Kalesnikoff Lumber adopts industrial 3D printing to alleviate supply chain challenges, reduce down time, and improve productivity.
Production of custom parts currently unavailable elsewhere.
Significantly reduced cost of manufacturing, compared to machined aluminum.
Supports manufacturing in Canada and British Columbia.
Supports local production of value-added forest products.
Forest Products, Mass Timber, Industrial Machining
Kalesnikoff Lumber is North America’s most advanced, vertically integrated, multi-species mass timber manufacturer. It is a family-owned company located between Nelson and Castlegar, BC, in the fertile West Kootenay wet-belt where they have been in business since 1939. Their products include Cross Laminated Timber, GLULAM Beams, GLT Panels, Japan Zairai, and other lumber products. To support their production they have an ongoing need for replacement parts, which have become increasingly challenging to source due to the supply chain disruptions caused by the global COVID 19 pandemic.
The machined aluminum lugs used in Kalesnikoff’s finger-jointing line are expensive to produce and have become difficult to source locally. These lugs are used to hold boards in place while the joints are being milled. Because of the close proximity to the saws and the constant movement of the line these lugs wear out over time and often get struck by the saw blades as they become loose. This damage is often catastrophic to the part, and also results in damage to other elements on the production line. This damage can result in costly downtime while the parts are repaired.
In search of a solution, Kalesnikoff approached the team at the Selkirk Technology Access Centre (STAC) located in Trail, BC to see if they had an option for producing these parts locally, economically, and in a way that improved reliability. Kalesnikoff has had a long working relationship with STAC and they have collaborated on numerous projects in the past.
The first step in coming up with a solution was to reverse-engineer the parts and produce a digital file of the parts. The team at STAC has decades of combined experience and were able to take the part from drawings to a 3D printable file in minimal time. The reverse engineering also created an opportunity to address any design flaws that had plagued the original parts, and the end design resulted in an improved part that will result in reduced downtime for the mill.
Once a digital file was created, the team at STAC was able to have the part 3D printed by Tempus 3D, a 3D printing service bureau located in Trail BC. Tempus printed the part in Nylon PA-12 using HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology, which produces parts with high durability and strength along with other mechanical properties that proved ideal for this use-case. After the initial test print, Tempus was able to produce 10 sets of these lugs which should satisfy the needs of Kalesnikoff for a significant period of time.
In collaboration with STAC and Tempus 3D, Kalesnikoff Lumber was able to reduce their supply chain risk by sourcing parts locally at a reduced cost and with improved functionality. Their collaborative approach to the problem also fosters innovation in the region and supports local business, resulting in more sustainable long-term business practices.
Kalesnikoff, STAC and Tempus 3D continue to work together on a number of innovative projects and continue to support local industry through the challenges arising from the global COVID 19 pandemic and global supply chain issues.
With Tempus 3D's location in the interior of British Columbia it is uniquely capable of serving both the lower mainland and Alberta markets with cost-effective overnight shipping and the ability to turn around rush orders in as little as 36 hours. We at Tempus feel this is just the beginning of what manufacturing will look like in the future; it will be more responsive, more custom, and more local allowing innovators across sectors to bring products to market quicker and in a more environmentally friendly way.