Opening a business for the production of MDF boards

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General overview of the market for the production of MDF boards (HDF)

As you know, the most common material for the manufacture of furniture is laminated particleboard. The production of this material is low cost and very profitable. However, there is one rather serious drawback in the production of chipboard and chipboard: despite high profitability and good sellability, this type of board is produced in Russia by a fairly large number of enterprises - both large, medium and small.

This makes the product market somewhat oversaturated and unstable, which may lead, of course, not to ruin, then certainly to “freeze” the funds invested in production in the form of finished products.

Therefore, it is better to produce these products either in regions with a weak, undeveloped market, or as additional products, in combination, for example, with furniture.

But since furniture production is nevertheless the most cost-effective after construction, the question arises inevitably: what materials to produce for furniture needs? Is there a win-win option for such a production?

The answer is simple - you just need to turn to statistics, or, more precisely, to the actual technology of furniture manufacturing. One has only to recall what kind of material is used second in frequency, after chipboard. The answer is obvious - these are fiberboard and MDF board (as well as a variation of the latter - HDF).

However, the production of fiberboard in our country is not much developed than chipboard, and when opening a business, you should rather focus on the last of these materials.

Do not forget that MDF boards are widely in demand in other sectors, except furniture: for decoration of residential and commercial premises (usually in the form of wall panels), laminated flooring (the so-called laminate flooring), and even the manufacture of speaker enclosures.

There are three types of fiberboard or fiberboard (another name is hardboard): soft, or low density (in our Russia, technical self-designation is fixed to them - fiberboard); and solid - medium and high density - respectively MDF and HDF (abbreviations obtained by tracing the Latin abbreviations - English MDF - MediumDensityFiberboard and HDF - HighDensityFiberboard).

As the name implies, the production of plates of the second and third type is a technical novelty for Russia, and, therefore, competition will be small (relative to the same particleboard) and profitability, as in all industries based on waste from the wood processing industry, will be high. The reason for this is simple: the industrial production of MDF boards in the United States began in 1966, and in Russia only in 1997.

Machinery and technology for the production of MDF boards (HDF)

The production of MDF boards can be divided into four main stages.

The first step is the preparation of raw materials. The raw material for the production of MDF boards is ordinary round wood of any kind of wood. To begin with, the logs are cleaned of bark on a special machine called a debarker.

The cost of such equipment varies from € 25, 800 to 3, 800 thousand rubles. depending on capacity, country of manufacture and other technical specifications.

In principle, since the debarking machine can be considered equipment that is not directly related to the actual production of products, you can also purchase a second-hand option - costing about € 20, 000-22, 000 - the quality of the MDF board will not suffer from this.

The next step in the preparatory phase is the cutting of logs peeled from bark in the so-called technical chips.

Chipping machine will cost inexpensively - only 160 thousand rubles. However, do not forget that for more or less harmonious and continuous production of such machines, at least 2-3 will be needed.

Wood chips are washed mechanically to remove impurities that could damage the quality of the product - dirt, fine sand, stones, etc., and after washing it is heated with steam. This operation prepares the finished peeled chips for the second stage - further grinding in an apparatus called a refiner or defibrer (defibrator).

The cost of such a machine, depending on the technical characteristics - from $ 10, 000 to $ 30, 000. The refiner mechanically abrades wood chips into a pulp, the same as in the manufacture of paper.

Binding components - resins and other substances are added to the wood pulp. The resulting mixture enters the dryer (sometimes called a dispersant), an apparatus for reducing the moisture content of raw materials to 8-9%, costing about 1950 thousand rubles.

After drying, the mass falls into the so-called cyclone - in fact, an air separator, where too large a fraction of fiber is selected, unsuitable for the production of MDF boards.

The third stage is carpet formation and primary pressing. The formation, or, more correctly, the molding of MDF boards is carried out on a special molding machine (the price of which is only 220 thousand rubles).

The primary pressing, or, as it is also called, pressing, is performed by a conventional press - it is needed only to remove air from the plate - having formed into bubbles, it violates the stiffness of the plate as a whole, and it begins to crumble.

The final, fourth step in the actual formation of the MDF board is pressing. Pre-pressed MDF boards in the form of an endless ribbon are fed to the main (hot) press.

The main press costs about 780 thousand rubles. The very pressing on it can be divided into three stages. On the first plate, the highest temperature (200-230 ° C) and pressure (up to 350 MPa) are given.

The main objective of this stage is the formation of the surface of the plate. At the second stage, the central part of the carpet is heated, the temperature drops to 190-210 ° C, and the pressure drops to 40-120 MPa.

At the third stage, calibration is performed (leveling the plate to the desired thickness). The plate heating is turned off, and the pressure drops to 60-150 MPa, depending on the desired thickness of the MDF plate. A finished endless MDF tape comes out from under the press, which is cut with a dividing saw. After pressing, the plate is cooled for 20-25 minutes.

The last moment of the production of MDF boards (before packaging) is grinding, which after pressing can still have a small thickness difference (“thickness difference”) and some surface defects. Such defects are eliminated by grinding using surface grinding machines. Finishing equipment costs from 78 to 304 thousand rubles, depending on the area of ​​the working surface and power.

As you might guess, the above list of equipment for the production of MDF boards is incomplete - for bundling individual units and assemblies, tape and other feeders, also known as conveyor belts, are used; special filters and chip pumps are also used that collect substandard or simply sprinkled semi-finished products; automatic dispensers of components and some other specific machines and apparatuses.

Prospects for the development of the business of manufacturing MDF boards (HDF)

One of the interesting prospects for the development of the business of manufacturing MDF and HDF boards is the parallel production of paper and paper products from it. As already mentioned, the basis for these products is wood pulp, which is subjected to further processing. In addition, do not forget about more traditional areas: the production of fiberboard and finished products (doors, furniture facades, etc.) from MDF.

It is possible to organize non-waste production by pressing substandard semi-finished products and other waste into fuel briquettes or pellets. In addition, if the production facilities allow you to place the appropriate equipment, you can also laminate MDF (HDF) and even produce laminate and other finishing materials.

Pavel Biryukov

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Video on the production of MDF boards (MDF)

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