At the center of the system is a
WoodEye scanner developed in Sweden that scans incoming lumber and
develops cutting solutions to feed three
saws, each with its own ink jet printer.
“This will triple the capacity of our existing line and help yield significantly,”
said Brian Lambert, general manager
and one of five principals who own the
Powell built a 26,500-square-foot
addition to house the new line, as well
as an additional lumber concentration
yard. The line itself is constructed in
a unique two-level design that further
maximizes efficiency in the space,
allowing for return of single strips in
the same space and flowing material
down to saws. Despite the complexity
involved in the installation, Lambert
lauded Eagle Machinery and how
the whole installation process was
handled. “No line was put together as
smoothly as this,” he said.
“We accomplished this expansion
without disrupting production and
still maintained our customer commitments,” Lambert added.
The entire line was first assembled
and tested for full operation at Eagle’s
plant in Sugarcreek, Ohio, before being shipped in 30 semi-truck loads to
Powell in Kentucky. That early setup
at Eagle was crucial to training the
Powell team before the line was even
installed in Kentucky.
Eagle Machinery even hosted an
open house to demonstrate the line
while it was running at its facility
before taking it apart and shipping it
to Powell in Kentucky.
To ensure the accuracy of on-site
hookups for mounting, electrical, air,
and dust collection, 3D modeling was
used, which also helped the folks at
Powell better visualize the installation.
Lambert said he was amazed at how
accurate the positions for drops and
In developing the design of the
line, Eagle did 17 design iterations in a
one-month timeframe, working closely
with Powell to get the design right. “It
was a unique partnership,” said Kirk
Spillman, owner of Eagle Machinery.
“There was enough experience and
understanding of the process to drive
the best solution.”
Spillman said the project demon-
strates that U.S. machinery manufac-
turers can successfully compete with
Europeans in providing world-class
technology to the North American
wood processing industry.
Jimmy Thornberry pointed out the
importance of the relationship be-
tween Powell Valley and Eagle, which
is also a family-owned operation. “We
found synergy between our company
and Eagle,” he said. “They have dem-
onstrated the ability to think creatively,
develop, and execute on our combined
plans for this line.”
Center of the new Eagle Machinery scanning crosscut line is a WoodEye scanner developed
in Sweden that scans lumber and creates cutting solutions to feed three saws on the line.
Brian Lambert, left, general manager, with Jimmy Thornberry,
president, in front of a stack of poplar mouldings.
Michael Thornberry represents
the third generation of the
Thornberry family at Powell