QUALITY PAYS OFF FOR POLLMEIER
NORTH AMERICA ON THE REBOUND
THE RISE OF THE NEW NUEVA ALDEA MILL
Published by Raute Corporation
BEECH LVL MILL
UP AND RUNNING!
THE FIRST EUROPEAN
RAUTE NOW RAUTE NOW
RAUTE NOW RAUTE NOW
AGAIN, A LOT has happened since our
previous issue of PlyVisions. The market situation has been difficult, or at least uncertain, to most, if not all, of us. Raute's 2013 was not good at all. Also 2014 started slowly, more slowly than we had anticipated. Lately there have been some positive signs, though. Economy in North America seems finally to be recovering. As a consequence, housing starts are picking up and so does the demand for our customers' products as well. I'm sure that investments will be encouraged and Raute will be there to serve you. Recently also Northern and Eastern Europe have been good markets for Raute and we have been able to publish significant orders from Poland. Also in the Baltic countries and Finland demand has been good. We have two special themes in this issue of PlyVisions: Raute's technology for mill-scope projects and modernizations on other suppliers' equipment. During a period of less than nine months in 2011 and 2012 we booked three millscope projects. That was a challenge but we managed to deliver all of them successfully. This we are proud of! Thanks to the customers who trusted us and to our team who made it possible. Raute's technology offers improvement potential to any plywood or LVL producer. Many, who could benefit from such improvements, have machines originally supplied by someone else. In some cases such basic machinery may still be OK, but not very competitive any more. We at Raute have recently developed solutions to enable us to apply our advanced technologies in such cases as well. In this issue of PlyVisions we introduce some of them for you to consider. China is by far the biggest country with regard to plywood production. However, the technology used is typically not very advanced. It is obvious that a jump directly to the latest and highest technology in many cases carries too much risk when smaller steps are preferred. Therefore Raute has launched the Dragon product family of peeling lathes and entire lines intended for the Chinese and Asian style of making veneer but it will be made available for other markets as well. See more on page 17. When writing this, the World Championships in both basketball and volleyball are taking a lot of our attention because Finland is participating. I wish all the best success to your favorite teams, dear customers and readers. Team play is essential for success in both sports and business. When you read this, the results are known and we can concentrate on the "aftermath" of what happened and why, and more on our daily plywood and LVL business as well. I wish you all enjoyable moments reading this issue of PlyVisions and all the best success in your business in 2014 and beyond. Meet you at Moscow's Lesdrewmash or Portland show.
RAUTE'S TECHNOLOGY OFFERS IMPROVEMENT POTENTIAL TO ANY PLYWOOD OR LVL PRODUCER.
Tapani Kiiski President and CEO
Raute now LVL: How to make more with less Arauco started a new plywood mill Plyterra took revolutionary steps Game changing log scanning solutions Mecano VDA-F for ultimate hardwood needs The rise of the dragon Market area review: North America on the rebound 2 4 8 10 14 16 17 20 28 32 36 39
LVL: HOW TO MAKE MORE WITH LESS
What convinced the two visionary companies, Pollmeier and Steico, to bet their "chips" on LVL? Find out the whole story on pages 4 7.
Technology to renew old peeling lines How to optimize quality control Technology review Appointments
NEW PLYWOOD MILL FOR ARAUCO
The new Nueva Aldea plywood mill launched production in Chile. The earlier plywood mill was destroyed by forest fire two years ago. Pages 8 9.
MARKET AREA REVIEW
The North American panel market has been improving at a steady pace. North America is clearly on the rebound. On pages 8 12.
PlyVisions is Raute Corporation's Customer Magazine. Editor-In-Chief: Veli-Matti Lepistö Editorial group: Ulla Lahtela, Matti Ukkonen, Markus Halmetoja, Eija Salminen Layout: Onnion Oy, Toni Talvenheimo Printing house: Markprint 9/2014 Cover photo: iStockPhoto Address changes: email@example.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
Dragon Peel helps producers to improve efficiency and capacity of production. More about the different line features on page 17 19.
HOW TO MAKE
MORE WITH LESS
TWO NEW STATE-OF-THE ART LVL MILLS OF LEADING EU WOOD-BASED PRODUCTS MANUFACTURERS (POLLMEIER IN CREUZBURG, GERMANY AND STEICO IN CZARNA WODA, POLAND) ARRIVE SUBSEQUENTLY ON THE EWP SCENE IN EUROPE SOON, BOTH WITH A LARGE PART OF THEIR LVL PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT ENGINEERED AND MANUFACTURED BY RAUTE. WHAT CONVINCED THESE TWO VISIONARY COMPANIES TO BET THEIR "CHIPS" ON LVL?
Text: Roumiana Vassileva · Photos: Hannu Sinko, Metsä Wood
The Karisma shopping center in Lahti, Finland, has a light and natural design with a roof of LVL.
IN 2013 THE LVL CONSUMPTION ACROSS THE WORLD REPRESENTED A TOTAL OF 3.3 MILLION M3.
LVL is stronger, straighter, and more uniform than traditional sawn timber and able to carry greater loads over longer spans.
LVL HAS NUMEROUS advantages over
other traditional building materials. As the wood defects (i.e. strength reducing knots) have been removed and randomized within thin layers, LVL is stronger, straighter, and more uniform than traditional sawn timber and able to carry greater loads over longer spans. From production point of view, in addition to allowing the manufacturer the use of a larger and more cost-efficient raw material base, the LVL technology allows for a better yield out of a log versus other EWP: i.e. 48% yield under bark for LVL versus 31% yield under bark for Glulam. But this is not all in LVL manufacturing, the log yield is further maximized by the manufacturer through accurate moisture content, visual defect and ultrasound veneer grading, which allow for the lower grade veneers to be used in the inner plies of the LVL panel or for the manufacturing
of LVL for non-load bearing applications.
QUALITY ALWAYS PAYS OFF
"I think we will build an LVL mill", said Mr. Ralf Pollmeier to his sister Doris Tegelkamp during a lunch break at Raute's office in Nastola back in 2010. Mrs. Tegelkamp seemed surprised, "I thought we agreed to build a plywood mill first?" Discussions with Raute to expand Pollmeier's beech processing from sawn goods to products based on rotary peeled veneer technology had been going on for a while, but after LVL was brought to the table, the decision was made in minutes it had to be beech LVL. Something nobody had done before, but something Mr. Pollmeier soon had a clear and strategic vision of. It took the needed delivery time for the whole uncompromised concept to get completed but now the
world´s first beech LVL mill in Creuzburg is up and running. Raute's scope of supply to this world's most modern LVL mill starts with RauteSmart peeling line, which can handle 8 ft and 6 ft block lengths, mixed for best recovery from logs. The veneers are dried in a Raute 24-section roller dryer, which is directly coupled to two veneer scarfing units. Scarfed veneers are visually and moisture graded with Mecano VDA and MVA analysers. Randoms and sheets with defects are conveyed to a Raute veneer composer. Before the scarfed veneers enter the Raute layup line, they go to an automated storage no fork lifts are needed in this process. The Raute lay-up line is equipped with vacuum manipulators, especially developed for thick beech veneer in this project. Two Raute CC curtain coater lines take care of the supply of veneers to the Raute continuous lay-up station.
STEICO INVESTS IN LVL
We provide value to our customers every day. But don't simply take our word for it, our actions speak better. Through unbeatable value, performance, security and reliability of our LVL production equipment solutions, we managed again to convince and commit a customer and received an order for the entire LVL production line from Steico, one of the leading wooden construction materials producers in Europe. This won´t be just an LVL line, but the very precise line Steico needs to make an impact in the LVL world. An 8 ft RauteSmart peeling line will be transforming the conditioned pine logs into 3.2 mm thick 8x8 ft veneer. Veneers will then be dried in a 13-section 6-deck Raute dryer, equipped with latest automatic veneer strength and visual grading. Randoms and sheets with defects will be clipped and composed on a RauteSelect composer, maximizing so the product yield. The automatic continuous Raute lay-up/ prepressing line will be connected to an inline scarfing line, making this process very labour effective only 3 persons are needed in this key section of the line. The 3-opening 8x60ft Raute hot pressing line has a capacity of 80,000 m3/a and will allow making LVL products in all needed customer billet lengths, before proceeding with surface sanding, cut-to-size and packaging on Raute´s state-of-the art billet handling line. Construction work has been started, all lines will be delivered to the new Steico LVL facility in Czarna Woda (Poland) early next year and installed by end of June, 2015.
THE GLOBAL MARKET AWAKE AND RISING
The global LVL market is well awake and rising. In 2013 the LVL consumption across the world represented a total of 3.3 million m3 (10% increase versus 2012). By 2018, the LVL volume is forecasted to grow up to 5.2 million m3, realizing so an average annual growth of 12%. Timber frame (TF) and LVL usage rate continue to grow in Europe, driving EU LVL consumption to increase from 172,520 m3 in 2009 to 209,000 m3 in 2013 (21% growth over the last 5 years period), EU LVL exports excluded. In North America, TF accounts for more than 90% of the low rise buildings and LVL usage rate grows steadily. Local LVL demand is projected to grow to 3.2 million m3 by 2018, 78% increase versus 2013. Backed-up by the government´s mortgage rate incentive for energy efficient and earthquake withstanding homes, the Japanese market reached local LVL consumption of 248,000 m3 in 2013, 5% increase versus 2012. Similarly, LVL is gaining market share in Australia in many building applications, which have historically been dominated by hardwood, Glulam and steel. The 2013 LVL consumption in Australia reached 212,000 m3, projected
to grow by an average annual rate of 4% until 2018. The LVL technology today turns into a crossing point between growing end user demand, due to LVL´s superior properties and the wood products manufacturers´ interest to maximize yield and profit.
TO GET AHEAD OF COMPETITION
Raute has over 30 years of experience in delivering LVL technology to the EWP industry. Raute's success in the LVL production world is enabled by the management of the whole process: from broad LVL market knowledge and comprehensive understanding of the raw materials´ dynamics to mastering the LVL veneer preparation, the lay-up, hot pressing and billet handling. Raute
is the only company worldwide, able to deliver complete turn-key LVL mills in every geographical location. As a fullscope supplier, Raute understands how peeling, drying and grading of veneers correlate with the properties of the finished LVL. Continuous lay-up with pre-pressing, connected with the Raute proprietary step pressing technology, guarantees efficient production of LVL at the lowest production costs. This concept is adaptable to different production capacity levels and to customers´ available CapEx, allowing quick technology start up and long-term reliable performance. A manufacturer´s biggest risk is that he may underestimate his potential. Raute makes sure he doesn´t. ·
A NEW PLYWOOD MILL
THE LATEST RAUTE PLYWOOD MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGIES ARE IN USE AT ARAUCO'S NEW NUEVA ALDEA PLYWOOD MILL IN CHILE. THE AUTOMATION LEVEL IS HIGHER THAN IN EARLIER ARAUCO PLYWOOD MILL PROJECTS RESULTING IN IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY AND REDUCED MANUFACTURING COSTS.
Text and photos: Timo Reinikainen
Arauco selected Raute as equipment supplier for all main manufacturing processes.
ALL WOOD RAW MATERIAL is Radiata Pine from plantations
mainly owned by Arauco. Most of the high-quality sanded pine plywood is exported to the North American, Latin American and European markets. The production capacity of the new mill is 350,000 m3 per year. Two Raute 8-ft peeling lines produce both long and short grain veneers. Short grain veneers are made first by clipping part of the veneer ribbon into the 8x8 size. The stacks with 8x8 green veneers are then cut into halves with a stack saw connected to the stacker. Wood material can be used optimally when all high-density wood from the log surface is converted into long grain veneers and the lower-density wood from the center of the log is used for cross-grain veneers. Both peeling lines have all the features of RauteSmart peeling lines, including auto-calibration of the XY charger, moisture grading of green veneers and automatic random stackers. The new plywood mill incorporates three Raute dryinggrading lines. All dryers are 6.2 meter wide 6-deck roller dryers. The drying lines feature automatic non-stop feeding, dry veneer stacker with camera and moisture grading. Dry veneer moisture is measured by Mecano's micro-wave-based MVA moisture volume analyzers, which are more accurate than
traditional brush-based dry veneer moisture meters. The new dryers have make-up air and cooling section pressure controls, which ensure high air humidity on the whole dryer length. High-humidity drying air improves the veneer quality and reduces the consumption of heating energy. Dry veneers are graded by moisture into three categories: lay-up, re-drying and stabilizing storage. Veneers, after two days of stabilizing, are fed again to the same grading line by a re-feeder. Most of such veneers have a good moisture content without re-drying. Veneer handling includes one fully automatic Raute P2 veneer patching line, four Raute core veneer composers with camera scanners and one re-grading line. The veneer patching line features a Mecano VDA scanner to detect defects. It is possible to optimize veneer patching and panel repairing with several Mecano's VDA scanners of the same type on different lines: in dry veneer grading, in veneer patching and in panel repairing. The gluing process incorporates four Raute lay-up lines, four pre-presses and three 45-opening Raute plywood hot presses. Glue application happens with Raute extruders. Liquid extrusion gluing, LEG, reduces glue consumption by 15 - 20% compared to roller spreading. Extruders feature an
ADVANTAGES OF RAUTE AS THE MAJOR SUPPLIER
· A well-operating complete system. · One responsible source for problem solving. · Common control systems and programming principles. · Easy training of workers; harmonized user interfaces and documents. · The same component standards and common spare parts for the whole factory. · Efficient communication with other parties in the project: construction, installation, engineering etc. · Optimum utilization of installation staff. · Easy project organization of owner. · One responsible communication partner in project meetings. · Easy combining of production reports from various production centers. · Natural information flow between people who know each other.
Robotic panel repairing.
automatic hot-water washing function to improve up-time. The fully-automatic lay-up lines allow rapid change from one panel construction to another. Plywood presses are equipped with pressure and aggregate thickness controls to reduce variation in panel thickness.
THE PLYWOOD stacks move automatically on traverse carriages to two Raute robotic panel repairing lines. These lines are similar to the one installed two years earlier at Arauco's Horcones plywood mill. Panel scanning happens with Mecano VDA-S panel scanners. The line has six Cartesian robots for
HIGH-HUMIDITY DRYING AIR IMPROVES THE VENEER QUALITY AND REDUCES THE CONSUMPTION OF HEATING ENERGY.
panel repairing. Small cracks and splits are filled by three robots with water-based putty applicators. Bigger defects are first opened by two robots with routing tools and the pockets filled by one robot with a two-component polyurethane compound. The putty and poly dosing equipment was developed in co-operation with Wilvaco, who delivered the equipment and who will supply the repair materials. In addition to savings in labour cost the automatic panel repairing lines also reduce the consumption of putty and poly materials. Arauco selected Raute as equipment supplier for all main manufacturing processes: peeling, drying, dry veneer handling, gluing, pressing and panel repairing. Raute has been the main machinery supplier and technology partner also in Arauco's earlier plywood mill projects. When the forest fire destroyed the Nueva Aldea plywood mill two years ago, Arauco quickly decided to build a completely new plywood mill in the same location. Raute was selected as the main machinery supplier, not only because of the best equipment to each main process, but also because of the many benefits of having one major technology supplier in the project. This ensured a successful implementation of the projects and a fast startup of the plywood production. ·
PLYTERRA TOOK REVOLUTIONARY STEPS
THERE COMES A TIME WHEN THE EVOLUTIONARY DEVELOPMENT OF THE ENTERPRISE CEASES TO YIELD FRUIT TO SATISFY THE FASTEST GROWING ECONOMY AND WORLD DEMANDS IN GENERAL. SUCH A SITUATION REQUIRES REVOLUTIONARY STEPS. RAUTE EQUIPMENT TURNED OUT TO BE THE REVOLUTIONARY TOOL FOR IMPROVING THE PRODUCTION PROCESS OF THE PLYTERRA COMPANY. ACCORDING TO THE MANAGEMENT OF THE PLYWOOD MILL, "IT IS NOT ONLY THE CHOICE TO EQUIP OUR ENTERPRISE WITH THE MACHINERY FROM A GLOBAL LEADER IN THE WOODWORKING INDUSTRY BUT IT IS ALSO A CAREFULLY CONSIDERED DECISION IN ORDER TO OPTIMIZE AND IMPROVE THE PERFORMANCE OF THE ENTIRE PRODUCTION CHAIN."
Text: Dmitriy Zhdanov · Photos: Plyterra
THE PLYTERRA COMPANY is a relatively young company in the plywood industry of Russia. Although the history of the mill dates back to 1896, re-equipment of the former woodworking plant into a plywood mill took place only in 1999. Early years of the plywood mill operation were focused on the Russian consumers only, but being aware of the world market potential, the company was later refocused to deal with companies from Western Europe and North America. Taking into account the fact that the export market is the market of high-level competition, it is obvious
that for the production of high-quality and competitive product one will need equipment compliant with the world standards. Since the mill's management arrived at a decision to buy modern equipment, Raute and Plyterra began a close and fruitful cooperation. In 2013 Plyterra Plywood Mill, showing high growth rates, launched a project of overlaid plywood production. In June 2013 Raute and Plyterra signed a contract for the supply of overlaying and scarf-jointing lines. At the moment the equipment is already installed and commissioned.
The high-performance 15-deck press for the production of overlaid plywood will enable the company to expand the range of products and to manufacture plywood up to 45,000 m3 per year. Currently, overlaid plywood produced by Plyterra has found its loyal customers and established itself both in the domestic and the global markets. One of the stages of production process improvement at the company was the installation of a scarf-jointing line manufactured by Raute, which allowed efficient use of veneer and plywood production process optimization.
SUCCESSFUL COOPERATION between
Raute and Plyterra continued by signing of another contract on December 5, 2013 at Raute head office in Nastola, Finland, between Olga Harju, Raute Corporation CIS Vice-President, and Sergei Nikonorov, the CEO of the Plyterra Plywood Mill, for the supply of a modern highefficiency peeling line. Of the three product families proposed by Raute, Plyterra chose RauteSmart. The Raute Smart peeling line will allow to optimize the production process due to the high level of automation. Only thanks to the installation of the new peeling line the Plyterra Plywood Mill will be able to further continue increasing production output by 1.5 times. The Plyterra Company is committed to continuous development, as well
as to improving product quality and production technology. In this regard, Raute together with Plyterra specialists has developed a "road map" of plywood mill development, which clearly marks the stages of enterprise development, stating the specific modernization measures of equipment already used in the enterprise, as well as determining the new equipment which is to be bought in order to increase production. This plan pays due attention to each link of the technological chain and proposes a number of technical solutions, which aim to further increase the mill's capacity and to use the existing mill's potential to the maximum. RauteSmart is able to offer equipment that will increase output, production capacity and automation level that will allow
the mill to achieve its goal of improving profitability and product quality. As far as each "road map" stage of the mill's development is completed, the further steps on modernization will be considered, depending on the overall results achieved. The Plyterra Company is convinced that in order to achieve the set goals it is necessary to continue to invest in new technology. Provided that the wood processing market is developing actively with technologies also improved, and Raute can offer the latest developments in this field, Plyterra will as well develop cooperation with Raute regarding the supply of modern equipment and modernization of existing machinery, as well as in the field of manufacturing skills and knowledge transfer. ·
THE HIGH-PERFORMANCE 15-DECK PRESS WILL ENABLE THE COMPANY TO EXPAND THE RANGE OF PRODUCTS.
With his long experience with Russian projects, Timo Närvä regards a close and open cooperation between project teams of both parties as crucial.
RESULTS THROUGH COOPERATION
In summer 2013 ZAO Plyterra, located in the Republic of Mordovia, some 400 km south-east of Moscow, placed an order for a scarf-jointing and an overlaying line with Raute. It was great for our organization to welcome this new customer and opportunity, and we were eager to prove the quality and competitiveness of our machines and services and to achieve a good relationship that would be beneficial to both parties. As we did not know each other, the first contact to kick off the project was especially interesting. We were very committed to make sure the work started quickly as the starting phase with related studies is crucial at the beginning of a project. We connected immediately. The customer's constructive, practical and considerate approach made a positive impression on us. In business relationships personal contacts and open communication are important in general but especially they make a solid ground for a long-term cooperation. Our cooperation was excellent also during the installations. The customer took good care of his part and of us during the project, which really helped the progress of the project. In this type of projects all kind of challenges may occur and may be related to communication or to the lack of parts or understanding between the parties. It is especially important to have an understanding for the other party's views and to discuss the issues face to face in a constructive way, without bureaucracy or fuss. The parties shall be able to have trust in each other's actions. In the end, a solution can always be found for all problems. During the project, a relation based on mutual confidence and openness was created between Raute and Plyterra.
The engineering of the machines, purchases and manufacturing went smoothly throughout the entire project. The essence for us was to do our best as always. The deliveries were on time. The customer visited our workshop in Nastola to acquaint himself with the machinery beforehand and to inspect their operation in connection with the tests. We also took the opportunity to arrange visits to a couple of Finnish plywood factories. The week was successful and we really could acquaint ourselves with the customer.
Raute's policy is based on a long-term cooperation. We do not try to win occasional games but instead we try to help our customers to create new added value into their processes and profitability to their business through longterm and mutually beneficial cooperation. Raute's resources cover the entire plywood manufacturing process with necessary maintenance throughout the life cycle of the delivered machines. Instead of focusing on the price of one single machine we consider the overall cost efficiency. We regard our cooperation with ZAO Plyterra as successful in every respect and would be grateful if we could be an important partner for them also in future.
Timo Närvä Project Manager
Smart Scan HD running at Moelven in front of COE peeling line.
Smart Scan HD:
GAME-CHANGING LOG SCANNING SOLUTIONS
SMART SCAN HD, THE NEXT- GENERATION LOG SCANNING SYSTEM FROM RAUTE, IS A GAMECHANGER IN ITS OWN RIGHT WHEN IT COMES TO RAW MATERIAL SAVINGS IN THE GREEN END, OPTIMIZING ALGORITHMS ACCORDING TO CUSTOMER NEEDS WITH SHORTER PEEL-TO-PEEL TIMES AND LESS LATHE-CHARGING FAILURES. SOLUTIONS LIKE THIS PROVIDE HIGHER QUALITY AND EFFICIENCY IN PLYWOOD MANUFACTURING.
Text: Eveliina Lakka · Photos: Veli-Matti Lepistö
"The new Smart Scan HD is based on well-known and proven Smart Scan XY+ but has a remarkably higher scanning resolution in the longitudinal and tangential directions", describes Mika Hyysti, Raute Group Vice President of Technology. Especially with small log diameters, accurate centering is critical in order to maximize the recovery of the peeling line. "The most important feature of Smart Scan HD is that the log can be scanned while it is lifted. This offers the possibility for all chargers to benefit from the most modern XYoptimizing technology available", says
Hyysti. "Other improvements are the more flexible and quicker installation thanks to the wide scanning range of the laser sensors and the more attractive and intuitive user interface not to mention the electrical components which are all commercially available." Like its predecessor, the Smart Scan HD can be installed on all kinds of lathe decks.
we now have more precise data for optimizing and a natural-looking image of the log. A precise image is valuable for diagnostics purposes", Hyysti describes. The development of the Smart Scan HD was made in close cooperation with the leading 3D scanning technology supplier LMI Inc. As a result the Smart Scan HD will have a long lifespan of at least 10 years.
"The development process of Smart Scan HD started from the need for a successor for a 10-year old and mature Smart Scan XY+. While working on that, we decided to increase the scanning resolution as well, and as a result,
OPTIMAL CALCULATIONS WITH ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY
The Smart Scan HD is based on the latest technology available. "With LMI Gocator 3D sensors the distance to the log along its longitudinal axis is mea-
AUTO-CALIBRATION OPTION MONITORS THE CENTERING RESULT AND MAXIMIZES OUTPUT.
sured at a resolution of 3 mm (0.118 inches) and along the turning axis at 1 degree. This produces 360,000 radius vectors and gray scale pixels", tells Hyysti. "The measurement data is read from the sensors over Ethernet and the optimization result is calculated with a PC with an i7 Quad Core processor capable to run the advanced optimization algorithms with huge amount of data ", Hyysti continues.
The user interface of the Smart Scan HD supports Windows 7, and is easily installable to any Windows 7 computer on the same network."It allows multiple user interfaces simultaneously on line, for example at the control cabin door, at the lathe operator room, at the maintenance room and at the remote site for remote diagnostics", describes Hyysti.
ADDED VALUE WITH THE AUTOCALIBRATION OPTION
The Smart Scan HD has a patented auto-calibration option. "The auto-calibration option monitors the centering result on a continuous basis and "learns" the exceptions caused for example by worn bearings or bushings in the XYcharger or the lathe spindles. Auto-calibration can automatically compensate such exceptions with different log sizes and further verify the maximum benefit of XY optimizing. For the veneer producer it saves raw material and maximizes production time", Hyysti tells.
PILOT PROJECTS IN PLUM CREEK, USA AND MOELVEN, SWEDEN
Raute has already several Smart Scan HD installations. The first two pilot projects were at Moelven, Sweden and Plum Creek, United States.
At Plum Creek the Smartscan HD was included in a modernization project where the automation of the old COE lathe deck was replaced with an Allen Bradley CLX based control system by Raute. At Moelven all the controls and part of the mechanics of the COE peeling line were modernized. The project involved a Smart Scan HD, AC servo controlled XY setworks, a new knife carriage, a VCA clipper scanner and an RCH clipper control upgrade, and a stacker with stackunloading system. The Siemens S7 control upgrade and the obsolete DC drives and tray control system were replaced as well. "Installing the Smart Scan HD at Moelven was part of a bigger development program for the whole factory in order to increase the automation level and to reduce manpower. Our role was to bring in experience from line modernizations to improve the productivity and recovery of the peeling line ", explains Jussi Puranen, Peeling Technology Manager at Raute."The increased line capacity, ensures maintenance shutdowns within regular working hours", adds Jussi Puranen. The old COE peeling line was completely modernized in a few steps. The target was to improve line profitability and to reduce maintenance. Moelven wanted one partner who was able to supply the whole modernization and guarantee a high performance of the line. "As a result the recovery of the line is now 6-7% higher than before. This will ensure the pay-back of the investment in the planned schedule, in this case less than two years. The veneer quality is also better, contributing to the performance of later panel manu-
facturing processes in a positive way" say Managing Director Leo Persson and Project director Mattias Nilsson.
EXCELLENT IMPROVEMENT FOR NORTH AMERICAN PLYWOOD MANUFACTURING
Smart Scan HD will fit all customer and raw material needs around the world. Its large installation base will ensure a long life time and support. The earlier Smart Scan XY+ has already been sold to almost 100 units. The user interface can be run with either metric or imperial units. "Production reports, well known in North America, have of course been included in the new system. Smart Scan HD communicates seamlessly with Allen Bradley CLX and the LMI 3D sensor technology is made in North America. This proves that this product has been designed for North American customer needs", describes Hyysti. ·
Text: Jyrki Pesonen · Photos: Veli-Matti Lepistö
Grading Technology for Ultimate Hardwood Needs
UNCOMPROMISINGLY GRADED FACE VENEER IS 68 TIMES MORE VALUABLE THAN TYPICAL CORE VENEER.
A WELL-KNOWN FACT is that face
grade veneer is something one cannot have too much pulled out of the raw material flow. This fact being the guideline for research and development, Raute has created technology particularly for: · identifying the highest-quality areas within sheets otherwise unusable for face grade and · re-using such areas to create superb high-quality face-grade veneer sheets - in any desired size. Today there are two major means to increase the raw material value: · removal of defects that would result in downgrading and · recovery of high-grade material with no defects.
THE FIRST OFFERS a definitive payback with Raute's automatic patching line Patchman P2. Its speed, accuracy and extremely small `footprint to capacity' ratio in a class of no other veneer patching platform even close guarantee valuable and cost effective yielding. Customer statements referring to "premium class or even better" and multiple repeat orders for automated veneer patching lines are proven indications of the utilization of reliable machine vision as also in the most demanding application in face veneer production. The second strong tool for extracting and combining veneers of the highest grade is Raute's face veneer composer. It cuts out any given defect at sub-pixel accuracy, again making sure raw material is used as it is supposed to. The line features a high capacity and an
Mecano is part of Raute and the leading manufacturer of machine vision and moisture analyzing applications to the veneer-based industry.
automation level never seen before e.g. with automatic random feeding. The technology connecting both of these premier class products is in the heart of the machine vision: the VDA-F and VCO-F camera platforms.
SOME FUNDAMENTALS OF THE F-TECHNOLOGY
Conventional imaging reveals defects only on the veneer surface. Wood is, however, a translucent and random material. Realizing this Mecano has developed fluoroscopy imaging (VDA-F) to enhance existing camera graders. With fluoroscopy imaging, several defects undetectable before now become visible. Such defects are e.g. worm tracks, micro holes, rotten wood, small tight splits, thinning, sound knots, overlaps, wane and especially cross or any other irregular grain formation. Also small holes, less than 0.2 mm in diameter, become visible, so reaching the grading toolbox for the highest demands. The higher the grading needs, the higher the demand for delicate imaging. The conventional approach won't do anymore and for this particular reason VDA-F creates the necessary domain of internal properties of the raw material. VDA-F combined with Mecano MVA-D moisture and density analyser makes uncompromisingly strength-graded veneer more available than ever. VDA-F is available as stand-alone and integrated units with MVA, and as an easy upgrade package to all existing VDAs. Modernization packages are available for other camera grader providers including all sheet graders and clipping applications both on green and dry ends. ·
THE RISE OF THE DRAGON
In China, Russia and South East Asia
IN CHINA, PRODUCERS ARE FACING TOUGH CHALLENGES IN THE MANUFACTURE OF PLYWOOD. RAW MATERIAL SUPPLY, RISING OVERHEAD COSTS AND LOW PRODUCTIVITY HAVE DRIVEN PLYWOOD FACTORIES TO BOOST COMPETITIVENESS AND QUALITY BY FOCUSING ON THEIR PRODUCTION PROCESS.
Text: Roy Chua
VENEER LATHES of domestic make
are the most common among the China plywood and veneer producers. The main challenges in peeling are: · Labour intensive to operate High labor requirement caused by low automation level from handling of blocks to readymade veneer stack. · Uneven veneer thickness tolerances Heavy forces are involved in peeling wherefore the strength of the mechanical construction is essential. Mechanical deterioration has a direct
impact on several features, the thickness tolerances being one of the most important. · Low productivity and production capacity It is almost impossible to intensify the productivity and capacity of manual work. · Short machine life span and poor spare parts support The life span of a lathe may be as short as two years. The situation is further deteriorated by insufficient service
Dragon peel has been successfully tested with a wide range of hardwood and softwood species.
THE DRAGON PEEL IS THE FIRST "HIGH-TECH" SPINDLELESS PEELING SOLUTION FOR LOGS WITH DIAMETERS BELOW 300 MM.
and maintenance. These lathes start to wear out already in half a year. In South East Asia, variations in the quality of the raw material for plywood are growing. The percentage of utilizing small-diameter logs is constantly increasing. This is particularly true as more and more raw material supplies come from clear-fellings and community-grown plantations with average log diameters below 300 mm. Many mills in South East Asia utilize old, big-chuck lathes and are not able to process the small-diameter logs
efficiently. While the utilization of raw material from plantations is growing, the use of small-diameter wood is also increasing.
RAUTE RESPONDING TO THE DEMAND
In 2013, Raute Shanghai Machinery Co. Ltd. responded to the technology demand from Asian plywood producers with the official launching of the Dragon Peel. The Dragon Peel is part of the Dragon series veneer production system designed to cater to the dynamic
range of production capacity requirements for processing plywood quality hardwood, softwood and plantation species. Dragon Peel is made by Raute for plywood and veneer producers who need to improve the efficiency and capacity of their production and the quality of their products. Raute's long experience in veneer peeling and the recognized need expressed by customers lead to the birth to the Dragon Peel, the first "high-tech" spindleless peeling solution for logs with diameters below 300 mm. The market has since responded with orders for Dragon peeling lines to China, Russia, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Dragon Peel has been successfully tested with a wide range of hardwood and soft-
RAUTE DRAGON VENEER PRODUCTION CONCEPT
BASIC LINE SCOPE
Wood species Block length Block diameter Core diameter Peeling thickness Veneer sheet clipping width Peeling speed Clipping speed Peak capacity Weight Plywood-quality hardwoods and softwoods, plantation species 3 ~ 4 feet 80 ~ 300 mm 30 mm 1.2 3.6 mm 300 2700 mm 60 m/min 60 m/min up to 4.3 m3/h 5000 kg
wood species (Eucalyptus, Poplar, Birch, Pine, Larch, Acacia, Albizia, Balsa). Its robust and heavy-duty construction is built with components of international quality together with userfriendly interface touch screen controls to ensure the ease of operation. The high-tech Dragon Peel spindleless peeling line incorporates the "Dynamic Knife Angle" and peeling compression control technology. It is capable of being tuned to operate as a fully-automated peeling line wirelessly, either with or without operator. The basic scope only requires 1 person to fully operate the entire peeling line. The basic Dragon Peel line includes a step feeder with doser for log infeed, a Dragon peeling lathe, a rotary clipper, a random veneer gate and a 4-ft or 8-ft stacker. ·
DRAGON PEEL FOCUSES ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PROCESS
Veneer quality · Thickness tolerance · Recovery · Veneer quality · 10 20% higher earning from the same raw material. Raw material · Utilization of small-diameter plantation logs · Re-peeling large centre cores from lathes with big chucks. Productivity and capacity · Minimized unproductive time by automation · High peeling speed. Human resources · Automation to reduce labour cost · Simplicity of operation and maintenance. Life cycle development · Robust construction · Proven international components · Future upgrades and modernizations of Dragon Peel.
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NORTH AMERICA ON THE REBOUND
IT HAS BEEN NOTED ON MANY OCCASIONS, THAT THE NORTH AMERICAN PANEL MARKET HAS BEEN IMPROVING AT A STEADY PACE. THE PACE IS SLOW BUT STEADY. HOUSING STARTS CONTINUE TO GROW, INTEREST RATES CONTINUE TO STAY LOW AND CONSUMER CONFIDENCE IS BUILDING. ARE WE OUT OF THE WOODS YET? WELL, TIME WILL TELL BUT A MODEST GROWTH IS EXPECTED WITH AN EXPECTED DEMAND VS CAPACITY RATIO INCREASE FROM AN AVERAGE OF 87% IN 2014 TO AN EXPECTED 90% IN 2015. MARKET DEMAND FOR PLYWOOD (CAPACITY OF APPROX. 11 BILLION SQUARE FT.) IS FORECASTED TO IMPROVE ALBEIT AT A LOWER RATE THAN WHAT HAD BEEN PREDICTED PREVIOUSLY.
LVL USAGE continues to grow with
demand levels expected to exceed prerecession peaks by 2017. This growth/ demand has pushed the NA mills to operate at a high production level, thereby increasing the need to keep the machinery running and, above all, operating efficiently. Raute has met this challenge head on with our continued development of the "step & go" press technology completely automating the lay-up process. This automation has been in operation since 2007 with various improvements made along the way
to enhance the lay-up line capacity. An excellent example of this technology is in production at the Murphy Group's Engineered Wood Products plant in Sutherlin Oregon. From the first days of installation in 2007/08, this line has continued to outperform the four-opening press leading to an expansion with a 5th press opening in 2012 and the newly ordered 6th press opening that will be delivered in early 2015. As before, and in line with most of our customers, Raute North America remains cautiously optimistic. The pre-
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LVL USAGE CONTINUES TO GROW WITH DEMAND LEVELS EXPECTED TO EXCEED PRE-RECESSION PEAKS BY 2017.
vious year, 2013 was good to us and our 2014 order file is completely full. Raute NA continues to be very busy with upgrades and modernization projects throughout the region. During the slowdown period in our industry, Raute did fall back and implemented some pretty strict cost controls but during this time we continued to develop new and even better ideas to further improve the plywood and LVL manufacturing process. As our market area dealt with the fallout from the recession, priorities emerged and the focus became even more intent on reducing operating costs. From labour to electricity consumption, no stone was left unturned. Cost savings were a must to survive. As the old saying "Where there's a will there's a way" rings true on many levels and Raute understood this very early on. Raute did not sit back but continued to develop new ideas throughout this recession and focused on what our customers were telling us: The need to reduce labour and improve fibre recovery.
SINCE THAT TIME Raute has manufactured and delivered several electric XY charger systems, the first of many electrically automated veneer P2 patching systems with a total of 7 systems in operation worldwide and the installation of the most powerful XY optimization system in the industry, the Smart Scan HD. We also produced the first Allen Bradley Control Logix PLC (CLX) based fully electric rotary clipper control. Each of these designs had a form, fit and function in mind. Each achieved or beat the desired targets that were theorized, and even a few soft benefits were noticed adding to the already strong ROI. Ongoing development has been the key to our North American operation as the market demands for new technology solutions has been brisk. Replacement of machinery is not always necessary as it may be possible to improve a line function by just upgrading what is already there. Saving time and money in the installation/start-up period as well as
keeping within the building envelope, Raute NA has the ability to assess the line operation and prepare a detailed proposal on how these upgrades can improve performance on an existing line. Raute was doing just that at the Plum Creek Evergreen plywood plant in Montana. The need to improve recovery began back in 2012 with the purchase of a SmartScan HD XY optimization system and a complete lathe deck CLX PLC modernization. Once this system was installed Raute was asked to help improve other areas on the green end. The additional upgrades included improvements to the lathe spindle system, the log infeed system and the green veneer stacking. Each upgrade was targeted to make the existing machinery work better. Productivity and recovery gains were made and the line continues to make record production to this day. Development and design improvements are only the beginning as we also need to build on our aftersales service department in North America. The mills are running 24/7. Operations and support for the various systems installed is the key to the ongoing success of our customers and our business. From the early phases in the project management to the training of operations and maintenance staff, Raute NA has been building a support network of key engineering technologies to work with our customers and give them the support they need. This network includes both mechanical and automation resources that can aid in troubleshooting or just answer questions pertaining to the process. Raute NA has expanded the engineering group to sixteen full time staff along with four persons supporting our spare parts supply, focused solely on our plywood, veneer and LVL customers. We are constantly looking for ways to improve and as the market improves, Raute NA will be there to grow with it. ·
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RAUTE CANADA'S machinist Metika
Olanriksupak won gold in the Skills Canada National Competition, which was held in Toronto on June 47. "Metika has always displayed a high degree of intelligence, responsibility and ambition in the face of challenges" explains Neil Black, Production Manager of Raute North America. Certainly one of the most challenging moments for Metika came in June, when she, along with other young students and apprentices, competed for the championship of their own profession. The Skills Canada National Competition brings together more than 550 young professionals across Canada each year to compete in over 40 skilled trade and technology contests. This year Metika brought home a gold medal for her championship in CNC Machining. Metika, who emigrated from Thailand to Canada three years ago, has worked for Raute Canada since August 2012. ·
METIKA BROUGHT HOME A GOLD MEDAL FROM CNC MACHINING.
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The team of Raute North America's Delta Unit.
At the Forefront of Raute Canada Welcome to our Workshop!
ONLY A STONE'S THROW from downtown Vancouver in Canada, locates Raute North America's Delta unit along with its production workshop. The past year has been filled with work and enthusiasm due to the recent climb in the North American economy. "At this moment, we are probably the busiest we have ever been in four or five years. The market in the United States is heated up, so the production at the mills has gone up too. Our customers are busy, so we are busy. They are investing money and modernizing their equipment, which is good for us", explains Neil Black, Production Manager at Raute North America. Since 2012, Raute North America's revenue has increased by more than 60%. In Delta, the mornings start off at sunrise when the workshop employees arrive for their morning shift at 6.30 am. The work is flexibly organized into two shifts in accordance with ongoing projects - The morning shift runs until 3 pm, after which the evening shift begins. Occasionally there may be weekend shifts or night shifts, also known as graveyard shifts in North America. Latest projects at Delta have included a sheet selector and a dryer stacker for Marion Plywood and Richmond Plywood. "The largest projects usually take couple of months to engineer and then three to four months to manufacture", describes Black. Besides wood-based equipment, Raute Canada also provides complimentary project work under the title `Service and Repair'. It includes a mixture of different trades and manufacturing services for local industries, such as for a cement plant, coal terminal, aerospace fixtures and waste rendering. "It's a really good type of project for our engineering and manufacturing team, which allows us to use our expertise in a larger spectrum", Black adds. All the workers at Delta are certified `Red Seal' Journeyman or Apprentices, indicating that the tradesmen are qualified to a standard of knowledge and competency defined by the industry. "Most of the experienced Journeyman were once Apprentices at Raute themselves, learning their trade profession and getting their education with the support of Raute", explains Black. Over dozen of Raute Canada's Shop Journeymen are long term employees, with over twenty years of experience at Raute. "There is an exciting mixture of experience and youth - employees who have twenty, thirty or forty years of experience working together with our crop of youthful apprentice employees", adds Black. The production activity at Delta has increased remarkably over the past couple of years and the outlook looks good. As an indication of this, the number of workshop personnel has gone up from twenty-two to thirty-two workers. "We look for people who want to improve, who think forward and who have a sense of leadership" Black describes. To a question of whether there are any extracurricular activities that the employees enjoy doing together, Black answers with laughter: "There is a variety of different off-work activities that we do together. We have our annual golf tournament every summer along with a baseball outing and a summer BBQ. Those definitely are a big deal for us and it's a lot of fun. It gets everyone from the different departments together", Black concludes. ·
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Growth expected for plywood
RAUTE IS THE LEADING SUPPLIER of
plywood industry machinery, equipment and services in the CIS and Russian market. It is the only operator capable of delivering complete production facilities on its own. Plywood production is considered to be a cost-effective and rapidly growing segment of the woodworking industry in Russia. The stability and development of the plywood production in Russia are dependent on the growing demand on the domestic market and on the exports. In 2013 the plywood manufacture of Russian enterprises amounted to about 3.3 million m3, which is 4% higher than the previous year. In 2014 production continues to grow, and was 1.7 million m3 in the first 6 months. The total volume of plywood exports in January-June 2014 rose by 14.6% amounting to 1.02 million m3. Several plywood mills are interested to develop their processes for higher capacities with the help of Raute specialists. This applies both to the modernization of existing mills and to the construction of new mill-scale enterprises.
IN 2014 PRODUCTION CONTINUES TO GROW, AND WAS 1.7 MILLION M3 IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS.
We believe this to be one of the reasons for the market and industry consolidation. Every year it's more and more difficult for small businesses to compete on the market for raw materials and sales. Speaking about the trends among plywood manufacturers in Russia, one should note an increase in the activity regarding the modernization of old peeling lines at mills producing 5x5 ft plywood. In early 2014 a road show was organized by Raute in order to identify the possibilities to modernize both Raute 3VKKT lines and competitors' lines. Raute plans to organize a second road show in the 3rd quarter this year. As a result, we are expecting to sign some additional modernizing contracts.
In the first six months of 2014 Raute's service company in Russia Raute Service LLC has increased its spare parts supplies to the customers. Many manufacturing mills are switching to scheduled spare parts supplies and to contracts for preventive maintenance. Supporting the customers' desire to lower costs for raw materials and staff, Raute continues to offer the Russian market modern block chargers for peeling lines, as well as highly automated lay-up and patching lines. · Raute is participating in Lesdrevmash 2014 in Moscow on October 2023. Welcome to our stand 23B24.
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PRACTICALLY ALL NEW VENEER BASED-INDUSTRY INSTALLATIONS ARE FOR PLANTATION WOOD.
Plantations are finally here
FOR TWENTY YEARS, customers in
South East Asia have been talking about diminishing log diameters, instability in raw material supply and increasing costs. All having been looking for alternatives to secure their raw material supply swear by industrial forest plantations, but very little real action has been taken. In the last ten years, however, the use of plantation raw material in Asian plywood manufacturing has grown from zero to almost 50% of the total volume. We are currently talking about more than 30 million cubic meters of plywood produced out of plantations resources. As such, we can confidently say that "plantations are finally here". With plantations, the whole supply chain and processes have changed. Many of today's plantation owners as well as veneer and plywood producers are new in the business. The size of entry level and investment required in any part to the supply chain has been reduced and is now within the reach of communities and small businesses instead of governments and large corporations. On the smallest scale, logs are grown around paddy fields and in home backyards and peeled into veneer with low-cost lathes in family businesses. The volumes supplied to the market come from industrial plantations and processes. The supply of plantation wood has also caused relocation of the processing industry. Where big tropical logs could be transported thousands of kilometres and exported, the small-diameter plantation logs must be processed in the immediate vicinity of the plantation. Transport costs from plantation to a processing plant could easily double the cost of the wood. A short list of plantation usage in the veneer-based industry in Asia: · China, by far is the largest. The reality of the shortage in domestic wood supply along with the reduced availability of imported wood pushed Chinese industry to plantations.Vast Poplar, and recently, even faster-growing Eucalyptus plantations are the main source for its veneer-based industry. · Indonesia, especially Central Java, is the centre of Albizia plantations and panel production. In some recent estimates the use of plantation wood in wood processing is overtaking tropical timber in volume. · Malaysia is only at the very beginning in the use of plantation wood but the trend is clearly visible. · India's Poplar and Eucalyptus plantations have been growing fast but not fast enough compared to the growth in demand. Industry is still very much dependent on imported logs. Yet in plywood, most of the volume is already produced from plantation wood. · Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar are following the plantation business. Practically all new veneer-based industry installations are for plantation wood. Domestic demand for low-cost panels is driving the business.
THIS RAW MATERIAL change also
changes the end products. The properties and dimensions of the wood dictate a new approach and processing technology. Log diameters now range between 8 and 30 cm and are smaller in the average than the average centre cores used to be. In other words, now the process starts from diameters which used to be the end. In Raute, small-diameter wood has been the norm for many decades, thus giving us an advantage. We can share our experience and knowledge with our Asian customers. Our Expert Services have seen a growing interest in enquiries on raw material suitability and property testing, feasibility studies with new raw materials and enquiries for optimum processes. Along with consulting and assistance, Raute has developed machinery to suit the new raw material and process style the most visible of which is the new Dragon product family. ·
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A year of new capacity and modernizations
THE DEMAND FOR South American
plywood is on a good level and, at the same time, production capacities are increasing. Three big investments in radiata pine plywood production in Chile are now ready and the production has started. Arauco's new plywood mill has an annual capacity of 350,000 m3. CMPC's expansion will add 250,000 m3 of new capacity a year. Raute was the main machinery supplier in both of these new mill-scale projects. Eagon in Chile has increased their veneer and plywood capacity to 240,000 m3/a and the biggest investment in machinery was a new Raute screen dryer, which also can dry thin radiata pine and eucalyptus veneers. Brazil, Chile and Uruguay are the largest plywood manufacturers and exporters in Latin America. Export especially to North America has increased and the local plywood consumption in Latin America is increasing. The competitiveness of South American plywood manufacturers has improved because of the more favorable currency rates for the exporters during the last year. Plywood manufacturers who have invested in quality have also found new customers. Last year Raute provided modernizations of Fezer and Cremona machines in Ecuador and Brazil. With these modernizations veneer recovery and quality have improved and the customers can now use smaller-diameter plantation logs more efficiently. ·
THE COMPETITIVENESS OF SOUTH AMERICAN PLYWOOD MANUFACTURERS HAS IMPROVED.
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Positive market development for plywood and LVL
DIFFERENT FROM many other industries, plywood and LVL show a continuous positive market development in Europe. The utilization rates at Raute's customer mills have been on a good level and the order books reasonably long. The market situation prevailed before 2009 has not yet been reached, though, and a full recovery is not necessarily to be seen in the nearest future. However, the worst recession is over, judging from the dissolution of the investment blockage and from measures to develop production. A reason to be mentioned for the higher utilization rate is the concentration of production to certain mills while a number of mills have been forced to shut down. Investments and modernizations for increased capacity have been made at the running mills to meet the demand. The price and availability of raw material still are a challenge, partly based on the diminished imports of tropical species while many European countries are selling round logs to be used as raw material on Asian markets. Variation in labor costs between countries is big and in general these costs have grown. Energy prices have also continued to rise and, as a consequence, the importance of energyefficient production machinery is emphasized along with raw material yield and labor costs, when new investments are planned. The efficiency of existing machinery can be enhanced with Raute's modernization products to give the best yield of the production process. This is why Raute's modernization business has been exceptionally active in the last few years, and has now expanded to competitors' machinery. The demand for specialty products such as LVL has continued to grow. This has resulted in significant mill-wide deliveries. The start-up of the German Pollmeier mill is scheduled for the present year. The contract made with the German Steico in June this year is for an LVL mill to Poland. Based on the innovations and needs in the construction industry, the LVL market is expected to grow further. Another specialty product, overlaid panels, has increased its share more than the production of basic panels. Here the growth is based on the demand from the vehicle and construction industries. In this respect especially Turkey's growing markets have been significant for many exporting plywood mills. In the fast-changing world the maintaining of our own and our customers' competitiveness is one of Raute's most important missions. And this is why we constantly develop our technology services to be able to help our customers in their businesses. The demand for expertise services has grown and enlarged to services focusing on e.g. gluing and its development. Thanks to all our customers and best wishes for a successful business. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you plan or consider development issues: we will be glad to help you. ·
THE DEMAND FOR SPECIALITY PRODUCTS SUCH AS LVL HAS CONTINUED TO GROW.
FIRST-CLASS TECHNOLOGY TO
RENEW OLD PEELING LINES
MODERNIZATIONS ARE A RAPIDLY EXPANDING TREND IN THE PLYWOOD MANUFACTURING BUSINESS. "THIS IS A FAST-GROWING AREA IN TECHNOLOGY SERVICES, WHICH HAS BEEN SPURRED BY THE RECENT ECONOMIC RECESSION. COMPANIES HAVE INCREASINGLY BECOME MORE COST-AWARE, AND, AS A RESULT, MORE INTERESTED IN IMPROVING THEIR PRESENT MACHINERY THROUGH MODERNIZATIONS, AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO NEW INVESTMENTS", TELLS PETRI LAKKA, GROUP VICE PRESIDENT OF RAUTE TECHNOLOGY SERVICES. FOR COMPANIES THIS IS A THRIFTY SOLUTION WHICH ALSO BRINGS THEM ADDED VALUE IN THE FORM OF SUSTAINABILITY. UPGRADING OF OLD MACHINERY REDUCES THE USE OF RAW MATERIALS AND RESOURCES NEEDED IN THE MILL OPERATIONS.
Text: Eveliina Lakka · Photos: Veli-Matti Lepistö
MODERNIZATIONS ARE DEFINITELY A GROWING TREND.
AT RAUTE, the growing interest around modernization projects has been earmarked. "Modernizations are definitely a growing trend. Today customers want different options for their investment some focus on acquiring new assets while others look for cost-efficient modernizations for their production lines. Peeling line modernizations have been and still are the largest section of all modernization projects; modernizing a peeling line tends to be more cost-efficient than purchasing a brand new line", explains Jussi Puranen, Technology Manager at Raute Finland.
expertise of its global network. "Our local people are close to our customers and have a good understanding of their specific needs. We want to provide our customers with technology that will improve their competitiveness", says Lakka.
FOCUS ON THE TOTAL PROCESS
Understanding how an individual component works is not sufficient. The challenge with peeling line modernizations is that they require understanding of the entire veneer, plywood and LVL manufacturing processes. In addition to process expertise Raute's advantage is the ability to offer lifespan services for a variety of demands. "Raute is able to offer modernizations for both softwood and hardwood peeling lines. Issues such as veneer thickness, line capacity, raw materials and block diameters all play a role in finding the right modernization method", Puranen explains.
LOCAL RESOURCES, GLOBAL NETWORK OF EXPERTISE
Different market areas and their individual needs provide a challenge in finding the right modernization solutions. Raute has tackled this challenge not only by providing local resources next to the customers' doorsteps but also by relying on the
PEELING MODERNIZATIONS ALSO FOR OTHER MAKES
SINCE 2010 Raute has delivered more
than 10 modernization packets for peeling lines from orther manufacturers. Raute's high expertise in veneer peeling has enabled modernization of nearly all bigger brands and resulted in a positive outcome. when Raute supplied a 5V lathe, a dryer and hot presses in 1975. Later in 1982, Raute supplied the machines to EndesaBotrosa's Foresa mill, a closed-down mill which the company had bought. In 2011 Raute made a comprehensive audit of the machines and possibilities of the Foresa, Endesa and Botrosa mills. The results showed that significant development could be achieved by the right modernization choices. In August 2012, two XY-optimizing systems with hydraulic charger spindle actuators were sold to the Botrosa mill and installed on its Fezer and Cremona peeling lines. The installation and start-up phase of the two lines took about three weeks . Modernizing other manufacturers' equipment is not the easiest task. The best results for this kind of projects are achieved with well-planned preliminaries. As this project involved modernizing of machines unfamiliar to Raute, it was obvious that problems with fitting our XY-centering system to the existing machine would occur. However, Raute was able to tackle the problem with a well-planned visit made by two designers. "Cooperation with Endesa-Botrosa was very successful and from our point of view Endesa-Botrosa was very committed to a rapid implementation of the installation process", explains Juha Hyvönen, Account Manager of Botrosa mill. After the modernization, recovery data show improvement: randoms decreased by 35% and the number of face/log increased by 8%. ·
CASE BOTROSA: AN OUTDATED XY SYSTEM CALLED FOR AN UPGRADE
Botrosa, located deep in the jungle west of the Ecuadorian capital city Quito, is one of Endesa-Botrosa's three hardwood plywood mills. With an annual production capacity of 90,000 m³, Endesa-Botrosa exports its products to over ten countries worldwide. The history between Raute and EndesaBotrosa goes back almost forty years,
RAUTE HAS BEEN GREAT TO WORK WITH.
PLUM CREEK: COMPLETE LATHE SYSTEM UPGRADE
At Plum Creek Evergreen Plywood, last fall we went through a complete lathe system upgrade. This included a new log scanning system to position the block for optimal veneer recovery, using a Raute Smart Scan HD XY high-density laser curtain system. With this upgrade, we also replaced the lathe system control and hardware, using the latest Rockwell Automation control Logix technology. These new system control upgrades have increased and improved the block-to-block through-put in our lathe, with higher peeling speeds and decreased times between blocks. We also replaced the hydraulic carriage cylinders with electric actuators to improve the carriage position control. The new actuators have improved veneer quality and recovery. This project was a bit challenging with a 9-day hardware installation, and a start-up period with slow, decreased speeds, for tuning and timing. This took a few more days than expected, due to a programming error on the Smart scanning system. Beyond this issue, the overall communication with the Raute install team was exceptional, which made the installation of the hardware very efficient and timely. We are continuing to work with Raute to upgrade other green-end equipment on the line. We look forward to installing new pressure controls on the lathe spindles, which will allow us to peel down to a smaller diameter core. We're also planning to increase the green veneer stacking speed, yielding higher quality, cleaner loads, and decreased veneer breakage, which improves recovery. Raute has been great to work with, and I look forward to new projects with them in the future.
Bill Berg, Maintenance Superintendent, Plum Creek Evergreen Plywood
With the Raute SmartScan XY the block is peeled in the very position that renders the maximum amount of sound face sheets.
HOW TO EXAMINE, OPTIMIZE AND IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF VENEER, PLYWOOD & LVL
THE PRODUCTION OF VENEER AND WOOD-BASED PANELS STRIVES CONSTANTLY TO OPTIMIZE THE QUALITY OF THE END PRODUCT. THE NATURAL CHARACTERISTICS OF WOOD ARE A REAL CHALLENGE IN THIS ENDEAVOR. WITH THE LATEST RAUTE TECHNOLOGY AND KNOWHOW OF DIFFERENT RAW MATERIALS IT IS, HOWEVER, POSSIBLE TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY IN SEVERAL PHASES OF THE MANUFACTURING PROCESSES.
Text: Veli-Matti Lepistö, Jyrki Pesonen · Photos: Veli-Matti Lepistö
On the new Raute P2 patching line knots, pitch pockets and other patchable defects are replaced with sound veneer at a precision that allows the patched sheets be used on the face.
The MVA analyzer is the most accurate real-time device in the world measuring dry veneer.
PEELING IS the most critical phase in
the manufacture of veneer-based products. Even the smallest changes in block position and shape have a direct impact on the amount of valuable face veneer available for subsequent processes. By the aid of 3-dimensional measurement with the Raute Smart Scan XY and Smart Scan HD, the block is peeled in the very position that renders the maximum amount of sound face sheets. The quality control after peeling is based on moisture analyzing and machine vision, which efficiently examine millimeter by millimeter the features of the veneer running at full process speed.
QUALITY EXAMINATION, OPTIMIZING AND IMPROVEMENT
There are typically three ways to influence the quality. The first is to use machine vision to examine the generated quality immediately after the process, e.g. after drying. This makes it possible to classify and sort the products into different quality grades. The control happens by means of Mecano VDA analyzers (VDA = Visual Defect Analyzer), whose VDA-F model analyzes the veneer with a color camera and fluorescent imaging techniques. For a more advanced quality optimizing there are machine vision applications, which give the mechanical appliances necessary directions so that optimal amounts of the highest possible quality can be generated. Necessary changes for instance in clipping and positioning can be made on the basis of the measurement data. In peeling, the block shape and the most optimal peeling position are determined
by means of SmartScan 3D laser measurement and the XY charger at a precision that allows the maximum amount of valuable face veneer to be peeled off the block. Boosted by auto-calibration the block is transferred precisely in the determined position into the lathe. The veneer mat is analyzed by the Mecano VCO (Visual Clipping Optimizer) or VCA (Veneer Clipper Analyzer) machine vision applications, whose results determine the optimal sheet clipping dimensions. Optimizing is also possible on the scarf sawing line where the sheet dimensions are analyzed with machine vision and the dimensional cuts made in the very correct position without any loss of material. The third and most demanding way is to analyze the raw material and take the necessary mechanical steps to improve the natural quality of the veneer. On the basis of the information retrieved with machine vision it is possible to compose narrow strips or to patch the knots, splits and other features in the veneer that normally downgrade the panel product. This will result in upgrading of the sheets or save them from ending up as waste. On the new Raute P2 patching line knots, pitch pockets and other patchable defects are replaced with sound veneer at a precision that allows the patched sheets be used on the face. The composer is able to detect sound and useful sections in the veneer flow, cut them out and glue them together into sheets of required dimension and quality. The produced quality makes it almost impossible to detect the joints in the ready panel. Machine vision is designed to distinguish useful
sections from the discarded veneer mat at an extremely high precision while the veneer moves on the line. Defects on the surface of the ready panel can automatically be repaired with putty. The idea is that the machine vision application recognizes defects typical to the species and then transfers the coordinates of the spots to be repaired to the repairing unit, which applies the putty while the panel moves on the line.
OPTIMIZING QUALITY ON A MILL SCALE
Setting up extremely sophisticated analyzers to processes and combining their information makes it possible to optimize the material flows and the use of the machinery in the whole mill. This function called MSU has potential for huge annual savings. MSU is the common brain behind all analyzers and is capable of optimizing the aggregate process savings derived from less transport, labour and machining time needed for the desired output. MSU instructs the management towards the right decisions to direct the raw materials of different qualities to the right process.
The most recent Raute deliveries show a clear tendency of veneer, plywood and LVL manufacturers to increasingly make use of the most accurate quality improving machine vision and moisture analyzing applications. Raute has made several P2 patching line deliveries incorporating VDA-F analyzers to Russia and Europe, all with a high level of customer satisfaction. Raute Smart Scan XY and new
The VDA-S analyzer continues as an industrial de facto standard to better detect surface roughness, shelling and surface trash.
ALL RAW MATERIALS CAN BE EXAMINED, OPTIMIZED AND IMPROVED WITH RAUTE TECHNOLOGY.
Smart Scan HD have gained a strong position in peeling lines and are recurrently incorporated in modernizations of existing lathes, both of Raute and other makes. Most deliveries have also included auto-calibration. Substantial numbers of VCA and VCO-F optimizing systems for clipping have been delivered this year alone, both as part of new lines or in modernizations of Raute and other manufacturers' lines.
RAUTE / MECANO PRODUCTS FOR HIGHER QUALITY
Q in ua sp lit ec y tio n g Q im ua pr lit ov y em Q op ua tim lity iz in en t
QUALITY IN A NUTSHELL
The development of machine vision and mechanical appliances, the speeding up of the information flow and the better compatibility of different appliances makes it possible to repeatedly manufacture an end product of the desired quality. The diversity in raw material, growing conditions, structure and features must be observed in the engineering of production lines, in technical solutions and in the choice of supplier. With the right choices the manufacture of a high-quality end product is not haphazard. All raw materials can be examined, optimized and improved with the technology Raute has developed for each purpose. ·
Smart Scan for block optimizing Smart Scan auto-calibration for block optimizing VCA for veneer clipping VCO for veneer clipping VCO-F for face veneer composing VDA-F for dry veneer grading VDA-F for veneer patching VDA-S for softwood veneer grading VDA-S for panel repairing MVA for veneer moisture measurement MVA-D for veneer density measurement MVA for dryer speed control OTA for veneer thickness measurement
x x x x x x x x x x x x
x x x
x x x x
x x x
Smart Scan = 3D XY optimizing Smart Scan auto-calibration = automatic XY tuning VCA = camera + recovery optimizing VCO = colour camera + quality optimizing VCO-F = colour camera + optimizing + Fluoroscopy VDA-F = colour camera + Fluoroscopy VDA-S = colour camera + roughness VDA-S panel = colour camera + roughness + 3D laser for panels MVA = microwave based Veneer Moisture Analyzer MVA-G = Moisture Analyzer for peeling lines and dryer infeeds DMA = Dry Veneer Moisture Analyzer OTA = Optical Thickness Analyzer
EXAMPLES OF PRODUCT UPGRADES ARE VENEER PATCHING AND PLYWOOD REPAIRING.
Lead with Raute technology
Text: Mika Hyysti · Photo: Veli-Matti Lepistö
RAUTE DEVELOPS production technology for different raw materials and end products and applies it for different manufacturing volumes. With RautePro technology it is possible to enjoy top quality at a decent investment cost when production volumes are low. The RauteSelect technology is the most suitable for medium-size production plants where technology has to be adapted to the customer's process and product mix. RauteSmart is a technology that maximizes the production efficiency and quality at a minimum of labour and raw material costs. Raute's competent technology team is committed to developing the three product technologies in order to maximize the customer's benefits. The same technologies are utilized when existing machines are modernized. Panels and beams made of wood are ecological building materials with a growing popularity. To maintain and enhance the growth these products must be competitive both in price and quality compared to other building materials. Raute has the best technology in the world for manufacturing of top-quality products. Examples are the Smartscan HD centering in peeling lines, the different Mecano VDA product versions such as VCO machine vision for clippers on peeling
and composing lines and the VDA for grading on drying lines, veneer patching and panel repairing. MVA and MVA Green the most accurate veneer moisture meters in the world generate reliable information to optimize drying and green clipping. Raute LEG glue application equipment for lay-up lines ensures the best possible glue joint with a minimal glue consumption. Raute's machine technology along with advanced measuring technology creates a safe base for manufacturing of high-quality products. With Raute's products the customers can rely on that the technology they have chosen will be in the lead far into future. With machine vision and other measurements it is possible to optimize the process and the use of raw materials in most products. With the aid of machine vision defects in wood are removed and repaired, which does not only mean grading but also improvement of the quality of the end product. Examples of product upgrades are veneer patching and plywood repairing. Raute has many years of experience in various deliveries of fully automatic veneer patching lines both for softwood and hardwood, and in softwood panel repairing lines. These technologies are presented in the following article by technology Manager Mr. Erkki Kauranen.
WE ARE ON THE KNOT SPOT!
RAUTE IS COMMITTED TO DEVELOPE VENEER PATCHING AND PANEL REPAIRING TECHNOLOGY IN ORDER TO IMPROVE CUSTOMERS' PROFITABILITY.
Text: Erkki Kauranen · Photos: Veli-Matti Lepistö
PATCHING and repairing is an opportunity for veneer and plywood manufacturers to improve both the raw material yield and the quality of their end products. It is natural that a better price can be gained with higher-quality end products and a higher raw material yield with a reduced amount of rejects. Veneers are patched with veneer - the same material as the final product whereas panels are repaired with synthetic materials, e.g. putty, epoxy or polyurethane.
Typical repairable defects are knots, holes, pitch pockets, bark, splits and defects caused by mechanical handling of the raw material. Traditional patching and repairing are labor-intensive processes. The work is physically quite heavy and monotonous, and performed in positions that are not very ergonomic. Automation of these tasks proves profitable and pays the investment back in a short period of time. The most important pay-back criteria are savings in labour costs
Erkki Kauranen, Technology Manager Hanna Lankinen, Product Manager, Patching Antti Mäkinen, Product Manager, Panel handling
and repair material, higher capacity, uniform quality, and smaller space requirement. Veneers and jagged or untrimmed plywood panels are challenging materials for the performance of machine vision and for their automatic handling. Waviness, different form errors and sensitivity against breakage require thorough knowledge of the process and the raw material. Important are the knowledge and utilization of suitable commercial prefabricated components. The command and administration of these matters are basic conditions for the manufacture and delivery of the lines. At the moment, the components of both lines are clearly more commercial than made in-house, which for its part not only helps improve the line homogeneity and spare parts control but also speeds up the delivery time. Our R&D and line deliveries are in the hands of a dedicated and qualified group of persons whose expertise is constantly growing while the cooperation between the group members is improving. This allows quick and precise line construction to exactly match the customer's needs without compromising the line functions.
TECHNOLOGY REVIEW TECHNOLOGY REVIEW
The installation and commissioning crews along with PLC programmers actively give feedback from the smallest details that may improve the line capacity, availability and user friendliness. In line deliveries our active cooperation with the customer makes it easy to communicate information of the process and requirements of the production face-to-face. In this way we are able to observe the customer's feedback from the line operation at especially high precision. As a result, small cost efficiency improvements here and there have become a continuous and natural process.
The sharpening interval is long and not a single die has broken so far.
A softwood mill with an annual production of 200,000 - 350,000 m3 typically needs two repairing lines with a common platform for two operators in between. The operators monitor the line and refill the repairing materials into the dosing equipment. Examples of tools and repairing portals per line: · Two routing heads to open up narrow splits · Two heads for putty · Two heads for polyurethane. The panels are transferred with a heavy-duty suction cup conveyor which straightens the panels and keeps them in place during defect scanning and under the heavy forces caused in rapid tooling. The drying rack (turning or lifting) at the end of the line allows enough time for the putty to set before the panels are stacked. A line of this type produces abt. 10 repaired panels a minute, max. 16 defects per panel, 8 in the average.
A birch plywood mill with an annual production of 100,000 m3 or a softwood plywood mill with and annual production of 200,000 m3 typically need threelevel patching lines with a maximum production of 9,000 patches/h on 8x4 ft veneers, which means abt. 8 patches/ sheet. This capacity renders 1,125 patched veneer sheets per hour. Normally the line is run by one operator who monitors the line functions and refills the magazine with veneer strips from which the patches are punched. The line modules allow the construction of the line in accordance with the product dimensions, and, if necessary, with all generally known product dimension. The line can be provided with a by-pass conveyor which takes the graded veneers from under the patching levels directly to the stacker. In this way the face veneers can be graded and patched on the same line without reducing the patching capacity. The running costs and consumption of wearing parts of the line has proved unbelievably low. The punching tools or dies are practically non-wearing.
duction increases, make it easy to expand the line capacities. We also try to achieve flexibility to fit the lines into small spaces. The buyers of these lines are producers who wish to develop and improve the profitability of production and who either wish to keep up with the present production volume or enlarge it in future. The utilization of plantation forests will allow the involvement of camera technology when the number of species can be controlled, and new markets in Asia open up. The amount of expensive, pruned logs can be reduced or completely done away with. ·
THE FOLLOWING FEATURES ARE COMMON FOR BOTH PATCHING AND REPAIRING LINES
· Machine vision (camera) based analyzing of defects and determining of end product quality · Linear portal for tool and veneer movements · Rapid movement controls combined with durable mechanical solutions · Easy use and maintenance · High capacity with only one line operator · Remote control and monitoring · Pro, Select and Smart product families
During the last two years Raute has delivered six highly automated RauteSmart veneer patching lines and four RauteSmart panel repairing lines globally, both for softwood and hardwood.
The lines are actively monitored in view of improving them. The modularity is being developed to allow future extension without difficulty. This will lower the investment threshold and, when pro-
APPOINTMENTS APPOINTMENTS APPOINTMENTS APPOINTMENTS APPOINTMENTS
Maintenance Specialist Previous position was Machinist at Raute.
Maintenance Specialist St Petersburg office.
Project Manager Previous position was Managing Director at Woodprime Oy.
Manager, Project execution Previous position was Project Manager at Konecranes Finland Oy.
Engineering Manager Previous position was Automation Engineer at Orfer Oy.
Senior Vice President, Raute North America as of June 1, 2014. Previous position was Vice President, Sales, Raute North America.
Operating globally, acting locally
Kajaani Nastola St. Petersburg Riga Moscow
Memphis, TN Shanghai
Raute Representative Myrtleford
Raute Corporation Head office and main production plant Rautetie 2 P.O. Box 69 FI-15551 Nastola Finland Tel. +358 3 829 11 Fax +358 3 829 3200 www.raute.com Raute Corporation Mecano Business Syväojankatu 8 FI-87700 Kajaani Finland Tel. +358 3 829 11 Fax +358 8 612 1982
Raute Canada Ltd. 1633 Cliveden Avenue Delta, B.C. Canada V3M 6V5 Tel. +1 604 524 6611 Fax: +1 604 521 4035 Raute US, Inc. c/o Barrett Distribution 4836 Hickory Hill Road Suite #128 Memphis, TN USA 38141 Tel. +1 800 448 8592 Fax +1 866 615 1379 Raute Chile Ltda. Hernando de Aguirre 162 Of. 1003 Providencia Santiago Chile Tel. +56 2 2233 4812 Fax +56 2 2233 4748
Raute Group Asia Pte Ltd. 35 Jalan Pemimpin # 0602 Wedge Mount Industrial Building Singapore 577 176 Tel. +65 625 043 22 Fax +65 625 053 22 Raute (Shanghai) Machinery Co., Ltd Raute (Shanghai) Trading Co., Ltd 14 Building, No. 588, Yuanzhong Road Nan Hui Industry Zone, Pudong District, Shanghai City, China P.C. 201300 Tel. +86 21 5818 6330 Fax +86 21 5818 6322
Raute Service LLC Moscow Office Khoroskevskoe Shosse, 35, b. 1, office 208 123007 Moscow Russia Tel. +7 499 195 83 90 Raute Service LLC Moskovsky prospekt, 212 A, Office 4011 196066 St. Petersburg Russia Tel. +7 812 363 20 33 Fax +7 812 363 20 59 Raute Service Baltic Gaigalas street 41 Riga LV-1016 Latvia Tel. +371 278 442 20 Fax +371 674 346 80 www.raute.com