Product News
December 2016

Trying to keep up with all the latest products available in the biomass industry can be an impossible task, however, with the help of Wood Bioenergy magazine and our ever-updating blog site—you can now stay up-to-date on the products that really matter, and get first hand knowledge of their implementation and performance.


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Rotochopper Hosts 6th Demo Day

With more than 200 attendees, Rotochopper’s 6th annual Demo Day in St. Martin, Minn. was its largest event yet, bringing in guests from worldwide to see the “Perfect In One Pass” advantage in action.

The day began with tours of the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, giving attendees the opportunity to see Rotochopper grinders in every stage of manufacture, from cutting to final inspection and testing. The facility tours also allowed guests to meet the teams who design, build and support their Rotochopper equipment.

Rotochopper President/CEO Art de St. Aubin welcomed attendees with opening remarks that focused on the benefits of working with a factory-direct manufacturer: “Today, you’re going to witness what Rotochopper stands for: loyalty, community, commitment and service. This commitment allows us to create new products and equipment enhancements based on your feedback. We represent only one name, Rotochopper, and we’re damn proud of it.”

The demonstrations began with Rotochopper’s 950 HP B-66 showing off the convenience of a Track & Dolly system, coming in the yard on tires, switching to tracks and ready to grind logs & whole trees within minutes. Through the course of the day, Rotochopper completed more than 20 demos with a variety of raw materials and end products, featuring 10 machines: 950 HP B-66 Track & Dolly, 765 HP B-66, 540 HP TS-2 track shredder, 540 HP FP-66, 475 HP MC-266, 400 HP EC-366, 350 HP MP-2, 127 HP CP-118 wood chip processor, 75 HP RMT test mill and the certified factory refurbished 200 HP SB-24E.

The day ended with Rotochopper’s trademark: a grind and color finale with the 950 HP B-66 and 475 HP MC-266. Attendees got to watch the machines grind and color black and red mulch side-by-side.

“Every year, Rotochopper Demo Day gets better and better,” comments Brad Bennett, owner of Novem Waste, Inc. “As a business owner, the experience is invaluable for me. I get to see the latest products and equipment that will provide new markets for my business and machine, and meet other Rotochopper owners and operators. The connections I’ve made at Demo Day are vital to the success of my business, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Morbark Hosts 10th Demo Days

Morbark, LLC, welcomed 250 customers, members of its dealer network, and other guests from around the world for its 10th Demo Days event in Winn, Mich. on October 13-14.

Morbark’s Demo Days give attendees the opportunity to not only watch the equipment in action, but also meet the people who build and support the equipment as they see firsthand the manufacturing processes. Events included factory tours, networking opportunities, vendor booths, and a chance to see the equipment up close, as well as try out Morbark’s Boxer line of compact utility loaders.

The event culminated with demonstrations of equipment for the forestry, biomass, recycling and tree care markets, including the:

HT1042 Slow-Speed Shredder, shown at Morbark’s electric test panel

  • 3200 Electric Wood Hog horizontalgGrinder, shown at Morbark’s electric test panel
  • 3200 track wood hog horizontal grinder
  • 223 flail
  • 23 Chiparvestor
  • 30/36 NCL whole tree drum chipper
  • 40/36 NCL whole tree microchipper
  • Beever M12R chipper
  • Beever M18R chipper
  • Beever M20R chipper with loader
  • 6600 track wood hog horizontal grinder
  • 1300B tub grinder
  • SpecSys Purchases Former Prentice Plant

    A Minnesota-based company has acquired a heavy equipment factory in Prentice, Wis. formerly owned by Caterpillar.

    SpecSys Inc. (Specialty Systems), a contract engineering and manufacturing company headquartered in Montevideo, Minn., bought the plant as part of its ongoing strategy to seek rurally located manufacturing operations, according to CEO Kevin Wald.

    SpecSys provides 40,000 hours of manufacturing services and 5,000 hours of engineering services each month. “You are hard pressed to find a major equipment manufacturer in the world that we do not have an existing relationship with, “Wald says.

    At 220,000 sq. ft., the Prentice plant is a “nice step up in capacity,” Wald says. “The values you find in a rural work force have been a cornerstone of our companies from day one.”

    SpecSys intends to start producing forestry products machines in Prentice but hopes to also manufacture equipment for mining, agriculture, railroad and energy companies.

    The plant was founded in 1945 by Leo Heikkinen and produced the Prentice hydraulic loader.

    Wald’s parent company, Ritalka, supports other companies and government agencies. SpecSys, one of the Ritalka’s subsidiaries, now has 275 workers and 700,000 sq. ft. of facilities in eight sites in Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

    “We in the village of Prentice are extremely happy and proud of Ritalka-SpecSys operations purchasing the Prentice Cat operations,” says Prentice Industrial Development Corp. President Dale Heikkinen. “We want to thank the Wald family for considering Prentice.”

    Barko Names Talaga As Product Manager

    Steve Talaga has been appointed Product Manager for forestry equipment manufacturer Barko Hydraulics, LLC, part of the Pettibone Heavy Equipment Group. Talaga is responsible for product line development, market analysis, and general support and interaction with Barko dealers and customers.

    Prior to his new position, Talaga worked for sister company Pettibone/Traverse Lift, LLC for four and a half years, first as a service technician and then as a design engineer. Talaga has a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering technology from Michigan Technological University.

    KPA Unicon Becomes Prominent Supplier

    Two Finnish energy solution suppliers are joining forces through a merger in which KPA Unicon Group Oy is purchasing the entire share capital of Renewa Oy.

     KPA Unicon produces comprehensive service and technology solutions for heat and power plant projects throughout the lifecycle of the plants. The solutions utilize biofuels and fossil fuels with high energy efficiency. Renewa offers local energy production solutions for biofuel- and waste-fired heat and power plants.

    KPA Unicon becomes one of the prominent suppliers for mid-sized heat and power plants in the Nordic countries and Europe.

    “We will be able to offer our customers a broader technology portfolio, more comprehensive operation and maintenance services, and more diverse financing solutions. With our enthusiastic and responsible approach, we will help our customers to succeed and support them in environmentally friendly, reliable and profitable energy production,” says Jukka-Pekka Kovanen, Managing Director, KPA Unicon Group Oy.

    Norbord Orders Dryer, Energy Plant

    Norbord is relocating an existing continuous press from its mill in Alberta, Canada, to Inverness, Scotland and has ordered a new OSB drum dryer and corresponding energy plant from Siemelkamp-Büttner.

    The energy plant with a total combustion capacity of 55 MW will use a 75 sq. m grate to generate around 40 MW of flue gas for heating the dryers and 15 MW for heating thermal oil. As with the drum dryer, Büttner will also be supplying the entire range of equipment from a moving floor for the fuel storage to the primary circulation system for thermal oil.

    The assembly of the dryer and energy plant is also part of Büttner’s scope of delivery and is scheduled to be concluded by the middle of 2017.

    Fantoni MDF Orders Cremona Energy Plant

    Italian-based Fantoni MDF has ordered a new energy plant from Italian company ITI Engineering of Cremona. The energy plant with a total net combustion capacity of 30 MW will use a 50 sq. m grate to generate 10 MW of flue gas for heating dryers and 20 MW for heating thermal oil. Complete assembly, steel structure and startup is also part of ITI’s scope of supply and is schedule to be concluded by third quarter 2017.

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