Holtec Earns Global Respect For Crosscutting Systems
Newest System Is HOLTEC Autocut V Series with Inline Squeeze.
Date Posted: 12/2/2002
According to HOLTEC, it is the world’s largest manufacturer and supplier ofpackage crosscutting saws. To HOLTEC this means that it never rests on its laurels but always looks forward. And according to HOLTEC’s General Sales Manager, Sam Rashid, the company is tireless in its pursuit of developing a system that is better, faster, and more functional in design and use. HOLTEC ’s more than 5,000 customers are global, but its annual North American sales account for around 20% of the company’s worldwide sales.
Based in Tampa, Florida, Sam has been at the helm of HOLTEC’s North American operation for more than 20 years. "It’s been a gratifying two-decade journey that’s also enabled us to see our customers grow; to expand their corporate and personal lives," he said. "It’s what drives us. Knowing that the precision and the performance of our crosscutting systems help to fuel the success of our customers gives us enormous satisfaction. He also enjoys seeing his customers’ children graduate, marry and join the family businesses. "We’re very much a family-oriented company," Sam stressed.
Customer-Driven Innovation at Work in New System
It was collective input from its more than 5,000 worldwide customers that led to the newest addition to HOLTEC’s series of systems; the HOLTEC Autocut V Series with Inline Squeeze. First designed for use by a major sawmill in the southeast, it was HOLTEC’s response to the company’s difficulty in marketing southern yellow pine to major builder supply centers.
The mill’s production was based on long length logs, which ran contrary to the market requirements. There was an over-production of long lengths when the market demand was primarily for short lengths.
The company brought its problem to HOLTEC for a solution. Noting that all of the mill’s lumber was produced with pre-attached runners, HOLTEC ruled out a conventional roll-case system. They solved the problem by designing the first carriage-based system with an inline squeeze for cutting units with pre-attached runners.
The new system greatly enhanced the mill’s production by allowing long length production to continue unabated, while using the HOLTEC system to meet the short length requirements of the retail market.
Volume, Speed, Precision
The system uses a pre-loading assembly that enables a forklift to directly load the unit of lumber onto the squeezing assembly. Once loaded, a heavy metal wall is hydraulically pushed against the end of the lumber unit; this slides the entire unit into a fixed wall and aligns all of the pieces in the unit.
Once aligned, the fixed wall moves vertically, and an electronically controlled carriage moves the unit of lumber through the cutting area of the HOLTEC system.
With its computerized controls, the system determines the optimum cut length based on the mill’s inventory needs, and cuts the unit to a precision tolerance of ± 1mm (~.040").
For some mills this process is completely automated, from alignment to out-feed. By utilizing chain conveyors for in-feed and out-feed, forklift use with the system is minimized, saving time and money.
Since its introduction, HOLTEC has received confirming orders for this system from major sawmills. Among them are Georgia Pacific Corporation, Weyerhaeuser Company and International Paper Company, as well as industrial remanufacturers, who use the system to produce precision end trim studs, and cut material for industrial uses.
The Inline Squeeze System, the latest innovation in the series of HOLTEC systems, enhances HOLTEC’s complete line of crosscut saws that are available to meet the needs of any producer.
Banks Makes It a HOLTEC Double
Banks Lumber Corporation is a testimony to HOLTEC’s emphasis on production solutions, along with accuracy and performance. It also speaks volumes about customer loyalty.
In 1986, Sam Rashid contacted Bill Banks who, at that time, was operating Banks Lumber in Elkhart, Indiana, producing specialty length precision studs for the manufactured housing industry. After five years of repetitive contact, Bill Banks was finally convinced to purchase a HOLTEC system for its Elkhart location. That was March of 1991, and over the course of the next decade Banks Lumber grew into one of the largest industrial stock suppliers in the United States.
The company expanded its operation by purchasing and building new facilities in Indiana, Texas, Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina. Every step of the way, HOLTEC has been a partner with Banks in its business expansion.
Banks did its homework and watched the bottom line. By installing a HOLTEC system to facilitate the production of each facility, Banks Lumber says it has been able to produce material at a lower cost and provide faster delivery times to its customers than any competing suppliers in its geographic area.
New HOLTEC Adds Muscle to Operation
Banks Corporation’s latest addition to its operation was in April of this year, when it installed its newest HOLTEC system in Hillsboro, Texas.
The HOLTEC V system enabled Banks to process up to six units of lumber at one time, and to produce an output volume in excess of 200,000 board feet of precision studs per shift. "We have been using a HOLTEC V system for a year now," said Mike Scroggin, manager of Banks Lumber in North Carolina. "It has increased our production, efficiency and quality, while reducing our operating cost." "In fact," said Scroggin, "we were so pleased with the performance and production of the system we purchased an identical machine for our Texas plant." This sentiment seems to typify the general viewpoint of HOLTEC customers and is a testament to the impact that HOLTEC has had in the lumber processing industry.
Transcut Series Features Versatility, Flexibility
The Transcut® series of portable saws is priced from $5,900. They are widely used by wholesale-distribution yards to convert overstocked long length units into more marketable short length units.
Custom manufacturers of industrial products have turned to HOLTEC’s economically priced Transcut® II Station. With a price starting below $20,000, the Transcut® II Station delivers value and volume to growing businesses.
While priced economically, the station is built with HOLTEC’s hallmark of quality. It offers a complete frame to accommodate up to 20’ long packages, and includes multiple safety features including a galvanized operator’s platform and Macrolon® shielding for added protection.
The system is built to enable growing businesses to produce cut stock at a significantly lower cost than that of buying precut material or using in-house labor.
One Name, Many Profitable Solutions
HOLTEC’s line of higher production systems begins with the Selecut® series. These primarily are used by manufacturers of precision end trim studs and industrial lumber that require its rated precision of ± 1mm (~.040").
The Selecut® is a one-operator system that can produce more than 100,000 board feet per shift of precision end trim stock. It is widely used by stud mills, manufactured housing, and truss and wall panel manufacturers to produce specialty length studs. Custom pallet and industrial product manufacturers whose requirements are less than 25,000 board feet of industrial stock per shift also favor the Selecut.
The Autocut® series, HOLTEC’s most versatile crosscut system, utilizes an electrically driven carriage. This system is designed primarily for precise, high volume, multiple-package cuts. Equipped with computerized controls, it provides the ability to cut lumber to length without a dedicated operator. This system is popular in the pallet industry for cutting up to 60,000 board feet of cut-stock per shift, and where its rated tolerances of ± 1mm (.040") are critical for automated assembly and nailing systems.
According to Scott Griffin, Vice President of Southern Milling and Lumber, Inc., in Lakeland, Florida, the efficiency and speed of the HOLTEC Autocut has exceeded his every expectation. "We wouldn’t be where we are today without our HOLTEC Autocut; it’s one of the best investments we ever made," said Griffin. "It’s been trouble-free and requires virtually no maintenance," he stressed, adding that it increased the company’s volume considerably while significantly decreasing labor costs.
The MAXIMUS® series, an integrated package alignment and cutting system, is designed primarily for high production output. Mills and manufacturers that require over 60,000 board feet of cut-stock per shift rely on the MAXIMUS® system to deliver precision with speed.
The system is available with numerous conveyance and control options including a computerized control center. Each Maximus® system is designed by HOLTEC engineers to meet the specific requirements of each individual customer.
Service Is Key
HOLTEC is proud of its dedicated field service staff to install and, when required, to service its systems throughout the United States and Canada.
This is especially vital for the many HOLTEC systems in production-critical environments where any down time could mean the loss of multiple hours in product assembly. "The majority of our system problems are handled easily with a phone conference," explained Sam Rashid. "But our team of field service personnel with dedicated service vehicles available ensures that most customers are just a phone call, and a few hours, away from uninterrupted production schedules," he stressed.
Guaranteed to Perform
HOLTEC believes it is also the only manufacturer of crosscut systems that offers its customers a preventive maintenance agreement. A significant majority of HOLTEC’s one thousand-plus customers nationwide takes advantage of this agreement.
According to Dan O’Brien, HOLTEC’s Field Service Manager who has been with the company for more than 14 years, customers who sign up for preventive maintenance are the same customers who rarely, if ever, have operational problems with HOLTEC systems. "Having the ability to maintain systems on-site means that HOLTEC technicians can get to know the operators of each system," Dan explained. "We continually update them on new and improved operational procedures to enhance their production levels; this also can preempt problems," he said.
After thirty years of continuous innovation, HOLTEC isn’t slowing down. They have recently hired new sales agents in South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and are in discussion with a sales agency in mainland China. HOLTEC enters 2003 with a promise to lead, and to inspire innovative crosscutting solutions to mills and manufacturers throughout the world.
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