The first £3m phase of a project to build a new sawmill for James Callander & Son Ltd is almost complete. Under the project, which began in April 2011, a log sorting plant has been constructed in West Fife in order to measure, turn, scan and prepare the timber prior to the processing phase in the sawmill. The project will eventually bring around 100 jobs to the area, including the relocation of 85 workers and the creation of 15 new jobs.
Main contractors for the project are Marshall Construction and the consulting civil engineers are C.R.A Limited. The log sorting line was supplied by Holtec of Germany and the scanning and electronics by Sawco of Sweden. The 3D log scanner, which is at the heart of the operation, is the first ‘techied effect’ scanner in the UK that can differentiate between bark and solid wood.
Gordon Callander from James Callander & Son said: “This has been quite a challenging project, as we are working on a completely green site and are situated quite far away from the necessary utilities. As a result, there have been some technical challenges. However, we have successfully worked together with the various consultants in order to rectify any difficulties.
“Works are going well and we intend to run the first test logs through the machine before the end of November, reaching full production early next year.”
The building itself covers around 200m² of floor space and comprises three storeys, each of which are around 10m by 7m, and is a timber frame construction using the company’s own standard production timber. Most of the construction has been composed of reinforced concrete walls which form the pillars that the machinery sits on.
An interesting feature of the building is the timber clad exterior, which blends in with the forest environment and highlights the use of the client’s own construction materials. The entire building is externally clad in Scottish grown pine that grew on the site before it was accrued for the building.
All of the timber used for the construction of the building is FSC certified, reflecting the passion of James Callander & Son for providing high quality, sustainable wood. Indeed, all of the timber sawn by the company comes from Scottish grown softwoods, 98% of which is Sitka or Norway Spruce. James Callander & Son have been sawing timber for over fifty years and it is in their interest to ensure that all supplies come from sustainable sources: they purchase timber from Forest Enterprise and privately owned woodlands, all of which must be managed in accordance with the UK Forest Standard.
In order to provide customers with this assurance, the company has achieved Chain of Custody accreditation with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), which is the only internationally recognised independent forest certification body. Over 70% of the timber that James Callander & Son supply is from FSC certified forests. It is their aim to ultimately provide their customers with 100% of material from certified sources.
Most of the investment for the project has been in the machinery, which is based on a steel frame structure. All the machines that harvest timber are fitted with the most up to date computer software and optimising packages, which allows James Callander & Son Ltd to provide the grower with a complete range of crop information and product breakdown to ensure that they get the best return from their woodlands.
In addition, James Callander & Son are currently working with selected suppliers on GIS (Geographic Information Systems) coupled with modern links between the sawmill and machines. It is envisaged that such technology will enable the company to provide a superior service to their customers by providing raw material deliveries that are more closely linked to sawmill production and customer requirements. In addition, a better service will be provided to their suppliers due to the quicker uplift of material from the forest and roadside.
The project has also comprised a small amount of exterior landscaping, including the retention of tree cover and the building of a small access road off the main public highway onto the site.