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

Online Series

Six Webinars, Two Weeks, One Rate
13-24 July 2020

WoodTECH 2020 | Event Details

Switching to a NEW on-line interactive webinar series

COVID-19 has changed everyone’s business plans and operations, almost overnight. Worldwide, industry events, trade shows and exhibitions planned for 2020 have all been casualties of the virus. Social distancing, tightening of travel and border controls and restrictions on meetings have meant that WoodTECH 2020, scheduled for mid-late August 2020 has had to be cancelled. Well, the conferences, workshops and exhibitions originally planned for Melbourne, Australia and Rotorua, New Zealand have.

Instead, an exciting new format has been designed for dry-mill and wood manufacturing operations. It’s also one month ahead of that originally scheduled. Like the original event, the new webinar series will be showcasing local and international leaders as well as some of the early adopters of new and emerging technologies best suited for local wood manufacturing operations.

Advantages of this new format?

So, what will the new interactive webinar series cover?

The series will be highlighting a raft of disruptive technologies already boosting the operational performance of manufacturing operations, it will include insights into the first large scale operational deployment of robotics being used in mills in New Zealand and Australia along with an inspirational case study of a mill that’s been able to turn their timber manufacturing business on its head by focussing in on the culture of the business. We’ve also built in an invaluable troubleshooting session for all timber planing and machining operations.

Woodtech 2020 on-line interactive webinar timing & content Webinar timing:

  • 9am (Australian EST),
  • 11am (NZ Standard Time)
  • and 4pm (Pacific Standard Time).

This for the first time, will enable Australian, New Zealand and North American wood manufacturing operations to be involved – from their own site, office or home - at the same time – and, during their normal working day.

Webinar Registration Details

For individuals, webinar rates are $99 plus GST for the full series of six webinars.

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. If you have any questions about the programme, please contact Brent Apthorp on or (+64) 3 470 1902.

WoodTECH 2020 Webinar Programme

13-24 July 2020 | Six part series
9am (Australian EST), 11am (NZ Standard Time) and 4pm (Pacific Standard Time)

Webinar 1: Monday 13 July 2020 (60 mins)

Disruptive Technologies. From AI and computer vision to IoT and robotics, how innovative businesses are harnessing new technology to boost the operational performance of manufacturing operations.

How Industry 4.0 is Changing the Way Manufacturers are Doing Business
David Chuter, CEO & Managing Director, Innovative Manufacturing CRC, Australia

Here come the Cobots - Deploying robots into your manufacturing operation - Opportunities for wood producers
Nathan Allpress, Mechanical Engineer, Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand

This webinar is proudly supported by
Image Image
Webinar 2: Wednesday 15 July 2020 (60 mins)

Practical Adoption of Robotics within Wood Manufacturing Operations – A First in Australia and NZ.

Using Seven In-line Robots. The world’s first fully automated timber sorting and packing production unit
David Spencer, Business Projects Manager, Hyne Timber, Australia

Innovative 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 have shaped this new wood manufacturing plant.
Shaun Bosson, Chief Executive Officer, Wood Engineering Technology, New Zealand

This webinar is proudly supported by
Image Image
Webinar 3: Friday 17 July 2020 (60 mins)

Mini-Workshop: Creating Mill-wide Data-based Machine Data Dashboards to Drive Your Business
Tim Baron, Market and Product Manager, SICK Australia & Janak Gorana, Customer Project Manager, SICK Australia

This session highlights how you can turn the mountain of data collected from your network of sensors, cameras and systems into actions to improve the business. Dashboards provide a clear visualisation of what's happening within the mill and how to make better sense of machine data in a timely way. This includes:

  • Machine monitoring and data capture
  • A dashboard overview of individual and machine groups
  • Digging deeper into the data
  • Connecting to a cloud portal

This webinar is proudly supported by
Webinar 4: Monday 20 July 2020 (60 mins)

Technology Innovations to Revolutionise Wood Manufacturing Operations.

Empowering the Worker Onsite with Augmented Reality Technology - How innovative manufacturers are using wearables and augmented reality to streamline productivity and address the skills gap
Dean Tresidder, Solution Architect Information Solutions, Rockwell Automation, Australia

Wearables and Worker Augmentation in the Field
Devices like RealWear HMT-1 and Hololens 2 are now ensuring greater safety at the computing-edge as workers doing physical tasks need their hands and situational awareness out on the manufacturing floor.
Lance Bauerfeind, Senior Consultant, Company-X, New Zealand

A Wearable Exoskeleton to Revolutionise Health, Safety and Performance in the Mill
The Suit-X exoskeleton 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

This webinar is proudly supported by
Webinar 5: Wednesday 22 July 2020 (90 mins)

Fine Tuning Your Timber Planing & Machining Operations
Joey Godwin, Mechanical Service Technician & Machinery Support, USNR, USA

Learn from an international industry wood manufacturing installation, training and troubleshooting specialist. Topics covered include;

  • Diagnosing feeding problems on planers
  • Planer alignment
  • Planer preventive maintenance
  • Pros and cons of gap feeding
  • Electric drives vs. hydraulic
This webinar is proudly supported by
Webinar 6: Friday 24 July 2020 (60 mins)

Changing your Workplace Culture
Michael Kennedy, CEO, Founder, Kennedys Timbers and Dr Tony Watt, Principal Consultant, Managing Director, The Culture Doctor

In this webinar you’ll hear just how an Australian wood manufacturer has turned their business around by focussing on their business culture – and with outstanding results. Seven years ago, Brisbane based sustainable timber specialist Kennedy’s Timbers had stagnated, were facing issues on all fronts, in a tough competitive market and at a risk of closure. However, working with workplace culture specialist Dr Tony Watt and a commitment to creating a positive workplace environment has proven successful for Brisbane-based Kennedy’s Timbers in turning the business around and culminating in being named Queensland’s Small Employer of the Year at the Queensland Training Awards held in September last year.

Twice as profitable as other similar companies within the industry, Kennedy’s Timbers now has 600% lower staff turnover, three times lower staff absenteeism, fewer lost time injury days and one of the lowest Work Cover premiums in the Queensland manufacturing sector. The average length of service of staff has substantially increased from 1 to 6.7 years. Kennedy has also been able to expand and purchase competitors in Victoria and New South Wales and also establish distributors in Western Australia and New Zealand.

This webinar is proudly supported by
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, sponsorship 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 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

Accurate Australia
Fagus GreCon
Lewis Controls
Lonza Wood Protection
Key Knife / Braford Industries

Industry Supporters

Pan Pac Forest Products

FIEA Partners

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

Media Partners

Friday Offcuts
NZ Logger


Registration Rate

Six Webinars, Two Weeks, One Rate

13-24 July 2020

$99 + GST

Per Person
Register Now!

Please Note:

  • All transactions will be billed in New Zealand dollars and exclude tax.
  • For New Zealand based registrations, GST of 15% will be charged. No tax will be charged for registrations from other countries.
  • The registration rate covers access to ALL six webinars for ONE individual in the series and access to conference presentations (electronic download for those presentations where presenter approval has been given). Individual webinars are not for sale.
  • A credit card fee of 2.9% will also apply to credit card transactions.
  • Cancellation policy: For cancellations made on or before Friday 12 June 2020, a 10% administration fee applies. Cancellations received after this date are non-refundable, however, they are transferable. Please allow 30 days for refunds to be processed.
  • If you wish to transfer your registration to another individual from within your company, please provide us with at least 24 hours advance notice.
  • The organisers reserve the right to change the programme when required.
  • Click here for our full Terms & Conditions.

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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