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Band vs. Circular Sawmills: Relative Labor & Maintenance CostsAuthor(s): Philip H. Steele; Philip A. Araman
Source: Southern Lumberman. June: 22-25.
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionSubstantial sawmill lumber yield increases from kerf and sawing variation reductions can be realized by employing band rather than circular headrigs. Softwood sawmills rapidly adopted bandsaw headrig technology to the extent that it is currently unusual to find circular saw headrigs in a softwood sawmill. Hardwood sawmills, faced with a different economic situation, have been relatively slow to adopt bandsaw headrigs. Hardwood sawmills utilizing circular headrigs to process low-value products or making relatively few headrig sawcuts on each log may find that headrig kerf reduction is not a significant factor in profit maximization. For them, circular headrigs are usually the most economical primary processing option. Cost is another reason that hardwood sawmills have been slow to convert to band headrigs. Hardwood sawmill managers may not feel that increased profits from higher yields would offset increased costs. The capital cost of a band headrig can be expected to be three to six times that of a circular headrig. Installation costs and income lost during installation may be considerable. These costs can be determined from band headrig manufacturers and engineering consultants. Unlike headrig and installation costs, operational costs relative to circular headrigs are currently difficult to determine. No published information describing the relative operating costs of band versus circular headrigs exists. This information, if available, would be valuable in helping hardwood sawmill managers determine the feasibility of converting to band headrigs. Our study quantifies and compares the more difficult-to-estimate relative labor and maintenance costs of band versus circular headrigs.
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CitationSteele, Philip H.; Araman, Philip A. 1997. Band vs. Circular Sawmills: Relative Labor & Maintenance Costs. Southern Lumberman. June: 22-25.
- Analyzing Investments in Thin-Kerf Saws
- ECHO: Machine feasibility program
- Economic choice for hardwood sawmill operations (ECHO)
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