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Family Sawmill Business Boosts Production with Wood-Mizer WM4000
Pennsylvania based Honey Grove Hardwoods gains competitive edge and maximizes yields with Wood-Mizer thin-kerf technology
By Chase Warner
Date Posted: 3/4/2014
In less than three months after taking ownership of the family sawmill business, 3rd generation owner Mike Junk and his brother-in-law Shawn Fowler made the changes necessary to compete and thrive in the lumber industry. By installing a Wood-Mizer WM4000 thin-kerf industrial headrig to replace their old circular sawmill, Mike and Shawn positioned Honey Grove Hardwoods LLC on the cutting edge of technology to increase efficiency, yield and profits for their business. Producing grade lumber for moulding, stair treads and flooring, the Pennsylvania based Honey Grove Hardwoods used a circular sawmill as the center of their operation for more than 70 years. Last year, Mike and Shawn came to the conclusion that their circular saw with conventional wide kerf blades had reached the end of the line. “We realized we were running outdated equipment when we weren’t getting the footage and grade yields that we thought we could get with thin-kerf technology,” Mike said.
Mike also noted that their operation with the circular sawmill forced the sawyer to do multiple jobs at once. “A vertical edger was positioned in front of the sawyer booth on our circular headrig, which meant the sawyer was also the one doing the edging,” Mike said. He explained that this process helped with saving costs on labor, but since the sawyer was rushed to saw as well as edge the lumber, it sacrificed quality and production.
Wanting to improve efficiency throughout their operation, Honey Grove Hardwoods added a Wood-Mizer Log Deck, Three-Way Conveyor, and Green Chain along with an EG400 edger to complement the WM4000 in their production line. “We put the whole Wood-Mizer system in starting with the Log Deck, which helps ease loading logs onto the WM4000. From there, logs are cut on the headrig and then moved from the built-in conveyor to the Three-Way Conveyor,” Mike said. “Material is transferred from the conveyor to the Green Chain and then to the EG400 edger for a very smooth transition from logs to accurate lumber.” With this system, the sawyer no longer has to be the edger, which improves efficiency and quality of materials.
Compared to their old circular sawmill operation, Mike said their yield has improved greatly with Wood-Mizer equipment. “The yield factor is amazing with thin-kerf producing only one-third the waste of our circle sawmill, plus you can slab smaller and lighter which increases usable lumber,” he said. Being able to produce more product from fewer logs also cuts down on transportation costs and increases the profit per log. “We are getting the same amount of lumber while using 25% less timber and raw materials, which in turn, reduces transportation costs across the board,” Mike said.
By taking advantage of Wood-Mizer thin-kerf technology, Mike and Shawn have positioned Honey Grove Hardwoods LLC to be competitive in the lumber industry for generations to come. “The WM4000 put us right back up to the competitive edge on utilizing and maximizing yields for our business,” Mike said.
To learn more about how you can step up your production with thin-kerf technology, visit www.woodmizer.com/industrial
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