European firewood processors offer low-cost alternatives

September 30, 2009

By: Brett Hanson

Europe leads the way in the development of affordable and easily operated firewood processors for homeowners, farmers and woodlot owners, says Stephen Anderson, president of ANDERSON Agri-Forest Equipment Inc. He says that in North America there are fewer lower cost options for the small scale woodlot owner and farmer and his company seeks to bridge the gap between with its broad range of European made wood processing machines.

Anderson explained that Europe has been ahead of North America in developing these products because high energy costs are a long-standing issue throughout Europe and so the market for firewood as an alternative, cheaper source of heating is well established.

The Montreal-area-based company imports a wide range of European firewood and kindling processors and has been building a network of distributors throughout the eastern half of Canada up to the Ontario/Manitoba border as well as in the northeastern United States. The kindling processors are distributed across the whole continent.

Japa firewood processors from Scandinavia, Fuelwood kindling machines from the UK, and Rabaud post peelers/pointers and post drivers from France are among the leading European products Anderson has been bringing to North America.

In an effort to better meet the needs of his customers Anderson has been working with Fuelwood to develop a kindling machine that is designed exclusively for the North American market.

"The kindling machines that Fuelwood had, the Kindler and Kindlet, produced kindling only six inches long which did not really fit with the expectations of the North American customers" Anderson said. "Over here people are used to something longer plus there is quite a demand for a larger size, between ten and twelve inches, for camp sites in the summertime."

After a North American tour in which the owner of Fuelwood confirmed this assertion for himself, he set his design team to work on a machine which could produce larger kindling and the result was the new Kindlet Pro kindling processing machine.

"This machine can make 8, 10 and 12 inch long kindling. You cut either roundwood or squared blocks to length and then feed them into the machine. It will accept squared blocks so it can process waste wood as well" Anderson explained.

The Kindlet Pro has a horizontally reciprocating ‘X’ shaped splitting knife which the wood is fed incrementally through while the adjustable processing speed determines the thickness of the kindling.

"It is capable of producing over 100 bags of kindling per hour and comes equipped with a bagging chute as well" Anderson said. "On the output there is a chute which you can put a string pull-cord type bag over and the bag is loaded with the kindling as it comes out of the chute. This makes for very good production; basically straight from the machine you have packaged kindling ready for sale."

"In terms of power for the machine it can be powered electrically but then people need a fairly strong electrical supply; 220 v 3 phase as a minimum" Anderson said. "We are also able to provide a tractor hydraulics version which can be driven by tractor hydraulics or gasoline powered hydraulic power plant. This an option that gives it extra versatility based on the customers needs."

"This machine has basically just become available this year and we’ve only produced a few machines up until now. Our first sale has already been made to a customer in Washington state and I am obviously hoping for an expanded market throughout North America" Anderson said. ◊

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