Swiss Krono SAS, based in Sully-sur-Loire, is the production hub for Swiss Krono in France, having extensive production operations and a total wood-based panels manufacturing site capacity of 824,000m3.

Swiss Krono SAS has been present in Sully-sur-Loire since 1988 and today employs around 400 people to produce and market wood-based products: chipboard and particleboard, OSB and MDF, decorative melamine panels, HPL laminates, edgebands and laminate flooring.

A key part of its operation is the emphasis on the environmental aspects of its activities. Part of that is a commitment to increasing the use of recycled wood for particleboard production.

“We started using recycled wood in our particleboard production 10 years ago,” explained Guillaume Salmon, industrial director at Swiss Krono France.

“In 2019, 50% of our raw material came from recycled wood. Then we set a target to increase the share of recycled wood even more.”

To hit that target, Swiss Krono commissioned Dieffenbacher to modernise, optimise and expand its wood recycling line.

Now, two years after that modernisation, the line has boosted the share of recycled wood in the plant’s wood mix from 50% to about 65%.

The Dieffenbacher solution for Swiss Krono included a stone separator in combination with new rollers to clean the microchips, X-ray sorting to remove nonwooden impurities from the chip-sized material, a flip-flop screen that separates unusable dust upstream of the dryer, sifting tables that clean fine particles from sand and MDF fibres, plus a Prallfiner to produce the fine core layer material.

“Despite the challenging circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the collaboration with Dieffenbacher was excellent at all times,” said Mr Salmon.

“We always found a solution to every issue. In the engineering phase, Dieffenbacher created a 3D scan of our existing structures. This was very important because the whole set-up – most of it is located in a multi-storey tower – was quite complex.

“Thanks to the 3D scan, we were not only able to integrate the new equipment perfectly into our existing structures, but we also used it frequently in communication, for example, to inform our employees in the factory about the project.”

In addition to increasing the share of recycled wood in the wood mix, the Dieffenbacher solution has provided other improvements.

“The whole installation is cleaner now. Processing recycled wood creates a lot of dust, and the machines can get dirty very quickly if they’re not properly maintained and cleaned. The new line is easier to keep clean than the old one.”

Another of Swiss Krono’s goals was to ensure board quality while increasing the recycled wood ratio. “In the past, customers sometimes complained about metal parts in the boards, which damaged their machinery,” Mr Salmon recalled. “Since we started using the new Dieffenbacher equipment, we’ve had zero complaints.”