We are excited to see so much progress at Sequal. The in-feed upgrade at Christmas was very successful and has resulted in record production this year. The kilns have enabled us to rapidly grow the kiln dried lumber market and now, as we look ahead, there are a number of new developments which are needed to underpin growth.
In another few weeks two new kilns will come into operation. The additional kiln drying capacity is critical to support our marketing strategies in China, Vietnam, the rest of South East Asia and India. Once again Windsor were selected as our preferred provider of drying technology.
Later this year we will add a third saw box to our main saw-line, enabling us to deliver more of what our customers want in a single pass down the main saw line. This is primarily an investment in efficiency as currently, if centre board lumber needs to be broken down into quite narrow pieces, we have to do this through a secondary resaw process. The addition of the third saw into the main line will help us optimise the efficiency of these cuts, as well as make space for a thin board line. To achieve these gains without adversely impacting production we need to totally revamp our outfeeds, and this Xmas the Tray Sort Line will be upgraded to handle the additional piece count created by the third saw. These projects will be done in partnership with Linck, Tui Technology and Lakeland Steel.
The thin-board line is needed to take a centre board and break it down into very thin boards 13mm or less. This couldn’t be done on the main saw-line, even if we wanted to, as the main saw-line is not designed to be gentle enough for such boards. There is a great need for quality thin-boards in our packaging based markets, so the thin-board line will be very beneficial to our customers. We are currently negotiating with various parties as to who will be supplying this equipment, however this will be resolved in the next few weeks.
Over Christmas we will also be adding a dip tank for our sap stain chemical treatment. This addition ensures we offer our green lumber customers with the best possible protection available for their product. In future, we will spray every sapwood board with a protective coating and then send the completed packet to the newly installed dipped plant for final treatment. By spraying each board individually and then repeating this treatment in a dip plant we can guarantee chemical coverage which will optimise the appearance and longevity of the lumber. At the same time, we will be transitioning to the new generation of chemical treatment, developed by Lonza over the last 5 years, to give a further boost to our green products life expectancy.
Keep an eye out for updates as there are more exciting upgrades coming soon.