Woodworking with
modern technology

ante group: With automation to the peak of Europe's wood industry

With a high level of automation and the latest sensor technology, ante-holz GmbH of Bromskirchen in Hesse, Germany has trimmed its production systems for efficiency. The result: practically 100 percent utilisation of raw materials and a top place among the wood processing companies in Europe.

For Martin Linden, a sawmill is an extremely large machine "for turning round timber into wood with corners." Linden is the master electrician and maintenance engineer at ante-holz GmbH. The company is one of the leading timber enterprises in Europe with four plants in Germany and Poland. At the headquarters of the ante group in Bromskirchen-Somplar the plant premises occupy an area of 58 hectares with four saw lines, production lines for construction lumber, glued laminated timber and sawn timber. The site also includes impregnating halls, grading areas and round lumber storage areas, a pellet plant and a total of three thermal power stations where 14 MW of heating capacity and 2 MW of electrical power are generated with bark and wood chips. This allows for 100 percent utilisation of raw materials.


The group has 750 employees, with 250 working in three shifts in the Bromskirchen plant. Every machine at ante is equipped with numerous sensors. They forward information about the operating states or positions of the workpieces to the relevant programmable logic controller which every machine has. The harsh environment with heavy accumulation of dust makes great demands on the sensors.


Optimised spare parts logistics

Martin Linden was looking on the Internet for ways to optimise production when he came across autosen.com. To reduce possible machine downtimes to a minimum, the master electrician has set up a separate spare parts warehouse with autosen sensors. In addition to fast availability at a high level, the excellent terms offered by autosen are important for ante. Since the company buys exclusively replacements for faulty sensors it is barely possible to estimate the need in advance. Based on the positive experience, all position sensor systems will be replaced with autosen products wherever possible in the medium to long term.

autosen sensors ensure a high level of precision and safety in wood processing and handling systems. They enable exact work and precisely manufactured products despite high mechanical loads.
"Delivery of sensors within one working day makes spare parts logistics considerably easier. We only have to provide supplies for an absolute emergency case."
Martin Linden
Master electrician and maintenance engineer at ante-holz GmbH

About the ante group

The family-owned ante group is one of the leading wood industry companies in Germany and Europe. Since it was founded in 1927 as a sawmill in Winterberg (North Rhine-Westphalia), the company has developed through sustainable and long-term growth to become the ante group of today, which processes softwoods into ultra modern wood products to be sold around the world.

Sensors used

Sensors for the wood industry

Sensors for the wood industry must be sturdy among other features. Dust and vibrations are harsh ambient conditions for precisely operating sensors. Optical sensors with metal thread are used by ante, for example the AO013 retro-reflective sensor with background suppression and a scanning range of up to 250 mm. The optical models in the autosen product line are able to detect practically all materials and surfaces at a range of up to 20 m, even in difficult light conditions. Depending on the requirement and the machine, retro-reflective sensors with direct object or reflex lights barriers are used. Typical applications include workpiece position sensing, plank sensing and safety functions. ante uses especially the autosen AO005, a versatile retro-reflective sensor that combines the light transmitter and receiver in the same housing, requiring no other resources such as mirrors or reflectors to detect objects. The red light reflected from the object being detected is detected and evaluated by the sensor's integrated receiver.