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WoodTECH Update – Issue 28

4 August 2020

Welcome to the latest issue of WoodTECH.News.

First off, we’re delighted with the turnout this year for the WoodTECH 2020 event. The on-line six-part webinar series finished just a couple of weeks ago. Over 250 of you registered for the wood manufacturing and dry-mill series.

Considering the number of mills across Australia and New Zealand, and the webinars being run (timing was scheduled to ensure New Zealand, Australian and North American mills could all participate) in the middle of a production day, it’s really a great response. Thanks for your support. Thanks also to the support of key technology and equipment providers along with some of our local mills who all pitched in to make this revamped series such a success.

The focus over the last couple of weeks has been on showcasing a raft of new technologies that will make a significant difference to how manufacturing, including wood processing, is being undertaken. Automation, robotics (including the first major installations of robotic production lines into Australian and New Zealand mills), virtual and augmented reality, the use of wearables in a mill environment and the use of in-mill dashboards to make better use of collected machine data inside the mill were all covered.

An extended 90-minute troubleshooting session from USNR on timber planing and machining operations along with a look into just how an Australian timber business turned their Queensland operation around by changing the business culture all featured over the two weeks. Details on the speaker presentations, presenter contact details and recordings of all six webinars that can be used by local mills for their own in-house training were sent out last week.

This month’s issue features a number of recent developments out of Australia, including problems by mills in regions affected by the summer bushfires in securing longer-term log supplies and protests by local contractors outside Bunnings in response to their decision to stop stocking timber sourced from Victoria’s sustainably managed native forests (and produced by local timber mills).

There is also the set up of a new industry grouping in Victoria, the Victorian Hardwood Sawmillers Association, and news that C3, one of Australia’s largest forest products logistics providers, has just secured a multi-million-dollar deal to provide log marshalling services in Portland, Victoria.

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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    FIEA wood residues conference – Call for speakers

    Following on from last year’s record turnout, planning for Residues2Revenues 2024 is now well underway. The NZ forest industry is looking to capitalise on the growth and demand in biofuels, bioenergy and a range of renewable bioproducts. This event helps ...
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    February NZ log market update

    Opinion Piece: Marcus Musson, Director, Forest360 February has kicked off with a hiss and a roar with log exporters pulling out the pencil sharpeners and publishing prices in the mid to high $130’s for A grade (except for Bluff and Lyttleton where you ...
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    Whiteheads partners with Springer for sawmill upgrade

    A decade-long partnershipIn a move dating back to 2008, Australian company WHITEHEADS Timber Sales initially conceived the idea of modernizing its sawmill. Strategically aligning with SPRINGER and its partners, this ambitious project for the company brings top-notch technology to Australia’s ...
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    Blenheim company turning wood chips into graphite

    In New Zealand, a Blenheim company is turning wood chips and sawdust into graphite to be used in EV batteries. CarbonScape was founded in 2006 – with a focus on making carbon products using waste biomass like wood chips to ...
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    €150 m LVL and I-beam plant underway

    Construction, the first sustainable construction factory of its kind in the Baltics and only the third in Europe, has begun operations with plans to produce €150 million of products a year for Scandinavia, North America, Australia, and major European markets. ...
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    Steam rises again from Pan Pac

    Almost a year since Cyclone Gabrielle flooded Pan Pac’s mill site at Whirinaki, steam has begun rising from one of the stacks. For nearly 50 years, Hawke’s Bay residents have been able to locate Pan Pac’s mill site by the ...
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