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Storti Edger, Gang-Rip Offer Option For Recovering Lumber from Slabs
G. Wine Sales has several Storti slab recovery systems running in U.S.

By Enterprise Staff
Date Posted: 3/17/2004

   What would you rather get out of those slabs – chips or good deckboards and stringers?

   The slab recovery system offered by Storti, the Italian pallet and sawmill machinery manufacturer, efficiently produces stringer and deckboard material from slabs – and with little labor.

   The benefits of recovering good lumber from material that would otherwise go to the chipper are self-evident. The lumber is worth more than chips, obviously. In addition, in today’s tight hardwood raw material climate, with logs in relatively low supply and prices high, recovering as much usable lumber from every log is even more paramount.

   G. Wine Sales is the exclusive North American agent representing Storti. In addition to making slab reclaim systems, the Italian machinery maker manufactures scragg mills and other sawmill equipment and automated pallet assembly systems.

   Storti is well known in Europe. The family-owned business headed by Giancarlo Storti and originally launched by his father, has been manufacturing woodworking machinery for more than 40 years. The company’s operations are based in a small town in northern Italy, about a two hour drive south of Milan. Factory, warehouse and offices are all in one location.

   Storti supplies individual component machines and complete turnkey cut-up systems. A Storti scragg mill line, from the log to stacked pallet boards and including slab recovery, requires only four to five workers to run.

   Storti scragg mills are designed to process pallet logs. They are equipped with circular saw blades and are available with two blades, four, or more. The scragg mill lines are designed to produce between 35-55,000 board feet of pallet lumber — depending on log diameter — in an eight-hour shift.

   Other Storti sawmill component equipment includes log sorting and handling equipment, band head rig and carriage for grade lumber, slasher saws, multi-rip saws and edgers.

   Storti manufactures three automated nailing systems that are being marketed to North America under the model names Flex 2200, Flex 2600 and T-Flex. All the machines are beam-type nailers and can assemble block and stringer pallets; the Flex 2200 and Flex 2600 are tandem nailing lines while the T-Flex is a single nailer. The systems can include in-line equipment for automatic chamfering, corner-trimming and branding, or they can be added later.

   Pallet and sawmill companies in the U.S. and Canada that buy Storti equipment get parts and technical assistance from a North American-based service company headed by Lawrence Zavitz. Lawrence and his staff of technicians are fully trained on the Storti nailing systems and sawmill equipment. The service company can supply parts within 24 to 48 hours via overnight shipment. Blades for Storti-made sawmill equipment may be purchased from North American suppliers.

   G. Wine Sales has sold several of the Storti slab recovery systems to sawmill and pallet plants in Virginia and Wisconsin.

   At a mill in Virginia, the Storti slab recovery system consists of two principal pieces of equipment – an edger followed by a horizontal gang-rip or gang saw. The machines are processing slabs from a Cooper scragg mill that is taking two sides off a bolt. The slabs fall onto a chain conveyor and are fed to a Storti unscrambler. The unscrambler lifts the slabs and singulates them to be fed into the edger, which has a roll-case infeed with an automatic centering device.

   On a day Pallet Enterprise visited the plant with G. Wine Sales representative Jim Reynolds, the Storti line was set up to recover 5/8-inch deckboard material in a 3 ½-inch width. The mill was running all hardwood – white oak, red oak and maple.

   The edger removed two sides of the slab. As the wood exited the edger, the remaining piece travels along a narrow metal slat conveyor. The two edges fall into a conveyor below that feeds to the chipper.

   The Storti horizontal gang saw is the next stop. Each arbor can run five saw blades. Passing through the horizontal gang, each slab was sawn into several pieces of deckboard material, which exited onto a wide conveyor.

   The Storti line required only two workers. One manned the control panel at the edger infeed, and the second worker separated finished material as it exited onto the conveyor, which takes it to a multi-trim saw to be cut to size.

   The Storti RM-400 edger, available in either two or three saw configuration, features movable saw blades and an automatic speed control regulated by a sensor to set the optimum working speed. The operator sees when the feed speed is automatically adjusted.

   The Storti RM-400 edger will take slabs a minimum of 35 inches long and will cut a maximum of 7.5 inches deep with the 16-inch diameter blades. It can produce material as narrow as 3 ½ inches wide to 5 inches wide or larger.

   Blade movement is controlled electronically with digital read-out with pneumatic control of the center blade when required. Pressure rollers are pneumatically controlled. Saws are powered by either dual or triple 15 or 20 hp motors. Feed speed is approximately 200 feet per minute.

   The Storti horizontal twin shaft multi-rip R-16 (horizontal gang saw) features a similar automatic speed control system with sensor that allows the machine to run at optimum working speed. It can run material from 2 ½ inches to 8 inches wide, a minimum of 35 inches long and 1 inch thick. The saws are powered by two 30 or 40 hp motors while the feed motor is 5 hp. The machine can run at feed speeds ranging roughly from 15 to 180 feet per minute.

   The Storti slab recovery system, which was installed in two days by Storti technicians, has the capability to produce 10,000 board feet of lumber in an eight-hour shift. It may include a cut-off saw to trim slabs to length before they proceed to the edger and multi-rip, a complete system that would produce finished pallet stock.

   Storti can also supply optimization equipment that will automatically scan the slab, determine the best cutting solution and set the saws to recover the most lumber.

   Storti also manufactures a large gang rip with greater horsepower and the capability to run more blades.

   Another Storti R-16 horizontal slab saw is operating at Swift Creek Forest Products, a pallet manufacturing business in Amelia, Va. operated by Scott Long and his father, Jerry. They were so impressed with the Storti gang-rip saw that G. Wine Sales displayed at the 2002 Richmond Expo that they decided to buy the machine on exhibit. G. Wine Sales also exhibited a Storti automated pallet assembly system at the Richmond Expo that year.

   Swift Creek, started by Jerry in 1976, manufactures pallets, containers, crates, and industrial lumber, serving customers in the mid-Atlantic region. The company has about 40 employees. Swift Creek is equipped with a Tipton Ironworks scragg mill for sawing pallet logs and Brewer Inc.-Golden Eagle and Pendu Mfg. gang saw systems for resawing cants. The mill and pallet operations run about 80% hardwood.

   Prior to seeing the Storti equipment at the Richmond Expo, Scott had little or no knowledge of wood processing machinery manufacturers outside the U.S. or Canada.

   “I liked the concept…as far as slab recovery,” he said. “It produced clean lumber with uniform thickness,” and processed the slab in one pass.”

    “It looked like a nice, well-built machine,” said Scott. Nevertheless, he had some hesitancy about buying a machine built in Europe because of concerns about obtaining parts and service.

   “One reason we didn’t have a problem buying a Storti is that we have been dealing with Greg, and he is a reliable person to work with,” said Scott. Swift Creek has a long association with Greg as a supplier. The company has been buying pallet and sawmill machinery from him for 20 years, Scott estimated.

   As it has turned out, in the nearly two years they have owned the Storti machine, it has not required service or parts. The machine runs every day. “It’s very reliable,” said Scott. “It does a fine job.”

   “The best pallet stock we create now comes through our Storti slab recovery,” said Scott. “We used to take slabs and run them through the chipper…Now we’re getting nice clean lumber.”

   At Swift Creek, the slabs go through a Brewco Fast Line edger prior to the Storti gang-rip. The trimming process is done last with chop saws to maximize yield.

   Scott was one of several sawmill and pallet businessmen who accompanied Greg on a recent trip to Europe to visit Storti’s facilities and several of its customers.

   “I was very impressed,” said Scott, with Storti’s manufacturing, fabrication and design operations. “It’s a very professional outfit,” he said.

   Storti is very attentive to each individual customer’s needs, said Scott. “I was impressed by Giancarlo Storti’s desire to become personally involved in solving my machinery needs. I really felt like they were more interested in making my company more efficient, not just interested in selling equipment.”

   With Greg and the others on the trip, he visited and toured several sawmill and pallet plants in Italy, Switzerland and France. “They’re very innovative,” said Scott. “They utilize their labor very wisely. Their process of handling logs is a lot different than ours…It was interesting.”

   In the mills, the Storti machines and systems were “running great,” Scott reported. “You could tell the machines are made well and will last. They’re well engineered.”

   In addition to representing Storti, G. Wine Sales also represents the West Plains Resaw Co. line of band saws, notchers, cut-off saws, unscramblers and decks. G. Wine Sales also developed its own board stacker. The company offers complete installation and service. G. Wine Sales also brokers sales of used pallet and sawmill machinery.

   Greg started a pallet and sawmill machinery business in 1995, essentially beginning as a manufacturer’s representative who marketed and sold the West Plains Resaw Co. line of equipment. The company has grown and expanded to also offer complete scragg mill systems and pallet nailing systems, and it has ventured into developing and manufacturing pallet equipment with the G. Wine Sales name plate.

   Greg plans to display a Storti slab recovery system at his company’s exhibit at the Richmond Expo June 4-5 in Richmond, Va.

            For more information, contact G. Wine Sales at (540) 644-9220, fax (540) 663-4081, visit its Web site at www.palletmachinery.com, or e-mail palletmachinery@hotmail.

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