Sawmill Process

The mill processed timber (roundwood) for sawn timber is of different dimensions and qualities. The goal is to best take advantage of the raw material stock and to be able to meet the requirements on boards and planks for customers and end-users. The entire log also generates by-products, such as bark, sawdust and chips, finding their outlets as a source of energy and as a raw material for the paper industry. A modern medium-sized sawmill contains sub-processes: timber intake, debarking, root reduction, sawing, rough grading, drying, alignment and sorting, packing and storage.

Modern Timber Processing - Technical Development and Automation

Large investments in the modernization of sawmills have resulted in automated high speed manufacturing technology. This enables the sawmills to produce high quality products according to customer demands in an efficient way. The process is often fully automated and computerized - from debarking the logs to drying the sawn timber. In the most high-tech mills, operatives are there only to ensure the smooth-running of the processes.

Modern sawmill

The sawmill process in European countries are similar or more or less the same, though specific requirements can be different. Set Sweden as an example. There is a long tradition of woodworking in Swedish industry, ensuring high quality in production. The labour force is well educated, with the skills to operate highly automated and computerized production units. Information technology is exceptionally advanced and is used extensively. Therefore, Sweden has been one of the leading roles in Europe and the world of woodworking industry.

Production is dependent on sawing technology, the raw material and the final requirements of the produced products. Swedish sawmills have high productivity as a result of the continuous development and modernization of the industry. Basically all sawn timber is kiln dried; 50% is dried in compartment kilns and 50% in progressive kilns. Compartment kilns have become more common in response to market demands for lower and more accurate moisture content.

Sawmill process
Sawmill process
Modern sawmill
Inside view of a Swedish modern sawmill factory

 
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