2020 | Rotorua, NEW ZEALAND

2020 | Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

Timber Manufacturing, Dry-mill Optimisation and Robotics & Automation

WoodTECH provides a unique independent platform for Australasian companies to evaluate the very latest wood scanning, sawmilling equipment and mill maintenance tools from around the globe

COVID-19 Update

WoodTECH 2020 was scheduled to run in Rotorua, New Zealand on 19-20 August 2020 and then again in Melbourne, Australia for local wood manufacturing operations, on 25-26 August 2020. Because of current restrictions around COVID-19 in both countries and the uncertainty in the weeks and months ahead, it has been decided that the technology series has to be postponed.

It is intended that the current programme – or a very similar programme for both countries will be run at a future date (after speaking to our currently confirmed event speakers and sponsors) as soon as we can get some sort of clarity around current issues. We’ll keep you updated as future dates can be locked in. Thank you for your support and understanding. Click here for further details.

WoodTECH 2020 | Event Details

The Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) is now providing regular annual technology updates for sawmilling and wood manufacturing companies across New Zealand and Australia. In addition, monthly updates are being provided through newsletters.

The technology events alternate every year between wood scanning, sawing and green-mill optimisation and dry-mill and wood manufacturing technologies. In 2019, the focus was on the green-mill. For 2020, the focus is on innovations and new technologies around dry-mill, wood treatment and timber manufacturing operations.

Like the previous event, short focussed presentations, quick-fire technology updates and a large number of exhibitions will be used to provide a unique platform for local mills and manufacturers to learn. It’s anticipated that practical troubleshooting workshops will also be set up for production and operational staff to hear how they can extract the very best performance out of their own timber manufacturing equipment.

What's Covered?

New technologies, new processing systems and case studies to showcase “smart operating practices” in dry-mill and timber manufacturing operations will be the focus of the two-yearly WoodTECH 2020 – Wood Manufacturing series.

The programme has been designed with wood producers along with leading global and local technology providers. It will provide a rare insight into how Industry 4.0 technologies (already being successfully employed by other sectors and adopted by some leading international wood producers) can reshape the profitability and competitiveness of local wood manufacturing operations. WoodTECH 2020 will cover;

  • Industry 4.0 - technologies suited to wood manufacturing operations
  • Adoption of VR and AR into a production environment
  • Integrating autonomous robots and robot operating systems
  • Automation of production processes and monitoring of machine conditions
  • Using machine intelligence to turn machine data into business growth
  • Linking interconnected sensors, AI and robotics across a manufacturing operation
  • Utilising AI and machine learning technologies to improve mill productivity
  • Empowering the worker with on-site wearable technologies

In addition to profiling disruptive technologies that can boost the performance of manufacturing operations, a significant part of the programme has been designed specifically for production and operational staff. Practical technology updates along with troubleshooting sessions have been set up to improve the performance of machine centres across a site. Lessons from an Australian timber manufacturing operation that has radically turned their operation around by changing their workplace environment has also been included. WoodTECH 2020 will cover:

  • Finger-jointing
  • Timber gluing and laminating
  • Timber machining
  • Resawing and timber handling
  • Wood scanning and board optimisation
  • Tools for improving energy use
  • Steps for setting up the right working culture

Like previous events, short focussed presentations, quick-fire technology updates, longer workshop sessions and a large number of exhibitions will be used to provide a unique platform for local mills and manufacturers to learn and to network.

Who Will Attend?

The New Zealand and Australian wood processing industry, including:

  • Wood processing & manufacturing site managers
  • Dry-mill & production managers & supervisors
  • Technology and R&D Managers
  • Timber machining, moulding, finger-jointing, gluing and laminating operators
  • Mill and lumber Q.C. personnel
  • Mill maintenance staff
  • Kiln drying operators
  • Local and international equipment, product and service suppliers
  • Wood treatment managers


We have been working closely with a wide range of New Zealand, Australian and international companies, service suppliers, researchers and government bodies to develop a strong and innovative programme. As mentioned above, due to COVID-19, there has been changes to the timing of this event and we will keep you updated. If you have any questions about the programme, please contact Brent Apthorp on or (+64) 3 470 1902.

Click the tab below to select the programme (green is active)

WoodTECH 2020 Programme - New Zealand

Day One

10.00amWelcome & Introductions
10.10amKeynote Address: Breaking the Mould
How industry 4.0 is changing the way manufacturers are doing business
Robert Blache, Future Insights Manager, Advanced Manufacturing, Callaghan Innovation
SESSION 1: Disruptive Technologies
From AI and computer vision to IoT and robotics, how innovative businesses are now harnessing new technology to boost the operational performance of manufacturing operations
11.00amHere come the Cobots
Deploying robots into your manufacturing operation. Opportunities for the wood producers.
Nathan Allpress, Mechanical Engineer, Callaghan Innovation
11.30amInnovative design to develop a new wood manufacturing operation using industry 4.0 principles
A NZ first. How robotics, automation, inter-connected sensors, artificial intelligence, data driven decision making and real time analytics drawn principally from outside the industry has shaped this new wood manufacturing plant.
Shaun Bosson, Chief Executive Officer, Wood Engineering Technology
12.00pmLunch & Networking
1.30pmEmpowering the Worker Onsite with Augmented Reality Technology
How innovative manufacturers are using augmented reality to streamline productivity and address the skills gap.
Prasad Nory, Industry Manager, Rockwell Automation
2.00pmWorld Leading Integration of Hands-free Wearable Tablet for Industrial Workers
The HMT-1 headset is a new voice-controlled wearable tool designed to improve maintenance, machine setup, provide remote instructions, inspections, audits and training. Over 15,000 units are being used around the world.
Lance Bauerfeind, Senior Consultant, Company-X
2.30pmUsing Machine Intelligence to Turn Machine Data into Business Growth
Turning the masses of data collected from a vast multitude of sensors, cameras and systems into actions to improve the business
Tim Baron, Product Market Manager, SICK Australia
3.00pmAfternoon Tea & Networking
SESSION 2: New Product, Process and Systems Innovations
Opportunities for dry-mill and wood manufacturing operations
3.30pmA Wearable Exoskeleton to Revolutionise Health, Safety and Performance in the Mill
The Suit-X has been in development for over 10 years and, on the back of recent NZ trials with meat processors, it is now ready for the wider workplace.
Greg Borman, Director, Biosymm, Australia
4.00pmAdvanced TMTM™ Wood Modification
Potential and opportunities for business performance improvement with wood thermomechanical modification and densification technology.
Pekka Ritvanen, CTO, Founder, KWS TimberTech, Finland
4.30pmTECH Showcase - Part 1
Short presentations on new product innovations
5.00pmRefreshments & Networking
6.30pmConference Dinner
After Dinner Presentation: Breaking from Tradition - Designing and commercialising a new timber framing system for New Zealand’s building and construction industries
Ged Finch, PhD Graduate, Victoria University, Wellington

Day Two

SESSION 3: Improving the Efficiencies of Current Wood Manufacturing Operations
Machine centre and mill improvements, troubleshooting, tools & technologies to increase production.
8.30amWorkshop: Fine Tuning your Timber Planing & Machining Operations.
Diagnosing feeding problems on planers
- Planer alignment
- Planer preventive maintenance
- Pros and cons of gap feeding
- Electric drives vs. hydraulic
Joey Godwin, Mechanical Service Technician & Machinery Support, USNR, USA
10.00amMorning Tea & Networking
10.30amHigh-Speed Wide Band Resawing & Timber Handling Options for Wood Manufacturing Operations
Syd Mather, MD, Stenner, UK
10.50amArtificial Intelligence Applications for Remanufacturing Optimisation
Andrea Campion, Area Sales Manager, MiCROTEC, Italy
11.10amNew Technologies to Better Automate and Integrate Machine Centres to Increase Production
Sebastian Roth, Product Specialist, WEINIG, Germany
11.30amTECH Showcase - Part 2
Short presentations on new product innovations
12.00pmLunch & Networking
SESSION 4: Timber Gluing & Laminating
1.15pmStrategies to Improve the Performance of 1C PUR Adhesives for Engineered Wood Products
Anthony Peters, Business Unit Manager-Lifestyle Adhesives, Henkel NZ (in person) and Christian Lehringer, Global Head of Technical Customer Service and Certification for Engineered Wood, Henkel, Switzerland and Gordian Stapf, Technology Manager, Henkel, Switzerland (via video)
1.35pmAdhesive Innovations to Improve Press Time for Wood Gluing Applications & Throughput
Shane Devereaux, Managing Director, Jowat Universal Adhesives, Australia
1.55pmTools, Technologies and Systems for Improving Energy Use
Case studies of wood products companies that have successfully implemented on-site energy management initiatives
Paul Bull, Account Director, EECA
2.15pmChanging your Workplace Culture
A case study of an Australian wood manufacturer who’s turned their business around by focussing on the business culture - with outstanding results
Michael Kennedy, CEO, Founder, Kennedys Timbers and Dr Tony Watt, Principal Consultant, Managing Director, The Culture Doctor
3.00pmConference Concludes
New Zealand Print Version
Australian Print Version

Sponsorship & Exhibition Opportunities

WoodTECH 2020 will again offer again a unique opportunity for companies involved in supplying products or services to Australasia’s wood manufacturing companies to be involved in this event. For WoodTECH 2019, exhibition spaces SOLD OUT two months before the event ran.

FIEA has earned a well-deserved reputation over 20 years of providing both event sponsors and exhibitors with a unique independent platform for promoting their products and services to forestry and wood products companies in this region. Details for sponsorship and exhibiting at the WoodTECH 2020 technology series are available on request.

For information on planned sponsorship options and benefits for the planned WoodTECH 2020 series, or other upcoming FIEA events, please contact Gordon Thomson, Sponsorship Manager, (+64) 7 921 1384 and


Event Sponsors


FIEA Partners

Atlas Integral
Trimble Forestry
Lewis Controls
Eagle Technology
NZ Logger
Lonza Wood Protection
Key Knife / Braford Industries

Media Partners

NZ Logger
Friday Offcuts



Distinction Rotorua Hotel

390 Fenton Street, Rotorua, New Zealand

With its beautiful garden setting and located just minutes from the city centre, Distinction Rotorua Hotel is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a big day at the conference. After the event, this hotel is also a great base to enjoy the wealth of attractions and activities Rotorua has to offer. Free car parking is available at the venue, however, spaces are limited and hotel guests take priority.

Visit Hotel Website

Bayview Eden
Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

6 Queens Road, Melbourne, Victoria 3004, Australia

Surrounded by green parks and minutes from the beach yet within easy reach of buzzing downtown Melbourne, Chapel Street shopping and nightlife, the Bayview Eden Melbourne has the best of both worlds. Many of the hotel’s 192 comfortable, stylishly refurbished rooms and suites overlook the picturesque Albert Park with its lake and golf course, while the rooftop spa and gym provide panoramic views of the Central Business District skyscrapers.

Hotel Website

Contact Us


Since 1998 the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA), a division of Innovatek Ltd, has run an extensive series of technology related events for Australasian forest products companies. Over 200 conferences, trade shows and exhibitions have been run for local companies.

FIEA’s objective is to improve the performance and productive capability of forestry and wood products companies in the region. It is now recognized as one of the most effective information providers for the Australasian forestry & wood products industries.

FIEA Contact Details

  (+64) 7 921 1382
  1800 126 398 (from Australia)

  • Rotorua Office

    Forest Industry Engineering Association
    Building X91, Sala Street, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand
    PO Box 1230,
    Rotorua 3040, New Zealand
    Ph (+64) 7 921 1382

  • Dunedin Office

    Forest Industry Engineering Association
    c/o Distinction Dunedin
    Hotel, 6 Liverpool Street,
    Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
    PO Box 904,
    Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
    Ph (+64) 3 470 1902

Forest Industry Engineering Association: A division of Innovatek Ltd

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