Taranakipine Saw Shop Upgrade Project

Taranakipine Saw Shop Upgrade Project

February 29, 2024

The Taranakipine saw shop upgrade project all started with a conversation about a saw trial on site of the Thode designed Variable Pitch & Depth profile with the dream of the projected gains in productivity paying for a state-of-the-art re-fit.

 The Thode VPD profile differs from the more traditional ascending and descending patterns that had been more commonly used over the years, by using an alternate layout of the pitching to create a wave looking profile further enhancing the effects of the VPD concept.

 Working with Taranakipine’s saw shop contractor, Craig Robinson of Fred Robinson Saw Doctors and sawmill manager Rodney Baker, the trial got the go ahead and two saws were ordered “ready to run” meanwhile Craig and Rodney set about gathering as much information as they could to form solid base line data of where the sawmill was currently performing.

 In mid-September 2021, the Thode VPD saws arrived on site and the trial was underway.

There was noticeable difference in performance instantly and at the end of the trial with all the data collected the improvement in sawmill performance was significant!  

This information along with a list of the top-of-the-line Iseli machinery for a full saw shop fit out was then presented to John Sanders, Taranakipine’s Plant and Projects manager so the numbers could be crunched for justification.

 The capex put together by John and his team flew through board approval and the order for the Iseli machinery was placed.

 Meanwhile we set to work planning the new saw shop layout. We used 3D models of the Iseli machinery to generate several floor plans for different layout options, and through consulting with Craig we found the perfect layout to maximize space and flow through the saw shop for what he and the team needed for ease of day-to-day operation.


The team had a goal of “zero” sawmill down time for this project and to accomplish this we had to have a bullet proof installation plan, the timing and order of existing gear to be removed and the order that the new gear would be positioned and powered up would have to be perfection.  

Working with Craig and the Taranakipine maintenance team we crafted just that, removing as much of the old gear to give the floor reconditioners and painters as much time and space as possible before the new Iseli equipment arrived on site.

 In November 2023 five pieces of Iseli equipment arrived on site, this consisted of one RZ1 auto benching station, an SAA Stellite tipper, a BNF100 5 axis CNC side grinder and two BNP110 2 axis CNC profile grinders.

 The plan worked like clockwork, perfectly staged to maximize time for all trades involved.

Week one, the SAA, BNF and both BNP grinders were installed, power on and sharpening saws.

Week two, the last of the old gear removed and the RZ1 installed, tuned and training on all machinery commenced.

While this was a big task the “zero” mill down time goal was achieved with the sawmill never missing a beat! Something that everyone involved can be extremely proud of!

 At the start of week two, now with both BNP110’s up and running the new Thode VPD saws were unleashed on the mill and very quickly the gains become apparent! So much so that we had barely started the week and the operators no longer wanted the old standard pitch saws and Rodney made the call that they were to no longer to be used!

“We got everything up and running in the first week of November 2023. From that point on we noticed the difference in cutting speeds, sawing accuracy improvement, cleaner cutting no feather edges, less reprocessing due to accuracy of cutting, less intermittent saw changes, quieter cutting, motivation of saw doctors and production crews around upgrade of saw shop having new gear and technology in the saw shop. With wet grinders it made a huge difference to the air quality and the housekeeping was made easier as well with everything being contained. Overall, we are well on track to hit our targets for the payback time of this install. Thanks to all parties involved.”        Rodney Baker- Sawmill Manager.


A night & day difference, not only in presentation but in performance too!!



After a few months of running and the sawmill operation staff having the time to settle in, it has become clear that there have been gains in several areas as Rodney has mentioned above.

It is important to note that the only thing changed in the sawmill at this time was going from a standard pitch profile to the Thode VPD profile on all band saws.

The trial was a great success, testing in a controlled environment, removing as many variables as possible with the data recorded clearly showing that if you want a way to pay for your brand-new saw shop this is the way to accomplish it!

 Thode 100% recommend and stand behind the Thode VPD profile as the best option for sawmills to maximize productivity and drastically reduce their manufacturing cost / M3 making their business more profitable.

 We would like to take this opportunity to thank the team at Taranakipine for putting their trust in Thode to deliver another successful Iseli installation.

The new Saw Shop is light and bright with the new layout spacious and user friendly.        

 "All I can say is that the accuracy is Awesome! And the Iseli gear is very easy to
use” - Craig Robinson                                     


BELOW: Craig operating the new Iseli BNF100 side grinder. The BNF side grinds each tooth from start to finish using multiple passes which means the saw only has to do one full lap.     


    BELOW: Craig & Darryl with the Iseli RZ1 auto bench                                                                

 If you are interested in more information on the Iseli range of saw shop machinery or would like to talk about conducting your own Thode VPD saw trial, feel free to contact us at any time.