Metsä Fibre’s new sawmill in Rauma boasts state-of-the-art technology and unparalleled efficiency. As the most advanced sawmill in the world and Finland’s largest-ever sawmill investment, it will create benefits for the entire sawmill industry.
With its Rauma sawmill, Metsä Fibre is leaping ahead of the rest of the industry in technology, efficiency and operating models. Technological innovations such as machine vision, artificial intelligence and integrated information systems to control saw line functions will result in sawn timber of even more consistent quality. The high degree of automation will also improve cost efficiency.
“We are utilizing the latest technology to take a great leap forward in sawn timber production. No other sawmills use such technologies on the same scale. We are doing everything in cooperation with our equipment suppliers, so the whole sawmill industry will reap the benefits in the future,” says Metsä Fibre’s CEO Ismo Nousiainen.
No other sawmills use such technologies on the same scale.
Automation for peak sawing speed
The maximum sawing speed at the Rauma sawmill will be 250 meters per minute. The 110-meter saw line has a capacity of over 40 logs per minute, making it three times faster than a conventional saw line. A pine log is sawn into sawn timber products in just over a second.
The logs are sawn at multiple machinery units in stages and with careful optimization. One key technology is optimized curve sawing, in which the log is precisely sawn according to its shape. Fully curve-sawn timber refers to logs that are cut on four sides.
“The technology used at the sawmill was designed to suit the product range. For example, DX sawing, or pre-cutting, is a first for the industry. It has yet to be used anywhere else,” says Harri Haapaniemi, Project Director at Metsä Fibre.
DX sawing features four arbors instead of the traditional two. It means shallower cutting depths and sawing speeds that are twice as fast, even for thicker logs.
From workstations to a single control room
The pioneering approach is also seen in Rauma’s single central control room. In practice, this means that sawn timber passes through the processing line without manual work stages.
“Our personnel work in a single control room instead of workstations, overseeing the entire sawing process. This is the most significant innovation in terms of the operating model,” says Haapaniemi.
The need for manual work has been minimized through automation and intelligent software. For example, grading is done mainly by cameras, machine vision and intelligent control. The finished sawn timber is automatically transferred to the transport vehicle without forklift trucks.