A NEW ERA IN VENEER PATCHING BEGINS MECANO: SHARP LENS BOOSTS QUALITY RAUTE PRODUCT FAMILIES MEET ALL CUSTOMER NEEDS Issue 14 Raute Customer Magazine Published by Raute Corporation MARKET AREA REVIEW: On the pulse of the plywood industry in Asia PLYVISIONS 1 RAUTE NOW RAUTE NOW RAUTE NOW RAUTE NOW RAUTE NOW RAUTE NOW Profitable solutions for your needs WHENEVER two Finns get together, they open the discussion with some comments on the weather. This time I need to do that as well. We have experienced winter and summer struggling against each other for more than a month offering us unusually warm days in March followed by 10 cm snow in April. Today, it looks like summer with the temperature of late autumn. Perhaps this fluctuation in the weather also reflects the uncertainty in the world economy and consequently in the business of most of us. 2011 was a year of clear improvement for Raute even if we did not achieve our targets. The first few months were still rather quiet following a period of low demand in 2010. After those early months, April-September was good and busy, thanks to the nice amount of new orders you, our valued customers, awarded to us with in the end of 2010 and early 2011. But towards summer the demand slowed down and the last few months of 2011 were quiet again. Due to these fluctuations we did not succeed in turning our result back to profits. Please see more details in our annual report. The last months of 2011 and the early ones this year brought us such amounts of new orders that now we are confident to be able to continue improving our performance and achieve a positive result after three consecutive years of losses. The biggest, and definitely the most surprising new project Raute succeeded winning is the rebuilding project of Arauco's Nueva Aldea mill. The mill was destroyed in a catastrophic fire in early January. Luckily no one was injured or killed. Being able to proceed with the rebuilding project in just 5 weeks after the fire is an excellent sign of Arauco's management power and also of the good relationship between Arauco and Raute. Despite this "mega-order" and some other nice orders Raute has recently received we do have the capacity and the resources to serve other customers and needs as well. We have maintained our operative resources at a high level over the recession and also developed our delivery process to ensure flexibility of our production and service operations. So, we will keep on serving all our customers as well as ever. The topic of this issue of Plyvisions is our refined strategy "profitable solutions for your needs". This slogan captures Raute's strategy: Our offering shall enable our customers to run their business in a profitable way. Otherwise they cannot invest in our products. We offer our customers solutions which solve their needs, not just machines and services. And all our offerings need to be especially tailored for your needs, as the needs of any customer are unique. We started to implement this strategy by clarifying the "your needs" part of the slogan. We launched new product families to clearly show that we have offerings for the large variety of needs. Since then we have added new products to all product families. In this issue we tell you more about the RautePro composer and the new patching technology applied in all of the product families. Enjoy reading, and all the best in our joint business, OUR OFFERING SHALL ENABLE OUR CUSTOMERS TO RUN THEIR BUSINESS IN A PROFITABLE WAY. Tapani Kiiski President and CEO 2 PLYVISIONS CONTENTS Raute now Bryansk plywood plant sets sights on exports Market Area Review: focus on Asia Product families: profitable solutions RautePro composing line A new era in veneer patching begins Raute TwinPeel for emerging markets Clean emissions and energy savings with RauteGreen solutions Sharp lens boosts quality Lohja mill manufactures with modernized lathe Benefits from Raute charger upgrade Raute eStore Appointments 2 4 6 12 14 16 19 20 22 26 28 30 31 6 MARKET AREA REVIEW on pages 6­10 · SOUTH-EAST ASIA transitioning 22 to plantation-wood-based plywood and LVL · IN EUROPE the entire forest industry MACHINE VISION on page 22 One major characteristic that makes Mecano stand out from the rest is its strong input in R&D. Mecano's main product is in fact innovations. is undergoing structural changes · 90% of plywood produced in LATIN AMERICA is made from plantation wood · Uncertainty in NORTH AMERICAN markets continues · RUSSIAN plywood production is estimated to grow by 10% in 2012 16 PlyVisions is Raute Corporation's Customer Magazine. Editor-In-Chief: Veli-Matti Lepistö Layout: Onnion Oy Printing house: Markprint 5/2012 Cover photo: Dreamstime Address changes: tuija.leppanen@raute.com 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. www.raute.com ISSN 1459-3165 VENEER PATCHING on page 16 The new Patchman P2 veneer patching line and the first installation of the new generation line. PLYVISIONS 3 RAUTE IN RUSSIA RAUTE IN RUSSIA RAUTE IN RUSSIA RAUTE IN RUSSIA RAUTE IN RUSSIA BRYANSK PLYWOOD PLANT SETS SIGHTS ON EXPORTS THE BRYANSK PLYWOOD PLANT (OOO BRYANSKIY FANERNYI KOMBINAT) IS LOCATED IN SOUTHWESTERN RUSSIA 5 KILOMETERS FROM THE UKRAINIAN BORDER IN THE VILLAGE OF BELAYA BEREZKA. THE PLANT PRODUCES 4X8 FEET AND 5X10 FEET BIRCH PLYWOOD, MOSTLY FOR THE RUSSIAN MARKETS AT THE MOMENT. PLANS ARE, HOWEVER, AFOOT TO INCREASE THE VOLUME OF EXPORTS. HALF OF THE PRODUCTS ARE FILM OVERLAID CREATING PLYWOOD SUITABLE FOR THE USE IN CONCRETE FORMWORK. THE BRYANSK REGION has dense stands of birch. 50 percent of the raw material used by the Bryansk plant comes from its own forests whereas the rest is procured from the Kaluga, Smolensk and Kursk regions and transported to the plant by land. The plant is a significant consumer of raw material and is the only plywood plant within a 500-kilometer radius. Although production is presently directed to the domestic markets, the vicinity of the Ukrai- 4 PLYVISIONS RAUTE IN RUSSIA RAUTE IN RUSSIA RAUTE IN RUSSIA RAUTE IN RUSSIA RAUTE IN RUSSIA nian border will ease future export efforts. The objective is to export half of the production volume to Europe and America. The required standardization projects are presently underway. THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF THE MACHINE SUPPLIER The first plywood product was manufactured at the Bryansk plant on July 15, 2011. The plant is a typical greenfield project, whose construction began from the ground. The significance of the machine supplier is paramount in these types of projects. When choosing the supplier, the most important factor was to find a partner who would be able to design the plant so that the division of labor between the various production lines would be smooth and bottlenecks eliminated. The machine supplier should also be able to deliver all necessary lines and have expertise in the requirements set by different raw materials. The partner should also ensure an easy implementation process. These factors, in addition to a strong know-how in the processing of birch, tipped the scales in Raute's favor. The delivery included all lines required by a plywood plant - from conditioning to packing. When choosing the machinery, compromises were sought between manual labor and automation. The RauteSelect line solutions turned out to be the most suitable option for the kind of production that was to take place at Bryansk. They could guarantee sufficient capacity and high uptimes. This was also the best considering possible future requirements; Select-type lines can be modernized into Smartlevel lines, if production volumes need to be increased. The challenge for maintenance is the long distances involved, with the nearest large city located a day's drive away. The village population is just 5 000 people, so finding competent employees is a further challenge. To facilitate these issues, Raute will strengthen its maintenance operations in Russia by developing its St. Petersburg office. The most common spare parts and components will be stored there so that customer service can function even more quickly and smoothly than before. plan is to increase the number of personnel by thirty in the near future. Competent employees will be easier to find as an educational facility functioning in Bryansk will be offering a new fouryear training program in wood processing. So, in a few years' time, a qualified workforce will be available. BRIGHT FUTURE FOR PLYWOOD The plant will stay fully operational due to the region's broad forests and the high demand for plywood on the domestic and foreign markets. Further acquisitions enhancing the capacity and product range are being planned. For example, short-cycle overlaying would enable a flexible use of a variety of overlays and textures and, as a result, the manufacture of products for a multitude of purposes. The Ukrainian border will help gain a foothold in the European markets. Russia's accession to the WTO will facilitate exports to Europe and the United States. SUCCESSFUL INSTALLATION AND COMPETENT PERSONNEL The installation phase was successful because of the positive cooperation between Raute and the plant's own personnel. At the same time the future employees were able to familiarize themselves with the machines. The implementation was made easier by the fact that 70 percent of the personnel had previous experience in plywood manufacture so only a short training period was required for them to learn to operate the machines. The plant employs 136 people, 100 of whom are involved in production. The Text and photos: Veli-Matti Lepistö PLYVISIONS 5 MARKET AREA REVIEW MARKET AREA REVIEW MARKET AREA REVIEW MARKET AREA REVIEW On the pulse of the plywood industry ASIA THE CENTRAL ISSUES OF 2011 WERE PLANTATION RAW MATERIAL, CONTROL OF PRODUCTION COSTS AND THE IMPACT OF CHINESE PRODUCERS ON THE WORLD MARKET. THESE SAME ISSUES WILL CONTINUE TO BE IN FOCUS OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS, WITH THE EUROPEAN AND WORLDWIDE MARKET WOES ADDING THEIR OWN SPICE TO THE MIX. NATURAL DISASTERS ALSO DISRUPTED THE LIVELIHOOD OF MANY IN THE PLYWOOD BUSINESS IN 2011. WHILE WAITING for local plantations to mature, log imports have increased in Asia, particularly in China and Japan. Over the last two years, significant growth could be seen in imports from North America and Oceania to replace traditional tropical timber and Russian larch. In the meantime, India has become the largest log importer of tropical timber from Malaysia and Myanmar. Chinese plywood exports are now a daily topic. The debate on volume, price and quality is on-going and importers are having a hard time positioning themselves in the game. Experience in the export market will definitely force the local panel industry to become more quality orientated when it comes to securing a permanent role in the international market. Unexpected natural disasters and currency fluctuations spell woes for the market. Although rebuilding after a disaster increases orders for wooden panels, financial problems limit the availability of housing loans in panelconsuming markets. SOUTH-EAST ASIA TRANSITIONING TO PLANTATION-WOOD-BASED PLYWOOD AND LVL South-East Asian forestry companies have been very active in the plantation business. Millions of trees are planted every day and the industry is gradually gearing up for the utilization of this new raw material. It is a fact that large-diameter natural logs are getting more expensive and consumers are voicing their demands for plywood sourced from sustainably managed forests and plantations. Now the challenges are to find the right wood species to grow for good plywood that can command a high value and to renew the process so that recovery and processing costs are kept under control. Raute's expertise lies in small logs. With a background in specialized small logs, solid experience and proven track 6 PLYVISIONS MARKET AREA REVIEW MARKET AREA REVIEW MARKET AREA REVIEW MARKET AREA REVIEW in Asia records, Raute can openly claim to be the most suitable partner in the transition from big to small logs. A number of plywood producers have already proven that simply changing the raw material without making significant changes to the process can result in severe financial losses, bringing recovery and productivity down to an unbearable level. Some have panicked under the pressure ­ to the degree of closing their doors. In shifting to a new raw material, the main issue is to follow the production cost per cubic meter in detail and act on the findings. This is where, to borrow the expression, "action talks - others walk." It is time to put historical data and experimental process in the trash bin and graduate to knowledge-based process management. Uncertainty about the future will add to the difficulties in decision-making. In many cases, modernizing old processing machinery and lines is the best solution. Instead of buying completely new machinery, a fraction of the money can be used to modify old ones that can serve another few years. This also buys time to research the right solution for plantation log processing before big volumes make it to the log yard. Raute has expanded its offering in modernizations to include non-Raute equipment. We have modernized all major brands of equipment, and new modernization and up-grade products are being developed together with individual customers on a continuous basis. "ACTION TALKS ­ OTHERS WALK." CHINA ­ BIG, BIGGER, BIGGEST China has made it clear through its plans and actions that they are reaching towards greater self-sufficiency in panel industry raw material supply. More land is being allocated for plantations, and private companies are encouraged to SAVE MONEY THROUGH MODERNIZATIONS DURING TRANSITION PERIOD Money for investments is surely in the crunch during such a transition. get involved in plantation activities. Even so, this big country, with its growing demand, is facing a bigger roundwood deficit than ever. Consumption growth is exceeding plantation growth. Log imports doubled from 17 Mm3 in 2001 to 35 Mm3 in 2006 and recovered back to the same volume last year after the economic slow down. The forecast for 2011 indicates that log imports, for the first time, will exceed 40 Mm3. The supply of domestic logs has grown at an even faster pace, but still cannot catch up with demand. Urbanization in China has led to staggering housing start numbers, which are touching 20 million as of now. As a benchmark, this number is more than twenty times that of North America's. >> PLYVISIONS 7 MARKET AREA REVIEW MARKET AREA REVIEW MARKET AREA REVIEW MARKET AREA REVIEW largest plywood exporters. The deficit in domestic wood supply will cause higher log prices, which will in turn cause higher end product prices. Is China's wood raw material consumption pushing up market prices in the global market? That remains to be seen. LVL IS IN CHINA TO STAY Natural disasters and the drive towards safer and greener housing are increasing the demand for LVL. But the availability of affordable big logs for sawmills is getting scarce. The strength of LVL is well known and has been proven, in every earthquake, against many other building materials. LVL is also replacing sawn timber in typical domestic applications. Fast-growing, small-diameter plantation logs and LVL are a good match. The big bang of LVL usage in China has almost arrived and the export market is already open and growing rapidly. Currently, China's biggest LVL export markets are the US and Japan. Acceptance by these demanding markets is proof that Chinese LVL is suitable for the global market. Jukka Siiriäinen Current housing starts are at the level of two million plus and will continue to grow to over five million in the next few years. The growth rate is exceptional. The crunch in domestic raw material supply and industrial licensing is a reality. It looks like India will become a big plywood importer for a while until the opportunity for major growth in the domestic plywood industry is realized. Log imports have grown with demand. The high price of tropical timber has driven Indian importers to search for more feasible raw material sources. Recently, imports from New Zealand and Australia have been in favor. Log prices are still the highest in India's wood imports, followed by panel products and sawn timber. Cooling measures for the overheated property market were issued by the government and the effects can be seen in big cities as lower prices. These actions are probably sufficient to stop the growth of housing starts, but not the growing demand for wood construction material. Wood use in China was fuelled during the early part of the millennium by domestic consumption. In the last five years, exports of wooden products have also grown. Once the world's largest plywood importer, China is now one of the EMERGING MARKETS A STRATEGIC ISSUE FOR RAUTE Raute has taken strategic actions on challenges in emerging markets. We have established ourselves from foreign supplier to local presence. This is to understand our customers' business better and to provide localized solutions and services. Our strong home market position in China has provided us with an open window to the plywood and LVL industry, and we have initiated R&D processes to address future demand. Close co-operation with various technical and industrial bodies, as well as industry itself, has taught us the lessons we need. As a first concrete result, we introduced the Raute TwinPeel peeling station at the Shanghai exhibition in 2011. There is much more to come. New peeling and LVL solutions will be introduced shortly and all these solutions are designed with other markets, such as India, and plantation wood producers in other countries in mind. · Text: Jukka Siiriäinen INDIA IS NOW THE FASTEST GROWING MARKET FOR PLYWOOD Whereas China is the biggest market for plywood, India is the fastest growing market. India's booming economy is employing more people in towns, and in many respects the country is following in China's footsteps, but in an Indian way. WE HAVE ESTABLISHED OURSELVES FROM FOREIGN SUPPLIER TO LOCAL PRESENCE. 8 PLYVISIONS MARKET AREA REVIEW MARKET AREA REVIEW MARKET AREA REVIEW MARKET AREA REVIEW EUROPE AND AFRICA Structure changes in the forest industry EUROPE IS RAUTE'S established home market. Although production volumes have not risen, nor are they expected to rise materially in the future, Europe will retain its significance for Raute. Together with our established partners, we have created high-technology innovations for improving the efficiency of production processes, and will continue to do so. Several different sectors exist within the European plywood industry: Finland and the Baltic have advanced technology, using birch and spruce as raw materials. Especially Latvia's plywood industry has developed significantly over the past few years. Finland's plywood and LVL industry have also resumed their growth following the 2008 down-turn. The markets of the companies in these countries are global, although Europe is naturally their key focus area. The plywood industry in Eastern Central Europe consists of small and highly-specialized companies. Large investments have not been possible due to the typically low production capacity. Birch, aspen, spruce and beech are utilized as raw materials. The area's main markets are in Europe. A few larger plywood producers and a considerable group of very small specialized veneer and plywood manufacturers operate in Southern Europe. The central raw materials used there are poplar and maritime pine and the central markets lie in Central and Southern Europe. The entire forest industry is undergoing structural changes and the capacity of the chemical forest industry has been downsized, which entails new challenges for the sustainability of the mechanical sector. On the other hand, the increasing importance of ecologically sound construction and housing in the future opens up possibilities for the growth of wood construction alongside traditional concrete construction. The challenge faced by the plywood, veneer and LVL industry in the near future is answering to the demands created by this trend. Especially LVL will benefit from the significant growth opportunities that this offers. Raute's strength lies in its production technology know-how suited to European conditions and raw materials, as well as the strong confidence it has earned from its customers. Raute is seeking growth in the European markets by strengthening its customer relationships, through its technology services and by helping its customers to capitalize on the growth in wood construction. Juha-Pekka Salimäki AFRICA The development of Africa's plywood industry continues to be slow. As some significant raw material producers have begun to restrict exports of round wood, planning has begun for the construction of production facilities, however, these projects have not yet been initialized. The existing plywood and veneer industry is very out-of-date. Raw material, mainly okoumé, is sourced from natural forests. Over the next few years, a significant opportunity will open up in a few West African countries where plantations will soon reach harvesting age. The competitive utilization of this raw material potential requires more efficient and modern production processes than exist at present. Raute can offer precisely the right solutions considering the local cost level and personnel capabilities. · Text: Juha-Pekka Salimäki RAUTE IS SEEKING GROWTH IN THE EUROPEAN MARKETS BY STRENGTHENING ITS CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS. PLYVISIONS 9 MARKET AREA REVIEW MARKET AREA REVIEW MARKET AREA REVIEW MARKET AREA REVIEW LATIN AMERICA Martin Murphy NORTH AMERICA Raute driving forward WHILE THE UNCERTAINTY in North American markets continues, Raute Canada Ltd is moving forward with initiatives to help meet the growing demand for technical solutions. This focus has driven the development of new products as well as better ways to modernize existing systems ­ getting the "biggest bang for the buck," so to speak. Plywood and LVL manufacturing companies have been investing in improved automation products that can enhance the performance of existing machinery. These products improve productivity and product quality, but they also increase recovery. These are valuable keys to gaining that competitive edge while staying on budget. From log cutting through to the packaging of the finished product, Raute has an automated solution to meet every need. Most recently, advances in PLC technology have enabled Raute to manufacture it's first all-electric high speed rotary clipper. It's a significant improvement to the performance of this machine, while reducing energy costs during operation. The development of the six deck jet box veneer dryer in previous years resulted in significant gains to our customer's typically bottle-necked process. Many look back now and say that the improved drying capability and significantly lower drying costs have kept them in business. Advances in automation have aided in improving the quality of dry veneer with the addition of an intuitive dryer control system. Once again, the need to improve veneer recovery as well as strength properties have driven these advances and reduced drying costs even further. Raute has solid knowledge in updating previous generation machinery to the next level. Let Raute upgrade or modernize your existing production lines to help them reach their full potential. · Text: Martin Murphy Important part of integrated forest industries AS MUCH AS 90% of the plywood produced in Latin America is made from plantation wood. The southern temperate zone is a favorable climate for wood growth and has attracted investments in forest industries. Pine and eucalyptus are commonly used species. Plywood manufacturers in the tropical zone are also starting to use fast-growing plantation species. Raute's extensive expertise in small-log processing makes this raw material shift economically interesting. Plywood is an important part of integrated forest industries in South America. Butt logs are typically used for plywood, whereas the middle of the trees are used by sawmills and the thin parts for pulp. Softwood plywood production has grown, especially in Chile, which has increased its market share on the American and European plywood markets. Brazil remains the continent's largest plywood producer. A brisk economy and rapid growth have increased domestic plywood consumption. Local Brazilian markets have become important to many plywood producers who previously exported almost all their production. RAUTE HAS SOLID KNOWLEDGE IN UPDATING PREVIOUS GENERATION MACHINERY TO THE NEXT LEVEL. 10 PLYVISIONS MARKET AREA REVIEW MARKET AREA REVIEW MARKET AREA REVIEW MARKET AREA REVIEW RUSSIA Industry trends for 2012 THE RUSSIAN PLYWOOD production volume in 2011 grew by 7 percent as compared to the previous year, reaching approximately 2.8 million m³. This resulted from the commissioning of new deliveries, such as the Bryansk and Yenisei plywood mills. Production also increased at the existing plants, such as the Sveza Group plants, Arkhangelsk and Syktyvkar plywood mills. Sveza Group has strengthened its position in the market, accounting for approximately one quarter of the total Russian plywood production. In 2011, along with the launch of the Yenisei Plywood Mill, Ilim Bratsk DOK started a large-scale modernization involving two new peeling and drying lines. After the modernizations are completed in 2012, the plant will produce up to 200,000 m³ of softwood plywood. Dallesprom Company started mounting equipment for the production of commercial softwood veneer in the Khabarovsk region. The production of softwood plywood and commercial softwood veneer will increase due to the production drop in Japan caused by the tsunami and the closure of a number of production facilities. In 2011 several factories were upgraded, specifically involving the modernization of old Raute 3V and 4V series peeling machines as well as an installment of new chargers. This trend will continue in 2012. In general, Russian plywood production is estimated to grow by 10 percent in 2012. Raute is focusing on developing maintenance by improving the effectiveness of Raute Service LLC's operations. Warehousing operations in St. Petersburg are being developed in order to guarantee short, flexible delivery times for spare parts and other components. Raute has a strong installed machine base in the CIS countries. We believe that the modernization of existing equipment is the quickest and most profitable method for improving production efficiency. Utilization of softwood is increasing considerably in Russian plywood manufacturing. Raute's technology for producing softwood plywood is world-class. We have supplied numerous plants and individual lines all over the world. · Text: Olga Harju Timo Reinikainen RAUTE IS THE MAIN MACHINERY SUPPLIER IN THIS EXPANSION. As proof of the competitiveness of plywood manufacturing, a Chilean plywood mill that started up few years ago is preparing to double its production to 500,000 m3/a. Raute, also involved in the original project, is the main supplier in this expansion. Early this year, a major forest fire spread to the biggest plywood mill in the area, temporarily reducing the supply of plywood. Reconstruction began immediately, and Raute will supply all of the main machinery for the new mill, which will start off with greater efficiency than the original mill. Large projects like these do not occur every year. Most of Raute's projects have been smaller modernization projects, including modernizations of other suppliers' machinery. Smaller projects that have helped customers to reduce their manufacturing costs include, for instance, liquid extrusion gluing and XY-charger modernizations. Raute offers local maintenance services, whose use is growing. · Text: Timo Reinikainen IN GENERAL, RUSSIAN PLYWOOD PRODUCTION IS ESTIMATED TO GROW BY 10 PERCENT IN 2012. Olga Harju PLYVISIONS 11 PRODUCT FAMILIES PRODUCT FAMILIES PRODUCT FAMILIES PRODUCT FAMILIES PRODUCT RautePro UTE T RA DUC PRO LIES A M I lutions F so able re Profit atter whe m ­ no orld he w siness in t o bu you d ffers RautePro o al, industrial a profession rocess with production p easy to use reliable and technology. RauteSele ct RauteSe a wide ran lect allows ge of adju sta and flexib ility in prod bility uction, and can b e easily upgraded. According to our strategy we want to operate so that we can meet all customer needs in a profitable way. This requires a broad range of expertise and knowledge of our customers' operating environments and the needs in various market areas. For decades Raute has been present in the four corners of the world, wherever veneer, plywood and LVL products are manufactured. Thanks to the active presence we have accumulated substantial global know-how in our field. Text: Matti Ukkonen Raut eSm Rau the s teSmart techn martest a offers nd ol recov ogy with latest th ery a nd hi e best g capa city. hest art 12 PLYVISIONS FAMILIES PRODUCT FAMILIES PRODUCT FAMILIES PRODUCT FAMILIES PRODUCT FAMILIES THE PHRASE PROFITABLE SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR NEEDS MEANS RECEIVING PROVEN, RELIABLE SOLUTIONS THAT MEET SPECIFIC PRODUCTION AND END-MARKET NEEDS, NO MATTER WHERE IN THE WORLD YOU DO BUSINESS. EACH MARKET AREA has its own requirements and challenges concerning raw materials, energy consumption, automation level, amount of investment costs, labor costs etc. The technology solutions for production machinery need to reinforce these regional requirements as much as possible. At Raute, we have solved this issue by creating product families to match a variety of production needs. Our product families utilize technologies which are precisely tailored to fit the intended use. Additionally, the technologies allow for an increase in the level of automation in the future. Raute solutions are now available in three product families. Each product family offers unique benefits depending on the customer's production. The RauteSelect solutions are especially valued by customers who manufacture high-quality products with flexibility in production and efficient use of raw materials. RauteSelect is the answer for customers who process several wood species and produce several panel sizes on the same production line. Existing lines can be retrofitted with RauteSelect solutions and upgraded to the RauteSmart family through modernizations. RautePro is a professional, industrial production process with reliable and proven technology. A typical RautePro product is a basic machine or line with separate automated functions. Investments as well as maintenance costs are relatively low, making the pay-back time short. RautePro is a perfect solution for customers who produce high-quality products without a large product variety. RauteSmart represents the industry's latest and most efficient state-of-the-art technology. RauteSmart customers focus on producing large volumes and make efficient use of the latest automation and measuring technologies. The investments can be kept up-to-date through modernizations and upgrades with the latest features of Raute's R&D innovations. Raute's flagship product is the RauteSmart lathe, with a peeling speed of up to 400 meters of veneer per minute. In developing these product families, Raute's main philosophy has been to find the most valuable features for different types of producers and to combine them into solutions which can be easily adapted for all of its customers around the world. Together with Raute's sophisticated service offering, new and existing production lines can provide the best possible profitability by always keeping them running at an optimal performance. · PLYVISIONS 13 NEW TECHNOLOGIES NEW TECHNOLOGIES String and glue application NEW TECHNOLOGIES NEW TECHNOLOGIES Defect scanning Defect clipping Veneer infeed Sheet clipping Veneer stacking Lift platform and stack removal RautePro composing line RauteSelect THE MAIN TARGETS FOR RAUTE WHEN DEVELOPING THE NEW RAUTEPRO COMPOSING PRODUCT FAMILY WERE TO IMPLEMENT THE PROVEN BENEFITS OF RAUTE'S COMPOSING TECHNOLOGY WITH A COST-EFFECTIVE SOLUTION, WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY IMPROVING THE YIELD AND RECOVERY OF COMPOSED VENEER. Text: Tero Laitinen Photos: Janne Kousa RautePr o RautePro offers a profes sio productio nal, industrial n reliable a process with nd easy technolo to use gy. RauteSelect allows a wide range of adjustability and flexibility in production, and can be easily upgraded. te Rau Sm art rs offe test art la eSm t and est t Rau artes with b st y he sm the hnolog nd hig tec very a city. co capa re THE NEW RAUTEPRO COMPOSING LINE As a result of this development work, Raute has developed a new modulebased core veneer composer that includes automatic veneer defect clipping and composing functions with a simple and cost-effective construction. All the normal composing functions are now available with improved energy efficiency! The total installed electric power can be even more than 30% lower compared to conventional composers. THE FIRST DELIVERY The first Pro composer has already been delivered to the listed company Taizhou KeMian Wood Industry Co., Ltd. It is a green field delivery to produce core veneers for LVL production. Taizhou KeMian Wood Industry Co., Ltd., is an independent wood industry company with 800 employees in China. The company previously focused largely on the parquet industry, but is now also gaining a foothold in LVL. The new LVL mill is situated in Jiangsu Province, near Shanghai, in the area of the city of Taizhou (c. 5 million pop.). NEW FEATURES SAVE VALUABLE RAW MATERIAL New features, such as servo-clipping (servo motor controlled and powered clippers) and smart and simple line controls with logics have improved both the efficiency of the composing process and the yield of the composed veneer. The new defect detecting and defect clipping module can be equipped and controlled 14 PLYVISIONS NEW TECHNOLOGIES NEW TECHNOLOGIES NEW TECHNOLOGIES NEW TECHNOLOGIES t with a modern camera solution that saves valuable raw material: the minimum veneer width to be utilized after defect clipping can be only 50 mm, which is a major benefit when veneer recovery is important. Also the operations and maintenance of the composer have been made as simple as possible, for example knife service for both, defect and sheet clipper. Features common to Raute's veneer composers are the maximization of pro- ductivity and quality along with low labor costs. Composing lines can be run by one single operator. MODULAR CONSTRUCTION All these product developments and improvements are implemented on one piece modules which are preassembled and tested before final assembly on the customer's site. With the simple and modular construction, assembly is easy and quick to carry out. · TECHNICAL DATA Models for up to 1500, 2000 and 2600 mm veneer lengths (5 ft, 6 ft and 8 ft) · Veneerthickness1.2­4.2mm(otherthicknesses on request) · Optionalveneerthicknesscontrol · Optionalpenveneerdetectionwithcamerasolution · Minimumveneerwidthtobejointed50mm(forsome wood species and thickness) · Hotmeltgluestringsforeach12inchofveneerlength, optional on both sides of veneer surface · Applicationofgluespots COMPOSING LINES CAN BE RUN BY A SINGLE OPERATOR. PLYVISIONS 15 NEW TECHNOLOGIES NEW TECHNOLOGIES NEW TECHNOLOGIES NEW TECHNOLOGIES A NEW ERA IN VENEER PATCHING BEGINS WE HAVE RECEIVED INCREASING AMOUNTS OF FEEDBACK FROM OUR CUSTOMERS IN RECENT YEARS CONCERNING THE GROWING NEED FOR VENEER PATCHING. THE AVERAGE REQUIRED THICKNESSES FOR PLYWOOD PANELS HAVE DECREASED SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH THE DECLINE IN THE AVERAGE DIAMETER OF BLOCKS TO BE PEELED. Text: Erkki Kauranen Photos: Veli-Matti Lepistö 16 PLYVISIONS NEW TECHNOLOGIES NEW TECHNOLOGIES NEW TECHNOLOGIES NEW TECHNOLOGIES TAKEN TOGETHER the above facts mean that the need for good-quality surface veneer has increased further. This demand cannot be satisfied simply through improving the efficiency of veneer grading. The answer for supplying the required amounts of surface veneer can be found in more efficient veneer patching. The so-called natural defects of the veneer raw material, such as knots, knot-holes and resin pockets can be patched, thus increasing the amount of valuable surface veneer. The types of defects needing patching depend on the species of wood used. The unique machine vision system created by Raute's Mecano business unit has made it possible to implement patching technology using an entirely new concept. Patching can be automated using machine vision while simultaneously achieving improved accuracy, speed and uniform quality. It also facilitates the adherence to quality specifications according to standards. Through automatic patching, costefficiency improves as a result of the improved work output and raw material utilization ratio. FROM IDEA TO DELIVERY IN JUST A YEAR AND A HALF The planning process for the new patching line was initiated by customers' experiences and their feedback concerning our previous generation of patching lines, as well as the opportunities presented by our state-of-the-art machine vision technology. Based on these, clearly-defined goals and a project implementation timetable were set up for the next-generation technology. The objective was to create an automatic patching line which is as userfriendly and productive as possible and can be used by a single operator. Additionally, the line's capacity, capability for producing quality as well as reliability needed to be of the highest standard. The line also needed to be suitable for all species of wood and patch shapes as well as various veneer thicknesses. With regard to operational issues, special attention was paid to the line's modular structure, limiting the required floor surface area as well as low utilization costs in terms of energy and wear parts. Also automatically adjusting cutting dies according to the control recipe were made a requirement for the new technology. >> THE WASTE OF THE PATCHING MATERIAL USED ­ STRIPS CUT FROM VENEER ­ HAS BEEN MINIMIZED USING A NEW TECHNOLOGY. PLYVISIONS 17 NEW TECHNOLOGIES NEW TECHNOLOGIES NEW TECHNOLOGIES NEW TECHNOLOGIES The changes made to the patching line have been substantial compared to the previous-generation technology. Veneer to be patched is moved with vacuum gripper into correct position according to coordinates received from camera.The line has one or two fixed patching heads per level which have improved capacity and operational reliability. The patching stations, called levels, are located one on top of the other and there can be anywhere from one to four levels. The cutting dies are made from durable solid tool steel and they are sharpened by using just simple grinding. The movement of the cutting dies is controlled electronically, which also enables the electronic adjustment of the patch height. The cutting blades are automatically calibrated after sharpening. New conveyor solutions ensure that the patches line up parallel to the veneer's grain. The waste of the patching material ­ strips cut from veneer ­ has been minimized with a new technology. The first fully-automatic RauteSmart patching lines have already been sold. Three line orders have been placed to Russia and the first to Chile which will include the hot melt gluing system and by-pass conveyor for an additional grading feature. The first new generation patching line installation was begun in April. This means that only a year and a half have passed between idea and delivery! PATCHING LINE PRODUCT FAMILIES RautePro, RauteSelect and RauteSmart are Raute's patching line product families. RautePro also includes a new type of patching head, including all the novelties such as electronic adjustment properties integrated into the fixed C-frame. The actual patching process is performed by the operator who moves the veneer and aligns the defects manually. The typical line capacity is 800­900 patches per hour. With the RauteSelect line the veneer is fed either manually or by a feeder onto the camera conveyor. The patching takes place automatically on one patching level. The stacking of veneers takes place mechanically either from the dry chain or round table. The line requires two to four operators and its typical capacity is 2 500 patches per hour. On the RauteSmart line, veneer feeding and stacking as well as base plate handling are automatic. The line has one to four patching levels and can be used by a single operator. Additionally the line can be equipped with a by-pass feeder, enabling veneer grading without decreasing the patching capacity. This maximizes the machine vision properties and performance. Also, for certain patch shapes and very thin veneer, the line can be equipped with automatic taping or hot gluing equipment in order to ensure the permanence of patches. The typical line capacity is between 9 000 and 12 000 patches per hour. · 18 PLYVISIONS NEW TECHNOLOGIES NEW TECHNOLOGIES NEW TECHNOLOGIES NEW TECHNOLOGIES Raute TwinPeel for emerging markets and plantation wood peeling Text: Jukka Siiriäinen THE TWINPEEL PEELING STATION AND TWINPEEL PEELING LINE ARE THE LATEST PRODUCTS TO COME OUT OF RAUTE'S R&D, WHICH AIMS AT PROVIDING SOLUTIONS FOR ALL CUSTOMER NEEDS. THE MULTI-FUNCTION peeling station contains block dosing, automatic centering, separate debarking, a round-up knife carriage and a spindleless lathe with rotary clipper ­ all in one package. Topping up the package with block infeed and veneer stacking, it makes a complete peeling line. TwinPeel is the result of systematic market studies, feasibility evaluations and customer interviews which started in early 2009. It was clear that there were many customers whose needs in peeling were different from what traditional peeling lines could offer. Some had limited raw material supply, some remote locations, some were just getting started peeling plantation logs and some simply had a limited budget. At the same time, all these customers required higher quality and capacity of veneer than what existing low-cost machinery enabled. There was an obvious limit to what the market could offer. Multi-functionality and space saving are obvious appealing aspects of the machine, which still encompasses all the core principles of profitable veneer making. Automatic centering maximizes the length of the continuous veneer ribbon. The separate debarking and rounding up units do the dirty job. A clean rounded block enters the spindleless lathe, keeping the veneer knife in serviceable condition much longer, peeling veneer of good quality and accurate thickness. Productivity is maintained, even though the processing speeds of individual machines remain below the traditional Raute speeds. There are four blocks simultaneously in the process: One in dosing, one in rounding up, one waiting to be charged to the peeling and one in peeling and clipping. Simultaneous operations add up in capacity, but keep the required power consumption low. In numbers, the peeling speed is 50 m/min and power consumption less than 20 kWh/m3. The compact design allows mobility. TwinPeel can be made into a movable peeling station. This is particularly interesting in the case of peeling logs from plantation thinnings. The station can be brought to the plantation and only valuable veneer needs to be transported to the plywood mill. When one plantation has been thinned, it is time to move on to another. In a couple of days, the TwinPeel station will be ready to continue in the new location. · PLYVISIONS 19 RauteGreen RauteGreen RauteGreen RauteGreen RauteGreen RauteGreen Raute CLEAN EMISSIONS AND ENERGY SAVINGS ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT ARE AMONG THE MOST IMPORTANT CURRENT GLOBAL MEGATRENDS. ENERGY IS BECOMING ONE OF THE MAJOR COMPONENTS OF PROFITABLE PLYWOOD/LVL MANUFACTURING. Text: Marko Perttilä with RauteGreen solutions GENERAL In most other industries, pollution control is defined by law. In the plywood industry, North America and Oceania already have regulations in place which require pollution control techniques, and it is easy to predict that this will also be the trend in the near future in Europe and other parts of the world. The utilization of pollution control equipment can be encouraged in two ways: through legislation or through economical benefits. In practice, the economical benefits of pollution control systems are clearly the best way to increase the utilization of such systems. In plywood/LVL processes, veneer drying is the most important process phase in terms of both energy and environmental issues. Veneer drying involves the greatest consumption of heat and electrical energy. The energy consumption of drying can be minimized in a number of ways, for example through accurate controls, an effective drying process, effective energy production, and heat and energy recovery. Veneer drying is also the process phase that produces the most environmental emissions. These emissions are either natural resins from the wood (VOC = Volatile Organic Compounds) or fine wood dust. Raute has an excellent solution for all these needs: we can supply an emissions control system that minimizes energy consumption (=profitable), reduces emissions (VOC and wood dust) and fulfills even the most demanding environmental laws. THE SOLUTION The exhaust gas emissions from the veneer dryer can be minimized with a Regenerative Catalytic Oxidizer (RCO) unit. At the same time, the RCO enables the recovery of energy from the dryer exhaust gases for various energy-consumption purposes (dryer make-up air heating, log conditioning, building heating, fuel drying etc.). The removal of VOC emissions is based on the oxidation process in the catalysts of the RCO unit, and the recovery of energy from the purified exhaust gases is based on the following facts: the VOC concentration in exhaust gases increases the burning temperature and enables the process to perform autothermally without external heating energy. The VOC process also burns the woodbased resin away from the exhaust 20 PLYVISIONS Green RauteGreen RauteGreen RauteGreen RauteGreen RauteGreen RauteGreen gases. This allows the energy from the exhaust to be recovered without resin build up either in the dryer or with different kinds of heat exchangers. OPERATION The VOC treatment is performed by directing the dryer exhaust gases through the catalysts and the heat exchangers, which are the main components of the RCO unit. The gas flow inside the RCO unit is regularly redirected to maintain correct temperatures and process conditions. The chemical process oxidizes the harmful VOC emissions to form less harmful carbon dioxide and simultaneously discharges additional heat energy. The RCO unit is capable of handling the varying air flow rates and VOC concentrations of different wood materials. The RCO unit connects easily to an air-to-air heat exchanger to produce clean hot air for various purposes, such as the pre-heating of dryer make-up air, heating the building and drying wood fuel. Depending on the dryer humidity conditions, the humid and hot resinfree exhaust air can be utilized as preheated make-up air also directly from the RCO. The operation of the RCO unit is fully automatic and the components have a long life expectancy, for example, a 10 year warranty for the catalysts. The units are delivered in standard containers and can be easily adapted to new or existing veneer dryers. The VOC abatement units by Ehovoc Oy are proven technology in a number of industrial sectors. · cold air Heat Recovery Unit (Makeupairheating) hot air BENEFITS · HighVOCabatementrate, up to 98%, and effective removal of particulate emissions · AutothermalprocesswithlowVOC concentrations(0.6g/Nm3 upwards) and low operating costs · Meetsthedemandsofallknown emission control regulations · Minimalmaintenanceneeded · Testedandproventechnology (testedwithsoftwoodplywoodmill) hot + humid RCO (ExhaustgasVOCabatement) hot/humid make-up air energy veneer + water hot + humid + VOC Veneer Dryer (Veneerdrying) veneer PLYVISIONS 21 Sharp lens boosts quality ONE MAJOR CHARACTERISTIC THAT MAKES MECANO STAND OUT FROM THE REST IS ITS STRONG INPUT IN R&D. TYPICALLY 40% OF THE UNIT-GENERATED TURNOVER ENDS UP IN R&D. ONE COULD SAY THAT MECANO'S MAIN PRODUCT IS ACTUALLY INNOVATIONS AND DEVELOPING THEM FURTHER INTO DEFINED PROCESSES. Text: Jyrki Pesonen Photos: Veli-Matti Lepistö 22 PLYVISIONS THE MECANO BUSINESS UNIT has been around since 1994. The unit started out as an independent company, Mecano Group Oy, until Raute acquired all of its shares in 2005 and merged the companies in 2008. Except for the very beginning of the company, Mecano's core competence has always been machine vision and applications built around the veneer business. From the outset, Mecano has served its customers all around the world. This tradition can be seen in the everyday working environment, where separate time zones fluently take their place in conversation. People onsite as well as remote-connected analyzers are tended to naturally; after all, it's always 2 pm somewhere. The third generation, the mighty G3, was a huge leap forward. It was the biggest R&D project in the company's history, measured in terms of both time and investments. The initial phase took three years of planning, coding and testing before the first pilot installations were released. G3 introduced color analysis and more generic camera interfaces to increase the variety of cameras that were available. Like G2, G3 also had several upgrades made to it along the way. The biggest was probably Release 19, when 3D imaging was introduced as a VDA-S product. Release 19 is the current platform release supporting everything from green end clipping control to plywood finishing. So traditionally it's been five years per generation, and the single-sheet grader has grown like a sturdy red oak tree with multiple strong branches. Some examples are VCO for state-ofthe-art clipping optimization, VDA-S panel for submillimeter accurate panel grading and patching and all of the smaller variations of VDA-S in veneer >> GENERATIONS OF VISION The very first machine vision graders lacked interactivity or were limited to just a blinking pattern of leds. We called it the G1 generation, built on several dedicated and proprietary DSP units and analog cameras of the time. Tuning and controlling the system was limited to professionals only, but it did the job already better than humans, in a consistent way. G2, the second generation, introduced PC-based analyzers and more variety to the applications. The software was no longer a single monolith piece, but several individual components; the solution made application development more agile and significantly reduced the response times to customer needs. Service and adjustments based on local needs has been one of the keys to success on all continents. More variety was introduced to the user interface and an internal image processing library, developed by Mecano, began to grow from plywood needs. G2 actually received one major improvement, called G2V2, which made tailoring defect recognition onsite possible without a software engineer. "The commissioning of both MVAs at Pellos 2 was successful and as scheduled. The accuracy of the Mecano MVA enables an even more precise optimizing of the drying process up to the end product. The use of MVA means a long leap forward in the moisture metering technology." Pasi Toivanen, Operation Engineer, UPM Pellos Mills PLYVISIONS 23 >> patching, composing, scarfing, lay-up, etc. Concrete that was laid in early 2000 has proven to be solid enough to build a number of new things on it. The latest example of the performance of this platform is the VDA-F analyzer that specially targets internal defects, micro cracks and the high demands of hardwood species. since the launch and many satisfied customers high-revving their production based on the accuracy and ability of Mecano MVA. THE PEOPLE BEHIND MECANO As of today, there is a 22-person unit located in Kajaani, Finland. Of that unit, 11 people are directly involved in R&D, and the rest in service & support, manufacturing, sales & management. The unit's own processes concentrate on core technology and some parts are subcontracted. Mecano also has a strong connection to local universities and research labs; for example, there are three different active research projects currently in place with multiple universities involved. As a unit of Raute, Mecano is responsible for Raute's Intelligent Analyzers, including but not limited to, Machine Vision applications and moisture and density applications development, and the manufacturing of these. Mecano also offers related consulting and actual testing services in visual and moisture analyzing areas. All this is taken care of by experienced professionals, most of whom have been with the company since early 2000. Also typical for them, most have direct contact with customers all around the world. There's always a face behind a system feature. GENERATIONS OF MOISTURE ANALYZING The earliest moisture meters by Mecano were launched in North America, when Raute Wood Ltd. offered their technology to be further developed by Mecano in the late 90s. Fairly quickly Mecano introduced the very first integrated analyzer that not only combined two different analyses (moisture & visual), but also took moisture analysis from measuring to grading. Moisture mapping for optimized moisture control and improved calculations to further increase the accuracy of conductivity-based measurement turned this unit into a success story. Mecano DMA was sold as a standalone analyzer for automatic high performance drying lines as well as for manual cross-tipple lines. The best value from this unit, however, came as a significant piece of integrated analyzer. For the first time ever it was possible to create a single intelligent decision instead of an overriding chain of non-communicating meters. In mid-2000 Mecano started a huge R&D project to take this moisture grading to the much-needed next step. A project called LUSTO, targeting "the most accurate moisture analyzer in the world," took almost three years in total to finally release the very first Mecano MVA analyzer. It was the very first measuring device to grade moisture content more accurately than anything else, from 0% up ­ something that none of the current conductivity-based measuring units can ever reach. Not even close. MVA has proved to be a success. There have been multiple deliveries MECANO SOLUTIONS FOR OTHER BRANDS There are multiple examples of cases where Mecano moisture analyzers or vision graders have been installed or delivered as part of third-party deliveries. For example, certain moisture meters on the market can be modernized fairly inexpensively from conventional measuring units to up-to-date Mecano DMA moisture grading analyzers. Similar solutions are available for vision systems and modernizations as well as brand new installations as part of any manufacturer's line or process. EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONALS HAVE DIRECT CONTACT WITH CUSTOMERS ALL AROUND THE WORLD. THERE'S ALWAYS A FACE BEHIND A SYSTEM FEATURE. 24 PLYVISIONS FUTURE ENDEAVORS OF MECANO Mecano is currently working on new things! Some are spectacular and mindblowing, some are really small and "behind the scenes" kind of features. But in all of them we are pushing the limits further in all domains of analysis, not to mention invading a few new domains that we are researching. However, Mecano has always been very active when it comes to customer demands, whether they are personal or commonly usable ideas in the industry. Making the world a better place demands creating and refining good things. This strategy is still in place. Please contact Mecano for your process needs. It doesn't matter if the need has nothing to do with machine vision primarily. There are other technologies that we utilize using similar core tools, whether the signal stems from a camera or something else. Intelligent analyzing it is. · Mecano News 2012 Latest News on MVA Multiple repeat orders have pushed delivery options slightly longer than normally. Recently, two new individual customers have noticed unbeatable payback potential thanks to the unique accuracy of MVA moisture analyzers, thus triggering additional investments in this technology. The Kajaani unit will continue to support customers and tighten up manufacturing to respond to the increased demand. If you are interested in scheduling your next MVA delivery, please contact Mecano. Latest news on VDA-S Three success stories can now be attributed to the unbeatable performance of VDAS. All customers on two continents have been very satisfied with the increased defect recognition accuracy not to mention the additional 3D defect recognition on overlaps, splits and roughness. VDA-S is now also available as a simple and refined upgrade package. Please contact us for further details. R&D and TechCenter at your service The Kajaani TechCenter was given a facelift in summer 2011. The testing facility recently received the latest upgrades in illumination as well as camera technology. Sample storage was revised and more space has been allocated in response to the increased demand for customer sample testing as well as hectic R&D testing sessions. All this was done to strengthen our capability to serve customers, both new and old, and their needs in auditing their samples. The TechCenter is now capable of testing visual samples of typical veneer sheets as well as smaller scale 50cm x 50cm samples for accurate moisture definition. The absolute maximum size for visual inspection samples is now 3000mm x 3000mm and thicknesses from 0mm to 200mm. If you are interested in having your challenge defined and refined into real application, settings or something else, do not hesitate to contact us and we'll schedule time for you in our TechCenter. PLYVISIONS 25 Lohja mill manufactures KERTO-LVL WITH MODERNIZED PEELING LINE AFTER A DECADE OF NON-STOP PRODUCTION AND 2.5 MILLION PEELED BLOCKS, THE PEELING LINE AT METSÄ WOOD'S LOHJA MILL WAS FULLY MODERNIZED. Text: Olli Havo Photos: Veli-Matti Lepistö METSÄ WOOD'S, formerly Finnforest, mill in Lohja, Finland, manufactures KERTO-LVL products. The softwood plywood used for the products is peeled on a peeling line delivered by Raute in 1998. Over the years the requirements for production volumes and efficiency have increased. As a result of various product development projects, Raute had the perfect modernization solution for the peeling line which would ensure that modern production requirements, both productivity and quality-wise, would be met. Based on a feasibility study, the customer decided to upgrade the peeling line to meet modern requirements in 2009. Prior to the modernization some 2.5 million cubic meters of plywood logs had already been peeled on the line. The modernizations were carried out in 2010 and 2011 during production shutdowns. The goal of the modernizations was to improve the operational reliability and utilization ratio, as well as improve the quality of the veneer used. THE MAINTENANCE HISTORY OF THE LINE The customer has relied on Raute's maintenance know-how for years. The life-cycle maintenance and development of the peeling line has been supported by the maintenance contract in place between the customer and Raute, which includes planned inspec- 26 PLYVISIONS tion and maintenance visits at regular intervals. The aim of the contract is to maintain the high productivity of the equipment and the utilization ratio of the raw materials. Excellent results have been achieved through cooperation, to which the personnel of the Kerto mill have brought their strong process expertise and Raute its technology knowhow in terms of the maintenance of the line. The condition of the line has been assessed by function and the findings, including the measures to be taken, required adjustments, spare parts that need changing etc., have been reported to the customer. Maintenance has been based on inspection reports and been implemented at agreed times together with the mill's own personnel. MODERNIZATION OF THE PEELING LINE The modernization of the peeling line in Lohja was performed during shut-downs. The work was implemented so that production could continue without disruption following the downtime. The modernizations were completed in three separate phases. The installation work for the first phase was begun in March 2010, when the PCLH block charger and veneer lathe were modernized. The charger was modernized by renewing its rotation mechanism, replacing the old single-head travelling lasers with a state-of-the-art laser curtain and installing an auto-calibration system in the charger. The lathe was modernized by renewing its knife carriage, and the knife carriage feed and support frame. The entire control system of the line was revamped and the line was equipped with an MIS data collection system. The second phase was completed at the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011. During this shut-down, the veneer trash gate was renewed as were the veneer lathe spindle drives and spindles. The third phase, implemented during fall 2011, involved the modernization of the camera system guiding the peeling line rotary clipper. Preparations for the project and its implementation were achieved through intensive cooperation with the Kerto mill project team from Lohja, which included Marika Saarinen, Risto Sinervä and Petri Nevalainen. · Ilkka Satta, Production Manager, Metsä Wood Lohja's KERTO-LVL mill What was the objective for the peeling line modernization? We wanted to improve the quality and utilization ratio of our veneer. Also the operational reliability of the peeling line was an important aspect. How successful was the implementation? The installations and start-up took place as agreed, the run-in phase and finding the right settings to suit our production took some time for us to work out. How did the cooperation with Raute function during the modernization? It worked well. What about timetables? The project was implemented according to agreed timetables. Did the modernization achieve the set quality and production goals? After the learning process we reached the set goals. RAUTE HAD THE PERFECT MODERNIZATION SOLUTION FOR THE PEELING LINE WHICH WOULD ENSURE THAT MODERN PRODUCTION REQUIREMENTS WOULD BE MET. PLYVISIONS 27 Get benefits from AN OUTDATED LOG CHARGER IS ONE OF THE LARGEST CAUSES OF RECOVERY LOSS IN QUALITY FACE VENEER. FOR EXAMPLE, LOG-CENTERING ERRORS UP TO 20MM CAN LEAD TO LOSSES OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF US DOLLARS PER YEAR, THEREBY LOWERING PROFITS EVEN FURTHER. THE RAUTE CHARGER UPGRADE increases green veneer recovery through improved accuracy in block centering. At the same time, production capacity increases as the automatic log centering improves the block cycle time when compared to manual block centering. Many mills in South East Asia use 20 year old technology, which more often than not, exhibit mechanical problems that cannot be rectified. The older chargers are difficult to repair as there are no spare parts available from the original manufacturers. The recovery of logs is of the utmost importance in the plywood business, as it determines most of the plywood costs. Ignoring these factors will cause the mill to incur losses in revenue for plywood production each year. RAUTE CHARGER UPGRADE RESPONDING TO MARKET DEMAND As a consequence of the current economic downturn in the U.S. and Europe, combined with the low prices of plywood and the uncertainty and irregular supply of raw materials, plywood mill owners are reluctant to inject investments to rejuvenate their production lines. In fact, many mills are either closing down or losing profits. At Raute, we believe in "profitable solutions for all customer needs" to provide a solution for every budget. Under- PLYWOOD MANUFACTURING COSTS Heat energy 5% Electrical energy 5% Glue 10% Wood 65% Labor 15% 28 PLYVISIONS standing the dilemma faced by plywood mill owners, Raute has responded by developing several affordable and effective modernization solutions to help mill owners rejuvenate their ageing mills. The Raute Charger Upgrade is one of the solutions designed to address these problems. This modernization package offers flexible upgrade options that enable mill owners to upgrade their machines at their own pace, allowing them to retain and modernize their existing production lines without the need for huge investments. A typical hydraulic system of an existing charger can be very difficult to control. Issues with worn out valves, cylinders and leaking piping, can create a "jerking" mechanical movement. Make it next to impossible to control the block position. In many cases, old hydraulic systems do not have enough power to drive both the charger and charging arm. Hence mechanical errors occur. This leads to centering errors which will increase recovery losses in green veneers, not to mention time lost due to the slower charging of logs, which, in turn, lowers production capacity. Manual centering often relies on the operators' judgments to determine the best centering position of the logs by employing a conventional target projector lamp. Such methods contribute to time losses, and the accuracy of the centering is solely dependent on the operators' physical and mental state. Such a method is not only inefficient, but very costly. The Raute Charger modernization solution for the log charger can be installed in any brand of lathe. This Raute system allows for the centering of logs with diameter ranges from 350mm to 1300mm. Other limits are determined by the ability of the existing transfer arm. The modernization concept can be upgraded in stages and future modernization products and integration are possible. There are four stages of upgrades currently available: Lifting Yokes: Replace the old worn out yokes with Raute new heavy duty and accurate lifting yokes to abate mechanical inaccuracy. IN STAGE 1, modernization involves replacing the old mechanical charging yokes with Raute Lifting V-Yokes. These heavy-duty V-Yokes feature an enclosed design, which protects the crucial components against external damage. The V-Yokes are individually driven by hydraulic cylinders within the yokes and the base. This upgrade will be integrated with the mill's existing hydraulic system and no modification to the existing hydraulic system is required. Hydraulics & Controls: Hydraulic system with electronical controls for integration into the Stage 1 V yokes. Rectify movement and positioning errors of old hydraylic system centering controls. THE STAGE 2 upgrade consists of a new hydraulic power system coupled with electronic stepless joy-stick controls, integrated with the existing Raute Stage 1 V-yokes. The new hydraulic power system is dedicated to power the V-Yokes only, thus enabling the old hydraulic system to operate the charging arms smoothly. Automatic Round Log Centering: Transform the Stage 1 & Stage 2 manual centering system into automatic round log charger. PLC sensors and software programs to achieve 6 point centering. THE STAGE 3 upgrades will automate the round log centering for improved recovery of veneer and increase in production output. This upgrade consists of a new installation of touch screen control and light beam measuring devices, with an advanced software program to achieve accurate 6 point measurement of the log diameter. Automated log centering will be integrated with the stage 2 upgrade. The stage 3 upgrade will eliminate human errors, improve production efficiency and increase productivity. Automatic Natural Log Centering: Precision optimizing of natural log automatic centering systems with log end camera scanning and optimizing software to improve recovery of veneer and increase productivity. STAGE 4 will automate the natural log centering process based on the center point of the log ends. This upgrade consists of new installations of log-end cameras with scanning and optimizing centering software, integrated with the existing Raute Stage 3 automatic log centering system to achieve precise log end diameter analysis. The centering is based on optimizing the log end position to its geometrical center point. Similar in principle to manual optical centering, but eliminates human errors. · Text: Roy Chua PLYVISIONS 29 Raute eStore WHAT IF YOU COULD FORGET YOUR OLD SPARE PARTS FOLDERS AND BROWSE RAUTE'S SPARE PARTS MANUALS EASILY ON THE INTERNET AND ORDER ALL THE SPARE PARTS YOU NEED EFFORTLESSLY THROUGH THE ONLINE WEB SHOP ­ WHEN IT SUITS YOU BEST? IN FACT, THIS IS ALREADY POSSIBLE ON THE RAUTE eStore! THE RAUTE eStore serves you at www. raute.com/estore 24/7 and from any location. Please register, log in and enjoy the ease of our service. eStore is intended for all Raute customers and it's a great help, especially for spare parts buyers and maintenance personnel. Raute opened its first online store two years ago, but the new eStore was launched in the autumn 2011, as part of the revamped www.raute.com. The online shop includes more than 4,000 items divided into both original Raute ­ always at your service! parts and vendor parts, with a wide selection of components, from hydraulics to pneumatics, as well as components for mechanical and automation purposes. The latest addition is nearly 200 items for Mecano products. You can find the price and delivery time for each component, as well as images of some of them. On the eStore you can simply check out the prices and delivery times of spare parts or you can place an order. You can search for parts in different parts groups or use a very simple search tool. Then just add the right items to your shopping cart and send it to us. After we have received your order, our sales team takes over and sends you an official order confirmation. We are currently offering a 5% discount on all online orders. So, in addition to easy online ordering, you also save money! On our eStore you can also find a link to custom-made electronic spare parts books, which makes it very easy to find the right parts for Raute's lines and machines. This service can be accessed directly also at http://eparts.raute.com after registration. If you are interested in this service, please contact your account manager or send an email to service@raute.com. We already have more than 100 registered eStore users worldwide and many of our customers now exclusively use the eStore for all their spare parts orders. That's because it's easy, fast and convenient, and it saves them money. Please register at www.raute.com. · Text: Markus Halmetoja 30 PLYVISIONS APPOINTMENTS APPOINTMENTS APPOINTMENTS APPOINTMENTS APPOINTMENTS APPOINTMENTS Raute systematically executes a dedicated strategy for extending global service and customer focus in different market areas. Strengthening operations in emerging markets and continuous work towards improved technology are key issues for future success. The following appointments and re-organizations in responsibility areas have been made to support the strategy: JANI ROIVAINEN has been appointed General Manager of Raute's Mecano business unit located in Kajaani, Finland. Mr. Roivainen previously worked in several sales and project manager positions at Elektrobit. PETRI LAKKA started as Group Vice President, Business Development, at Raute in September 2011 and has now been appointed Group Vice President, Technology Services. He is also a member of Raute Group's Executive Board. Prior to starting at Raute, Mr. Lakka worked in various positions in a number of companies, such as the engineering and consulting company Ramboll Finland Oy, heading the Industry and Energy Division, and Metso Paper Service, holding several senior management positions both in Finland and the U.S. JUHA-PEKKA SALIMÄKI has been appointed Vice President, Sales and Technology, Raute Shanghai, with responsibility for local R&D and sales in China, Korea and Japan. Mr. Salimäki previously held the position of Vice President, EMEA, and has worked in several sales and technology service management tasks at Raute. JUKKA LAHTINEN has been appointed Manager, Global Technology. His previous position at Raute was General Manager, Mecano business. TIMO KANGAS has been appointed Group Vice President, EMEA. His previous position was Group Vice President, Technology Services. Mr. Kangas continues as a member of Raute Group's Executive Board. ROUMIANA VASSILEVA MARKO PERTTILÄ has been appointed Technology Manager, Raute Green. Mr. Perttilä previously held the position of Technology Manager, R&D, at Raute. has been appointed Business Development Director, EWP. Ms. Vassileva previously held various management, marketing and business development positions with leading EWP manufacturers such as Trus Joist, Weyerhaeuser and Finnforest. PLYVISIONS 31 EXPERTISE IN PLYWOOD AND LVL TECHNOLOGY www.raute.com PROFITABLE SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR NEEDS Raute provides the correct technology along with top quality services to meet the needs of each customer. Our proven track record comes from over 100 years of experience and expertise in the veneer, plywood and LVL industries. Our technology solutions are tailored for each market area of the world. Our solutions provide improved line operation while adding value for the entire life cycle of the investment. The right solution, every time. Find out more about our range of products by visiting our website at www.raute.com TECHNOLOGY } UPGRADES } MODERNIZATIONS } SPARE PARTS } MAINTENANCE } TRAINING