A peek into Finnish sawmilling efficiency

The sawmill is delivered by Weinig

Koskisen boasts one of Finland’s largest and most modern planing mills, delivered by Weinig. The versatile planing line can handle cutting to size, splitting, and all-round planed, as well as packaging the products into consumer packages.

“Of the sawn timber we produce, roughly a quarter is further processed at our mills. Last year, we planed close to 80,000m3 and this year we are targeting a 20 per cent increase,” says the sawmill’s production manager, Jaakko Huttunen.

“Shift production at the planing mill varies quite a bit, depending on the dimensions of the product being processed, but I can say that we plane an average of roughly 400 m3 in a 24-hour period. The maximum speed of the planer is 400 m/min, although we don’t run at that speed every day,” Huttunen adds.

High-quality planed timber

Timber planing is a skilled trade where the machine operator must know the properties of the sawn timber like the back of his hand. The machine blades must also be properly maintained in order to achieve a sufficiently high-quality surface.

Grooves are made lengthwise on the bottom side of the planed timber to prevent the board from bulging due to moisture variations.

“You have to really know the sawn timber production process well, and it takes at least a year of training to become a professional planer,” says planing supervisor Mika Lehtonen, who himself learnt his trade on the planing line.

“One of the most demanding planed products is Finnish varnish-grade timber, where the surface quality must be near perfect in order for the varnishing to succeed,” Lehtonen stresses.

In addition to visually monitoring the planed profile, it is also monitored with a triple-camera profile gauge located at the end of the planer. The gauge immediately reveals if the pattern changes, down to the millimetre. Finished products are sorted visually, in addition to which continuous quality control takes place at every work point.

The planed timber is always delivered to customers well-packaged and protected, keeping the profile intact and the surface clean. End uses for these finished products include exterior and interior cladding boards, as well as floors.

Approximately one fifth of the planed timber produced at Koskisen’s timber yard is processed further with a coat of paint, in which case exterior cladding boards can be delivered to the customer painted, ready to install or with fire protection.


Text and images: Koskinen