From the far North to the world

Article by Raphael Kerschbaumer (translated by Eva Guzely) | 01.06.2023 - 13:25

In the recent past, many Central European timber industries, such as the Pfeifer Group or Mayr-Melnhof Holz, have invested in Scandinavian companies. In exchange, they not only receive raw material of the highest quality, but also concentrated know-how in mechanical engineering. “We want to actively use this opportunity to make ourselves better known and to establish ourselves on the Central European market,” one Finnish machine manufacturer commented.

U-shaped log yard


Nordautomation’s Managing Director Timo Kuusisto and Sales Engineer Sari Rantala (from right) in front of Metsä’s log yard which “turns the corner” © Raphael Kerschbaumer

One needs one or two superlatives to describe Metsä’s greenfield sawmill in the Finnish town of Rauma. Nordautomation, a Finnish specialist in log handling, is the main machine supplier and responsible for the entire log yard including the sawmill infeed. “The Metsä Rauma project is truly extraordinary. It was also the biggest order our company received to this day,” Timo Kuusisto, Managing Director at Nordautomation, told us during a conversation at the fair. One thing probably caught the eye of visitors who looked at the pictures exhibited at the stand: The log yard is not designed as a straight sorting line, as is usual. It is U-shaped. “We could not install a straight sorting line mainly for lack of space. That’s why we integrated two devices that turn the logs by 90 degrees and guide them around the corners quickly and safely. With an annual log volume of around 1 million m³, efficiency is the top priority,” Kuusisto explained and added: “It was a great project that fits seamlessly into the list of our successful references. We are already well positioned on our domestic Scandinavian market. We are not only doing well in winter, though. We also feel comfortable in warmer climates.”

“Meet Rosy”


At the Ligna, Renholmen’s CEO Daniel Holmgren presented Rosy to an expert audience for the first time © Raphael Kerschbaumer

This was the motto of Swedish plant manufacturer Renholmen’s exhibition stand. Rosy, short for Robovision System, is a robot and image processing system which is used for the detection and handling of defective lumber on lumber sorting lines. Developed in collaboration with Metsä, the first robots have already been delivered to Rauma where they have been handling more than 200 pieces per minute on both the wet and dry sorting lines since the sawmill went into operation. “Rosy and automated lumber handling in general offer obvious advantages. Today, almost every sawmill is struggling with staffing issues. Rosy is not only efficient and enables uninterrupted production thanks to its continuous availability. This robot also frees up time for employees who can then focus on higher-skilled tasks,” Renholmen’s CEO Daniel Holmgren said, summarizing Rosy’s advantages.