Since 1870, more than 1200 rotary veneer lathes were manufactured and installed world-wide by Coe Manufacturing. The designs originated by Coe are now supported by and being improved upon by USNR. Today, Coe and USNR lathes peel over 90% of North American rotary peeled veneer and 60% world-wide; USNR veneer lathe systems provide the highest recovery, greatest throughput, and highest quality veneer in the industry.
USNR's rotary veneer lathe system still leads the field with engineering innovations and technology advancements. No other lathe produces greater recovery, more throughput or higher quality veneer. Cost effective plywood manufacturing is entirely dependent upon the timely supply of high quality, uniformly thick and smoothly peeled veneer. The three critical issues are recovery (% of usable veneer from the log), throughput (volume per hour), and veneer quality (a flat, polished, smooth surface with a minimum of grain pull and knife checking).
All veneer mills want to increase recovery, throughput and quality. Unfortunately, the challenges are compounded by a smaller, lower quality log diet. The move to lower plywood manufacturing costs has translated into the use of smaller diameter logs and lower density species. Five 6» diameter blocks have to be peeled to 3» core for every one 12» diameter block to produce the same volume of veneer. This puts more demands on the lathe system. Recovery is the key to profitability as fiber is the single largest cost component. Generating a large volume of quality veneer from the log is the single most crucial plywood manufacturing process. Computer optimization of each block is essential and it is increasingly important to precisely measure surface characteristics to produce a veneer yield surpassing that of traditional cylinder optimization methods. Peeling at higher velocity tends to improve veneer quality as measured by thickness uniformity and veneer smoothness.