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Rosserhead Debarkers: Common Problems and Uncommon Solutions

Do any of these problems seem familiar? The bark keeps wrapping in your rosserhead debarker. The debarker cannot get through the bark and down to the log. The bark plugs up our conveyors and hog.

With the continued increase in hickory processing, the demand for complete debarking and flare reduction systems for has also increased. The issue is that rosserhead debarkers from North American manufacturers have, by and large, not kept up with the developments in forestry technology in the past twenty years and therefore underperform, despite what manufacturers claim—one manufacturer in particular claims their rosserhead is “not your grandfather’s debarker.” Yet their machine compares poorly with its European counterparts, which have seen vast improvements due to demand for high-performing and efficient machines.

Typical Problems with Rosserhead Debarkers

It’s not just hickory that American-made rosserheads tend to have trouble with. There’s a number of issues these machines typically face with any wood species. For one, rosserheads are usually too aggressive; they remove usable fiber. It’s not unheard of for these machines to remove an inch of fiber (which means it reduces a 10” diameter log to 8”). The cutterheads also tend to remove extra fiber at the ends of the log, creating a pencil-like cut.

Rosserheads also tend to create bad surfaces, which affect scanning systems’ ability to get a true picture of the log due to the fuzz that the cutting creates. Poor scans mean inaccurate readings or extra passes through the scanner.

Rosserhead debarkers are often crudely built, as well, and beat themselves to death. Heavy, knotty logs roll on these machines, and the machines literally shake apart. After a few years, the welds break and other components break down. This, of course, increases the costs to maintain the debarkers and shortens their lifespan.

There’s plenty of small issues with rosserhead designs, too. Some come with swinging controls arms. These are problematic because they create pinch points in the controls, and the controls eventually break. Some machines provide little in terms of stability. They lack upper bullwheels to stabilize the log, and their lower bullwheels are too small. As a result, logs can fall off, and the cutters can’t work as efficiently.

Improving the Rosserhead Debarker

Good manufacturers, however, are always looking for things to improve. They’re looking for ways to make their machines run faster and more accurately than past models. And they’re finding ways to reduce manufacturing costs enough to overcome increased material and labor costs.

Our debarker is an example of such improvement. Its reliability is proven by the actual operating cost of our earliest machines. We have one debarker and reducer set working on large logs at high volumes for more than ten years with little more maintenance than routine cutter changes and lubrication. The plant engineer reported after eight-an-a-half years of use that the machine was still running like new and had virtually no wear. He said it is the most reliable machine in the entire mill.

With that much going for it, there’s really only more question: Can we build one for you?

Contact Us to learn more.

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