We believe in continual improvement at Veneer Services. We never assume our first design is the ultimate design. And it’s why the butt flare reducers we produce today are different than the ones we made more than a decade ago.
In our original design, we used the same cutters as we use in our rosserhead debarker. Our thought was that it would be helpful to the maintenance crews to have one, interchangeable part to use between the machines, which are at times sold as a package. However, the debarker’s cutterhead wasn’t the most efficient design for the work the butt reducer had to perform.
So, we implemented a cutter specifically for the flare reducer. We also simplified the bearing mount for the head, as maintenance crews were finding it difficult to replace them.
The beauty of the new cutterhead was that, not only did it work better, but maintenance technicians could flip it once and continue reusing it. So, if the head ever became stuck, maintenance could just flip it around and keep going without having to disassemble it and replace it. Voilà!
The change made the machine more efficient in conjunction with something we did well from the start: automated control monitoring. The automation and controls system monitor the load on the reducer and vary the bull wheel speed. Because of this, the reducer can continue to work well even with dull cutters. The reducer also optimizes its cutting for the diameter of the log. It calculates where the best starting point is based on the diameter and begins cutting there, not just where the log happens to roll onto the reducer.
Another change we made was to make our machines heavier. Other American companies generally make their reducers too light. But we purposefully overbuild our butt flare reducers because their welds tend to break after a few years if they’re built too light; these machines take a lot of abuse. But ours can take it. We’ve had customers drop logs into cutterheads without harming them.
Reducers should be built with components and with the integrity that will allow them to operate far longer than a few years. We have flare reducers we sold more than ten years ago that are still operating. Go with a machine that will provide you the best return on your investment—go with a Veneer Services® Butt Flare Reducer.
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