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Growth in sawmill investment – HewSaw seeing unprecedented demand

5 April 2023

Recent market conditions for wood products have many producers looking to upgrade their equipment and facilities with new technology and primary processing gear.

The past couple of years have been one of the busiest times ever experienced by HewSaw with many new projects being delivered from now through 2025.

“The current demand for our equipment is unprecedented,” says HewSaw Vice President, Tuomas Halttunen. “We are currently running at full speed at our factory in Finland. Fortunately, we have invested heavily in our factory over the past few years with new and modern equipment, including Robotics and we have been able to hire a number of new staff members, which is helping us to keep up with the demand.”

In Canada commissioning of two brand new machines is almost complete with both machines now processing logs.

In Fort St. James, British Columbia, Hampton Lumber selected a high-speed HewSaw SL200 3.3 line for their Fort St. James Forest Products mill.  The line replaces older equipment and is specifically designed for producing stud products (2.4 to 3 metre lengths). On the other side of the country in Cap-Chat, Quebec, Group Damabois chose a HewSaw R250 1.1.

HewSaw SL200 3.3

Both of the new lines are equipped with HewSaw’s standard 2R log positioner and V-Flight scanning conveyor. Scanning and optimization will be provided by HewSaw’s scanning partner Prologic+ and their process controls from EBI Electric.

The Fort St. James line also includes a bucking optimization system that will allow the line to run at speeds of up to 213M per minute, depending on log diameter.

On the other side of the Atlantic in HewSaw’s home country of Finland there are also several projects happening.  One of the largest projects currently on the HewSaw books is the new Metsä Fibre sawmill at Rauma on the west coast of Finland. Construction on the €200 million sawmill, which Metsä Fibre says is the “world’s most modern sawmill” started back in May 2020. As of early 2023, the mill is fully operational and will produce around 750,000 cubic metres of pine sawn timber annually.

Metsä Fibre says it’s sawmill at Rauma is the “world’s most modern sawmill”

The primary breakdown at the mill is handled by a HewSaw SL250 line with scanning and optimization from Canada-based Prologic+ and Finland-based Finnos.

Moelven, which is one of Scandinavia’s largest wood products companies with operations in Norway and Sweden and has an annual production volume of about 2 million cubic meters of wood products, is installing a new HewSaw SL250 3.3 line at its Edanesågen sawmill in Edane, Arvika, Sweden. The new line will be delivered in the Spring of 2024.

“With the new HewSaw line, our production costs at the Edanesågen mill will be significantly reduced while at the same time our saw yield will increase,” says Jörgen Olofsson, CEO of Moelven Edanesågen. “Looking forward, we have strong sales projections for our products and we are confident that wood will be the building material of choice in the ongoing environmental debate around building materials.”

Jörgen says he has followed HewSaw for many years and likes what he has seen. “We have been impressed by HewSaw when it comes to operational availability, dimensional accuracy of the sawn timber, flexibility in their sawlines, and the company’s knowledgeable staff and willingness to constantly develop new technology. Their new maintenance system is an example of the latter.”

Moelven has also chosen HewSaw for its investment at their Valåsen sawmill in Karlskoga, Sweden. Valåsen is the Group’s largest sawmill with an annual production of 375,000 cubic meters (225 million BF) of sawn wood products. A HewSaw R200 1.1 machine will be delivered to the mill in the Spring of 2024.

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