For over 20 years now, sawmillers and saw-doctors have been meeting every two years in New Zealand and in Australia. The occasion? The WoodTECH series. It’s run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) and designed with industry and key technology and equipment providers.
The event provides a unique independent showcase for local companies to evaluate the very latest in innovations, technology and operating practices around saw design and operation, mill maintenance, wood scanning, sawmilling and mill optimisation. It’s also one of very few opportunities that mill production and operational staff get to come into one location, get away from the day-to-day production for a couple of days and network with each other. The last Australasian sawmilling event, WoodTECH 2019 drew in close to 350 delegates.
“With industry support and input, the plans are now set in place to run the 2021 event again. At this stage, it’s expected to be one of few that will be run in 2021 – anywhere around the world” says FIEA Director, Brent Apthorp. “The format has been modified though. Based on the expectation of border and travel restrictions still being in place for international equipment suppliers, the good news is, that it’s planned to run and it’s going to provide a raft of new features for local mills”.
For the first time, the New Zealand and Australian event is going to be run in both countries and at the same time. This means sawmillers and saw-doctors will be connected over the two days with presentations being given in person from both countries – and virtually, from around the globe. “The virtual component enables us to access expertise that ordinarily wouldn’t be able to travel into both countries in the past” says Brent Apthorp “and with both venues running, it’s going to enable mills in both countries to meet up in person”.
Details on the two-day programme have just been uploaded onto the website, WoodTECH 2021 . This year, it’s extensive. In addition to a raft of exciting new innovations around sawmilling and saw maintenance, a feature of this year’s event will be the number of practical workshops being given (saw guides and lubrication, fine tuning your circular and band saws, making use of machine data in the mill, real time data collection for machine diagnosis and troubleshooting …). A focus this year is also been given to one of the major constraints to increased production, how we can retain and attract younger skills into the industry and a series of presentations around new timber treatment and wood modification technologies have also been able to be built in to the event.
Full details will follow. WoodTECH 2021 runs in Rotorua, New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia on 3-4 August. Further information can be found on WoodTECH 2021.