Only one thing was predetermined: It had to be a progressive kiln. For more than 20 years, Nordpan has been working with continuous dryer solutions for lumber and lamella drying at its headquarters in Olang. The traditional South Tyrolean company, which belongs to the Rubner Group, specialises in the production of single- and multi-layer solid wood panels. Today, it produces more than 5 million m3 annually. “We have been working with this technology since 1998 and couldn't be happier,” reports Markus Prugger, President of the Administrative Board. Besides one progressive kiln for sawn timber that it had bought, the company – which has a spacious design office and workshop at its disposal – has already built several ‘home-made’ lamella dryers. In short: Nordpan knows what makes a good progressive kiln.
Criteria met in the best possible way
The latest progressive kiln project in Olang seeks to replace three fresh/exhaust air kilns that have become long in the tooth. Prugger's main decision criteria were performance, quality and energy consumption: “Our heating capacity is limited and we had no way to increase it. Moreover, we only had very little space left over and we wanted to make the best of it. That's why we looked for a plant that would be capable of achieving the highest possible output given the limitations – all without sacrificing drying quality.”
The team found the perfect plant in the catalogue of Austria’s drying specialists Mühlböck, based in Eberschwang, as their plant, according to Prugger, best met the above stated criteria. Additionally, thanks to many successful projects completed within the Rubner Group, Nordpan was aware of the many benefits a Mühlböck plant offers. At the RHI site in Rohrbach a. d. Lafnitz, for instance, Rubner has been running a Dynamic 1003 Premium progressive kiln since 2018 and a second progressive kiln of the same type was put into service at the Styrian location this year. The very same model was now installed in Olang.
The magazine Holzkurier reports in issue 46/2021 about the project.