A new kiln delivered by the Swedish family-owned company Valutec Group AB has been built next to the old progressive kilns in Koskisen’s timber yard. Thanks to the investment, valued at nearly EUR 2 million, Koskisen’s drying capacity already exceeds 360,000 m3/year.
Drying capacity had been a bottleneck in production at Koskisen’s sawmill for years, and the capacity of the old dryers was stretched to the limit prior to the investment.
“Now it appears that soon we will need to do something about our sawing capacity in order to fill up the dryers,” says Project Manager Osmo Oksanen with satisfaction.
The new progressive kiln is ideal for the efficient and high-quality drying of both heartwood and boards. In terms of average tree species and dimensions, the kiln produces 62,000 m3 of shipping-dry timber a year, and even considerably more with the right dimensions.
“The new kiln is superior in terms of drying technology properties. For example, the pressure frames in the ceiling press down on the stack during drying, which helps keep the boards straight and reduces the moisture-content spread,” explains Mikko Pitkänen, Valutec’s Country Manager for Finland.
A new 103-metre-long progressive kiln was built as an extension of the old ones. The building is close to 12.5 metres tall and more than 7 metres wide.
“We wanted to take maximum advantage of the available space in terms of drying capacity, so we claimed a bit of space from the temporary storage,” says Oksanen.
The kiln delivery agreement was signed by Koskisen and Valutec in March 2015, and the first loads were processed as planned a year later, on the 2nd of March 2016.
The demanding project was well-managed: on-site meetings were held every two weeks to ensure good communication and the quick resolution of any problems.
“Matters were handled very systematically, with records of all the details kept, which made project management easier in all areas. We had a very strong common will to make this succeed,” says Pitkänen.
The construction work in the existing mill area demanded major advance planning, as well as knowledge of and modifications to the old infrastructure. A project team made up of specialists in various fields was set up to ensure that every area was covered.
“The project was completed with zero accidents, as we paid special attention to safety matters and started every site meeting with a safety review. Each member of the project team handled their part commendably and we managed to stick pretty closely to the schedule,” says Oksanen.