The Fall Southeastern Dry Kiln Club Meeting was held from November 8 – November 9 25, 2018 in Mt. Gilead, NC.
The technical sessions started with Rob and Nick Girardi giving a presentation on continuous dry kilns (CDK). They focused on the advantages of the technology and provided interesting insights to the history and development. Next was Ron Smith from Wagner Meters, who talked about moisture measurements and data analysis. He further highlighted the advantages of in-kiln moisture measurements and how they can improve the operation. Attendees were also excited to learn about moisture measurement systems during drying by Mike Sanders from USNR. His presentation led to very welcome discussions about the placement of electrodes in CDKs and allowed attendees to understand when and why measurements are important for optimal kiln control.
The business meeting covered various topics. Nick Girardi was elected new Vice-President of the club. Jim Caldwell will remain president, with Phil Mitchell as treasurer and Frederik Laleicke as secretary.
Phil Mitchell requested a motion for the club to support an update of the Hart drying model to be converted from FORTRAN to a newer programming language. The motion was moved by Dave Paal and seconded by Dave Groom and was passed by majority vote.
A discussion about future meeting locations yielded interesting ideas. The club administration will work to identify and select a location for the next meeting.
Plant tours took the attendees to two different locations. With the meeting being held at the Jordan Lumber Facilities, it was a great opportunity to tour through their Mt. Gilead operations. Not only were attendees able to see their new saw mill, with two operating CDKs on-site, attendees could observe the theory of continuous drying in practice.
A facility of this size generates a lot of by-products. The second location for the tour was the adjacent Mohawk fiberboard plant. Less than a mile away, attendees were excited to be given a very informative tour of a modern fiberboard plant. Impressed by the size of a continuous hot press and the number of different products, the meeting concluded shortly after the tour. As always, the club meeting was an excellent opportunity to network, learn and socialize with peers. We are looking forward to the next meeting. Thanks to all attendees, presenters and companies!