Swedspan, Poland

Swedspan invested in cutting-edge production technology in Poland

Approximately 100 trucks of pulp wood pass every day through the gate at Swedspan Polska in Orla, Poland, close to the border with Belarus. Swedspan Polska belongs to the international Swedspan Group, which is part of IKEA’s industry activities. The plant in Orla is a green field investment project with a Ultra-Thin High Density Fibreboard (UT-HDF) factory and a sawmill for small logs. The project was launched in 2010 and it is worth about 140 M€.

Swedspan chose Orla as the location for its plant, because of its proximity to the raw material resources. With full production capacity Swedspan Polska uses about 750,000 m3 of pulp wood annually.

State-of-the-art fibreboard factory

The majority of the wood delivered to Swedspan Polska is used in the modern UT-HDF plant, equipped with a continuous press supplied by German Dieffenbacher. UT-HDF (ultra thin high-density fiberboard) is a very thin board (thickness of 1.0-3.0 mm), used mainly for furniture industry – for example in back panels of wardrobes. Demand for this product has been growing strongly on the part of IKEA’s co-producers during the last few years.

In the panel factory, like in the sawmill, special importance has been attached to environmentally friendly solutions. For example, most of the water used in production will be recycled and all by-products from the sawmill will be re-used in other processes in the plant. Chips from the sawmill will be transported directly to the panel plant, where they are processed, while sawdust and bark are transferred to the power plant of the site. This power plant produces the whole thermal energy consumed at the plant and connected turbine generates up 25% of electricity consumption in the plant.

Latest technology in the sawmill for small logs

Swedspan Polska is the first sawmill project of the Swedspan group. The most technologically advanced equipment and solutions for log handling were chosen for this facility. The logs with a bigger diameter and better quality, which make up about half of the whole raw material delivered to the plant, will be moved to the log sorting line of the sawmill. The log sorting line, supplied by the German Holtec, includes 21 boxes and the annual capacity of the line is about 350,000 m3.

Nearly half of the log amount transferred to the log sorting is suitable for sawing. These logs are fed into the HewSaw R200SE sawing machine, supplied by the Finnish Veisto, with Holtec’s equipment too. The logs are debarked with a VK5048HD debarker, which is equipped with a hydraulic tool pressure. The debarker is located at the front of the sawing line and it has been designed for debarking small and light logs. The machine features a new 5000HD modular frame and new FibreMax feed rolls with replaceable inserts. “These are the two major factors why Swedspan chose a VK debarker for its project”, says Gavin Cruickshank, Swedspan Project Manager of the sawmill. “The replaceable inserts, which make the maintenance easier and the possibility to modify the machine later on in the future, were the reasons why we chose the Valon Kone. And VK is a reliable and renowned brand”, adds Cruickshank.

The sawmill project team followed a very strict schedule and to start the production as soon as possible. At the end of summer 2011 only the steel pillars of the sawmill were ready, but half a year later the sawmill was operating almost at full capacity. The first board was sawn just before Christmas on 14 December 2011. Gavin Cruickshank says that this would not have been possible without the efficient working team. He adds that he is very grateful to his colleagues for their great contribution to the project’s success.

Swedspan’s target is to increase production capacity of the wood-based boards also in the future, either by making the current production plants more efficient or by investing in new plants. The main reason for this is continuously growing demand for IKEA furniture. This year only, IKEA is going to open 40 new stores around the world.

For more information about the debarker at the sawmill project of Swedspan, please contact Valon Kone’s Marketing and Sales Director Mr. Teemu Tynkkynen (teemu.tynkkynen(at)valonkone.com or tel. +358 50 593 8191).