What the press says about LINCK

Robust profiling line

Top management: Robin Howie, Hamish Macleod, Ian Murchie, Peter Ross (from left)

Scottish sawmill grades up

With a £15 mio investment, the Scottish sawmill Howie Forest Products, Dalbeattie/GB, sets the course for the future. 'The competitiveness should be guaranteed for the next 20 years', according to the owner Robin Howie.

For the main suppliers Howie relied on German and Austrian expertise, and invested in a Linck, Oberkirch/DE, Profiling Line, and a lumber sorting plant made by Springer, Friesach.

Twice the annual production."The sawing capacity will be 1 million m³ logs/year in the final stage which will be achieved by 2010", estimates Howie. For the moment 285.000 m³ logs/year will be produced, which corresponds to a duplication of the existing production. The old saw line is still operational, but will be shut down shortly.

The two-sided cant is fed into the second chipper canter (VM 45).
Visualisation: Fine tuning

High operational reliability. 'We chose Linck because the machines are robust and we expect a high operational reliability', reports owner Robin Howie.

'The plant is equipped with automatic log rotation, diagonal cant alignment, sideboard optimisation and curve sawing', sales engineer Norbert Ott is explaining the features of the new saw line.

'In addition we expect lower production costs per cubic meter and higher recovery due to accurate scanning as well as curve sawing and sideboard optimisation. The machines are easy accessible for maintenance', explains the Howie managing director Hamish Macleod.

The round log - mainly Sitka spruce - is sorted in two centimetre increments. 'Since Scottish Sitka spruce is rather crooked, the sideboard optimisation was absolutely necessary to produce sharp-edged boards', explains Howie's project manager Peter Ross.

The sideboard optimisation guarantees a good recovery.
Lumber grading

Precise scanning and positioning. The logs are loaded onto the Linck infeed deck and are debarked. Small end diameters ranging from 14 to 40 cm and lenths up to 5 m can be processed. Maximum feed speed is 150 m/min.

The round logs are scanned with a 3D scanner from Microtec, Brixen/IT. The logs are centred and fed into the primary Chipper Canter. The correct curvature orientation (horns up) is carried out by the infeed system. Afterwards the two-sided cant is turned to 90°.

Easy tool change. 'We installed the new generation VM45 Chipper Canter. This machine allows an easier tool changing', explains assembly manager Ernst Hauser. The outfeed system is detached from the Chipper Canter in order to avoid forces acting on the Chipper Canter and guaranteeing a good surface quality. According to the cutting pattern the secondary Chipper Canter VM45 produces waney-edged four-sided cants from the two sided-cants.

Passive and active curve sawing is possible as well as a straight sawing. The 3D scanning captures the precise log form. With these data the relative position of the main boards in the two-sided cant is determined as well as the orientation of the cant. Misshaped two-sided cants are aligned based ont he optimisation programme either asymmetrically or diagonally.

The curve scanning is carried out after the turning of the four-sided cants. These data are also used for the sideboard optimisation. Based on this information the profiler heads in the next machine group are set.

The optimised sideboards are separated with the CSMK. Afterwards they are separated grom the main boards and transported to the sideboard sorting with belt conveyors. The four-sided cants are turned and are conveyed to the infeed unit prior to the secondary profiling group consisting of a profiler unit VPF and a profiler unit VPK. A total of up to eight sideboards can be produced in the primary and secondary profiling astations. Secondary sideboards and main boards are ripped in the recut saw CSMK with six adjustable axes.

The two Springer sorting plants are arranged on top of each other with a capacity of 140 pieces per minute at the main board sorting respectively 190 pieces per minute at the sideboard sorting.

Around the corner. Main boards from the Linck line are transferred to the main board sorting line with three film trays and from there directly to the high-performance packaging with turning arm and double-stroke lifting table. The sideboards are also trasnferred to a slanted tray sorting system with 35 bins designed specifically to handle small logs via a separate 90° curve conveyor. After the discharge from the bins the sideboards arrive at the packaging unit via board singulator.

Stacking of the sorted sideboards is supported by a fully automatic sticker placing. A further extension of the package handling and a sticker lifting equipment are also envisaged.


Capturing additional market shares. Howie is oriented on the British market and would like to increase the share of the Scottish lumber in Great-Britain. The lumber is sold through salesmen and do-it-yourself stores. Pressure treating is available for the garden wood production. 'The new line should double our turnover in the next three years from 20 to 40 million €/year. The new investment will not create additional jobs, but will guarantee the the 120 existing jobs for the future', according to Macleod.

Local round log purchasing. The Sitka spruce is mainly purchased in the proximity, for example Galloway, Dumfriesshire, Argyll, Cumbria and Northumberland. The round logs come from FSC certificated forests, 60% thereof comes from Scottish State Forests. 'In the future we would like to purchase a larger amount of logs from privately-owned woodlands', according to Macleod.

Furher investments in kiln-drying capacity and planing plant are projected within five years. 'This will enable us to operate the new profiling line in double-shift', reports Macleod concluding. JK

Lumber from the Linck line is transported to the Springer sorting plant by means of curved conveyor.
Three horizontal trays are provided for the sorting of the main boards and 35 slanted trays for the classification of the sideboards.

Howie Forest Product - Facts

Founded in 1850
Managing Directors Robin Howie, Hamish Macleod, Ian Murchie
Empoyees 120
Sawing capacity at final stage 1 Million m³ logs/year
Production (scheduled) 285.000 m³
Species Sitka-spruce
Products Lumber for the construction industry, packaging, garden products