Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - 206

Canada

Comact

he says. "The vision scanning
brought another concept, where we
gained in value per thousand by taking lumber and bringing it up in
value. Better decisions made higher
possible grades in every piece of lumber. Some customers gained $30 to
$35 per thousand board feet. They do
a couple hundred million board feet
in a year. These are huge paybacks - a
lot of money for them."

Design and Install

comact designs and
installs wood processing
equipment and plants all
over the world.

The amount of round wood that
has had its bark removed to produce
1,000 board feet of lumber has been
decreasing in the last few decades as
technology has improved. In the
1970s and '80s, Potvin estimates the
first generation of equipment would
need approximately 5.5 to 6 cubic
meters of debarked round wood to
produce 1,000 board feet of lumber.
During the 20-year period of the
1990s and 2000s, Potvin estimates
the amount of round wood needed for
1,000 board feet of lumber dropped
to approximately 4.5 cubic meters.
Today, he calculates only 3.0 to 3.4
meters of round wood is needed.
206

manufacturing-today.com JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014

"All over that period of time, we'd
had to design and manufacture
mechanical equipment and be precise enough to execute the solutions
and different patterns and ways of
cutting the wood," Potvin declares.
"All of that is automated today.
There is no more human decision
other than making sure the system is
running and logs are going into the
system. It went from fully manual to
completely automated."
Potvin estimates that in the last
five years, vision scanning added
from $25 to $40 in value per 1,000
board feet. "We did gain a lot on the
physical side and the geometry side,"

Comact designs and installs wood processing equipment and plants the
world over. "We design all that,"
Potvin says. "We deliver and we commission them. We do all the control
systems, as well. We take round logs
and break them down and put it all
together, and take the lumber and scan
it and trim it, and do the final package.
"We do all the mechanical, the controls, the scanning and optimization.
That is all part of what we do. Not as
Comact but as the BID Group, we
even build complete mills from the
ground up, pouring the concrete, putting up the building, installing the
electric, doing the electronic work,
and designing and manufacturing 90
percent of the equipment that will get
in the mill."
Comact has just opened a new
40,000-square-foot manufacturing
plant in St. George, S.C., to complement its 90,000-square-foot plant in
Saint-Georges, Quebec. "Our SaintGeorges, Quebec, facility does all the
high-tech equipment, and that's only
50 percent of our delivery as far as
mechanical components," Potvin says.
"The rest of the equipment is from
mid- to low-value-added equipment.
It's very expensive to put that on
trucks and freight it down to Florida,
Alabama, Texas or South or North
Carolina in this market. So by having
that plant, now we put ourselves in the
position where we can offer projects
and be way more competitive." An
added benefit is that companies in


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014

Table of Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - 1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - 2
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - Table of Contents
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