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New GLT beam to match changing wood resource

8 February 2022
With Australia’s demand for structural pine framing and engineered wood products at an all-time high, pressure has been on the timber industry to ramp up production to make products more available to the market. But what happens when the log resources required isn’t available to produce the glulam beams the market is crying out for?

This is exactly what happened to Hyne Timber’s Glue Laminated Timber (GLT) products. “We were in the same place as many other Australian timber businesses in 2021,” says Stefan Gerber, Engineering and Sales Manager GLT at Hyne Timber. “Increasing production capacity with a new manufacturing plant was our original response to supply more glulam to the market, but we ran into issues stemming from the changing nature of our log resources”.

As a natural resource, wood fibre is subject to the forces of nature and despite improvements to genetics and silvicultural treatment, the high-grade feedstock recovered from the sawmilling operations for GL17 beams has been steadily declining for the past 18-months or more.

While feedstock was on the decline, market demand was growing to unprecedented levels in response to the hugely successful ‘HomeBuilder’ stimulus. And with Southern Pines taking a minimum of 28-years to mature before harvesting, waiting for new feedstock was not an option. Neither was undersupplying a market hungry for a high-grade product.

Over the course of 2020-21, Hyne Timber’s answer was to develop Beam 15 – a high-performance product that’s engineered to handle long spans and critical loads. It is an entirely new grade of GLT that’s more readily available for a record-breaking market.

From conception through to launch, Hyne Timber invested significant resources to make Beam 15 a reality. “It’s stretched everyone,” says Gerber. “With the launch plan for Beam 15, we’re in a good place, but it’s taken time. We can’t jump manufacturing capacity from one day to the next. We’ve had to build the new GLT manufacturing facility, we’ve moved into a large-scale warehouse at the Port of Brisbane to service southeast Queensland in a timely manner and tweak our New South Wales supply out of Newcastle and our Victorian distributors.”

Source: Hyne Timber

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