Wood & Panel

Mikko Vesterinen

 Monday, January 24, 2022

Modern methods use high grade machines for peeling purposes. What was earlier a painstaking process carried out manually can now be done conveniently using machines. Mikko Vesterinen, Raute Technology Manager of Peeling and log handling, explains the intricacies of modern veneer production in a conversation with us. Here’s the conversation in detail

Could you give a brief description of the veneer manufacturing process?

Mikko Vesterinen: The veneer manufacturing process starts in the forest from where suitable blocks are transported to the plywood mill. At the mill, the logs are typically heated, debarked and cut into blocks of peeling lengths. The blocks are peeled into a thin veneer ribbon with the lathe. The ribbon is cut into sheets of required dimensions and sheets are automatically stacked.

What are the requisites of quality veneer production?

Mikko Vesterinen: It is important to understand the needs of the whole process and of high quality veneer. We should have enough capacity to heat the blocks even during winter and handle side products. The reliability has to be even with the needs of the peeling line. Downtimes or quality downgrades often come from other factors than the peeling line itself like poor block temperature, bad debarking quality or poor knife grinding.

The quality of the veneer is created with accurate centering, robust lathe and an accurate clipper and stacker. Quality means surface quality, thickness accuracy, veneer tensile strength, clipping accuracy and good- quality stacks.

What are the important aspects of the process Raute provides technology solution for?

Mikko Vesterinen: Raute has specially developed systems for small-block handling where recovery and efficiency are the most important factors. The automation level of the lines is typically high but Raute has solutions for all needs and automation levels.

What are the latest in this technology?

Mikko Vesterinen: The latest technologies with peeling lines focus on maximising the recovery from the blocks. New auto-calibration systems with curtain laser scanning maintain the XY-charger accuracy on the maximal level with all block diameters. In automatic rotary, clipping cameras are used to control the cutting out of open and colour defects. Moisture grading of green veneer has a significant influence on the drying capacity and quality. Besides, we have been focusing more on the reliability and maintainability of the devices. Also remote connections to the line controls are today’s tools to help customers.

How is it different from the earlier technologies available?

Mikko Vesterinen: The recoveries of peeling lines have improved a lot and at the same time block diameters have typically decreased. Automation levels and new process data collection systems make it possible to optimise the process to the maximal level.

How do the new features help the veneer manufacturing process?

Mikko Vesterinen: The new features help customers to decrease production costs (raw material, work force, energy). High-quality veneer means high-quality end products and savings in the process.

What effect does it have on the end product?

Mikko Vesterinen: Production costs/m3 decrease with the better recovery, accuracy and reduced labour costs. Also the higher strength of the veneer improves the strength of the end product.

What are the other technologies that we can expect from the company in the coming time?

Mikko Vesterinen: We are continuously developing our technologies. It is important that all features of old and contemporary machines can be updated by modernising. Recovery, automation level, energy and reliability are the factors which are in the key role. We have also launched the RautePro, RauteSelect and RauteSmart product families for different needs of production and automation. In the future we will develop products for all of these families to have competitive solutions for all needs.

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