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WoodTECH Update – Issue 25

4 May 2020

Welcome to the latest issue of WoodTECH.News.

The last couple of months has changed the face of the planet. COVID-19 has highlighted just how exposed we are to viral pandemics and how interconnected the global economy is. There are some positive signs though. Both the New Zealand and Australian Governments have responded to the crisis perhaps better than other countries. We’re hopeful that shortly we’ll be in a position to slowly reopen our economies.

While there are welcome signs, COVID-19 will still be the new normal for many months to come. 

With changes still happening daily, we’re pleased to announce that WoodTECH 2020 will now be run as a series of short interactive 60-90 webinars in July 2020. While COVID-19 had made it impossible to run the original in-person events in Rotorua and Melbourne, the new online series has been designed to cover a wide range of disruptive technologies aimed at improving the efficiencies of dry mill and manufacturing operations. Troubleshooting “hands-on” sessions are also planned for timber machining and planing operators. Further details can be seen below.

In this month’s issue, we’ve covered a broad range of wood-related stories for you. Researchers from Georgia Tech have just developed a new process to protect timber from water damage without pressure-treating, a team from Scion have won a major award for developing a new transparent wood film that is thinner and comparatively stronger than original wood and Microtec has just acquired Lucidyne to become now, the largest wood products scanning company in the world.

With the Australian housing construction sector predicted to decline due to COVID-19, it’s great to see AFPA, other industry bodies and wood producers on the front-foot pushing hard for Federal and State Governments to release stimulus recovery packages for the sector. This will go a long way to protecting jobs, especially within regional communities.

That’s it for this month. Remember to send through any contributions, stories or links that we can pass onto the wider wood processing and manufacturing 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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    Kea Aerospace achieves milestone in autonomous flight

    Kea Aerospace has successfully completed a landmark BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) flight, demonstrating the capabilities of their advanced autonomous flight technology. The milestone UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) flight, conducted within Kea Aerospace’s Special Use Airspace, marks significant growth ...
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    €100 m investment in wood-based EV batteries

    Stora Enso Oyj is preparing to invest about €100 million in a pioneering project to use wood in electric vehicle batteries and offer an alternative to components currently made in China, according to its chief executive officer. The funds would ...
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    First long-range electric trucks to New Zealand

    Windrose Technology will work with Auckland based Etrucks® to bring the first long-range electric trucks to New Zealand. The Windrose E1400 6×4 semi tractor features extreme aerodynamic efficiency, with an industry low coefficient of drag of 0.2755. Combined with the ...
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    DC Equipment Canada return Madill to B.C.

    DC Equipment has announced the opening of its new manufacturing facility in Prince George, marking the return of Madill equipment production to British Columbia. The first machines to be produced at this facility will be the Madill 3000B Log Loaders, ...
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    QLD budget weak on future timber material needs for housing

    Queensland’s peak body for the forest and timber industry is warning of a looming building materials crisis by a lack of policy and budget measures for increasing future timber supply to help meet the state’s rising housing demand. “While we ...
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    Kenworth unveils futuristic SuperTruck 2

    Kenworth showcased its SuperTruck 2 demonstrator vehicle at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Las Vegas last month, a project developed over six years in collaboration with the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) SuperTruck programme. The aim of the project ...
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    Key drivers to decarbonise heavy transport fleets

    The industry was buzzing once again for the Wood Transport & Logistics 2024 event that ran last week in Rotorua, New Zealand. Well over 200 forestry and log transport companies from across Australasia, America and Europe, came to Rotorua to ...
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    Rocket Lab launches climate science satellites

    Rocket Lab, a global leader in launch services and space systems, today launched the first of two back-to-back launches for NASA’s PREFIRE (Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment) climate change-focused mission. ‘Ready, Aim, PREFIRE’ lifted-off from Rocket Lab Launch ...
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    Hiringa launches hydrogen refuelling network

    Taranaki-based green hydrogen developer Hiringa Energy has marked the opening of New Zealand’s first zero-emission green hydrogen refuelling network set to service heavy freight across the North Island. The initiative is the first of its kind in Australasia and was officially ...
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