NEUSCHMIED HOLZ: Value-Enhancing Strong Wood Reducer
20 to 70 cm is a considerable log diameter range for chipper lines to handle. Despite capability, the Neuschmied Holz sawmill in the Brixental valley had repeatedly reached its limits. However, a Strong Wood Reducer from Baljer & Zembrod now allows the company to process even thicker logs.
What does the perfect log look like? Forest owners and sawyers agree that it should be straight, knot-free, symmetrical and ideally also fine-grained. On the other hand, producers and processors often differ with regard to the dimensions. A massive tree, while a joy for the forester, often causes problems during subsequent processing. Neuschmied Holz, for example, sometimes bought logs that could not be processed on site.
Each year, Neuschmied Holz was receiving around 3,000 m3 of timber that was too large for its chipper line – and had to be cut to size via contract cutting. A fact that caused Managing Director Hansjörg Neuschmied a double headache. ‘On the one hand, we were missing out on added value, and on the other, we desperately needed the round timber’, he explained. The solution was the machine from Baljer & Zembrod – only the second of its kind ever built.
A 420 mm-wide reduction head with seven spirally arranged peeling rows processes the rotating, centrally clamped round timber section. The machine automatically removes wood in the right places as required. An excavator driver lifts the round timber onto two independently operating hydraulic lifting prisms and starts the machine via radio control. A laser scans the wood and the lifting devices move it to a starting position that is as centred as possible based on the collected data. Next, the clamping and rotation device fixes the round timber section at the front. Lengths of 2.9 to 5.9 m are possible at Neuschmied. Then the section begins to rotate and the reduction head, equipped with carbide tools, starts to do its job. Once the desired, previously defined dimensions are reached, the system automatically ejects the round timber into a specially designed concrete log box.
The whole process lasts several minutes. However, in contrast to classic butt end reducers, the throughput capacity does not play a decisive role. ‘Our excavator drivers feed the plant at the same time, which processes approximately 3,000 cubic metres per year independently of the rest of the sawing line. Thanks to the Strong Wood Reducer, there can never be a bottleneck’, says Neuschmied.
Manageable amortisation period
At Neuschmied, the system is only used for round timber sections that are slightly too large. Often, these are logs whose top end would still fit into the chipper line and are only too large due to the taper. In this case, it wouldn't make sense to mill the metre-thick sections down to 70 cm.
‘However, a main trunk is often only one to two centimetres too thick’, explains Neuschmied. In this case, the contract cutting and associated transport would result in higher costs than the losses incurred due to the milling. In terms of the payback period, the entrepreneur estimates seven to eight years. ‘If the plant continues to run as smoothly as before, the investment will have definitely paid off for us’, says Neuschmied with satisfaction.
1. Happy faces in Hopfgarten:
Karl Heinz Würtele (left) and Peter Schaeidt from Baljer & Zembrod (right) and Hansjörg Neuschmied
2. A laser measures the log before processing
3. The reducing head, equipped with carbide tools, brings the log to the correct diameter