Palsgaard Spær significantly increases efficiency with new robotic technology

With the help of robots, rafter and element manufacturer Palsgaard Spær has succeeded in increasing the efficiency of their rafter production by as much as 60 percent. The automation, which has created a faster flow of wood through the factory and made handling the large rafters easier, is happening as part of a competitive transition from manual to industrial production.

The rafter and element manufacturer Palsgaard Spær, which is based in the central Jutland town of Hampen, is in the middle of an industrial restructuring that will gear the company to be able to handle even more and larger orders, as a result of an increased demand for wood solutions in construction. Therefore, Palsgaard Spær, which is part of the wood-based group Nordic Wood Industries, has developed a completely new production line with the latest technology for handling rafters, which the company is in the process of implementing.

“Although we still need the final fine-tuning of the plant, the results so far look very promising. With the new production line, which includes two robots, we can make rafter production more efficient by approximately 60 percent compared to having to do things manually, which we have been used to. It gives us a competitive advantage that we can now combine high quality with even faster delivery and lower costs,” explains Tobias Smith, CEO of Palsgaard Spær.

Technology for a double-digit million amount
Palsgaard Spær has invested just over DKK 27 million in the new facility, which is 138 meters long and ensures a fast and stable flow of wood to and from the two robots that assemble the rafters. The lifeblood of the robots is a new type of software which, with the help of Finnish specialists, has been developed especially for rafter production.

“It has been an exciting process to have to change from manual to industrial production, but also a big mouthful to get the plant into operation. The technology we use is relatively new, and we are among the first in Denmark to try it out. But now we are almost there, and the investment seems to have paid off within a reasonable time horizon,” says Simon Have Kjær, process development manager for production and logistics at Palsgaard Spær.

For Palsgaard Spær, the changeover to industrial production also means that more employees must now be retrained to be able to operate and service the new plant.

“Our Finnish supplier has already held courses in operating the plant for several of our operators, who are now responsible for the internal training here at the factory. Fortunately, the employees have taken the changeover very well, and everyone contributes positively to optimizing the processes around the new facility. In addition, we have just set up an apprenticeship for an automation engineering trainee, so that in the longer term we can become even more skilled at operating and maintaining such an advanced system,” concludes Simon Have Kjær.

The plant is expected to be in full operation during the autumn.