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WoodTECH Update – Issue 26

3 June 2020

Welcome to the latest issue of WoodTECH.News.

It’s welcome relief that both New Zealand and Australian COVID-19 lockdowns are easing and businesses, that weren’t already operating, are now opening up again. This will be a slow recovery though, with domestic and international trade still uncertain at this stage.  

Next month we will be running WoodTECH 2020, as a series of innovative webinars covering a wide range of disruptive technologies aimed at improving the efficiencies of dry mill and manufacturing operations. This online event runs from 13 to 24 July 2020 and brings in experts from around the world. There will also be “hands-on” troubleshooting sessions for timber machining and planing operators. Another highlight will definitely be the New Zealand and Australian case studies on the integration of robotics within the mill (see the story below). Have a look at the programme on the event website and register today.

In this month’s issue, we cover a broad range of wood-related stories for you. WPMA has developed a dedicated website designed to provide the New Zealand timber construction industry with a comprehensive set of guides and advice. A lot of work has been put into this resource and new guides will be added as they become available. 

Along with the local robotic case studies we mentioned earlier, we’ve also included this week a story on the use of robotics for building – this time with plywood blocks. This UK project shows the potential of using robots to construct low-cost housing.

Finally, there are a couple of stories highlighting the flow-on effects of the COVID-19 downturn. Both Carter Holt Harvey and AKD mills are looking at reduced hours and staffing as the building and construction sector takes a hit.

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. 

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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