Chains, that last…and keep what they promise

If you look at a complete sawmill, conveyor chains do not appear to be essential at first glance. Often attention is only given to them when they repeatedly cause problems and downtime. This happened a few years ago to Egger Holz in Liezen (Austria), where the problem was solved by a tailor-made solution from FB Ketten. The waste wood discharge has been running smoothly ever since.

The sawmill, Egger Holz, in Liezen produces lumber products for the Austrian and Italian markets from mainly Styrian spruce. Founded in 1964 by Ernst Egger sen., the family company has continued to develop since then and has continuously increased the annual average produced to 140,000 solid m³ per year. In addition, the Ennstal-based company produces around 150,000 pallets per year – including numerous custom-made products – for companies in the region. The brothers Ernst and Günter Egger have been running the business for almost 30 years, with four third-generation representatives already firmly involved in the business.

Optimal solution found

Good partners for many years: Peter Vorwalder from FB Ketten (left) and Christian Egger from Egger Holz Liezen

A few years ago, the company had problems with a double-strand scraper chain conveyor for discharging residual wood.
“The welded attachments were breaking off and falling into the sieve, which led to regular downtimes of the entire sawing line,” recalls Christian Egger.  In addition, the chain was extremely loud during operation due to the heavy steel scraper-attachments and the high weight also led to excessive wear on the sprockets and the chain itself. In short, the chain was not suitable for this use.

Finally, four years ago, the company got in touch with Peter Vorwalder from FB Ketten, Kufstein. “We quickly localized the weak points in the system and once again worked out an optimal solution together with Egger,” recalls Vorwalder. The sawmill had been using FB chains for parts of its mechanization for over 20 years. “Regardless of whether timber manipulation, sawn timber sorting or disposal, we work with FB Ketten in all areas – and for one simple reason: Because they last,” reports Günter Egger. Depending on the requirements, FB Ketten simply replaced the components or optimized them in coordination with Egger.

Significantly lighter

The new double-scraper chain from FB Ketten is approximately 42 % lighter and lasts much longer

In this specific case, FB Ketten delivered 90 m double-strand  scraper chain including scraper attachments and sprockets.

Compared to the existing chain, the FB chain is 42% or 2.25 t lighter than the previous solution. “This leads to lower power consumption on the system and less wear on the chain gliding strips, the scraper attachments, the sprockets and the chains,” Vorwalder explains the advantages and also mentions the lower consumption of resources, the longer life time, lower operating costs and lower noise levels. Christian Egger can confirm all of this: “Since the start-up, the residual wood discharge under the sawing line has been running perfectly. FB Ketten has once again kept what they promised.” In the meantime, FB Ketten has already implemented two follow-up projects at Egger – with more being planned.

FB custom-made chain reduced the downtime in the sawing line significantly 

Short term business

Due to the Corona pandemic, according to Vorwalder, business has become significantly reduced in recent months. Many customers are currently waiting longer and want their chains to be delivered as quickly as possible. “Almost all our chains are custom-made in our own Factory at FB Ketju in Finland. The lead time is approximately six to eight weeks. “We deliberately specify this conservatively so that we can keep our promises and our customers can confidently, plan,” says Vorwalder – FB Ketten is the leading specialist for conveyor chains, sharp top chains and roller chains in the saw mill industry and has probably the largest warehouse for chains for the wood industry in Central Europe.

Written by: Günther Jauk (                                         
Pictures: Egger (1), Jauk (2)    
Translation German to English: FB Ketten