WoodTECH 2019 Summary

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Once again, WoodTECH 2019 has provided a stand out update for sawmilling companies and equipment and technology providers. Close to 350 delegates from the local industry attended the series that ran in both New Zealand and Australia. The turnout and feedback from local mills have been outstanding. Suppliers of saws and sawmilling technologies presenting and exhibiting (leading companies from Sweden, Germany, the USA, Canada, Singapore, Australia and NZ) and the series of practical troubleshooting workshops being run as part of this year’s series, really struck a chord with New Zealand and Australian sawmills.

The WoodTECH series was reintroduced to Australasian sawmilling and wood manufacturing companies in 2017. After a decade of national training programmes falling over, saw-doctors groupings folding, mill closures and consolidation within the industry, local wood producers were keen on getting their teams together again at one central location. An independent forum to learn about new technology, new processes and systems, to exchange ideas and to network was being called for.

That’s where the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) stepped in. The WoodTECH series was set up with the local industry and key national and global technology providers. Sawmilling and wood manufacturing events are now being run for the local industry as well as more regular monthly communications through woodtech.news.

WoodTECH 2019 presented an independent platform for local companies to evaluate new innovations, technologies, processes and systems in sawmilling, scanning, saw maintenance and mill optimisation. Practical troubleshooting, maintenance, QC, saw alignment, training and recruitment sessions were also built into the two-day programme with short presentations, workshops, trade exhibitions and tech talks given as part of the event.

The two-day programme was specifically designed with industry to ensure sawmill production and operational staff would gain maximum benefit from attending the series. Local sawmills learnt how they could extract the best performance out of their own saws, machine centres and sawing operations.

The way the programme was set up also meant that sawmill teams – management, mill production, saw-doctors and maintenance staff – were able to take advantage of the line-up of international specialists that were brought into the region. Many of the larger mills picked up the opportunity of sending through 10-15 employees to the event. In addition to mixing with tech specialists from around the globe and counterparts from mills around the country, teams were able to put the learnings from the event into practice once back on their own worksite.

Where to from here?

For next year, planning is already well underway for the WoodTECH 2020 series which will run in both New Zealand and Australia in August 2020. Like 2018, the focus will be again on new technologies, new processing systems and case studies to showcase “smart operating practices” in dry-mill and timber manufacturing operations. Early details on the event can be found on www.woodtech.events/wt20.

At this stage, if interested in presenting or exhibiting at WoodTECH 2020(in either New Zealand or Australia), please get in touch with us. If planning to exhibit, best to get in early as spaces will go very quickly. Further details will follow shortly.

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