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:: Home > The Mills > Pulp & Papermill > Chip Handling & Storage

A pulp and paper mill like this one in St. Helens, Oregon, needs lots of wood fiber in order to produce paper products. From where does this fiber come? Most is residual wood fiber from sawmills and veneer plants, and comes to the mill as hardwood and softwood chips. Both softwood (like wood from conifer trees like Douglas-fir, pine, spruce, hemlock, and larch) and hardwood (mostly alder) chips are used. St. Helen's receives upwards of 100 truckloads of chips every day!



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chip handling pulp mill bleaching paper mill products shipping

Wood chips used by the mill arrives by either truck or traincar. One truck carries about 40 tons of chips. In this picture, a truck is being tipped so that the wood chips fall from the trailer...
...into the chip bin. The bottom of the chip bin is actually a conveyor belt, which will carry the wood past a magnet that removes metallic debris that might hurt machinery in the mill.
The conveyor belt carries the wood to a location where the wood can be sorted (by hardwood and softwood) and piled into large piles.
The chips are dumped from the conveyor belt onto the stacker/reclaimer.
The stacker is a rotating conveyor belt on a long arm that pours the chips into piles in 3 different yards: one for softwood, and one for hardwood.

The chips are then reclaimed by the long arm of the reclaimer, which is like a series of shovels on an arm. The reclaimer pulls the chips onto another conveyor belt that carries the type and amount of chip that the mill needs to keep the mill running at full-capacity.

The pulp mill is our next stop!