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Kiln drying problems and issues in Canada benchmarks and comparison to Europe Alexiadis, Pavlos

Abstract

Kiln drying represents a vital step in wood products processing. When properly employed, it ensures that subsequent problems with wood applications are minimized and high quality material is produced. Despite the importance of the wood products industry for Canada, scarce information currently exists regarding the general kiln drying situation across the country. A survey was conducted to benchmark the kiln drying problems and issues of Canadian wood products companies. Topics covered by the study included dried product quality problems, drying process and kiln control issues and level of kiln drying related knowledge of different groups of people such as kiln operators, kiln equipment suppliers, distributors, sales personnel and customers. Additionally, a comparison with similar kiln drying problems and issues in major European lumber producing countries was performed. Results indicated that dried product quality issues were of only moderate concern, while in Europe such issues were considered more serious. In terms of drying process and kiln control issues, these were more important for Canadian than European companies. Finally, the various groups of people investigated appeared to be more knowledgeable about kiln drying issues in Canada compared to Europe. It was suggested that Canadian wood products companies try to focus on value-added products manufacturing, so as to become more competitive.

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