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Close to the famous Great Lakes and the border between the United States and Canada, Chile-based Arauco is investing in the construction of a particle board plant with a planned capacity of 800,000 m³ per year in Grayling, Michigan. For the first time, the company is purchasing a complete plant from Dieffenbacher. The initial decision for the two companies to work together came in January 2016, followed by a phase of detailed engineering and concluding with the signing of supply contracts at the end of 2016.
The highlights of the scope of supply are Dieffenbacher’s EVOjet P gluing system, which uses up to 15% less glue; and the continuous CPS+ press, which, at 10 feet wide and 52.5 meters long, will be one of the largest particle board presses in the world. "Arauco always exercises prudence when it comes to committing to new development. Therefore, we are all the more pleased with the confidence that Arauco has shown in us with its decision to choose the CPS+," says Bernd Bielfeldt, Head of the Wood Business Unit at Dieffenbacher. "We firmly believe that it was primarily our competence as a supplier of complete systems, which we have proven time and again in recent years, that convinced Arauco to award a greenfield project to us for the first time,” Bielfeldt added. The two driers, together with the associated energy system that Arauco also commissioned from Dieffenbacher, are further indicators of their confidence in the company.
The contract also includes dosing silos for the chips, a glue mixing station, forming stations and the forming line; as well as the raw board handling system, the sanding line and the Lukki bearing system — which Arauco has already had good experiences with at its other sites.
The new production site in Grayling will manufacture particle boards with a thickness of 6–40 mm, intended almost exclusively for furniture production. For Arauco, the project represents a further logical step in the expansion of its market position. The company, which owns more than 1.7 million hectares of forestry land in South America and operates numerous sawmills, plywood mills, pulp mills and power plants, has systematically expanded its commitment in the area of wood-based panel production over the past few years. Thanks to its acquisition of the Flakeboard group in North America and its share in the Portuguese Sonae Group, Arauco has now become the second-largest producer of wood-based panels in the world.
Image: Sealing the deal. From left to right, standing: Patricio Henriquez (Director of Engineering and Construction Division, Arauco); Christian Dieffenbacher (Member of the Board of Management, Dieffenbacher); Javier González Rosas (Purchasing Manager, Arauco); Bernd Bielfeldt (Head of Business Unit Wood, Dieffenbacher). Seated: Ricardo Busch (Vice President of Business Development, Arauco).