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Moisture Variability / Ultrasonic Methods to Monitor and Control Lumber Drying
« Last post by HencoV on November 24, 2015, 09:58:45 PM »
I came across an interesting article on using Ultrasonic Acoustic emissions to aid the drying process at the link below. I can't seem to find any more info on the topic. Does anyone know of further research on this, and if this technology is being used commercially in a kiln?
Dry Kiln Maintenance / Re: Moisture Probe Wires
« Last post by Kiln Guy on November 23, 2015, 07:40:02 AM »
Hi all,

Sorry for the late response.

It is the insulation around the wire that is perishing and we are using high temp wires. Was just curious as to what everyone else is using.

They are screw probes.

Industry Articles / An evaluation of wood kiln control practices - FPInnovations
« Last post by HencoV on November 19, 2015, 06:34:06 AM »
Interesting reading....if you can get the full article
Dry Kiln Control / Re: Questioning Kiln Controllers
« Last post by HencoV on November 19, 2015, 03:13:58 AM »
And graph 2...
Dry Kiln Control / Re: Questioning Kiln Controllers
« Last post by HencoV on November 19, 2015, 03:12:27 AM »
Let me give you an example

I was asked to help improve a kiln's performance. After studying the manual and monitoring the kiln for about a week, I took it out of “fail safe mode”, changed some user select able parameters which would improve control and tried to implement some schedule improvements.

These were some of the things that went wrong.

See graph 1. The time the vent takes before it starts opening when above EMC Setpoint: EMC act was higher than EMC set point (±16:51 at vertical line), meaning vent must start opening. The vent only started opening at ± 17:16. – This is a dead time of 25 minutes!

On graph2, just before 18:30 and fan direction change, EMC was way over set point, however, vent was only open 45%. It looks like the sample rate to decide to open the vent further is very long, hence very slow increase in proportionate vent position. Also after direction change, it took Temp actual about 70 minutes to get back to set point.

At the next direction change ±21:30, the controller lost it. The EMC went high, and it opened the vents to far so good. This is where it all stopped making sense.  Instead of opening main steam to increase DB temp, which would also have helped to bring EMC down, it started closing the main steam, resulting in EMC to rise even further.  Fortunately the controller has a manual override function, with which I forced the main steam open, and vent closed until actual and set points matched. I then put it back to auto and it carried on as if nothing happened. At the next direction change, no one was there to help it recover. The system went into “over EMC error” mode and shut down the kiln
Stacking/Sorting Wood / Re: Pre-Sorting Methods
« Last post by Craig Jensen on November 18, 2015, 11:11:58 AM »
"you may decrease drying times and improve lumber quality"
In our mill, we used to dry Engleman Spruce, Lodgepole pine, and Alpine Fir together in a product we call ESLPAF.  We also used to dry our Douglas Fir and Larch together.

We found that when we separated the larch and the DF, we were able to optimize the drying schedules and reduce drying time on both species.  We continued to use an elevated temperature schedule when drying DF, while going to a high temperature schedule on the Larch.  Rather than the combined schedules taking 20-24 hours, we were able to reduce both schedules to an average of 14-16 hours.

We then decided to separate the AF from the ESLP, with the same result.  Those schedules used to take 24 - 28 hours and now our average drying time on both is 18 to 20 hours.

My theory (unproven) is that AF and Larch both have much more bound moisture which is more easily removed over the boiling point.  However, our kilns cannot get above the boiling point until a significant amount of the free moisture is removed.  I believe that the Engleman Spruce, Lodgepole, and DF all have more free moisture, so they were holding the AF and Larch back and not allowing drying to really start until later in the schedule.
Dry Kiln Control / Re: Questioning Kiln Controllers
« Last post by Craig Jensen on November 18, 2015, 11:02:25 AM »
Good questions:
We as operators should all be asking ourselves these questions, and if we can't answer them . . . . we have homework to do.

Thanks for the challenge HencoV.

When we find the answers to our "why in the heck did it do that?" question, we should make a point of recording that instance, and then reviewing it with our other operators so that we don't all have to learn everything by experience.

There is always an answer. . . . but sometimes we get superstitious.
Dry Kiln Control / Questioning Kiln Controllers
« Last post by HencoV on November 15, 2015, 09:34:41 AM »
Kiln control systems have come a long way since capillary tubes, but, how effective and flexible are modern kiln control systems really? Did you ever get the feeling that the control system is over kill? It dazzles with so much brilliance from a software developer with so many fail safes build in that it misses some of the basics required by the control system. I have come across systems where “fail safe” slows down the fundamentals of drying so much that it borders on ridiculousness.  What is even more ridiculous is that this is perceived to be the best, because it is “high tech” and “state of the art”.  Trying to fine tune the drying process on such control systems leads to the system going into shut down. Unfortunately, raising questions to the kiln supplier ends up in a dead end.

This leads to the next question (and I know I’m treading on thin ice!) How many kiln operators are there with the know how to see that a control system is feeding them BS? And the next question: (even thinner ice!) How many true drying specialist with the years of hands on drying experience and know how, are bold enough (know enough about the actual controlling technology and logic) to question the controller, and not just accepting blindly what it is displaying?

Are we as drying managers/kiln operators not left at the mercy of clever software developers? The old school hands on drying gurus are becoming fewer and fewer world-wide.

Have you ever looked at the kiln interface, and thought “why the hell is this or that happening or not happening  at this time?”

What have you come across on your kiln controller that did not make sense? Where you able to bypass this? Could the kiln supplier help you to solve this?
Job Postings / Kiln/Boiler Supervisor - Coeurd'Alene/Athol, ID
« Last post by admin on November 10, 2015, 03:33:57 PM »

Essential Functions
  • Comprehend and perform all duties in accordance with safety rules, regulations, and policies
  • Schedule crew including overtime, projects, vacations, absences, shutdowns, and clean-up
  • Train, assist, and familiarize new hires with company rules, policies, safety, communication systems, and teamwork.
  • Ensure all new forklifts drivers are properly trained.
  • Ability to train on all work stations; knowledge of each lockout
  • Coordinate maintenance and repairs with maintenance supervisor
  • Coordinate with Quality Manager to ensure IFG quality standards are being met
  • Comprehend and comply with Job Safety Analysis
  • Ensure operators are trained on all aspects of both boiler systems which includes testing, procedure review, and documentation
  • Responsible for all drying schedules
  • Assist the dry end supervisor in planning sawmill and planer monthly and weekly runs
  • Ensure boiler operation maintains required pressure and steam flow in compliance with regulatory codes
  • Enforce all policies; initiate appropriate employee corrective action steps
  • Complete necessary paperwork in a timely and accurate manner

  • High School diploma or equivalent
  • Valid Driver's License
  • Competent data entry and typing skills including working knowledge of Microsoft Office
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Supervisory experience with working knowledge of Kiln/Boiler systems, processes, and schedules

Total Rewards
We understand the value of our team members and how each and every one plays such a vital role in the day to day success of Idaho Forest Group. Idaho Forest Group looks for driven people with strong work ethics, morals and values. When we find them, we want to keep them. Therefore, we offer competitive total rewards compensation.

Idaho Forest Group has a wide range of benefits including Health Care coverage, Flexible Spending accounts, Annual Incentive Plan, Wellness programs, Life and Disability protection, 401(k) benefits, Vacation pay, Holiday pay, Family and Self Care Leave, Scholarships, and more. We value a good balance between career and personal life and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race/ethnicity, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, genetic information, family medical history, protected veterans status, or any other status protected by law. If you are an individual with a disability and need a reasonable accommodation in our hiring process, please contact the respective HR personnel.

For more information or to apply click here

NOTE: Job postings on are provided as a free service. We do our best to keep all postings current. However, if you discover a job listed on our forum is no longer available, please send us a message to that effect and we will remove from the board. Thank you.
Job Postings / Dry End Supperintendent - Darlington, SC
« Last post by admin on November 10, 2015, 03:22:30 PM »
 Superintendent, Dry End

Tracking Code    767-108

Job Description
Canfor is one of the world’s largest and most respected integrated forest products companies. For more than 75 years, we have been delivering top-quality lumber, pulp and paper products to our valued customers worldwide. With operations in Western Canada and the Southern United States, and sales offices around the world, you can find Canfor products in every corner of the globe. We are leaders in sustainable forest management and in converting wood residuals into green energy.

As we continue to grow our company and our markets, find out how you can grow your career with us.

Reporting to the Plant Manager, the Planer Superintendent is a key member of the divisional Management Team and, as such, is responsible for providing overall leadership from the Dry Kilns to the Finished Inventory, and ensuring excellent safety performance.

Major Duties:
  • Confers with management personnel to establish production and quality control standards, develop budget and cost controls, and to obtain data regarding types, quantities, specifications, and delivery dates of products ordered.
  • Plans and directs production activities and establishes production priorities for products in keeping with effective operations and cost factors.
  • Coordinates production activities with procurement, maintenance, and quality control activities to obtain optimum production and utilization of human resources, machines, and equipment.
  • Reviews and analyzes production, quality control, maintenance, and operational reports to determine causes of nonconformity with product specifications, and operating or production problems.
  • Develops and implements operating methods and procedures designed to eliminate operating problems and improve product quality.
  • Revises production schedules and priorities as result of equipment failure or operating problems.
  • Consults with engineering personnel relative to modification of machines and equipment in order to improve production and quality of products.
  • Conducts hearings to resolve or effect settlement of grievances and refers unresolved grievances for management by human resources.
  • Compiles, stores, and retrieves production data.

Required Skills
  • Proven ability in safety, leadership, and achieving goals
  • Ensures all contractors and visitors to the planer and shipping departments are properly indoctrinated and supervised as to stay in compliance with all legal and corporate policy requirements.
  • A good understanding of maintenance and technical aspects of lumber manufacturing
  • Experience with automated grading systems and planer optimization
  • Experience as a supervisor or superintendent in wood products manufacturing
  • Excellent interpersonal, analytical, problem solving and team building skills
  • A lumber grading ticket
  • Lumber drying experience/education would be beneficial
  • Proficiency in contemporary business management skills (MS Office, an understanding of financial principals)
  • Strong organizational skills with the desire to accept the challenge of working in continually changing internal and external business conditions
  • An effective communicator with strong verbal, written and presentation skills

For more information, visit

NOTE: Job postings on are provided as a free service. We do our best to keep all postings current. However, if you discover a job listed on our forum is no longer available, please send us a message to that effect and we will remove from the board. Thank you.
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