The pallet blanks are sorted, stacked and packaged by the Kallfass materials handling system

The pallet blanks are sorted, stacked and packaged by the Kallfass materials handling system.

Europe’s second largest pallet producer, the family-owned Juodeliai Group, has sawmills in Akmenynai, Jure, Radviliskio and Mrijampole in Lithuania and aims to produce 630,000 cubic metres of pallet blanks and elements in 2022, generating €200-million in turnover.

Juodeliai processes a mix of pine and spruce softwoods and birch, alder and aspen hardwoods 12mm – 200mm thick, 60mm – 200mm wide and 800mm – 3m long. It exports blanks, elements and pallets for the pallet and packaging industry and the construction, fencing and furniture industries in over 40 countries.


Basic principles

Ignas Stasiukonis, a director at Juodeliai, attributes the group’s growth and success to its efficient business model and a working environment where all staff are committed to seven basic principles:

  • Be responsible
  • Keep it simple and transparent
  • Mutually beneficial internal and external transactions
  • Data is king
  • Innovation
  • Quality products: 95% is not enough
  • No illusions

“The important differentiator between Juodeliai and our competitors is that we focus only on packaging and pallet blanks. We can offer different pallet blanks to all our customers around the globe,” says Stasiukonis.


The Kallfass sorting conveyor.


The 8,500 square metres fully-automated Mrijampole sawmill boasts the world’s fastest production line for short cut-to-size pallet elements. It was commissioned at the end of 2020, and within six months, the €50-million investment in the plant more than doubled Juodeliai’s turnover for the same period in 2020.

Andrius Zimnickas, the CEO and son of the company’s founders, says the average log length of 1,1m and planned mill output of a minimum of 250,000 m³ of sawn timber a year presented significant challenges for Mrijampole’s technology suppliers.


The Kallfass peel off system transports the boards to the visual inspection station.

Kallfass solutions

Juodeliai opted for proven plant solutions from companies including Linck, Holtec, Microtec and Kallfass. Kallfass designed and installed the materials handling system consisting of mechanised sorting and stacking main products and side boards.

“We worked with Kallfass before in 2014 and appreciated their practical, solution-oriented approach,” Zimnickas says.

The Kallfass materials handling systems take charge of the cut lumber exiting the two multi-blade log breakdown saws. A vertical system collects the side boards in buffer levels, and separates and transports the boards to a visual inspection station.

After grading, the automated system assembles the boards into layers and trims them to size at both ends before feeding each layer onto the stacker. The Kallfass automatic sticker machine places stickers between each layer until the package is ready for conveying to the strapping machine via a roller transport system.

“As we had little experience with these short dimensions, the design was partially based on assumptions that, ultimately, worked out very well indeed”, explained Kallfass project manager Matthias Link.

“We’re delighted with Kallfass. They never try to offer us prefabricated solutions but concentrate on our ideas and implement them,” remarked Zimnickas.

Kallfass is working on a second main product stacking system for Marijampole, with commissioning planned for the first quarter of 2024.



Source: Pics supplied by Kallfass, based on text by Günther Jauk of Holzkurier