WoodTECH 2017 Event Summary

4 October 2017

It was certainly a full house – in both Australia and New Zealand. The WoodTECH 2017 technology series that focussed on sawmilling or green-mill operations drew in a record number of over 400 delegates in September 2017. It was the largest gathering yet seen of sawmilling companies, saw-doctors and technology providers from around the globe in Australasia.

The series run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) included:

1. World-Class Exhibitions

Exhibitors involved included; WoodEye, Sweden | ScanMeg, Canada | Linck | Germany | DO2, Canada | Gilbert, Canada | Prinz, Austria | VAB Solutions, Canada | Carbotech International, Canada | LMI Technologies, Canada | Nicholson Manufacturing, Canada | Metriguard, USA | Holtec, NZ | Keymatic Technology, Australia | Braford Industries, Australia | Z-TEC, Canada | Andritz Iggesund Tools, NZ | Supply Services, NZ | Thode Knife & Saw, Acora Reneco, Australia | Finlease, Australia | Saito, NZ | Kleentek, Australia |Spraying Systems, NZ | USNR/Soderhamn Eriksson, USA/Canada | Autolog, Canada | HewSaw, Finland | MiCROTEC, Italy | JoeScan, USA | Tui Technology, NZ | Optimil Machinery, Canada | Checkmate Precision Cutting Tools, NZ | SalesTech/AKE, Australia | GreCon, Germany | ILS, NZ | Lucidyne Technologies, USA | Lakeland Steel, NZ | SiCam Systems, Canada | The BID Group, Canada | Toi Ohomai, NZ | Fire Protection Technologies, Australia | BraveGen, NZ | SEW Eurodrive, NZ | Baxley Logpro, USA | Lewis Controls, USA | EWD, Germany | SPRINGER, Austria | Finsan Inc, USA | Precision Manufacturing, Canada | PMP Solutions, Canada | Stinger, Australia | California Saw & Knife Works, USA.

2. Technology Updates

Short focussed presentations, quick-fire technology updates and a large number of exhibitions provided a unique platform for leading tech providers and innovators to outline the very latest wood scanning, sawing, and mill optimisation technologies best suited to local sawmilling operations.

3. Practical Workshops

A comprehensive series of practical troubleshooting workshops were also run throughout the two days in each country. They were specifically designed alongside industry for sawmill production and operational staff. They provided the opportunity for local sawmills to hear how they could extract the best performance out of their own saws, machine centres and sawing operations.

The objective was to encourage sawmill teams – management, mill production, saw-doctors and maintenance staff – to take advantage of the line-up of international specialists being brought into the region. This ensured that teams from local mills were collectively able to put the practical learnings from the event into practice once back on their own work site.

Workshops of between 60-120 minutes were given on;

  • Quality & lumber size control
  • Troubleshooting and improving band-mill, gang and board edger performance
  • Selecting, operating and maintaining log carriage and optimiser (softwood and hardwood) operations
  • Saw-guide selection, installation, operation and maintenance
Where to from here?

Feedback from the WoodTECH 2017 series from delegates, sponsors and exhibitors has been excellent. A follow-up programme for sawmilling companies will follow in 2-3 years.

1) Wood Manufacturing

After an absence of years, FIEA will be running a WoodTECH programme in September 2018. It will run again in both New Zealand and Australia. The focus will though be on Dry-mill operations – It will include; timber scanning and optimisation, plant design, automation, cross cutting and ripping, finger-jointing, timber gluing and laminating, timber machining, kiln drying and timber finishing technologies.

Already we have a listing of local and international companies who have expressed their interest in either exhibiting (space at WoodTECH 2017 SOLD OUT) or presenting at WoodTECH 2018. If interested in registering your interest on being involved, please contact

2) WoodTECH Website 

Up until now, there has been no formal mechanism for regular communication for those working in saw-doctoring, sawmilling, wood manufacturing, wood treatment or wood products companies in Australasia. Now there is. FIEA is stepping in to assist.

Between regular technology events, we’ll be providing this updated website as a new independent platform for wood processing and manufacturing companies. It’s going to provide you with;

  • more regular communication
  • information and news relevant to your own job, business and operation
  • technology updates and troubleshooting materials
  • key leads and contact information on global technology leaders, and
  • solve issues and provide advice if needed

We’ll be building this platform and resource over the next 12 months and so will be welcoming your input, advice and suggestions on how we can improve this new service. Its set up for local mills and wood producers. We’re dependent on your buy-in. It’s a service we think will finally improve communication across all those working within this part of the sector.

To subscribe to WoodTECH Updates, use the quick sign-up below:

Read More

Earlybird rates end TODAY

Earlybird rates end this Friday for Environmental Forestry Conference On 25-26 June, ourFIEA Annual Environmental Forestry Conference is running. Registrations are going very well. We bring practical foresters together with local regulators and national policy-makers to debate and bring constructive ...
Read more

Decarbonising transport & logistics

New Zealand environmental specialist, Toitū, recently held a panel to discuss how New Zealand’s transportation and logistics industry, the nation’s second-largest emissions source, can take effective climate action. They shed light on the critical pressures facing supply chains and how to respond ...
Read more

FIEA wood residues conference: time for action

Low carbon economies, extreme weather events, and building resilient domestic supply chains are critical issues in 2024 and beyond. In New Zealand, this has created opportunities for the forestry sector, including significant investments in forest residues. Harvesting regulations are mandating more wood be collected from the forest ...
Read more

Calling all NZ loader operators – be part of this study

Driven by mechanisation, traditional career pathways in forestry crews are evolving. As part of the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme, ‘Te Mahi Ngahere i te Ao Hurihuri – Forestry Work in the Modern Age’, the Scion Human Factors research group ...
Read more

Kiwi bird surprises at Rosvall Sawmill

Workers at Rosvall Sawmill near Whangārei, New Zealand, had an unexpected visitor, a fully grown kiwi bird. The bird casually strolled into the mill early one Monday morning, and spent a few hours exploring the premises before it found a ...
Read more

Every second counts

During hot and dry periods, there is a serious risk of wildfires. Moreover, a single spark can be enough to start one, in which case every second counts. Having fire extinguishing equipment close at hand can make all the difference ...
Read more

Superhuman AI – smarter than every human by 2025

Billionaire tech boss Elon Musk has recently predicted that superhuman artificial intelligence (AI), surpassing human intellect, could become a reality as soon as next year. If this kind of prediction becomes true, are humans ready to embrace that machines can ...
Read more

Swiss develop drone to explore forest canopy

Inspired by cockroaches, Swiss researchers have developed a new drone which can push away obstacles and move past them. In the future, it will be used to measure biodiversity in remote areas. Environmental monitoring in areas with dense vegetation is ...
Read more

NZ forestry H&S statistics updated – March 2024

Safetree NZ has released their H&S stats dashboard for March 2024. WorkSafe provides statistics on forestry fatalities and workplace incidents. These investigations help inform us of any key issues or trends as they come to light. Overall, there is a downward trend ...
Read more