Aiming for a world record speed for band saws

A comprehensive modernization of the Northern Forest Owners band saw line in Savar, Sweden will lead to much higher cutting speed and higher yield of sawn timber. The first phase was replacing the edger and the second phase will see the installation of a brand new band saw line. The investment is estimated at 56 million SEK, with the first log to be sawn in August 2017.

Band saw lines produce narrow kerfs, thus high yield of sawn products, but they cannot operate with the same high speeds as circular saws.

“We want to recover as much as possible of the timber, and together with Söderhamn Eriksson, we set a target of doubling the speed and halving the cut surfaces. These are very challenging goals,” says Stig Grundberg, sawmill manager at Savar and technical director for Northern Forest Owners.

“It is satisfying to see that the sawmill industry in Sweden is confident about the future and shows a will to invest. Söderhamn Eriksson is a technology driver, and the cooperation with Northern Forest Owners in such a major, radical project will enable us to help propel development forward. It is very revolutionary project for the entire industry,” says Christian Winlöf, sales and marketing manager at Söderhamn Eriksson.

The Sävar saw line processes a wide range of timber in all dimensions, from 120 mm to 400 mm at the top of the range, and log weight can vary from approximately 70 kg to one tonne. The average speed of the old line is 65 meters per minute, while the new one will exceed 135 meters per minute on average.

“We can achieve this level of throughput by first placing two reducers in the line to open both sides of the log in order to create square cants. This increases the possibilities both to change the settings and to reduce the log gaps from 2-2.5 meters to 0.5 meters. Thus we get almost as high a flow rate as in a circular saw line, but with higher yield,” explains Stig Grundberg, who believes that top speeds of more than 150 meters per minute are achievable.

The goal of halving the already thin saw cuts of only 3 mm to 1.5 mm is a much tougher challenge.

I have high hopes that we reach down to two-millimeter cuts in our new line, and then we can say that we have halved the kerfs compared to circular saw lines, which rarely come under four millimeters. You should have challenging goals and there is more knowledge to explore, says Stig Grundberg with a laugh.

 Stig Grundberg holds a PhD in X-ray technology in the sawmill industry, and he is passionate about the application of technology solutions. It is one reason that the Northern Forest owners have confidence partnering with Söderhamn Eriksson as a supplier.

“We have enjoyed a good relationship of cooperation with Söderhamn Eriksson in recent years. The company is equally interested in development, and the configuration of the band saw line is unique in the market. It's exciting to work toward achieving the fastest band saw line in the world and to challenge the market with this unique solution,” says Stig Grundberg.

For further information, please contact Stig Grundberg, 090-15 67 32, sawmill manager at Savar Saw, or Christian Winlöf, 0270-746 72, sales and marketing manager at Söderhamn Eriksson AB.