Wood-Mizer LX450 twin rail sawmill boosts productivity
Mitrek Sawmill, owned by Peet Groenewald, is located in White River, Mpumalanga. The mill cuts mainly pallet components for the pallet manufacturing market.
Peet has always relied on Wood-Mizer to grow his business. He started off with a Wood-Mizer LT20, adding two Wood-Mizer LT40s and Wood-Mizer resaws and edgers later.
The decision in 2017 to replace one of the LT40s with the recently launched Wood-Mizer LX450 exceeded Peet’s widest expectations.
The main timber cut at Mitrek Sawmill is Eucalyptus grandis. It is a hard wood grown extensively in SA for pulp and saw logs.
Measuring in at an average weight of 640 kg/m3, the timber is difficult to cut with a lot of warp and internal tension. The logs that Mitrek processes on a daily basis typically range in size from 150 to 800 mm in diameter.
Why Peet decided to opt for the LX450 has got to do with the relationship that he has built up with the company over many years. The flexibility, versatility and cutting capacity that Wood-Mizer offers was key.
“I also know the company, the service and the product, and I based my expectations and projections on what the LX450 could offer me on my previous experience with Wood-Mizer. In fact, the LX450 has exceeded my wildest expectations. It’s the best thing I’ve done,” Peet enthused.
Quizzed on how the LX450 has changed his operation, Peet said: “I’ll have to reconsider everything that I do. The extra capacity that the LX 450 has given me has forced me to change the long-term plan I had for the mill completely.
“The strategy for 2017 was to streamline the mill with increased mechanisation. With the LX450’s arrival, I’ve had to refocus to simply deal with the output from the mill.
“My monthly turnover has increased by 25%. Timber volume cut per month has increased by 30%. I’ve been forced to work over weekends just to process the leftovers from the LX450.
“It has also allowed me to diversify into more profitable cutting activities. I’m now cutting clears with side boards, which normally takes a lot of time but with good rewards. The speed and accuracy of the LX450 has allowed me to investigate this profitable market.
“Although we’re battling to keep up with the machine, the options that it has given me has left me astounded,” Peet says.
Wood-Mizer is currently the first and only sawmill manufacturer with a monorail or twin rail design option, which allows for various sawing applications and preferences.
“I have the LX450 alongside my LT40 and they both have the same size electric motor, but for whatever reason I get 25% more production per day from the LX 450. It’s an awesome machine. I don’t know why it does what it does, it just does it,” Peet concludes.
LX450 up close
The new LX450 offers a completely redesigned sawmill that has never been available from Wood-Mizer before now.
Featuring many of the same benefits of the Wood-Mizer LT series, the new LX450 offers a cut width of 86 cm, log diameter cutting capacity of up to 91, 5 cm and log lengths of up 6, 1 m with additional beds extending the cutting length even further.
“Wood-Mizer has long been the only sawmill manufacturer of the monorail cantilever design, holding several patents on this technology which is trusted by 70 000 sawmillers throughout the world,” said Robert Baginski, COO of Wood-Mizer Industries in Europe.
“Every sawmiller has different needs and preferences which led to the addition of the LX sawmill series. You can now own an LT series monorail or LX series twin-rail sawmill and receive the best support in the industry.”
A key innovation of the Wood-Mizer LX450 is the rigid XFRAME saw head that travels on parallel hardened steel bars to accommodate a larger width and depth of cut, and also allows the operator to have better visibility during the cutting process.
Standard features for the LX450, which are very similar to the popular LT40, include power feed, power up/down, hydraulic log handling with a bi-directional chain log turner, and a walk along operator control console with SimpleSet Setworks. A drag-back board return system makes it easy to offload cut boards in a fast, accurate and less labour intensive way.
LX450 Sawmill Specifications
Power Options – 18.5 kW electric motors
91, 5 cm diameter x 6, 1 m length with extra bed extensions for longer logs
86 cm width of cut and 41 cm depth of cut.
*First published in SA Forestry magazine, Oct 2017