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WoodTECH Update – Issue 24

7 April 2020

Welcome to the latest issue of WoodTECH.News.

So, what a difference a month makes. When the last monthly issue came out there were rumblings about our country’s borders potentially being closed. Incoming passengers were increasingly being tested for COVID-19. There were also, of course, the very real issues in getting our logs into China’s congested ports so harvesting crews and those involved in transporting wood were at the time being put back onto reduced hours. And, we at the time thought that was tough.

Roll on four weeks. For the kiwis, as we go to print, the forestry and wood products industries, despite some concerted efforts to get the Government to budge, are currently considered to be non-essential – the only primary sector industry labelled with this particular tag. So, wood harvesting, log transport, wood processing and manufacturing businesses and export operations remain idle. We’re all sitting at home until the “go back to work” button (provided the business, of course, is still afloat) is pushed. In Australia though, like the US and Canada, although self-isolation and travel restrictions have been put in place, forestry, wood processing and construction activities are at this time considered as “essential services” and are still in full swing. Production though is reduced in some industries because of uncertainties in the market.

For this newsletter, we plan on still producing and sending it out to our ever-growing number of readers. In times like these, particularly when in shut-down mode and with the uncertainties surrounding wages, jobs and the future – once we get moving again – it’s critical that we keep the communication channels open. If you have work colleagues you think would benefit from subscribing to this newsletter (it’s free), they can register directly on www.woodtech.news.

For the large WoodTECH 2020 – Wood Manufacturing event we were planning with many of you for mid to late August, the programmes for both Australia and New Zealand had been set up and can be viewed on the website, www.woodtech.events/wt20. The plan is to still proceed. It is unlikely though to run in August. The dates won’t be confirmed until the current situation becomes clearer and we’ll certainly keep you updated.

Now for a bit of news for you. This month we cover Hyne’s Tumbarumba sawmill upgrade, which has now integrated the world’s first robotic graded timber stacker (I recommend you watch the video too). We also have stories on an adhesive-free timber building, a new SawSense temperature sensor technology (discussed at last year’s WoodTECH series), the commissioning of a new AU$3 million timber manufacturing plant for Heyfield Australian Sustainable Hardwoods and others.  

That’s it for this month. Remember to send through any contributions, stories or links that we can pass onto the wider wood harvesting and transport community. Stay safe and we look forward to perhaps better news this time in one month’s time.

Check out all the articles below and enjoy this month’s issue.

Stories this issue:

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    Australian timber framing industry gets a boost

    Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) is set to spearhead an initiative highlighting the advantages of timber framing in construction, promising a significant boost to its promotion efforts. First established in the Australian Forest Products Association’s Softwood Manufacturing Chamber, and funded by ...
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    Who’s transforming our economy with renewable resources?

    The opportunities for converting forestry fibre to renewable resources to replace fossil fuel based products are growing every year. The adoption of bioenergy and related technologies / products in New Zealand and internationally, sourced from forestry and wood products companies ...
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    New trade agreement a boost for NZ wood processors

    Increased export opportunities through the removal of tariffs for 41 wood products included within the ‘Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability’ is welcomed by New Zealand’s wood processing and manufacturing industry. ‘Under brand New Zealand we have a leading story to ...
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    Södra to become the largest producer of kraft lignin in the world

    As a step in the strategy of getting more out of every tree, Södra is now establishing a new business to become a world leader in the production of kraft lignin. Södra’s production facility will be the first commercial facility ...
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    NZ National Exotic Forest Description survey – data needed

    On 1 April 2024, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) sent out the 2024 National Exotic Forest Description (NEFD) survey. The survey is critical for informing wood availability forecasts, which underpin infrastructure and wood processing investment decisions, as well as contributing to a ...
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    Unlimited potential of virtual reality for forest thinning

    How a virtual reality (VR) and gaming engine could add another tool to the forestry training kit. A future where new foresters are trained to thin trees from the safety of a virtual reality forest before more advanced real-world training could be ...
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    Growing the potential of NZ’s forestry sector in partnership

    Forestry Minister, Todd McClay, has announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. ...
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    North American DEMO International running in September

    The Canadian Woodlands Forum (CWF) is excited to announce that registration is now open for its flagship event, DEMO International®, to be held outside the Ottawa/Gatineau area in the beautiful region of Venosta, Quebec, Canada, from September 19-21, 2024. This world-class event, ...
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    Hydrogen powered airships collecting forest data

    Kelluu, a Finnish company founded in 2018, offers commercial enterprises and government agencies with data-as-a-service, specialising in monitoring and providing real-time, actionable intelligence on power lines, roads and railways, as well as surveying and monitoring potential environmental issues associated with ...
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