”Pimatic’s trimmer cylinder is carefree” – UPM Alholma sawmill plans to expand collaboration with Pimatic
Located in a mill integrate in Pietarsaari, Finland, the UPM Alholma sawmill produces annually approximately 280,000m3 of sawn timber using certified Nordic spruce and pine. The timber is cut to size with a trimmer, which is therefore constantly in heavy and demanding use; the number of trimmer strokes is enormous, and the speed is fast. The sawmill has come to appreciate Pimatic’s cylinders and their proven durability and minimized need for adjustment and service.
Back in early 2020, when UPM Alholma sawmill first deployed a trimmer cylinder designed and manufactured by the applied pneumatics expert Pimatic, the product was instantly put to the utmost test. The cylinder was placed to the toughest location to see if the same problems would occur as with the sawmill’s previous cylinders: challenges with lower and upper damping, slow and arduous adjustments, and short cylinder lifetime.
As the trimmer was inspected more than 10 million strokes later, no functional faults were found. UPM Alholma decided to order more cylinders.
“The main problem with our previous trimmer cylinders was durability. With heavy use and high speeds, damping is difficult and the adjustments need to be precise. At worst, false adjustments may even break the cylinder. Even to this day, over 1.5 years later, we have not had to replace Pimatic’s trimmer cylinder once due to malfunction. Pimatic’s trimmer cylinder is carefree to use,” says Jari Liedes, Manager of Mechanical Maintenance at UPM.
Quality, performance, supply security and reputation
The customer base of UPM Alholma consists of both Finnish and foreign timber buyers. Located on the western coast of Finland in Pietarsaari, the sawmill has a direct route to exports through its own port. What UPM Alholma’s customers most of all seek after are high quality, the right dimensions and supply security.
“Using a trimmer is energy efficient as the timber is cut to the correct size while still fresh. This allows us to cut off any defective parts of the wood then and there, without having to dry more timber than needed. Fresh chips are also preferred when it comes to pulp making. This way, we can make the most out of the timber we process, Liedes explains.
Reliable trimmer operation is critical for the sawmill for more reasons than one. A trimmer that works reliably helps avoid scratches and damage to the timber and therefore minimize quality-related complaints. For its own part, a high trimmer use rate also helps secure the delivery times agreed with the customers. Customer demands are also getting tougher in the sawmill industry and customer companies are fiercely looking for potential cost savings.
“Pimatic’s cylinders have reduced the time we use on adjustments and the need for cylinder replacement. Our cooperation with Pimatic has also worked really well in other respects. They are genuinely interested in how the product works at our sawmill and we monitor its use together. We will gladly use Pimatic’s design and product development expertise also going forward. It is an important and necessary resource for us. I have also mentioned these well-tried solutions to some of my colleagues, and the idea is to expand the collaboration in the future, Liedes concludes.