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Saw Mill Drive Systems


Western Integrated Systems provides complete solution for sawmill renovation.

Sawmill drive systems are very demanding applications. Large logs are handled on conveyors that are required to accelerate and decelerate from zero to full speed in less than one second. This is necessary in order to control the gap between logs and optimize process flow. In addition, there is tremendous shock loading as logs are dropped onto conveyors or forced through saws and chippers.

WIS worked closely with Downie to ensure that the correct drives were selected for all machine sections. Drive ratings were specified based on the torque requirements, the overload duty cycle and the shock loading. Control strategies were reviewed based on the process dynamics. Closed-loop vector drives were used where required. WIS’s extensive experience in this field simplified the engineering process and provided Downie with the assurance that the system would start quickly and operate reliably.

According to Downie’s electrical staff, “We are so pleased with the success of this project that we chose to work with WIS on our new Planer and High Speed Stacker project.”

Sawmill renovation

Downie Timber, in Revelstoke, British Columbia, recently undertook a major expansion of their sawmill and chose to work with Western Integrated Systems (WIS) to design and supply Allen-Bradley PowerFlex variable frequency drives for all of the major new equipment. This equipment consisted of a Double Length Infeed Canter Line, 5-inch Resaw, 8-inch Gang, 4-inch Edger and a Drop Sort.

This project represented a number of industry firsts, including the first complete sawmill expansion using PowerFlex 700 AC drives, and the first PowerFlex 700S AC drives in Canada. In total, 46 drives were supplied.

In order to keep project costs at a minimum, Downie performed a large portion of the project engineering in-house. WIS assisted by working with the machinery OEM to ensure that the various drive systems were coordinated with the other mill processes and that projected schedules were met.

WIS provided a complete solution to Downie Timber, including the design and specification, manufacturing and testing the system in their CSA/UL shop in Burnaby, BC, and providing on-site commissioning services.

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