WoodTECH News | Issue 47

In WT Issue Summary by FIEALeave a Comment

Welcome to the latest issue of WoodTECH.News.

When taking a look at new stories across New Zealand and Australia, it is hard not to see that staffing and timber shortages are dominating the headlines. Post-covid, or more correctly, living with covid, has seen a massive increase in timber demand worldwide.

There’s also a lack of available workers to meet this demand. Just look at the ever-growing Friday Offcuts Job Board. Adding to the real challenges of attracting anyone to work in a mill environment, New Zealand and Australia’s covid infection rates are currently the highest in the world and are causing headaches for staffing production lines around illness and isolation rules. 

Apparently, the overwhelming demand we see now for timber is nothing compared to future trends. A new FWPA report predicts housing demand for timber in Australia will double by 2050. Without investment in new plantings and production, we will see critical timber shortages long-term and a major reliance on international imports. 

It is easy to see that automation and robotics will be required for mills to increase productivity and ease labour shortages. As mentioned in the story below, the major question is not IF manufacturers invest in automation, but WHEN and HOW. Industry 4.0 technologies are becoming more accessible, but 1 in 3 manufacturers report at insufficient resources and expertise limits how they can invest.

Check out these stories and much more below. Enjoy this month’s issue.

Stories this issue:

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