Cutting Tools Perform Important Role for Manufacturers and Recyclers
Profile Technology a Key Supplier to Pallet Industry
By Diane Calabrese
Date Posted: 10/4/2004
For 34 years, John Lieber has been working with woodworkers, machine builders, and service shops to solve their cutting tool problems. After merging with the business of his father-in-law, Norman Schwend, John incorporated Profile Technology.
One of the most exciting areas has been high quality, reliable tooling for pallet manufacturers and recyclers. Since 1978, John has continued development of a complete line of custom engineered indexable and brazed notching heads, planer heads, chamfer cutters, hogger saws, side heads, saw blades, moulder heads, shaper cutters, indexable inserts and a variety of other tools for the primary and secondary wood industry.
“Our heads are all conservatively designed with solid cutters and keyways using lock nuts or collars,” said John. “The solid chippers and keyway design provide maximum strength with minimum vibration. However, we do offer split cutters when the customer requires this special need.”
Profile Technology is known for assisting customers to adapt machinery with tooling or specialty cutting, grooving and profiling applications in the wood, plastic and non-ferrous metal industries.
One of Profile Technology’s most rewarding and useful innovations has been its development of the reliable Nailbuster® cutting tools, inserts, and saw tips for pallet recyclers. Starting in 1990, Profile Technology introduced an adaptation of its indexable notching heads to notch reclaimed stringers containing nails; they are marketed under the trademarked Nailbuster® name.
“Since then, we have developed planer heads for resizing deck boards and stringers for thickness and width, edger and hogger saws, and chamfer cutters, all with Nailbuster® inserts,” said John.
John likes to illustrate his company’s philosophy and success with its Nailbuster® technology over the past 14 years with the following story. When his youngest son, David, was in first grade, Profile Technology developed the Nailbuster® tooling concept. David listened intently one night as John explained how Profile Technology could make cutting tools that cut recycled boards containing nails so that the used boards would not have to be thrown away.
About a week later, David’s teacher informed John that David told everyone at school that his father had invented a cutting tool that meant no more trees would have to be cut down.
“Needless to say, I was astonished at David’s ‘translation,’ ” John recalled.
However, the incident made two things evident to John. One, children and adults are exposed to misinformation about the forest products industry regarding the efficient utilization of lumber, which is derived from a renewable natural resource. Second, it was now possible for pallet recyclers to make a profit from scrap lumber and boards containing nails by re-machining these boards. The pallet industry could now practice good stewardship, completing the circle for maximum utilization of forest resources.
“We are proud to be part of this industry,” said John. His enthusiasm for the industry carries over to his volunteer work with the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA) and the Missouri Forest Products Association (MFPA). John has been a member of NWPCA and currently serves on the association’s board of directors, representing associate members; in the past he has served as chairman of the membership committee. In addition, as a member of the Missouri Forest Products Association, John serves on their Midwest Forest Industry Show Committee.
Since the introduction of the first Nailbuster® products from Profile Technology, the product line has grown to include circular saw blades for end-trimming recycled deck boards and stringers that have nails, and indexable cutter heads for notching, sizing and chamfering recycled deck boards and stringers containing nails.
Profile Technology’s indexable notching heads are available in various sizes in a ‘Quick Change-Over’ design, including ½-inch, ¾-inch, 1-inch or 1-1/2-inch radius to meet any customer’s needs.
Profile Technology has developed custom tool applications for a number of companies, including Baker Enterprises, Garnett Wood, and Madison County Wood Products.
Baker Products, a manufacturer and supplier of machinery and equipment to the pallet and sawmill industries, also operates an affiliated business, Baker Enterprises, which manufactures pallet components and pallets. Baker Enterprises serves as field test site for the machinery maker, where they test and run new innovations in wood processing equipment. Because of their reliability and low maintenance, Baker Products machines come standard equipped with Profile Technology indexable notching heads and chamfer cutters.
With help from Profile Technology, Baker Enterprises has now transitioned to a new, stronger and more efficient design for its notched stringers. The company now uses Profile Technology ‘Quick Change-Over’ notching heads that form a notch with a 1-inch radius at the corners and allow for fast insert change-overs.
Baker Enterprises experimented with the ¾-inch and 1-inch radius notches, and John worked closely with both Danny Brunk, supervisor of machinery and maintenance, and Winfred Martin, resaw manager.
Notches commonly have a radius of either 1/2-inch or 1-1/2-inch, John noted. The larger radius forms more of a true arch in the wood, which makes for a stronger notch, but is considerably more expensive. The tooling for the 1-inch radius costs 27% more than the standard ½-inch radius notching heads but increases corner strength by about 60%, according to John. An added benefit of the ‘Quick Change-Over’ design is that replacing indexable inserts only takes about 15 minutes, Danny said.
“John is just an impeccable businessman that’s serviced us very well over the years,” said Clyde Reed, sales manager of Baker Products. “Due to his engineering-design background, he provided us the tooling parameters early on to do this job successfully and economically.”
The Profile Technology tooling is highly regarded by Danny, Winfred, and Melinda Hathcoat, vice-president of Baker Enterprises. “The new cutters now enable Baker Enterprises to not only provide its pallet customers with quality, dependability and service, but by adding the 1-inch radius ‘Quick Change-Over’ heads, it reduces our maintenance costs and down time,” said Melinda.
The importance of the high-performance cutters from Profile Technology to Baker Enterprises cannot be overstated, said
The Profile Technology indexable head with the 1-inch radius notch has only 22 carbide inserts per head, which allows for very quick servicing. The standard ½-inch radius notching head uses 40 carbide inserts, and the 1-1/2-inch radius design uses 34 carbide inserts.
The carbide tips are so strong that even when he changes them, “They still have serviceable life,” said Danny.
“We notched some 80,000 stringers on the same 22 carbide inserted head,” Danny added. “No doubt it would have done 100,000 or more on just one cutting edge of the heavy duty carbide inserts.”
Baker Enterprises buys hardwood cants in 8-foot to 10-foot lengths from sawmills in the region. They are fed into a Baker V-deck unscrambler and then conveyed to a Baker four-head multi-select cut-off saw that typically cuts them into 40-inch and 48-inch pieces. The cants are sized on a Baker BX two-head band resaw to a width of 3 1/2- inches. Then they are stacked and stored until needed at the resaw line.
There are three resaw cut-up lines to process the sized cants further into deck boards or stringers. One line is dedicated to stringers, and the Baker double-head notcher is part of the line. About 85% of stringers are notched for four-way pallets.
Working a 40-hour week, the 18 employees at Baker Enterprises produce about 450,000 pallets annually. Most pallets are assembled automatically on a Viking Turbo 505 nailing machine. “We do very little hand nailing,” said Melinda.
“The high quality pallets that we manufacture” define Baker Enterprises, said Melinda. “We work with the Missouri Division of Labor Standards and we are OSHA exempt. We have an excellent record for safety and a very clean facility.”
After earning a business administration degree, Melinda went to work for Baker Enterprises 16 years ago. She is currently on the Missouri Forest Products Association board of directors and has taken on other leadership roles in the industry. Danny has been a mechanic for many years and has been with Baker for 14 years.
Another company that relies on Profile Technology as a supplier is Garnett Wood Products Co., which is led by Mark Garnett, vice-president and general manager. The family business was launched in 1965, and Mark joined after graduating from
Garnett Wood Products, working mainly with oak and hickory, makes new and remanufactured pallets as well as pallet cut stock. The company processes its wood waste into charcoal.
“We’ve used a number of different cutters from Profile Technology over the years,” said Mark. “Profile Technology takes good care of us, and their products have proven to be of the highest quality and dependability.”
Garnett Wood Products uses Profile Technology cutting tools to form stringer notches for a customer requiring the 1-1/2-inch radius. The 1-1/2-inch radius head design only uses 34 carbide teeth. “It’s made our pallet runners stronger and reduces our insert change-over time,” said Mark, who served as president of the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association in 1994.
“We had talked to a lot of people with cutting tools from Profile Technology,” he added, “and received good recommendations about them as a reliable supplier for tooling.” The Profile Technology cutting tools have met all Mark’s expectations. “They are good products,” he said. “They also do a good job on service and provide quick turn around.”
Madison County Woods Products also looks to Profile Technology for cutting tools.
Madison County Wood Products is primarily a pallet manufacturing company. The company operates a sawmill that manufactures grade lumber. In addition to making pallet cut stock, the company manufactures other products from low-grade hardwoods, such as railties and flooring. Residuals are processed into chips and mulch.
The sales staff for Madison County Wood Products is located in
“We’ve known John for a long time,” said
“A few years ago, we had an opportunity to recover rough planed saw mill lumber if we could make the economics work,” said
In addition to manufacturing pallet cut stock, the company buys a large volume of cut stock. “We purchase about 70 percent of what we assemble” into pallets, said
Madison County Wood Products has 100 employees. It produces about 12 truckloads of pallets each day for a wide range of customers.
Profile Technology works with customers to design cutting tools that precisely match wood type and production goals. From initial concept to finished tools, delivery for custom engineered tools ranges from one day to a few weeks.
“Like Baker Enterprises, Garnett Wood Products and Madison County Wood Products, all of our customers are treated like family,” said John. “We take pride in helping our customers improve their manufacturing efficiencies and bottom line by creating solutions for their problems.”
For more information about Profile Technology and its products, contact the company at (800) 369-4242 or visit the Web site at www.profiletech.com.
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