WoodTECH 2018 Event Summary

25 September 2018
Another Record Turnout

After an absence of over eight years, the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) this year focused on innovations and new technologies around dry-mill and wood manufacturing operations. The previous two WoodTECH events, 2017 and 2015, both concentrated on green-mill and sawing technologies.

Once again the WoodTECH series attracted strong numbers, with over 350 delegates attending the New Zealand and Australian events in 2018. We also received great support internationally, with a near record turnout from North America and European technology and equipment suppliers, as well as local suppliers, exhibiting at WoodTECH 2018.

New technologies (from wood scanning and optimisation in the dry-mill through to finger-jointing, gluing, laminating and timber finishing), new operating practices and processes along with tips to improve current manufacturing operations were outlined by tech providers drawn from throughout this region, Europe and North America.

What was Covered?

New technologies, new processing systems and case studies to showcase “smart operating practices” in dry-mill and wood manufacturing operations, including;

  • Robotics and automation and changes being seen in wood manufacturing
  • Advances in wood scanning and board optimisation
  • Finger-jointing, cross cutting and ripping
  • Timber gluing and laminating
  • Timber machining
  • Kiln drying
  • Timber finishing – planning, moulding and surface coating
  • Material handling operations
  • Mill maintenance
  • Changes to timber standards
  • H&S, training and skills development

WoodTECH 2018 also included short focused presentations, quick-fire technology updates and a large number of exhibitions. This event provided a unique platform for local mills and manufacturers to learn and engage.

Programme at a Glance

Conference Day One

  • Session 1: Disruptive Technologies – Just how these are reshaping wood manufacturing options
  • Session 2: Scanning & Optimisation Technologies to Improve Recoveries in the Dry-Mill
  • Refreshments & Networking (Drinks & canapes amongst the exhibits)

Conference Day Two

  • Session 3: High Speed Planing & Timber Machining
  • Session 4: Defecting, Finger-Jointing, Gluing, Laminating & Material Handling
  • Session 5: Kiln Drying Technologies & Drying Practices
What’s Planned for 2019?

Overwhelmingly, delegate feedback from the 2018 event (and in 2017) told us that they would prefer to alternate between green-mill and dry-mill technologies for the WoodTECH series in this region.

This ensures that the technology and equipment is being designed, developed and updated by leading tech providers and adoption by wood products companies is current. It also enables local companies to set time aside in their training and business development budgets to enable all relevant staff from different parts of their operations to come through and attend – every two years.

For 2019, the focus will be again be on green-mill or sawmilling operations – new technologies, new operating practices and case studies on just what installation has meant to local companies, both operationally and financially. Details and regular updates for the September 2019 series will be supplied through either and

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