New Planer Widens Supply Options
[May 31, 2022] Bright Wood’s lumber supply is broader thanks to a new planer at the Culver site. Bright Wood can now take advantage of rough lumber, and with that comes new capacity, species, and products.
Tapping Into a New Lumber Supply
“We are in the midst of a significantly constrained supply chain for lumber, and this state of affairs has been slowly getting more critical for 20 years,” Kevin Stovall, Vice President, said. “The planer allows us to expand our supply base meaningfully by buying rough lumber that we have been unable to process in the past.”
Rough lumber is available from offshore and domestic suppliers and costs less than surfaced lumber. “Most of the lumber going through the planer is rough radiata pine out of New Zealand and Chile, along with Eastern White Pine and local species from Pacific Northwest mills,” Tim Stovall, Lumber Buyer, said.
“Domestically, one of the biggest bottlenecks mills face is a lack of planer capacity,” Kevin said. “Our planer allows our suppliers to increase the velocity of wood moving through their mills and expands our supply options.”
“We hope to reduce our raw material costs by planing and grading ourselves while improving our overall material utilization,” Kevin said.
Boosting Ripping and Cutting Capacity
“The planer is a versatile machine that can sort lumber by grade,” Tim said. This is a big deal because it gives Bright Wood a more efficient sorting method, which will increase ripping and cutting capacity.
Another bonus is the planer can split S4S (lumber surfaced on four sides), which frees up ripsaw capacity companywide, especially at Plant 3-1/2.
Allowing New Products and Species
“The planer opens market opportunities that were previously not available to us,” Kevin said. “There is a large market for ‘pattern stock’ such as shiplap, tongue and groove, bevel siding, drop siding, and log cabin siding, and we can now be competitive in those products.”
“Strategically, we believe we can expand our species offerings, allowing us to provide our customers with a broader array of products,” Kevin said.
Thanking the Team
Tip of the hat to Nicolas Pineda, the planer’s first fully-trained operator. The six-person crew consists of a hoist operator, a planer operator, a puller, two graders, and one forklift driver. Culver is just staffing one shift now, but the plan is to add a swing shift after installing a new auto-stacker.
“Startup was an immediate success,” Tim said. “Great job to Support Services, R&D, Bright Wood’s tooling experts, and our production staff.”
“Adam Brown, Brad Bolton, Joe Roberts, Larry Chancellor, Bruce Burson, Casey Lockey, Antioco Garcia, Walt Williams, Jesus Cohetzaltitla, Nicolas Pineda, and the rest of the planer team all deserve a pat on the back for their dedication to quality,” Tim said.