photoAutomation Techniques has designed and built many innovative solutions for the plywood industry these include but are not confined to:-

Log Conditioning:-

Used in the plywood industry for pre processing of logs by cooking them for 9 hours in water temp of 80 degrees. This has the effect of evening out moisture content in the logs and also reduces problems with veneer splitting caused by tension banding within the logs. This particular system was designed and installed by Automation Techniques.

Peeling Line (Green Veneer):-

  • Multi thickness peeling:- Using a servo instead of a mechanical gearbox enabled the ability to allow multiple thicknesses peeling to be achieved out of one log. This means that the round up or cleaning up of the log is peeled at one thickness say (6mm) the clean knot free wood is peeled at say 1.2mm and when the knots start to appear in the veneer it is then peeled at a thickness to suit cross band veneer say 2.8mm. This leads to far better recovery from each log as well as speeding up the process as previously the logs were dropped out of the peeler when the knots started to appear to be reloaded at a later stage to peel the knotty wood.
  • Peeler Motor Replacement The use of 2 x AC Servo motors for the main peeler spindle motors deleting the use of a cross shaft to connect the 2 main drive bull gears together. This has enabled us to use the motors in torque mode when peeling a log using the log as the torque transfer mechanism this allows the bull gears to always run on the front of the pinion backlash which we believe leads to a dramatic reduction in spinouts especially on older peelers that have considerable backlash and or only single quill spindles.
  • Conversion of older peelers with DC motors from an AC/DC motor generator set to the latest digital DC drive (this can be a cost effective up grade if the DC motor is of sufficient quality to allow some extra performance to be gleaned from it).
  • The use of sheet moisture detection within the wet veneer stacker to sort the wet veneer by moisture allowing optimum drying by grouping veneers of similar moisture content together.
  • We are currently involved in a process for identifying and grading the wet veneer as it enters the stacker to determine its stiffness index.
  • Design and installation of automatic systems for the control of veneer peelers including multiple decks to the clipper to give a continuous flow of veneer to the clipper.


Veneer Drying:-

  • We have completed several turnkey projects, including refurbishment and installation of a gas heated veneer dryer. Automation Techniques designed and installed the complete electrical package for the dryer.


Plywood production (Layup glue etc):-

One of the areas that automation Techniques excels in is getting old equipment from overseas and removing the electromechanical control systems and designing new automated systems to replace them with this makes a far better machine than the original manufacturer designed and can often be a cost effective way for those plants on a limited budget to get the "latest and greatest" In this regard we have designed and built several of these types of projects including prepress', Main plywood press's Plywood sanding, sorting and stacking lines trim saws, filling lines etc.

  • At present we are involved in building an automatic glue batching line.