The thriving timber industry in Australia.
There’s nothing quite like the smell and sight of a pine Christmas tree standing proudly in your home. It may come as a surprise to learn that Christmas is not the only time of year that pine graces the house. Pine tree timber is often used to line ceilings, frame outside porches and to add that special touch of character to home interior spaces.
Pine tree softwood is grown and harvested throughout the world both for its quality timber and wood pulp. It is extensively used commercially. Radiata Pine is particularly renowned, often referred to as the remarkable pine, Radiata Pine can grow up to ten times quicker than eucalyptus. It is relatively easy to produce and produces high yields in comparatively short periods. Carpenters and architects appreciate its creamy yellow tone and distinctive grain. It is also easy to work with compared to some other timbers.
Pine plantations make up an important component of the Australian economy. In New South Wales alone, 22,000 people are employed in an industry that covers in excess of 400,000 hectares of land. Across Australia, it covers in excess of one million hectares of land. Annual turnover is estimated to be in excess of twenty two billions dollars per year. Contributing to the profitability of the pine harvest industry are compressor powered sawmills.
As well as being a hive of activity, today’s modern sawmill is a technological marvel with many automated functions replacing the manual labour of years past. Powered by air compressors, the automated equipment Sawmills have become more efficient, cleaner and safer.
Air compressors are now used throughout the entire production process – from tilling to harvesting and they improve production, efficiency and safety.
In the tillage stage compacted soil is broken up by air compressors allowing the soil to be broken up without affecting root growth. Pneumatic pruning power tools and and power saws are also used at this time contributing to better safety and an easier, more effective process.
At harvesting time, air compressors are extensively used and of course, there are many associated processes within the timber industry that may require the use of air compressors.
One of the leading timber manufacturers within Australia is Timberlink. Timberlink’s raw material is sourced from Australian plantations and they have two state of the art sawmills in Tarpeena in South Australia and Bell Bay Tasmania.
Following an open bid process, Timberlink chose ELGi as its preferred compressed air supplier despite strong opposition from two global players in the industry. Timberlink chose to use ELGi’s revolutionary global series to meet ever increasing production demands. Project and engineering manager of Timberlink Australia, Mr Craig Frank explained the choice by highlighting efficiency, waste minimisation and Timberlink’s commitment to highly optimised, safe and productive sawmills.
ELGi air compressors have had a significant positive impact upon Timberlink’s ability to achieve these objectives. The ELGi EG160 series is used in a range of situations including controlling a timer when timber is trimmed, actuating pneumatic cylinders to assist with guidance of timber onto a conveyor, seasoning wood, drilling, cleaning and the provision of air for pneumatic , stating that the company relies upon the compressors to perform these critical processes and noting that they are capable of responding to sudden spurts of demand without downtime. “As the VFD run on the basis of actual demand we have been able to save power whenever demand drops,” said Mr Frank. Additionally, the EG160 compressors offer extremely low oil carryover (they release less than 1ppm into the atmosphere)thereby helping Timbertrack to meet its clean work environment standards.
While the Australian timber industry continues its growth at a similar rate to the remarkable pine, AFM/ELGI continue to stand tall offering innovative solutions for the industry