Koskisen Group15.09.2014

Järvelä sawmill invests in quality and efficiency

Osmo Oksanen, Production Manager at the sawmill

Osmo Oksanen, Production Manager at the sawmill

During the past summer, the Järvelä sawmill implemented two major investments: the by-products department was rebuilt from the chipper to the chip conveyors, and the sawing line automation system was upgraded to meet modern standards. Both investments improve quality and increase production volumes.

Major improvement in chip quality value

At the sawmill’s by-product department the chipper, screen and conveyors were rebuilt. The value of the investment is EUR 1.1 million. There had been plans to modernise the sawmill’s by-products department ever since the old frame saw was replaced by a circular saw in 1993.
“You always have to have plans ready in your back pocket for improving and maintaining the operational level,” says Osmo Oksanen Production Manager at the sawmill.

The old by-products department had been built for chipping the long sawing waste from the frame saw, whereas the new drum chipper is much better suited for the short trim ends. Placing the new equipment outside the sawing hall allows for further development of dimensional sorting in the future. Owing to the investment, the capacity of the by-products department was raised to the same level as the saw line’s.
“The quality value of the chips has increased clearly within just a few weeks of production, and its quality has improved significantly,” Oksanen points out.

New automation detects even the smallest of disturbances

The sawline automation system was entirely modernised. The new system helps to identify small disturbances more accurately.
“The speed of the sawline is sufficient, but small disturbances that lowered the utilisation rate were far too frequent. The new automation system enables us to analyse small disturbances that last less than a couple of minutes in more detail, which helps to improve production efficiency,” Oksanen explains.

The investment is partly tied to the sawline utilisation rate and increase in production. This allows the technology supplier to also benefit from a well-executed project.

Successful installations

Both projects got started smoothly, and the equipment were naturally test-run before actual production was started. On the morning of the production launch, both lines started up practically with the push of a button.
“Production was lagging behind for one day during the first week, but in the second week we already exceeded the budgeted volume,” says a clearly delighted Oksanen.

The high-pitched noise from the conveyor came as a surprise and caused some headache and problems, but within two weeks a temporary solution of “water lubrication” was found – the search for a final solution still continues.

More volume through operational efficiency

The production volumes of the Järvelä sawmill have been consistently on the rise for the past few years. More than 4.4 million cubic metres of sawn timber have been produced since the circular saw line was acquired in 1993.

Annual sawn timber production at Koskisen

Annual sawn timber production at Koskisen

The increase is the result of improved operational efficiency achieved in close co-operation between production and maintenance personnel. The investments carried out now will contribute to even better operations.

“There’s been major improvement in efficiency as we’ve been able to reduce the man hours used per cubic meter of sawn timber. We’ve been running the sawmill with the same number of personnel since 2007, when we started to work in three shifts,” Oksanen says.

Wood chips loading at Koskisen sawn mill

Wood chips loading at Koskisen sawn mill