Issue 10 Raute celebrates its 100th birthday! Popularity of poplar grows Veneerwood process ­ design philosophy Raute Customer Magazine ­ January 2008 Contents From the CEO Raute ­ 1908 to the present Popularity of poplar grows Random handling solutions Innovations wanted! Upgrading veneer value Maintenance seminar in St. Petersburg Veneerwood 2 4 10 14 17 18 22 24 ANOTHER YEAR CAME TO AN END and here at Raute's headquarters on the 61st Parallel, the much talked about global climate change is evident. Typically, at this time of year and at this latitude, there is snow almost everywhere else in the world, except now here in Southern Finland where we have only seen rain, fog and very few daylight hours over the past several weeks. This at a time when we Finns should be enjoying our winter sports! Even though Raute is not at first sight an environmental technology company, much of our effort is, nevertheless, targeted towards making a difference in preserving the environment. In this edition of PlyVisions you will read about some of the ways in which Raute's technology is helping customers reduce their impact on the environment by utilizing fiber in the most efficient way, reducing energy consumption and minimizing the use of plywood glue, an oil derivative. Fiber, energy and glue are all cost factors in the production of wood products and their consumption is an important environmental issue. For this reason, Raute's proven formula for profitable production recovery + quality + productivity x capacity = profitable production ­ also contributes to saving our environment! At the time of writing, full details of the fiscal picture for Raute in 2007 are not complete. We do, however, have a positive understanding that it was a good year for our company. At the start of the year our order book stood at a record high level. However, in spite of very strong activity in the quotations department during the year, we did not receive a high amount of orders, except in November and December. Thanks to these orders received late in the year we have a reasonably solid order base with which to start the New Year. As it stands presently, we will achieve good results in terms of revenue and profit. Our workload has been maintained at an even level throughout the year in terms of timing and product mix. This has helped us keep our costs within budget. Several of the new products we delivered in 2006 have now been operating successfully for their owners for several months or longer and issues related to start up have not had serious consequences on our result this year. Raute prepa Poplar and veneer based products on pages 10­13. For the children of the world In 2007 we donated our seasonal gift funds to Plan Finland to support their work in reducing extreme poverty from the lives of children in developing countries. Read more about Plan at PlyVisions is Raute Corporation's Customer Magazine. Editor-In-Chief: Molli Nyman, Editorial Group: Matti Aho, Veli-Matti Lepistö, Rick Massey, Tapani Kiiski Layout: Onnion Oy Printing house: Libris Oy Address changes: Publisher: Raute Corporation, P.O. Box 69, FI-15551 Nastola, Finland, tel. +358 3 829 11, fax +358 3 829 3511, Copyright Raute Corporation. All rights reserved. Reproduction permitted only with permission from Raute Corporation. Cover photo: Veli-Matti Lepistö Photos by Raute if not mentioned otherwise. ISSN 1459-3165 from the CEO res to turn 100 2008 will be a very important year for Raute. Not too many companies reach 100 years and so the whole of 2008 will be a celebration for us. Several events have been scheduled throughout the year in which the various interest groups associated with our company will participate, including customers, Raute personnel, business partners and owners, etc. The main event is to take place in August at Sibelius Hall in Lahti. It is a very suitable venue as its predominantly wooden construction is a testament to what our customers are able to do with wood. Even though the holding of special events to celebrate our 100th anniversary is important and a pleasure for all concerned, surely the most important way to celebrate this milestone is for Raute to continue serving our customers better than ever. And we are committed to doing just that. One of the reasons Raute is able to celebrate its 100th birthday is due to our innovation, particularly when it comes to technology and our products. We believe that helping our customers to succeed and prosper, by providing them with the most advanced technology, continues to be the way forward for Raute. In support of this we are pleased to announce the creation of the "Raute 100 Years Innovation Award", a contest that we believe draws attention to the need of our industry to continuously renew and develop. Read more about Raute's 100 year anniversary and the "Raute 100 Years Innovation Award" on the following pages and by visiting Why then "mixed feelings", after all the positive news? On the personal side the apparent climate change is of concern to us Finns. From a business perspective there appear to be fewer reasons for optimism compared with just a few months ago. The sub-prime loan crisis, an extremely weak US Dollar, sky-high oil prices, high fiber prices and problems with the availability of raw material in some markets is creating a more challenging outlook than a year ago. The only way to survive is to be better than the competition, in whatever form it takes. Raute will outperform our competition and we will do our utmost to assist our customers to do the same in the markets they serve. At Christmas we at Raute donated our seasonal gift funds to Plan Finland ( to support their work in reducing extreme poverty from the lives of children in developing countries. The funds donated by Raute contribute in achieving lasting improvements in the living conditions of children in communities around the world. We are proud of being able to contribute in creating a better future for children. Whether you are a customer, business partner or have interest otherwise in Raute, I'm sure you will find the stories in PlyVisions interesting. One behalf of the staff of Raute worldwide, I want to wish all our readers a happy, peaceful and successful 2008. Tapani Kiiski President and CEO PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 3 Raute's evolution in wood products technology ­ 1908 to the present From nuts and bolts to bits and bytes text: Rick Massey photos: Raute and Lahti historical museum Raute was born on April 30, 1908 as Lahden Rauta- ja Metalliteollisuustehdas Oy. Located in the southern Finnish town of Lahti, Raute manufactured sawmilling machinery, however, the poor performance of the company's main business, shipbuilding, caused financial losses and in 1911 the bank appointed 36 year-old engineer Henrik Schwartzberg to lead the company. 4 100 years of Raute A thoroughly modern Finn Henrik Schwartzberg (the family name was changed to Mustakallio) was born in Finland in 1875. As a young engineer he gained experience in shipyards in Sweden and Germany, but it was the two years he spent in the United States, from 1902 to 1904, that left a lasting impression on him. Impressed by what he saw in the US, Henrik wrote in a letter to his brother: "I remember how well I stepped ashore in New York one year ago. I felt some uncertainty in my heart, as I knew I was stepping out towards an uncertain future. I walked along Broadway with my bag under my arm, searching for Hornborg's office. There were people crowding all around me, the streetcars thundered by, and then, on both sides, there were those buildings scraping the sky. I felt small ­ very, very, small. I did not see how I could survive in the midst of all this chaos. But `Uncle Sam' has a use for youthful energy. He has lots of work for us to do. And this has allowed each and every one of us who, one year ago, were wandering along Broadway as foreigners with no knowledge of the language to win a position for himself, whether better or worse, in this promised land." His words suggest that young Henrik saw opportunity in the US, a belief shared by subsequent generations of Raute ownership. His time in the US also gave Henrik insight into what he believed was needed for success in business, as evidenced by a letter to his father in 1903: "It is certainly true that in Finland there is more time to do things, but then time is also wasted there. Americans don't have time to sit and study on those long courses we have in Finland; they start making money much earlier, and in so doing learn how to get things done in practice. They are so far ahead in that; at least that's how I see it. What use are our grandiose theories, if we don't know how to apply them in practice ..." These observations about the United States were to serve future management of Raute well. Creating a product line Henrik's first acts as Director were to end shipbuilding, expand the sawmilling machinery business and start manufacturing scales. He also started exporting to Russia. Within two years, Henrik had grown the workforce to 120 and annual revenue to 500,000 Finnmarks. Then, in 1917, the company experienced a major blow when the Russian market suddenly closed in the wake of the Bolshevik revolution. The company's fortunes rose and fell during the following two decades. Sound decisions, such as the one to develop new products did, however, enable Raute to weather the storm. When Henrik Schwartzberg took over Raute in 1908, it's future was un- >> "It is certainly true that in Finland there is more time to do things, but then time is also wasted there. Americans don't have time to sit and study on those long courses we have in Finland; they start making money much earlier, and in so doing learn how to get things done in practice. They are so far ahead in that; at least that's how I see it. What use are our grandiose theories, if we don't know how to apply them in practice ..." ­ Henrik Schwartzberg ­ PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 5 >> clear. When he retired in 1938, staffing stood at 265 with revenue of 11.4 million Finnmarks. He had successfully paved the way for the next generation of family ownership. Raute's then President, Aarne Mustakallio, guided this massive task. On May 30, 1952 the last crate of reparation machinery left Raute's factory in Lahti. Reparations suspend normal business The reparations Finland had to make to Russia following WWII were severe, however, they did advance the country's secondary manufacturing. Reparations amounted to 20% of GNP; two-thirds of which was met by the country's metal industry. From 1944 to 1952 industry suspended normal business to contribute to reparations. Because many of the machines supplied by Raute weren't familiar, they had to be conceived, designed and manufactured. This gave Raute's the opportunity to develop technology for the plywood industry. A new era dawns Once reparations had been paid, Finnish secondary industry flourished due to advancements in technology and the growth that accompanied reparation payments. Trust established during the reparation period turned into explosive trade under the Soviet-Finnish Trade Agreement. Aarne Mustakallio was joined at the helm by his brother Heikki Mustakallio who became President of Raute upon Aarne's death in 1970. Heikki exercised good business sense and diplomacy in dealing with the Soviet trade organizations that played a central role in business between the two countries. Finnish suppliers had to communicate with Soviet customers via these organizations, so it was imperative that they nurture these relationships. Deals required long-term management and Raute put great effort into pursuing trade with the Soviet Union. By the late 60's, Raute's staff had grown to 860. A factory employee at the time wrote: "At that time there was the feeling that you had to get into Raute, because that was where the really skilled work was being done. In the other factories it was the technicians and engineers that were doing the settings, but at Raute they were being done by the tradesmen themselves. At Raute they were doing work to a precision of a hundredth of a millimetre. If you could work first at Raute, you'd be sure of a place in other factories too." "...If you could work first at Raute, you'd be sure of a place in other factories too." ­ Heikki Mustakallio ­ ­ A factory employee ­ 6 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine Growth follows crisis The mid-70's oil crisis caused recession. Production fell and unemployment rose. With the Finnish plywood industry curtailing operations, foreign markets became more important to Raute. Around that time the company participated in the sale of a major project to East Germany. By the time the project had been completed, it was clear to Raute management that export was vital to their future. One senior Raute manager wrote: "International trade is constantly changing, and this means a company has to be equipped for change if it wants to succeed. Nowadays the sale of a machine or some other product as such is not really on; it always has to be part of some sort of `package' to a greater or lesser degree. This normally means such things as the operating technology for the machine or production line, assem- bly, training, a spare parts service, and so on. In other words we need to be able to supply all the material and mental input and backup needed for the customer to be able to use the machine to produce his own products for sale. Our competitors in other countries will certainly be well aware as we are of this concept of project deliveries and exports, so we don't have so much as a second to stop for breath. These new ways of working are placing increasing demands on both companies and all individuals involved in international trade. This presents both a challenge and at the same time an interesting field full of opportunities for those willing to roll their sleeves up and get down to work. We must be able to integrate the process of internationalization into the company's other activities so that it forms a balanced part of our overall operational strategy. It goes without saying that all these things must be tailored to fit the resources we have available. We're not setting out to conquer the whole world, but to find those parts of it particularly suited to our own operations. The bottom line must always be profitability. We cannot afford to bite off more than we can chew; we must always weigh up the potential return on our investment." Raute branches out Under President Pekka Leppänen and Chairman Heikki Mustakallio, Raute expanded internationally in the 80's and 90's. Management also began to embrace automation. Raute's transformation from a primarily `nuts and bolts' company to one in which `bits and bytes' were to play a major role, was beginning. `Mechatronics' was the term used to describe the merging of mechanical and electrical engineering with sophisti- >> 100 years of Raute 7 >> Raute's strategy of product development and internationalization has stood them well. 8 100 years of Raute cated electronic control systems, a move that would change the face of wood processing machinery. As this technological leap forward was occurring, Raute was making inroads into the North American plywood market. In August, 1984, they acquired Canada's Durand Machine Company and Durand-Raute was created. The acquisition was important for several reasons. First, it provided direct access to the important North American plywood market. Second, it provided a pool of talented engineers and tradespeople who were already working within the demanding US and Canadian markets. Third, it gave Raute access to Durand's impressive portfolio of products. And, it created a transfer of technology that has strengthened ever since. Under the North American President, Paul Carter, a partner in Durand Machine Company, Raute's business in the US and Canada grew due to the expanded product range supported by sophisticated automation. However, Raute had not had to rely totally on the creation of Durand-Raute to make sales in the US. Following the start-up of their first LVL system in Finland in the early 80's, Raute followed up with installation of a similar line to Gang-Nail in Wilmington, SC in 1984. From offices in the US, Raute sales staff had sold successfully since the mid-70's. Products included lathes, dryers and press systems, among others. ing capitalism would resurrect business there. That belief has been rewarded. Today, Russia's sizeable plywood and LVL industry continues to be a major area of business for Raute. Looking ahead Raute's strategy of product development and internationalization has stood them well. Technology has been adapted to local conditions and the company operates under the principle that needs vary by market. As to the question of how to advance the forest products industry while preserving the integrity of the resource, Raute is a leader, developing technology to optimize raw material utilization. In practice, this means being able to economically process cultivated species, such as plantation wood, that regenerate easily and quickly. Applying technology successfully also means ensuring that machinery functions safely with minimal risk of injury to operators. Few companies will get to enjoy their 100th birthday. The ones that do have correctly interpreted the signs along the technology highway, regardless of the era. Here, Raute has excelled, thanks to sound strategic decision-making at critical junctures in their history. If Raute's next 100 years are anything like the first, those who come after us can look forward to growth and prosperity in an industry that continues to amaze through its ability to react, adapt and move forward. The Soviet bubble bursts Two years after President Reagan urged President Gorbachev to tear down the Wall in 1987, Raute's business in the east all but ceased. Fortunately, business elsewhere was sufficient to absorb the impact. Belts were tightened, but the wheels remained in place. Throughout the decade of decline in the former Soviet Union, Raute remained vigilant, believing that emerg- Few companies will get to enjoy their 100th birthday. The ones that do have correctly interpreted the signs along the technology highway, regardless of the era.a. PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 9 poplar grows Traveling in Central Europe, one could not help but be impressed by the abundance of poplar plantations, a species planted widely throughout Europe. To North Americans it is more familiar as aspen or cottonwood. Popularity of text: Veli-Matti Lepistö, Rick Massey 10 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine THERE ARE OVER 35 BETTER KNOWN SPECIES within the poplar (Lat. populus) family in the Northern Hemisphere, generally found growing in marshy ground. It is a relatively lightweight species known for its fast growth, which together with its excellent mechanical properties, make populus a suitable raw material for the mechanical wood processing industry. Beneath its grey bark the sapwood is white, while the heartwood varies from a yellowy brown to olive green. When exposed to sunlight the yellow heartwood turns brown. The texture and straight grain of populus makes it suitable for many applications, especially where the strength-to-weight ratio is important. Typical end-uses include packaging, furniture components, mobile homes, flooring, concrete forming and, even, LVL. must satisfy food handling codes, the type of glue used is important. Urea glue is generally preferred, the same type that is used in poplar plywood intended for interior applications. Poplar is used also for bigger applications. In France it is processed into cubic meter-sized plywood containers for transporting goods. Adding value by overlaying is especially popular in Bulgaria, where the raw material has a higher density. Traditionally, poplar plywood machinery was only able to produce maximum 3/4" (18 mm) thick panels, which limited its ability to satisfy the market demand for larger panels. In recent years, however, new technology has seen the maximum thickness increase to 1 1/4" (30 mm) and an overall growth in the volume of larger-sized panels. In Spain there are 3 mills producing 8 x 4 panels, 75% of which is used as technical plywood. Poplar hybrids Poplar hybrids grow quickly and produce strong fibers of uniform quality. Straightness and resistance to environmental stresses are bred into the species. They are diocos, meaning there are both males and females. Hybrid generation happens simply by cross breeding different species that are quickly propagated by planting cuttings. A hybrid called CHI 241 is creating much interest because it grows to a diameter of 12­16" (30­40 cm) in just 12 years, at which time it is clear cut. The ground is then replanted and a new growth cycle begins, like any other crop. Rising prices The growing popularity of poplar is limiting the raw material availability, raising competition for the resource and increasing prices. To improve availability, producers are contracting with farmers to plant poplar around their fields where they act as windbreaks. Aspen's characteristics Aspen is a soft hardwood and is the best known of the poplar species in North America. Smaller-diameter logs are usually peeled because the larger logs tend to rot through the core. The wood is knotty, but does not splinter due to its fibrous texture. Heartwood is hard to dry because of high moisture saturation, and moisture pockets cause waviness during drying and hamper dry veneer handling. Aspen's weight is similar to yellow pine or Douglas fir when green. It nails without splitting, glues well, sands smooth and machines easily. Peeling aspen requires a very sharp lathe knife to avoid furring the surface. Poplar and veneer-based products in Europe In Spain, poplar plywood has traditionally been made in small mills using low-tech machinery in dimensions of 4 ft. x 4 ft. and 5 ft. x 5 ft. As much as 75% of production is used for fruit boxes with the rest being used in technical products. Poplar fruit boxes are made of 3-ply plywood. Cheese, too, is often packaged in poplar containers. Since this packaging >> PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 11 >> Typical end-uses include packaging, furniture components, flooring, concrete forming and, even, LVL. Processing poplar With advanced optimization and peeling, conversion to veneer of over 50% is typical. It is important that the blocks be processed soon after felling. With its thin bark, many species of poplar tend to dry on the surface faster than species with thicker bark. As the best quality veneer is obtained from the outer part of the log, it is preferable that it be as fresh as possible when peeled. Raute has succesfully adapted softwood technology for processing poplar. Smart Scan XY optimizes full sheet recovery, while advanced machine vision and moisture analysis ensure that veneers are properly graded according to defects and moisture content. The moisture present in green poplar veneer presents challenges during dry- ing, however, separation of green veneer into moisture grades optimizes drying. From an initial moisture content ranging from 70 to over 200%, the final moisture content may be as low as 3.5%. Mills wanting to produce larger panels from short blocks can utilize specific scarf-jointing technology, which works well with wavy veneer and produce long-grained veneers of almost any size. New panel handling solutions ensure the quality of the end product while Cross Wrap® packaging protects the veneer or plywood during shipping. Aspen's importance in North America It is interesting to note that more aspen is harvested than any other species in North America. While over 80% is chipped or flaked, the balance is processed into products like lumber and veneer. Supporters of aspen want its usage to grow and continue to create business and employment in the wood products sector. Non-supporters want to see it replaced with species like pine and hardwoods. Regardless, it is a hardy species, with one stem able to regenerate two to three hundred times over, naturally. Due to underutilization, lack of commercialization and its reputation as a weed species, only about 1% aspen trees are made available for value-added manufacturing in North America. Producers may also see the conversion of aspen from low-grade products like planks and pallets into high-value products like LVL as too big a challenge. The reasons for selecting aspen for value-added production are its relatively low cost, its wide availability and its ability to work well as a substitute for other, more conventional species. It is often used as a substitute for birch and is considered interchangeable with yellow poplar and alder. A bright future The popularity of poplar has risen sharply over the past 20 years. From humble beginnings as a resource for pulp and paper, it is today utilized in a wide range of products, such as lumber, construction panels, mouldings, cabinetry, furniture, log cabins and engineered wood. 12 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine Aspen LVL in North America THE WORLD'S FIRST ASPEN LVL MILL was started up by the Canadian Tembec company in Ville Marie, Quebec in 1990. It is still in operation today producing over 25,000 m3 of aspen LVL annually. The company's decision to enter the LVL market was based less on LVL's potential for commercial success and more on the company's needs with respect to raw material utilization. Fifteen years after the startup at Ville Marie, Tembec further consolidated their position in the North American LVL market with the opening of a second facility in Amos, Quebec. At this new facility, which has five times the production capacity of its sister operation, the customer installed high-recovery lines that utilize experience gathered over 15 years in LVL production. In a report titled LAMINATED VENEER LUMBER FROM ASPEN, published by W. Ernest Hsu of Forintek, Canada in March, 1988, the following was concluded about the aspen LVL produced for the study: · It has low variations in bending, tension, compression and shear properties in spite of the fact that low-grade veneers were used. · It is comparable to softwood LVL. · At the same density, aspen LVL has a higher MOR than softwood LVL. · Aspen LVL has slightly lower MOE to MOR ratio than softwood LVL. · Its mechanical properties can be improved by incorporating yellow birch veneer. · Lap joints are an adequate joint system for the production of aspen LVL. · The surfaces of aspen LVL can be improved by using scarfed veneers. While Europe and North America are important regions for poplar in terms of resource and as markets for end products, the most explosive region of growth for the species is China, which presently has the largest poplar plantations under cultivation in the world. Although much of the resource is peeled on primitive lathes and processing requires significant labor, Raute is making some high-tech inroads into the Chinese poplar market with the Smart Peel and Appro Peel lathes, the former a high-capacity, high-recovery peeling system fea- turing Raute's Optimal Peeling Geometry (OPG) and the latter a more basic system designed to produce good-quality veneer on a consistent basis with minimal operator intervention. In China, poplar veneer is mainly used as core layers in plywood and in the production of non-structural LVL. Given the increasing interest in poplar and improvements in technology to peel and dry it successfully, the future for poplar plywood, veneer and LVL looks bright indeed. PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 13 text: Peter Gibson Random handling solutions gain momentum To the majority of North American producers of 4x8 softwood plywood, random veneer is a necessary evil and handling it is a challenge. It is one of the major components of plywood core. Without it, producers would be struggling to find sufficient on-grade material for faces and backs because a percentage of it would be needed as core. IN MOST CASES, random obeys the 80/20 rule ­ at least 80% of mill labor at some time is involved in handling 20% of raw material; i.e., random veneer. In terms of challenges facing the North American softwood plywood industry, it has remained one of the most elusive solutions, until now. Recent random handling projects undertaken by Raute in North America underline the importance of this technology in reducing labor costs without wasting veneer. ter. In Diagram 1. we see the layout of a low-to-medium capacity green end producing around 35 M3/8/hour. Three operators are required to recover random veneer, which may range in width from 6" up to 50". For a similar line that also recovers fishtail, a fourth operator would be required. Recovering random is a physically demanding job and one that is prone to injury. As the production capacity of the green end increases, so too does the amount of random that will need to be recovered and the operating speeds of the line. This will have a relative effect on the number of mill personnel required to recover random veneer. In a mill laying up 750­1,000 M3/8/day, where random, including fishtail, is recovered at the green end, as many as 12 operators would be required on three shifts. It is typical for a mill producing this much to run fifteen shifts per week. In Diagram 2. we see the same green end, but with the inclusion of a random selector and stacker. Most noticeable is the elimination of the manual pull table because random is now being stacked automatically. Diagram 3. shows a highcapacity line producing > 35 M3/8/hour. It must be remembered that the productivity of the line depends on a number of factors, such as the diameter and quality of the blocks, the technology utilized in the lathe and the overall efficiency of the green end. In this configuration, the veneer ribbon passes through the first clipper at which point the leading part of the ribbon containing defect is clipped off and diverted to the multi-level infeed conveyor ahead of the random clipper. By slowing the defect ribbon at the clipper, clip accuracy and recovery are improved. Random is then diverted after the clipper to an automatic random stacker, while fishtail proceeds to a fishtail saw and stacker. Both center-cut and edge-cut fishtail is recovered and stacked automatically. In this line, as many as three operators are removed per shift, which may mean an annual labor savings of $500,000.00 or more. Green random handling Three types of veneer are recovered at the green end - full sheet 54s, full halfsheet 27s and random. Modern green stacking lines are typically designed to separate full sheets into separate moisture classes and stack them at up to 950 FPM. Even 27s can be successfully moisture graded and stacked at relatively high speed. In both cases, there is no handling of the veneer by mill personnel. Random, however, is another mat- 14 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine Diagram 1. Diagram 2. Maintaining productivity Handling green random veneer automatically is not an exact science. Every piece of random veneer has the potential to behave differently and cause a hang up, which can cause the line to shut down. There are, however, precautions that can be taken to ensure that automatic random handling is accomplished successfully. 1. Rubbish in/rubbish out If the quality of the peel is poor, then the quality of the random will be also. A clipping trash gate can ensure that there is no taper on the leading edge of the defect ribbon. Peel quality, also, needs to be good. This means no excessive checking, which can cause the veneer to pull apart on the selector. In other words, automatic random handling has a better chance of succeeding when attention is given to the quality of the random veneer itself. 2. Proper preventive maintenance The clipper must be tuned correctly and the selector kept free of slivers so that a constant vacuum is maintained. Proper belt tensioning is also critical. Failure to do so will result in random skewing and inefficient transfer of random veneer. 3. No hurry-up-and-wait High speed doesn't necessarily mean high productivity. Lengthy gaps beyond the end of one ribbon and the start of another probably means that the lathe is not processing sufficient blocks or that the line is running too fast after the lathe. A smooth flow of material out of the lathe and through the clipper is far better than a hurryup-and-wait green end. Practically speaking, the lower the clip speed, the better the clip accuracy and recovery. These are just a few of the issues that need to be addressed if the automatic handling of random is to be accomplished successfully. >> Diagram 3. PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 15 >> Automatic green random stacking Raute recently built our most sophisticated green random stacker to date. This six-bin automatic green stacker has a total of six bins, four for handling full sheets and randoms and two for 27s. It is being installed at the iLevel mill in Foster, Oregon where Raute recently installed a 6-bin green full sheet stacker. This new stacker contains a number of innovations, including steel core cog transport belts, a vacuum clearing mechanism (patent pending) that keeps the vacuum free of debris, a new vacuum chamber design and an oil smoke lubrication system that replaces tens of individual oil lubricators, reducing maintenance and providing more efficient lubrication to the stacker's many pneumatic cylinders. The stacker is also equipped with moisture sensors to designate individual pieces of green random for stacking according to moisture content. Automatic dry random stacking Raute provides advanced solutions for automatically stacking dry random veneer. The first is a single-bin stacking system designed to handle low- to medium-capacity piece counts. It requires a single operator to remove wets, separate overlaps and correct excessive skew. This stacker replaces two or more operators and requires approximately 35 ft. of floor space to accommodate the stacker and infeed conveyor. For mills drying large volumes of dry random, Raute provides a multi-bin stacking line that includes a gap conveyor that automatically pulls gaps of 18" or more between pieces of random ahead of the stacker, regardless of their width. This is necessary to ensure that there is sufficient space between sheets for proper knock-off control and sheet placement. The gap conveyor includes intelligent skew correction and secondary skew correction inside the stacker. Gaps are created and skew is corrected with a combination of precisely-controlled vacuum conveying and accurate motion controls. As with all new Raute stackers, this automatic dry random handling system incorporates speciallydesigned cog belts that provide longer belt life and eliminate belt slippage to improve stacker performance. Operation of the stacker can be made to interface with a veneer stress grader, moisture analyzer and defect analyzer. Each bins is equipped with three sets of knock-off arms, levelling photocells and squaring cylinders. Consult Raute for all your stacking needs Raute is the #1 supplier of veneer stacking technology worldwide. The range of stackers we offers includes full sheet green stackers; combination full and random green stackers; full sheet dry veneer grading and stacking lines; combination full and random dry stackers; fishtail saws and stackers; dry veneer random and full sheet stackers; panel stackers and specialty stackers. It goes without saying that Raute has a stacker to meet the specific needs of your mill. Pictures, from left: High-speed random handling, including automatic stacking, improves green end productivity and reduces labor costs. The green end can be configured to recover center- and edge-cut fishtail. Fishtail is recovered and used as core veneer. 16 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine Pictures, from top: Improved clipping technology is one of the main factors contributing to the higher volume of green random veneer that is being recovered. Gap conveyor ahead of the multi-bin dry random stacker. Automatic 6-bin green random stacker ready for testing at Raute's factory in Canada. Raute 100 years innovation award INNOVATIONS WANTED! THROUGHOUT ITS 100 YEAR HISTORY, Raute has been active in seeking new concepts and ideas that will benefit the wood products industry. Now, we extend this opportunity to individuals and groups around the world with our Raute 100 years innovation award competition. This award is an initiative designed to help celebrate innovative approaches to wood products technology and Raute's reputation for providing innovative solutions for our customers. Every kind of innovation is eligible, including new processes, products or machines that offer a practical business application. They may be in the form of improvements to existing products, processes or machinery technology or totally new concepts. Raute provides technology and services for the following: plywood and veneer production, production of LVL (laminated veneer lumber), overlaying and further processing of wood panels (particleboard, MDF and OSB), production of multi-layer parquet flooring and the production of decorative veneer. According to Raute's CEO, Tapani Kiiski, "This competition aims to find innovations that will potentially benefit our customers and their applicability within the scope of Raute's business. Furthermore, we want to reach innovative individuals and attract students, scientists or other interested parties to the fascinating field of wood products." The three finalists will be awarded cash prizes as follows 1st place of EUR 15 000 2nd place of EUR 10 000 and 3rd place of EUR 5 000. The finalists will travel to Finland as guests of Raute where they will receive their prizes during Raute's 100 year celebration event in Lahti in August 2008. Entries are to be received by June 30, 2008. For more information, please see PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 17 A complete patching line includes a veneer feeder, VDA defect recognition camera, one or more automatic patching units and an automatic sheet stacker. text: Timo Välttilä Upgrading veneer value in the veneer, plywood and LVL processes Improving efficiency and quality in raw material utilization Smaller log sizes, lower raw material quality and rising log prices and production costs are driving the demand for higher levels of automation to support improvements in raw material utilization. In veneer-based wood products, each piece of veneer carries a value through the production process ­ from the log to the final product. The opportunity exists to further improve the veneer, plywood and LVL production processes by upgrading veneer value at each step of the process. This article introduces advanced applications for the successful production of veneer-based products. Advanced veneer grading Visual grading The most suitable application for securing advanced dry veneer visual grading is the Mecano VDA, visual defect analyzer (VDA). It is the most accurate machine vision system for grading veneer and it provides advanced utilization of expensive raw material by ensuring that every sheet of veneer is correctly graded and channeled to its correct place in the production process and in the final product. The VDA combines the latest color camera technology, software and user interface into a rigid triangular frame equipped with special lighting, a digital line camera, and an industrial PC fitted with a screen and advanced software algorithms. It is installed after the dryer, typically on the veneer grading and stacking line, or on a separate veneer grading line. The width of the line can be from 4ft. to 10ft. (1200­3000 mm). The VDA detects defects in veneer when it is run through the light source, which is supported within the frame. It is a real-time imaging system that makes grading decisions every 0.3 seconds. Line speeds are, typically, from 130­160 metres per minute. The VDA grades veneers according to all nationally and internationally accepted standards. It is capable of recognizing and measuring the widest range of different defects and defect combina- 18 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine The VDA improves volume and value recovery, process efficiency, veneer quality and reduces labor costs. tions. Examples of typical defects are splits, holes, different types of knots, blue stain, color defects, pitch streaks, resin pockets, bark and discoloration. Moisture grading The Mecano DMA, dry veneer moisture analyzer (DMA), is a remarkable development in accurately measuring moisture in dry veneer. It consists of a metal frame, which houses dual rows of steel brushes, wheels to support the veneer, an industrial PC with screen and advanced software algorithms. It can be installed on new and existing drying lines after the roller dryer and may be stand-alone or integrated into the Mecano VDA camera grader. The DMA is the only system available for detecting and analyzing the moisture content of the entire veneer surface. It operates with advanced software that combines the measurement data of each sensor brush, and creates a visual map of the moisture area on the veneer, so-called moisture mapping. The combination VDA/DMA offers the advantage of precise defect and moisture analysis in a single unit. Advantages of grading applications The VDA benefits producers of thin hardwood plywood and light weight softwood plywood and LVL by improving both the face and core veneer production processes. It does this by improving volume and value recovery, process efficiency, veneer quality and by reducing labor costs. Human grading has proven to be inefficient as there is a tendency for operators to downgrade veneer when uncertain or to upgrade veneer and create quality problems. This results in significant economic loss in the utilization of expensive raw material. The VDA establishes a uniform and precise grading operation. Another benefit of the VDA is that producers will gain a higher percentage of face-grade veneers from their raw material. Furthermore, because veneers are graded correctly, there is less need for panel face repair. The VDA enables cheaper and lower-quality logs to be processed while still maintaining the required face-grade inventory in the mill. The savings in raw material costs can be substantial. The VDA presents high-definition images of each sheet of veneer as it is being graded. >> PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 19 In the production of core veneer, the VDA makes it possible to produce more valuable long core veneer rather than short core veneer. This, in turn, decreases the amount of composing required on the short core material. In the production of LVL-quality veneer, the VDA improves strength grading by visually detecting weak points (e.g. rows of knots) in the veneer, which cannot be detected by strength grading equipment alone. Both in the plywood and LVL production processes it is necessary to track veneer quality through every phase of production. The VDA assists by recording grade data for every sheet of veneer. It is a production control, planning and management tool. When veneers are graded by the VDA, the mill manager knows exactly what veneer grades are available, he has this information stored digitally on his computer and he has a tool that will enable him to optimize production efficiently in order to fulfill his customer' orders. As stated, the DMA offers several advantages in dry veneer moisture analysis, including the visual creation of a "moisture map" of each veneer sheet. This feature is available only in the DMA and it means that the moisture content of every sheet of veneer and manufactured plywood panel is under strict moisture control. The parameters for moisture grading are easy to set based on this "moisture map" feature. It is the only reliable way to locate moisture pockets in veneer and its high operational accuracy establishes the possibility to raise the average final moisture content of the veneer, leading to higher drying capacity and better veneer quality. Over dried veneer and the need for re-dry will decrease. In addition, the identification of moisture pockets will prevent panel blows during hot pressing and, when the moisture content is properly balanced, the glue spread can be adjusted to a lower level, leading to savings in glue costs. Multiple informative screens provide moisture data in real-time, enabling process adjustments to be made quickly and alerting staff to problems in the drying process. Both the VDA and the DMA are fully automated systems. No operator is required. Automatic grading systems make it easier to handle complicated veneer grading rules and reduce the need to handle veneer manually, adding further savings in labor costs. And, because the VDA and DMA can be combined into the same frame, less floor space is required, even when installing the device on an existing line. Veneer patching The Raute Patchman is an automatic veneer patching system based on the revolutionary development of a single patching head, which both removes the defect and replaces it with a patch. Applications for utilizing this technology range from a semi-automatic patching station to a fully-automatic patching line. In this way all capacity and product demands can be satisfied. A single Patchman line can be designed to patch a range of veneer sizes in widths from 4ft. to 10 ft. (1,200­3,000 mm). A fully-automatic patching line utilizes the defect recognition capability of the Mecano VDA to identify the location of defect and pass on the data to the patching head. Advantages of patching Patching is done to both face and core veneers, making it possible to get the most value out of the mill's veneer inventory. Both the VDA and the DMA are fully automated systems. No operator is required. 20 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine The Mecano DMA has already been installed on over 50 veneer drying lines. The Patchman's patching head automatically removes defects in veneer and replaces them with solid wood, without the need for an operator. Summary The Mecano VDA/DMA and Raute Patchman are the results of research and development spanning over 10 years. This development has happened alongside the trend where the technical quality of plywood, together with the surface quality and appearance of the panel, is more important than ever. The VDA, with its advanced camera technology and software, offers many advantages. It is the most accurate system for detecting the size and type of defects in veneer and its advanced software will enable you to best utilize your raw material, while supporting the ongoing development of your process and products. Additionally, the VDA's compact design and the ability to integrate both defect detection and moisture analysis into the same unit means that only a small area is needed for the installation, even when installing it on an existing line. The DMA, with its reliable method of accurately detecting the moisture content of veneer and its advanced software for controlling veneer moisture content offers many advantages in the lay-up and hot pressing processes. And, the Patchman, an advanced veneer patching method, increases the efficiency of raw material utilization by decreasing labor costs, raising the value of veneer and increasing volume and value recovery in the veneer process. Raute, a leading supplier of technology to the veneer-based panel and engineered lumber industries worldwide, has supplied over 120 Mecano VDA units worldwide, a positive reflection on the VDA's capabilities and performance. The Mecano DMA has already been installed on over 50 veneer drying lines, while there are 40 Patchman heads patching veneer in hardwood and softwood plywood mills around the world. Typically, patching produces higher-grade face veneers in the case where patches are acceptable. In the case of overlaying, the defect or patch would tend to transfer through the surface overlay, however, patched veneer is acceptable underneath certain types of overlays. In some panel applications, defects are not accepted, such as in the core layer beneath a thin veneer face, since the outline of the defect would transfer through the face. This method of patching also increases recovery when compared to composing because only the defect needs to be removed, rather than a strip across the whole width of the veneer sheet. PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 21 text: Hannu Sippus Raute hosts Russia's plywood manufacturers need to have the latest information on how to improve recovery, quality and productivity through the implementation of preventive maintenance and equipment modernizations. THIS WAS THE MESSAGE that came through at a maintenance seminar hosted by Raute in St. Petersburg, Russia, recently. The purpose of the seminar was to provide information concerning the services provided by Raute to maintenance professionals, such as millwrights, electricians and automation specialists. The seminar was held November 13 and 14, 2007. Advance registration was so strong that not everyone could be accommodated, so a second seminar has been arranged for the coming year. Participants, a total of 60 in all, were from 22 different plywood mills located across Russia. This strong attendance was a clear indication that maintenance successful maintenance seminar in St. Petersburg is an important industry issue and that there exists a real need for seminars of this kind. Two days of maintenance information The agenda for Day One consisted of presentations dealing with preventive maintenance issues as well as the many maintenance, spare parts, upgrade and modernization services available through Raute's local service branch, Raute Service LLC, St. Petersburg. During the second day participants were able to acquaint themselves with the equipment modernization services 22 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine Many stated that this had been their first opportunity to see a lathe modernized by Raute in "real life". offered by Raute. A completely modernized and reconditioned 2 HV-66 lathe deck and a reconditioned PL 30 block charger had been brought to St. Petersburg for this purpose. The lathe had been retrofitted with modern components, such as hydraulic knife clamps, electric knife carriage feed, new electric drives and Siemens S7 controls. Hydraulic knife gap regulation for the progressive control of veneer thickness had also been installed on the lathe. that reduces non-productive lathe time by significantly speeding up the process of changing out the knife. Positive feedback Strong interest in lathe reconditioning The reconditioned lathe deck was of particular interest to the participants. Even though modernizations had been widely presented on the previous day, the sight of a fully-reconditioned lathe, considered to be the key piece of equipment in veneer production, caused many of the participants to state how impressed they were by Raute's level of maintenance and by the potential for improvement when combining modern and traditional peeling technology. As the majority of the participants were maintenance people, the questions raised tended to be related to the technical details of the equipment and to how Raute's customer services might best meet their needs. The modernized knife carriage fitted to the lathe triggered discussion as to the reconditioning possibilities of knife carriages located in different mills and the knife carriage replacement service offered by Raute. Of special interest was hydraulic knife clamping, an upgrade The format of the seminar - first day theory followed by interaction with an actual machine - proved to be successful. The participants' interest was clearly focused on Raute's service recommendations and scheduling, knowledge of which was considered advantageous in preparing annual maintenance budgets as it was seen as a way to reduce quality and production losses resulting from unscheduled downtime. Maintenance and upgrade packages were also of interest as they are generally installed in a short amount of time and quickly make an impact by reducing downtime. The participants' comments concerning Day Two of the seminar were particularly positive. Many stated that this had been their first opportunity to see a lathe modernized by Raute in "real life". Many stated also that they were pleased to have had the opportunity to meet and discuss matters of interest with their counterparts from across Russia. Raute offers local service in Russia Raute Service LLC was opened in St. Petersburg in December, 2005 for the purpose of supplying spare parts. In 2006 its operations were expanded to cover maintenance services, modernizations, training and consulting. This expansion of services satisfies the needs of customers in the very important Russian market to have access to professional maintenance services that are of the highest standard. Raute's St. Petersburg office is located on Vasili Island in the center of the city and is part of Raute's Technology Service Russia Group. It is headed up by Hannu Sippus, whose office is at Raute's headquarters in Nastola, Finland. Raute's personnel in the St. Petersburg office ­ Mika Silvennoinen (services), Ksenia Krapivnaja (spare parts) and Irina Lukyanova (clerical). PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 23 Veneerwood A cost-effective way to produce high-quality, high-strength engineered wood products (EWP's), specifically, plywood and LVL. BEHIND THE VENEERWOOD PROCESS is a design philosophy that focuses on optimizing recovery while emphasizing quality at every stage of production. This includes not only the most expensive component of the process, the wood itself, but also consumables, such as glue, energy, and labor. The result of a well formulated Veneerwood plant is a veneer-based operation that boasts optimal recovery, high productivity and labor consumption of <1 manhour/m3 of finished product. A highly automated Veneerwood plant that includes a mill-wide data collection and production control system, can deliver these results. In the case of LVL, its multi-layer construction significantly lessens the effect of defects, such as knots and splits, by distributing them evenly throughout the cross-section of the product. For instance, a defect in a core line in a 15ply billet of LVL has only one-fifteenth the effect. The result is a very homogeneous product, whose consistent quality, stability, dimensional accuracy and straightness cannot be matched by solid wood. Plywood, too, possesses a number of superior qualities over its chief rival, OSB, in many applications, such as its relative light weight, nail holding ability, impact resistance and dimensional stability under conditions of high moisture. Diagram 1. shows how rotary peeling separates mature wood from juvenile wood. By separating the veneers into grades and reassembling them into LVL, for example, strength properties are engineered into the finished product. This property is unique to Veneerwood. Preparing the blocks The process of making Veneerwood begins when logs enter the log yard. Each log is cut into 101" (2,565 mm) lengths, weighed in order to determine its density and scanned in order to generate a profile of its shape. Higher density blocks of even shape and low taper are then transferred to the LVL line, while the rest go to the plywood line. To ensure even block conditioning and to optimise the peeling process, blocks may first be pre-rounded on a specially-designed round-up lathe. Veneerwood advantages Veneerwood products have the best strength-to-density ratio of any EWP see , Chart 1. Chart 1. LVL ­ Specific MOE in bending Formula for determining the Specific MOE in bending for LVL is: Specific MOE Diagram 1. Principle of engineered wood (LVL) MOE in bending Specific gravity 4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 LSL oriented strands PSL parallel veneer strips LVL parallel veneer sheets For the equivalent weight of product, LVL is stronger than both LSL and PSL. 24 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine Properties affecting the strength of Veneerwood Property Veneer density Grain angle [1] Effect on performance Dependent on the wood species, block location in the tree trunk and the tree harvest region. Measured in relation to the surface plane of the veneer. This is affected by the taper of the block and the geometry of the growth rings. Measured in relation to the long edge of the veneer. This is affected by curvature of the block, clip accuracy, and layup. Knots, wane, juvenile wood, reaction wood, resin pockets, eccentric growth rings. Veneer splits, lathe checks. Production processes Ultrasonic log grading. Grading veneer after drying. Peeling and grading. Grain angle [2] Natural defects Processing defects Peeling and grading. Grading. Production process and grading. Preparing veneer for LVL and plywood The method of preparing veneer for use in plywood and LVL (see Diagram 2.) is, essentially, the same. Conditioned peeler blocks are centered on a Smart Scan XY system to ensure low grain slope. They are then peeled on a Smart Peel lathe after which the ribbons are clipped to 101" (2,565 mm) lengths, moisture graded and stacked. To realize the optimum yield of 8x8 sheets, the greatest percentage of blocks should average 11" (280 mm) diameter or more. A core size of 21/2" (63 mm) diameter is typical. Random is recovered and strength graded after drying using a Metriguard strength-testing machine. It is later composed and used as cross-ply material in some specialty LVL. Green veneer is dried in a 6.2 meterwide dryer (20 ft.), which can process two 8'x8' sheets or four 4'x8' sheets at a time. The correct choice of dryer and dryer setup is important in ensuring that the veneer won't split during drying and that the surface will be suitable to form a proper glue bond. Humidity control is available to prevent case hardening of the surface of the veneer, while automatic moisture feedback automatically controls dryer speed. Raute's 6.2 meter-wide roller jet dryer incorporating automated loading and unloading and automatic humidity and speed control, is designed for the task. After drying, veneer intended for use in plywood is moisture and defect graded using a camera/moisture analyzer. It is then stacked according to grade. Re-drying can be minimized by equalizing the stacks for a period of time before transferring them to the grading line. As a result, most veneer sheets can proceed directly to layup. Randoms Diagram 2. Full sheets of 8´x8´ veneer The method of preparing veneer for use in plywood and LVL is, essentially, the same. Random veneer PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 25 are processed at the composer into 8x8 sheets for core. LVL grade veneer is moisture and strength graded with veneers being sorted into stacks of G1, G2 and G3 veneer. If required, a percentage of veneer is sent for re-dry. The moisture content of the veneer used for plywood can be somewhat higher than that of the veneer used in LVL. The LVL production process By grading the peeler blocks, a higher percentage of 8'x8' LVL grade veneers are produced. The lower grade veneers are used for plywood and as cross plies in special LVL grade panels. Glue is applied by two independent foam extruders. Two different glue formulations can be used at the same time ­ a more reactive formulation for the middle plies and a standard formulation for the outer plies. Glued veneers are laid up in a predetermined sequence on a continuous basis. Joints are staggered to form a continuous billet and to ensure the product meets strength codes. Layup is automatic and the line can handle up to 30 sheets per minute. A higher capacity of up to 45 sheet/min can be achieved with the addition of a pairing station. Pressing is done in two stages. First, the continuous billet is prepressed in order to consolidate the layup and to ensure that the glue line won't dry out while it is waiting to be hot pressed. Then, the cut-to-length billets are transferred into a multi-opening heated step press and cured under heat and pressure. Pre-pressed billets are accumulated on a multi-opening hot press infeed deck. Once the length of the staged billets exceeds the length of the press, the press opens and the billets are conveyed into the press in an increment equal to the length of the press. Billets extend beyond the length of the press on each press level, ensuring that the press is always full. Any small gaps between the billets in the press do not affect the pressing operation. Press length and the number of openings determines the capacity of the process and has no effect on the length of the billet. After pressing, the billet is sawn to the required dimensions, the most common being similar to dressed lumber. However, beams capable of 80 ft. spans are possible and usual with LVL. handling line can produce 180,000 m3 (200MM3/8) of plywood annually. This makes the capital investment lower than 4'x8' mills because less machinery and floor space are required. Line capacities are also higher because sheet sizes are doubled. An 8'x8' layup line will produce twice the production of a 4'x8' line and the capacity of a 36-opening 8'x8' hot press is equivalent to that of a 72-opening 4'x8' hot press. High-capacity layup is based on simultaneous feeding of veneers so that a 5-ply layup is formed every layup cycle. Panels are then automatically loaded into the 36-opening, 8'x8' hot press. Random veneer is composed into 8x8 sheets and used as core. Defects are removed at the composer. Processing 8'x8' plywood after pressing After pressing, 8'x8' plywood panels are trimmed and ripped into two 4'x8' or 8'x4' panels. Savings in trim loss on a 5ply, 8'x8' panel are shown in Table 1. Savings in glue are also realized. After sawing, two panels at a time are sanded in an 8' wide belt sander in the 4' direction, which doubles the throughput of panels compared with a conventional sanding line. The plywood production process Veneers are laid up into 101" x 101" (2,565 x 2,565 mm) panels, after which they are sawn into either 4'x8' (1,200 x 2,400 mm) long grain panels or 8'x4' cross grain panels. A single peeling, drying, layup and pressing, composing and panel Low labor Automation and high capacity are significant factors in reducing labor. Multi-opening hot press. Automatic layup station. 26 PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine Veneerwood is the culmination of a lot of good ideas and experience, all of which Raute has put into practice at various LVL and plywood mills around the world. Full sheets (8x8) are graded and stacked automatically. Although the number of personnel will vary by mill, annual production of 180,000 m3 (200MM3/8) of plywood and 212,000 m3 (7.4 million ft3) of LVL can be achieved with as few as 20 operators/ shift, excluding ancillary staff. When additional staff is added to direct labor, the total labor per m3 of product is from 0.80 to 1.0 manhours. Veneerwood ­ the future The Veneerwood plant described here doesn't exist, however, every element we've presented does. Veneerwood is the culmination of a lot of good ideas and experience, all of which Raute has put into practice at various LVL and plywood mills around the world. The 8'x8' plywood mill went from concept to reality in Finland almost ten years ago. It has operated successfully ever since. LVL production based on 4', 6', and 8' wide veneers is a reality also and the production data is verifiable. The low labor input required to produce Veneerwood is also a reality and has the potential to make producers more competitive against products like OSB and sawn lumber. And, lastly, the market for Veneerwood is proving to be very viable, as LVL and plywood producers distance themselves from commodities and move into more value-added markets. Table 1. Savings in trim loss on a 5-ply, 8'x8' panel [width of trim loss in ins.] x [length of trim loss in ins.] x [no. of trimmed edges] x [no. of ply lines] number of sq.ins./ft² of material or 1.5 x 101 x 2 x 5 144 or 10.5 ft² (0.975 m²) of savings in trim loss LVL billets cut to size and edge treated. PLYVISIONS ­ Raute Customer Magazine 27 A century of global expertise Raute is the leading technology company in its sector serving the wood products industry worldwide by adding value to its customers' businesses. The core of operations comprises the manufacturing processes for veneer-based products. The company was founded in 1908. Jyväskylä Nastola Kajaani St. Petersburg Moscow Vancouver, BC Memphis, TN Shanghai Singapore Jakarta Santiago Raute Agent