Case Study: Waipa Sawmill

The Waipa Sawmill in New Zealand's Waikato region is one of Australasia’s largest sawmills. The mill operates a wide range of timber processing machinery, including chippers, slabbers, conveyors, debarkers and bandsaws, and sets the industry standard for throughput and processing techniques. When designing its systems, the company turned to AuCom soft starters to help ensure maximum operating efficiency.

Sawmill.pngMaintenance and running costs are a major overhead for sawmills, and Waipa needed a solution which would reduce wear and tear on the equipment and prevent motor control problems during start and run, as well as improve stability of the electrical supply. By installing AuCom soft starters on all key machinery, the sawmill has reduced electrical disturbances, torque transients and equipment operating overloads. Equipment life is extended by preventing machinery jams and saw blade de-alignment, as well as avoiding equipment stress from lockup.

AuCom soft starter solutions provide a number of major benefits to sawmilling, including:

  • improved plant efficiency - soft braking quickly slows high inertia machines such as bandsaws and chippers, minimising downtime and allowing fast replacement of cutting knives and sawbands.
  • reduced maintenance costs - soft start reduces starting stress on motor and machine couplings.
  • fewer electrical disturbances - although the mill is operating near its full electrical supply capacity, soft start has allowed additional motors to be installed without electrical disturbances caused by motor starting.