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Practical focus to international sawmilling series

27 June 2019

Mark the dates into your diary – if you’re a local sawmiller. Two years ago – over two weeks – the WoodTECH conference series run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) achieved a record turnout of sawmilling companies.

They were drawn from throughout Australia and New Zealand. Over 400 delegates from all major sawmilling companies in the region in addition to leading technology providers from throughout Australasia, North America and Europe converged on Melbourne, Australia and Rotorua, New Zealand.

Two years later, in September 2019, WoodTECH 2019 will again be attracting scanning, sawing, saw and mill maintenance technology specialists, innovators and leading practitioners from around the world into Australasia. The two-day independent programme will again provide New Zealand and Australian sawmills with a unique opportunity to learn about the very latest in technologies and operating practices from around the globe.

“This will be achieved through a series of tailored presentations, practical workshops and on-site exhibitions that have been set up with the industry”, says FIEA Director, Brent Apthorp. “It’s expected again to be the largest gathering of sawmilling expertise yet seen in this part of the world”.

Practical workshops set up for local sawmills

“What makes the 2019 event stand out is the series of workshops that have been set up for local mills” says Mr. Apthorp. “Following on from the success of the 2017 event, a series of practical troubleshooting workshops have been designed for a much wider cross section of sawmill production and operational staff. They’re going to provide a unique insight into how sawmills can extract the best performance out of their saws, machine centers and sawing operations”.

Workshops of between 60-90 minutes are being given on; primary breakdown and machine alignment and maintenance techniques to improve machine reliability, real-time quality control, condition monitoring, saw and guide alignment and trouble-shooting saw guides. In addition to the workshops, presentations throughout the two days in each country have also been geared towards sawmill production staff.

A series of presentations on technology advancements with robotics and automation in the saw shop, some of the new equipment and operating practices drawn from throughout Europe, North America and Australasia together with tips and tools from respected saw doctors will be of real benefit to those working in the saw-shop.

On sawing machine centers, new non-contact, real-time saw temperature monitoring systems will be outlined by leading tech providers out of North America. Saw performance monitoring systems can accurately measure, in real time, the performance of the saw when in the cut for both circular and band saws. This provides real-time feedback of saw performance data to the user which can be used within the mill to evaluate the effect of varying sawing parameters.

“Based on feedback from the major sawmilling event in 2017 and more recent discussions with local mills, we’ve rejigged the two-yearly tech update in both countries. The change in focus is to encourage sawmill teams – management, mill production, saw-doctors and maintenance staff – to take advantage of the line-up of world class international specialists being brought into the region” says Mr. Apthorp. “This will ensure that teams can collectively put the practical learnings into practice once back on site”.

Registrations to both events in the series are now open and can be accessed via the event website, www.woodtech.events. Details of the programmes for both countries likewise can be viewed on line. The series runs in Rotorua, New Zealand on 11-12 September and then again in Melbourne, Australia on 17-18 September 2019

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