Image

Kaituna Sawmill – a good look inside a sawmill

22 February 2019

A sawmill tucked away in a forested corner near Blenheim at the top of the South Island, New Zealand, is not so quietly producing a large chunk of the timber used for the country’s houses, decks, fences and furniture.

Nelson Forests harvests about 1.2 million cubic metres of raw logs, and Kaituna Sawmill produces 65,000 cubic metres of high-grade, market-ready timber each year. About half is sold domestically, while a quarter each goes to Australia and countries consuming more timber than they produce.

The journey from tree to timber is not the dangerous, strenuous job it once was, but a smoothly automated dance of saws, claws and conveyer belts, supervised by people in high-vis, hard hats and earmuffs.

Boilerman Don Boon says when he started at the Kaituna Sawmill 27 years ago the labourers were “pretty rough and ready” and injuries happened “all the time”. “You’d have to be a dummy to injure yourself now,” Boon says.

“It’s not really physical work now; it’s more monitoring and computers. It’s much more enjoyable. You barely have to touch the wood anymore, so you have time to optimise, to think, ‘how can I do this better?'”

Boon monitors his “babies” from home, with a real-time camera in the boiler fire streaming live to his cellphone. A software expert does repairs remotely from Europe. “These new gadgets are the best thing to happen in the boiler industry. I thought I would never get my head around it, but you do. You’re learning all the time.”

Click here for the full story

Source: stuff.co.nz

Read More
Image

Earlybird rates end TODAY

Earlybird rates end this Friday for Environmental Forestry Conference On 25-26 June, ourFIEA Annual Environmental Forestry Conference is running. Registrations are going very well. We bring practical foresters together with local regulators and national policy-makers to debate and bring constructive ...
Read more
Image

Decarbonising transport & logistics

New Zealand environmental specialist, Toitū, recently held a panel to discuss how New Zealand’s transportation and logistics industry, the nation’s second-largest emissions source, can take effective climate action. They shed light on the critical pressures facing supply chains and how to respond ...
Read more
Image

FIEA wood residues conference: time for action

Low carbon economies, extreme weather events, and building resilient domestic supply chains are critical issues in 2024 and beyond. In New Zealand, this has created opportunities for the forestry sector, including significant investments in forest residues. Harvesting regulations are mandating more wood be collected from the forest ...
Read more
Image

Calling all NZ loader operators – be part of this study

Driven by mechanisation, traditional career pathways in forestry crews are evolving. As part of the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme, ‘Te Mahi Ngahere i te Ao Hurihuri – Forestry Work in the Modern Age’, the Scion Human Factors research group ...
Read more
Image

Kiwi bird surprises at Rosvall Sawmill

Workers at Rosvall Sawmill near Whangārei, New Zealand, had an unexpected visitor, a fully grown kiwi bird. The bird casually strolled into the mill early one Monday morning, and spent a few hours exploring the premises before it found a ...
Read more
Image

Every second counts

During hot and dry periods, there is a serious risk of wildfires. Moreover, a single spark can be enough to start one, in which case every second counts. Having fire extinguishing equipment close at hand can make all the difference ...
Read more
Image

Superhuman AI – smarter than every human by 2025

Billionaire tech boss Elon Musk has recently predicted that superhuman artificial intelligence (AI), surpassing human intellect, could become a reality as soon as next year. If this kind of prediction becomes true, are humans ready to embrace that machines can ...
Read more
Image

Swiss develop drone to explore forest canopy

Inspired by cockroaches, Swiss researchers have developed a new drone which can push away obstacles and move past them. In the future, it will be used to measure biodiversity in remote areas. Environmental monitoring in areas with dense vegetation is ...
Read more
Image

NZ forestry H&S statistics updated – March 2024

Safetree NZ has released their H&S stats dashboard for March 2024. WorkSafe provides statistics on forestry fatalities and workplace incidents. These investigations help inform us of any key issues or trends as they come to light. Overall, there is a downward trend ...
Read more