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The Norwegians went with a complete solution from Ledinek – two presses of the type X-Press 16 form the heart of the facilities © Günther Jauk

Splitkon

Express delivery to the North

Article by Günther Jauk, translated by Susanne Höfler | 09.04.2019 - 08:37

Splitkon is an institution amongst Norwegian laminated timber producers. In 1958 already, the company launched the country's first glulam production. Just before the turn of the century, the enterprise became part of the Moelven group only to return to standing on its own feet again in 2011. The Norwegians have been specializing in timber construction projects mainly with glulam and CLT ever since. The glulam needed primarily comes from Swedish timber industry Martinsons, CLT is supplied by renowned Austrian producers. A part of the elements is additionally purchased in raw condition and joined by means of a Hundegger K2i. 

Hardly any interfaces

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Splitkon managing director Knut-Arne Johansen in the company's new cross-laminated timber plant © Günther Jauk

2014 was the first time that an in-house CLT production was seriously considered. "CLT demand in Norway increased from 5000 m³/yr to 70,000 m³/yr between 2004 and 2018 – a trend that will continue not least because of strong support from the government," Splitkon Head of Production Knut-Arne Johansen is convinced. Furthermore, the company headquarters in Åmot are located in the middle of the country's best spruce growing area surrounded by several large sawmills.

In search of the system that would fit the company's needs best, two things were clear from the start: "Due to better fire retardant properties, melamine resin was really the only option for us. Furthermore, I was against a high-frequency press as a result of personal experience," Johansen says.

Based on these exclusion criteria, the Norwegians sat down with several renowned machine suppliers and finally found what they were looking for in Ledinek. A main decisive factor for Johansen was the Slovenian's scope of supply: "Ledinek is the only company that produces all main system components in-house. With this, a majority of what usually are error-prone interfaces disappear right from the start."

The novelty of two presses

The core components of production are a high-performance finger-jointing line of the type Kontizink L-S120 with a feed rate of up to 120 m/min, a Multiplan 4V-S200 lamella planing machine and two X-Press 16 cross-laminated timber presses. Furthermore, Ledinek supplied the entire mechanization including laying station and curing section for finger-jointed lamellas as well as two X-Cut S400 high-capacity cross-cut saws.

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The finger-jointing line Kontizink L-S120 can handle up to 120 m/min © Günther Jauk

Splitkon opted for two identically constructed presses with a length of 16 m each and a width of 3.5 m as well as a specific press power of 0.8 N/mm² in response to the longer press times that are required for melamine resin without heat exposure. "This is the only way we can reach the production output we are aiming for," Johansen informs. For 2019, around 20,000 m³ are planned; for the following year around 40,000 to 50,000 m³ in a two-shift operation. Theoretically, the maximum output is 100,000 m³/yr.

Great collaboration

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The entire mechanization – here for instance before sorting – also comes from Ledinek © Günther Jauk

After completing the new production hall in Åmot that was planned and built in-house – roof and walls are made from CLT, beams from glulam –, Ledinek started installing the lines and systems in the summer of 2018. In January, the launch followed – full operation is expected for the beginning of the second quarter. "Considering the size of the project, there have hardly been any complications or delays. So far, everything is going according to plan," Johansen is more than satisfied with Ledinek's performance so far.

By now, Splitkon was already able to realize a first project with in-house produced CLT: a two-story school project near Åmot. In addition, several large-scale projects like for instance a 13-story student dormitory in Oslo and a five-story building in Bergen are being planned. Building with cross-laminated timber is booming in Norway, and thanks to the new Ledinek system Splitkon is now able to realize projects with CLT from in-house production.