Some of the dryers’ output is 1’4in Douglas fir, which is transferred to RFP’s Riddle, Oregon EWP plant. Plant #1 specialises in hardwood plywood, along with speciality panels, while plant #2 has concentrated on plywood sheathing. Combined annual production has been about 400 million ft2, 3’8in basis. Altogether, the two mills have 196 press openings. Peeler blocks, mostly Douglas fir, start production in 16 block-conditioning hot water vats. Plant #1 produces 120 million ft2 of 8ft and 10ft hardwood annually, in many variations on any type of substrate, such as veneer core, particleboard and MDF. Thicknesses are from 1’4in to 1in.
That plant has a Coe 244 8ft lathe with a 144in traversing cylinder charger and Altec scanning and tray controls. Retractable spindles go down to 31’8in, peeling 250 blocks/hour to a 31’2in core. Average block diameter is 141’2in. Principal thickness peeled is 1’8in. The cores are sold or chipped, depending on market opportunities. Roseburg is still pursuing upgrading on the 8ft line, to spin smaller blocks at a faster rate, and adding a pendulum charger. The lathe off-bears to a 105ft tray system feeding a Raute rotary clipper controlled by Ventek scanning. The mill also has a Coe 290 4ft pendulum-charged lathe line, which is not currently operating.
The entire dryer line through to the stacker is Raute. It employs a Sweed automatic feeder and automatically off-bears through a Raute/Mecano grade scanner with Metriguard to the Raute 12-bin auto-stackers. Grading accuracy was greatly improved and a single worker runs the line. There are four spreaders. One for 9ft and 10ft hardwoods is equipped with an automatic feeder to ease handling of heavier MDF and particleboard interior plies. The spreaders serve Williams-White hot presses: a 40-opening with Raute loader and unloader; and a 24-opening with American loader. These are preceded by Globe pre-presses. A portion of the veneer supplies, both dry and green, come from Roseburg’s Weed, California plant. "We are individual plants, but we look at our raw material from the company standpoint, too. We try to balance," Mr Ghramm commented.
Plant #2 is a sheathing mill and has four older Coe dryers and a Moore. One will be phased out. To provide some insight, Raute’s new dryer in plant #1 dries as much, or more, as plant #2’s five dryers. Plant #2 has a five-ply lay-up line assembling thick panels in 8ft, 9ft and 10ft panels. It also has a Coe four-ply 8ft line for 1’2in and 19’32in panels with an automatic 4x4ft sheet feeder and crowders. It employs Williams-White 4x10ft and 5x10ft presses – two 42-opening and two 24-opening. One press produces MDO (medium density overlay). A Globe skinner saw, Greenlee equalizer saw and Timesavers dual-head sanders follow. A Signode strapping line is last, before shipping by indoor loading for rail (60%) and trucks (40%).
The mills are running four 10-hour shifts with 375 employees, producing 450 million ft2, 3’8in basis. Regarding mill upgrading, Mr Ghramm said, "It was a three-pronged attack. We put in the dry stacker and the dryer at Plant #1 to reduce labour as well as for production, grade quality and consistency. The 8ft tray and scanner project was for quality as we tried to improve the 54s we got from the lathe. We’ve seen a 30% production increase from that lathe. Probably about half of that was from the Altec tray control and scanning." He said the company does an annual lathe rebuild on weekends and the training programme takes advantage of this. "We run through mechanical, hydraulic, process and knife grinding. Our trainees learn the nuts and bolts of the lathe. " During the last rebuild they restructured the nose bushing and spindles, progressing from about a 6in nose bushing coverage to about 18in, gaining a nine month life.
Vendors help with the training. Another Roseburg mill, to the west in Coquille, Oregon has installed a new dryer, new stackers and two new grade scanners, as well as a robot patching line.