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Efficient Cutting Sinks Material and Energy use

Andreas Bauer's picture

Thanks to a new veneer cutting process, wood specialist Blomberger makes more veneers with less wood and protects the environment while saving money. This was made possible through financial advisory by the Efficiency Agency of North Rhine Westphalen (EFA+).

Initial Situation
Blomberger Holzindustrie GmbH is the original enterprise from which originated the Delignit Group. The small business develops and manufactures products made of special plywood. Blomberger Holzindustrie produces most of all beech wood veneers and delivers to industries such as the automobile and air transport industry. In 2012, Blomberger Holzindustrie decided to improve resource efficiency in veneer cutting. In this step of the process, employees at the working band estimate the quality of the veneer and manually guide the cut using the veneer clipper. This creates veneer strips of different qualities.
The rapid throughput speed sometimes lead to miscalculations, and about 10 per cent of the veneer created in the plant must be scrapped due to quality defects.

Measures and advantages
In order to reduce the waste while maintaining the same working speed of the dry clipper, the enterprise integrated an automatic recognition and control system for the quality assessment of veneers in the plant. In addition, a camera system was installed in the intake area of the dry clipper. The camera scans the veneers and feeds the pictures into an image processing system. In that system, the colour and structure of the veneers are compared with samples and they are sorted based on their quality in one of three categories: top layer, central layer or waste. The image processing is paired with the machine control of the veneer clipper. Therefore the cuts are also done automatically.
Through the new veneer cutting process, the round timber yield of the dry cutter was improved by 2.5%. Consequently, the beech wood use in veneer production was reduced by 5%. Based on an average round timber use of 25,000 m³ per year, this means a yearly reduction of wood use of 1,250 m³.
Before even reaching the dry clipper, the wood already goes through the energy-intensive processes of steaming and drying, which means that by reducing the proportion of wood that ends up being scrapped, energy is also spared. The total energy use of the small business could thus be reduced by five per cent. The required energy per m³ of veneer sank to around 70kWh.
The image processing system can be integrated in new and existing plants, and is therefore an example for the whole industry.

The road to financing
Prior to project implementation Blomberger Holzindustrie GmbH used the advisory services of PIUS-financing. After a detailed examination of the planned measures, the small business developed a project outline for the Environmental Innovation Programme of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) with the help of EFA+. The project was financed by the Environmental Innovation Program with a 127,000 EUR grant. The final report of the project can be downloaded from www.umweltinnovations-program.de.

Project theme:
Development of a new energy-saving veneer cutting process.

Project implementation:
Blomberger Holzindustrie GmbH
Königswinkel 2-6
32825 Blomberg
www.delignit-ag.de

Contact:

PIUS-Internet-Portal
c/o Effizienz-Agentur NRW
Henning H. Sittel
Tel. 0203 378 79 51
E-Mail: info@pius-info.de

Green Eco Net
c/o Ecologic-Institut gGmbH
Dr. Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers
Tel. 030 86880 272
E-Mail: martin.hirschnitz-garbers@ecologic.eu

Source in german: Effizienz-Agentur NRW

Further details

How was the green solution financed?: 
Would you characterize the green solution as: 
High capital intensive investment (i.e. above €30,000)