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Panel World Issue: September 2011

Panel World’s September issue spotlights materials and photographs submitted by companies in the category of quality control technologies, which don’t always represent the biggest capital expenditures but can put the squeeze on operational inefficiencies and can save money. Also featured is South Carolina’s Darlington Veneer, which sources from abroad for the most cost-effective supply. Metro is highlighted for expanding particleboard production with the startup of a turnkey plant near Bangkok.

September 2011 Darlington

Hardwood plywood manufacturer Darlington Veneer does not peel veneer anymore, but originally that was all it did. “That’s why we’re not called Darlington Plywood,” according to Vice President Reggie Hubbard, who personally had a lot to do with that change long before he worked his way into any managerial position.

September 2011 Metro Online

The first complete Siempelkamp production line for particleboard started operation at Metro in Thailand in January 2011. In July 2009 the leading Thai manufacturer for wood-based materials signed the contract for a new particleboard plant to be installed at Metro’s location in Nonthaburi, in the suburbs of Bangkok, where the company’s first Siempelkamp-suppllied plant has been operating since 2004. Installation started in May 2010. With the recent startup of the plant, Metro takes a big step toward achieving its goal as an essential supplier of particleboard products to the growing domestic market.

September 2011 Taking Stock

Two months ago in this space I wrote about the lost opportunity reflected in the flames consuming northern Arizona’s pine forests, where the Wallow Fire was making national news as it spread to become the largest ever in the state and burned almost 600,000 acres before it was contained.

September 2011 Update

Weyerhaeuser Co. has sold its hardwood lumber business, Northwest Hardwoods, to American Industrial Partners (AIP), which will operate the business as Northwest Hardwoods, Inc., headquartered in Tacoma, Wash. T.J. Rosengarth, most recently the COO of Flakeboard and a long-time officer for companies in the composite panel industry, becomes CEO of Northwest Hardwoods, Inc.

September 2011 Blending

Big things have been happening in the southwestern corner of New Brunswick, especially for anyone interested in reducing production costs at medium density fiberboard (MDF) plants while also improving ambient air quality conditions. The work being done at Flakeboard’s MDF plant in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, a town of 5,000 that shares an international border crossing with Calais, Maine, revolves around dry resination technology. The St. Stephen plant, which produces thin MDF under the name of Fibrex, along with particleboard products, spent several years developing the technology, which is now owned and sold under the trade name of EVOjet by Sunds MDF Technologies, part of German panel equipment manufacturer Dieffenbacher Group.

September 2011 Cold Press

Hydraulics is the power source of choice when lots of force is to be applied and precisely controlled in the manufacturing process. And when that force is to be spread over a wide area such as in an engineered lumber press, the coordination of multiple hydraulic axes makes it possible. For example, a cold press produced by Spar-Tek Industries of Portland, Ore. uses eight 4 in. hydraulic cylinders to raise and lower the platens and 32 12 in. rams to press LVL billets. Customers such as Roseburg Forest Products use Spar-Tek’s cold press to process LVL billets up to 67 ft. long and 4 ft. wide by 4 ft. tall (with finished billet sizes at 3 ½, 5 ¼ and 7 in thick).

September 2011 HGA

Hunt, Guillot and Associates (HGA) provides quality engineering, project management, and on-site staffing services throughout North America. Despite difficult economic times HGA has continued to grow by catering to a diverse client base and continuing to provide high value services for its clients. That being said, HGA started out in the wood products industry and has maintained its commitment to its wood products industry clients and personnel.

September 2011 QC System

The Altec Thickness Quality Monitoring System Version 2.0 is the latest in high-performance on-line non-contact measurement systems that provides real-time thickness and sheet length/ width measurements in industrial manufacturing processes. Typical applications include veneer, planer board, plywood and OSB manufacturing. The system uses high-precision lasers to provide real-time thickness, average thickness and standard deviation trending as well as thickness and width distribution histograms.

September 2011 Supply Lines

The last few years have witnessed a major shift in the marketing strategy of some of the world’s leading equipment manufacturers for the wood-based panel industry toward total in-house production with an “all from one source” philosophy. Imal officials note that specialist companies like Imal and Pal for example have painstakingly strived over the years to reach the acknowledged quality and reliability they enjoy today. But after supplying two major manufacturers for many years with equipment and continuous innovations, the Imal-Pal group suddenly found itself having to make a rapid decision, and it decided that the only way to find room for its own innovative products was to go solo and supply complete plants with continuous presses.

September 2011 What's New

The first Steinemann Satos sander, a 10 head configuration, was installed in March 2010 at the Eggers particleboard line in Brilon, Germany. The second line, a 14 head, was started up in April 2011 at Nelson Pine in New Zealand. That line sands MDF panels with a speed of up to 160 m/min. Today Steinemann reports that 60 sanding heads have been ordered.

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