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Comparing Suppliers of Pallet Heat-Treating Systems, Chambers
Heat-Treating Review: A review of advertisers that supply heat-treating systems for the pallet industry with information about various models they provide.

By Staff
Date Posted: 4/1/2008

   Treating pallets for export applications is another way that pallet suppliers can add value to their products and profits to their business.

   Treating processes for lumber and pallets have come to the forefront in recent years since the establishment of global phytosanitary standards for wooden pallets and containers to prevent 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. Proper treatment and marking is the only way for wood packaging material to comply with the international standard.

   Having the capability to supply heat-treated pallets may become even more important in the future. Federal officials are considering regulations that would require treatment of all wood pallets – not just pallets for export shipments — in order to prevent the spread of wood-eating insects in the U.S. A regulatory approach has been endorsed by the leadership of the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association, the leading U.S. trade association of the pallet industry.

   Many companies supplying heat treating systems for the pallet and container industry are manufacturers and suppliers of dry kilns and dry kiln equipment. 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, 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.

   Heat-treating systems can vary widely. Various systems are available to treat relatively small quantities of pallets (less than a truckload) or 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 heat 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.

   The accompanying charts contain information on advertisers that supply pallet heat treating equipment. We submitted a survey form to each one to capture information. Some of the questions we asked were:

   • Do you offer on-site or telephone technical service and at what cost?

   • How many standard models do you offer?

   • What is the chamber design, delivery method and loading method?

   • What is the capacity of GMA pallets?

   • What is the heating method and heating output?

   • What is the control system?

   • Does the chamber have cool down venting?

   • What is the reporting method?

   The information has been compiled in the accompanying tables, and it is a good starting point if your company is exploring options for heat-treating pallets.

   As with any decision to invest in plant or equipment, carefully scrutinize your company’s requirements and the technology offered by suppliers. The more information you gather, the better informed will be your decision.

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