Own business: production of glued beams

* The calculations use the average data for the World

Glued beam, which is also called glued profiled beam, is an environmentally friendly building material from wood. As the name implies, glued beams are made by compiling individual lamellas (boards) in packages and gluing them along the plane. For the production of timber, as a rule, softwood is used. Moreover, Russian manufacturers prefer spruce or pine wood, less often Siberian cedar and larch. Foreign companies (for example, in the USA, Canada and Japan) make glued beams most often from cedar wood and fir. Structures made of northern wood have the highest strength class.

The production of glued beams is considered one of the most promising and profitable areas in the woodworking industry. This is due, firstly, to the relatively wide scope of its application: it is used both for construction and for the production of carpentry. In the manufacture of wood material is thoroughly processed, during which all defective places are removed. Thanks to the laminated glued structure, the beam acquires better properties, even compared to solid wood. It is distinguished by its stable form, high bearing capacity with low weight, and increased strength values ​​(DIN 1052). As a result of sawing and assembling timber from individual lamellas by pressing, wood stress is relieved. This factor and preliminary drying of the workpieces with a decrease in humidity of 10-12% helps to avoid further through cracking and deformation of the structure during even its most intensive operation. Neither the finished material, nor the process of its production does any harm to the environment, which is also important. Among the other advantages of glued beams are the possibility of making structures of relatively large sizes (up to 60 meters in length, which would not have been possible with solid wood), high fire resistance and thermal insulation compared to solid wood, strength and durability, smooth surfaces and reduced glue content (compared, for example, with chipboard), resistance to aggressive chemical environments.

This building material also has a number of significant drawbacks, which also need to be taken into account when organizing its production. First of all, these include the high initial cost of glued beams in comparison with solid wood materials. In addition, it is extremely important to strictly observe the technology for the production of glued beams. The use of low-quality materials (including glue) can lead to deformation of glued timber, its delamination, loss of a number of important properties. If the drying is not good enough, further delamination of the beam and uneven shrinkage in the cross section may appear. Finally, the technology for the production and use of such material is relatively new, so there is no data on the state of glued beams after 40-50 years of operation.

Despite all the above disadvantages, the business of producing this environmentally friendly building material can be called highly profitable and profitable. But experts do not recommend it to novice entrepreneurs who do not have sufficient start-up capital or extensive experience in this area. The manufacture of glued beams requires sophisticated and expensive equipment, the list of which includes an automatic applicator, various presses, machines, a drying chamber, etc. Although the equipment is mostly automated, the human factor also plays an important role in production . For the manufacture of timber requires qualified and experienced personnel who know all the features of such production, otherwise there is a high risk of a large number of defects.

But the main difficulty is associated with the search for raw materials for the production of this building material - high-quality spruce or pine wood that meets the requirements of GOST (a list of GOSTs is given below). It would be too expensive to transport raw materials from another region, so it makes sense to open production closer to the place of extraction of coniferous wood of a suitable type and quality. This is, first of all, Perm, Vologda, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk regions and the Komi Republic. In addition to the boards themselves, for the production of glued beams, special glue compositions will be required (you can use, for example, Kleiborit glue, Concept smart glue from the Japanese manufacturer Oshika Corporation, etc.).

The technology for the production of glued beams implies a large number of different operations, including first trimming, sawing logs into boards, drying, opening defects (first planing), optimization (turning boards into lamellas), splicing, second planing (thicknessing), spreading glue, pressing, profiling, trimming, cutting cups (grooves). Consider the main stages of the production of adhesive beams.

At the first stage, sawing and drying of timber is carried out. Wood is cut into boards of a certain size before drying. The smaller the thickness of the board, the faster and better it will dry out. At the second stage, the boards undergo calibration and control. At the same time, control can be carried out both visually and in an automated way using equipment. Dried wood is sorted by strength (DIN 4074-S 10). Defective areas identified during inspection (knots, slopes or edge irregularities, cracks) are marked and removed (cut out) from the total mass. If necessary, the boards can be sorted by appearance. Then high-quality raw materials are transferred to planing.

At this stage, the wood from which the beam will subsequently be made is processed with flame retardants and antiseptic compounds, as a result of which it acquires fire resistance and better withstands external, even the most adverse, influences. Finally, after processing from the boards, lamellas are planed from which the timber is then glued together. For gluing, waterproof glue is used, which must meet all the requirements for safety, environmental friendliness and bonding strength. In particular, the following types of adhesives are used:

  • Melamine adhesives, which have a transparent adhesive seam and are widely used in Europe (including Russia) in the manufacture of structures in several spans.

  • Resorcinol glues, which have a dark adhesive seam and are used to produce all kinds of structures used outside the building, including for conditions of high humidity. They are most common in the USA and Japan.

  • EPI system with a transparent adhesive joint and used in Japan and Russia for the production of parts and products of low-rise housing construction.

  • Polyurethane adhesives, which have a transparent adhesive seam and are modern fast-curing adhesives that allow gluing wood with a moisture content of up to 18%.

The most famous adhesive systems are produced by international companies Akzo Nobel (Casco Systems), Dynea, BASF, which specialize in formaldehyde and melamine resins. In the field of polyurethane adhesives, the leading manufacturers are Leeson Polyurethanes Ltd and Klebchemie (trademark Kleiberit 303.2).

After the adhesive composition is applied to the lamellas, a package is assembled from them - a blank of a bar of the required section, which is then placed under the press. The package usually contains from two to five lamellas, and the total thickness of the finished beam can reach 25 cm. In addition to the above steps, additional operations can also be performed - trimming, profiling or cylindering of the finished beam in case it is necessary to obtain a glued profiled beam or a cylindrical glued log. For this, it will be necessary to purchase additional equipment - a machine for profiling or cylindering. Ready glued beams are packed in a multilayer plastic film and sent to the warehouse.

The production of this building material is carried out in accordance with the following standards: GOST 8486 - softwood lumber for the manufacture of glued beams, GOST 21779 - limit deviations of the linear dimensions of glued beams, GOST 19414 - serrated adhesive joints when gluing the beams along the length, GOST 8486 - sawn timber quality for manufacturing of glued load-bearing and enclosing beams, GOST 17005 - the degree of water resistance of glues, GOST 15613.1 - strength of adhesive joints, GOST 14192-96 - transport marking, GOST 19041 - packet formation.

Directly for the manufacture of glued beams will require special equipment. The complete list includes a drying chamber, a double-sided tenoning machine, a four-sided section processing machine, an automatic press for gluing a beam, an automatic machine for applying glue and a forklift. All this will cost in the amount of 10 million rubles (if you buy used equipment). But keep in mind that for sawing raw materials you will also need special sawing machines. The type of machine depends on what technology is used in production.

For dispersal of the material, as a rule, multisaw machines of the disk type are used. However, this equipment has a significant drawback - the size of the saw blade directly depends on the size of the processed material. Therefore, if possible, experts advise to give preference to more expensive, but at the same time more efficient blowing multi-saw machines. A vacuum automatic unit can also be used to disassemble the stack. It is important that it is equipped with a moisture meter, with which you can evaluate the moisture content in the glued beam, and, consequently, its quality. This indicator should be 10% (with a margin of error of 2% in one direction or another), as mentioned above. In addition, a four-sided longitudinal milling machine is used to process the materials obtained during cutting. To increase profitability, using the same machine, it is also possible to make platbands, lining, skirting boards, etc. from the remnants of lumber. An automated line is also used in the production, which allows milling the ends of the workpieces with subsequent application of the adhesive composition. Special systems for applying the adhesive are of two types - hydraulic and LUST systems. They consist of a glue applicator shaft, a pressure roller, two feed conveyors and two workpiece discharge conveyors.

Large companies use new equipment of the largest European manufacturers (for example, such brands as SMB, Hundegger, Leademac, Weing, etc. have proven themselves well). Smaller companies prefer to save and purchase machines of Ukrainian, Chinese or Russian production. According to experts, the quality of processing and accuracy of these machines is significantly inferior to Western equipment, as a result of which the quality of the finished building material suffers. However, high-quality equipment is much more expensive than "budget" lines.

Do not forget about the cost of renting production facilities. To place a large line will require at least 100 square meters. meters under the workshop plus areas for warehouses of raw materials and finished materials with the possibilities for access of freight vehicles.

However, to organize the production of products is only half the battle. It is also necessary to organize its marketing. Although, in general, the demand for glued beams is high, and competition is still lower than, in general, in the market for the production of building materials, however, it will not be so easy for a new manufacturing company to find its customers. The areas of application of this material, in addition to the actual construction of houses, are very diverse: the beam is used for the manufacture of arbors, bathhouses, window frames and window sills, floors and house floors. Glued beams are purchased by various companies working in the field of housing construction, as well as individuals. But still, with large volumes of production, it will be more profitable to work with construction companies and enterprises that sell construction materials both wholesale and retail.

The total costs of organizing a glued laminated timber business are from 14 million rubles. This amount includes the purchase of equipment, the purchase of the first batch of raw materials and consumables, the rental of premises for the production workshop and warehouses, the wages of employees (at the rate of 3-5 people per shift when working in two shifts - that is, when the production is fully loaded). The average production volumes of such an enterprise range from 700 cubic meters of glued lumber. However, most likely, in the first months of work, you will not be able to provide either 100% load or sales of manufactured products, so for calculation it is better to take 50% of these volumes - 300-350 cubic meters of glued timber per month. The average market value of one cubic meter of this material reaches 13.5 thousand rubles. Thus, the revenue of your workshop can be about 4 million rubles per month of work. According to some sources, the profitability of this type of production reaches 30%, but such high rates are achievable only with the competent organization of the work of your enterprise. When preparing a business plan, it is recommended to proceed from a profitability of 20-23%. In this case, the average payback period of your production will be from twelve months.

Keep in mind that, like any other business related to the construction and production of building materials, this activity is seasonal. The greatest demand for glued beams is observed between March-April to October-November, depending on the region. Experts advise starting production in the fall so that raw materials can be prepared. At the same time, you should have a certain reserve for the winter months, when you should not expect large sales, as well as a place to store the raw materials and finished products.

Sysoeva Liliya (c) www.clogicsecure.com - a portal to small business business plans and guides


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