It was certainly a full house – in both Australia and New Zealand. The WoodTECH 2017 technology series that focussed on sawmilling or green-mill operations drew in a record number of over 400 delegates in September 2017. It was the largest gathering yet seen of sawmilling companies, saw-doctors and technology providers from around the globe in Australasia.
The series run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) included:
1. World-Class Exhibitions
Exhibitors involved included; WoodEye, Sweden | ScanMeg, Canada | Linck | Germany | DO2, Canada | Gilbert, Canada | Prinz, Austria | VAB Solutions, Canada | Carbotech International, Canada | LMI Technologies, Canada | Nicholson Manufacturing, Canada | Metriguard, USA | Holtec, NZ | Keymatic Technology, Australia | Braford Industries, Australia | Z-TEC, Canada | Andritz Iggesund Tools, NZ | Supply Services, NZ | Thode Knife & Saw, Acora Reneco, Australia | Finlease, Australia | Saito, NZ | Kleentek, Australia |Spraying Systems, NZ | USNR/Soderhamn Eriksson, USA/Canada | Autolog, Canada | HewSaw, Finland | MiCROTEC, Italy | JoeScan, USA | Tui Technology, NZ | Optimil Machinery, Canada | Checkmate Precision Cutting Tools, NZ | SalesTech/AKE, Australia | GreCon, Germany | ILS, NZ | Lucidyne Technologies, USA | Lakeland Steel, NZ | SiCam Systems, Canada | The BID Group, Canada | Toi Ohomai, NZ | Fire Protection Technologies, Australia | BraveGen, NZ | SEW Eurodrive, NZ | Baxley Logpro, USA | Lewis Controls, USA | EWD, Germany | SPRINGER, Austria | Finsan Inc, USA | Precision Manufacturing, Canada | PMP Solutions, Canada | Stinger, Australia | California Saw & Knife Works, USA.
2. Technology Updates
Short focussed presentations, quick-fire technology updates and a large number of exhibitions provided a unique platform for leading tech providers and innovators to outline the very latest wood scanning, sawing, and mill optimisation technologies best suited to local sawmilling operations.
3. Practical Workshops
A comprehensive series of practical troubleshooting workshops were also run throughout the two days in each country. They were specifically designed alongside industry for sawmill production and operational staff. They provided the opportunity for local sawmills to hear how they could extract the best performance out of their own saws, machine centres and sawing operations.
The objective was to encourage sawmill teams – management, mill production, saw-doctors and maintenance staff – to take advantage of the line-up of international specialists being brought into the region. This ensured that teams from local mills were collectively able to put the practical learnings from the event into practice once back on their own work site.
Workshops of between 60-120 minutes were given on;
- Quality & lumber size control
- Troubleshooting and improving band-mill, gang and board edger performance
- Selecting, operating and maintaining log carriage and optimiser (softwood and hardwood) operations
- Saw-guide selection, installation, operation and maintenance
Where to from here?
Feedback from the WoodTECH 2017 series from delegates, sponsors and exhibitors has been excellent. A follow-up programme for sawmilling companies will follow in 2-3 years.
1) Wood Manufacturing
After an absence of years, FIEA will be running a WoodTECH programme in September 2018. It will run again in both New Zealand and Australia. The focus will though be on Dry-mill operations – It will include; timber scanning and optimisation, plant design, automation, cross cutting and ripping, finger-jointing, timber gluing and laminating, timber machining, kiln drying and timber finishing technologies.
Already we have a listing of local and international companies who have expressed their interest in either exhibiting (space at WoodTECH 2017 SOLD OUT) or presenting at WoodTECH 2018. If interested in registering your interest on being involved, please contact
2) WoodTECH Website
Up until now, there has been no formal mechanism for regular communication for those working in saw-doctoring, sawmilling, wood manufacturing, wood treatment or wood products companies in Australasia. Now there is. FIEA is stepping in to assist.
Between regular technology events, we’ll be providing this updated website as a new independent platform for wood processing and manufacturing companies. It’s going to provide you with;
- more regular communication
- information and news relevant to your own job, business and operation
- technology updates and troubleshooting materials
- key leads and contact information on global technology leaders, and
- solve issues and provide advice if needed
We’ll be building this platform and resource over the next 12 months and so will be welcoming your input, advice and suggestions on how we can improve this new service. Its set up for local mills and wood producers. We’re dependent on your buy-in. It’s a service we think will finally improve communication across all those working within this part of the sector.
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