Always a smart match – whatever your needs

Have you been in a situation where you should decide on an investment, but are not sure which alternative would serve you the best? Something that matches your needs perfectly now may require modifications and updates in future business situations. But you need to start somewhere. First you scope your needs and preferences, and find brands that match them. Then, depending on your experience and circumstances, you end up with a certain model.

We at Raute are always the perfect fit for your needs. For us, perfect means a solution that matches, for instance, your capacity expectations, budget and know-how, without compromises in quality. That is why we rethought our offering and from now on, you can choose from three different series: R3, R5 and R7.


R3 serves you in fast and easy production ramp-up with many raw materials and possibilities for add-on capacity. R5 gives you proven capacity that can be upgraded effortlessly, if needed. It also enables production modernization by process-specific updates, instead of renewing a complete line. R7 puts automation and machine vision in full use to master your productivity with high speed.

“We want to respond to the volatile market situation and offer more sustainable and agile solutions. The three different product series serve all possible needs where new equipment is the best solution. However, a completely new line is not always the best option for the need at hand. Our modernization offering, based on the technologies behind R3, R5 and R7, responds such cases. It is most important to find the smartest solution for you. This way we can together create the best value for forest assets” , says Tapani Kiiski, Raute’s President and CEO.


New, function-based product naming

We also revisited our product naming to clarify our communications, solution delivery and customer documentation. From now on, Raute’s product names describe the product’s function. At the same time, we are refreshing the line colors.

In lines, the line name tells the product and process function, such as veneer drying, veneer peeling or veneer patching. In analyzers, the analyzer name tells the measured dimension, such as moisture or strength of veneer, plywood or LVL. In machine names, we use a straightforward function naming, such as Veneer Clipper, Scarfing Saw, Plywood Pre-press or LVL Press. We also have a number of generic products with generic names. All our product names are in English.


Veneer Moisture Analyzer R7

Veneer Peeling Line R7

Veneer Lathe R7

Name (function) + Series denominator

Engineered wood innovations lead technological revolutions

Raute's North American Marketing Specialist, June De La Paz, has written an article published in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of the Engineered Wood Journal on how "Engineered Wood Innovations Lead Technological Revolutions".

Read about how the plywood industry has transformed with societal demands. Equipment continues to implement new technologies for efficiency, sustainability, energy savings, waste reduction, and more. Read about how the Raute Patching Line P2 has evolved to address changes in the industry, the needs of the customer, and the supply of quality wood resources.

View the original story in the Engineered Wood Journal Publication

Full article text follows the magazine excerpt below.

Raute Engineered wood innovations lead technological revolutions

Raute Engineered wood innovations lead technological revolutions

Raute Engineered wood innovations lead technological revolutions

Raute Engineered wood innovations lead technological revolutions

Raute Engineered wood innovations lead technological revolutions

Raute Engineered wood innovations lead technological revolutions

Article excerpt below:

Engineered wood products by definition are technological innovations, although generations have defined “technology” differently. Industry partners have continued to advance and enhance the standards of these products by working together and building on previous innovations.

A technological revolution can be defined as an era of accelerated progress characterized by new innovations whose rapid application and diffusion cause an abrupt change in society. In short, a technological revolution is a dramatic change brought about by the introduction of new technology.

The revolution begins

The First Industrial Revolution, starting around 1760 and lasting more than 70 years, dramatically altered almost every aspect of human existence. Traditional agriculture and handicraft economies, popular in the pre-industrialized era, were ousted to make room for large-scale industry that was more productive and efficient. The industrial revolution birthed some of the world’s greatest inventions like the steam engine, sewing machine, incandescent light bulb, internal combustion engine and the modern assembly line.

The world’s population climbed exponentially along with the standard of living, increasing demand for goods and services. By the 1800s the population would surpass 1 billion and the impact of the industrialized world would accelerate production capacity in all aspects of human needs including food, medicine, clothing, and housing.

Engineered wood leads Innovations lead technological revolutions

The first patent for plywood was issued in 1865 to John K.Mayo of New York.Patent No.51,735 was an invention that “consists in the formation of various structures used in civil engineering of a plurality of thin sheets of veneers of wood, cemented or otherwise firmly connected together, with the grain of the several scales or thicknesses crossed or diversified so that they will afford to each other mutual strength, support, and protection against checking and splitting, shrinking or swelling, expanding or contracting.” Note: Mayo may have had a vision, but history does not record that he ever capitalized on his patents.

Advancing to the next level

The end of the 19th century saw the dawn of the Second Industrial Revolution. Technological advancements in new sources of energy industries in electricity, petroleum and oil would pave the way for the invention of the automobile and airplane and the development of new products. Discoveries and advances in chemical synthesis, the telegraph and telephone, the incandescent lightbulb and the rotary veneer lathe would significantly transform production and business.

From 1905 to 1920 door panels were the primary market for softwood plywood.
From 1905 to 1920 door panels were the primary market for softwood plywood.

The introduction and advancement of plywood

The plywood industry was born in 1905 when the Portland Manufacturing Company, a small wooden box factory, laminated wood panels from a variety of Pacific Northwest softwoods. By 1907, production soared, and to keep up with demand, an automatic glue spreader and sectional hand press was installed. In those early years, doors were the main use for this new engineered wood product, but it was the automobile industry that would advance the industry by using plywood for running boards.

In 1925, Steger Marvin Earl recognized that “… wood is beautiful in color and grain but is frequently marred by surface defects, such as pitch pockets, knots and the like..” He was issued the first patent for a defect-removing and patch-cutting machine. Unfortunately, his invention would not experience any real commercial success.

In 1928, 4-foot-by-8-foot plywood sheets were introduced to the U.S. for general building purposes.

The following year, 17 plywood mills were operating in the Pacific Northwest, producing a record 358 million square feet (on 3/8-inch basis).

Engineered wood innovations lead technological revolutions

The Great Depression arrived in the U.S. Oct. 24, 1929, with the worst stock market crash in history, triggering the longest and most widespread economic depression of the 20th century. Motivated by an unprecedented 24.9% unemployment rate, substantially reduced household incomes and a shortage of low-cost housing, the demand for inexpensive and rapid-build factory-produced houses using plywood skyrocketed.

To address declining quality timber resources, Gifford Pinchot led a movement toward forestry conservation. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed to strengthen U.S. forestry resources to Congress and enacted emergency conservation work that included planting trees, watershed restoration and erosion control.

Skoog Veneer Patcher, first manufactured in 1941 by the Skoog Manufacturing Company.
Skoog Veneer Patcher, first manufactured in 1941 by the Skoog Manufacturing Company.

During World War II (1939 – 1945), plywood was declared an essential war material and used to make everything from barracks, boats, planes, huts, and temporary housing and shelters. In the decade following the end of the war, demand for plywood rose by over 280% and nearly doubled in the next five years as the economy boomed.

The defect and patch machine that Steger Marvin Earl invented in 1925 would come to fruition in 1941 when Per F. Skoog applied for his first veneer patching apparatus patent and later manufactured the Skoog Veneer Patcher under the Skoog Manufacturing Company, based in Olympia, Washington.

Grade and Quality Standards established

The first Grade and Quality Standards were introduced by the U.S. Commercial Standard and Douglas Fir Plywood Association (now known as the APA – The Engineered Wood Association or APA) in the same year.

By the 1950s, two manufacturers offered pneumatic or mechanical patching equipment with features like automatic die cleaning and patch blank magazine feed. These patching machines used single boat (oval with two points) patches about 4.5 inches by 2 inches cut from high quality veneer. The machine relied on an operator to manually check the sheet for defects, moving the sheet by hand into place while a foot switch initiated the die to punch out the defect and then insert a veneer patch. Well-made and built to last, these heavy-duty machines proliferated in the market for almost 50 years mostly unchanged and unchallenged.

The Digital Revolution emerges

The Digital Revolution, also known as the Third Industrial Revolution, marks the beginning of the information age with the introduction of the computer. Spanning the late 1950s through the late 1970s, the mass production and widespread use of computers, microprocessors, digital cellular phones and the internet once again transformed traditional production and business.

Raute P2 Patching Line
Raute Patching Line P2

Plywood production advanced during the digital revolution through the development of the first automated patching line in the United States in 1998. Raute’s Patchman did not rely on operators to make patching decisions, but relied on the technology of a camera grading system first introduced in 1997. This vision sensing technology accurately detected defects as small as 2mm x 2mm, scanning sheets at speeds up to 200 m per minute. A computerized system showed real time images of sheets as well as the ability to freeze and store images, magnify defects and customize grade rules. Scanned sheets were conveyed on vacuum belts for precision control, and programmable logic and motion controllers accurately patched defects. At the time, a single Patchman replaced three manual patchers and made about 1,900 patches per patching head every hour (about one patch every two seconds). Auto strip feeders reduced veneer prep, and the large magazine reduced frequent loading. The Patchman could accommodate three levels, allowing the replacement of nine manual patchers with a minimum increase in footprint.

Raute Patching Line P2
Raute Patching Line P2

Demonstrating how technology can move at lightning speeds, the next generation patching line unveiled in 2011, merging sophisticated cameras and intelligent automated advances into a high capacity system for fast and consistently accurate patching. The latest generation of patching lines minimizes waste and maximizes surface veneer value, without any manual veneer handling. A single level can patch about 3,200 per hour (less than 1 second a patch), over four times faster than manual patching.

Before the debut of these new patching lines, the best way to patch was tested extensively, including whether the shape and size of the patch made a difference in durability and strength. After rigorous and exhaustive testing in real veneer and plywood scenarios, Raute submitted butterfly-style patches to APA for evaluation in its laboratory. The results revealed that the patches can bear double the load of industry standard style of patches. As of December 2019, the butterfly-style patches were included in the updated Grade A veneer standard in Voluntary Product Standard PS 1-19, Structural Plywood, under the “compound boat” patches, which have multiple rounded ends. Before that, the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) had not changed wood patch standards since 2010. (See pages 17-19 for recent Product Standard updates.)

“Standards are produced and updated through a consensus process, involving multiple agencies and industry partners, relying on data,” said Steve Zylkowski, APA’s director of quality services. “That’s how we have advanced the engineered wood industry together through the years.”

Butterfly-style patches are now included in the updated Voluntary Product Standard PS 1-19
Butterfly-style patches are now included in the updated Voluntary Product Standard PS 1-19

Looking ahead to the next revolution

The First Industrial Revolution happened about 260 years ago. The Second Revolution occurred 110 years later, and the Third Revolution about 70 years ago.

It is projected that the fourth technological revolution is underway that will blur the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres. Technologies like artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and the internet along with voice-activated assistance, facial ID recognition and digital health-care sensors are technological changes altering how people, companies, organizations and even governments are operating, transforming societies like previous industrial revolutions.

With the Fourth Revolution upon us, the time before drastic societal changes is getting shorter and shorter. What will the Fourth Revolution mean to the plywood and engineered wood industry? What will future mills look like with artificial intelligence and autonomous equipment? Working together, the industry will continue to transform itself.

De La Paz, June. “Engineered Wood Innovations Lead Technological Innovations.” Engineered Wood Journal Spring/Summer 2020 issue: Pages 10 – 15.

Stop manual patching, start upgrading veneer quality

Are you still patching veneer by hand? Everyone on the wood working business knows that patching holes and knots on veneer manually can be a tedious and time-consuming job. Hassling with knives, trying to align sheets and keeping the veneer quality consistent takes a lot of manpower also. Hence, one of the biggest advantages in adapting more efficient ways to patch is the savings on labor. With a good patching machine, the labor-saving ratio can be up to 1:10.

Patching with a machine is faster, more efficient and safer. However, when investing in patching machinery the pros and cons should be calculated precisely. Does it give more yield, does it lead to labor savings, how often the machinery needs to be maintained and does it really do a better job? The tradition of patching manually is rooted deep, but there are better and more efficient ways for patching veneer.  

“The technology itself isn’t new since patching machines have been on the market for a long time. However, the quality of the machines and especially the dies used in them have significantly improved in the last few years, and Raute P2 technology has set a new benchmark” says Shawn Cheo, Vice President of Raute Asia and Oceania, Singapore.

With one-man operated patching machinery, the labor costs decrease significantly. This is simply due to the fact that the
machine can patch a sheet full of defects even 10 times faster than when patched by hand. While wood is a delicate material and needs a lot of manual effort, patching might not be a task you want to do by hand.

“The patch needs to be the same quality as the rest of the sheet, but when done by hand, the hole and the patch are never the same shape or size,” states Jukka Siiriäinen, Raute Group Vice President, Grow. “This leads to irregular quality. As we all know, a human can never be as precise as a machine. With a patching machine, the patch is perfectly fitted for each defect thus upgrading the veneer quality,” he adds.

Raute Butterfly Patch
Raute butterfly patches even suit joint patching
Manual patch
Hand patched

Keeping it together with butterfly patches

Because the quality of the end product is the main point of patching, the shape of the patch and how it is cut make a lot of difference. With manual patching, the shapes and sizes vary, and the quality is uneven. With a good machine, the patch fits the defects perfectly and there’s no need for manual repair and gluing of the patch afterwards.

“With manual patching, there’re always going to be defects on the edge of the patch, but with P2 butterfly patches, the patch is secure since the patch holds firmly and doesn’t pop off later in the production process,” Shawn Cheo states.

Thermo-bond taping
Thermo-bond taping to repair veneer splits.

A butterfly type patch is the recommended veneer patch type. The P2 butterfly patches ensure a bigger contact area and better adhesion than oval shaped patches. With P2 butterfly patches you can save up to 25% in patching material costs compared to the boat type patches. Due to their retention properties butterfly-type patches bear double the load compared to other patch types.

“But defects vary in shape and size. That’s why we make several different patch types and sizes. We can also offer an integrated thermo-bond taping feature in our patching machines, depending on the customer needs,” adds Marko Perttilä, Portfolio Manager, Raute.



With a patching machine, the patch is perfectly fitted for each defect thus upgrading the veneer quality.

Jukka Siiriäinen

Group Vice President, Grow

Why would you invest?

P2 Patcher Die
The P2 die lifespan is around 50 million patches,
and sharpening interval 2 million patches.

“Usually mills see the biggest expense not as the machine itself, but the possible maintenance. But with a die that lasts for around 50 million patches, and a robust machine structure, you can use the same patching machine for 15-20 years and minimize maintenance costs,” Jukka Siiriäinen, Raute notes.

All in all, manual patching will soon be history. Machines win in every aspect; quality, efficiency and safety. The quality of the veneer is upgraded, and the veneer recovery can be up to 30 times more than with composing. And of course, it’s a cliché but true, safety is always key. Not a single hand will be harmed by a knife anymore. Last but not least, end product rejects due to veneer hand patching errors will be significantly reduced with high quality patches.


Accurate block centering ensures maximized veneer production

Accurate and optimized block centering determines the effectiveness of the entire veneer peeling process. Block centering ensures the amount of high-quality face veneer. If you want to maximize veneer production profit, focus on correct block centering. Why? Keep reading to learn why.

Proper centering plays a key role in profitable and efficient veneer and panel production

Accurate and reliable centering is crucial in face veneer production

The maximum amount of highest quality face veneer can be produced only with optimized block centering. Proper centering adapts to any shape and size of a block. Face veneer production is always a bottleneck in mills, and it defines the amount of highest quality and most profitable plywood. Raute has developed laser centering solutions to tackle this challenge. Unbroken, and consistent quality full sheets are the most desired raw material for panel surfaces. In addition to face veneer production, block centering defines the total available amount of raw material in the mill. If block centering is not optimized, you will permanently lose the opportunity to maximize the value of your raw material.

Optimal centering guarantees maximum face veneer recovery with challenging block shapes

Maximizing the amount of high-quality face veneer per block is carried out easily with automated and optimized block centering. Currently the quality of raw material is increasingly uneven – different shapes and sizes, curved blocks and variable thickness. That makes centering difficult. Automated centering and autocalibration are the modern key to tackling this problem.

accurate block centering

How to ensure optimal block centering?

The Raute Smart Scan HD with autocalibration is a unique solution in the veneer production business. The reliable and optimized block centering process ensures production of up to +20% more of the valuable face veneer and maximum usage of raw materials. This process also highlights instances where the peeling line is unable to produce enough fullface veneer sheets to meet accepted standards. This can be especially true when peeling thin or curved blocks.

Autocalibration maintains optimal centering

Even with modern centering systems, inaccuracies may occur due to mechanical weariness and block size variation. Raute’s Smart Scan HD with autocalibration allows continuous accurate centering and the best possible veneer yield. Autocalibration measures the centering result of every block in lathe spindles – it keeps track of and monitors possible inaccuracies. Our algorithms calculate needed corrections based on measuring data to follow blocks in maintaining constant XY-centering performance. Raute centering solutions are available for new or existing Raute peeling lines and also for other manufacturers’ peeling lines.

accurate block centering

Ready to maximize your amount of high-quality face veneer per block? Contact us today!

International Panel & Lumber (IPL) Modernizes Lathe

International Panel & Lumber (IPL) in New Zealand produces wood panel and plywood products from renewable plantation-grown pine trees. They recently decided to modernize the charger and lathe on their peeling line to ensure reliability and improve productivity. After careful consideration, they decided that Raute solutions would meet their goals best.

IPL modernizes lathe and charger

International Panel and Lumber (West Coast) Ltd., IPL for short, is a well-established company and they have been operating for over 50 years on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. They have been using renewable plantation grown radiata pine in their production since the 1980s. One of the essential parts of their operation is their peeling and drying line, which produces 1.5, 2.4 and 3mm veneer for the production of 1200mm x 2400mm panels. IPL manufactures a range of products that covers industrial to appearance grade applications, including everything from signs and flooring to concrete forming.

Although their peeling line was producing a high-quality veneer, IPL knew that it was time to modernize some of the key equipment. They were running a COE (today part of USNR) M760 charger, as well as a COE M249 lathe, which dated from about 1976. The most urgent need was to replace the lathe spindles because they were damaged and cracked, however the charger also had scope for improvement because it relied on a mechanical yoke assembly to optimize and center the logs. As a result, IPL contacted Raute to ask about the most suitable options for modernization.

IPL modernizes lathe and chargerUPDATE, OPTIMIZE AND IMPROVE

During their discussions, Raute demonstrated that the old COE charger and yoke system resulted in the loss of a large amount of veneer to waste or random veneer. The business case for upgrading was so clear that IPL decided to replace their charging system too. Raute upgraded the old M760 charger with a Smart Scan HD XY scanning system, a hydraulic XY correction system and new Allen Bradley PLC controls. Raute also took care of the old lathe, and replaced the damaged spindles with new Raute dual spindles, complete with new hydraulics, lubrication and controls.


Raute carefully planned the project together with IPL so that it had minimum effect on their production. The installation took place during the annual boiler compliance shut down, and the accompanying work was performed during the dayshift over 2 weeks. This was followed by one week of production commissioning. Combined with good communication, carefully managed staff schedules and staggered production stoppages, this prevented any disruptions to IPL’s sales.

"The upgrades improved recovery, conversion and productivity,”

Robert Dumelow

General Manager, International Panel and Lumber.

IPL modernizes charger and latheGOOD CUSTOMER UNDERSTANDING

One of the reasons that IPL selected Raute was that they showed a good understanding of their business. For example, Raute understood the importance of not over capitalizing with a small production plant like IPL. In addition, Raute was also flexible enough to move the schedule forward by a month to ensure that installation coincided with the boiler shut down.

IPL is happy to say that they are pleased with the finished installation, and that it met their timeline and budgeted costs. Overall, good communication, planning and understanding between Raute and IPL made the project a success.


IPL’s main target for the modernization was to improve the reliability of their peeling and drying line. Upgrading the charger as well as the lathe ensured that they could also improve their efficiency and productivity. Together, the modernized systems resulted in better recovery and conversion from the block to peeled veneer, and better veneer presentation and usage at the dryer, with less random and fish-tail veneer. This means that the line can produce more full sheets

at the dryer with less waste. And because they can keep the dryer full, their line has higher capacity, increasing their productivity.

IPL modernizes lathe and charger to increase efficiencyBENEFITING THE BUSINESS AND THE REGION

Since the installation and commissioning, the modernized systems have met IPL’s expectations, with both improved capacity and yield. In addition, they have also achieved 10% smaller core peeled than they had with the older spindles, providing another unexpected but welcome benefit from the project.

IPL’s shareholders are also pleased because they see it as an investment in the future of IPL and its staff, and the West Coast region of New Zealand. It can be difficult to raise large amounts of capital for larger projects, so cost-effective modernizations are an attractive option. Such investments are important to smaller regions, so it is especially important that the projects like this one are a success.

Ready to modernize your lathe or charger to increase capacity and yield? Contact us, we would love to hear from you.

Garnica Group upgraded to Smart Scan HD with autocalibration

The Garnica Group is the biggest poplar plywood producer in Europe and they have been using Raute solutions for many years, including a Raute peeling line at their Valencia de Don Juan mill. Installed in 2003, the block centering technology at the Valencia de Don Juan mill was finally in need of an update. Garnica selected Raute’s Smart Scan HD as the best option.

Smart Scan HD with AutocalibrationThe Garnica Group is headquartered in Logroño, La Rioja, Spain. Altogether, they have six mills, with five in Spain: Baños I, Baños II, Fuenmayor, Valencia de Don Juan and Maderas de Llodio (a softwood mill), as well as the Samazan mill in the south of France. In total, Garnica Group employs around 1.200 people and their mills produce 300.000 m3/y poplar PLW and 50.000 m3/y softwood PLW. They export more than 90% of their production.


The Garnica Group has had good experience with Raute solutions over the years, and they operate 4 Raute veneer peeling lines, as well as other Raute equipment for processes including roller- and screen drying and grading, lay-up with gluing, pressing, composing, and scarfing.

Their Valencia de Don Juan mill was the first Garnica mill to install a Raute peeling line, back in 2003. This included a Raute PCLH 800×1400 XY-charger with SLS 6000-single point laser, which served the mill well for many years. However, by the beginning of 2019, the 16-year-old block centering technology clearly needed to be modernized. The laser sensors and control PC were no longer available, and the system needed to be calibrated several times a month, which required too much maintenance time.

When the mill decided on the replacement technology, their main targets were to improve the centering performance and the veneer recovery and to eliminate end of life components. They also wanted to improve the adjustment and calibration procedure, to ensure the values were consistently correct.

After discussing the advantages of the new Smart Scan HD system with Raute, it was obvious that it was the right choice to modernize the line.


Garnica ordered the Smart Scan HD with autocalibration from Raute in January 2019. The system was delivered and installed in May 2019 during a scheduled production stop over a long weekend. With the help of Raute specialists during the start-up, the line was running at full capacity within a few days.

“Smart Scan HD with autocalibration drastically decreased maintenance hours,”

José Augusto Huerga

Technical Director of Garnica’s Valencia don Juan mill

Smart Scan HD with Autocalibration at Garnica MillSUCCESS WITH SMART SCAN HD

Since the start-up, the Valencia de Don Juan mill has had very good results with the new Smart Scan HD system. The log centering is better, and the length and diameter measurements are more accurate. The Smart Scan HD system reads every log much better than the old laser system, all along the length, and it also detects dark/black zones and bark better. And, thanks to the autocalibration, they have drastically decreased their maintenance hours. Overall, it’s clear that the peeling line performance has been improved.



The mill is also particularly pleased with the autocalibration system because they don’t have to worry about centering offset adjustments or sensor calibration. In fact, they have only spent a few maintenance hours in the last 6 months at the XY charger. The system automatically calibrates itself, measuring and comparing continuously to correct the axis home position. The autocalibration system also provides data which can be used to track performance and predict mechanical failure.

Together, Smart Scan HD and the autocalibration system have improved production and reduced maintenance time, adding value and profitability to the whole peeling line.

Smart Scan HD with Autocalibration in Valencia de Don Juan, SpainPROPER MAINTENANCE FOR CONTINUOUS PRODUCTION

Proper maintenance is important for Valencia mill to maintain high performance. A Service Agreement with Raute ensures production lines to be always well maintained and crucial parts changed before possible problems. That ensures predictable production and mill operations.

Find out more about how the Smart Scan HD can improve recovery at your mill by emailing us today.

Raute mill improvements – Get more out from your existing mill

Raute has delivered veneer, plywood and LVL mills and machines since the early 20th century. Dozens of complete mills, thousands of machines and a significant amount of mill improvement services around the world to the veneer-based wood industry.

THANKS TO the long history and excellent co-operation with our customers, we have collected a huge experience in plywood and LVL mill development. That experience, combined with the latest technology and service innovations, gives us the possibility to provide the strongest customer support for developing the production of existing mills.

Focus on the production process

An efficient production process is the most important factor for a profitable mill. But can a right way to process improvements be found? A deep understanding of product end users helps in achieving a world-class production process. Why are customers buying panels or beams, how are they using it and what are the most critical factors for them to succeed in their own business? Knowing end user needs gives the possibility to reach or even exceed customer expectations and, at the same time, maximize a mill’s profitability.

The end user understanding and Raute’s production process and technology knowhow form a strong combination to achieve better overall production efficiency. Quality, capacity and yield are the key factors for each mill, but the weighting of those varies between different mills. The understanding of where to focus on is the base for mill development analysis. Raw material, processes, machines and operations need to be analysed to find an overall view for the production process.

The typical life cycle of plywood/ LVL mills and machinery is very long thanks to Raute’s robust machine design and smooth production possibilities. The utilization of old machines via modernizations tends to be the most cost-efficient way to improve production lines. That is also a sustainable way to boost mill efficiency, compared to totally new investments. Raute SmartMill products, tools and services ensure the accurate measurements from the existing production lines and make it possible to see how the process was improved.

Mill improvement concept

A typical case for mill development is that a customer would like to have a more efficient production process. In some cases, raw material or panel sizes will be changed to increase the value of the product. Raute has developed its own modularized concept for the mill improvement process.


Mill audit phase
1. Background data collection and analysis
2. Field study at the mill
3. Planning and Reporting

Mill audit phase sorts out the most efficient ways to improve mill and achieve expected targets. The outcome is a detailed mill development plan with evaluation of improvement potential and payback calculations for investments. The plan works as guideline for mill improvement project execution.

Execution phase

1. Immediate actions, operation and process improvements
2. Project execution step by step. Investments based on mill development plan
3. Ramp-up period – shortest payback time
4. Service agreement – to upkeep achieved high OEE

The target of the execution phase is to get the shortest possible payback time for our customer investments. With Raute service agreements, we ensure the highest possible OEE. Many customers have taken benefit from Raute’s experience and wide range offering for mill scale improvements. •

Sveza Kostroma took a huge leap in veneer recovery

Plywood producers are facing more and more challenges in the availability of high-quality raw material. The percentage of small diameter logs is constantly increasing. At the same time, plywood mills are seeking an optimal way to utilize raw material. One solution is to invest in technology that converts side products into high-quality veneer. This is where RauteLite technology comes in.

BACK IN 2016, Sveza Kostroma plywood mill, one of the most modern and efficient birch plywood mills in Russia and a key production unit within the Sveza Group, decided to take a leap to maximize its raw material utilization. The solution was the RauteLite concept.

Line capacity, ease of use, high thickness accuracy and safety were clearly targeted in the investment.

High thickness accuracy

The idea was to increase mill recovery by re-peeling cores from the main lathe with the RauteLite peeling line. Cores from the recently modernized 8-ft Raute VE lathe are automatically conveyed to the RauteLite block sawing line, then peeled into a 4 x 4-ft dimension on the RauteLite peeling line. The dried veneers are composed into full 4 x 8-ft sheets used as short core veneers in the lay-up.

The delivery was made in summer 2017 and installation followed in the fall within the normal production. The line was tested with all different core diameters: minimum 73 mm, average 80 mm, Raute’s recommended 95 mm and even 200 mm diameter blocks (spinouts).

Various raw material qualities were tested as well: solid, core decay, soft decay, unconditioned, cylinder-shaped and conical cylinder-shaped blocks. With all raw materials, the line was able to peel veneer down to 30-mm cores. The line did not make miracles, if the wood material was too poor, but the most critical criteria – high thickness accuracy was achieved, always reaching the general target of +/- 0.1 mm tolerance.

RauteLite peeling line maximizes raw material utilization. Peeling with round-up and log handling – all in one line.

Remarkable savings

The new investment has already proven to be successful for Kostroma. “It solves the problem by reducing the raw material consumption and changing the method of balancing the production of 4-ft and 8-ft veneers. This project allows us to save up to 800 m3 of raw material per month”, explains Director Viktor Tikhonov.

Viktor Tikhonov has worked in Sveza for 19 years and for 26 years in the plywood business in total. “The following main task for our mill will be cost reduction in all areas, and I look forward to the Raute G5 concept.”

Raute’s Sales Manager Kimmo Ahonen is proud to benchmark Sveza Kostroma’s RauteLite line which is not expensive or complicated to use, but provides new capacity from normally unused cores.

“Sveza Kostroma may have been the first to repeel cores on a separate line, but they surely won’t be the last. A new era to discover more with RauteLite has begun.”


Efficient peeling of small diameter blocks

RauteLite peeling line was originally developed for the ease of use and the efficiency of peeling plantation logs. The new spindleless lathe utilizes Raute’s long experience in veneer peeling. Optimal peeling geometry (OPG) responds to the need of utilizing small diameter logs. Providing high recovery, it is an excellent solution to maximize veneer production together with main lathes. •

MillSIGHTS: Improve your production with digital tools

Real-time accuracy and reliability. These are the issues you should focus on when you are looking for a production data collection and reporting system, which undoubtedly is one of the key tools for successful mill management.

MillDATARAUTE’S NEW SOLUTION in this area of so-called MIS (Management Information System) products is MillSIGHTS. It is the outcome of a development project summing up all the knowledge and experience that Raute has been able to accumulate over the years while working closely together with the wood processing industry.

To improve its profitability, mills need more detailed insight into production performance and line availability. Rising material costs and competition in product pricing are forcing mills to seek downtime reasons, optimize the output volumes and improve the end product quality. MillSIGHTS supports all these challenges by giving good tools for mill management in making precise operational decisions on production planning and for necessary maintenance actions.


MillSIGHTS is specially designed for veneer, plywood and LVL mills. Raute has delivered older MIS solutions for more than 50 mills and 300 production lines globally.

MillSIGHTS is essential part of Raute’s new line deliveries, but it can also be implemented to existing production lines which contain relatively modern line controls.

Efficiency to new heights at Prime Fortune

Prime Fortune, a family run plywood manufacturer in southern Taiwan, has been investing in modern machinery since the factory first started. The company founder, Mr. Hsiao Shin-Chu brought the first unit of Raute automatic veneer scarf-jointing line into Taiwan. More investments with Raute were made to include the automatic log cutting line, high-speed peeling line, veneer drying line, and automatic veneer grading line.

PRIME FORTUNE, under the leadership of the late Mr. Hsiao Shin-Chu, was the first in the Asian plywood market to recognize the global call to green wood resources and converted to use 100% planted pine from New Zealand. He was awarded “Best Business Man” in the Republic of China in 1994 for his vision and contributions.

Prime Fortune, the number one in the Taiwanese plywood industry, played a leading role by bringing in the latest available technology to ensure optimum quality and efficiency. The second generation owner, Mr. Hsiao Jen Yuan, has taken over the business and has lifted the factory’s efficiency to new heights.

Prime Fortune
Raw material tests in Raute Nastola.

Mill modernization started with a new peeling line

Mr Hsiao Jen Yuan’s first move to ensure consistant veneer quality was to invest in the new Raute peeling line to replace the old Japanese peeling line. High productivity, reliability, and good veneer quality from the new Raute peeling line are the key to ensure smooth operations from the start, which leads to higher quality products. Recovery comes automatically as a result of good centering, thanks to the latest SmartScan XY HD automatic centering. All of these resulted in higher efficiency and lower running costs, generating higher profits for the business.

According to Mr. Hsiao, the smart peel is a very good line as it offers 3–5% more recovery compared to the old line. Capacity is double, compared to the old line thanks to the faster centering and a quicker round up.

New cameras and moisture analysers were incorporated into the old Raute drying line, which check and sort the veneers automatically by visual grades and moisture content. Prime Fortune now aims to have zero defects in the production process.


“Our modernization project’s utmost goal was to improve end-product quality and expand the market share. During the process, we also reduced costs by reducing manual work”, Mr. Hsiao says.

“Peeling line modernization led to improved thickness tolerance. Recovery improved by 1–3%, even though it was not the main driver. The production volume improved because of better thickness tolerance. There is also now much less need for sanding. Mecano cameras work well and they increase the face veneer percentage compared to manual grading more than 5–10%.”

“Raute was chosen due to the total process understanding and good service, including spare parts supply and after sales services. We now have a service contract with an inspection twice a year and maintenance work from three to four weeks in total. Proper maintenance eliminates breakdowns beforehand”, Mr. Hsiao explains.

Raute 4ft VS lathe has been running for 20 years. Mr. Hsiao decided to give the machine a second life by modernizing all the controls and electrical components to the latest available upgrades. Completed with a new Laser XY charger, the machine is now running like a new one.

Pushing for efficiency

After long considerations and study, Prime Fortune invested in a new P2 patching line from Raute, which will be installed in 2019. It will reduce labour costs, compared to the current manual process. Although labour costs are still affordable in Asia, accuracy and quality are far more important in the process.

Prime Fortune is the first in Asia to adopt the MillSIGHTS production data reporting system for their operations. Easy to use, keeps a record of the production and operations trends.

Now there is an easier tool to know what has happened, how it happened, when it happened, and how often.

Despite already being the market leader in Taiwan, Mr Hsiao continuously pushes for efficiency, recovery and productivity. Long-term plans are in place, such as the full automatic layup line, full automatic putty line and so on. This is in line with the management philosophy of Prime Fortune’s founding owner.