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WoodTECH Update – Issue 29

1 September 2020

Welcome to the latest issue of WoodTECH.News.

A lot can change in a month. At the time of our last issue, New Zealand celebrated being 100 days COVID-19 free and, on the other side of the Tasman, Melbourne reported their highest ever daily total in their second wave. While New Zealand seems to have contained the worst of their second wave and Melbourne’s rates have dropped significantly, it still reinforces the delicate balancing our economies face in this COVID-19 normal world.

COVID-19 has also forced businesses to innovate. Travel restrictions have made it difficult for companies to work with equipment suppliers and technical experts for ongoing maintenance and repair within sawmills and manufacturing companies. At the just completed WoodTECH 2020 event that was run for local wood producers, we profiled the Realwear augmented reality headset, which allows onsite staff to fix issues while connected remotely with technicians via cameras attached to the helmet. There is a good story and video below on a similar system called Van Dyk Vision-AR. These technologies will become a standard operating practice for most mills within the next five years.

Other highlights this month include a new environmentally-friendly wood adhesive that increases durability, a major expansion for the use of wood pellets by one of Fonterra’s largest NZ dairy factories and mill upgrades to New Zealand-based Niagara Sawmilling and Australia’s Hyne Timber.

Read all the above stories and more in this month’s issue. Remember, you can also send through any contributions, stories or links that we can pass onto the wider community. 

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

Stories this issue:

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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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    Lidar technology for scalable forest inventory

    Evaluating the trade-offs between the various platforms. When considering Lidar technology for forest inventory, it is essential to evaluate the trade-offs of each platform. This article provides some pointers. There is a critical need for rapid, rigorous, reproducible and scalable ...
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    Remote-controlled firefighting technology demoed

    BurnBot, an innovative firefighting technology, has been successfully demonstrated in Incline Village, Nevada. These remote-controlled machines can quickly clear vegetation, reducing wildfire risk. In just 2-3 days, BurnBot cleared 75% of the vegetation on 22 acres – a task that would take ...
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    Hyne Group further expands

    The Hyne Group is now pleased to announce the further expansion of this new operating division, with the acquisition of Express Pallets and Crates (Express), based at Narangba near Brisbane. Express has been in operation for some 35 years, under the ownership and ...
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    FWPA Report: Transforming softwood timber verification

    Forest & Wood Products Australia (FWPA) is pleased to share new research introducing biased position testing as a cost- effective and efficient method for the verification of structural softwood timber properties.  This innovative approach can unlock significant cost savings and improved efficiency ...
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    Heli-saw to ‘transform’ tree-trimming around power lines

    New Zealand’s electricity sector could be transformed by a radical new approach to keeping trees off power lines, says a King Country-based energy distributor. The Lines Company (TLC), based in Te Kūiti, has undertaken its first successful trial of the heli-saw – a ...
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