Dieffenbacher to supply North America’s largest particleboard plant

In Grayling, Michigan, wedged between the famous Great Lakes and toeing the border between the United States of America (USA) and Canada, Celulosa Arauco y Constitución (Arauco) – based in Chile – is investing in the building of a particle board plant with a projected annual capacity of 800,000 m³.

Although the initial decision for Arauco and German company Dieffenbacher to work together was settled in January 2016 and trailed by an ensuing stage of detailed engineering and wrapping up with the signing of supply contracts at the end of 2016, for the very first time, the Chile-based company is procuring a complete factory from Dieffenbacher for their greenfield programme.

Two of the focal points featured in the supply agreements are Dieffenbacher’s EVOjet P gluing system, which will save up to 15 per cent of glue used; and secondly, the continuous CPS+ press, one of the biggest particle board presses found around the world with a length of 52.5 metres and breadth of 10 feet (3.05 metres).

“Arauco always exercises prudence when it comes to committing to new development. Therefore, we are all the more pleased with the confidence that Arauco has shown in us with its decision to choose the CPS+,” Head of the Wood Business Unit at Dieffenbacher, Bernd Bielfeldt, said. “We firmly believe that it was primarily our competence as a supplier of complete systems, which we have proven time and again in recent years, that convinced Arauco to award a greenfield project to us for the first time.”

The contractual agreement includes a glue mixing station, dosing silos for the wood chips, forming station and the forming line, the raw board handling system, the Lukki bearing system and the sanding line. And there is more evidence to showcase Arauco’s confidence in Dieffenbacher as well as the good experience it has had with them; the Chilean company commissioned an associated energy system from the German enterprise too.

In Grayling, the upcoming production site will produce particle boards – with a 6-40mm thickness – almost exclusively destined for furniture assembly. For Arauco, this is a wise move in its continued market expansion; the company has methodically extended its reach into the production of wood-based panels over the last few years. Already, the enterprise operates and maintains more than 1.7 million hectares of woodland in South America alongside many other power plants, plywood mills, pulp wills and sawmills.

Arauco is presently the second-largest manufacturer of wood-based panels worldwide, thanks to its share in the Sonae Group, based in Portugal, and its acquisition of North America’s Flakeboard group.

Arauco and Dieffenbacher seal the deal. Seated: Ricardo Busch (Vice President of Business Development, Arauco). From right to left, standing: Bernd Bielfeldt (Head of Business Unit Wood, Dieffenbacher); Javier González Rosas (Purchasing Manager, Arauco); Christian Dieffenbacher (Member of the Board of Management, Dieffenbacher); and Patricio Henriquez (Director of Engineering and Construction Division, Arauco).