The Poujoulat Group has been producing high-quality wood fuels (pellets, firewood ...) at 6 locations across Europe (3 of them in France) since 2008. At the new Bois Factory 70 in Demangevelle, the company is now using a Mühlböck progressive kiln with fully automated feed system for drying its firewood.
Besides its two production facilities for high-quality firewood in Indre and Loire, the Poujoulat Group has recently taken into operation its newest plant in Demangevelle in the North of the Departement Haut-Saône. Built on the premises of a former spinning plant, the new factory is responsible for producing high-quality beech firewood using state-of-the-art and mostly fully automated technology from renowned equipment manufactures. In the mid-term the plant is supposed to process up to 150,000 m3 of round timber from the surrounding region annually.
First fully automated progressive kiln used for drying firewood
In order to maximally automate the entire production process, a progressive kiln FLOW was adapted to the drying of firewood together with Austrian drying specialist Mühlböck.
While the firewood used to be placed in the drying systems with forklifts, dried and retrieved, the entire feed and drying process is now fully automated and continuous. The firewood is transported through the drying system on a rail system in specially developed lattice boxes and optimally dried to the target moisture content of approx. 18 % in individually controlled drying zones.
Optimal solution 5 years in the making
“We have informed Mühlböck about our plans for this plant several years ago,” says Plant Manager Pierre Jean Dexample. “Now, they have presented us with a system that precisely meets our requirements: A concept involving the multi-zone progressive kiln FLOW, combined with a rail transport system using lattice boxes.
”The project’s challenges lay in the special drying requirements of firewood and the high air resistance created by the logs of wood stacked in the boxes. “Separating the system into smaller drying zones and the possibility of individually equipping every zone with a matching ventilation and heating power creates an efficient and energy-optimised drying process,” report Mühlböck’s drying experts. “The new developed progressive kiln FLOW was the perfect basis for Bois Factory 70.”
Extension decided – trust confirmed
Due to the positive experience with the drying system that was taken into service in 2020, Mühlböck received an order for yet another FLOW model progressive kiln in the Spring of 2021.
With this 2nd investment tranche the plant in Demangevelle – with its some 40 staff – will contribute to the economic development of its region and create additional jobs in said region.
The fact that the company has decided to purchase a second Mühlböck drying system also shows that this system achieves and maintains the anticipated performance and consumption figures. The Austrian manufacturer is proud of the trust extended to them: “This also highlights Bois Factory 70’s satisfaction with the entire order process and Mühlböck’s after sales service.”