Modern sawmills are increasingly looking for ways to maximise the timber produced from each tree trunk, with many companies investing heavily in scanning equipment to improve the yield and quality of the timber.
Developments in wood harvesting methods mean that tree trunks can now be cut much closer to the base of a tree, with almost no stump (or butt) left in the ground.
But because the lowest part of the tree often expands in diameter, this can cause problems when it comes to processing.
The widest part of the log (or butt flare) contains the most debris out of any part of the log - which means, as the cuts have got lower to the ground, the amount of dirt, sand and pebbles getting caught up in the processing equipment has also increased.
Being able to move logs consistently and accurately, and eliminating feed problems, is key to avoiding costly unplanned downtime in wood-processing operations.
Butt-flare reduction can significantly increase timber yields and productivity by reducing the flare along the log's surface line, retaining the cylindrical form of the log and minimising debris.
This in turn ensures consistent flow of timber through the machines, more accurate positioning and scanning of the logs - and less stress and wear on vital equipment.
Chain for butt-flare reduction
Industrial chain has a crucial part to play in the butt-flare reduction process, as it is used to grip and spin the logs.
Over the years our team at FB Chain has worked with sawmill customers around the world to help increase machine speed and improve productivity by developing chains that have been specifically designed for butt-flare reduction.
It's not simply a case of taking a standard chain and adding attachments. The chain we supply has been especially created, and the materials carefully selected and heat treated, to ensure the chain is strong, ductile and able to withstand intense impact and shock loads.
The right lubrication is also vital. We've selected a lubricant that has excellent wear resistance, that can operate in a wide range of temperatures and that will stay in place even when subjected to rainfall or moisture.
Sectional wear strips
Replacing the manufacturer's wear strip can be time consuming.
So we've developed a special sectional wear strip that is made from Hardox - a wear-resistant, sheet steel which is characterised by its uniform evenness, hardness and strength.
Using these sectional wear strips enables the side bars and running rail to be replaced individually, which customers saves money and greatly speeds up the replacement process.
The high running speed, and debris getting between the chain roller and sprocket teeth, can lead to reduced working life of both the chain and sprockets.
Our sprockets with induction hardened teeth increase wear resistance and strength on the surface but also allow some flexibility to withstand the impact as the material gets crushed.
We keep a number of designs on stock which are directly interchangeable with the equipment manufacturer's version.
If you are interested to learn more about our chain solutions for butt-flare reduction then why not join us at LIGNA May 2019 where we will be showcasing a range of chain products for the timber-processing industry. You can also subscribe to our newsletter to receive regular updates direct to your email inbox.