Employing more than 800 people at its sites in Sayabec, Val-d’Or and Mont-Laurier, Uniboard Canada Inc. is a leading North American manufacturer of engineered wood products, including raw particleboard, high- and medium-density fiberboard (HDF/MDF), thermally fused laminates (TFL) and high-pressure laminates (HPL).
Uniboard opened the first fully integrated particleboard and TFL manufacturing facility in North America in 1982. Located in Sayabec, Quebec, the Sayabec mill started with a state-of-the-art particleboard line and two TFL presses. Total production capacity at the time was 130 million square feet of particleboard and 60 million square feet of TFL. The Val d’Or mill was acquired in 1986.
Today, the Canadian wood-based panel producer starts the third phase of its modernization project in Val-d’Or, Quebec.
This extensive modernization project is the latest commitment to deploy DIEFFENBACHER’s CEBRO smart plant concept introduced in 2021. CEBRO combines digitalization and advanced plant engineering with operational excellence and sustainability solutions.
“CEBRO is exactly what we expect from a state-of-the-art production facility,” said Uniboard CEO and President James Hogg.
At the conclusion of Uniboard’s three-phase Renaissance project in 2025, capacity at the modernized plant will increase by almost 50 per cent versus the multi-opening particleboard line whose main components were supplied by DIEFFENBACHER in 1988.
The Uniboard contract with DIEFFENBACHER includes a 10 foot wide and 35 meter long CPS+ continuous press, two EVOjet P glue-saving systems, the new Forming Station PB and new Wireless STS storage system.
The CPS+ continuous press features, among other things, a double-hinge infeed system, Multipot cylinders, a Release Agent Applicator and a Parallel Press Gap System. The EVOjet P systems Special’s two-component nozzles atomise the glue into fine droplets to create a homogeneous resin distribution. This enables resin savings of up to 15 per cent in the core layer. As for the new Forming Station PB, it consists of the newly developed WindFormer and PB Scalper, with a compact design up to 10 meter shorter than a 4-head forming station. And finally, the new Wireless STS storage system consists of a main wagon and one or more pairs of satellite wagons that are wirelessly connected to each other. The satellite wagons can move independently, without physical connection to the main wagon.
Uniboard will also use the MyDIEFFENBACHER digital service platform and DIEFFENBACHER’s smart digitalization solution EVORIS to better understand and control their new plant. Based on artificial intelligence-supported smart data processing and an intuitive user interface, the EVORIS digital platform allows anomaly detection, quality prediction, reporting and trending, and condition monitoring.
The included Intelligent Air Management System will create cleaner air and improve the working environment. DIEFFENBACHER will also deliver technology for dust and material preparation, glue preparation and dosing, the press exhaust system and raw board handling system.
“This investment continues a trusting and successful partnership of more than 30 years between our two companies,” stated Hogg. “The DIEFFENBACHER technology and expertise will broaden our product offering and availability. It will significantly improve board quality and expand our range of board formats and thicknesses, allowing us to enter the market for thin panels, a biocomposite in high demand in North America.”