New Valutec Kiln Control System Automates, Optimizes Drying

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Valutec, a supplier of lumber dry kilns and control systems, announced the launch of its Valmatics 4.0 control system, which will enable sawmills around the world to automate and optimize drying in all types of lumber kilns.

The Valmatics 4.0 control system utilizes simulators programmed with data from hundreds of thousands of measurements to enable the calculation of drying processes with precision accuracy from beginning to end. It provides a high quality lumber drying process and high quality lumber.

“Sawmills want to streamline production while also ensuring the quality of every product,” said Thomas Waming, Valutec director of research and development. “This calls for intelligent automation, and we have developed it.”

Valmatics 4.0 provides the kiln operator with the help and support necessary to optimize the drying process. “This means gains at several levels as operators have more time to focus on quality-critical operations such as sampling and checks,” said Thomas.

Valutec developed Valmatics 4.0 based on dialogues with the sawmill industry. It builds on Valutec’s proprietary Valmatics control system, which has the ability to simultaneously optimize quality, capacity, and energy.

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“Valmatics 4.0 is a further development of Valmatics and also a result of the way sawmills have changed up until today,” said John Karbin, automation manager at Valutec. “We must not only be able to optimize the drying processes for new types of kilns, such as the TC progressive kiln, but also take full advantage of the information generated from business and package management systems. This is how we help make production chains more robust and quality-assured.”

The increased automation made possible by intelligent simulators is also necessary to take full advantage of the increasingly popular TC progressive or continuous kilns, in which drying can take place in parallel in up to 14 different zones with different conditions, such as various lumber dimensions and moisture content.

“This is not something people can do themselves without system support in the form of automation,” added John. “Our simulators mean calculations are extremely precise when we know the input moisture content. This creates confidence in the process and a less stressful work situation for the kiln operator.”

Valmatics 4.0 is an allusion to Industry 4.0, a name for the trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing and sometimes referred to the fourth Industrial Revolution.

“We know that sawmills are working incredibly hard to develop their markets and take market share away from other materials,” said Robert Larsson, Valutec CEO. “We’re proud to be a partner who facilitates this development through our world-leading lumber kilns, control systems and support.”

The benefits of Valmatics 4.0 are:

  • Simulates the optimal drying schedule based on Valutec’s 60 years of experience in lumber drying and hundreds of thousands of past drying cycles from customers around the world.
  • Eliminates the need of in-kiln lumber moisture measurements. No more probes, no more hot checks.
  • Fully adaptive system. The software compares the simulations and the current operation of the kiln and – if necessary – adjusts the kiln in real time.
  • Extremely low final standard deviations.

“With Valutec’s first North American installation at Pleasant River Lumber in Maine, customers in Canada and the United States will now be able to see the future of lumber drying right here and right now,” said Ingo Wallocha, managing director of Valutec Wood Dryers Inc.’s North American operations.

Valutec is a Swedish-based company with North American operations headquartered near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. For more information about Valmatics 4.0 or other Valutec products, visit www.valutec.ca, call (416) 640-7478, or email ingo.wallocha@valutec.ca.