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EXPO Richmond Review
Review of new products displayed at Richmond EXPO 2014

By Staff
Date Posted: 7/1/2014

                Thousands of people from around the country gathered together again this year at EXPO Richmond 2014, which has become the predominant venture for seeing live pallet equipment in action every two years in the United States. Formally called the East Coast Sawmill and Logging Equipment Exposition, the event featured sawmill, logging, pallet and wood processing equipment.

                Many exhibitors commented that EXPO Richmond overall attendance was down a bit from historic highs of the early 2000s, but the overall quality of attendees was good, and many people came with the intention of buying.

                Susan Jennings, the president of the Virginia Forest Products Association, which puts on the show, said, “Attendance was higher than 2012 although it was not as high as the early 2000s. The total number of exhibitors was less than the historic highs, but the overall number of spaces was near the record pace of 2000-2002 shows.”

                EXPO Richmond had visitors from more than 17 foreign countries including Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.

                Jennings added, “The reason that I hear from exhibitors that Richmond is such a good show is consistency. Decision makers attend and they are usually ready to buy. Plus, they can come and see the equipment live and in many cases in operation. And that makes all the difference.” 

                This article is a guide to the new products showcased at EXPO Richmond. Although the pace of innovation has slowed a bit from the heyday back about 10-15 years ago. There are still some new things to see that can help you become more efficient, boost production and possibly save you money.


Pallet Machinery Group

                Greg Wine of Pallet Machinery Group (www.palletmachinery.com) and Gary Sill of Automated Industrial Technologies (AIT) (www.autoindtech.com) debuted a new product that I called “Robo Saw.” It is a trim saw that can adjust on the fly to trim whatever size you want. This new design can process 600 ft. per minute. AIT has already sold a number of units to a facility in the western United States that has connected this saw to optimization and scanning equipment. Sill said the new design, which uses a circular saw blade, is perfect for defect cutting.

                Pallet Machinery Group ran its new HY400 center split resaw designed for a variety of high-speed cutting applications. It is capable of both center splitting and line bar cutting. Each 50-HP spindle can accommodate up to three blades. The oversized bearings provide long life, even in severe applications. The saw is equipped with a driven infeed system and a driven exit system to pull boards through the blades at the approximate rate of 400 board ft. per minute during ideal running conditions. Also included is a dust collection outlet to remove excess sawdust through a dust collector system you specify and provide.



                Storti (www.storti.it) also had on display its multi-ripsaw R35, which is new to the U.S. market. This design has been used in Europe for years although it has recently been retrofitted for U.S. lumber dimensions and a U.S. made motor.

                The R35 is designed to replace horizontal bandsaw technology with a compact ripsaw that combines efficiency and accuracy. It can be autofed without requiring an operator and fits in small spaces. The R35 accepts 3.5" and 5.5" wide, 2, 3 and 4-sided cants. 


Viking Engineering & Development Inc.

                Viking Engineering & Development Inc. (www.vikingeng.com) showcased its new Turbo 606® nailing machine. This new model offers changeover times that are half the time of a Turbo 505 and has the capability of producing upwards of 2,000+ pallets per shift with 3 operators. The 606 also features remote monitoring that allows managers to access machinery data and production results via a computer as well as mobile devices.

                The Turbo 606® also uses a new nail delivery system. The all new nail delivery system maximizes efficiency by reducing the number of nail bowls down to only one. Viking states that having a non-adjustable nail bowl and a large capacity nail hopper dramatically decreases changeover times. In addition, the new FMS on the center chucks, FMS on the intermediate conveyor and FMS on the center rails reduces changeover times.

                Viking also ran a Champion QC306® equipped with its mat and block kits. This retrofit service allows you to produce mats or full-perimeter block pallets. You can utilize one operator to produce 400-500 units. It can handle two or three rows of blocks and allows for clinch nailing.


GBN Machine & Engineering

                GBN Machine & Engineering (www.nailerman.com) showcased its new Reel Horse nailing machine designed to produce cable reel flanges. The unit on display is getting ready to be shipped to Van Vorst Lumber in Union Hill, Illinois. According to GBN, this system features the widest nailer built in North America if not the world. It is capable of power clinching nails, which is critical to make sure that the nails are down and holding properly for better reels at a lower cost. This innovative design highlights GBN’s capability in unique nailing applications.


Rayco Industries

                Rayco Industries (www.raycoindustries.com) ran its Pallet Pro and Edge machines. New enhancements include upgraded PLCs, a new Red Lion G306A00 display on its Pallet Pro and changes to its pneumatic tool fire control station. 

                The Red Lion unit is very operator friendly and allows for easy adjustments to different parameters while running day-to-day orders. The Red Lion can be programmed for each pallet with a default setup. It also allows the operator to adjust different parameters such as speeds, stack height, home dwell time and nail positions for their daily runs. Over 100 pallets can be programmed and stored so that the operator can quickly change from one pallet to another. This display also includes a production counter and an in-stack counter that can be set and when that value is met the stacker can eject each stack and then reset to continue.

                Rayco has also made upgrades to its pneumatic tool fire control station to help the operator regulate the tools and trigger pressures. This change allows the operator to make adjustments to the machine without powering down and climbing up on the machine. Another upgrade is individual MAC valves to activate the firing of the tools which provides for better performance and adjustability.


Baker Products

                Baker Products (www.baker-online.com) displayed its Model C resaw with 36-inch wheels. Baker hopes the larger wheels will extend bandsaw blade life. This new enhancement will be included in the new sawmill installation planned for Baker Enterprises later this summer. Read the cover article in the May issue of Pallet Enterprise for more information.


Brewer Machine & Parts, LLC

                Brewer (www.brewermach.com) launched its new Eliminator gang saw targeting customers with multiple costly changeovers during a shift. The twin double arbors enable changeover of one set while the other is still in operation eliminating downtime due to changeovers.  Automatic planer height adjustments and remote linear speed settings are additional features which allow accurate adjustments during uptime since the machine is rarely down.  The unit on display was custom built for NILCO.



                Wood-Mizer (www.woodmizerindustrial.com) debuted its HR700 horizontal resaw. It offers a large 16"x16" cant capacity and variable speed powered hold down rollers and a dual steel conveyor. Standard setworks allow single or multiple head preset adjustment with the hit of a button.


Pallet Repair Systems

                Pallet Repair Systems (PRS) (www.pallet-repair.com) promoted its new modular stacker and sortation system. The Model I-L stackers offer in-line pallet stacking, which saves floor space and eliminates the need for 90 degree transfers. These stackers are modular by design and can be coupled with whatever number of units are needed to do the job. PRS also had on display its mechanical repair station equipped with a mechanized deckboard remover. It removes nearly any broken deckboard from a stringer style pallet at the push of the button. This approach eliminates the need to use pry bars, which has become standard practice and is a much more difficult way to achieve the same result.

Smart Products

                Smart Products (www.smartproductsinc.com) made improvements to a wide variety of its equipment. Two unique additions were the addition of ball bearings on the infeed of its bandsaw dismantler and new safety features designed to prevent accidental operation. The ball bearings make it easier for an operator to handle and move a pallet.


Air-Flow Trailer Systems

                One unique product that the Pallet Enterprise introduced last year was Air-Flow Trailer Systems (http://www.aftstrailers.com/) and its modification kits for pallet trailers. The amount of air flow the two fans can generate is impressive and has been proven by studies from Virginia Tech to retard mold growth.

                For a fairly minimal cost, you can retrofit trailers and then market these as a special service worthy of a premium fee. When you consider the cost of returned pallets, these modification kits are a no brainer. The smart way to deploy this technology seems to be to use it with real problem accounts and charge more for the service.


White & Co.

                White & Co. (www.whiteandcompany.net/) offered demonstrations of its new Best Load software. While this technology has been in development for years, it has just recently been made available to the market. The idea is to optimize the total unit load by analyzing the interaction between the load, pallet and packaging. In many cases, you can save customers a lot of money on carton packaging even if you increase the cost of the pallet.

                Best Load increases your importance to customers because it positions you as total packaging solution provider not just a pallet guy. The software allows you to differentiate yourself in the market and begin developing opportunities to provide new services and products because you can save money when everything is analyzed as a true system.

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