Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Sudwalaskraal near the world-famous Sudwala Caves in South
Africa’s Mpumalanga Province is home for Sun Pallets, an FSC-certified supplier
of pallets and structural timber to local and export markets.
Sun Pallet’s growth since its start in 1997 has been
consistent. The husband and wife business of Willie and Glynnis Coetzee first
focussed on pallets with structural timber following later.
Sun Pallet’s appointment as an approved pallet supplier
to a global supply chain solutions provider, underscored the mill’s fast rise
Further diversification with finger-jointed and
wet-off-saw structural material saw Sun Pallets refocussing on the lucrative
structural timber supply market by 2014.
The 2019 installation of the Wood-Mizer TITAN WB2000 PRO strengthened
Sun Pallets’ structural timber production capacity even further and also highlighted
the company’s trusted relationship with Wood-Mizer since 1993.
Production benefits of WB2000
The commissioning of the WB2000 resulted from Sun
Pallet’s re-evaluation of its structural timber production processes.
At the time, two Wood-Mizer LX450 twin rail sawmills
delivered the bulk of the structural timber exiting the mill.
The LX450’s six-meter bed-lengths was ideal for this task,
but Sun Pallets needed to improve and consolidate the material flow through the
mill, become more flexible to adapt to fast-changing economic conditions and
market requirements and reduce costs and become more profitable.
Wood-Mizer’s WB2000 PRO was key to achieving these goals.
The six-meter long log lengths are easily processed on the heavy-duty bedframe of the WB2000 with the unit’s hydraulic log handling features providing optimal positioning before cutting
Improvements to material flow were immediate. The WB2000
and remaining LX450 provided for simple, fast and linear material flows out of
both mills that didn’t need expensive manual inputs to unscramble and direct
towards secondary processes. The added production capacity coming off the
WB2000 also exceeded the mill’s previous output significantly.
The flexibility of both mills to produce different sizes
across single or multiple shifts gave Sun Pallets the room it needed to respond
rapidly to changes in the market and specific size requirements.
The outfeed conveyor and log pusher on the WB2000 removes the long board lengths without manual input, all these features aiding material flow and increased production
Sun Pallets’ overall profitability also benefitted. A
lower wage bill and more nimble and responsive crews that can be deployed where
needed assisted in this regard. Less disruption from load shedding also boosted
overall productivity, each machine working in a ring-fenced area with access to
Additional and unforeseen benefits from WB2000’s
commissioning also aided productivity and profitability.
The Wood-Mizer WB2000 PRO, which is typically only used
in advanced timber economies, became available to Sun Pallets at a cost that
compares well with the less expensive WB2000 EC used in emerging markets.
The simple and highly efficient material flow is finalised with board lengths that are edged before being stacked. The sides with wane are used for pallet components.
According to Sun Pallets’ Willie Coetzee, “the electronic
controls of the WB2000 are highly robust and easy to use and understand.
Operator training was very easy and
was completed in less than a week. Wood-Mizer 75 mm wide band blades used on
the WB2000 has been very stable.
The easy-to-use controls and strategically positioned operator station of the WB2000 put all the controls for accurate decision-making at the operator’s fingertips.
“I have been very impressed with the Wood-Mizer blades
that we use on the unit,” Willie continued.
“We’ve had low consumable costs, and with regular
maintenance, our expenses on upkeep has been minimal.
“The WB2000 is also extremely robust with output from the
mill easily exceeding our previous output with a lot of reserve capacity still
available to improve,’’ Wille said.
What is in the machine
The WB2000 is a high production sawmill
that offers heavy-duty construction matched with low maintenance requirements,
efficient operation, and maximum flexibility.
The twin post sawmill head, large throat and
heavily engineered sawmill bed of the WB2000 makes the unit an attractive
solution for managing medium to large logs (≤ 6-tons) and log lengths of between 1.2 and 8.2 meters.
A 22kW electric motor is standard, and a
30kW motor is optional.
Computer setworks and a raised operator
control station allows a single operator to manage all sawing and log handling
functions while maintaining a clear view of his work. The WB2000 features a
19cm (17.5”) HMI touch-screen operating screen that displays board and cant sizes along with current head height,
feed position, and blade power.
High-value wet-off sawn structural timber being readied for transportation to local and export markets.
Two joysticks provide
the operator with precise control of all sawing and log handling functions and
feature proportional hydraulic head speed control.
All hydraulic log
handling functions such as the log clamps, chain turners, and power rollers are
modular, and can also be moved to different positions as needed.
To get the best out of the Wood-Mizer WB2000 Industrial sawmill, the
use of a 100mm wide bandsaw blade is recommended. However, the band wheels can
accommodate a 75mm wide blade too.
When using 75 mm blades (available with 22.22 mm and 28.50 mm
tooth spacing) the sawmill is especially cost-efficient in terms of blade maintenance
who already use wide bandsaw equipment can easily maintain the 100 mm (3,
5") wideband bandsaw blades of the WB2000 on existing bandsaw blade
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