 shift, 5 day production schedule. A successful project Mr. Eero Lampola, Manager of the Punkaharju LVL mill, was equally clear on why the Punkaharju project was a success. According to the Punkaharju Mill Manager, there were advantages in having the new 6 ft. line installed in an operating mill where personnel were already familiar with both the machinery and process. Mr. Lampola also noted that Finnforest management was already 6 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 7 The challenge Finnforest presented Raute was to provide a guarantee that the quality of the LVL produced on the new 6 ft. line would be as good as, or better, than that of the LVL made on their existing lines. It has proven to be so. considering purchase of the second line as the first line was being installed. He also noted that the necessary technical solutions were able to be engineered in detail in a short period of time, due to the fact that Finnforest already had a clear view of what was expected from the new line and Raute had the required technical concepts. And, lastly, Mr. Lampola stated that there were advantages in having engineering, installation and start-up personnel who had participated in earlier projects. In commenting on the quality of the end product, Mr. Lampola stated that it meets all the technical requirements of Finnforest's other lines. With respect to the performance of the new line he stated that the layup cycle is faster than the existing line and, therefore, more productive. He also stated that the superior accuracy in positioning the veneer sheets in the layup enables the mill to use slightly narrower veneers, which improves recovery. Also, with the correct product mix, the line requires only 5 operators, versus 7 on the old line. In commenting on Raute's performance with respect to the project, Mr. Lampola stated that Raute's solutions were the best for meeting his company's requirements within the project budget. He further stated that dealing with one primary supplier made it possible to clearly identify the responsibilities of individuals involved in the project with fewer personnel resources required from the buyer's side. From Raute's side, LVL Technology Manager, Mr. Hannu Sinko, gave his impressions as to why the project was handled so successfully. According to Mr. Sinko, it was of benefit to both sides that this was not the first project in which the Finnforest team had been involved, which made discussions proceed smoothly from Day One. For all those involved in the project it also meant that there was no uncertainty as to what kind of product would be produced and in what volume. Mr. Sinko was equally impressed with the fact that problems were addressed and solved when they arose and, due to a clear understanding of the scope and requirements of the project from both sides, time was not wasted on minor issues. All parties concerned knew their roles and responsibilities and got on with the job. 5 Testing and fine-tuning of the VDA camera grading system. 6 A load of Kerto LVL packaged and ready for delivery. 7 The new dryer has a continuously operating automatic full sheet feeder. PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 7 text: Veli-Matti Lepistö S.A. Plywood increases plywood production 8 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine Visitors to the Mbumalanga region of South Africa are greeted with majestic scenery and environmental diversity that make this a unique place in all the world. With the world-famous Kruger National Park, the region is also rich in plantation forests. LOCATED IN A GREEN VALLEY within close proximity of this vast resource is the town of Sabie, site of a plywood mill operated by the Global Forest Products (GFP) company, which, together with the help of Raute, recently underwent major capital investment. Global Forest Products In addition to providing spectacular views for the many tourists to the Mbumalanga region, the region's natural resources also benefit the area's wood products industry. Global Forest Products is the largest producer of solid wood products and plywood in South Africa and actively exports to various countries, including the United States, Japan, England and Australia. Their marketing strategy is to focus on delivering the highest levels of product quality and customer service. Plywood produced at the Sabie mill is utilized by the domestic furniture industry, concrete forming companies, pallet and boat manufacturers while higher valued products, such as plywood with clear faces, T&G panels and MDO are exported to Europe, Australia and New Zealand. GFP operates three sawmills in addition to the Sabie plywood mill. They control 92,000 hectares of forest, of which 58,000 is planted pine (Pinus taeda, elliottii and patula). All told, the company has access to 900,000 m3 FCS-certified logs annually, 75% from its own forests with the bal- ance coming from a state-owned forestry company. The region's forests are considered to be among the best managed in the world, yielding high-quality logs processed into FSC-certified valueadded products. GFP was launched in 2001 by the Global Environment Fund (GEF), an international investment management firm which today holds 70% of GFP, while the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) holds the remaining 30%. Under the control of GEF and IDC, GFP has enjoyed steady growth in its businesses over the past few years. With this strong backing, GFP remains on target to re-engineer its business, from the forests from which it extracts its raw materials to the markets and customers it serves. Part of this strategy includes investing in the education and training of its employees, based on a strong belief that the company can only be as good as the skills of the people it employs. Expansion program of S.A. Plywood Modernization projects initially were targeted for the Sabie and Driekop mills, which operated with mostly outdated machinery. S.A. Plywood, as the GFP plywood plant is known, is the largest plant of its kind in South Africa and was targeted for modernization because it was unable to satisfy the demand for plywood in the domestic market. Most of the initial machinery had Smart Peel enables large volumes of high-quality veneer to be peeled from different sizes and qualities of blocks. PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 9 "Smart Peel lathe produces veneer of far better quality than the old lathe it replaced." been installed in 1984 at the time when Mondi Ply began producing plywood in Sabie. The operation thus suffered from low recovery, poor product quality and an inability to operate at capacity. The biggest challenge faced by the plant was the veneer production process. In the early 90's a partial rebuild was completed whereby Italian peeling equipment and 3 German veneer dryers were installed. Prior to installation of the new Raute peeling and dryer lines, the mill processed approximately 350 m3 of logs per day on two shifts, producing 155 m3 of plywood daily for a net recovery of 42% from debarked logs to finished plywood. The goal of GFP's 2005/6 expansion program was to increase their plywood production to 300 m3 per day, which required total of 440 m3 of green veneer to be produced daily. Eliminating obstacles The existing layup equipment, presses and panel handling lines were able to handle the targeted increase in production, however, green veneer production and drying were the biggest challenges, particularly the lack of peeling capacity and the poor quality of the dried veneer. To remove these obstacles, GFP management elected to install a Raute 8-ft Smart Peel peeling line and a new dryer to replace the 3 existing dryers and peeling line. To ensure a continuous supply of blocks, a new overhead crane and modifications to the debarker line and conditioning vats, was completed. Installation was completed in May, 2006. The new Raute Smart Peel peeling line operates on two shifts. According to site manager, Ken Herritt, green veneer recovery is up to 75%, thanks to the combination of properly conditioned, quality blocks and the Smart Peel lathe. Mr. Herritt, a native of western Canada, was hired by GFP based on his long experience in the North American ply- wood industry and is responsible for the manufacturing operations. He spoke favorably of the new Raute lathe, stating that, even though the lathe has only been operating for a short time, there is no doubt that machinery does what was promised. According to Mr. Herritt, net recovery is expected to increase to 50% with the improved peeling quality and optimized drying. General Manager of S.A. Plywood, Mr. Mike Botha, stated that Smart Peel lathe produces veneer of far better quality than the old lathe it replaced. According to Mr. Botha, the veneer is flat with the correct degree of checking. The inclusion of stacking based on moisture separation has also improved the drying operation. These improvements in peeling and drying have significantly improved recovery, raising the volume of full sheets and reducing randoms. This fact that is not lost on the business, which must contend with wide fluctuations in the cost of raw materials. Much of the variation in log costs is caused by forest fires, which are a yearly occurrence. In 2003 alone, 15,000 hectares of forest were destroyed, which caused prices to rise considerably due to the shortage that was created. Even today, log prices has remained about 80% higher than they were before the fires. Operator friendly line Peeling Technician. Mr. James Vollenhoven, has been impressed with the operator-friendly operation of Smart Peel compared with the line it replaced. He commented particularly on the ease with which the peeling parameters are adjusted on the operator's touch screen. Smart Peel enables large volumes of high-quality veneer to be peeled from different sizes and qualities of blocks, with the operator able to make simple adjustments to the nose bar setting, backup roll pressure and knife settings. Mr Vollenhoven further expressed Scanning and clipping. 10 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine The 6 deck drying line was installed to increase amount of good quality dry veneer. his satisfaction with the overall operation of the tray system, particularly the ability of the Raute rotary clipper and catch-up conveyors to maintain a consistent flow of veneer through the clipper. According to Mr. Dion Bester, Peeler Technician Assistant, the new Raute peeling line is easy to operate and all necessary maintenance tasks can be undertaken in a controlled manner once maintenance staff have become familiar with the various line functions. "Green veneer recovery is up to 75%, thanks to the combination of properly conditioned, quality blocks and the Smart Peel lathe." Future and challenges With their recently modernized and highly productive plywood mill, S.A. Plywood is able to meet the increase in demand for their products and strengthen their market position. The injection of new technology into their mill will enable Global Forest products' FSC-certified products to compete with cheaper substitutes, while enabling them to continue to produce their unique range of plywood in thicknesses ranging from 4 to 38 mm (1/6" to 11/2"). General Manager, Mike Botha sees the opportunities for growth in the domestic market, especially as the next soccer World Cup approaches and demand for construction grows. As a proud South African, he looks forward to his country taking centre stage in 2010, as the sporting eyes of the world focus on his country. In the meantime, Global Forest Products, with the support of their skilled work force, will strive to improve their business operations and manufacturing capabilities, as they continue to supply both their domestic and export customers with plywood made in one of the most picturesque places on earth. Dankie Global Forest Products en beste wense vir die toekoms! (Thank you Global Forest Products and best wishes for the future!) Mike Botha and Ken Herrit are satisfied with the performance of the new peeling line. S.A. Plywood's Smart Peel line features: · 6 step linear step feeder · Smart Scan XY+ · Smart Peel lathe with roller nose bar, triple spindles · OPG optimal peeling geometry · Hydraulic clipping trash gate · 2-deck tray conveyors · VCO scanner and moisture analyzer · Hydraulic rotary clipper · Sheet diverter · Random pull table · 4-bin green stacker with moisture analyzer · Automatic stack unloader Raw material · Species: Pinus taeda, elliottii and patula · Block length: 8 ft. · Block diameter: 160­800 mm · Minimum core diameter: 65 mm · Veneer thicknesses: 1.8 mm, 2.1 mm and 3.15 mm Line speed · Max. spindle rotation 750 RPM · Max. peeling speed 365 m/min · Max. number of blocks peeled up to 10 blocks/min · Capacity up to 40 m3 of 3.15 mm thick veneer per hour Drying line features: · Automatic feeder · Non-stop stack changing device · 6 decks, 15 hot sections, 3 zones · Smoke extraction cells · Mecano DMM · Jam-up detection system · Management information system PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 11 >> short news First order for decorative veneer technology IN JANUARY 2006, Raute signed a contract with UPMKymmene Wood Oy for the purchase of two decorative veneer press dryers for UPM's Lohja veneer mill. The dryers are designed around the technology of the Italian Intercomer company, which Raute acquired in 2005. They will replace two existing screen dryers. The delivery of the first new press dryer will take place this summer with the second being delivered at the beginning of next year. Dried veneer quality, dryer performance and customer support services were decisive factors when UPM chose Raute as the supplier of their new dryers. www.raute.com ­ a completely revamped website VISITORS TO www.raute.com will see something new ­ a completely revamped website launched in march, 2006. Our goal when beginning the web project was to provide an even more extensive range of information on Raute and our products and services to all stakeholder groups. Formerly, Raute's website had two sections, one for corporate information and another for product information. Now, both sections have been combined into a single, comprehensive site containing all information on Raute. We have purposely constructed the site in a portal style to enable easy access. The site contains corporate, investor and product related information. Product information is divided into six sub-sections describing Raute's product offering for each customer industry: · Plywood and veneer · LVL · Particleboard and MDF · Multi-layer parquet · Decorative veneer · Technology services Raute and Merritt to cooperate IN FEBRUARY 2006, a non-exclusive agreement was signed between Raute and Merritt Plywood Machinery, Inc. of Lockport, NY, U.S.A. to jointly offer products and services to their respective customers in the veneer industry. The agreement allows both Raute and Merritt the ability to expand their product lines, particularly in the sliced veneer industry, by incorporating each other's equipment into a single source offer to customers. Merritt PMI specializes in custom machine design and manufacturing and is a worldwide supplier of equipment to the hardwood veneer and plywood industries. The company recently installed new Merritt vertical veneer slicers at Atlantic Veneer Corp. in Beaufort, North Carolina and Erath Veneer in Rocky Mount, Virginia. More information about the company can be found at www.merrittpmi.com. Decorative Veneer Team strengthened Matti Aho assumed the responsibility of Sales Manager, Decorative Veneer Technology in January 2006. Matti joined Raute in 1986 and has gained wide experience through his various positions in Raute's offices in Finland, Singapore and Canada. Timo Tikka was appointed Technology Manager, Decorative Veneer Technology in March 2006. Timo came to Raute from TTT, a Finnish industrial knife supplier. Prior to the 6 years spent at TTT, Timo worked for Raute in Finland and South East Asia from 1985-1999. Also included is a Technology Feature, which is in the form of a condensed "information package". This feature relates to everyday customer projects and activities. In it you will find customer comments and learn about new technologies available from Raute. If you have a good idea on what could be an interesting topic for our Technology Feature, we'd love to hear from you! Please let us know what you think of our new website by emailing us at feedback@raute.com. Your comments and suggestions will be gladly received and will provide us with valuable information regarding what you would like to read about Raute on the internet. As always, we appreciate your business and hope you have a good time surfing our new site. Matti Aho Timo Tikka 12 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine text: Molli Nyman Cross Wrap ­ A high-tech packaging solution Raute and Cross Wrap Oy Ltd. have been working closely together in the launching of a high-tech packaging solution for the global wood-based panel industry. CROSS WRAP BRINGS to this partnership expertise in stretch wrap packaging technology for a variety of industrial applications, while Raute offers indepth knowledge and long experience in understanding the demands of wood-based panel producers. With these skills in mind, the partnership intends to provide the wood products industry with superior packaging solutions. Automatic stretch wrap packaging could be the technology that replaces conventional packaging methods and materials, including manual handling, metal and plastic strapping, corner supports and protective plywood panels. With the Cross Wrap system you get an economical and environmentally sound packaging solution that saves you money on labor and packaging materials, as well as reducing transportation and storage costs. It will also prevent the cost of unnecessary claims caused by packages that may become damaged during transportation and storage. Conventional packaging is done manually. The use of various packaging materials can result in high costs being incurred by the mill and the packaging result isn't always the best possible in terms of durability, protection and the image it portrays of the producer. In order to be able to operate an environmentally sound and profitable production process, from raw material to the packaged end product, and then to be able to deliver that end product intact to the customer is something that all panel producers would like to do as seamlessly and with as little disruption as possible. Cross Wrap's patented 3D stretch wrap packaging solution is based on the use of a single material, recyclable PE-film. >> PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 13 Cross Wrap Oy Ltd. · In business since 1994 · Cooperation with Raute began in 2003 · Based in the town of Siilinjärvi in eastern Finland · Specialized in wrapping bales of waste and recyclable materials and packaging wood based panels, such as plywood · Over 100 packaging systems sold to 24 countries worldwide · Over 10 million bales and other packages wrapped using the Cross Wrap system · Cross Wrap is the world's leading company in wrapping waste · Combines own expertise in wrapping technology with Raute's global expertise and sales network in wood-based panel industries Manual-assist or fully-automatic For mills that utilize plywood in their packaging process, Cross Wrap enables all plywood produced by the mill to be sold at its market value instead of it being lost in the packaging process. There is also a substantial saving in manpower, as the line is virtually fully automatic, requiring one supervisor only who is free to undertake a variety of tasks. The system is also very flexible, allowing panels of different sizes to be packaged on one line. Mills utilizing Cross Wrap find it to be a reliable, low maintenance packaging solution. Savings and solid packages from mill to customer Those mills in which the Cross Wrap system is installed enjoy savings in packaging costs of up to 60% compared to mills employing conventional packaging materials. Not only is the PE-film used by Cross Wrap fully recyclable, it can also be safely burned and used as a source of energy. The PE stretch film completely envelopes its contents, protecting them from all sides, including the underside, from the time the package leaves your mill until it arrives safely at its final destination. The packaging material can be removed entirely or the package partially opened and only a portion of the contents removed. The package can then be returned to inventory without risk that it will become unstable and cause injury. The PE-film effectively protects the package against ingress of moisture and the effects of temperature variations. Rollover tests demonstrate that Cross Wrap packages withstand the most violent handling without damaging the contents and are suitable for forklit handling and transportation by truck. Packages can also be labelled online, which protects the label and improves the visual presentation of the package. In today's increasingly competitive business environment, panel producers must use environmentally-sound solutions to simultaneously cut costs and add value to their production. Using a smart packaging solution like Cross Wrap is one way to help attain those goals. The Cross Wrap packaging process stages > 1. Bottom billet feeding 2. First vertical wrapping > 3. Horizontal wrapping > 14 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine Significant savings with Cross Wrap Raute spoke with Mr. Pekka Kautonen, Mill Manager of UPM-Kymmene's Kaukas plywood mill, about his experience with the Cross Wrap packaging system. What do you estimate to be the cost savings delivered by the Cross Wrap system compared to the existing packaging system at your mill? I can only say that the savings are significant. Where has Cross Wrap had the most impact? In labour and packaging materials. Cross Wrap uses plastic wrapping, which is cheaper than conventional materials. The line needs only one operator, whereas the old line needed two. Also, the new line wraps more loads in the same amount of time as the old line. How did the startup of the Cross Wrap packaging line go? Reasonably well. At our mill the variations and the maximum load size varied quite a lot from the lines delivered previously, which required some additional programming and changes to the line after installation. What percentage of production is now packaged on the Cross Wrap line? How do you see the situation in the future? About half of our production is packaged on the Cross Wrap line and in the future we aim to increase this to as large a share of production as possible. There will still be a few customers who do not want their goods wrapped using the Cross Wrap method. What has been the reaction of your customers to Cross Wrap packaging? Those in favour of the new packaging method have been positive about it. What are the positives and negatives of Cross Wrap packaging according to your customers? The most positive comments have been about the durability and the excellent moisture protection of the packaging. Some customers have commented that opening Cross Wrap packaging requires a little bit more work than just breaking metal straps. Has Cross Wrap met your expectations? What could be improved? Cross Wrap has met my expectations. We are satisfied with the good cooperation during the project and the changes that were made to the line after installation. If I am to be critical, I would have to say that some of the changes made after installation could have been made during planning, as some of the special requirements were already known in advance. But, as I said, Cross Wrap has met my expectations. > 4. Labelling > 5. Second vertical wrapping Mills in which the Cross Wrap system is installed enjoy savings in packaging costs of up to 60%. PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 15 text: Minna Pajamies Improving productivity with proper care and maintenance Proper care and maintenance ensures that the world keeps turning, particularly in the area of wood products technology. 16 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine CAPITAL INVESTMENT is inevitable and will strongly affect your business in the long term, especially considering that the life cycle of machinery is generally estimated to be between ten and thirty years. While it may be relatively simple to anticipate the decline in machinery performance as it ages over its life cycle, the same cannot be said for the demands of the mill's efficiency and quality requirements. New technology tends to surprise even the most experienced producers with the outstanding possibilities for improved productivity it provides. The best way to enhance the future output and productivity of a particular production line is to provide ongoing quality maintenance. This means considering the investment over the term of its entire life cycle, from the time the investment decision is made, through its installation, systematic maintenance and any modernizations that may become necessary. Life cycle analysis tells the story The life of a production line in the wood products industry can be seen through its life cycle relative to its productivity and efficiency during that period. A properly maintained production line is, in the long term, more productive. Perhaps understandable, but rarely acknowledged. Mills, it seems, prefer to be reactive rather than proactive when it comes to equipment maintenance. This situation, however, is expected to change. The Raute formula for maximized performance takes into account the recovery, productivity and quality of the production line, and its capacity, from which the level of profitable produc- tion can be calculated. This formula remains valid over the entire life cycle of the equipment. In maintenance, the target is to maintain and continuously develop the inputs of the formula by securing the customers success factors: lowest possible production costs, optimum production volume, highest possible quality and lowest possible total of direct and indirect maintenance costs. This is achieved through a proper preventive maintenance programme and by maintaining equipment in good order, properly tuned and calibrated. Preventive actions for future challenges The majority of Raute's customers have the knowledge and personnel to handle day-to-day maintenance and repairs, however, today's sophisticated >> A properly maintained production line is, in the long term, more productive. Raute's solution Production value and use of equipment Value of production Project acceptance 100% capacity Service contract at 80% capacity Traditional solution Spare part costs Maintenance costs Time Pre-investment period Delivery Warranty period period Replacement of equipment Acceptance of project Modernisation * Service contract PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 17 >> machinery and equipment tends to be more versatile and demands a high level of maintenance expertise. Raute offers technological expertise in the maintenance of installed Raute machinery including the process knowledge, technology and experienced personnel required to assist our customers in maintaining and improving their run time percentage, raw material recovery and product quality. Our range of services covers the entire life cycle of the machinery or process line, from the commissioning of the new equipment to daily maintenance and basic upgrades and modernizations. The demand for maintenance services has grown, particularly preventive maintenance, which is designed to increase the productivity of the mill. Preventive maintenance measures covering all processes related to production and automation are planned and developed in close co-operation with the customer. This co-operation has already yielded a number of "best practices" and tools that can be used to the advantage of our customers in their global operations. The number of Raute maintenance personnel presently stands at 40. When combined with our spare parts personnel, that number rises to 65 dedicated persons at our locations in Canada, Finland, Singapore and Russia. More locations are planned for the near future. Emphasis on preventive maintenance MAINTENANCE MANAGER of UPMKymmene's Kaukas Plywood Mill, Mr. Rauli Laaksonen, is passionate about the development of maintenance practices at his mill. According to Mr. Laaksonen, for the last ten years the role of preventive maintenance has been growing in importance, while the emphasis on repair-oriented maintenance work has been decreasing. "During this period all essential production lines at the Kaukas Plywood Mill have been placed under a so-called preventive care umbrella. With our target being a consistently steady and smooth production process, the preventive maintenance programs we have in place ensure that we achieve the results we want", said Mr. Laaksonen. Production capacity of the Kaukas Mill is 85,000 m3/year, with production running mostly on three shifts. The mill produces overlaid and standard plywood panels. Around 390 people work at the mill, of which more than 30 make up the mill's own maintenance staff. Said Mr. Laaksonen, "The mill's own maintenance program has been expanded to include a service contract with Raute. The contract includes regularly scheduled mill visits by Raute service technicians, who carry out thorough inspections of our equipment and prepare a report outlining the condition of the equipment, together with recommendations for repairs and parts replacement to ensure reliable production and product quality. Inspections are usually made before our summer shutdown, during which time the necessary repairs and equipment modernizations are carried out". All production lines at the Kaukas mill associated with veneer peeling, drying and composing have been acquired from Raute. The most recent investment, a new patching line, started up in December, 2005. The efficiency of the production lines are rated in terms of productivity, which compares planned production to actual results and states the results in the number of working hours of each line. According to Mr. Laaksonen, these measurements are, however, no longer sufficient due to the constant and growing need of the mill to obtain more information about automation efficiency and production management."New tools are constantly needed in order for us to be able to plan optimum maintenance and repairs. This represents an excellent area of development for the technology provider", he stated. Mr. Rauli Laaksonen, Maintenance Manager, has worked at the UPM-Kymmene Kaukas Plywood Mill for over ten years. He gained valuable experience in plywood production prior to joining Kaukas when working at the Viipuri Plywood Mill, which merged with Kaukas in 1995. 18 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine Focus on Technology Services THE DEVELOPMENT of Technology Services has become one of Rautes' strategic focus areas, particularly over the past two years. During that time we have concentrated our efforts in evolving from a production oriented organization into a customer oriented service business. Beginning in 2004, modernization services were identified and packaged as Raute products. Maintenance services followed in a similar fashion in 2005. "Today our services are based on the life cycle of our products. Instead of looking at specific greenfield projects or repair work, our focus is on developing the customers' business in close cooperation with the customers themselves", commented Mr. Timo Kangas, Vice President, Technology Services, and member of the Group Executive Board. "We believe that contract based services benefit our customers, from investment planning to modernization work and preventive maintenance, ensuring that our customers' production lines run as smoothly and efficiently as possible", he said. Mr. Kangas believes that one of Raute's challenges is to further enhance the Raute brand with respect to these services. "Our consulting business, RWS-Engineering, is no longer a separate business, but rather an essential part of the Raute Technology Services being offered to our customers. This combination adds to our strength as a company", he said. In addition to his other responsibilities, Mr. Kangas was appointed President of RWS-Engineering, as on March 10, 2006. RWS has undertaken projects in every major forest region of the world with services ranging from pre-feasibility studies for greenfield projects to development planning at existing mills. Raute Technology Services employs around 100 professionals who possess both technological expertise and hands-on production experience. According to Mr. Kangas, one of the main advantages that Raute brings to the wood products business is the strong knowledge pool that exists within the Group. >> Technology Services in a nutshell RAUTE TECHNOLOGY SERVICES consists of maintenance and spare parts services, modernizations, consulting, training and the supply of reconditioned machinery. In 2005, these services accounted for 22% of Raute's net sales with an order value of EUR 23 million. During the year, demand for technology services developed positively with most of the growth coming from Europe, Russia and Asia. The client base expanded and the number of customers' production lines under service contract increased considerably. In the first quarter in 2006 new orders amounted to EUR 5.4 million, falling short of the same period for the preceding year (EUR 7.1 million). The drop in new orders resulted from postponed modernization projects in Europe and slow demand in North America. The order intake for maintenance and spare parts services continued to develop positively. Maintenance services Raute maintenance services are based on the needs of each individual customer. Ready-prepared maintenance packages are combined with activities specially tailored to the specific needs of the mill. Basic maintenance services help mills to avoid machinery breakdowns and unplanned stoppages. These services include repairs, basic overhauls, inspections and preventive maintenance supported by the required spare parts. Services aimed at adding value assist customers in developing their business operations. These services include technical line audits, shutdown planning, line condition monitoring, modernizations and personnel training programs. Partnership services are based on close cooperation with the customer and include mill audits, maintenance budgeting and strategy planning, development plans, investment plans and local maintenance services. PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 19 text: Rick Massey Smart Scan in the S.E. United States The plywood industry has enjoyed the benefits of XY block optimization for over 20 years, namely, increased veneer recovery, a higher percentage of full sheets and a reduction in random veneer. THIS COMBINATION OF BENEFITS not only reduces the level of manual handling required in subsequent operations, such as drying and layup, it also increases productivity and lowers manufacturing costs. Armed with advancements in laser technology and computerization, Raute took a significant step forward in block optimization technology when it released its Smart Scan XY+ in 2004. Since then, 25 systems have been sold to mills in North and South America, as well as in Europe, and Asia. Smart Scan is revolutionary. It uses sophisticated laser sensors to scan in one-inch increments along the entire length of the peeler block. This so-called "laser curtain" provides a 3-dimensional image of every block, while its high resolution eliminates blind spots between sensors, enabling Smart Scan to detect every raised knot and protruding branch that may affect the peeling operation. Spin-outs are reduced because the lathe operator has a clear image of every block and is able to present the block to the knife without fear of making hard contact, a frequent cause of spin-outs. This same feature enables the carriage to be operated in automatic mode, with the operator's job being to monitor the process. Smart Scan XY+ adapts to all species and block lengths. At present, Raute has systems operating on southern yellow pine, aspen, birch, spruce, maritime pine, radiata pine and tropical hardwoods. Blocks being handled range from 152 mm and above in diameter and from 4 ft. to 8 ft. in length. convenience of "black box" control and its more than 7000 measuring points, combined with a scanning resolution of 0.05 mm, provides the best accuracy of any XY block optimization system available. Features include an advanced graphical user interface with easy-to-interpret screens that provide scan data in realtime. Production reports are available at the push-of-a-button and values are stated in easy to understand terms. All data can be accessed via a web connection and Raute service personnel are able to go on-line for the purpose of troubleshooting. There is even an optional feature that enables automatic spindle calibration to be undertaken while the system is in operation. Successful startups Multiple features Smart Scan XY+ has multiple features that mill personnel will appreciate. Its open architecture has eliminated the in- Available as a retrofit Raute has completed a number of proj- 20 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine >> Smart Scan is revolutionary. It uses sophisticated laser sensors to scan in one-inch increments along the entire length of the peeler block. ects where Smart Scan was successfully installed into an existing lathe deck. In each case, a Raute engineer first inspected the existing equipment before making recommendations concerning the modernization project. This ensured that the Smart Scan XY+ could be installed in a timely manner with minimal interruption to the mill's production schedule. Experience has shown that mills will not be able to take full age of improved block optimization if the mechanics of their lathe are not in proper working order. All wear parts, such as slides, pins, bushings, cylinders and wear surfaces should be brought up to correct operating specifications during regularly-scheduled maintenance prior to the shut-down and installation of the new Smart Scan XY+. It is also recommended that maintenance staff check the performance of the lathe spindles to ensure that maximum benefits from the XY will be achieved during peeling. In each case where Smart Scan XY+ is installed into an existing lathe system, responsibilities and tasks need to be assigned well in advance in cooperation with Raute's engineering and service departments. This includes developing a plan for the removal of existing machinery, alterations to mechanical equipment, upgrading of the existing electrics, installing foundations and plans for shut down and installation of the Smart Scan XY+. Proper planning and execution is essential to the success of a modernization project of this kind, as failure to meet start-up schedules will result in lost production. By itemizing precisely the steps required for achieving a fast and successful installation, installations have been completed in as little as two to three days. Linear loader offers advantages Realizing that precise scanning and positioning of the block in the lathe is only one step in gaining optimum utilization from the lathe, Raute has gone several steps further by designing a linear block loader that greatly reduces the amount of mechanical handling prior to XY positioning. Blocks are transported on the linear loader directly from the end of the infeed conveyor to the XY spindles, without the need for V-blocks and linear positioners. Pre-centering of the blocks is done using laser spots while the block is in the loader. Locating the pre-spots close to the XY spindles eliminates any error that might occur during transition from pre-spotting to spindle clamping. The linear loader also operates with a minimal number of moving parts, which significantly reduces its >> PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 21 >> Full sheet recovery at Hood's Wiggins mill has risen from 80­82% to 86%. line after peeling. He stated also that Smart Scan's automatic carriage retract feature has contributed to the increase in production. "We no longer get narrow pieces of veneer ribbon on one side of the conveyors as we did previously, which was a frequent cause of tray plug-ups", he said, adding that the overall amount of recoverable center-cut fishtails has also increased. According to Jim Benefield, Manager of Hood's Beaumont plywood mill, gauging the recovery improvements at his mill has been difficult, due to the fact that the mill continues to process storm timber, a legacy of Hurricane Katrina. However, Mr. Benefield confirmed that his mill has gained in both recovery and productivity. mechanical complexity. By eliminating much of the mechanical handling from the XY optimization process, a significant amount of maintenance and money is saved, while positioning accuracy is improved. Successful project in the South Hood Industries produces sheathing grade, sanded and specialty plywood products at their two mills in Beaumont and Wiggins, Mississippi, U.S.A. Understanding that they were losing recovery due to inaccurate block optimization, Hood management purchased Raute's Smart Scan XY+ systems in the first half of 2005 for each of their two mills. According to Mr. Ben Crim, Hood's Director of Engineering, the two instal- lations were accomplished to the satisfaction of Hood management. "This has definitely been a successful project with both systems running well", he said."We have seen an improvement in block centering and production rates were above normal within one week of start-up." Mr. Crim added that full sheet recovery at Hood's Wiggins mill has risen from 80­82% to 86%, with productivity increasing by about 10%, from a maximum of 800 m3 per day to more than 885 m3. According to Mr. Crim, a certain percentage of the productivity increase can be attributed to recent upgrades to the green end trays and drives, however, he pointed out that Smart Scan has been instrumental in improving the performance of the green end through better presentation of the veneer ribbon to the 22 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine << Southern yellow pine block being optimized on Raute's Smart Scan XY+ at Hood Industries' plywood mill in Wiggins, Mississippi. Note the large protruding branch end approximately 18" (450 mm) from the end of the block. Smart Scan's ability to scan the block in 1" (25 mm) increments along its length ensures that defects of this kind are detected during the XY optimization phase. Smart Scan AutoCalibration text: Mika Hyysti RAUTE CONTINUES to strengthen its position as the leading provider of XY block optimization technology with the launch of its fully automatic XY block charger calibration system. AutoCalibration measures and analyzes block centering results on a continuous basis, detecting both systematic and periodic irregularities and variations in the XY optimization process. Systematic irregularities and variations are automatically compensated for to ensure optimal block centering on a continuous basis. Data are recorded as long-term trends to enable the monitoring of mechanical wear and to facilitate maintenance planning. Utilizing state-of-the-art automation, Smart Scan AutoCalibration adapts automatically to differences in production environments and to variations in peeler block characteristics. The only service needed after installation is the periodic cleaning of the machine vision sensors. Mill personnel are alerted to excessive contamination of the sensors by an alarm. Smart Scan AutoCalibration offers advantages to both the maintenance and production departments. Using traditional calibration methods, the block must first be rounded in the lathe, after which it is returned to the XY charger, re-centered and the deviation measured. AutoCalibration eliminates these time-consuming steps by undertaking the process without manual intervention. This benefits the maintenance department by providing real-time data on the condition of the XY charger, while eliminating the need to assign resources to manual calibration tasks. Lathe productivity, too, is more effective because with the XY charger is always operating at an optimal level of performance, with the theoretical maximum recovery calculated by the XY centering algorithm being achieved as accurately as possible at the lathe. AutoCalibration can be supplied as part of all new Raute Smart Scan XY+ block optimization systems or as part of Smart Scan XY+ systems retrofitted onto competitors' XY block charging systems. Operator interface screens provided for the Smart Scan XY+ provide a large amount of data, including visual confirmation of the block optimization results. Trend display of AutoCalibration results PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 23 text: Rick Massey Louisiana Pacific starts up Louisiana Pacific Corporation acquired the Evans LVL mill in Golden, British Columbia, Canada in 1999. Since then, mill management has focused on raising production efficiency and safety awareness. At the time this article was written, the mill had gone an impressive 950,000 manhours without injury to plant personnel. new dry end of a complete dry end system, which includes all infeed and outfeed equipment, a steam or gas heated dryer, camera grading, moisture analysis and automatic dry stacking. According to LP management, Raute was chosen as the primary vendor based on a number of factors. They were impressed with how Raute packaged the project, accepting responsibility for performance from the dryer infeed to the 14th bin of the dry stacker. They also saw Raute's solution as proven technology, based on similar projects at mills with similar needs in Armstrong and Vancouver, British Columbia, and were impressed by the performance guarantee, which Raute has satisfied. kms away. The mill processes pine, fir and hemlock in production ratios of 15, 80 and 5 percent respectively. Fir is the most expensive and preferred species due to its strength properties. Pine tends to be brittle and has a lower strength rating. It is critical, therefore, that the mill processes its raw material to extract maximum value. According to Mr. Mittgaard, the old dryers caused case hardening of the surface of the veneer, making the wood brittle and inconsistent in quality. Moisture content ran between 4 and 15%. Moisture is now controlled more precisely, with moisture feedback used to control dryer speed. Dryer zoning and humidity control have also improved veneer quality and overall efficiency. The Raute dry end system includes a refeeder, which automatically inserts sheets into the line between gaps in the flow of veneer from the dryer. By design, the mill sets redry at 17% to optimize drying time and stacking. Veneer that was previously run back manually through the dryer is now allowed to equalize offline and reintroduced automatically into the stacker infeed conveyor. IN 2004, a decision was made to upgrade the veneer drying system, due to the age and condition of the existing dryers, which, according to management, consumed too much energy, required excessive maintenance and created an unacceptable level of smoke in the mill. After discussion with vendors, Raute was chosen to supply a complete dry end system consisting of a 6-deck roller jet dryer and dry stacking system. Installation of the new equipment had an immediate impact on the performance of the dry end. Mill management stated that energy consumption fell by over 20%, while the dryer's humidity control system has improved veneer quality. Recovery has improved also due to reduced overdried and split veneer. Overall dry end productivity has almost doubled, while maintenance has been reduced significantly. Smoke from the dryers has been eliminated from the plant, which has enhanced LP's ability to meet its mandate for worker health. The LP Golden dryer is one of six 6-deck roller jet dryers sold by Raute in Western Canada and the US Pacific Northwest since 2001. In each case, Raute has supplied the dryer as part Improvements in the production department According to Plant Production Superintendent, Mr. Norm Mittgaard, the new Raute dryer, together with upgrades to the mill's steam generation system, have improved productivity and veneer quality. The mill draws the majority of its fiber from a 250 km radius, with some wood coming from coastal regions 800 24 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine > The job of the dryer infeed operator is to monitor the flow of full sheets into the dryer. Veneer is fed automatically by a vacuum feeder. >> "Installation of the new Raute dryer, together with upgrades to our steam system, have improved productivity and the quality of the product we pass along to our internal customers" ­ Production Superintendent, Norm Mittgaard. The new drying system has also reduced labor. Each of the two old dryers required an operator to feed the sheets, while several operators manually pulled, graded and stacked veneer after the dryers. The one new 6-deck dryer has an operator monitoring the automatic feeding, an operator tending to the dry stacker and camera grader and a dry end supervisor who oversees the entire operation. Random is run through an older dryer, which underwent upgrading some years ago. According to Mr. Mittgaard, the savings are significant and are a strong justification for the investment. On redry, the plant went from eight operators to one, and the intention is to eliminate the need for an operator altogether. The mill now has the option of drying veneer on the weekends, an option that wasn't previously available to them. With respect to automatic camera grading, mill management did, however, offer some advice. While being very complimentary about the system's performance and its ability to grade with an accuracy of over 95%, they stated producers using this technology should remember that the dry end is where many of the mill staff get their basic training in recognizing species and grades, a valuable skill that shouldn't be lost. Installation on schedule According to LP management, Raute's installation staff handled their tasks efficiently, professionally and on schedule. Installation began with the dismantling of one of the old dryers. All drying then shifted to the second of the existing dryers, while installation of the Raute dryer proceeded. The modular design of the Raute dryer reduced installation time. Once the new Raute dryer was operational, veneer was manually offloaded until the 14-bin dry stacking system was ready, at which point the two units we tied together. This final step was accomplished in a single weekend. Training of operators and maintenance staff was done during installation, with the schedule designed to ensure that all parties were ready when the dryer went live on October 3, 2005. Final startup of the system took place on December 4, 2005. Plant benefits from vision technology The new dry end system includes a Mecano VDA G3 color camera grader, which, according to mill management, has improved grading accuracy due to its consistent decision-making capabilities. Before the VDA G3 was brought into service, inconsistencies were seen whenever new staff were put on the grading table. By comparison, the camera grader, once programmed, will continue to grade according to data stored in memory. The result at Golden has been maximized grading and value from their dried veneer. >> > Veneer is stacked automatically into a 14-bin Raute dry veneer stacker after drying. PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 25 >> Southeast Asia The plywood and LVL manufacturing industries of Southeast Asia have been in transition over recent years. Following years of economic crisis, the business climate has improved, however, the raw material issue has undergone significant change. text: Jukka Siiriäinen in transition >> Moisture analysis is built into the camera grader. Raute's DMA moisture analyzer features two rows of contact brushes for 100% coverage of the veneer sheet. THE DOMINANT plywood producing countries, Indonesia and Malaysia, have been forced to restructure their industries. This period of consolidation continues today. Plywood companies, especially in East Malaysia, are expected to show positive results this year. Plywood prices have been favourable and are currently at their highest level since 2000. Some plywood products have actually suffered from supply shortages and prices have climbed more than 20% since the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, the cost of manufacturing plywood has also risen, forced up by the increase in log prices and the rising cost of oil. This situation has generally eaten into the profitability of panel producers in the region. Indonesia has struggled with its wood supply over the past few years. Many of the country's plywood mills have been short of raw material and have either closed or are running at reduced capacity. This lack of sufficient raw materials has caused large volumes of the plywood business to shift to other countries. In this the main winners have been Malaysia and China. In the long run, a stable future in veneer-based manufacturing will be assured only for those companies having their own wood plantations. A satisfactory outcome Installation of the Raute 6-deck dry end system has enabled the LP Golden LVL mill to go from being a purchaser of outside veneer to having a surplus available for sale. They have gone from a high energy consumer to an energy conserver and they now believe that the upgrades undertaken at the mill will enable them to raise annual production from 3.9 million ft3 (110,000 m3) to 5.0 million ft3 (140,000 m3). In summing up the dry end system project, mill management had high praise for all those who participated in the project. When asked what made it a success, they cited strong involvement from both vendor and customer. LP's staff, they stated, took ownership in the project from Day One, working together with Raute to ensure success. Wood supply has played a major role in these developments. As the availability of large diameter logs has diminished, the industry has moved towards the utilization of small diameter resources. The utilization of industrial plantations, too, is on the rise. Raute's business has benefited from this transformation, both in terms of new machinery deliveries and the offering of Technology Services. This success is a result of the long-term relationships and cooperation we have built up over the years with customers in the region. Through our ability to understand the customers' needs and the changing business environment, Raute is able to offer better solutions than our competitors. The development of solutions that create high value for our customers has been important in helping to maintain and improve the viability of their veneer-based industries. A key factor has been the ability of Raute technology to produce high quality veneer from small diameter logs while, at the same time, improving productivity. What made Positive signs in the market Recently, the demand for plywood and its selling price have increased. This positive development has reinstated confidence in the industry, prompting investment in modern technology. the project a success? Strong involvement from both vendor and customer! 26 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine Raute recently unveiled a new small log based production concept to its customers in Southeast Asia. of which will contribute to lower plywood production costs. It's true what they say ­ when you do things right from the beginning you don't need to try to correct mistakes throughout the rest of the manufacturing process. With this thought in mind Raute continues to develop and enhance the production processes in close cooperation with our customers, ensuring their success in the veneer-based panel and LVL businesses. Korindo Group is one of the companies that have invested in their own wood plantations and are now facing the future with confidence. Commissioning of the first Raute Smart Peel peeling line was taking place at the time this article was being written with commissioning expected at the end of June, 2005. Designed to process the full range of small diameter blocks, the Smart Peel line is plantation log ready. As the only high capacity line of its kind on the market, it is able to peel face veneer from small diameter logs and, as such, will increase the value of veneer for its owners. In East Malaysia, Tawau Plywood is another company that has taken positive steps towards securing future business through utilization of its plantation log resource. Installation of a new Smart Peel peeling line, designed for processing small diameter mixed species and plantation logs, is expected to be completed by early August, 2005. This new peeling line investment is one of the strategic moves, which, together with the active development of new products, will improve Tawau Plywood's competitiveness. New production concept is introduced In addition to the next generation of peeling lines, Raute recently unveiled a new small log based production concept to its customers in Southeast Asia. By making available the proper technology for processing green veneer, industry will improve recovery and productivity throughout the entire veneer production process. The impact will be most apparent in increased veneer drying capacity, reduced reliance on composing and savings in labour costs, all PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 27 Early March this year, Pasi Kenola started as President of Mecano Group Oy, Raute's subsidiary specializing in machine vision technology. He follows Markku Korhonen, the founder of Mecano Group Oy, now a member of the Board. Kenola joined Mecano as Technical Director on 1 June 2005 from Metso Automation Oy. The past year as seen by Pasi Kenola: "We are facing interesting challenges." Great Visions THE PAST YEAR has been a success for Mecano Group Oy. The number of deliveries reached a record level and the growth from the previous year was over 40%. Our most successful product was the Mecano VDA/DMA integrated analyzer, which combines machine-based veneer imaging with moisture analyzing on the same platform. The integrated compact analyzer is an excellent solution for automatic post-dryer grading. Combining the result of visual grading with the veneer moisture map gives a good general view of the veneer quality. from Mecano Over 100 installed machine vision systems Together Mecano and Raute have already delivered more than 100 machine vision systems for different applications. Most of the systems are part of the lathe and clipper controls or in grading after the dryer. System deliveries have also been made for many other applications, such as veneer scarf-jointing lines. The most recent applications are in panel grading and automatic panel repairing. Upgrading ­ a good option Machine vision technology is developing fast, and it is not always necessary to replace the entire existing machinery to make use of the latest technology. The basic components in the system can be replaced one by one depending on the analyzing need in each case. Mecano offers upgrading packages for existing systems, where gray-scale camera systems are replaced with color camera systems. A higher and more uniform luminous efficiency is achieved with new scanner beams. The latest analyzing tools and features can be incorpo- Colour grading becomes a success Most of the systems delivered last year are based on colour camera technology. Defects are more accurately and reliably detected with a color camera than with a gray-scale camera. With different combinations of RGB colour channels it is possible to accurately threshold certain vaguely distinctive defects for a more detailed defect analysis. Colour cameras can also be used for grading based on the veneer colour. 28 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine rated in applications through computer and software updates. Mecano's DMA moisture analyzer application software has undergone strong development in the last few years, and the new version offers excellent tools for moisture control throughout the entire drying line. Mecano recommends the use of modern remote data linking with the delivered systems to enable rapid dealing with possible disturbances, to improve software and to instruct the client in running the system. With the remote link, problems can be solved within minutes. Cooperation for future success Mecano's success is based on close cooperation with clients and Raute. The strong in-house development of application software and a network of competent sub-contractors guarantee that R&D is focused on veneer-based manufacturing in the future as well. Leading research institutes and universities are employed in the development of new measuring instruments. We are facing interesting challenges, e.g. in developing face and decorative veneer grading and plywood panel repairing and grading applications. Mecano Group Oy · Founded in 1992 by Markku Korhonen · Based in Kajaani in Finland · Today 100% owned by Raute Corporation · Specialized in the development of machine vision applications and other advanced measurements for veneer-based panel production · First vision products installed in 1994 · Today over 100 machine vision systems installed worldwide PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 29 >> fairs WoodTech 2006 proves popular THE WOOD TECHNOLOGY CLINIC & SHOW was launched in 1972 and is the premier event for showcasing lumber and panel technology in North America. Raute has been a supporter of the event since the first Clinic & Show was held at the Portland Coliseum, a venue that was replaced by the current Oregon Convention Center in the late 80's. Beginning in 2004, the exhibitors made a decision that the event should change from being an annual event to one that is held every two years. In this way, it would alternate with the Ligna+ Fair, which is held on odd years in Hannover, Germany. Ligna+ is an event that continues to be popular with many of our American and Canadian customers. Despite initial skepticism by some exhibitors who feared that going to an every-other-year format would turn visitors away, the 2006 WoodTech Show event proved to be well attended and upbeat. Much of this can be attributed to the standard of the visitors, who appeared to represent a higher level of decision-making than in previous years. Certainly, those who visited Raute's booth were intent on learning all that was new in the world of plywood and LVL manufacturing. During the event, Raute also held an off-site seminar during which we informed customers about new areas of technology, including modernization projects aimed at improving their recovery, quality and productivity. The format proved very popular with the attendees. Raute also co-sponsored an event at the show that has grown in popularity since its inception in the 90's ­ the Brewfest. At this event, trade show visitors are treated to boutique beer from local Portland breweries, while enjoying finger food and listening to local musicians. Given the universal popularity of beer, food and music, it's no wonder the event proves to be a great success year after year. Raute looks forward to exhibiting at the next WoodTech show in Portland, Oregon in 2008. come and meet Raute at: >> in 2006 27­30 June WoodMac in Shanghai, China 12­16 September Lesdrevmash in Moscow, Russia 30 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine >> appointments New R&D team established at Raute A new R&D Team has been established to complement the current Technology groups within Raute. This new team will provide its services to both Raute's internal organization as well as to external parties. Services offered will include the testing of wood species and wood products, the construction and testing of prototypes, the gathering and analysis of process data, as well as simulations and other activities. The team is also responsible for the creation, further processing and implementation of various long-term product development projects. Team members are Mr. Reijo Salovaara, Mr. Olli Rintala, Mr. Pär-Gustaf Relander, Mr. Pete Ristola, Mr. Jaakko Vilo, Mr. Arttu Salmela and Mr. Kari Sintonen. The team is headed by Mr. Marko Perttilä, M.Sc. (Eng.), who has been appointed Manager, Research & Development. Marko has worked for Raute since 1994, during which time he has held various positions in engineering and technology management. Marko Perttilä Kimmo Suomalainen Timo Välttilä Antero Hyvönen New Manager of the Quotations Team In addition to his responsibilities as Technology Manager for mill-scale plywood projects, Mr. Kimmo Suomalainen, M.Sc. (Eng.), has been appointed Manager, Quotations Team. Kimmo has worked for Raute since 1984 and has held positions in R&D, engineering, project management and sales. Jori Sopanen Pasi Kenola New Area Sales Manager appointed to Asia Raute's Asian operations have been strengthened by the appointment of Mr. Timo Välttilä, B.Sc. (Wood Technology), to Raute's Singapore office. As Area Sales Manager, Timo will have responsibility for Japan and Korea, as well providing technical sales support for the Asia region. In addition, his responsibilities will include assistance in the development of new products and utilization of new wood species in the Asian market. Timo has worked for Raute for almost ten years, initially as a Development Engineer, then moving into the position of Research Manager and Plywood Specialist prior to his current assignment. New Technology Manager, Lay-up and Pressing Mr. Jori Sopanen, B.Sc. (Eng.), has been appointed Technology Manager of the plywood lay-up and pressing processes. Jori has worked for Raute since 2000 in the capacity of Project Manager. Other appointments Mr. Timo Kangas was appointed President of RWS-Engineering, as of March 10, 2006. Please see page 19 for further details. Mr. Pasi Kenola was appointed President of Mecano Group Oy on 1 March 2006. Please see page 28 for further details. Mr. Matti Aho and Mr. Timo Tikka have been appointed to positions on Raute's Decorative Veneer Team. Please see page 12 for further details. Enhancing sales in Oceania Mr. Antero Hyvönen, B.Sc. (Eng.), has assumed the responsibilities of Area Sales Manager for Oceania, specifically New Zealand and Australia. He will also oversee quotations and salesrelated communications between Raute's operations in Finland and North America. Antero has worked for Raute since 1990, being involved in engineering, project management and sales. PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 31 Global expertise in wood products technology Raute is the leading technology company in its sector serving the wood products industry worldwide by adding value to its customers' businesses. The core of operations comprises the manufacturing processes for veneerbased products. Jyväskylä Nastola Kajaani St. Petersburg Moscow Vancouver, BC Memphis, TN Beijing Singapore Jakarta Santiago Raute Agent www.raute.com