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Working together means we can all breathe a little easier

In Issue14, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

No one can deny the importance of local timber mills for regional jobs and the economy, however the often-aging infrastructure has, in the past presented challenges with air pollution and quality. Even before purchasing the Jubilee Highway Sawmill last year, OneFortyOne was in discussions with the South Australian Environment Protection Authority on air quality to meet legislative requirements for the …

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WoodTECH Update – Issue 13

In WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

WoodTECH Issue 13 – Latest news, research and resources Welcome to this latest issue of www.woodtech.news. In this issue we cover a good mix of wood processing stories including news of the closure of a NZ sawmill that had been operating since 1932, the acquisition of RCR Energy by Windsor Engineering Group and we’ve included results from the latest Australian …

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3D printing using timber waste products

In Issue13, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

3D printing technology can combine timber waste products and recycled plastics to transform them into a high-performance construction element, as results from research conducted at the University of Sydney show. The Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA)-supported research is the focus of the latest episode of WoodChat, and is being conducted by a team led by Professor Sandra Löschke, Director …

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First mass plywood panel approved for 18-stories

In Issue13, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

Located in Lyons, Oregon, Freres Lumber has been in business for nearly a century. After starting out producing standard lumber projects, the company moved into wood veneers some 60 years ago and in 1998 purchased a plywood plant. Now, it’s made another step: getting U.S. and Canadian patents on its mass plywood panel (MPP), the first veneer-based mass timber panel …

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Latest quarterly Timber Market Survey released

In Issue13, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

The December quarter Australian 2018 Timber Market Survey (TMS) has seen mixed price movement results for untreated structural pine products. Price movements for MGP10 and MGP12 products were within +/-0.7%, with most products showing downward price movements over the quarter. Treated sleeper and decking prices continued to trend upwards over the quarter, with price movements ranging between 2.2% and 3.2%. …

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Windsor Engineering acquires RCR Energy

In Issue13, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

The business and assets of RCR Energy Ltd have just been sold to Windsor Engineering Group Limited. The sale secures the future of this vital New Zealand business in the energy boiler sector, ensuring continuous employment for over 60 staff and numerous contractors and uninterrupted service for customers. Maurice Davies, Director for Windsor, noted, “RCR Energy, as Australasia’s largest thermal …

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Hospital to move from coal to biomass fuel

In Issue13, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

New Zealand’s Health Minister Dr David Clark says two new woody biomass boilers for Christchurch Hospital will improve the Canterbury DHB’s resilience and environmental sustainability. Polytechnik Biomass Energy, based in Austria, has been awarded the contract to design, manufacture and install replacements for the current coal-fired boilers. The total budget for the project is approximately NZ$45 million. “The existing boiler …

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NZ sawmill closes its doors

In Issue13, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

Sixty-five jobs have been lost with the closure of a small South Taranaki town’s biggest employer. The Waverley Sawmill, which has traded since at least 1932, has been sold and the new owner has decided it is no longer viable, South Taranaki District Mayor Ross Dunlop said. “It’s been a very valuable business in our district and has employed lots …

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WoodTECH Update – Issue 12

In WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

WoodTECH Issue 12 – Latest news, research and resources Welcome to this latest issue of www.woodtech.news. We brought forward the second issue for the year as we’ve been inundated with wood processing and manufacturing stories. Thanks to all of you who have contributed over the last few weeks. In this issue we cover a number of recent equipment upgrades within …

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Mill expansion for shop and moulding products

In Issue12, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

Tenon at Taupo, New Zealand sourced a new edger line with advanced technology to provide visual grading capability for its high-value shop and moulding products. Tenon describes the operation as the country’s largest single site producer of defect-free, appearance grade radiata pine products. The output includes lumber, solid lineal mouldings and clear pine boards, with the majority exported to the …

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Canadian investment in A&E

In Issue12, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

Leading Canadian Sawmill Machinery Manufacturer TS Manufacturing has recently acquired a majority shareholding in Automation & Electronics NZ Ltd and its AEUSA division based in North Carolina. The acquisition strengthens TS Controls division in the North American market by adding additional controls support combined with AE Optimization technology. A&E is a well-established company with a 33-year history in the Australasian …

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New wood treatment plants fully automated

In Issue12, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

IWT-Moldrup, a Danish company that manufactures wood treatment operations,  has in recent years supplied a number of semi-automatic wood treatment plants to Australia for treating 30,000 m3 treated timber per annum.  Some plants have been delivered ready for expansion to fully automatic material handling at a later time.  Many local companies did not want to go to the fully automated …

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Mississippi State develops smartphone app to test lumber

In Issue12, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

Determining the stiffest piece of lumber is now easier with a new smartphone app created by scientists in Mississippi State University’s Forest and Wildlife Research Center.  Called “Smart Thumper,” the app uses soundwaves or vibrations to determine stiffness, a quality that relates to strength, for individual pieces of lumber.   Developer Dan Seale, professor in MSU’s Department of Sustainable Bioproducts, …

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Lessons from workplace H&S fine

In Issue12, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

Two similar health and safety failings within three months have cost Rotorua timber company Claymark Limited over NZ$680,000 in fines, reparations and costs. WorkSafe, New Zealand’s primary workplace health and safety regulator, says that one serious injury on a company’s watch is bad enough, but that a second in close succession shows an unacceptable approach to worker safety. Claymark was …

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Australia’s largest continuous timber kiln opened

In Issue12, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

The biggest single capacity continuous timber kiln in Australia was opened in Dardanup earlier this month. The Wespine-operated facility has the capacity to dry 180,000cu/m of timber per year, which allowed for the replacement of five existing kilns that operated with older technology. It will allow the timber producer to cut its gas usage by 40 per cent and lower …

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Kaituna Sawmill – a good look inside a sawmill

In Issue12, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

A sawmill tucked away in a forested corner near Blenheim at the top of the South Island, New Zealand, is not so quietly producing a large chunk of the timber used for the country’s houses, decks, fences and furniture. Nelson Forests harvests about 1.2 million cubic metres of raw logs, and Kaituna Sawmill produces 65,000 cubic metres of high-grade, market-ready …

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Södra announces its first robot employee

In Issue12, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

Södra welcomes Clerk, the company’s first digital robot employee. Södra was founded in 1938 and is the largest forest-owner association in Sweden, with a membership of close to 52,000 forest owners. The new robot, Clerk is a software robot that works in six departments and uses its expertise in everyday, repetitive and time-consuming tasks. “Digitalisation is creating a myriad of …

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WoodTECH Update – Issue 11

In WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

Welcome to this year’s first issue of this region’s sawmilling and wood manufacturing newsletter, www.woodtech.news. Other than those unfortunately having to work on maintenance or new installations over the Christmas period we trust the break over the summer has been a good one. We’ve built in a number of stories into this issue which you should find interesting. First off, …

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Clearance sought to acquire chemicals plant from Oji

In Issue11, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

The NZ Commerce Commission has received a clearance application from Ixom Operations Pty Limited to acquire chemical manufacturing assets in Kawerau from Oji Fibre Solutions (NZ) Limited. Ixom is headquartered in Australia but has chemical manufacturing, supply and distribution operations in several countries around the world. In New Zealand, Ixom supplies chemicals including sodium hypochlorite, hydrochloric acid and caustic soda. …

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EOI for Australasia’s premier sawmilling event

In Issue11, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

The two-yearly technology update for sawmilling companies in New Zealand and Australia is being planned with local industry and key technology providers. It runs in September 2019. Record numbers attended the last event in 2017 and exhibition spaces sold out at both venues. 2019 plans to be even better. Mark the date now into your diaries. Early expressions of interest …

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New wood panels prefab operation for Australia

In Issue11, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

Quintessential Equity has hailed the opening late last year of a new Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) processing and offsite manufacturing factory at Avalon Airport’s new industrial precinct, as a major win for both the City of Geelong and the building industry’s march toward more sustainable methods of construction. Executive Chairman of Quintessential Equity, Shane Quinn, said the launch of Cross …

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Allied Timber Products sold to AAM Investments

In Issue11, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

The Australian Financial Review has reported that AAM Investment Group has acquired Allied Timber Products’ softwood sawmill and business located in Bathurst for about AU$25 million. This latest transaction is yet another addition to its diversified, unlisted investment offerings now valued at AU$160 million. The saw mill sits on six hectares and processes about 92,000 cubic metres of saw logs …

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Wood processing clusters provide new opportunities

In Issue11, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

Establishing industrial clusters around wood processing is a promising prospect for regions with surplus forestry resources and can contribute substantially to New Zealand’s bottom line. In a recently completed research project, Scion identified four regions where wood processors could collaborate with other industries to provide, share and reuse materials, energy, water, and/or by-products for mutual benefit. If a cluster was …

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Colour ingrained into the wood with new technology

In Issue11, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

Staining or painting timber is the traditional way to add colour to wooden products, but that colour is only surface deep. Any scratching or resurfacing can remove the colourful layer and affect the aesthetic of the wood. The full thickness colour technology developed by Scion fixes colourful dye throughout timber in a range of bright colours. The full thickness colour …

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WoodTECH Update – Issue 10

In WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

Welcome to the latest update for Australasia’s sawmilling and wood manufacturing community. It’s the last WoodTECH issue for 2018. Thanks for your contributions that you’ve made during the year and ongoing support for www.woodtech.news. It’s certainly been appreciated. This month, with only days before we break for the traditional summer shut-down (other than those unfortunately having to work on maintenance or …

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Bioenergy – State of the Nation Report launched

In Issue10, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

Bioenergy Australia on Tuesday released the Bioenergy State of the Nation Report (produced in collaboration with KPMG). The first state-of-the-nation assessment of the sector identifies Australia’s significant bioenergy opportunity and provides a criteria for kick-starting Australia’s bioenergy economy. The opportunity for Australia is significant and multi-faceted, offering an AU$3.5-$5 billion investment opportunity, mostly in regional economies, which the Australian government …

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Historic sawmilling viaduct opened

In Issue10, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

An historic wooden trestle viaduct that once serviced the sawmilling industry has been restored and is once again open to visitors to the magnificent Waitutu forest in the South of New Zealand. Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage celebrated the reopening of southern Fiordland’s Percy Burn viaduct, thought to be the highest surviving wooden bridge in the world, following significant restoration work. …

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NZ Timber Standards now out for public comment

In Issue10, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

This has been described by the Timber Design Society as one of the most important developments for structural engineers in recent years. They’re currently inviting all TDS members and others involved, to submit comments directly. Please follow the links below to submit your comments: DZ NZS AS 1720.1 Timber Structures – Part 1: Design Methods DR AS/NZS 1720.4:2018 Timber structures …

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Predictive maintenance avoids downstream machine failures

In Issue10, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

It’s long been agreed that reactive maintenance isn’t effective. Instead of allowing equipment to reach the point of failure, issues can be spotted much earlier by detecting subtle changes in the machinery over time. With this insight, predictive maintenance is enabled and parts can be replaced before a total breakdown occurs. A predictive maintenance program is effective if the alert …