3-5 September 2013
Albury, AUSTRALIA
11-13 September 2013
Rotorua, NEW ZEALAND
WoodEXPO was Australasia’s first dedicated wood expo to showcase the very latest developments and technologies in wood processing and manufacturing
What was WoodEXPO?
  • A major international wood products trade show
  • Run in consecutive weeks in New Zealand and Australia
  • Comprised an innovative series of:
    • Trade exhibitions
    • Focussed two-hour technology workshops
    • A one-day pan industry conference, and
    • A number of exciting networking events around each three-day event
  • Showcased the best technologies and innovations from around the world.
What Technologies?

The very latest in processing, manufacturing and wood products technologies, covering:

Log Yard Handling – Lumber Quality Control – Sawing Technologies – Mill Maintenance – Wood Scanning – Kiln Drying – Wood Gluing & Laminating – Saw-Doctoring – Wood Machining – Finger-Jointing – Composite Wood Panels – Engineered Wood Products

Post Event Summary

WoodEXPO 2013 finished on Friday 13 September. In just two weeks Australian and New Zealand wood producers were given a rare insight into new innovations, new products and new equipment – all designed to improve local company’s operating efficiencies – and profitability.

“It was a first for this region and we were delighted, considering the tough times sawmillers, wood manufacturing and wood panels companies have been through in the 12 months leading up to the event” says Brent Apthorp, Director of the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA).

“Over 1100 were registered for the two events in Albury, Australia and Rotorua, New Zealand. Feedback from exhibitors is being collated and currently being sought from delegates to the two shows. Along with feedback collected over the two weeks the EXPO ran, this is going to provide us with a firm platform to evaluate the design of future EXPO events for wood producers in this region” says Mr Apthorp.

The international competitiveness of local wood producing companies was highlighted in the Wood Processing Summits running on the first day or each three-day event. Australia last year for example had the highest log costs in the Southern Hemisphere and was the second most expensive producer of softwood lumber. Longer term, the industry needs to tackle a number of key areas to improve its position – labour costs, labour productivity, the value of product output and mill efficiencies.

Unfortunately, innovation hasn’t been a strong point for the industry. Immediate innovation is coming at the moment from the equipment manufacturers rather than wood producers. This was evidenced by the array of new technology on display at WoodEXPO 2013. From a recent international study, it appears that only 0.2 – 0.4% of revenue is being spent on R&D by forest products companies compared with 4 – 6% by the equipment suppliers. The message is very clear – if we’re not innovating we’re not growing.

Summary Continued

As the first event of its type run in Australasia, the support given by the international technology providers to WoodEXPO 2013 has been outstanding”, says Mr Apthorp. “We deliberately used the same format employed over the last 15 plus years by FIEA. By building in two EXPO’s to run in just two weeks, leading international technology and equipment suppliers have been able to justify their travel to this part of the world. The format enables them to get in front of all major players from both Australia and New Zealand during the EXPO series.”

“This of course enables local wood producers – Site and General Managers as well as the mill’s engineering and production staff – to be exposed to the world’s best wood processing and products technologies – in their own back yard. It was obvious local mills took the opportunity of sending a number of staff from their site to collectively evaluate some of this new technology to their own operation”.

“During WoodEXPO 2013 we had leading suppliers from Finland, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Italy, a large contingent from the US and Canada, Indonesia, China, New Zealand and Australia involved – in both countries. Delegates came from all of these countries as well as quite a few more so the concept and quality of the event obviously has already struck a chord with suppliers and producers around the world from day one”.

“FIEA is delighted with the support for this inaugural event” says Brent Apthorp. “We’d like to thank all of the exhibitors, delegates and sponsors who have assisted us in making WoodEXPO 2013 happen and look forward to working with all involved to repeat the EXPO concept for local companies in future”.