WoodTECH 2018 Event Summary

Another Record Turnout

After an absence of over eight years, the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) this year focused on innovations and new technologies around dry-mill and wood manufacturing operations. The previous two WoodTECH events, 2017 and 2015, both concentrated on green-mill and sawing technologies.

Once again the WoodTECH series attracted strong numbers, with over 350 delegates attending the New Zealand and Australian events in 2018. We also received great support internationally, with a near record turnout from North America and European technology and equipment suppliers, as well as local suppliers, exhibiting at WoodTECH 2018.

New technologies (from wood scanning and optimisation in the dry-mill through to finger-jointing, gluing, laminating and timber finishing), new operating practices and processes along with tips to improve current manufacturing operations were outlined by tech providers drawn from throughout this region, Europe and North America.

What was Covered?

New technologies, new processing systems and case studies to showcase “smart operating practices” in dry-mill and wood manufacturing operations, including;

  • Robotics and automation and changes being seen in wood manufacturing
  • Advances in wood scanning and board optimisation
  • Finger-jointing, cross cutting and ripping
  • Timber gluing and laminating
  • Timber machining
  • Kiln drying
  • Timber finishing – planning, moulding and surface coating
  • Material handling operations
  • Mill maintenance
  • Changes to timber standards
  • H&S, training and skills development

WoodTECH 2018 also included short focused presentations, quick-fire technology updates and a large number of exhibitions. This event provided a unique platform for local mills and manufacturers to learn and engage.

Programme at a Glance

Conference Day One

  • Session 1: Disruptive Technologies – Just how these are reshaping wood manufacturing options
  • Session 2: Scanning & Optimisation Technologies to Improve Recoveries in the Dry-Mill
  • Refreshments & Networking (Drinks & canapes amongst the exhibits)

Conference Day Two

  • Session 3: High Speed Planing & Timber Machining
  • Session 4: Defecting, Finger-Jointing, Gluing, Laminating & Material Handling
  • Session 5: Kiln Drying Technologies & Drying Practices
What’s Planned for 2019?

Overwhelmingly, delegate feedback from the 2018 event (and in 2017) told us that they would prefer to alternate between green-mill and dry-mill technologies for the WoodTECH series in this region.

This ensures that the technology and equipment is being designed, developed and updated by leading tech providers and adoption by wood products companies is current. It also enables local companies to set time aside in their training and business development budgets to enable all relevant staff from different parts of their operations to come through and attend – every two years.

For 2019, the focus will be again be on green-mill or sawmilling operations – new technologies, new operating practices and case studies on just what installation has meant to local companies, both operationally and financially. Details and regular updates for the September 2019 series will be supplied through either www.fridayoffcuts.com and www.woodtech.news.

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