IWT-MOLDRUP Lumber Treatment System First in U.S. with Automated Material Handling Automated System Can Run Overnight and Treat Lumber without Any Employees

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IWT-MOLDRUP recently installed its first CCA wood treatment system for a U.S. customer that features integrated fully automated material handling. It was installed at LeMoyen Mill & Timber in Bunkie, Louisiana.

IWT-MOLDRUP recently installed its first CCA wood treatment system for a U.S. customer that features integrated fully automated material handling. The new system was installed at LeMoyen Mill & Timber in Bunkie, Louisiana, in September.

IWT-MOLDRUP is a third generation family company based in Denmark with manufacturing operations in Asia and Europe. It has been supplying wood treating plants worldwide since 1957 with more than 1,200 plants around the world. IWT-MOLDRUP plants can treat wood products with various types of preservatives, such as waterborne CCA and creosote oil for railroad ties. The company also offers systems for vacuum drying lumber, thermal modification of lumber, and biocide-free modification of lumber.

The wood-treating process historically has been a separate industry within the forest products industry, noted Bror Moldrup, chief operating officer of IWT-MOLDRUP. Treating businesses buy lumber from sawmills or concentration yards and resell it to big box home improvement stores, lumber yards and similar businesses after they have treated the material.

However, in Europe the treatment process has migrated upstream to the sawmills, and the trend is gaining in the U.S., according to Bror. In Sweden, for example, at one time there were about 150 specialized companies that treated lumber. Now, according to Bror, there are only about 45 companies, and most of them are sawmill businesses.

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“We are very knowledgeable about the processes, the chemicals, and the technology,” said Bror. “When CCA was still allowed in Denmark, our family had our own treatment facility.” The company also treated wood products with fire retardant. “We were the biggest in Denmark,” he added. The Moldrups work closely with chemical manufacturers “to design the best plant for the customer.”

“The client knows exactly what scope they get as it is agreed in the turn-key order,” explained his wife, Lone, who is the president of the company, because IWT-MOLDRUP supplies entire systems.

The treatment chamber features an automatic rapid-closing door designed for long service life. The chamber has a unique clamp to secure the lumber, eliminating the need to strap it down and avoiding human contact with preservatives after the treatment cycle.

Maildrop can install a system within weeks or even days. Equipment is pre-wired and tested at the factory for rapid installation.

IWT-MOLDRUP wood treatment systems consist of a cylindrical chamber and a material handling system. Lumber products are loaded onto a trolly and inserted into the chamber and sealed shut. After a vacuum is drawn in the cylinder, the wood preservatives are added.

IWT-MOLDRUP wood treatment systems have a number of features to improve efficiency and safeguard employees and the environment.

For example, when treating lumber the material ordinarily must be strapped down to the trolly in order to prevent the lumber from floating in the water-borne chemicals. IWT-MOLDRUP treating systems have a unique clamp inside the chamber to secure the lumber, eliminating the process of strapping it down and avoiding human contact with the chemicals after the treatment cycle. The chambers feature rapid-closing doors that are designed for long service life, and the system can be operated remotely via a tablet or other device.

IWT-MOLDRUP wood treatment systems are compatible with various chemicals that are approved for treating lumber. The systems also have a flushing system if a customer wants to change over from one type of preservative to another.

From left, third-generation MOLDRUP supplier Philip Moldrup, LeMoyen treatment plant operator Shane Broussard, LeMoyen plant manager Cory Barron, second-generation MOLDRUP supplier Bror Moldrup, and LeMoyen general manager André Herpin.

Systems are tested at the factory to reduce installation and start-up time. The short installation and start-up time translates to additional savings for customers since it requires less on-site engineering.

LeMoyen operates a hardwood mat manufacturing plant. The company saws industrial hardwood material and assembles it into mats for customers throughout the Gulf Coast region.

Andre Herpin, general manager of LeMoyen, said the company decided to offer treated pine lumber products. “As a manufacturer of industrial wood products, we saw the opportunity to offer a value-added product to our line,” he said.

LeMoyen considered other suppliers before choosing IWT-MOLDRUP. “We looked at other plants, but after talking with Claus (Staalner, IWT-MOLDRUP’s North American agent) and the Moldrups and seeing their treating processes, we decided to move forward with their product,” said Andre.

Holding bay with steel drip pan eliminates the need for a concrete drip pad and a dedicated forklift.

The IWT-MOLDRUP system for LeMoyen is equipped to use several types of water-borne preservatives and features the automatic flushing/cleaning system when changing between the preservatives. It is a state-of-the-art plant capable of treating 8,500 board feet per charge. With a cycle time of 60-80 minutes, the system is expected to treat 19 charges of Southern Yellow Pine lumber per 24-hour day or an average of 142,500 board feet. With its integrated automated material handling, the system can operate on a third shift overnight without any employees.

The IWT-MOLDRUP system at LeMoyen features a treatment cylinder with the hold-down clamps to avoid strapping and a special hydraulic system – only available from IWT-MOLDRUP – that tilts the chamber to produce drier wood and tilting holding bays. Drip trays prevent chemicals from dripping on the plant floor, eliminating a drip pad and the need for dedicated forklifts. The chamber has a fully automatic door with a single, simple clamp-ring system for long service life.

The fully automated material handling and operational system offers a number of benefits. One is less labor. Also, the work associated with loading and unloading treatment systems can be “hard, dirty work,” noted Bror. An automated system makes it easier to attract labor. The footprint required for the automated material handling system also is much smaller than the footprint for a traditional type of lumber treating system.

LeMoyne plans to utilize the fully automated system for treating lumber during an overnight shift. The lumber will be staged during earlier shifts, and the automated operations will function overnight with no employees.

The system for LeMoyne was delivered as a turn-key project and was operational 10 days after the equipment arrived on-site.

The system at LeMoyen features a treatment cylinder with a special hydraulic system – only available from IWT-MOLDRUP – that tilts the chamber to produce drier wood.

As the largest provider of wood treatment plants worldwide, IWT-MOLDRUP has been supplying the biggest wood treatment line in the industry in Arkansas. Other customers in the U.S. who have been supplied equipment or complete wood-treating systems include Frontier Post in Montana, Southeast Forest Products in Alabama, Stewart Wood Products in North Carolina, Minnesota-based Bell Lumber & Pole, and Northeast Treaters in New York.

The lead time, from collecting a deposit from a customer to operating a new system, is 7-9 months although 9-12 months may be a more practical timeline, according to Bror. Systems for U.S. customers typically would be manufactured in Asia.

IWT-MOLDRUP personnel visit the U.S. five to seven times each year to visit customers and maintain relationships.

For more information about IWT-MOLDRUP or its products, visit the company’s website at www.moldrup.com. Additionally, contact the company’s North American agent, Claus Staalner of American Wood Technology in Jefferson, Georgia, at (404) 520-0239, or visit www.Americanwoodtechnology.com