Melbourne, Australia, June 18th 2015

The introduction of four key Sennebogen material handling machines at one of the world’s largest pulp and paper facilities has helped create a substantially more efficient operation for services provider Pedersen Group.

Pedersen Group provides for a vital production link in terms of log yard logistics, mobile plant operations and whole log chipping and debarking services at the Tasman Mill, which operates on a 200ha site near the Bay of Plenty town of Kawerau in New Zealand’s North Island.

The mill site hosts pulp production operations for both CHH Pulp & Paper and Norske Skog. The Pedersen Group team handles log volumes of 1.1m tonnes per annum, undertaken on a seven day, double shift operation and in recent times has overseen gains in log yard capacity and chip accepts.

“We’re proud of our achievements for our clients at the Tasman Mill, but as with all of our operations we’re always looking to improve production efficiencies, costs and personnel safety,” says Pedersen’s Kawerau Site Manager Marty Hine.

“Not only was the decision to move to Sennebogen mobile plant based around the relative technical abilities and robustness of the individual machines, but utilising the advanced capabilities of Sennebogen allowed us to change the way we use both our fixed and mobile plant and led to us reconfiguring our entire yard for maximum efficiency.”

The range of log handling hardware Pedersen implemented at their Tasman Mill operation is truly comprehensive; encompassing both the smallest and the largest materials handlers Sennebogen manufactures.

At the smaller end of the scale, a static, electric drive Sennebogen 818 acts as the control centre for the debarking drum and conveyor feed into the 3000hp multi-log chipper.

Being a stationary machine, the Sennebogen 818 sits upon an elastic bearing which gives the operator the flexibility to react to loads, but also has a suspension effect, cushioning the machine against shock and vibration and providing a better working environment for the operator.

In almost every other facet though, the 818 is an off-the-shelf electric powered materials handler, simply sited for maximum efficiency.

“The hydraulic elevating cab raises and lowers in a conventional manner so the operator has excellent vision of what’s coming from the power infeed, through the debarker and down the conveyor in front of him,” says Marty.

“Essentially the 818 is the nerve centre for the whole plant, with the operator using touchscreen and joystick controls in the oversized cab to control product flow at variable speeds and deal with jams using the 818’s grapple.”

The debarking drum is new as well and replaces an older, larger unit. In this instance smaller has proven to be better, but there is no denying the increased flexibility Pedersen Group’s colossal Sennebogen 880 EQ has brought to this operation.

The electric drive Sennebogen 880 EQ is one of the world’s largest materials handling machines. Pedersen’s unit weighs in at 275,000kg with a 5m pylon, 30m boom and impressive 11m operator eye level; it is the largest machine of its type in the Southern Hemisphere.

While offering all the efficiency benefits of electric power, the machine is still mobile as it sits on crawler tracks in order to travel up to 35m.

The Pedersen team constructed the 35m galvanised cable trench which the power cable sits in once it unspools from the reel on the rear of the machine. Rubber belting sits over the trench in order to help keep debris out.

Marty says he is impressed with the precision of the Sennebogen 880 EQ, citing the balance the machine exhibits, regardless of load, as exceptional. Even at the 880 EQ’s full reach (30m) and with total weight in the grab of 12 ton, the machine is never in danger of toppling over. This is due to Sennebogen Equilibrium design, with a moving counterweight to help keep the load centred.

The long reach Sennebogen 880 EQ can unload from the trailers straight into the power infeed, or across to the store.

The same model machine is available in various configurations including diesel powered engines, various under-carriage styles and with up to 35m reach.

Alongside the supersized handling capacities of the Sennebogen 880 EQ are two mid-range log handlers – twin Sennebogen 830 MTs – which have also proven real game-changers for Pedersen Group at Kawerau.

The Sennebogen 830 MT is the only materials handler/log handling machine that can tow 60 ton of logs.

Project lead Bruce Hutchings – instrumental in all aspects of the project from instigation and planning to fabrication, civil works and machine implementation – says that, at the end of the day, the ability to tow log trailers gave Sennebogen a critical advantage.

“The Sennebogen machines have given us good gains in terms of efficiency, operator comfort and handling capacities. Having the 830 MTs completely flexible to high-stack as well as tow log stock around the yard in larger lots – from the stack to the 880 – has really made a significant difference for us,” he says.

Pedersen Group’s trailers were specially developed in-house to compliment the capabilities of the two 830 MTs. The trailers were manufactured to Bruce’s exacting specifications by Rotorua-headquartered trailer specialists Patchell Industries.

“Before the Sennebogen 830s arrived we were using wheel loaders, which can’t stack as high as the 830s can. Wheel loaders can’t tow either, so we’re moving more logs and stacking them more efficiently with a bookend system. The way we use space within the yard has improved dramatically as a result,” says Bruce.

“This reconfiguration also eliminates our old log deck and waterfall system, which means the wood is handled less. As a result there’s less damage and loss of fibre on the product being processed,” he adds.

Marty Hine says that the Sennebogen 830 MTs feature excellent acceleration, especially considering towing weights are up to 60 ton with the trailer.

As part of the extended operational support Pedersen Group provides to Tasman Mill, the company also manages all garage operations on site – 120 items of mobile plant in total.

Marty Hine says Sennebogen parts and technical support from Australasian distributor Pacific Materials Handling (PMH) has been fantastic.

“PMH have really been with us every step of the way on this. Couple this support with better running costs, cheaper consumables and parts and less in the way of service costs and we’re ahead across the board.

“There’s no denying this has been a big exercise for us, but it’s a no-brainer. We have great people in this company and working with some great people at PMH, we’ve engineered a solid result,” Marty concludes.

Pacific Materials Handling Sennebogen Business Manager, Byron Judd echoes these sentiments.

“We could not have asked for a better group of people to work with on this project,” he says.

“From the initial phone call onwards, developing this plan alongside the Pedersen Group team has been a truly rewarding working partnership.

“The exceptional level of expertise and insight the company possesses has helped make the implementation of world class Sennebogen equipment at the Tasman Mill a seamless process from our side of the equation too.”