Canadian Forest Products is one of the largest sawmill companies in Canada. During 2005-2006 Canfor modernized their Plateau sawmill in Vanderhoof, BC to transform it into a high efficiency sawmill as a part of Canfor’s goal of building one ‘super mill’ each year. Allied was given a contract to do the dust extraction and pneumatic conveying for the project. Allied’s turn-key package to the project included: two high speed planer mill systems for shavings extraction with two cyclones and afterfilter; trimmer and ripsaw system for planermill with primary baghouse; two sawmill dust systems with cyclones; three high pressure and two low pressure material relay systems; GreCon spark detection/extinguishing system; and PLC control system for Allied supplied equipment.
Dunkley Lumber added a saw line in their existing sawmill near Prince George, BC in 2005 and rebuild the dust collection system at the same time. The new dust collection system was designed with a High Efficiency (HE) cyclone. The energy efficient backwards inclined fan with a 300 HP motor pulls 70,000 CFM through the HE cyclone. The system performs well within local emission regulation limits.
Large Airlocks for Canfor Polarboard
“There was a fire in the press loader and we want 2 new airlocks built and installed in less than 2 weeks. Can you do it?” That was the call Jason Carriere, Allied Blower’s Regional Manager in Williams Lake received one Thursday afternoon in June. Canfor’s OSB mill in Ft. Nelson, BC had a forced shut-down which gave Allied an opportunity to fabricate and install two 84×84 dryer cyclone airlocks in two weeks time.
“Our design team started immediately. Drawings were modified since this was the biggest airlock we had ever made”, said Russell Bowe, Technology Manager in Surrey. Long delivery parts were ordered immediately. “Our suppliers were fantastic. Steel, shafts, bearings and all other suppliers bent over backwards to make the very tight delivery time. Items that required machining were give priority in the machine shop.”
Fabrication of the airlocks commenced Saturday morning and teams of craftsmen were formed to work around the clock. The first housing was ready for machining by Monday. By Friday morning, one week after the order was received, both airlocks were on the truck, bound for Ft. Nelson. “Everyone involved in this project kept a close eye on the fabrication schedule and quality. We were quite proud when the truck left the yard,” said Al Chapman, Shop Foreman at the Surrey shop.
Removing the old and installing the new airlocks was a logistical feat. Jim McKenna, Installation Supervisor, lead a 16 man team of installers. Arriving on Thursday, just before the airlocks were loaded on the truck, two teams worked around the clock. “We were working in very cramped quarters, said Jim. Safety was a priority as was the completion time. The crew worked extremely fast and we had the airlocks, vortex breakers and switches installed before the press loader was finished.”
“When I first got the call I thought this will be another Allied miracle”, said Jason Carriere. “I have worked for Allied for over 20 years and we always seem to do the impossible. Our people are the reason we can respond like this. It is a great feeling when the project is completed in time and the plant is back in operation.”
Ainsworth Engineered OSB Mill Deliveries
In 1995 Allied completed the deliveries and installation of dust collection equipment for Ainsworth Lumber’s first OSB plant built in 100 Mile House in British Columbia. This plant was designed to produce high quality OSB with a large portion of the production going to export markets, mainly Japan. Since the start up of the plant Allied has been doing regular maintenance work in the mill.
Allied designed, fabricated and installed the dust collection system in Ainsworth’s Grand Prairie OSB mill in 1996. At the time of start up this mill was one of the largest. Since start up, Allied has continued to service and upgrade the mill for further capacity increase.
Ainsworth acquired an operating OSB plant in Barwick Ontario in 2005 from Boise. The dust system, pneumatic conveying system and press hood system was supplied by Allied as a turn key package in 1997.
In 2006, Ainsworth made a decision to expand the existing mill by adding a new line. This will double the existing capacity and allow the company to produce long strand lumber (LSL). Allied was awarded a contract in May 2006, to design fabricate and install the mill wide dust control and pneumatic conveying systems. Allied will supply hoods, ducting, fans, baghouses, cyclones, feeders, airlocks, abort gates, blowers and spark detection systems for the upgrade.
Peace Valley OSB Plant
Allied introduced several innovations at the Canfor & LP joint venture Peace Valley OSB plant in Fort St. John, BC. Allied further developed the “filter island” concept, locating all of the baghouses remotely on a common base to centralize handling of the collected residue and to isolate and contain noise. Energy efficient fans for the mill-wide pneumatic dust collection system are located close to each baghouse and operate under “negative pressure”. By pulling the dust laden air through the baghouses, any system leakage results in air being drawn in rather than dust being blown out.
Two primary baghouses handle the residue from the green end and the forming line. The finishing line residue is handled by a cyclone-baghouse combination. A high-pressure conveying system moves collected residue to a cyclone inside the plant. Coarser material is returned to the process and fine dust is burned in the plant’s energy system. All baghouses are equipped with fire protection systems featuring bypass abort gates, spark detection and extinguishing capabilities.
Due to the close proximity of the mill to the city of Fort St. John and its airport, Allied had to adhere to a strict dust emission standards when selecting equipment. This presented many unique challenges. For instance, for compliance, each baghouse exhaust required a 30 meter high stack and involved special engineering considerations.
The pneumatic system is controlled by a PC in the control room, interfaced to a dedicated PLC-based control unit. This control system features diagnostic capabilities that indicate when filter bags need changing in a baghouse.
Allied also used a pneumatic system to supply the bubbling system in the log conditioning ponds. The bubblers are located under the thermal oil heating elements and keep them clean as well as agitate the water to provide even heat distribution.
Allied introduced an innovative new press exhaust hood design in Fort St. John, reducing fabrication and installation costs by using pre-fabricated modules. Access to the top of the press for maintenance was also improved. Allied designed, supplied and installed the complete press exhaust system including the exhaust fans, ducting, stack and press room ventilation package.
All four of Allied’s fabrication plants were involved in the supply of ducting components and equipment.
Tolko OSB Plants
When Tolko Industries decided to build an OSB plant in High Prairie, AB, they introduced several break-through technical solutions. New features included new style of flaker, a low emission flake drying system, and a 12 feet wide lay-up line and panel press. When Tolko started up the OSB plant in late 1995, its press line capacity of 475,000 ft2 was the biggest in the North America.
Tolko selected Allied Blower’s state-of-the-art pneumatic conveying and dust collection and air filtering systems for this new high capacity plant. And again, when Tolko built their second OSB plant in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan in 2003, Allied was selected to be the supplier of the dust systems, pneumatic conveying systems as well as exhaust gas collection hood over the hot press of the plant. A full service package was supplied, including engineering, equipment fabrication and field installation of the total system.
West Fraser MDF Plants
Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) requires extensive air processing systems due to fact that material handling, conveying, drying and lay-up is commonly done by air aided systems rather than mechanical devices. Allied supplied the air systems for West Fraser’s MDF plants, the largest MDF panel producer in western Canada. The MDF line in the plant in Blueridge, Alberta was supplied and modernized by Allied. When a new plant was built in British Columbia in late 90’s, Allied was again a favored supplier.
West Pine MDF plant in Quesnel, BC was the largest single project Allied had supplied at the time. The key systems that were engineered, supplied, and installed by Allied include:
- High pressure pneumatic conveying for face and core material transfer
- Heavy duty fans, cyclones and ducting used in processing the fibre
- Dust collection systems with eight air filters (AC baghouses) for the fibre
- processing and panel finishing lines
- Exhaust system for the continuous press
- Fabrication and installation of the fibre drying systems, including the four high efficiency cyclones with stacks
Since the start up of the plant, Allied field crew have worked in the mill on a regular basis maintaining the equipment and helping to make production improvements to the mill. In 2002 Allied was involved in supplying the press exhaust collection and gas cleaning system to West Pine MDF.