Is it time to switch to spiral cutterheads?

Is it time to switch to spiral cutterheads?

Speak to most timber processors about traditional spiral cutterheads and they’ll likely comment about them not being ideally suited for hardwoods or for the removal of bulk material. We’d like to introduce you to a new generation.

Image: Traditional-style spiral cutterheads

What’s changed about spiral cutterheads?

A lot of processors are moving into hardwoods and looking to better, more efficient tooling solutions. Accurate have responded by bringing to market an advanced spiral cutterhead that is proving to increase efficiencies and cost savings.

A superior spiral cutterhead

The Accurate product has been designed to provide more support behind each knife as the knife sits in the block in the correct manner. It delivers a traditional cutting action with a gib bar providing a deeper gullet. This allows for greater material removal. We can supply these heads in:

  • Steel hydro
  • Aluminium/conventional
  • Steel/conventional

Benefits of spiral over other cutterheads

Spiral cutterheads are ideally suited for use on the breaking-down heads where the boards are being blanked, or gauged. There is less load on the motor and a smaller chip is produced, which all contributes to a dramatically reduced likelihood of overloads. As you know, any time your machines have to be reset and production interrupted, valuable time is lost.

Additionally, upon wear, only the damaged knives must be replaced. That means there is no need to replace or grind a whole knife just because of a small chip. It eliminates the cost involved in grinding labour and equipment to maintain this particular tooling system.

In terms of workplace health and safety benefits, the use of spiral cutterheads reduces noise levels by up to 50 percent, compared with traditional systems. The aluminium option – more suited to smaller operations – is a lot lighter than traditional cutterheads and therefore easier to manoeuvre into the machines. Back and shoulder injuries whilst performing this task have been reported, and the lighter spiral cutters will help to mitigate the issue.

Accurate’s spiral cutterheads utilise solid carbide, double-sided knives which provides exceptional longevity and with each knife being two-sided, its utility is literally doubled.

Case examples

Queensland Hardwood processor, Parkside Timber converted to spiral some time ago on their ‘heavier load’ products and have reported outstanding results. They run Queensland hardwoods at very high feed speeds; in excess of 100 metres per minute. They were experiencing four to six overloads per day on certain products which was significantly impacting output and costs. Now, having switched to spiral cutterheads, they are reporting a 40-50 percent load reduction on the motor and consequently, zero overloads. In anyone’s language, this is an unbeatable outcome. In fact, the financial benefits realised also extended to the ROI for the heads themselves which paid for themselves in just two days.

Today, Parkside are achieving an impressive 100,000-150,000 lineal metres before having to turn the knives over to use the second side.

On the other end of the spectrum, SE Pine recently commenced using our spiral cutterheads at their Mt Gambier softwood operations. Though it’s still early days for them yet, the company says they were looking to achieve time and cost savings and they are already noticing greater efficiencies in not having to re-grind knife steel for breaking down on their first top, bottom and side heads.

Speak to your Accurate rep today

Given the tangible KPIs being achieved by Accurate spiral cutterheads, we recommend having a chat with your Accurate technical sales representative as soon as possible.