USNR Develops New Technologies: Carrier Lumber Benefits at Planer Infeed Line

- Advertisement -

USNR has continued to develop innovative solutions in recent years to serve lumber mills around the world


In early 2013 USNR was awarded the contract to install a world-class planer infeed system at Carrier Lumber’s Tabor mill at Prince George, BC, to increase the throughput to match the speed of the planer. At the same time Carrier wanted to reduce downtime and the reliance on human intervention. Working toward those same goals USNR had developed new technology that Carrier was eager to incorporate. The result is a planer infeed line that reflects inspired innovation, improving production significantly and reducing downtime, as well as the draw on resources.

Bill Kordyban, Carrier Lumber, reiterated that the goals for the new planer infeed line were increased production, smooth operation and labor savings. He commented, “Production has increased by approximately 15% and is continually rising. Downtime has dropped, and we no longer operate with a planer feeder.”

He also commented about the success of some key components in the line. “The Continuous Tilt Hoist works better and smoother than we anticipated.” He continued, “On the Virtual Lug Loader with MillTrak control, our technicians need to become better versed with it. It is a gem to watch.”

- Advertisement -

The Tabor mill is well positioned with a new front end to its planer line. Bill’s plans for the future include investments to automate further down the line and handle the increased production the planer mill is realizing with its new infeed.


More New Technologies from USNR

USNR has continued to develop innovative solutions in recent years to serve lumber mills around the world. Following are some of its latest achievements:


Modular Debarking – Easy Maintenance Design

The CamShift 600 is a modular debarking system that combines debarking and flare reducing in a single, modular machine. CamShift is available with or without flare reducing, with one or two debarking rotors. The system can accommodate feeding up to 500 ft./min. with two debarking rotors, and offers three rotor size options.

CamShift offers both log-releasing tools and tool pressure adjustment during operation. The manually adjusted flare reducer rotor is infinitely adjustable for reduced diameters up to 22 inches. Set-up, maintenance, and tool changes are a breeze with its modular, pull-out design. Variations accommodate minimum log length and top or butt-end feeding.


Vision Tilt

Vision Tilt, developed by Söderhamn Eriksson, improves lumber sizes as well as saw blade service life. The patent-pending system controls saw blades by actively tilting the band wheels and can easily be installed on new or pre-existing band saw lines. It is available for processors in every region, processing any species, in any region worldwide.

What makes Vision Tilt unique is that it detects deviations from the normal band saw position in real time with very high accuracy. Using vision technology, it measures exactly how large the deviation is and triggers the band wheel tilt to rectify the saw band position. The camera itself C is placed behind a guard so that it cannot be damaged by saw band rupture or the like.

The equipment includes a vision camera placed on the protected return side of the saw blade. Level with the upper band wheel’s center, the camera monitors the saw teeth position in relation to the band wheel’s front edge. Incorrectly aligned saw blades over time generate cracks in the tooth base as well as wear on band wheels and saw guides. Vision Tilt actively corrects the saw band’s position on the band wheel, which not only minimizes wear but also improves sawing accuracy.

Besides the camera, Vision Tilt also includes a PLC with software for monitoring and adjustment. The surveillance images from all saws are displayed on one and the same screen for the operator’s visual information. The intelligent saw band control system alerts the operator to faults such as saw bands showing signs of imminent rupture.


Cut-N-Two Innovation-No Skip a Lug

This revolutionary concept yields big gains in production. Conventional systems demand that a lug space is created for every board that is cut-n-two, to accept one half of the board. This requires the line to run faster to handle additional boards that are produced.

As part of a recent project, USNR introduced a cut-n-two configuration that does not require the need to skip a lug. The new design allows the line to run at a consistent speed, while the mill expands its range of products and puts more wood in the sorter without a throughput penalty, and without increasing planer speed or labor. The improvements implemented at this mill removed significant bottlenecks, allowed it to expand its range of products, and reduce its operating hours.

After the board is cut in half at the trimmer both halves remain in the same lug space. The far end half of the cut-n-two board is diverted up an elevator where it is even ended to the clear line. Meanwhile the near end board remains on the lower deck and even ended to the lumber line, it travels up an incline and the two boards are merged again into the same lug space at the top, just prior to entering the sorter.

At the sorter, the clear line cut-n-two boards are diverted into the first sort bins along the clear line. All the full length boards and lumber line cut-n-two boards are diverted into downstream bins along the lumber line. Once the clear line cut-n-two boards reach the stacker infeed, a long rollcase shifts them to the stacker’s lumber line.


Continuous Tilt Hoist

The tilt hoist has evolved over time, with the latest design capable of unstacking up to 22 tiers of lumber per minute, depending on package size. USNR’s Continuous Tilt Hoist allows a smooth, continuous flow of kiln dried lumber to the planer mill infeed. The main hoist can work alone if required, and a secondary hoist can be added as an upgrade to an existing hoist for continuous actuation. The design incorporates linear transducers and servo valves, actuated from the PLC, for continuous performance with no inhibitions based on environment (temperature, etc.). The system includes a lugged let-down spill chain for robust board management, and a bias adjustment for leveling the package. It also includes an optional frost breaker to handle frozen loads.


Virtual Lug Loader

The Virtual Lug Loader (VLL) is a unique and revolutionary, all-electric board feeding solution. It uses a system of belts in combination with MillTrak lumber flow control to quickly and efficiently load boards into lugs. The simple design requires no overhead feeding apparatus; it is fitted with a series of belts that are progressively adjusted to separate, then feed the boards into lugs. Individual servo motors on each belt allow the machine to pull a gap between boards to correct skews before feeding into lugs. The system operates at speeds up to 200 lugs/minute and is setup to run each of the product widths at the optimum speed and timing to minimize user intervention.


New Mobile Technology Applications

With 25 MyMill™ Mobile Control systems sold globally in just two and a half years for debarking, edging, sorting, and planing applications, its catching on as a time and-money-saving solution for streamlining mill operations. USNR extended this mobile machine control capability to the optimization realm with a revolutionary new application of the MyMill Mobile Interface that delivers remote access to the customer’s optimizer system, in real time. Now you can take it all with you; log scans and optimizer solutions, reports, sensor diagnostics, and more. Mill managers gain freedom through mobile interaction with their optimizers. The system is also available for lumber drying applications where it can be used to remotely control the drying process.



MillTrak™ lumber flow control oversees the process to facilitate a smooth, continuous flow. The 30 systems sold last year contribute to well over 100 systems that USNR customers have ordered.


Transverse High Grader: Green and Dry Grading Applications

USNRs versatile auto-grading solution, the Transverse High Grader (THG) can be configured for automated planer mill applications grading dry lumber, as well as sawmill applications grading green flitches and boards. Customers include companies from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Uruguay and the U.S.


Clean and Dry

USNRs dry kiln business is expanding with the new 8-grate Green Fuel Burner, with several North American projects underway. This innovative solution eliminates common problems with direct-fired burners while increasing lumber value. The unit burns sawdust as an economical heat source, but employs a unique afterburner module that ensures complete combustion. This keeps high value lumber in the kiln clean and free from ash. The unit produces approximately 40MM BTUs of heat per hour.


All-Electric Designs Offer Efficient, High-Speed Operation

All the lumber being produced on USNR equipment in mills around the globe needs to be transported through the process, and several innovations have been introduced to make it go smoothly.


Multi-Track Fence

USNRs Multi-Track Fence is able to accommodate high speeds with precise board positioning. The unit is also available with MyMill Mobile Interface allowing for remote control the fence via iPad.


ElectraTong Lug Loader

The ElectraTong is USNRs latest high-speed lug loader. Its all-electric design can feed random length, width, and thickness, at 240 lpm. Scan the QR code to see the video showing fast and accurate handling of mixed board sizes at very high speeds.


High Speed Electric Stacker

USNRs high speed stacker offers a compact, nimble, all-electric design to handle valuable products gently and efficiently. Its efficient operation gets the job done with minimal energy and maintenance.

USNR has been building stackers for decades, and it has adapted its approach to embrace the reliable, efficient use of electronics combined with PLC control innovations to power its designs. USNRs all-electric, high speed stacker offers these major features:

• Fast: 20+ cycles/min. (4 packs)

• Reliable: operates equally well in cold and warm environments

• Energy efficient: use of electronics for precise actuation of all operations

• Clean, environmentally friendly: no leaky hydraulics

• Less noise: much quieter operation

• Minimum maintenance: belt driven with no fittings, fluids, hoses, etc.

• Package sizes: 3-10 wide, 18″ to full crib load high

• Easy installation: comes pre-assembled and pre-plumbed for plug-and play operation

Optional pre-staging tiers allow the operator to look at each tier before it goes out onto the package. A power-assisted tier width adjustment provides flexible tier widths to accommodate a variety of lumber products. An indexing photo eye ensures consistent stack heights whether stacking on the main or secondary hoist. Lumber infeed backlog and package outfeed are controlled electronically for steady, efficient material flow. The belted drive offers zero stretch, greatly reducing maintenance.

This high-speed stacker is complemented by the use of USNR’s Slant Hopper Stick Placer or its moving lath placers. A recent new development for combination stick/lath placers is its new slide-out lath hoppers that make filling a breeze. A wide array of options allows customization to meet the needs of the customer.