Issue 8 RFP benefits from latest dryer technology VCA raises clipper efficiency at Richply Improved scarf-jointing concept boosts recovery Raute Customer Magazine ­ December 2006 Contents From the CEO Plywood volumes up in France VCA raises clipper efficiency and recovery at Richply Smart Peel running in the South East Asian mills Modernized peeling line at Pellos produces a record Improved scarf-jointing concept boosts recovery New press drying technology at UPM Lohja veneer mill Appointments Fairs 3 4 9 11 14 RFP benefits from latest dryer technology 19 22 25 27 27 Mutually Smart Peel running Raute has responded to the technology demands of the South East Asian's plywood producers with the new Smart Peel peeling line concept. Read more on pages 11­13. Read more about the Pellos record on pages 14­18. PlyVisions is Raute Corporation's Customer Magazine. Editor-In-Chief: Molli Nyman, Editorial Group: Matti Aho, Veli-Matti Lepistö, Rick Massey, Tapani Kiiski Layout: Onnion Oy Printing house: Libris Oy Address changes: Publisher: Raute Corporation, P.O.Box 69, FI-15551 Nastola, Finland, tel. +358 3 829 11, fax +358 3 829 3511, 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 beneficial relationships Dear Reader, THIS WILL BE REMEMBERED as the year of mill projects for Raute. At this time we have received orders for three mill-scale projects, the first from our valued and long-standing customer, Paneles Arauco of Chile. This latest Arauco order marks the fourth mill project where Raute has been selected as the principal equipment supplier. I believe this relationship has been beneficial to both parties. Arauco's requirements have provided us with the incentive to push our technology development, while we have provided Arauco with the equipment that enables them to run their production successfully. The next mill project is a LVL mill for Murphy Company of Oregon, USA. Murphy is a new customer for Raute as far as large-scale projects are concerned. Prior to this order our business with Murphy has involved smaller equipment. LVL production is a new business venture for Murphy Company and I sincerely hope that this project will be the start of a long and fruitful co-operation, similar to what we have built with Paneles Arauco. The third significant order is again with Thebault of France, a long-standing customer who is building a new greenfield plywood mill in the south of France. This will be the first true greenfield plywood mill built in Europe for quite some time. It is a sign of trust and an indication of satisfaction with Raute that Thebault has selected our company as the technology supplier for this project. As important as this project is for Raute, it is equally so for Thebault.You can read more about the Thebault company in our article about the France plywood business on pages 4­8. In addition to the mill-scale projects that have highlighted our activities in recent months, there have been a lot more activities taking place within Raute. In Asia, for instance, our newest peeling line installations are a good indication of Raute's strength in tropical hardwood peeling. Just as important, Raute technology will serve the future needs of our South East Asian customers as they move towards greater utilization of plantation wood. In North America, Raute has benefited from a boom in dryer orders in the US Pacific Northwest and Western Canada. In highlighting this success we have chosen recent dryer deliveries to Roseburg Forest Products as a way of showcasing this success. Please take time also to read how the rapidly changing market situation in North America has prompted us to make internal changes in order to provide improved customer service in response to this new situation. In this edition of PlyVisions we have chosen to highlight our growing modernizations business also. This involves upgrading existing equipment to improve its performance and, by so doing, to raise the level of competitiveness of existing mills. Many customers see this as a preferred solution rather than constructing new capacity. You will read how a modernization project at UPM's Pellos mill improved operations, even though the equipment was not that old. Finally, I would like to thank all of those people and companies who have done business with Raute in 2006 and wish everyone Seasons Greetings and a successful and prosperous new year. But first, enjoy reading PlyVisions. Tapani Kiiski President and CEO PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 3 Plywood volumes up in France The French plywood industry rebounded in 2006 following several years of decreasing production. In response to rising plywood volumes, investments in the French plywood industry increased significantly with Raute playing a major role in the delivery of new machinery and services. Okoume's inherent strength, grain quality and resistance to moisture make it suitable for use in humid environments and those subject to changing weather conditions. 4 Photo: doc. Joubert text: Veli-Matti Lepistö TOTAL OUTPUT of the French plywood industry has decreased steadily since the mid-Seventies, from a high of 750,000 m3 in 1975 to 400,000 m3 in 2005. Thanks to major investments, including a new greenfield mill, continued growth is expected. In recent years the industry has undergone changes resulting from transfer of company ownership, corporate mergers and the establishment of new mills. In order to ensure a continuous supply of raw material, several companies have located their processing facilities at the raw material source. One such enterprise producing okoume veneer, took the initiative of building their plant at the source in Gabon, Africa. Today, producers are divided into those that process plywood from predominantly tropical species, such as okoume; those that concentrate on Maritime pine, and those that produce only veneer. In each case, producers share a common desire to turn out products of the highest quality and, in most cases, to add value to their production. Joubert bases value-adding on okoume Mr. Thierry Joubert began his career in plywood in 1985. Today, he holds the position of company President of Joubert Plywood. He strongly believes that a steady demand exists for okoume plywood and he is leading his company to invest in developing products to satisfy that demand. According to Mr. Joubert,"Value added production is very important and in the future this demand will increase. There exists special demand for specialty products, such as fire-resistant panels."He predicts that other special-purpose products, like pre-painted panels, will find a place in the house construction market. Okoume's inherent strength, grain quality and resistance to moisture make it suitable for use in humid environments and those subject to changing weather conditions. He cited as an example the French boat building company, Beneteau, which uses Joubert's okoume plywood for constructing the interiors of its yachts. Joubert Plywood produces 70,000 m3 of plywood annually at their mills in St-Jean-d'Angely and Les Eliots, France. Every day, 180 m3 okoume veneer is peeled at their own veneer mill in Gabon and shipped to France for further processing. Joubert's customers are large European and French companies who sell the high-quality okoume plywood for use in home construction, furniture and marine applications. At the St-Jean-d'Angely mill, Mr. Laurent Marty, Industrial Manager, saw the need to increase production and improve profitability without adding staff. These were important considerations when the leading team made the decision to purchase a new Raute prepress and 20 opening hot press. Another important issue was operator safety, that Mr. Patrick Mouré, Technical Director strongly emphasized during project execution. In consideration of this, all hydraulic components have been secured behind transparent plexiglass and safety netting. Special light curtains and sensors sound an >> Mr. Thierry Joubert, President of Joubert Plywood. Mr. Frederick Plumet (on left) and Mr. Freddy Peltin, press line operators, Joubert Plywood. PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 5 Nosto nosto tähän tulisi tähän tulisi Nosto tähän tulisi Nosto tähän tulisi. Nosto tähän tulisi Nosto tähän tulisi. Mr. Jean-François Briand, Technical Director and Mr. Xavier Hardy, Managing Director at S.A. Drouin. alarm and shut down machinery whenever plant personnel do not follow proper safety procedures around the machinery. Press line operators, Mr. Freddy Peltin and Mr. Frederick Plumet, stated their satisfaction with the line. They are particularly pleased interface between the press and the operator and the variety of operating screens, controls and reports it provides. "We are able to adjust all the various press line functions from the operator interface as well as receive a large amount of process data", stated Mr. Peltin, adding that it took only two weeks for the operators to learn the system. At the outfeed of the press, panel surface quality is checked and panels needing repair are patched with putty. New investments at Drouin The new pressing line at Joubert Plywood. S.A. Drouin is a plywood producer that understands the potential in valueadded production. Mr. Xavier Hardy, Managing Director and representative of the Drouin family in 3 rd generation, explained how his company found its niche by providing special-sized plywood and veneer produced mainly from poplar. Products vary from 3 mm (1/8") to 40 mm (1 3/4") plywood in a full range of qualities and veneer thicknesses. Plywood is produced with two types of glue for both interior and exterior use. Drouin also produces machined panels, which they use in their container manufacture. In addition to having a flexible product range, Mr. Hardy believes his company's strength lies in its ability to deliver products of consistent quality day after day to an appreciative customer base. This is evidenced by the fact that Drouin enjoys long-term customer relationships, many stretching over a decade. S.A. Drouin's flexibility lies in its ability to produce a wide range of panel sizes in relatively small lots. This imposes special requirements on the production machinery, especially the peeling line. With such a vast range of sizes and thicknesses, it is essential that the setup of the lathe be ac- 6 Smart Peel producing high quality, special-sized veneer at S.A. Drouin. Mr. Jean-Charles Thebault, President of Thebault Group and Mr. Henri-Jean Thebault, Manager of Thebault's new Solferino mill. complished as fast and with as little complexity as possible. In this respect, the Raute peeling line has been particularly successful. One of Drouin's most important considerations when purchasing a peeling line from Raute was the need to produce all veneer widths on one lathe. In response, Raute supplied a Smart Peel lathe, which processes blocks ranging in length from 5 to 11 feet. According to Mr. Hardy, results have been impressive. "Changing the setup of the lathe to handle the various lengths is simple and the peeling line has proven to be very reliable", he said. He added that not only has the Raute Smart Peel lathe been able to satisfy his company's need for flexibility and quality, the mill is now able to meet its production requirements on one shift instead of two. Net plywood recovery, too, has increased by 13% and service and spare parts availability has proceeded without difficulty. and Henri-Jean Thebault, was established in 1953 by Jean Thebault, the father of the brothers. In 1962, the company began producing poplar plywood. Okoume plywood was added to two years later. In 1965, Thebault set up a mill in Sauzé-Vaussais to concentrate on the production of okoume plywood. Twenty years later the company began production of Maritime pine plywood at their mill in Sauzé-Vaussais. Expansion of the company continued in 2000 with the opening of a veneer mill in Gabon, which produces 27,000 m3 of okoume veneer annually. All of Thebault's products carry the CE mark. In addition, the company's pine products bear the "PEFC" stamp. Fiftypercent of production is exported within Europe. Mr. Jean-Charles Thebault, one of the owners of S.I.B. Thebault, believes strongly in okoume because of its excellent mechanical properties. "Okoume plywood lasts well, making it suitable for multiple uses and for undergoing value added processing", he stated. Thebault presently overlays okoume panels and they intend to begin overlaying their pine plywood in the future. The supply of okoume is well in hand at Thebault's Gabon mill, based on well managed foresting plans. Harvesting is undertaken by French companies operating with long terms agreements. With access to raw material secure, Mr. Thebault believes that the markets for okoume will remain good and grow in the future. Thanks to a growing market in Europe, S.I.B. Thebault plans to increase their market presence by increasing their production of softwood and okoume plywood. By so doing they believe they will be able to secure a portion of the sizeable house construction market from OSB producers. With their Sauzé-Vaussais mill already operating at 110% of rated capacity, the mill owners believed their only option Greenfield project for Group Thebault Jean Thebault S.A., a major French plywood producer, owned and managed by three brothers, Jean-Charles, Benoît, >> The numerous projects since 1994 has given the owners high level of trust in the innovation and technology provided by Raute. PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 7 Mr. Christian Lallia, Finnso Bois, and his wife, Anne. for meeting growing demand would be to invest in new plant. Plans for a plywood mill have since been drawn up and installation will begin in 2007. This mill will be managed by Mr. Henri-Jean Thebault. The site for the mill is the town of Solferino with Raute as the primary equipment supplier. Thebault's first project with Raute took place in 1994. The success of that project, and numerous projects since, has given the owners of S.I.B. Thebault a high level of trust in the innovation and technology provided by Raute, according to Mr. Benoît Thebault. He stated that his company appreciates Raute's willingness to modify machinery to suit the mill's special needs, such as the adaptation of Raute's LVL technology to accommodate Thebault's plywood layup requirements. Like Thebault's other mills, the Solferino mill will focus on high quality, certified plywood products mainly for the European market. Both Raute and our experienced agent in France are proud to play an active role in France's growing plywood business. Strong local presence strengthens Raute's position Raute's principle of "Working globally while acting locally" is epitomized by Raute's French agent, Mr. Christian Lallia, who has sixteen years of experience in sales of wood products technology for plywood and sawmills. According to Christian, building relationships with France's plywood industry has meant countless hours travelling around the country arranging discussions between customers and Raute's specialists to deepen confidence and understanding in order to achieve the best results together. The French plywood business, according to Christian, is mainly familyowned. It is typical for the children of the owners to take over responsibility for running the business after the parents retire. The goal of family ownership is generally to ensure steady growth based on the implementation of longterm growth strategy and the cementing of solid customer relations from one generation to the next. Through his own company, Finnso Bois, Christian tends to the needs of his customers in France and all other French- speaking regions. Customers appreciate the local presence that Christian brings and the convenience of being able to use their mother tongue when discussing technical matters and originating contracts. While meeting with customers, matters at the Finnso Bois office are taken care by Christian's wife, Anne and Project Manager, Delphine Javel, and a new technical engineer Mr. Vincent Plante, who skillfully handles all practical arrangements associated with the projects arranged by Christian. Both Raute and our experienced agent in France, Christian Lallia, are proud to play an active role in France's growing plywood business. Raute's machinery can be found in all plywood producing companies in France. Adding to that, Raute also is a major technology supplier to the laminated parquet industry in France. 8 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine text: Rick Massey clipperrecovery ciency effiat Richply and Raute's veneer clipping analyzer (VCA) is an accurate, value-priced green clipper scanner that provides the latest in high-resolution defect scanning technology. ITS MANY FEATURES make the VCA an excellent value proposition for both softwood and hardwood rotary veneer operations. These include its ability to make accurate and repeatable clipping decisions at 650> fpm and its ability to accurately recognize wane for removal. In addition, the VCA can store clip image data for later review and display real images of the veneer ribbon with clip points clearly indicated. If desired, the VCA can be connected to a green veneer moisture analyzer for the purpose of moisture clipping, enabling veneer to be clipped to a width relative to the amount of shrinkage that can be expected during drying. This helps improve drying efficiency and reduces clip loss. The system is delivered network ready and accessible via the Internet. The VCA classifies all clipped material into products containing open holes, splits, fishtail, wane or veneer that is defect free. Open defects are removed according to their size and the allowable width of the minimum and maximum trash veneer. The system is proven on a wide range of species and grades. decision to replace their outdated Raute DuraClip green clipper scanner with a Raute VCA. Their goals when purchasing the VCA were to improve defect recognition and eliminate wane at the clipper rather than sending it through the dry end. This, management believed, would allow them to achieve several goals. First, it would ensure better end product quality since they would no longer have to be concerned with wane finding its way through the layup process and into finished panels. VCA raises >> High intensity LED used on the VCA defect scanner. Optional veneer clipping optimizer (Raute VCO) The VCA can be upgraded to a color camera, which enables it to make clipping decisions based on the value of the product contained in the veneer ribbon. It identifies, for example, open defects, repeating knot characteristics, color defects and grain patterns. Clipping decisions are based on image data gathered along the entire length of the veneer ribbon. The VCO has found particular application for producers of rotary cut hardwood veneers. Canadian customer benefits from VCA Richmond Plywood (Richply) is a Vancouver, B.C. based producer of industrial plywood. In 2006 mill management made a PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 9 >> Second, the burden on the composers would be eased since this is where wane is typically detected and removed. Third, complaints from the dry end operators concerning wane would be eliminated and confidence in subsequent processes would be confirmed. Richply management also believed that it would be in their best interest to have both their scanner and clipper supplied by a single vendor for purposes of service and in the case of future performance upgrades. In late May, 2006 an order was placed with Raute's Canadian office. Delivery took place in August. According to Richply management, installation and startup was accomplished on time and with no interruption to production. A total of 16 manhours were required to install the unit and bring it to the commissioning stage. Much of the work was undertaken during regularly-scheduled maintenance downtime. Some concern had been voiced as to the choice of belting to convey sheets through the VCA. The feeling was that rough top belting would tend to retain debris and for this reason smooth belting would be better. This, however, has not been the case and although flat belting could be considered the best alternative, it is not regarded as being necessary to the proper operation of the VCA. To facilitate a smooth changeover to the new scanner, operation of the existing DuraClip was maintained until setup of the VCA was complete. All relevant clipping scenarios were run on the VCA until mill staff was satisfied that the VCA was ready for duty. At the appropriate time the DuraClip was turned off and the VCA assumed its scanning duties. During the commissioning period, screen data was checked against actual ribbon samples to ensure that the VCA was indeed operating to specification. According to Richply management, the Raute VCA has met the mill's needs at every level. A team put together by Richply to study the performance of the VCA found that the overall volume of material going to the composers has been reduced, which has improved the overall efficiency of that department. With installation of the VCA, defect recognition and removal is now concentrated at the green end rather than after the dryer. This has had the positive effect of improving both the efficiency of the dryers and the overall dry veneer handling process while ensuring that wane doesn't find its way through the production process. Management's opinion also is that product quality has improved due to the fact that they are identifying and removing more defects and thus fulfilling their quality mandate for industrial products. Other features cited by management as being beneficial include the informative GUI screens that allow plant personnel to view the clipping operation in real time and store clip data for further analysis and the fault mode, which alerts the operator to a light source fault by automatically defaulting to a 20" wide clip. This enables the operator to take immediate action in the case where the integrity of the light bar may have been compromised by damage or dirt. The VCA incorporates a higly informative graphical user interface (GUI). 10 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine Smart Peel running Responding to market demand In South East Asia, variations in the quality of the raw material used in the production of plywood are growing. This is particularly true with respect to wood density, log diameter and block quality due to the fact that the raw material is increasingly being obtained from clear cuts and plantations. In addition, the types of products being produced in the region are changing. Raute has responded to the technology demands of the region's plywood producers with the new Smart Peel peeling line concept. Now, the first lines are running at 100% capacity at Korindo Group in Indonesia and Tawau Plywood in East Malaysia. in the South East Asian mills text: Timo Välttilä Processing mixed tropical, plantation and eucalyptus species Tawau Plywood Manufacturing mill in Sabah, states that company purchased Raute's Smart Peel line because of the changing quality and availability of the raw material. At the Tawau Plywood mill, Smart Peel processes mixed tropical species, plantation logs and imported eucalyptus. The main benefits of Smart Peel, according >> PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 11 >> to Tawau Plywood, are its ability to produce high volumes of quality face and core veneer from the wide range of species, sizes and qualities of blocks being processed by the mill while, at the same time, optimizing veneer value, recovery and capacity. Tawau Plywood have further stated that when the mill have difficulty obtaining their preferred species, Smart Peel is nevertheless able to process alternate species at full capacity. Further, Smart Peel's new technological applications have made it possible to produce high quality face and core veneer on the same lathe without any marking of the veneer surface and stopping of peeling even when peeling face and core veneer from the same log. At the Korindo Group plywood mill in Indonesia, the investment in Smart Peel technology was made with an eye to the future. At present the line is still used mainly for peeling mixed tropical hardwood logs, however, this situation will change in the future when the company begins processing plantation species and eucalyptus from the company's own holdings. Prior to making the decision to purchase Raute's Smart Peel technology, Korindo provided its own raw material for testing. These included every phase of the production process, from the log to the end product. Once completed, Korindo management was satisfied as to Smart Peel's ability to meet their production and quality needs. In both these South East Asian mills, ongoing veneer quality control measures undertaken and recorded by the mills' own internal QC teams proved the ability of Raute's Smart Peel technology to produce high quality veneer with a consistently high degree of thickness accuracy. The consistent quality of the green veneer has also had a positive effect on subsequent operations, such as higher drying capacity, better dry veneer quality and a reduced need for veneer composing. The smaller the log the more irregular its shape tends to be. To ensure the highest veneer recovery, both mills installed Raute's Smart Scan XY+, a laser curtain block scanning and centering device that optimizes the block centering operation resulting in more full size (face) sheets and less random veneer. This state-ofthe-art laser curtain scanning system scans the 8 ft. long irregularly shaped logs using 8,024 measuring spots, leaving little doubt as to be the highest level of centering accuracy available. Smart Peel also includes a comprehensive list of new features, which have been proven on earlier lathe models and incorporated into the latest Smart Peel lines. These include Optimal Peeling Geometry (OPG), which synchronizes accurate block centering data with the operation of the spindles, the back-up rolls, the roller nose bar and the positioning of the knife. The result is the production of quality veneer and small cores even from small diameter logs of both good and poor quality. The synchronized operation of the Smart Scan XY+ charger and the Smart Consistently high recovery with accurate thickness tolerance and small core In South East Asia, the diameters of logs typically processed by Raute's Smart Peel lathe are 180­600 mm (7­24 inches). Mixed raw material from clear felling logs. Which one of the veneer ribbons would you rather have? The centering accuracy of Smart Scan XY+ results in more firm veneer ribbon and more valuable sapwood veneer. 12 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine Peel lathe has increased both capacity and recovery. When logs are irregular in shape and of varying diameter, Smart Peel technology is able to optimize the point at which the knife contacts the surface of the log to ensure that randoms are minimized. In addition, the system features automatic knife carriage positioning, which ensures that the carriage only has to travel far enough to clear the surface of the incoming log between peeling cycles. This can save considerable time over the course of a shift. The synchronized operation of the XY charger and the lathe further ensures that the peeled ribbons of veneer have the correct degree of checking, making them stronger and ensuring that the volume of sapwood is maximized at the clipper. In addition to utilizing data generated by the XY charger and the lathe, the optimized clipping of the veneer ribbon into sheets is done based on scan data from the VCO camera system, which visually analyzes defects in the veneer ribbon and passes on clip data to Raute's proven rotary clipper. By having the ability to produce strong, unbro- Smart Peel's many features enable the production of a variety of veneers from a wide variety of raw materials on a single peeling line. ken ribbons of good quality green veneer from lower quality and irregularly shaped logs, the mills are able to maximize the value of each log by producing more high-quality full sheets and fewer randoms. utilization of the dryers. The reduction in randoms has also reduced the volume of composed veneer and reduced the amount of manual veneer handling in the mills with the result that overall efficiency has improved. In these two plywood mills in South East Asia, Raute's Smart Peel concept is demonstrating its ability to provide flexible peeling of mixed raw materials, resulting in the production of the most valuable veneer in order to achieve the highest value and recovery of green veneer. By doing so, Smart Peel is able to provide a competitive edge to these plywood producers, as its many features enable the production of a variety of veneers from a wide variety of raw materials on a single peeling line. This flexibility will support existing production and enable the further development of more competitive products. Improvements felt through the entire plywood production process Raute's Smart Peel lathe technology has improved the quality of veneer and increased the volume of full sheets at both the Korindo and Tawau mills. This, in turn, is enabling them to view the way in which they further process their veneers in a new and more profitable light. Both mills have realized increases in the volume of full sheets being produced as well as improvements in stack quality. As a result, drying capacity and efficiency has improved due to the better Stacker in Tawau Plywood mill. Line scope The first Smart Peel lines supplied to SEA comprise: · Linear step feeder for continuous block supply to the XY Charger; · Smart Scan XY+ block scanning and charging system with 112 laser beams scanning curtain; · Smart Peel lathe with roller nose bar, driven back-up rolls and triple spindles; · Optimal Peeling Geometry (OPG) to ensure smooth veneer and minimal thickness variations; · Hydraulic clipping trash gate; · Veneer clipping optimizer (VCO) for veneer defect scanning (moisture grading included in the Korindo line); · Hydraulic rotary clipper; · Sheet diverter; · Automatic 4-bin stacker for full, half and random sheets as well as automatic stack unload. PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 13 60 kmone shift of veneer in Modernized peeling line at Pellos produces a record 14 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine text: Minna Pajamies When UPM Pellos 2 mill opened in 1994, it was Europe's first large-scale softwood plywood mill. With a rated capacity of 200,000 m3 annually, sceptics doubted this figure was, as it didn't seem possible to produce the amount of veneer required for that amount of plywood, particularly since the veneer thickness is only 2.7 mm (1/10"). INITIALLY, ANNUAL PRODUCTION amounted to 100,000 m , which translated to 230 m3 of 2.7 mm thick veneer per 8 hour shift, as originally estimated by Raute. By 2003, however, it had increased to 320 m3 /shift. Currently, Pellos 2 produces up to 400 m3 of veneer per shift, enabling the mill to boast an annual production capacity of 200,000 m3. Its goals, however, have not stopped there. 3 Optimization is the key In terms of volume, UPM's Pellos plywood operation ranks as the largest plywood facility in Europe and one of the largest in the world. Production at the site began in 1963 with particleboard, which was discontinued in 1994. Today, the site houses three softwood plywood mills. Pellos 1 went on stream in 1968 producing plywood for the parquet, concrete formwork and transportation industries. The mill presently operates four peeling lines. Pellos 2 began operations in 1994, while the newest mill, the 8x8 Pellos 3 softwood mill, was completed in 2002. Both mills focus primarily on supplying the commodities distribution business. Operation of the three mills is somewhat symbiotic. Although the operation of each mill is based on different technology, each individual production line provides vital benchmarking data that enables the Pellos complex to serve as an industry reference point. Combined, the mills produce 480,000 m3 of softwood plywood annually and employ 700 people, 200 of whom are at Pellos 2. According to Pellos 2 Production Manager, Mr. Mika Kekki, the mill is continually working at improving its production processes and peeling operations with the aim of establishing optimal levels of volume, quality and performance. The intention is to produce optimum volumes of high-quality veneer to be used in subsequent processes. Said Mr. Kekki, "We continue to seek higher levels of efficiency and performance. The Pellos 2 mill has been operating for over 11 years and has improved its results every year. On the other hand, it's not only about increasing efficiency, but rather about producing products our customers want. If we were only interested in maximizing volumes we would use a different method of peeling and thicker veneers." Mr. Kekki added that the line performance is monitored in real-time, both from production and administra- tive points of view. A decline of just 1% in the performance rate is enough to prompt immediate corrective action, as this will have a tangible impact on wages. Whereas some corrective actions are controlled automatically, others require manual intervention. "Monitoring and reporting are crucial in terms of production uptime. Systems, such as the Management Information System (MIS) supplied by Raute, provide data on equipment failures, including downtime duration data and their impact on other areas of the production process. This enables us to finetune process parameters based on accurate, real-time data," said Mr. Kekki. Pellos 2 manufactures 4x8 spruce plywood in thicknesses from 9 to 27 mm. Panels are sanded and a percentage are overlaid or edge profiled. The technical and visual qualities of the products are a competitive asset, such as the very favourable strength-to-weight ratio of the plywood made at Pellos. Pellos management believes the main challenge confronting plywood producers lies in balancing ultimate cost efficiency with product quality. This is particularly important considering that competitors mainly operate in lower-cost countries. Products produced at Pellos are sold mainly to the construction industry, under the WISA-Spruce brand, through a well-defined distribution network. Over 90% of production is exported, primarily to other EU countries. >> In the end of October Pellos 2 reached again a new record, 60 km of veneer in one shift. Production Manager Mika Kekki's message to the staff changing shifts was a triumphant "we did it again!" Workers rotate between lines and tasks, enabling them to become multi-skilled operators. Apprenticeships are continuously being provided to young people. Equipment modernization The peeling line installed by Raute in 1994 has performed well over the years thanks to proper maintenance. Modernization began in Spring, 2003 with an upgrade of the hydraulic trash gate, which aimed at improving uptime and reducing stoppages. The success of the project prompted Pellos management to pursue further modernization work with Raute. Since that time, further upgrades have been performed on the composers and dryer feeders. Modernization of the green veneer clipper and the green stacking line in 2005 was aimed at improving increasing operating speed and improving clip accuracy. The main goal of modernizing the green stacking operation was to increase stacking speed and stack quality. During that same year, recovery improved following modernization of the XY spindles and laser scanning. Earlier this year, improvements were made to the lathe knife carriage, as well as the dryer feeders and user interfaces on the layup line and dryers. According to Mr. Kekki, modernization work is assessed in response to analysis of production bottlenecks. These modernizations, however, are only performed if they can be completed within a week and during a normal planned shutdown. The Pellos plywood mills operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Available production is around 350 days a year with a one-week break in summer and a four-day break in Easter. The mills have never been shut down for a longer period for production reasons. Mill management believes that the primary objective of any modernization project is to secure production in order to avoid unforeseen stoppages. Here, their objectives are being met. Customer feedback indicates that on-time deliveries are at 99% or better. As to specific modernization benefits, Mr. Kekki points to work carried out on the XY scanner and spindles as having contributed to improvements in the mill's operating performance. He also points to a new user interface, which enables production and performance data to be monitored remotely on the mill's computer network. However, not all modernizations are concerned with increasing speeds or boosting volumes. Modernization of the lathe knife carriage improved mechanical resistance and veneer strength, while at the same time increasing uptime and enhancing ergonomics during knife change. When the modernization program began at Pellos 2, management identified bottlenecks ahead of the clipper, which led to the development of a new lathe. Now the peeling, clipping and drying operations are running at a near optimum level. The panel layup and plywood manufacturing areas still have some room to increase production volumes. Minimum production lead times, however, are currently less than 8 hours and in October, 2006 the line reached its highest efficiency level to date. 16 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine Future modernizations are planned to improve quality even further. At Pellos 2, this involves improving panel face quality, possible automation of the patching operation and developments in gluing technology. Continuous improvements in preventive maintenance procedures and machinery repair are also seen as important. In both these areas the Pellos mills have invested significantly. They maintain a permanent stock of critical spare parts and have concluded a maintenance contract with Raute covering specified production lines. A high percentage of uptime is critical to the Pellos operations, as products are made to order rather than going into inventory. Stock rotation is 1 to 3 days, which is a logistical challenge. Should production at the lathe be halted for any unforeseen reason, the mill risks coming to a standstill in a matter of hours. Certainly, continuous improvement is the focus at Pellos, but can fine-tuning of the lines be pushed beyond current limits? According to Mr. Kekki, they can. "It is true that in terms of line performance we are at, or very close to, the optimum level at present. However, even small improvements are welcome, considering the cost of raw materials." Wisa-Spruce in its end use. (Photo: UPM) UPM, Pellos Plywood Mills THE UPM, PELLOS PLYWOOD MILLS are located at Pellosniemi, Ristiina, in Eastern Finland, 220 km from Helsinki. Annual production capacity is 480,000 m3 of softwood plywood used in the flooring, concrete formwork and transportation industries. The mills employ more than 700 people. Production began at the site back in 1963 when a particleboard mill was established. The first plywood mill was built four years later and was the largest in Finland at that time, producing 30,000 m3 of birch plywood annually. In 1983, the mills were sold to Oy Wilhelm Schauman Ab, later UPM-Kymmene. The particleboard mill was shut down in 1994, the same year that Pellos 2 was started up. The third mill, Pellos 3, began production in 2002. Motivated and multi-skilled Operations at Pellos are in the hands of highly motivated teams. For them, modernization means learning new and better ways to do their jobs. Workers rotate between lines and tasks, enabling them to become multi-skilled operators. This mode of operation is encouraged at Pellos, where apprenticeships are continuously being provided to young people. Maintenance, another key area of operation, employs nearly 100 people from electricians to mechanics. Payroll is linked to production, which has the desired effect of pushing every employee to maximize the performance of the line. In the event of a problem or change in production, Mr. Kekki's phone is certain to ring. UPM, Wood Products Division THE UPM GROUP'S annual production capacity of plywood is over one million m3. Sawn lumber adds another two million m3 of wood products annually. In 2005, sales of the Wood Products Division amounted to 1.4 billion Euros. The Group has · nine plywood mills in Finland (three spruce mills at Pellosniemi; one mill producing birch and spruce panels at Jyväskylä; and birch mills at Heinola, Joensuu, Lappeenranta and Savonlinna/Lahti). · one birch plywood mill in Estonia. · one birch plywood mill in Russia. · one spruce and three birch veneer mills ­ three in Finland and one in Russia. >> PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 17 Mika Kekki's early passion, sports, is still a strong part of his life. The average age of staff at Pellos is under 40, which is considered quite young in the wood products industry. Staff turnover, too, is low, prompting one to believe that Pellos is a good place to work. Sporting spirits and tough challenges What, then, motivates Production Manager Mika Kekki to inspire his team and optimize production day after day, year after year? As a young man, Mr. Kekki, now 37, had his sights set on pursuing a sporting career. Fate, however, stepped in and Mr. Kekki instead pursued a career as a Wood Technology Engineer, which brought him to the Pellos mills. After a few months at Pellos 1, he switched to Pellos 2, just as the new line was being installed. Today, he is Production Manager over both Pellos 2 and 3 plywood mills. Mr. Kekki is enthusiastic about his position and doesn't mind the long work days. His family, a wife and two young children, provide the incentive, while sports, his early passion, is still a strong part of his life. To this end, his list of sporting achievements over the year include 2,200 km of skiing, 1,600 km of cycling, 750 km of inline-skating, 500 km of running and 600 km of Nordic walking, all of which adds up to an impressive 5,650 km. Yes, he does drive, but with gas being so expensive ... With well-identified operating targets, properly implemented plans and employees like Mika Kekki to steer the ship, it is little wonder that the UPM Pellos mills enjoy the success they do and continue to improve year after year. The Pellos plywood mills operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Available production is around 350 days a year with a one-week break in summer and a four-day break in Easter. 18 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine text: Rick Massey Roseburg Forest Products benefits from latest dryer technology Roseburg Forest Products (RFP), based in Roseburg, Oregon is the largest familyowned wood products company in the United States and one of that state's most prominent charitable foundations. THE RANGE OF VENEER-BASED PRODUCTS manufactured by RFP covers specialty hardwood and softwood plywood, industrial panels and sheathing. In addition, the company operates the single largest engineered wood products plant in the world, producing some 7.2 million ft3 (210,000 m3) of LVL and 160 million linear feet of structural I-Joists annually. Other products in the RFP portfolio include sawn lumber, particleboard and wood chips. A percentage of the company's panel products also undergo value-added treatment. Major dry end modernization projects The decision, in 2005, by RFP management to upgrade dry end operations at two of their plywood plants was based on factors common to many of today's plywood producers, namely, the need to increase dryer productivity and reduce labor. Both mills had been operating 30 year-old longitudinal dryers, which produced significant overdry and as much as twentyfive percent redry. In addition, veneer quality suffered due to case hardening and splitting. At first reluctant to convert from traditional longitudinal drying to roller jet drying, the team of RFP experts put together in 2004 to investigate and implement the modernization project became convinced as to the merits of the latter after seeing jet dryers in action and speaking with those who were operating them. Having done their investigative homework, RFP made the decision to purchase new dryers and stackers from Raute in mid2005. The choice of Raute as the primary vendor was based on Raute having successfully started up several 6-deck dryers within recent years and the company's strong reputation in stacking technology. The RFP mills that received the new dry end systems are located in the towns of Dillard and Riddle, Oregon. Both have been in operation for over forty years and both face the challenge of >> Roseburg Forest Products Roseburg Forest Products (RFP) was established by Mr. Kenneth Ford in 1936 as the Roseburg Lumber Company. RFP's emergence as a plywood producer began in 1952 with the establishment of Plywood Mill #1 at Dillard, Oregon. Today, RFP operates three large-scale plywood plants with a combined annual production of over one billion ft2 3/8" basis (900,000 m3). PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 19 The mill stated that there had not been any plugups and that dry veneer is visibly flatter and "more relaxed" after drying. having to process a wide variation in log grades, some eighteen in total. Back in the days when plywood production was at its height in the US Pacific Northwest, mills typically processed old growth Douglas fir, which was ideal for making plywood due to its high-quality fiber and large diameter, which often exceeded 48 inches (1,200 mm). With the decline of the old-growth resource came the need to incorporate other species and stem qualities into the production mix. These days, the Dillard mill peels predominantly Douglas and white fir, while the Riddle mill concentrates on Western hemlock and spruce. In some ways this puts Riddle at a disadvantage, as both hemlock and spruce offer unique drying challenges. Both species are heavily knot-laden and whereas hemlock is noted for its exceptionally high moisture content, the moisture pockets present in spruce create a high degree of non-uniformity. In addition to the challenges it faces in drying hemlock and spruce, the Riddle mill also has to process veneer from five other locations within the Roseburg organization. 6-deck dryers answer the challenge Six-deck jet dryers are a relatively recent innovation in the North American softwood plywood industry. Raute pioneered the technology with the installation of the first 6-deck system at a mill in Western Canada in 2001. Since then an additional six dryers have been installed, including the Riddle and Dillard dryers. Both mills dry 4x8 and 4x4 veneers in addition to randoms. According to RFP management, lessons learned subsequent to the installation of the Dillard dryer were applied to the Riddle installation with the result that installation at Riddle was accomplished in only six weeks, due mostly to the modular design of the dryer and the experience gained during the Dillard installation and startup. Both mills utilized inhouse crews for the mechanical installation of the dryer and the condensate system. At Riddle, special attention had to be given to the more corrosive tendencies of the hemlock and to this end it was determined that stainless steel would be used on the doors and floor, a soluEach of the six decks of the new roller jet dryer is under the control of a separate drive. tion chosen by both mills. Working alongside Raute's installation and start-up team, skilled welders assembled the dryer modules, paying special attention to the demands of welding stainless steel. The result is a dryer with high thermal efficiency that meets all the environmental standards for emission and pollution control. As to the productivity of the Riddle dryer, management has been particularly complimentary, citing an increase of almost forty percent in drying productivity when all species and veneer thicknesses are considered. Similar results have been achieved at the Dillard mill. Management credits this in part to the zoning of the dryer, which enables a high percentage of the free water present in the veneer to be evaporated in the first seven sections, gradually drying through the nine sections of zone two until all bound cell water is evaporated by the time the veneer exits the remaining seven sections of zone three. This method of zoning was relatively new to the RFP organization, as it isn't used in longitudinal dryers and only one jet dryer was in operation within RFP. One of its main benefits is to maintain tight control over humidity in the dryer and provide data that can be used to control the speed of the dryer. Having the correct balance of humidity plays a major role in determining veneer quality by ensuring that super-heated steam is available to serve as a drying catalyst and to ensure that the surface of the veneer doesn't become case hardened. This facilitates proper glue absorption and improves glue line bond. The new dryers, according to Roseburg management, have benefited the mills in several other areas as well. They commented favorably on the reduction in veneer splitting and overdrying, now estimated at less than five percent. The redry percentage, too, has dropped to under fifteen percent. At the time of writing, the mill stated that there had not been any plugups and that dry veneer is visibly flatter and "more relaxed" after drying. This, in turn, improves the patching, composing and layup processes. 20 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine Improvements after the dryer Upgrading of the dry ends at both the Dillard and Riddle mills included the installation of automatic dry veneer stacking and grading systems. At the Riddle mill veneer exits the dryer onto a 90° unloader, which was designed with input from RFP engineering. Concern had been raised by the customer that the additional height of the dryer would create too steep an incline for the veneer, resulting in poor waterfalling and sheet skewing. The decision was taken to eliminate open areas in the conveyor decks and to minimize the gaps between the outfeed rolls. The result has been a smooth flow of sheets from the dryer onto the dry chain leading to the dry stacker. After the unloader veneer passes through a Raute-Mecano VDA G3 color grader, which incorporates a DMA moisture analyzer. Both mills opted to install a VDA after satisfying themselves as to its ability to grade sheets with a high level of accuracy. At the Dillard mill the VDA consistently grades to an accuracy of 98%. The light colored fir is well suited to camera grading due to the excellent contrast between defects and good wood. Camera grading at Riddle, however, is challenging, due to the large volume of hemlock being processed. Hemlock veneer is much darker than fir and provides significantly less contrast. It is also heavily laden with knots and any camera-based grading system must undergo significant "product learning" and fine-tuning in order to correctly identify defects. Riddle staff have learned to work with the hemlock and to operate the grading system effectively. They stated that the VDA performs within the parameters of the grading instructions it receives. Grading accuracy they place at around 95%. At the Riddle mill, the decision was made to install Raute's latest dry veneer cog belt stacker, which uses toothed cog belts rather than flat belts. Maintenance staff, when asked, commented favorably on the new 10-bin dry stacker, citing minimal maintenance The 90° unloader was designed to customer specification. Cog belts on the new 10-bin stacker are an improvement over conventional flat belts. issues, the elimination of belt slippage and consistently high quality square loads as the most evident benefits. Raute has delivered a number of cog belt stackers with equally positive results, among them the elimination of left/right belt speed variations, the elimination of belt slippage, a reduction in stacker maintenance and the elimination of belt sag. Mills have reported belt life of three years and more. In-depth operator training In-depth operator training played a large role in the success of the RFP dry end modernization program. The training program included having operators and support staff attend sessions at Raute's Technology Center in Vancouver, Canada where they received instruction in the operation and maintenance of the VDA camera grading system. In addition, classes were held at the mills during which staff was instructed in all aspects of veneer drying. This included the theory of veneer drying, jet drying technology and the manner in which humidity control and zoning affects the veneer drying process. A number of vendors were on hand to present educational material to very interested RFP operators and maintenance personnel. This initiative by RFP management has produced the desired outcome ­ well trained people with the proper tools and knowledge to achieve the best results for themselves and their company. PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 21 text: Juha Rautiainen and Janne Kousa Improved scarf-jointing concept boosts recovery SCARF-JOINTING enables short-length core veneers to be joined together in order to produce long-grain veneers of practically any length. Both ends of the short-length veneers are scarfed across the grain, glue is applied to the joint and the scarfed veneers are then joined together in the lengthwise direction to form a continuous ribbon of veneer. The ribbon is then cut into sheets of required size. With sheet quality and material recovery being such important issues in every area of plywood production, Raute scarf-jointing lines satisfy the need to provide high-quality veneer sheets with minimum material loss. Peeling small diameter blocks often results in the excessive loss of valuable raw material due to pronounced crook and other irregularities. By peeling shorter blocks, the negative effects of such defects are reduced and recovery is improved. press" used in all lines. This type of press and clipper combination offers uniform pressure on the scarf joint, making it suitable for scarf-jointing thick hardwood species and providing positive thickness control for low-density species. The press also has fewer hydraulic components, which reduces maintenance requirements. New concept for veneer aligning Typically, a high percentage of veneers used in scarf-jointing are insufficiently rectangular. Variations in drying, such as distortion due to shrinkage, also effect the shape of the veneer. Also incorrect lathe knife settings, mechanical wearing and conveyors might cause deflection of the veneer mat ahead of the clipper. Conventional methods of aligning veneer ahead of the scarfing saw cause the shape of the veneer to influence the veneer length, resulting in the need to trim the veneer in order to provide straight edges for scarf-jointing (see Comparison chart on page 23). The more edge trimming that is required, the greater the loss of raw material during scarfing. One of Raute's main goals in Raute's R&D is to improve the recovery and productivity of every aspect in our customer's production process. A new alignment system, based on the Mecano VDA (Veneer Defect Analyzer) system, Raute's scarf-jointing lines In recent years, scarf-jointing has evolved into a highly automated process. Raute's automatic scarf-jointing lines can be run by a single operator, replacing the five or six operators that are typically needed to run a manual line of similar capacity. Three different types of lines are available. The semi-automatic line has 1­6 scarf-jointing presses and requires 2­7 operators, depending on the number of installed presses. This type of line has a manual veneer infeed and an optional automatic stacking system. An automatic line has 1­3 presses and an automatic infeed and a stack removal system. One operator only required. Raute's latest scarf-jointing concept is the high-capacity automatic line, which includes 4­5 presses, an automatic non-stop feeding system and automatic stack removal. This type of line has a single operator. Automatic lines include a graphical user panel from which all line settings can be made. A touch screen provides the line operator with an easy to interpret and visual method of monitoring the line. All lines equipped with automatic stacking are designed for precise stacking accuracy, which enables stacks of scarf-jointed veneers to be used in the automatic layup process. The scarf-jointing press provided by Raute is a so-called "wedge type 22 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine Comparison chart Comparison table Diagram 1: Length distribution, 1.5 mm birch 5x5 ft (new method) 25% Conventional method 20% 15% 10% Length1 5% 0% 1550 1555 1560 1565 1570 1575 1580 1585 1590 1595 1600 1605 1610 1615 1620 New method 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% Length, mm Diagram 2: Length distribution, 1.5 mm birch 5x5 ft (conventional method) Length2 Length1 < Length2 0% 1550 1555 1560 1565 1570 1575 1580 1585 1590 1595 1600 1605 1610 1615 1620 Length, mm This new aligning concept can also be supplied by Raute as an upgrade for existing automatic scarfjointing lines. PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine >> is now in a production environment and producing excellent results. This new scarfing concept uses the VDA to measure the shape and dimensions of each piece of veneer. This data is in turn used to control the alignment and edge trimming devices. The veneer is first measured by a camera, then aligned for width trimming in order to provide a straight, rectangular reference edge. After being trimmed to the correct width, the veneer is transferred to the scarfing unit where the cross-cut ends are trimmed and scarfed (see Comparison table). Diagrams 1 and 2 show the distribution of 5 ft x 5 ft birch veneers processed in the conventional way and when using the new alignment method. It can be seen that the new method of trimming the veneer eliminates the effect of the veneer shape relative to the veneer length and allows the scarfing unit to be adjusted wider than previously. This effectively increases the length of the jointed veneer being recovered and saves raw material. Using the example of 1.5 mm birch, a line incorporating four presses produces almost 3 m3 more of scarf-jointed veneer sheets daily from the same volume of veneer as was scarfed previously. This translates into an additional 900 m3 annually of scarfed veneer, based on 336 operating days, and enables the mill to produce 1,600 m3 more plywood based on the production of one scarf-jointing line. Traditionally scarf-jointing results in a certain amount of misalignment on the reference edge after pressing. This, in turn, has an influence on the panel trimming strip width.The improved alignment accuracy of the new method provides benefits on the reference edge alignment as well, eliminating misalignment and enabling mills to reduce panel trim margins. The result is better recovery. 23 >> Raute scarf-jointing lines Technical specifications · Infeed veneer thickness · 1.2­3.6 mm, hardwood/softwood · Veneer width (cross-grain) 900­2,600 mm · Veneer length (grain dir.) 900­2,600 mm · Jointed length is adjustable This new aligning concept can also be supplied by Raute as an upgrade for existing automatic scarf-jointing lines. Finnforest Punkaharju mill invests in high quality and capacity Finnforest's Punkaharju plywood mill produces approximately 70,000 m3 of birch plywood annually. Recently, the mill invested in a new Raute scarf-jointing line equipped with our new veneer alignment concept. The line started up in October, 2006. According to mill management, their goal was to replace one of the older scarf-jointing lines and to increase capacity by 30%. Scarf-jointed veneer quality and stacking accuracy were also important issues when making the investment decision. Since startup, joint quality has met mill expectations and stacking accuracy has improved to the point where scarfed stacks of veneer can be handled automatically by the layup process. According to Plant Manager, Mr. Antti Termonen, "This new alignment concept has been a positive solution for the Punkaharju mill as it has produced savings in processing costs and shortened the payback period. The high quality of the linear straight edge can also improve recovery in panel handling. This new line concept, incorporating the VDA camera and the new alignment system, operates like a fine Stradivarius. In the long run we believe it will deliver numerous benefits. Once we have learned to operate it to its maximum capabilities, the possibilities offered by the alignment system in tuning the whole production process will enable us to play this instrument to its full potential." The Punkaharju scarfing line is comprised of four scarfjointing presses, a non-stop high-capacity feeder, an automatic stack removal system and the latest operator controls. Capacity on 1.5 mm birch veneer is 12,000 joints per 8 hour shift. Development Manager, Mr. Mika Heikkonen, offered his opinion on the new line. "The concept of optimizing the shape of the veneer prior to scarfing is an excellent one. Because we do not use spur knives when peeling, thanks to the Mecano VDA camera we can now determine accurate reference edges for precise veneer alignment. Process measurements have shown that the effects and benefits of the new system can be calculated accurately. Simple defect parametrization and applied statistical data provide us with useful tools for use in production control. Adjustments to the scarfing saw are easy to make and the joint quality is very good. The hard edge line is much better than in previous lines. In practice, there is no staggering at all and I believe that Raute is able to reduce these variations even further." "In designing this new line, Raute staff have displayed competence and flexibility in taking into account the wishes of our mill personnel and the way we control our production." Development Manager Mr. Mika Heikkonen: "The concept of optimizing the shape of the veneer prior to scarfing is an excellent one." This translates into an additional 900 m3 annually of scarfed veneer, based on 336 operating days, and enables the mill to produce 1,600 m3 more plywood based on the production of one scarf-jointing line. 24 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine text: Matti Aho Raute's new press drying technology at UPM Lohja veneer mill A good number of development projects have been carried out at UPM veneer mills in the recent past. In order to meet customer requirements and stay competitive the company is currently in the process of replacing old screen dryers at their Lohja mill with new Raute press dryers. More changes will follow next year when the focus turns to veneer slicing. UPM IS BEST KNOWN as one of the world's leading producers of printing papers, but the company is active in the wood products industry as well, being the leading producer of plywood in Europe. In addition to plywood mills and sawmills UPM's Wood Products division also includes three veneer mills that manufacture peeled and sliced face veneers and thin veneer plywood. Their Keuruu and Lohja veneer mills are located in Finland and their Chudovo veneer mill is in Russia. Major producer of birch face veneer in Europe European white birch is the main wood species processed at all UPM veneer mills. According to Mr. Ari Kiskola, the Mill Manager of the Lohja and Keuruu mills, UPM is one of the leading producers of birch face veneer in Europe. >> Mr. Ari Kiskola, the Mill Manager of the Lohja and Keuruu veneer mills, UPM. PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 25 A good command of logistics within the mill is one of the most important success factors in veneer production. wants to stay ahead of competition and not follow the others." Good results through cooperation As an essential part of the ongoing development projects at the Lohja mill, UPM placed an order for two new veneer press dryers with Raute in January of this year. The first of these dryers was installed last summer and is now running on three shifts. The installation of the second dryer, which will replace an old screen dryer delivered by Raute in 1977, will start up in January, 2007. "We were looking for an optimal solution to meet our special requirements, and Raute was able to offer a package that met those requirements", said Mr. Kiskola. "The new press dryer includes many unique features that were developed during the project in close cooperation between Raute and UPM. These features also work in practice and deliver the results that were expected", he added. One of those features is continuous and accurate metering of veneer moisture content at both ends of the dryer. The data received from these moisture meters is utilized successfully for the automatic control of the dryer. Development projects continue "The whole project went really well, and thanks to the versatile personnel training that was carried out by Raute in several phases, the start of production was smooth and our operators have adapted to the new technology quite easily. Overall we are very satisfied with the new dryer, and we look forward to having an even smoother startup of our second new dryer", said Mr. Kiskola. UPM's customers have also been satisfied with the improved veneer quality. Dried veneer is now flat and smooth and moisture is well under control. The development projects at UPM's Lohja mill will continue at a fast pace: According to Mr. Kiskola the next phase includes replacing one of the existing old veneer slicers. The majority of UPM's veneer customers come from the furniture, door and paneling industries in both Europe and North America. Continuous improvement is one of the key drivers at UPM Wood Products. To this end a number of development projects have been carried out recently at all the company's veneer mills. "A good command of logistics within the mill is one of the most important success factors in veneer production", states Mr. Kiskola. "The rationale behind our development projects are customer requirements and our own competitiveness in the industry ­ UPM 26 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine >> appointments Effective September 1, 2006, some internal organizational changes have been made in Raute's North American operations to improve internal efficiencies and to better focus resources to meet the needs of our customers. Modernizations & Upgrades: Michael Poropat is promoted to the position of Manager, Modernizations & Upgrades. Michael will assume accountability for all aspects of Raute North America's modernization and upgrade project business. >> fairs Peter Gibson will move to the Modernizations & Upgrades business segment as Director of Technology with primary responsibilities for technical sales, estimations, field support and technology development for this segment. Tea Nicola, Jim Gilligan and Mary McDonald have also been assigned to the Modernization & Upgrades business segment. Jim & Tea will continue in their roles as Sales Estimation Engineers. Mary McDonald will continue in her role as Project Manager, but with primary responsibility for projects in this segment. Raute present at WoodMac and Lesdrevmash IN 2006 Raute has been represented at some of the most prestigious shows in the field. In March, the WoodTech in Oregon, US, proved to be a popular event. In June Raute was exhibited at WoodMac in Shanghai and in September at Lesdrevmash in Moscow, Russia. Parts & Maintenance Service: Marko Torppala has been appointed Manager, Parts & Service. His role includes overall accountability for the management and development of the Parts & Service business segment. >> 20­23 March Capital Projects: Janne Pirinen has been appointed Technology Manager, Vision Systems. Janne will replace Jyrki Pesonen, who returns back to Finland. come and meet Raute at: in 2007 WoodMac in Shanghai, China Rob Cook has been appointed Technology Manager, Automation. Shawn MacGowan has been appointed Technology Manager, Veneer Processes. 14­18 May Ligna+ in Hannover, Germany Andre Klemarewski has been appointed Technology Manager, LVL/Wood Science/Product Development. Petrus Honkanen has been appointed Project Manager. PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 27 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