Europe’s Pfeifer Group Optimizing Facilities to Meet Market Demand

Europe’s Pfeifer Group has worked to optimize its manufacturing processes at its sawmill in Chanovice, Czech Republic, and its cross-laminated timber (CLT) facility in Schlitz, Germany, according to the Timber Trades Journal (4-18-24).

Pfeifer said automation measures at Chanovice have reduced energy consumption and replaced heavy physical labor activities. It is also planning to use AI to process data and achieve further energy efficiency improvements.

Chanovice plant manager Vlastimil Kuba said, “We are using the challenging situation to optimize our processes so that we emerge from the crisis even stronger. Through ongoing optimization in all areas, downtime in the sawmill has been reduced, new drying chambers use almost 50% less energy, and reprogrammed locking systems and optimized lighting also reduce demand.”

More than €100m has been invested in Chanovice since 2016.

Pfeifer’s CLT facility in Schlitz is currently bridging the low market demand due by reducing production. At the same time, it is setting the course for efficient, powerful production once demand picks up again with various optimization work. Sebastian Eggel, the plant manager in Schlitz, said, “From April we hope for the annual upswing in the construction sector and better filled order books again.”

Adjustments have already been made in Schlitz by optimizing the production process. The result is reflected in faster processing times and lower wood, glue, and energy consumption. The factory has switched from diesel to electric vehicles for internal logistics, leading to considerable savings in fuel and CO2. The transport of finished components on the factory premises was also changed. Instead of forklifts, roller and chain conveyors are used, which protect product quality and further reduce the CO2 footprint.

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