New solid wood panel plant in St. Georgen will begin production in late 2022

In early August 2021, construction on binderholz’ solid wood panel plant II began in St. Georgen bei Salzburg | Austria, marking the development of the site into the most modern and powerful solid wood panel plant in the world. This investment comprises a fully automated production plant under the aspect of economically meeting the highest ecological demands. The production hall with an area of 180 x 40 m and a height of 27 m (high-bay warehouse) and 20 m (production hall itself) will be home to a two-storey production facility as well as the fully automated two-row high-bay warehouse made of solid wood. One thing is already clear: The new plant will not only represent a milestone from a technical point of view, but will also become another showcase project in solid wood construction within the binderholz Group. Construction is currently underway at full steam.

New technical features increase efficiency and quality

Significant changes will be made to the middle layer production systems at Plant II. In the future, the site will turn side cutting panels into blocks 290 to 300 mm tall. These blocks will be turned by 90 degrees and cut to the appropriate thicknesses as needed on two band saw lines. This way, the middle layer production is expected to achieve higher yields and quality. The lower lamella widths and vertical growth rings will reduce the distortion of the finished solid wood panels.

The host computer in the control centre of Plant I will take care of controlling the entire production, including logistics. Quality grading the cover lamellas will be taken care of by a Woodeye Scanner with a feed rate of 400 m/min. Another feature that differs from the previous production process demands particular attention: The production procedures for cover and centre layers were updated to meet the latest state of technology. On the one hand, these new processes were intended to improve product quality as well as resource utilisation. Plant II will furthermore relieve the bottleneck systems at Plant I, creating further synergies. Particular focus was put on panel finishing and quality assurance where panels with 1250 mm and 2050 mm in width can be finished and packed. The intended maximum performance of the new plant is set to be achieved as soon as possible, doubling the current production capacity. This would turn the St. Georgen site into the world’s largest producer of solid wood panels.

Apart from 3-ply solid wood panels made from spruce, pine, larch and douglas fir, St. Georgen also offers special Swiss pine, fir or steamed, chopped or brushed antique wood.

Production at the new Plant II is scheduled to begin in late 2022. This will result in additional capacities for 3-ply solid wood panels in the format 5000/5050 x 1250 x 12 - 60 mm for the European market that will be able to close the supply gap in Europe. Additionally, we will intensify production of profiled 3-ply panels to become even more efficient and extend the product range for our international customers. In the DIY sector, the product range is extended by tailor-cut panels and underfloor panels. Profiles such as tongue and grooves with chamfer are offered.

A special kind of production facility and high-bay solid wood warehouse

The first floor will be comprised of a hybrid structure made of reinforced concrete and binderholz CLT BBS, while the upper floor as well as the high-bay warehouse will be solid wood constructions. Compared to the previous production processes in Plant I, Plant II will boast many future production innovations. The entire production logistics of the high-bay warehouse, for instance, will be controlled using two storage and retrieval machines. The new plant's concept attaches high importance to resource efficiency and optimised energy input. Special focus was put on the production of the cover and centre lamellas.

The high-bay warehouse's total of 60 towers, totalling 27 metres in height, consist of CLT BBS XL walls, into which glulam beams are hooked. The glulam beams are partially screw-press-bonded with the CLT BBS XL panels to be able to establish the tower's necessary stiffness. A total of 2,300 m2 of CLT BBS and 1,300 m3 of glulam were used for the high-bay warehouse. In order to keep the assembly time on site as short as possible, it was decided to prefabricate the walls and the stiffening plates in Jenbach in a ready-to-assemble fashion. The logistical challenge resulting from lack of space on the construction site was masterfully solved through good organisation by our project managers and just in time delivery with our own fleet of vehicles.

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