The unique microwave equipment has made steaming a simple, fast and continuous process.

What we’ve been dealing with

The customer, a major wood processor, like many others, had been using the batch steaming method. However, he was not satisfied with the complex logistics, the long processing time and the inefficient use of staff. He therefore thought about how the whole process could be sped up and, if possible, automated, and approached ROMILL.

What solution we have chosen

We went into the solution with the hypothesis that there was a chance that the lower frequency would have a long enough wavelength to heat the entire debarked logs. After several months of development, we came up with a 25-meter-long equipment that can work directly with beech logs in a continuous manner.

The line is equipped with a conveyor system that eliminates human labour altogether. One log can pass through the entire equipment in just 8 minutes, which is a really significant reduction of time. In operation, this means that the wood leaves the equipment approximately every 30 seconds or a minute, which just corresponds to the peeling stroke.

What are the main benefits of the technology for the customer:

  • The fast process allowed for continuous and well-planned production
  • The log is heated quickly in the entire volume and processed immediately, therefore it is possible to deploy a just-in-time material handling system
  • Fast and efficient heating significantly reduced energy requirements
  • The equipment is fully automated, controlling its own input and output, allowing operators to do other work within the operating area
  • At the same time, energy is saved, as the wood does not cool down
  •  The equipment is fast, since there is no need to heat or maintain a steam boiler before operation

The outcome

Production now flows in a single technological line with a minimum of human labour involvement. Space and energy are saved, as all material received into the process is processed immediately. There was no need for complicated planning in winter, when much longer steaming times had to be taken into account.

Employees themselves are also satisfied, as it allows them to pursue work with higher added value.

Explore additional applications of microwave technology for the wood industry.