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
WoodTECH 2022 | Event Details
WoodTECH has been run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) for over 20 years, both in New Zealand and Australia. It’s provided an essential and independent showcase for local companies to evaluate the very latest innovations, technology and operating practices around saw design and operation, mill maintenance, wood scanning, sawmilling, mill optimisation and wood manufacturing operations.
In more recent times, the event has alternated each year between green-mill and dry-mill technologies. In addition to tech updates and the opportunity of sharing information between tech providers and mill staff, the annual event has also provided the only opportunity for mill production and operational staff along with mill management to get together in both countries.
The last sawmilling event, WoodTECH 2019 drew in close to 350 delegates. It really struck a chord with Australasian sawmills. WoodTECH 2020, with a focus on wood manufacturing, like all other events around the world, had to be cancelled. Instead, FIEA together with local industry ran six interactive online webinars for all major mills across Australasia in July 2020.
WoodTECH 2021 likewise had to be postponed. COVID lockdowns were still impacting adversely on businesses in both countries. Also, what couldn’t have been anticipated was the post-COVID building boom that meant sawmills in both countries were working extended shifts to try and meet the unprecedented demand for lumber. 2022 faced similar issues.
WoodTECH 2022 | Cancellation
The WoodTECH 2022 event, after two years of postponements because of Covid travel and meeting restrictions, was set down to run in Rotorua, New Zealand on 18-19 October 2022. The programme had been revised, speakers lined up and promotions were about to get underway. Exhibitors and sponsors likewise were ready to actually meet up with sawmillers and saw-doctors’ after several years of being unable to meet up face-to-face. Unfortunately, it has been decided after speaking to a number of major sawmills within New Zealand, that it is in everyone’s best interests, to cancel this year’s event, WoodTECH 2022.
Why? This time it isn’t Covid getting in the way. Instead, it’s a perfect storm of unprecedented demand for building materials in both New Zealand and Australia. This has meant all mills are working extra hours and shifts to try and get timber out the gate. Adding to this are the upgrades and projects now underway to try and boost mill production and the critical shortages currently being experienced in finding workers just to keep mills running.
The usual very high turnouts of delegates to the WoodTECH event under these conditions can’t be assured. We feel that it will be unfair on speakers and exhibitors under these conditions to proceed as planned. We regret any inconvenience that this decision may cause. Having tried with you and the industry to make this work for two years now, we like you are extremely disappointed that we have had to make this call.
Future WoodTECH events? We together with local sawmillers and equipment suppliers will review options at a later date to see if we can reintroduce the sawmilling and wood processing tech updates to New Zealand and Australia in 2023 and will stay in touch through your monthly communication, www.woodtech.news.
What was Planned for 2022?
A one-day conference and exhibitions were planned to run over two days for sawmilling staff and saw doctors. In addition, two workshops were going to be run; a pre-conference workshop on the morning of Day One, titled 'Managing and Making Use of Data to Drive the Business' and post-conference workshop, running just after the conference concludes, on the afternoon of Day Two, titled 'The Wood Processing Skills Pipeline – Broken but Repairable.'
It was planned that New Zealand sawmillers and saw doctors, along with key local and international equipment suppliers, would be able to meet up in person Rotorua and Australian mills would be able to live stream the full two-day event. This was going to enable the event or specific presentations to be watched live or the presentations accessed later for mill sites (where a site virtual rate has been set up) to use for their own on-site meetings, troubleshooting or training.
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The New Zealand and Australian wood processing industry, including:
- Sawmill site managers
- Sawmill production and engineering managers
- Mill supervisors, maintenance and production staff
- Mill and lumber Q.C. personnel
- Wood treatment managers
- Kiln drying production staff
- Technology, equipment, product and service suppliers to sawmilling and wood manufacturing companies