Innovative Drying Solution for OSB Production at Swiss Krono

by | Nov 8, 2023

Challenge:

Swiss Krono, a leader in wood-based materials, faced a challenge at their Zary facility in Poland. The bottleneck in their OSB production line was the existing dryer, which struggled to meet the demanding task of drying OSB strands from 50% to 2% moisture content (mc). This bottleneck significantly limited production capacity and hindered overall efficiency.

Fortunately, Swiss Krono’s highly integrated facility offered a unique opportunity: access to readily available waste heat from the resin plant. This waste heat, typically unused, presented a potential solution for powering a new drying system, improving energy efficiency and reducing operating costs.

STELA Solution:

To address the bottleneck and capitalize on the waste heat opportunity, Swiss Krono implemented an innovative approach: a STELA dryer BTU production capacity system installed in addition to the existing dryer, creating a double-stack configuration.

Specifics of the STELA dryer solution:

  • Heat Source: Utilizes waste heat from the resin plant, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and lowering operating costs.
  • Pre-drying: Pre-dries strands before they enter the original dryer at a lower incoming moisture content, increasing the efficiency of the overall drying process.
  • Increased Capacity: Adds approximately 13 tons of water evaporation capacity, significantly improving the production capacity of the drying process.

Result:

The implementation of the double-stack STELA dryer system has yielded significant benefits for Swiss Krono:

  • Improved Efficiency: Reduced specific electrical consumption to less than 30kWh per ton of water and thermal consumption to under 1.05 MWh per ton of water, demonstrating a substantial improvement in energy efficiency.
  • Increased Production: Substantially increased the drying capacity, leading to a significant boost in OSB production output.
  • Enhanced Quality: Delivers evenly colored, brighter strands and ensures homogeneous drying results.
  • Waste Heat Utilization: Leverages readily available waste heat from the resin plant, promoting sustainable manufacturing practices and reducing environmental impact.

Conclusion:

Swiss Krono’s Zary facility successfully addressed the drying bottleneck and achieved the desired results with the innovative STELA dryer BTU system. This smart solution demonstrates their commitment to sustainability, efficiency, and continuous improvement in production processes. The strategic use of waste heat and the double-stack dryer configuration illustrate a successful example of innovation in the wood-based materials industry.

About Swiss Krono Group

Swiss Krono Group, headquartered in Switzerland, is a leading international manufacturer specializing in wood-based materials. Founded in 1966, the company has developed a strong presence in the industry, particularly known for producing high-quality laminate flooring, engineered wood products, and building materials. Their product range includes a variety of panels, laminate floors, and OSB boards, catering to both the construction and interior design sectors. Swiss Krono operates with a commitment to sustainability and environmental conservation, utilizing renewable resources and eco-friendly practices in their manufacturing processes. With several production sites across Europe and the USA, Swiss Krono is recognized for its innovation, quality, and dedication to responsible resource management in the wood products industry.   More about Swiss Krono.