Image

Post event summary 2015

30 September 2015

Over two weeks in mid-September 2015, FIEA’s WoodTECH conference series achieved a record turnout of sawmillers from Australia and New Zealand. Over 350 delegates from sawmilling companies and leading technology providers from throughout Australasia, North America and Europe converged on Melbourne, Australia and again in Rotorua, New Zealand.

To remain internationally competitive, local sawmills increasingly have been looking at tools and technologies that can be used to increase lumber yields, improve grade recoveries and get higher production speeds out of their saw-lines. Lowering the service or maintenance requirements of equipment and reducing the sawing costs for their operation are also high on the list of “must haves”.

Sawmillers in the last few years, with consolidation amongst both producers and equipment suppliers, increasingly have been working much more closely with their technology providers. The last couple of years has seen the development of some of the most sophisticated sawing technologies and saw designs seen in recent times. WoodTECH 2015 provided a rare insight into some of these new developments for local mills.

As well as new innovations around sawing and wood scanning systems, case studies of companies investing and bedding in some of this new equipment was a key focus for the FIEA event. There was also a much greater emphasis on the practical issues around selecting, installing, commissioning and running saws. Renowned sawmilling experts from around the world led sessions on how saws within the mill are best aligned, maintained and operated to improve both sawing performance and a mill’s productivity.

Some of the trends being projected for future sawmilling were; simpler, high production mills with reduced manufacturing cost replacing complex mills, single pass sawmills becoming more commonplace, high speed 4 sided canters with multiple profilers and vertical arbor gangs were expected to process the majority of the wood under 400mm in diameter and high speed edgers were increasingly expected to be be replaced by high speed board profiling.

Technology wasn’t the only emphasis for this year’s WoodTECH. As well as new equipment, the environment in which the production team is working and interacting is a critical part of working smarter. From reconfiguring production lines in the mill through to finding faster ways to identify and reject unacceptable products, the returns through the power of the “team” are significant.

For the first time at a sawing event, teamwork – harnessing the collective power of saw-doctors, maintenance teams and production personnel on site was explored in depth. For the final session on both days the FIEA team turned the emphasis onto the most important resource – people working in the mill or within the company. On hand to look deep inside the subject of peoples’ performance was a keynote speaker from British Columbia, Steven Falk.

Across BC, Steven uses his ‘Switchback’ system with people from all walks of life to help build better teams. He and his team of facilitators have gained a reputation for listening to people and helping them to change. Their techniques have helped people go from non-communicative into top-performing team members. As a result they’ve been making huge improvements among teams working in mills and forests throughout western Canada.

As well as record attendances by sawmilling companies throughout Australasia, support and involvement from leading technology and equipment providers at WoodTECH 2015 was outstanding. Key companies exhibiting included; WoodTECH 2015 exhibitors included:

Comact, Canada, USNR,USA/Canada, HewSaw, Finland, MiCROTEC, Italy, ScanMeg, Canada, Brunson Instrument Company, USA/UK, AriVislanda, Sweden, CalSaw, USA, JoeScan, USA, Checkmate Precision Cutting Tools, NZ, Andritz Pulp & Paper, NZ, Metriguard, USA, HOLTEC Timber Technology, NZ, Keyknife/Braford Industries, Australia

WoodEye, Sweden, Thode Knife & Saw, Australia/NZ, Southern Cross Engineering, Australia/NZ, Signode, Australia/NZ, Automation & Electronics, NZ, Calibre Equipment, NZ, Lewis Controls/Corley Manufacturing, USA, Lucidyne Technologies, USA, Acora, Australia, Supply Services, NZ, Worksafe NZ, NZ, SEW Eurodrive, NZ, Packaging House, NZ, Brevini NZ, NZ, Competenz, NZ, Autolog, Canada, Soderhamn, Sweden, Skookum Technology, NZ, CarboTech International, Canada, EWD, Germany, DO2, Canada, Gilbert, Canada, SPRINGER, Germany, Finlease, Australia.

CLICK HERE to view the photo slideshow.

Read More
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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