Wood yard – the starting point for all manufacturing processes
27.09.2019 | Actualité | SWISS KRONO GROUP
Heiligengrabe. Whether OSB, MDF or laminate – all production processes start with the right wood. But which criteria are important? To answer this question, we looked around the wood yard.
When you pass the visitor center and the large factory halls in Heiligengrabe, you arrive at a special place: the wood yard is where all the factory’s production processes begin. Situated in the open air, it covers an area of around 89,000 square meters, equivalent to 12 soccer fields. A lot of wood is stored here; the total capacity is about 110,000 square meters, enough wood to fill 3,300 shipping containers. As far as the eye can see, tree trunks are stacked to meter-high wooden poles during busy periods. Each day, trucks with fresh logs wait for the massive “Kalmar” excavators to fetch supplies from their loading areas. With each load, the Kalmar transports enough wood to fully heat a single-family house for an entire year.
We walk on to the end of the wood yard. Delivery takes place here on the east-side entrance. A truck has just passed the gate and drives from the scales toward the oversized timber. At the exit, the driver repeats the weighing procedure once their vehicle has been completely unloaded. This allows them to determine the exact weight of the delivery. In addition to the entrance on the east, raw materials are also delivered via the Liebenthal freight railway station, which is also located on the factory premises.
“We only use certified thinning wood.”
Jens Wegner, Wood Yard Manager
The wood is then checked and divided according to certain quality guidelines: Important parameters for determining wood quality include the straightness of the wood, the diameter of the trunk, the degree of blue stain, the amount of rot in the trunk and the quality of the knots. If the wood does not meet these criteria, it is unsuitable for production. Depending on its destination (i.e., OSB or MDF), the wood is now laid down and stacked. The drainage trench roughly divides the woodyard into two areas – one for lighter wood and another for darker wood. Winter storage is important for smooth production throughout the cold season. Wood is retained here if the forest floors are too damp and cannot be properly managed.
The majority of the wood processed in Heiligengrabe comes from conifers in Germany and Poland. SWISS KRONO uses certified forest wood rather than relying on clearing wood. In addition to softwood, around 30% of hardwood is needed for production. In total, around 250 to 300 truckloads of timber are received each day. If these deliveries were to stop abruptly, the stored wood could still be used to keep production running for an additional 12 days.