Rebuild and upgrade in the tightest of spaces – Grenzebach optimizes veneer drying line

08.07.2024 - A veneer dryer destroyed in a major fire at Pollmeier was to be repaired as soon as possible and extended by a stacker system with a veneer scanner. Despite the tight schedule and the limited available space, Grenzebach managed to furnish a production line perfectly matched to the customer’s needs.

  • The veneer dryer is designed for drying beech veneer produced in a variety of different sizes
  • Integration of a complete drying line, including a stacker system with a veneer scanner, into the existing building
  • Limited space, a tight schedule, and the COVID-19 pandemic made the project a challenge



CREUZBURG/Germany. Things could have turned out much worse for Pollmeier Furnierwerkstoffe GmbH: Despite the limited space available, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the extremely tight schedule, Grenzebach was able to successfully repair a veneer dryer that had been damaged in a fire, and upgrade it into a production line of its own. For that purpose, the dryer was provided with a high-performance stacker system featuring the latest scanner technology without enlarging the footprint of the building. That allowed Pollmeier, a leading international producer of wood-based products, to minimize the downtime, and they can now use the production line independently of the stacker system of another dryer that was previously used jointly with the one damaged in the fire.

Long production downtimes imminent after major fire

The Pollmeier group operates Europe’s three highest-capacity and most modern hardwood sawmills. In 2021, a fire at its main factory in Creuzburg (Thuringia) – the world’s only laminated veneer lumber mill that also processes hardwood veneer – severely damaged the only existing beech veneer dryer. Long production downtimes were imminent. That is why the belt dryer was to be rebuilt as quickly as possible. Pollmeier also wished to run the dryer independently of the stacker system of another dryer it had previously used.

Grenzebach implements integrated overall solution

Thanks to their in-depth knowledge of the industry and the highest level of flexibility in planning and implementing the project, the Grenzebach experts were able to set up, on the same floor space as before, an integrated complete production line that can be operated independently of the stacker system used earlier. The damaged dryer was repaired for that purpose. The new line is completed by a high-performance stacker system with four lift tables and an integrated veneer scanner. Veneers in various sizes are now classified into the specified quality grades and stacked accordingly in an absolutely reliable manner. The upstream inspection system scans the veneers in an automatic, non-contact process. Defects such as holes or cracks are detected, classified, and logged with absolute precision. Almost all line components, up to the handling equipment, are from Grenzebach and match perfectly.

Successful implementation despite difficult circumstances 

The circumstances around this project confronted the experienced Grenzebach team with several challenges, as the available floor space, which previously accommodated only the dryer, should now also be the location of a complete, independent stacker system. Moreover, the requested plant parameters changed repeatedly, even during construction, and the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in staff shortages and delivery bottlenecks. Thanks to the in-depth industry knowledge and expertise and the extraordinary flexibility of the Grenzebach experts, all requirements could nevertheless be met. It was thus possible to modify and adapt the planning repeatedly, even during construction. The software was also developed and programmed in parallel with the line rebuild and was tailored to Pollmeier’s specific requirements.

New drying line for more flexibility and efficiency

After 16 months of planning and construction, Grenzebach could hand over a complete line, providing Pollmeier Furnierwerkstoffe GmbH with a big plus in flexibility and efficiency. The integration of the stacker system has created a production line that can be run independently of the stacker system used previously and adds to the flexibility of the veneer mill. Substantial improvements have also been made in terms of quality. The high-performance Grenzebach veneer scanner reliably detects and classifies defects in the veneers and sorts the sheets in accordance with the specified quality grades. Combined with the moisture detector, another device that has been integrated into the system, the quality can thus be precisely determined. The veneers can then be further processed based on their quality, which markedly reduces waste in downstream production processes. Thanks to Grenzebach, Pollmeier Furnierwerkstoffe GmbH can consolidate and further expand its outstanding position in the hardwood veneer market.