Friday, May 22, 2009

Our Website, Brochure Receive Design Honors

We are very proud to announce that our new website and brochure received honors in the 19th annual Genesis Awards.

Our website won First Place in the category of World Wide Web, and our brochure won Second Place in the category of Brochures/Catalogs.

The Communications Association of the Southern Tier sponsors the awards. You can see the full list of winners on the organization's website.

We would also like to thank our friends at GrafiQa Creative Services, who produced the piece.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Installation of new head band saw

Over the last several months we have been busy preparing our sawmill for the installation of a state-of-the-art, double-cut band head saw. The saw itself was installed last week, and the project is scheduled for final completion by the end of May. We'd like to share with you more about how this new equipment will improve our operations and how we accomplished its installation.

Improved technology: Circular saws vs. Band saws
(First image: Circular saw , Second image: Band saw)

In a sawmill, the "head saw" refers to the sawing equipment responsible for making the initial cuts in a log.

As opposed to the circular head saw we had in operation for decades, this new piece of equipment is a band saw. The difference between the two is a circular saw rotates in a circular cutting motion, similar to a table saw. A band saw consists of a continuous band of metal with teeth along one or two edges (our new saw has teeth along both edges). The metal band rides on two wheels which rotate in the same plane. While some mills still use circular head saws, they are somewhat outdated and offer fewer capabilities compared to band saws.
Increased capabilities and efficiencies this band saw offers include:
* Ability to saw larger logs - up to 42" diameter
* Ability to cut logs in both directions (forward and reverse) as they pass by the saw on our log carriage - increasing efficiency
* Ability to produce more Quarter Sawn materials
* Ability to decrease the load on our existing, downstream band saw by
transferring some of the cutting to the new band saw
* One half the saw kerf as the circular head saw, resulting in more lumber, less waste, and less power consumption. The new band saw has a saw kerf of .13", as opposed to the circular saw which has a saw kerf of .25".
Preparation of the site:
The preparation of our sawmill involved demolition work and the relocation of all saw maintenance operations (sharpening and leveling). As our saws require routine maintenance every 4 hours each day, relocating these activities to an area directly above our sawing facility allows our maintenance crew to perform its job with greater ease and efficiency.

Installation day:
A hole large enough to accommodate the saw was cut in the roof of our new sawmill building. This allowed for the saw to be lifted up over the building and placed down into the head saw location. (Our head saw is actually located in the center of the building, therefore transporting the saw in through the doors or side of the building was not feasible). To lift the 17,000 pound saw up and into place, a 100 ton crane was required. The entire process was completed quite smoothly in approximately 3 hours. We expect to have the new saw running by the end of May, and hope to have any glitches worked out by early July.

If you have not yet visited our plant, please feel free to stop in for a tour or take our online virtual tour!

Installation pictures:
1. Crane lifting band saw
2. Band saw in position over roof
3. Band saw in place in sawmill