state-of-the-art sawmill producing high quality products in a highly efficient manner.

International Wood Industries, Inc (IWI) is a development company specializing in the forest products industry.  The company was incorporated in 2001 in Ontario, Canada. In 2016, the company saw an opportunity to develop a new sawmill facility in an area of Ontario that was underserviced, meaning that there was an availability of wood fibre but  there were no more processing plants in the area as the older mills in the region had shut down. IWI decided to proceed with development of a new sawmill because of the availability of wood fibre and also, by incorporating modern processing equipment, product production would be very efficient.
During 2017, the concept of the sawmill was developed. This mill concept is somewhat unique in Ontario. Because of the fibre being offered to IWI consists of both hardwoods and softwoods, it made sense to design the facility to process both hardwoods and softwoods. Production would be designed to process all available wood species all the way to finished products. Secondary production is where wood products see significant increases in value. This was our goal to achieve when we designed the mill.
In looking at production rates, we decided to incorporate as our centrepiece of the sawmill a primary breakdown unit known as a “Hewsaw”.  This is Finnish equipment and there are Hewsaws that operate throughout the world. Over the years, a number of sawmill facilities in New Brunswick and Quebec upgraded to Hewsaw units.  The advantage of the Hewsaw system is speed of production and the ability to process roundwood down to 3” tops. The Hewsaw can process a log in a single pass and at speeds up to 600 fpm. (2.5 seconds per log)  A log goes in and lumber, chips and sawdust comes out.  And the ability to process logs down to 3” tops gives this sawmill a real advantage. This enables this sawmill to make more efficient use of the forest. Traditional sawmills would not accept round wood with top diameters less than 8 inches. But this mill can accept small wood – a big advantage in first securing the wood fibre and then converting that wood fibre to valuable wood product. One other consideration regarding Hewsaws is the increased safety of operation over other systems.
In Ontario, there are four Hewsaws in operation. This Hewsaw will be the fifth.  Some interesting features of this Hewsaw is that it will be the largest Hewsaw in Ontario able to process logs up to 21 inches in diameter and further downstream some secondary Hewsaw processing. This will be the first Hewsaw in Canada with this configuration and the sixth in the world.

In order to bring the project to fruition, many things needed to be accomplished. First, a suitable site needed to be secured. The general area where to locate the sawmill had been established. IWI then needed to find actual land parcels that would meet its needs. The main requirements were:


IWI was able to secure three contiguous parcels of land that met these requirements. The land was secured through Agreements of Purchase and Sale conditional on a number of items such as successfully rezoning the property for industrial usage, conducting site investigations including an Environmental Assessment, Soils Tests, Species at Risk, a Traffic Impact Study, etc. These items have all been completed and now, IWI is moving to begin final designs of the process, the site works and buildings.

A general description of the entire mill will reveal the green nature of this project. The mill is being designed with some European technology and with the concept of “0” waste.
A site plan is attached showing the proposed location of the property and its proximity to the highway and the railway. The railway will provide the mill the opportunity to deliver logs to the mill by rail. Be it from afar (British Columbia or Ontario and Quebec.) A siding is planned for the sawmill. Besides bringing logs to the mill, the rail line provides the mill the opportunity to ship out chips, containers and lumber packs to many destinations including Canadian and US destinations as well as overseas. Also the mill has several potential customers for its chips. Many deliveries to and from the sawmill will come by truck, however.

The preliminary master site development plan is also attached. Main entry to the plant will be off of Trout Pond Road. Trucks coming into the yard can be weighed.  Then they can drop their load onto the log sorter decks. There are two decks as infeed for the log sorter. One deck will take tree length where the tree length logs will be slashed to length and then fed into a conveyor to be scanned and sorted.  The second deck will take “cut to length” logs and fed into a conveyor to be scanned and sorted. Each log will be sorted into bins by species and diameter. The sorts from the bins will then be taken by a Front end loader and stockpiled with the same species and diameter.

The next step is the infeeding into the sawmill.   It is planned to do batch cutting which means a particular pattern is chosen based on product demand and then a specific log diameter and species is selected to be processed. Batch cutting allows shorter distances between logs as they are fed through the Hewsaw and the result is greater production is achieved per shift. As logs are placed on the infeed deck to the sawmill, the logs are fed through a debarker.  All the bark collected will be used by a Bark Burner/Boiler system to produce heat for the buildings as well as for the dry kilns.

There will be a total of three debarkers for the debarking of logs and thus gives a lot of flexibility in accomplishing this operation.
In addition to the Hewsaw sawline, there will be two additional primary breakdown lines. These will be two-way carriage bandsaws that will cut wood in the more traditional way. With these lines, the sawyer can cut the larger diameter logs and can cut for grade. Cutting for grade will yield much higher quality wood which commands higher pricing. However, a carriage saw cannot match the volume production of the Hewsaw.  The carriage saws are expected to cut mostly hardwoods and pine products. Some of the hardwoods and pine will be processed by the Hewsaw.
The residue from the sawing process (chips and sawdust) will be collected and sorted. The mill has in its design, a pellet mill, which will make pellets, bag the pellets and sell to retailers. The mill has the option to make additional pellets from its chips or to sell the chips to mills close by. This decision will be made later based on an economic evaluation.
In summary, this mill will essentially be a “zero waste” mill with all its residues used for other purposes. (heat production from Bark and pellet production from chips and sawdust.)
All lumber produced from the three sawlines will be fed into one of three sorting lines with two lines having trim lines and grading stations and numerous bins and one manual green line utilizing manual pulls for sorting.
Two of the green sorters will have sticker-stackers for preparing the packs for the next stage – the dry kilns.
The mill plans to have a number of continuous feed dry kilns for the drying of production. Packs will be stockpiled under cover in preparation for the drying process. After drying, most packs will proceed to the planing mill.
In addition to the dry kilns, the mill will have some vacuum dry kilns.  This is German technology that can be utilized to dry, along other things, heavy timbers, with a dramatically reduced drying time.
The Planer mill will have three different processing lines. The first line will be a traditional planing line that will produce finished dimensional lumber. These products will then be packaged and tagged for shipment.
The second line will be a planer/moulder line that will be used for producing a number of different products and profiles.  One of the main products that the mill is planning to produce will be solid hardwood flooring.
The third line will be a CNC machine which will produce, upon other things, log home packages that can be shipped worldwide.
In summary, this mill will be state-of-the-art producing high quality products and in a very efficient manner.