Tembec partners with Autolog for improvements at the sawmill and planer mill
17 July 2017
Tembec has reviewed and established a long-term capital plan with focus on the modernization of its sawmills. Investments are proposed to be completed in three phases with the objectives to move its sawmills into the 1st and 2nd quartile.
As part of phase 1, three projects were identified for the Hearst Ontario Operation to upgrade its optimization and control systems; a canter-twin optimizer, a curve cant optimizer and a linear planer optimizer.
Tembec Hearst, at 16' random lengths, produces 110 million bf/year on two shifts. The mill has and continues to have a lot of “good” low costs – high payback projects. With the support of Autolog, the mill decided to explore vendor financing with the idea to maximize the cash flow situation. The idea was to structure the payments so that the monthly project benefit exceeds the monthly payment.
Autolog stepped up to the plate and partnered with Tembec. The first project consisted of a curve cant sawing optimizer. It was implemented in a stage fashion in order to reduce the risk to a minimum for both enterprises. They supplied new scanning, optimization & controls on an existing Newnes McGehee 10-inch curve sawing "wiggle box" gang edger.
Tembec’s scanning, optimization and controls were more than 15 years old with no spare parts or service available. The machine lost some functionality when restarted with used spare parts, in addition to the line freezing and experiencing major downtime incidents.
For both sawmill projects, the canter-twin and the McGehee curve sawing wiggle box, Autolog supplied their new modular scanner frame which allowed for an easy installation and removal of the old frame, especially in a tight environment. These frames offer the strength of a conventional steel frame with the exception that it is built at the scanner location piece by piece. The scanners were supplied by Hermary Opto from Coquitlam, BC.
The impact on the mill was substantial, they increased uptime on the line, increased the percentage of 16' lumber by 3%, increased the volume recovery by 2.5%, increased the value recovery by 3% and they reduced the gap to further increase production.
A similar approach was taken for the other two projects at the mill: the replacement of the optimization and controls at the canter-twin and the upgrade of their Autolog ProGrader linear planer optimizer.