World record in planing

Article by Martina Nöstler (translated by Eva Guzely) | 18.06.2020 - 09:23

Machine manufacturer Gilbert of the Canadian province of Quebec is considered the North American market leader in high-performance planers. “Many big companies, such as Canfor, Interfor, Weyerhaeuser, West Fraser, Hampton Affiliates, Sierra Pacific, Sinclair Group, Resolute Forest Products or JD Irving, work with Gilbert planers. Together, those companies operate more than 40 Gilbert machines,” tells us Heidi Danbrook, sales manager at Gilbert.

Up to 300 boards per minute

One of the world’s fastest planers with more than 300 boards per minute is in operation in Vanderhoof in the north of British Columbia. Michael Manojlovic, the former owner of the Nechako Group, said immediately after the installation: “Gilbert’s pull-through technology beat all existing production records within just a few days after the start-up. This was mainly possible thanks to a considerable reduction in downtime and the great support offered by the Gilbert team. This is the Ferrari of planers.”

“Our goal is to expand our market position as leading supplier in the planing industry. Since we installed the first machines outside our home province Quebec in 2002, we managed to install more than 130 planers worldwide,” tells us the sales manager. By now, Gilbert machines can be found in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Sweden, Denmark and Germany as well.

A new branch office in Europe

“Since 2006, Gilbert’s sales team focuses on the European market in particular. These efforts were quickly rewarded,” says Danbrook. At the time, one of the first customers in Central Europe was Klausner (now Ilim Timber): In Landsberg and Wismar, two high-performance planers with a feed speed of up to 1200 m/min went into operation. Now, Gilbert has more than 13 years of experience in Europe. In addition to Ilim Timber, the company also boasts Södra Timber, Vida, Karl Hedin, DTE and Mercer Timber Products as references in this region.

In order to further strengthen the company’s position in Central and Eastern Europe, Scantec of Feldkirchen/DE took on Gilbert’s representation on 1st June. The company planned, delivered and installed more than 750 projects from single machines to big turnkey projects for the sawmill industry. “Scantech has decade-long experience in the timber industry and excellent contacts with leading sawmills and timber processing companies. We are very happy to have Scantech as distribution partner and as part of our team,” emphasizes Danbrook. The new partnership is to further improve customer service as well as support in Europe. The collaboration with André Technology in France or CGV in Sweden are good examples for this support. “Additionally, Scantech helps us with installations and turnkey solutions,” she adds.

The most recent project in Europe was carried out at Mercer Timber Products in Saalburg/DE. “The company opted for a Gilbert machine because it is proven to be the world’s fastest planer,” tells us Danbrook. The new high-performance planer by Gilbert was installed last year. This model is designed for feed speeds of up to 1200 m/min. Gilbert’s team of engineers adapted the system to meet the requirements defined in CE norms. Customer-oriented German language technical documentation was also provided by Gilbert. Of course, machines intended for the European market meet the metric standard.

Gilbert lists Danish company DTE as another reference customer in Central Europe. Now, a Gilbert planer is the heart of production in Ribe/DK as well.

A suitable system for every area of application

Gilbert does not “only” produce high-performance machines, though. “We attend to our customers’ needs and adapt our systems to the respective requirements,” underlines the sales manager. Accordingly, Gilbert offers five planing models – from a special moulder planer to the high-speed model. Gilbert’s product range includes the series Moulder, Planer S, 6 Roll, High Speed and Mass Timber. The previously mentioned High Speed series with feed speeds of up to 1200 m/min and 300 boards per minute is referred to as the world’s fastest planer by the company itself. With the Mass Timber series, pieces with 137 cm in width and 40 cm in thickness can be planed. “This planer was designed specifically to meet the high requirements of glue-laminated and cross-laminated timber producers,” tells us Scantech managing director Stephan Lohmeyer. The S series planer convinces with flexible feed speeds of 90 to 550 m/min. “While other suppliers have boards seamlessly pass through the machines, we deliberately opted for a certain space between them. The pull-through technology is more compact and space-saving, considerably reduces the proneness to malfunctions at the planing infeed and offers functional advantages in the use of scanners directly after the planer,” explains Lohmeyer.

Gilbert has 125 employees, “all of whom are dedicated to producing the world’s best planer”, assures Danbrook. “Our customer service technicians are available around the clock worldwide. Distances are not an obstacle for our service team. Thanks to remote maintenance, our online service is fast and easy, too,” confirms Lohmeyer and adds: “This means that our Central European customers too can always count on the best support.”


Location: Roberval/CA
Founded: 1986
Managing director: Sylvain Gilbert
Employees: 125
Products: planers including feed motorization, cutterheads, accessory equipment for snow mobiles as well as vibratory pile drivers
Sales: worldwide
Representation in Central Europe: Scantec, Feldkirchen/DE