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J.D. Irving, Limited's Sussex sawmill marks 50th anniversary

J.D. Irving, Limited’s Sussex sawmill is celebrating 50 years of operation. The sawmill was built in 1973 on Morrow Farm. It began production that same year and since then, has focused on efficiency, log recovery and lumber value while improving safety in the mill. The team celebrated at Kingswood University recently with a festive dinner and gifts for all attendees.

The mill has gone through a series of upgrades since the late 1970s, including:

  • Modifications to saw random length lumber to supply the European export market in the late 70s;
  • Replacement of the burner with a hog to grind up bark and supply consistent material to the Pulp Mill, which started using bark for biofuel in the late 80s; and
  • Replacement of a sawline built by Valley Machine from western New Brunswick in the early 90s. 

In 1996, the Sussex sawmill saw a complete overhaul with the removal of two sawlines which were replaced with the Sawquip Twin and Sawquip 4 head sawlines. The sawmill was also expanded with new scanning technology added for the logs and lumber. This upgrade focused on optimization of logs and lumber using scanners.  It also automated the lumber sorting and stacked all material with a machine.

The latest upgrade in 2021 included a reduction to two debarkers and from two sawlines to one. A higher focus is now placed on automation for maximum efficiency, log recovery and lumber value. Throughout all of these upgrades, safety has continued to be a top priority. 

We thank each and every employee for their hard work and dedication over the last half-century. J.D. Irving, Limited relies on the people that make it happen every day.