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VAB Awarded US Patent

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Patent No: 10,178,355 B2
Date of Patent: January 8, 2019

In January of this year, the U.S. Patent Office granted VAB Solutions, a Timber Automation company, a patent for its Air Board Tracker. This ingenious system eliminates the need to physically mark boards by tracking boards from the optimizer to the trimmer using a system of cameras mounted above the production area. The system tracks boards through production and generates optimization data for each board.


Camera Tracking Area


Advancement in Technology

The Air Board Tracker provides users with several advantages including:

  • 99.9% Reading Efficiency
  • QC Module for real-time Quality Check
  • Reduced cost of consumables for marking and maintaining UV system
  • Elimination of errors due to dark spots
  • Replaces photocells to manage lug loader accumulation



Mill Upgrades

Mills are upgrading to the Air Board Tracker as part of an overall cost reduction and efficiency improvement programs. By replacing their old UV marking and reading system, mills are savings around $30,000 per year on consumables, minimizing downtime and reducing the number of incorrectly downgraded boards. Most mills experience a ROI within months of upgrading.


Watch the Air Board Tracker in action







400 Aviation Plaza
Hot Springs, AR 71913

P (501) 844-4260

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Timber Automation will be attending the Timber Processing and Energy Expo, October 17-19.  We invite friends and business partners to visit us at booth 627 and meet with representatives from each of our divisions, VAB, LogPro, Baxley and Timber Automation Construction.  We will be showcasing our latest innovative solutions for the industry.

Get your free Timber Automation complimentary  Pass

The Groups’ Vice President and General Manager will speak at the Lumber Manufacturing Workshop Presentations

Mr. Seth Vance, VP and GM of Timber Automation will be the first speaker of the TP&EE workshop presentations.  The title of Mr. Vance’s session is : Don’t leave dollars on the table. He will be exploring innovative ways Sawmills can use scanning, optimization and controls to maximize value.

When: Thursday October 18, 10:00 am

Where: TP&EE workshop présentations.


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Company to invest $3.5M, create more than 50 new jobs

To continue to support its rapid growth, Timber Automation is investing more than $3.5M in new customer support, engineering and manufacturing jobs as well as capital equipment at its 145,000 square foot facility in Hot Springs.

“We’re fortunate to be in a position where one of our biggest challenges is keeping up with customer demand,” said John Steck, President of Timber Automation.  “By creating more than 50 new jobs, we will ensure that Timber Automation can continue to design, manufacture, sell and support industry-leading equipment for our customers.  Additionally, capital improvements like our new CNC boring mill will allow us to increase our production capacity and improve product quality while also creating more high-skilled manufacturing jobs.  We’re excited to be able to continue to invest in this business and the broader Hot Springs community.”

Timber Automation provides custom engineered equipment and control systems for woodyards and sawmills that maximize yield, increase uptime and reduce production costs.  It was founded by Hot Springs locals and has been part of the community for more than 25 years, first as Hi-Tech Engineering in the early 90s and more recently as Baxley-LogPro from the mid-2000s.  In 2017, the company rebranded to Timber Automation, officially bringing together Baxley, LogPro and newly-formed Timber Automation Construction, which completes turnkey construction and equipment installation.

“Our community is excited to learn of Timber Automation’s growth outlook which will bring significant investment and jobs to the greater Hot Springs community,” Hot Springs Mayor Pat McCabe said.  “As a cyclical business, prudent management decisions have allowed Timber Automation to position itself to take advantage of the current economic environment to satisfy the needs of existing customers and grow new ones. This new capital investment reaffirms the company’s bright outlook.”

“I’m very proud of our home-grown businesses who have worked hard throughout the years to bring jobs and economic development to this community,” said Garland County Judge Rick Davis.  “I have memories of Hi-Tech Engineering’s commitment and caring for this community for many years which has brought Baxley and Timber Automation to the level of success that they have achieved.  Their ongoing efforts are continuing to provide opportunity for people to work and change their lives.  I appreciate their hard work allowing this wonderful growth and expansion.”

Gary Troutman, President & CEO of the Hot Springs Metro Partnership added, “The Hot Springs Metro Partnership is excited about the ongoing growth at Timber Automation.  Timber Automation is in most capable hands with John Steck and his team of leadership there, and we congratulate them on injecting an additional $3.5M into our local economy and creating 50 new jobs for Hot Springs and Garland County.  At the Partnership, we are always enthusiastically working with our local companies to maximize their success.”



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Baxley Equipment Company, LLC and Price LogPro, LLC (Baxley-LogPro) are proud to announce the formation of Timber Automation, LLC.  Together, we have combined our strong presence in complementary product categories to take full advantage of our long history, extensive industry experience, and unmatched technical knowledge to deliver the highest quality services to our customers.  With our combined resources, our increased investments in engineering, technology, quality and production, we will continue to exceed our customer expectations.

Today, Timber Automation is also proud to announce the launch of Timber Automation Construction, the next step in provide complete end-to-end solutions.   We expect to be sharing the details with the industry as we spread the exciting news!  Timber Automation will continue to provide our high-quality Baxley Equipment and LogPro products in the future alongside our turn-key solutions.

Please join with us in welcoming John Steck, the President of Timber Automation, who joined us this January to lead our business forward in one cohesive manner.  John, who rose through the ranks by exceeding expectations at Danaher Corporation, received his education at University of Virginia, first with his BS in engineering and later, at the Darden School, where he earned his MBA.  John has the full support of an incredibly strong organization; Founding partners Chris Raybon, Russell Kennedy, Pat Conry and Jim Krauss will remain committed and active in operations.