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Suppliers Offer Equipment Solutions For Heat Treating Pallets, Containers
Heat-treating pallets and lumber has come to the forefront with the establishment of global phytosanitary standards; special section provides information on suppliers of heat-treating equipment.

By Staff
Date Posted: 10/1/2005

Treating processes for lumber and pallet have come to the forefront in recent years since the establishment of global phytosanitary standards for wooden pallets and containers to eliminate the spread of wood-eating insects from one country to another.

Lumber and pallets may be treated by fumigation or heat to eliminate the risk of insect infestation, and procedures are in place to certify that wood packaging meets the global phytosanitary rules.

The global phytosanitary standard for wood pallets and packaging has created a new opportunity for pallet suppliers to provide a value-added service for customers – fumigating or heat-treating pallets to be used for export applications.

Treating lumber and pallets with wood is not an entirely foreign concept, of course, because the forest products industry is accustomed to kiln drying lumber. Although heat treating for global phytosanitary standards and kiln drying lumber are not the same, they share some similarities in science, technology and equipment.

In fact, many companies supplying heat treating systems for the pallet and container industry are manufacturers and suppliers of dry kilns and dry kiln equipment. They have many years of experience in supplying kilns for lumber drying, and have used their expertise to develop heat treating solutions for the pallet industry. In fact, some have developed systems that can perform dual functions — treating pallets to meet phytosanitary standards and kiln drying lumber. In addition, some suppliers have had prior industry specific experience with equipment and products for heat treating processes for pest eradication.

Equipment solutions for heat treating pallets vary widely, depending on a number of factors. Systems are available to treat relatively small quantities of pallets (less than a truckload) to multiple truckloads. Suppliers can erect a heat treatment chamber from the ground up, provide units that can be readily put in place on a concrete pad, or supply equipment packages that enable heating treating pallets in a shipping container or trailer van. Chambers may allow loading and unloading pallets by forklift, or they may use a specialized loading system. Fuel may range from wood to electricity or propane.

Another issue to consider in evaluating and selecting equipment for heat treating pallets is the control system and record keeping. Systems are available that function automatically and may be monitored remotely; they also capture and record data during the process – information that may be needed to meet certification requirements.

There are also differences with respect to cycle times and fuel costs per pallet.

The following pages contain information on advertisers that supply pallet heat treating equipment. Also included is information on advertisers that supply related computer software or are accredited certification agencies.

As with any decision to invest in plant or equipment, carefully scrutinize your company’s requirements and the technology offered by suppliers.

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