As per our conversation last week regarding the 2012 installation of a Rawlings 48X60 PXZ at our Chemainus facility I reflected over the change that we experienced from this upgrade. The reason that we made the change in the first place is that we were getting continuous issues with the existing hammer hog. We process mainly Cedar and Douglas fir and were doing the log barking during one shift in an attempt to feed 2 sawmill sift requirements. Due to constant issue such as plugging and other problems the crew were doing a dismal barking of our logs. This became a standard in our operation that transfer throughout the mill without realizing the repercussion it had on the production.
When the decision was made to upgrade our hog we considered several option but had heard that the Rawlings hog had superior result compare to others considered. The decision was easy once we evaluated our options.
The changeover was done on a long weekend (Friday to Sunday) and with all of the engineering and preplanning of the electrical and hydraulic we did not miss one day of production. As one machine was taken out and base removed the new base was set in place and the new Rawlings 48×60 PXZ hog and hood was installed. The startup went very well and with full confidence the tech was in place to assist with last minute details and suggestion and hog break in was done meticulously. Monday morning the tech was on location before the beginning of shift and met with the crew to answer any questions, he arrived later in the day for crew training both in class room then training at the actual machine.
Since the upgrade we have realized many returns that we had hoped for such as keeping the hog running a full shift without problematic shut down. Then we also appreciated many other benefits that we had not anticipated such as we were able to do a better more thorough debarking job that reflected in the longevity of our saw in the mill thus nearly eliminating saw change during shift. That factor alone has increased our uptime and greatly reduce our overtime. Another factor that was the direct result of the upgrade was in the house keeping of the mill, we had a need of several employee to keep up with the cleaning in the mill and we were able to reduce the crew. It soon became evident also that our customer was very satisfied with the consistency of our hog fuel. The maintenance of the hog with the clamshell opening is extremely easy and with the advantage of the Rocwear tooling we basically only have to do our routine lube maintenance.
To summarize, the ROI that we expected has been greatly increased and I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone to invest in a Rawlings Hog system.