Fabio Paron, the managing director of Globus, a company which he founded in 1981, has many years’ experience in the machinery business and his background is firmly in research and development (R&D) and in designing and realising innovations for the wood preparation sector.

Mr Paron admits that, in the past, he perhaps concentrated too much on that aspect of the business and not enough on sales and marketing.

However, in recent years all that has changed and Globus has become better known in the panel manufacturing business.

“We took out our first patent in 1991 and have taken out five more since then, with two potential patents coming up in the next couple of months,” said Mr Paron when interviewed at his Galliate premises in June.

One of the latest of those patents is for a pre-debarking system which he said will improve the efficiency of debarking in MDF plants by increasing the performance of the debarking drum.

Talking of patents, Globus has a knife ring flaker – the SRC 1400-AR – which was issued with a patent in Germany in 1992. Mr Paron said it is the only flaker covered by worldwide patent.

This machine was designed to address the problems of conventional flakers, which Globus says have distribution discs that are either too small or too big, causing machine overloading in the central area of the knife ring, uneven wear of knives and shoes and lower flaking capacity.

The SRC 1400-AR addresses this by having its patented ‘wobble spreader’. This inclined, eccentric disc, with variable speed drive, is designed to spread the chips more uniformly across the flaking ring. Advantages claimed are a 30% higher flaking capacity, better quality flakes, and savings in knife and shoe wear and in energy consumption.

The latest machine to be produced by Globus is not a flaker, but the Cam Classifier and this took centre stage on the company’s stand at the Ligna exhibition in Hannover, Germany, this year.

“This is the biggest result in our history – our most important new product,” said Mr Paron proudly. “Tests have shown that, for the same job, the performance of the Cam Classifier is four times better than its competitor machines.”

It was brought to market following two years of development and testing and generated 128 serious enquiries at this year’s Ligna exhibition in Germany, he said.

The machines with which it competes are generally called screens, but Globus felt that, because of its innovative mechanical concept, it should have a different designation, hence the word ‘Classifier’.

The Cam Classifier may look like a roller or disc screen from a distance, but is in fact a quite different concept.

It employs elliptical cams with a ‘V’ profile and these are the basis of the system, as Mr Paron explained.

“Our competitors use circular rollers or discs in their screens and these have very low performance and low speed. Because the bed of particles on the screen can have a maximum thickness of 40-50mm, the fines float on top. In our system, we use kinetic energy. Our cams, as they flick round, make the particles jump, giving energy to the particles. These then jump to different heights according to their weight – big particles absorb more energy and jump higher than mid-size ones, which jump higher than small ones,” he explained. “This is what improves the performance of our Cam Classifier.”

There are gaps between the cams along the bed, set according to customer requirements, allowing the appropriate fractions to fall through and be collected.

A particularly unusual feature of the Classifier is the material from which the cams are made. They are not steel like disc or roller screens, but are made of a specially developed resilient polymer around a Kevlar core.

“This construction is much lighter than steel,” explained Mr Paron. “But we can also offer the Classifier with hardened steel cams for recycling companies which want to sort glass or domestic waste for example.”

The whole Cam Classifier can be tilted to any angle up to a maximum of 40 degrees, to suit the type of material to be classified.

Another Globus product is the centrifugal mill designated ‘MSG’, which the company says is particularly suited to continuous panel production lines.

This mill has interchangeable rings and is claimed to be the only mill with hydraulic ejection of the ring, facilitating a quick change time of eight minutes when switching from core to surface layer for particleboard for example.

“You almost double the production with the slotted-hole screen and use half the energy. This is particularly useful for companies putting recycled wood through hammermills. Using the core ring produces particles which will fill the holes in the core layer to produce a better quality panel,” said Mr Paron.

In the last four years, Globus has supplied several complete chipping lines to panel mills. The latest one was for Alfa Wood in Greece for which the company supplied feeding, chipping and discharge in a chipping line for MDF. In September, PT Kutai Timber will start a new line for which Globus has supplied all the machines for the preparation of chips and flakes.

The company is currently supplying its fourth line to Hungary, in the form of a chipping line with a capacity of 600m3 per hour, in this case producing chips for an energy generation plant – another important market for Globus.

In addition to supplying complete lines, service accounts for about 30% of the business.

Mr Paron gained his industry experience in a company called Mundus, which made debarking lines. He was the agent for a German manufacturer of machinery for producing and refining wood chips.

When he left Mundus, Mr Paron decided to found Globus, which became a producer of spare parts and also rebuilt/reconditioned chippers and knife ring flakers for its customers.

It was this experience, coupled with years of R&D, that brought the company to its present position, where it offers waste wood shredders, chippers and associated feeding systems, re-chippers, vibrating conveyors, double stream mills, hammer mills, unidirectional vibrating screens for dust and chips, chip storage, dryers and pre-debarking systems. These are in addition to the above mentioned innovations such as the Cam Classifier. In fact, the R&D department is soon to move to larger premises, reflecting its continued importance to the company.

Experience, plus research, plus marketing have today made Globus an increasingly well-known name in the panel industry, claimed Mr Paron.