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Optimising cross-cut saws increase volume and value recovery


May 2022 Optimising cross cut 1 from Sawmilling South Africa
The selflevelling cabin of the 1910E forwarder is welcomed by operators

The technical team at Pinnacle-SA, led by managing director Neil Murray, is known for its log and wood processing insight. Their practical approach to research, innovation and development assists the industry in streamlining production systems, thereby improving efficiency and productivity.

Murray says sawmill owners are under enormous pressure to improve volume recovery from their logs. He believes sawmills need “flexible and modern systems to increase efficiencies at every point of production.”

Schalk Grobbelaar at the University of Pretoria and JK Visser published an analysis of South African sawmilling competitiveness last year. They found that “the competitiveness of sawmills is influenced by various aspects including raw material costs, available technologies, target markets, operational costs, the marketability of by-products and conversion effectiveness.”

Pinnacle-SA is South Africa’s foremost local manufacturer of logyard, wetmill, automated materials handling and value-adding technologies and systems. Last month, WoodBiz Africa described how Pinnacle’s integrated semi- and fully-automated materials handling systems enhance workflow for five customers. 

In this issue, Murray explains how adding an optimising cross-cut saw with infeed and outfeed tables can increase volume and quality recovery.

The sensors detect the luminescent chalk marks

The upgraded high feed-speed Pinnacle X-Cut has
additional hold-downs to keep material in place

Sawmills that optimise their raw materials are
more competitive

An optimising cross-cut saw is an essential part of the timber value-adding process. The Pinnacle X-Cut provides options to:

  • Cut boards to specified fixed lengths
  • Cut standard or random lengths between defects
  • Cut fixed lengths between defects

The operator or graders use luminescent chalk to mark defects on the timber pieces. The infeed sensors detect the board edges and chalk mark luminescence, and the saw accurately cuts on the marked lines to eliminate the defects. The operator can also enable front or rear trim.

“We have upgraded our popular Pinnacle X-Cut machine by picking its brains to increase the feed-speed dramatically. Additional hold-downs keep the timber firmly in place during feeding and cutting and ensure an accurate cut,” Murray explains.

Another new feature is the ability to cut fixed lengths between defects. The feature is toggled on or off to recover high-value, defect-free boards for customers. Alternatively, the machine cuts random lengths for downstream processing by a Pinnacle horizontal finger-jointing line.

Murray concludes, “an optimising cross-cut saw extracts the most value from every piece of timber, which opens new market possibilities for the sawmill.”

Reference: S Grobbelaar, JK Visser: An analysis of South African sawmilling competitiveness. Southern Forests Vol 83, Issue 1, 2021.

Written by: Joy Crane
Source: WoodBiz Africa Magazine

Apirl 2022

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