INDUSTRY PROFILE #16
VOLUNTEERS IN TECHNICAL
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[C]1989, Volunteers in Technical
Profile is one of a series briefly describing small or medium-sized industries.
provide basic information for starting manufacturing plants in developing
they provide general plant descriptions, financial, and technical factors fox
and sources of information and expertise. The series is intended to be useful
whether the industries described warrant further inquiry either to rule out or
investment. The underlying assumption of these Profiles is that the individual
making use of
them already has some knowledge and experience in industrial development.
are listed only for machinery and equipment costs, and are primarily based on
the United States. The price does not include shipping costs or import-export
which must be
considered and will vary greatly from country to country. No other investment
included (such as land value, building rental, labor, etc.
as those prices also vary.
are mentioned to provide the investor with a general checklist of
setting up a
profiles should not be substituted for feasibility studies. Before an
investment is made in
a plant, a
feasibility study should be conducted. This may require skilled economic and
expertise. The following illustrates the range of questions to which answers
What is the extent of the present demand for the product, and how is it
the estimated price and quality of the product make it competitive.
What is the marketing and distribution plan and to whom will the product
How will the plant be financed?
Has a realistic time schedule for construction, equipment, delivery,
materials and supplies, training of
personnel, and the start-up time for the plant
How are needed materials and supplies to be procured and machinery and
equipment to be maintained and
Are trained personnel available?
Do adequate transportation, storage, power, communication, fuel, water,
other facilities exist?
What management controls for design, production, quality control, and
factors have been included?
Will the industry complement or interfere with development plans for the
What social, cultural, environmental, and technological considerations
addressed regarding manufacture and use
of this product?
Fully documented information responding to
these and many other questions should be
before proceeding with implementation of an industrial project.
Equipment Suppliers, Engineering
of professional engineers are desirable in the design of industrial plants even
plant may be small. A correct design is one that provides the greatest economy
investment of funds and establishes the basis of operation that will be most
profitable in the
will also be capable of expansion without expensive alteration.
engineers who specialize in industrial design can be found be referring to the
cards in various engineering magazines. They may also be reached through their
of industrial equipment employ engineers familiar with the design and
specialized products. These manufacturers are usually willing to give
benefit of technical advice by those engineers in determining the suitability
any proposed project.
Technical Assistance (VITA) is a private, non-profit, volunteer organization
international development. Through its varied activities and services, VITA
by promoting increased economic productivity. Supported by a volunteer roster
of over 5,000
experts in a wide variety of fields, VITA is able to provide high quality
to requesters. This information is increasingly conveyed through low-cost
technologies, including terrestrial packet radio and low-earth-orbiting
implements both long- and short-term projects to promote enterprise development
BY: Nicholas Engalichev
BY: Henry Huber
is hardwood, kiln dried and machined to dimensions
customers. Products of the mill may include cut-to-size
pieces, edge-glued panels, moldings, turnings,
stair treads and risers, and shaped pieces, as
by-products useful as fuel. Most customers are manufacturers
cabinetwork, doorframes and windowframes,
and decorative or display items. Products vary
mills; some mills may produce finished articles for
costs, this Profile describes a medium-sized mill
with one shift that produces 4,500 cubic meters of
hardwood per year. Some information is also provided
for a mill
twice as large. The annual production for a mill in a
country is often less than 2,000 cu m; some are designed
more than 20,000 cu m. Some hardwood mills
lumber, which is the raw material; some grow timber
this valuable natural resource.
material and the product are heavy and bulky. Thus, the
be located on a railroad or waterway, or near an
road that can be used for motor transport.
development are good if the source of rough lumber
is far from
the mill's customers (assembly plants) and the transportation
are average. Then the customers profit from
shipping costs from the mill, because kiln drying and
size usually involve a weight loss of up to two thirds.
the lumber is delivered in needed sizes, kiln dried
and ready for
use; users need not stockpile lumber or dispose of
of waste. Prospects are favorable if the cost of
the source of raw material is low relative to its cost
market should be analyzed to determine whether
conditions will produce sufficient sales in the target
economic outlook is good if the trend is toward the use
hardwood by assembly plants to take advantage of
or transportation costs.
Sound, nonbrittle hardwood must be available. In
areas, the characteristics of some wood species may have
to be learned
by experience. The mill manager must be thoroughly
Once the plant has started operating, the manager
skilled workers should be able to train the other
reach full production in several months. A mill can
its training and management requirements under
that prevail in most developing countries.
is versatile. A few machines can produce a wide
lumber sizes and a variety of products for which there
is a market.
should have or acquire knowledge of species characteristics;
maintenance of woodworking machinery,
sharpening and tensioning; wood-moisture relationships
storage, packing, and shipping; and, especially,
and quality control at every stage.
concerns include size tolerances, moisture content of the
(measured with a meter), and consistent visual quality to
specifications. Process concerns include giving
to preventive maintenance of tools and machinery,
and to proper
wood handling, stacking, storing, and shipping.
the key to success, must be budgeted into the operations
start; otherwise the enterprise will fail. Efficient
of capacity is also important to success.
training in mill safety and attention to hazardous conditions
to guard against serious accidents and injuries.
include inadequate preventive maintenance of
improper disposal of wastes, inhalation of sawdust and of
used in glues, insufficient protection of eyes and
incorrect handling of lumber and sharp tools.
potential exists only where there is developed manufacturing
sector or an
export prospect. Marketing effort is
needed in order to reach builders, as well as assemblers
of furniture, cabinetwork, and other items that use
produce the raw material, which is sawn lumber that may
be air dried
or kiln dried. Knowledgeable persons from the dimension
plant must be
prepared to visit the sawmill at the time of
cost of raw lumber transport to the dimension mill
helps to set
the selling price of the finished dimension product.
materials and supplies are expected to be available
the rough-sawn lumber has been dried before delivery,
it is then
cut to size.
Channels and Methods
generally are directly to manufacturing industries according
specifications of dimensions, moisture content, and
machining. Such standard items as moldings may be
Extent of Market
including export markets, depend on strong consumer
the processed species of wood.
decades there has been a slow increase in the substitution
for hardwood for many applications. The substitution
overtaken the absolute growth in hardwood
Success in meeting all forms of competition requires, the
Delivering commercial volumes of product.
Delivering quality to meet commercial
Meeting delivery dates.
Maintaining competitive prices.
AND PLANT REQUIREMENTS
are given for a medium plant. If planning for a
merely scale up the version of the medium plant.
equipment, supplies, and labor requirements of the
vary greatly according to the degree of product
4,500 cu m
432 sq m
Electric Power (local)
Fuel (can be scrap wood)
Water (sanitation, fire)
Dry kiln(s), capacity
. . .
240 cu m
. . .
6 m by 12 m
Equipment & Machinery
Boiler (for dry kiln, 20 kW;
can be oil fired)
Equipment and machinery
ESTIMATED COSTS $577,000
5,700 cu m
Lubricants & hand tools
Cutting tools & abrasives
Maintenance & spare parts
Gas (petrol), oil & maintenance
pallets, boxes, cartons
Amount in per day
24 cu m
Amount out per day
12 cu m
(+ 8-10 tons of residue)
plant could supply 100 family furniture enterprises or
*Based on $US
1987 prices. These are guidelines to equipment
are not intended to be used for budgeting. Actual
costs must be
determined for the time and place of purchase.
shows a sample layout approximately 18 by 24 meters,
the dry kiln. The general workflow in the main area
is from dry
lumber storage to processing to shipping. Management
maintenance space are also shown.
otherwise stated, addresses are in the United States. In
publications, lumber volume is expressed in board feet (foot
measure, fbm, or bd. ft. The abbreviation mbf usually means
board feet). 1,000 fbm = 2.3598 cu m; 1 cu m =
Manuals and Textbooks
Brown, W. H.,
1978. Timbers of the World (9 regional volumes,
Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA),
Valley, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP14 4ND, United
H., 1981. General Woodworking. 6th ed. 344 pp.
Inc., 330 West 42nd Street, New York, New York
E., et al., 1967. Safety Accounting and Cost Controls
Manual in the
Hardwood Conversion Industry. National Dimension
Association, 1000 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite
Marietta, Georgia 30068 USA.
Pepke, E. K.,
and M. J. Kroon, 1981. Rough-Mill Overator's Guide
Cutting Practices (Publ. NA-TP-4). U.S. Department of
Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private
Broomall, Pennsylvania 19008 USA.
Dimension Stock Report. Industrial Extension Service,
Engineering, North Carolina State University at
Raleigh, North Carolina 27695 USA.
Wood and Wood
Products. Vance Publishing Co., 400 Knightsbridge
Lincolnshire, Illinois 60069 USA.
Digest. Hitchcock Publishing Co., Wheaton, Illinois
Technique des Bois Tropicaux, 8 rue de Colonel Moll,
Hardwood Products Association, Inc., P.O. Box 1308,
Virginia 22313 USA.
Machinery Manufacturers Association, 1900
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103 USA.
the Forest Products Industry. Annual. Miller-Freeman
Inc., 500 Howard Street, San Francisco, California
Woodworking Directory and Handbook. Annual. Hitchcock
Co., Wheaton, Illinois 60188 USA.
volunteer specialists available in wood products, as
documents on file and in microfiche dealing with the wood
Services, a subsidiary of VITA, provides commercial
industrial development. This service-for-fee includes
following: technology and financial information,
assistance, location and brokerage of used manufacturing
marketing, and joint ventures. For further information,