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Latest News

Friday, September 3, 2021

Sawmill’s output leaps forward with Wood-Mizer TITAN

A recently commissioned Wood-Mizer TITAN sawmill line at Panbult Denne Saagmeule in Mpumalanga flexes its muscles.

 

The Drakensberg or Dragon Mountain range that runs 1000 kilometres from north to south across South Africa, splits Mpumalanga into high-altitude grasslands and low-altitude subtropical savanna.

 

Warm tropical air from the Indian Ocean that hits the Dragons back results in high rainfall.

 

This makes Mpumalanga, one of South Africa’s nine provinces the most productive timber production region in the country. Some 489,073 hectares or 41% of the roughly 1.2 million hectares of land planted in SA planted to trees grow in Mpumalanga.

 

It’s on the high elevations of the Mpumalanga Highveld that Panbult Denne Saagmeule is located.  

Headed up by veteran sawmiller Henry Bruwer, the family has timber in their blood.

 

Henry’s brother, Bennie heads up nearby Nu-Scotland and Churchill Sawmills. The Bruwer’s are also founding members of the Private Sawmillers Association.

 

Its timber farmer members grow trees, trade logs and negotiate for better log prices when they buy logs from commercial growers in the area like Mondi and Sappi.

 

Henry’s timber business includes forests, harvesting teams, sawmilling and logistics to move logs from in-forest to mill and finished products to customers.

 

Panbult Denne Saagmeule is the heartbeat of this highly successful timber enterprise that Henry started in 2000.

 

Seize the moment

Panbult’s first investment to increase productivity came in the shape of a sawmill line from Brazil in 2010.

 

It gave Panbult the critical mass it needed to expand production with supply contracts to furniture, pallet and crate manufacturers building the mill’s profitability.

 

2020, the COVID pandemic, the lengthy lock-down that resulted from it, and a slower economy offered opportunities that Henry’s entrepreneurial spirit could not refuse.

 

“Ongoing forest maintenance and harvesting schedules went on despite Covid,” Henry says.

“Suddenly we had an oversupply of thinnings and small diameter, short-length logs in the area. From experience, we invest when the market dips.

 

“We saw this as an opportunity to invest in a new line to build greater capacity,” Henry smiles.

 

Panbult Denne Saagmeule’s new Wood-Mizer TITAN line now boosting production to 120 m³/day.


What to buy?

Panbult’s checklist of requirements for the new line to suppliers bidding for the contract included innovation, speed – simplicity - automation, robust design, local spares and technical support and a can-do attitude, the ability to tick all these boxes vital to Panbult’s ability to makes the new line a success.

 

Innovate

“In 2019, a trip to Europe included a visit to Wood-Mizer’s manufacturing facility in Koło in Poland there stand at Ligna in Hannover, Germany. I liked what I saw,’’ Henry shares.

 

“The innovation across the range is impressive. The level of engineering and design, the production facilities - it was all an eye-opener. Wood-Mizer is going places. I liked what I saw.”

 

Infeed into the line. The material handling solutions that come with the TV2000 line has shrunk Panbult’s workforce on the line to only four workers.


Speed – Simplicity - Automation

“Panbult’s daily sawn timber output is roughly 120 m³/day. For us to meet that quota sawing small diameter, short-length logs we needed speed and accuracy. Estimates showed that Wood-Mizer TITAN TV2000 Twin Vertical Saw matched to a TITAN EG800 Edger/Multirip could deliver on that. Since installing the line, and still easing it into full production, the  line’s already delivered on its promise,” Henry confirms.

 

The simplicity of the process – cants ripped into board adds to the speed. The automation of the line also contributes to the speed, a slashed salary bill for only four workers a further bonus,” Henry adds.

The log loader standing ready for the next log with the log rotater turning each log to the best position before it is fed forward on the spiky feed chain through the cutting head.

 

Robust Design

“Panbult is located in a high rainfall and lightning strike area. The line’s electronic cut size control systems are robust, simple to fix and use which is ideal for our climate. The majority of the line is also mechanical, making it reliable and easy to maintain,” Henry continues.

 

Local Spares and Technical Support

“Spares for the line from Brazil has always been a problem, the delay getting spares from that country to SA slowing production down.

 

“With Wood-Mizer, it’s completely different. Weekly deliveries of consumables, blades, and spares from the company’s branches in Johannesburg and Nelspruit ensures full inventories and we don’t lose money with drawn out stoppages when we have technical issues.

Overhead hold-downs and side-supports accurately guides the cant as it exits the head with the sideboards discharged for recovery.


Wood-Mizer’s technical support is also exceptional. They go beyond the call of duty to keep us running,” Henry enthuses.

 

Can-Do Attitude

“Wood-Mizer has from the design, installation, commissioning, and now initial production phases never shirked from going the extra mile for us. Nothing is too much effort – the team’s can-do attitude is admirable. This is also not exclusive to Panbult. Nu Scotland and Churchill, my brother’s mills have the same level of service.” Henry concludes.

 

The pneumatic cant kicker kicks the cant from the outfeed onto the infeed into the EG800 multirip.


What’s in the tech

 

TV2000

The TV2000 is an efficient and affordable twin vertical primary breakdown solution to cut logs into a two-sided cant. 

The EG800 configured as a multirip splitting the cants into multiple boards. The simplicity and speed of the line contributes to the productivity that it offers.


It bridges the gap between narrow and wide-band technologies in the small to medium-sized sawmilling sector with customers having more flexibility to run wider blades for more performance, or narrower blades that makes for a simpler saw maintenance process.

TV2000 tech offerings:

  • Suitable for log diameters of between 120 – 400 mm and log lengths of up to 4.2 m
  • Feed speeds of up to 40 m/min
  • Manual or automated log loading
  • Cut stability and accuracy aided by various sharp chain options, pressurised overhead infeed rollers, outfeed hold-downs and side-supports for automated sideboard discharge
  • An automated log loader rotating each log to an optimal position before placement on the moving spiky feed chain.
  • Pneumatic cant kicker to discharge the cant from the line for further processing
  • Electronic cut size control for the operator to select a cut size with the machine automatically adjusting to that size. This makes log sorting before sawing unnecessary.

 

Additional utility:

  • Affordability: by offering heavy-duty sawmilling capacity at an affordable price, the range is accessible to small- and medium-sized sawmills
  • Customizable: the range empowers sawmillers to widen margins and extend efficiencies.
  • Varying blade widths: the units can run varying blade widths (50 to 80 mm) and can be customised further by opting for spring set, swage set or Stellite tipped (65 to 80mm wide) blades.
  • Heavy-duty feed mechanics is standard for the entire range
  • Simple maintenance and operation
  • Easy integration into existing lines with minimal disruption
  • The Hybrid range also slots in neatly between Wood-Mizer’s narrow bandsaw portable and industrial ranges and the TITAN 4 & 6-inch Twinband and Resaw bandsaw range. 

 

EG800

The TITAN EG800 Manual Board Edger is a robust edging and multirip solution for small and medium-sized sawmills.

Accurately sawn timber from the Wood-Mizer TITAN line ready for drying.


Designed to offer a two-fold solution, the EG800 can edge boards up to 40 mm thick or rip cants or blocks of up to 110mm thick into boards.

 

Used as a multirip at Panbult, the EG800 is configured as follows:

 

Model

EG800 (Configured as multirip)

Throat Width:

640- 900mm

Throat Height: (Max mat. thickness)

110 mm

Main saw motors:

30-55kW

Feed speed:

0-30 m/min

Arbor:

Single

Feed Rollers:

4 x bottom 2 x top

 

Final take

Henry Bruwer is a veteran sawmiller.

High quality sawn timber entering Panbult’s kilning facilities.

With an eye for backing the right horse and buying at the right time, he’s partnered with Wood-Mizer to bring innovation onboard, alleviate bottlenecks, opt for service to build and strengthen his business.

Watch this space.

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Welcome to the Newsroom for Wood-Mizer Africa! 

Here you will discover how Wood-Mizer sawmill owners worldwide are actively growing local economies by processing wood more sustainably and profitably. 

I invite you to contact myself to inquire more about Wood-Mizer or any of these articles. 

Etienne Nagel Wood-Mizer PR journalist Africa Asia
Content Specialist

Etienne Nagel
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