Cooper Machine partners with Incomac Drying Systems to provide service and machines to the U.S. market.
Cooper Machine has been in the sawmill business for almost five decades. During that time, Cooper has found it helpful to customers to provide equipment from other manufacturers that complement Cooper’s machinery line. Cooper Machine is known for providing quality service and products, and it has carefully selected a few manufacturers to become partners whose standards are as good as its own. Cooper Machine is delighted for Incomac dry kilns to be included in its offerings.
Incomac, a well-known name in the drying industry, based in Italy, has been producing high quality dry kilns since 1975. With over 8500 installations during that time, Incomac has the experience needed to produce quality kilns that fit the application of each customer.
The IDV is Incomac’s newest innovation. What makes this kiln stand out from the rest is that it does not require any type of auxiliary heating system. There is no need for boilers, furnaces, electrical coils, heat exchangers, heat pumps, expensive vacuum chambers or microwave ovens. Anyone in the lumber drying business, or anyone contemplating drying lumber, knows that heat is required to dry lumber. Multiple fans create enough air flow to trigger the process of viscous dissipation, which is what actually generates the heat. The process of viscous dissipation is created by the turbulence and the friction of the air against the wood surface, which transforms the air into thermal energy.
For customers who do not want to put in a boiler and have to deal with the upkeep and regulations required with having a boiler, the IDV is a great fit.
The IDV has a chamber much like conventional kilns and is available in a variety of sizes from 8,500 bf up to 34,000 board feet. The IDV system is efficient, easy to maintain, and simple to operate, while drastically reducing maintenance costs. When you compare the operating cost of the IDV to conventional systems, results have shown as much as a 50% reduction in energy cost per board foot. Also, in most instances when you compare the drying times of hardwoods to conventional kilns, drying cycle times have been less with superior results in quality.
This kiln works best with hardwoods and pallets, but can also be used with softwoods, such as pine and cypress, when they are pre-dried. Poplar, even though it is considered a hardwood, is treated as a softwood due to its moisture content and should be pre-dried.
Incomac also produces pre-dryers. In warm and windy climates, it’s generally more economical for the customer to provide their own open air shelter. The disadvantages of this are higher inventory costs, because it will take longer to dry naturally, and also the inability to control the moisture.
For those not in ideal climates, Incomac’s pre-dryers allow the customer to pre-dry faster than natural air drying and also the customer doesn’t have as much inventory tied up at one time since batches can be added and removed at different times. The conditions of this pre-drier are very close to the conditions of natural drying, but with the added ability to control the air flow which speeds up the pre-drying process.
Incomac also has several other models of kilns available, and we will be glad to help you decide which dry kiln will work best in your application.
The ICD uses a thermal fluid, such as hot water, overheated water, steam or diathermic oil as the source of energy. The heat exchangers are composed of stainless steel pipes with extruded finning made of aluminum. Incomac’s design office adapts the technical characteristics of the drying units to the customers’ needs, so customers can be ensured that they are getting the kiln that will work best for them. Sizes are available from 1200 board feet (with Incomac’s junior models) up to 75,000 board feet.
Incomac’s TAG line uses natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, gas, or gas oil as the source of energy. The burner, which is located outside of the kiln, is connected to stainless steel heat exchangers installed in the upper part of the kiln. This kiln is suggested when the customer has access to gas and no boiler facility.
If a customer is need of a boiler or burner for the above models, it can be supplied by Incomac or Boilers, Burners and Controls out of Atlanta.
Incomac also produces the MAC line, which is a dehumidification kiln that uses a heat pump run on electricity. The consumed electricity is very low. When compared to air conditioning or refrigeration, the consumed energy is total, because both cold air, which is used to condense the water coming from the wood, and heat, which is used to warm the wood, is produced. Incomac is on its sixth generation of MAC kilns, which enables them to apply over 30 years of technological improvement and adaptations to the safety laws and the environment. There are eight sizes to dry lumber ranging from 12,000 to 25,000 board feet with varying numbers of ventilators.
Incomac’s PAL line is used to heat treat pallets. Some Incomac kilns are able to dry and heat treat both lumber and pallets. The heat treating option can be added to Incomac’s ICD, TAG and IDV kilns, and electronics and software that allow you to perform the thermal treatment at 132 degrees for thirty minutes is added. You are also able to record and certificate that the process was completed.
One company currently benefitting from the use of an Incomac ICD PAL model kiln is M&T Pallet Co., located in Beaumont, Texas. TimberLine spoke to Mike Woodson, then general manager of the company, regarding its operation. M&T Pallet Co. produces about 400,000 pallets a year, a combination of new and recycled pallets. The company heat treats not only the pallets that they produce, but also those of other small pallet companies in the area. The Incomac ICD model 100ST has the capacity to treat about five truckloads of pallets at a time, which is approximately 60,000 board feet of pallets.
The kiln is heated by wood waste primarily recovered from M&T’s own pallet operations. Though the Incomac ICD kiln can also dry lumber and pallets, it currently is only being used to heat treat pallets at M&T. Cooper Machine Co. Inc., provides service and parts to M&T, though it was not involved in the original installation. Woodson spoke highly of Cooper Machine. He said, “It has been great working with Frances Cooper. She is always more than helpful and stays in touch to update us on product news relative to the Incomac kiln line.”
Woodson also said that he really appreciates the professional service and courtesy extended to him by Cooper, especially being that M&T is a fairy small company. A distinctive optional feature of Incomac Dry Kilns is the “Incomac Heat Recovery System” used to maximize the amount of dried wood produced while minimizing energy use. Normally the main heat losses occur through the dampers that are installed, usually on the roof of the kiln. It is through the dampers that the hot saturated air inside the kiln is ejected to the outside and fresh air is taken in. The heat loss can be considerable, especially during the winter, and heat has to be continuously supplied inside the kiln in order to keep a constant temperature to allow the wood water evaporation.
Incomac can provide the Incomac Heat Recovery System as an option instead of dampers. The Incomac Heat Recovery System recovers the heat contained in the outgoing hot air and transfers it to the cooler incoming air. The free air circulation input/output through the dampers has been eliminated, and all air is channeled through an air exchanger. The heat exchanger, installed inside the dry kiln, absorbs the heat of the outgoing air and transfers it to the incoming air. In other words, the outgoing air is colder, and the incoming cooler air enters in the kiln warmer and with a lower relative humidity (more dry). The average heat recovery is estimated at 30%, but during the winter season, when the outside temperature is lower, the heat recovery is higher.
The staff at Cooper Machine can answer any questions you have about the line of Incomac dry kilns and pre-dryers, whether you are interested in replacing or adding to your current operations or whether drying lumber is a new venture for you. With a combination of Incomac dry kilns and the service you expect from Cooper Machine, this new partnership is a big plus for customers. For more information, visit www.coopermachine.com or call 478/252-5885.
Editor’s Note: “The preceding editorial was supplied and authorized by Cooper Machine Co.”