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Brunner Hildebrand Debuts GreenKilns and Continuous Kilns in the USA

Besides improving drying quality, technological developments from Brunner Hildebrand has cut energy costs and reduced climate emissions associated with lumber drying. Global leader in drying technology looks to increase its presence in North America, especially with continuous drying kilns designed especially for large sawmills and lumber producers.

By Chaille Brindley
Date Posted: 6/1/2013

 BrunnerHildebrand, a global leader in lumber drying technology, is introducing itsContinuous Dry Kilns line and GreenKilns® at the Forest Products Machinery& Equipment Expo in Atlanta on June 5-7th. 

 BrunnerHildebrand Continuous Dry Kilns are ideal for big sawmills with standardizedlumber dimensions and qualities. The design allows a continuous flow ofmaterial through the system which boosts productivity as well as saves energy.

 GreenKilnsoffer state-of-the-art technology to reduce CO2 emissions by 15-25% whilesaving significant energy consumption with no greater cost than traditionalkilns. These technologies are catching on in Europe and are the next stepforward for U.S. forest products companies. Given all the focus onsustainability and reducing environmental impacts of production processes, theGreenKilns technology is an important development for the industry.


Continuous KilnsBoosts Efficiency and Improves Drying Quality for Large Producers

 Insteadof the traditional kiln approach with separate chambers that are loaded andtreated one at a time, the continuous dry kiln design, connects multiplechambers to facilitate the process and reduce wasted heat energy. Materialmoves along the conveyance system so that it is loaded on one end and finishedmaterial comes out the other side. These systems benefit from the continuousavailability of lumber without long loading and unloading times. The drying isintegrated with logistics of the plant without the need for lots of additionalstorage. Also, you can achieve thermal and electrical savings with thecontinuous kiln system compared to conventional kilns.

 Thisassembly line approach to drying has taken off with the development ofmega-sized sawmills around the globe. Brunner Hildebrand offers four systemsizes to meet the needs of various customers. The Hildebrand Continuous BasicKiln (CBK) is the most basic design in this series. It only has one drying zoneand works with the counter flow principal, the direction of the air is againstthe feeding direction. The further down the lumber packs are clocked, the moreaggressive the climate gets and the higher the temperature gets. This issimilar to the natural drying rate of the lumber. Hildebrand Continuous MasterKiln (CMK) has two heating zones, which increases drying capacity and improvesoverall quality. The first zone works with counter flow principal. The secondzone works with the continuous flow principal, which means that climate andtemperature are getting milder at the end of the drying zone.

 HildebrandContinuous Excellence Kiln (CEK) comes with four zones and is suitable for eventhe most sophisticated drying task. By adding two zones in the front and backof the zones, the so-called assimilation zones, drying quality is improved overthe CMK design. The entering zone can be used as a heating up and defrostingzone whereas the exiting zone is the reconditioning and cooling down zone. Thisdesign includes piping that links the entering and exiting zone to ensure themost efficient use of the available thermal energy. By use of a special freshair baffle, climate and temperature in the entering and exiting zone can becontrolled further to improve drying quality.

 HildebrandContinuous Premium Kiln (CPK) with its airflow across the feeding direction andits reversible fans, this design combines the quality drying of a conventionalpackage kiln with the high capacity of a continuous dry kiln. With BrunnerHildebrand’s green kilns fans and green kilns channels, CPK assures the optimaluse of thermal energy.


GreenKilns TechnologyCuts Energy Costs While Benefitting the Environment

 Dryinglumber can require a tremendous amount of energy, which is why improvement inheating efficiencies can not only help the bottom line, it can also benefit theenvironment by reducing CO2 emissions. With over 150,000 dry kilns worldwide,which create 40 million tons of CO2 emissions each year, there is significantopportunity to cut emissions. By using Hildebrand’s GreenKiln technology, thecompany estimates that emissions can be reduced by the equivalent of removingup to three million cars.

 Sincekilns can now be viewed as an interconnected system, the amount of wasted heatand excess heat required can be reduced, which saves energy and limits thetotal impact on the environment. Sophisticated computer controls help to managetemperature, air humidity and air to reduce the total drying time required. 

 Withthe GreenKiln design, valuable energy is not simply extruded out the exhaustvent, it stays in the system. The heat recovery unit with this new dryingsystem is built into the design instead of being attached to the outside of thekiln. Brunner Hildebrand suggests that external heat recovery units lose theirefficiency through the years due to wood dust and other deposits, such asresin.

 Anotherinnovation in the GreenKiln system is the decoupling of fresh and exhaustvents, which tend to be synchronized in conventional kilns. The fresh andexhaust vents, which are synchronized in conventional drying systems, are nowdecoupled. This new approach avoids the problem of “dead heat” withoutadditional costs. Dead heat occurs when airflow is heated up after it exits thetimber stack. Fresh air adds from the ambient. Behind the fans an already warmair flow exits the exhaust vents without contributing to the performance of thekiln system.

 Afterconditioning timber, the GreenKiln cools down finished material to a feasibleend temperature. In conventional dry kilns this valuable “reservoir heat” atthe end of the process is lost to the environment. But the GreenKiln systemcaptures and uses this heat energy.


Brunner HildebrandExtends Sales Footprint and Capabilities in North America

 Withmore than 15,000 Brunner Hildebrand kilns in operation around the globe, thecompany has become a leader in the lumber drying market. And it is working toincrease its market share and presence in North America. 

 BrunnerHildebrand has made major moves to solidify its position in the North Americanmarket. Brunner Hildebrand recently secured an order for a new dry kiln fromMiddle Tennessee Lumber Co., a hardwood sawmill offering lumber, flooring andmoulding to domestic and international clients.  Middle Tennessee Lumber selected BrunerHildebrand because of the supplier’s extensive knowledge of drying technologyand superior control systems.

 Toservice its expanding customer base, Brunner Hildebrand has moved into a biggerfacility in Nashville, Tenn. for parts storage and servicing customers withovernight delivery. Brunner Hildebrand’s U.S. service contact, MatthiasHarnisch, has been working with customers for over 35 years. He can be reachedfor parts and service at 877/ 852- 6299. 

 Almosttwo years ago, Brunner Hildebrand named Jeff Cowley to its U.S. sales team.Jeff is based in Jacksonville, Fla. and is an expert in kilns and sawmillingequipment with more than 30 years of experience. You can contact Jeff bycalling 904/707-3425.

 You canvisit the Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Expo in Atlanta on June5-7th and find out more about thesedrying technologies by stopping by booth #553. 

 Or youcan see the videos on


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