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MaxiFleet keeping supply lines open during lockdown

International Forest Industries - Fri, 24/04/2020 - 17:20

In UK there is a lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic and only essential business can be up and running. Forestry is accounted for as an essential business. Still, Komatsu Forest Ltd have taken precautions and let most of the staff in the offices work from home.

Talking to Service Technician & IT Training specialist John Geddes, we learn how it is possible for him to help the customers keep optimal performance of their machines, whilst working from home.

The key is Komatsu Forest’s fleet management system MaxiFleet, which makes it possible to remotely support the customers and thereby reduce the personal meetings, during this period, to prevent the virus from spreading. “Working from home I can make a quick check how many active machines are out there, if there are any alarms and see if there is anything we need to take care of”, Geddes says.

During the covid-19 pandemic, forestry is, as mentioned, an essential business. During this period the Forest Industry have changed the specification of the wood to adapt for alternative production, and from his home office Geddes can easily help the customers change the bucking instructions for the harvesters. “During the pandemic the need for pallets has increased so we can have more logistics for medical supply”, Geddes explains. “It is important work and it feels good to know that we can contribute to that.”

MaxiFleet makes it possible to monitor machine’s status, localise machines, optimise the machines as well as support them remotely. MaxiFleet has always been used as a strategical planning tool for Geddes and his team, but the benefits of the system becomes even more apparent now during the crises. “It is the combination of the system, together with the personnel behind it, that makes it possible to give the customer the possibility to keep up optimal performance and back them up in time of need”.

To prevent the virus from spreading, the UK team has installed MaxiFleet in a used machine that is going to be delivered to a customer. By doing so they can set up the machine and complete the operator training remotely – to avoid the time that they usually would spend together in the cab. “In spite of the lockdown, we can keep our customers happy and perform the same level of support as before – without MaxiFleet it would have been impossible”, Geddes concludes.

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Canada – BC delays biggest tree planting ever

International Forest Industries - Fri, 24/04/2020 - 16:41

The Province of BC was set to plant 308 million trees this spring, but the COVID-19 pandemic has put major brakes on the situation. The key issue is what to do with the hundreds of people who would be relocating to work camps across the province, according to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

This was set to be one of the biggest year’s for tree planting ever, because of the need to replenish forests not only from logging, but the wildfires from 2017 and 2018, as well as to help with climate change.

“With the support of BC Timber Sales (BCTS) and the Western Forestry Contractor’s Association (WFCA), the chief forester suggested delaying the spring 2020 Interior planting season to implement proper workcamp processes,” said Dawn Makarowski, the media contact for the Ministry of Forests.

“Collaborative processes between government, BCTS, licensees and the WFCA have been underway to prepare for this year’s planting season in light of COVID-19. These include camp health and safety procedures, workforce support, communications, and engagement with municipal leaders,” she wrote. The government understands the importance of the tree planting plans, and wants to continue with it, she said, but is still trying to find ways to manage the risks that will come up in it.

Earl Hughes owns Waterside Ventures, a reforesting company, in Burns Lake. He’s supposed to plant around 3 million trees starting in May of this year, with a team of around 40 planters. But right now, he’s not entirely sure what his options are.

“People are coming from all across Canada, and so when they get here, we don’t know if there’s going to be restrictions for them to isolate for a while or not… That’s the big question right now,” said Hughes.

While some of the other tree plants that were supposed to start in April have been delayed, he hasn’t need to worry too much just yet because he has a few weeks until his start date. But it’s growing closer each day. He suspects he will have to keep the tree planters separate somehow, but hasn’t been told by Ministry what the specifics of this will be.

He’s considering having them stay in motels, and plant in isolation, as well as cooking food from his home to bring to them for their dinners. Sometimes his company has work camps for planters—like many other tree planting companies do, sometimes with as much as 50 people grouped together—but this, too, could be a problem. Having people sit together for dinner is likely out of the question for now, because of COVID-19, so managing even just dining would be very difficult.

Source: bclocalnews.com

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USNR splined-sleeve arbors extend service life,
reduce maintenance

International Forest Industries - Fri, 24/04/2020 - 13:55

USNR splined-sleeves extend the life of saw arbors for gangs and edgers, and maintain saw accuracy so your operation can produce high quality lumber day after day. They limit the wear to the sleeves – not the arbor itself. Using spacers to periodically adjust the position of the saws on the splines prevents deep ruts from forming. That means you get a better fit between the arbor and the blade. And when it is time to replace the sleeves, you simply slip them off and put new ones on: the arbor itself doesn’t need to be replaced!

USNR splined sleeve arbor systems work just as well as solid arbors for shifting
or stationary saws, and are much easier to maintain. Our arbor systems are full of
features and benefits to make sure this is the case:

  • Replaces a solid arbor with an arbor with replaceable splined sleeves
  • Fast payback: a sleeve system can typically pay for itself by the time a solid arbor is replaced for the first time
  • Dowel pins between sleeves insure perfect spline alignment across sleeves so shifting saws can slide smoothly from one to the other
  • Sleeves are machined from high-strength 52100 ball-bearing steel and surfaces are induction hardened to 60-64 RC for wear resistance
  • Custom-designed to your specifications for both gangs and edgers
  • Sleeves available with Involute or Retech-type splines
  • Minimal disruption: the entire upgrade can be completed in one day

Click here for more information on this upgrade.

The post USNR splined-sleeve arbors extend service life,
reduce maintenance appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Waratah releases new app

International Forest Industries - Fri, 24/04/2020 - 12:40

The new app provides more accessibility to information for owners to set up and service their Waratah 600 Series machines.

Waratah Forestry Equipment has released the new WaratahPlus mobile app, available as a free download on the App Store for Android and iOS platforms.

It is intended to help with daily maintenance and other in-field procedures. The WaratahPlus app helps increase uptime by providing operators with the information they need to quickly service the machine.

The App has been designed to be accessible and easy-touse that not only helps with the set-up process, but also provides customers with readily available information – taking any questions out of the day-to-day or not soroutine tasks.

The new reference tool provides a quick overview of key adjustments and helps answer basic service questions.

The menu includes selections for service, setup, calibration, diagnostics and safety related information. Step-by-step processes help outline procedures so the operator can quickly perform the required action. Caution notes help ensure safety measures are followed when any work is performed on the head.

The Waratah 600 Series 3- and 4-roller line includes the HTH616C, HTH618C, HTH622B, HTH622C 4×4, HTH623C, HTH624C 4×4, HTH624C, HTH625C and HTH626 Series-II.

The 600 Series is available to customers in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and Russia.

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Södra selects Ledinek’s production line for new CLT facility

International Forest Industries - Thu, 23/04/2020 - 12:59
Last year, Södra decided to invest in an additional CLT facility at Värö and aims to become a leader in the Nordic region. Project planning and procurement is ongoing and Södra has now selected Ledinek as the supplier of a new production line – from intake to pressing.

The new facility will be established at the combined plant in Värö, adjacent to the pulp mill, the sawmill and to Södra’s first CLT facility. Ledinek also supplied the production line for the first plant. “We selected Ledinek because it supplies a system solution that provides security for us and for our customers. Lessons learned from the existing production line have been taken into account in the procurement of the production line for the new and larger facility. The production line will feature state-of-the-art technology and a carefully planned layout to ensure an efficient process with high productivity,” said Krister Norberg, Head of Production.

A new CLT facility with a capacity of approximately 100,000 cubic metres is an important step in being competitive in an expanding market. Demand is substantial and interest in building with timber is growing considerably.

Södra offers building systems and products such as building components and fasteners, as well as new digital services to simplify and gain better control over the construction process. The focus is on driving the development of timber-based solutions in the construction and residential sectors, and thereby creating opportunities to make a climate-conscious choice in the housing market.

For more information, please contact:
Krister Norberg, Head of Production, Södra Building Systems,
Tel: +46 470-890 53
E-mail: krister.norberg@sodra.com

Founded in 1938, Södra is Sweden’s largest forest-owner association, with 52,000 forest owners as its members. We conduct modern and responsible forestry, and operate state-of-the-art mills in which we process our raw material. In 2019, net sales amounted to SEK 23 billion and employees totalled 3,100. Through value-generating relationships and a long-term approach, Södra shows the way for the next generation of forestry.

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Total area notified for final felling in Sweden increased by 16% in March

International Forest Industries - Thu, 23/04/2020 - 12:28

After a trend of declining levels of areas notified for final felling in Sweden during last fall and winter, there was a clear turning up during March. The increase was 16% in comparison with the same month 2019. Region Central Sweden had the largest increase and in region Northern Sweden the levels reached the highest note since 2007, as Swedish Forest Agency reported.

The total area notified for final felling for the whole country was 20 932 hectares in March. In comparison with March 2019 the notified area increased in all parts of the country except in region Southern Sweden:

–     In region Northern Sweden the notified area increased by 28% to 3 116 hectares, which is highest level for March during the period 2007 – 2020.

–     In region South of Northern Sweden the notified area increased by 18% to 4 475 hectares compared to the same period 2019, which is about the average of 4 194 hectares for March during the period 2007 – 2020.

–     In region Central Sweden the notified area increased by 37% compared to March 2019 to 7 222 hectares. This is doubled the average level of 3 482 hectares in March for the period 2007 – 2020.

–     In region Southern Sweden the notified area decreased by 8% compared to March 2019 (6 111 hectares).
The increase in notified area for final felling in region Central Sweden is likely due to continuous high activity in the forest sector because of ongoing problems with damages caused by bark beetle.

The decline in notified area in region Southern Sweden compared to March 2019 may have several causes such as large areas were notified due to damages by bark beetle, forest owners adapting to falling timber prices, high levels of already contracted and standing stock in the forests, and in some parts rather large areas of beech forests were notified since 2019 was a so-called acorn year for the beechnuts.

The high notes of notified areas for final felling in February continued in March in counties Gävleborg and Dalarna. In County Gävleborg the notified area increased by 132% to 1 450 hectares compared to the level in March 2019. In County Dalarna the notified area increased by 72% to 1 403 hectares, and in County Uppsala the increase was 66  to 936 hectares compared to March last year.

In ten counties there were a decline in notifications for final felling in March compared to the same month 2019. County Blekinge had the largest decrease by 55 per cent to 172 hectares compared to 2019. In County Stockholm the decrease was 41 per cent and in County Halland 26 per cent compared to the same month last year.

Up to March this year 58 131 hectares have been notified for final felling, which is 6 per cent lower than in the first three months 2019.

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Ponsse launches new harvester head – the H8HD

International Forest Industries - Wed, 22/04/2020 - 15:37

A powerful new harvester head for processing eucalyptus trees is in the market. Finnish powerhouse Ponsse has released a new debarking head, the H8HD Euca harvester head, for eucalyptus sites.

The new powerful harvester head has been designed as a response to customer needs, and it further strengthens Ponsse’s strategy to be the leading global manufacturer of harvester heads.

The new harvester head has been designed for the Ponsse Bear harvester, but it is the “ideal” solution for track-based machines. The H8HD Euca is an effective tool in forests where the diameter of eucalyptus stems can be up to 50 cm. The geometry of the new harvester head’s debarking knives and feed rollers improves the efficiency of H8HD Euca in debarking and processing both smaller and larger stems.

Ponsse’s heavy-duty frame structure means that the new harvester head can withstand the extreme loads of track-based machines, according to Janne Loponen, Harvester Heads Product Manager.

The H8HD has been optimised to debark trees. Its feed rollers and debarking knives guarantee first-rate debarking results from start to finish. The solid and robust tilt frame give the harvester head the durability needed in debarking. Automated functions control saw movements according to the tree diameter and saw-bar position and allow trees to be cut quickly.

All Ponsse harvester heads have been designed to withstand the toughest conditions. They are characterised by a simple and solid structure, which enables them to be used in various harvesting applications, ranging from harvesters to track-based solutions.

All Ponsse harvester heads are manufactured and designed at the Ponsse factory in Vierema. The design process is comprehensive and covers, in addition to mechanical parts, the electronic control system, controls and software.

The manufacturing process is highly automated to ensure high quality and measuring accuracy. Durable hoses and delimbing knives form an important part of and covers, in addition to mechanical parts, the electronic control system, controls and software.

The manufacturing process is highly automated to ensure high quality and measuring accuracy. Durable hoses and delimbing knives form an important part of the unit’s reliability.

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Stenner extend Resaw range

International Forest Industries - Wed, 22/04/2020 - 14:57

UK based Stenner Ltd have a strong tradition in manufacturing heavy duty 36 inch Radial Arm Resaws. The original model was the VHM36 and more than 7000 have been sold worldwide with many of them still in operation today.

The ST range is the latest generation and includes 3 different models. The entry level ST100RB maintains the tradition of a heavy duty machine with Cast Iron pulleys driven by a 15kw main motor. The machine controls are relatively simple to use. Cast Iron Feed Rollers and a robust Multi Roller Fence ensure the accurate , high quality cutting performance that is to be expected from a resaw in the Stenner Stable

The ST100R is the main seller in the range with all of the features of the RB plus pneumatically operated in and out movement of the Radial Arm, PLC control of the main functions and a wide range of options to choose from.

Finally the ST100RS is the “ top of the range “ Resaw with Touch Screen Control of the main functions including the setting of the fence via electric motor actioned by the pressing of a single pre- programmed  button. An 18.5kw main motor is controlled via a frequency inverter giving the operator the option of controlling the pulley rotational speed such to provide optimal performance on a wide range of timber species and a surface finish to match customer requirements.

Stenner Resaws are being marketed in North America by Akhurst Machinery . Akhurst have been working with Stenner for a number of years. Director Graham Akhurst comments “ We have sold a number of the ST Resaws all with excellent results . They are robust and are well equipped to satisfy the demands of the North American lumber producer. We hold them in stock for a rapid response to a client requirement”. 

For more details contact Stenner Ltd , syd@stenner.co.uk , Tel ( 0044 ) 1884255700 or visit www.stenner.co.uk

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Komatsu’s new 901XC 8WD harvester is a thinning powerhouse for challenging steep, rough or soft terrain

International Forest Industries - Wed, 22/04/2020 - 14:20

Komatsu’s new 901XC (eXtreme Conditions) 8WD harvester excels in challenging steep, rough or soft harvesting environments. The 901XC has all of the market-leading features found in Komatsu’s proven 901-6WD harvester platform, including the innovative, 3PS threepump hydraulic system, best-inclass ergonomic cab, 4-way cab/ crane leveling, and }180° cab/crane rotation.

Unique Komatsu 8WD System Komatsu’s 901XC differs from other 8WD harvesters because of its unique drive system. Its exclusive “double Comfort Bogie” drive system provides excellent handling and follows the terrain more closely than competitors’ 8WD machines that have a fixed rear-axle design. The 8WD system generates 12% more tractive effort and significantly reduces rear ground pressure: 53% lower psi with tracks and 19% lower psi with tires, compared to the 901-6WD model.

Performance & Productivity
The 901XC shares all the same market-leading features as the Komatsu 901, 911, 931, 931XC and 951 harvesters, including Komatsu’s innovative, 3PS three pump hydraulic system, for higher hydraulic working flow at low engine speeds, while lowering fuel consumption. The system allows the operator to simultaneously slew, feed and maneuver. These hydraulic system interactions are all automatically controlled by Komatsu’s new MaxiXT control and information system The range of available Komatsu harvesting heads includes the S92, C93 and C124 designed to meet specific application needs. The 901XC is ideally suited for the rugged Komatsu C124 “carry-style” head, which has four powerful motors and four heavy-duty driven feed rollers.

Operator Comfort & Convenience
The premium, modern cab provides the operator with excellent upward and downward front lineof-sight visibility. Sixteen powerful LED working lights provide excellent illumination, for improved visibility in low light conditions. An air suspension, air-vented seat, fully adjustable ergonomic armrests and hand controls, and an automatic, 4-season climate control system, keep the operator comfortable in all working conditions.

Serviceability
All daily maintenance checks and fills can be performed at ground level or from inside the cab. The highly-functional machine design includes a one-piece hood that opens rearward to fully expose the entire engine compartment for easy service access.

An automatic central lubrication system and well-placed front, rear, cab and hydraulic tank service platforms further facilitate machine serviceability. All filters are vertically mounted to ease replacement and minimize the potential for spills.

 

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Dempsey automates bucking line with optimization and controls from USNR

International Forest Industries - Wed, 22/04/2020 - 12:27

Dempsey Wood Products at Orangeburg, SC has ordered optimization and controls to automate its bucking line. The mill has been investing to update its operation for several years, and now needs to increase log input to its sawmill – which this project will accomplish.

Dempsey’s bucking line has been a manual system, which is slower and far less precise than an optimized one. The new optimization and controls systems will automate the line, resulting in much improved throughput as well as far higher recovery from each log.

The new bucking system will be configured with 3 scan zones to accommodate the short infeed to the bucking saws, and utilize USNR’s BioLuma lineal laser profile technology to generate the bucking solution. The system will include the MillTrak 3D log gap control system which will monitor and control the gap between pieces to ensure smooth flow and maximize throughput.

The installation is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2020, with full production before the end of the year.

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Koskisen mills are running despite the coronavirus pandemic

International Forest Industries - Tue, 21/04/2020 - 15:49

Despite the emergency situation caused by the coronavirus, everyday life at Koskisen production plants is still close to normal. Logs are being bought to be sawn at the sawmill and peeled at the plywood mill. The chips from the process are used to manufacture chipboard, which is currently in high demand – people now have time for home improvement.

Customers worldwide are still ordering sawn timber, plywood and chipboard, although the prolonged uncertainty in the markets is starting to make its mark on the development of the order book. We hope that, in addition to the easing announced in the past few days, restrictions could be relaxed further in Europe, Asia and Koskisen’s other key market areas alike.

Eighty per cent of Koskisen’s personnel work at the mills, and the products cannot be manufactured remotely. Production has largely been running as usual, with the only difference being that careful attention is paid to preventing infection and increasing the safety distance. Close contact with colleagues is avoided. While people still greet one another with a smile, they talk less often face-to-face.

“At Koskisen we started preparing for the coronavirus well in advance at the end of February, immediately after the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK recommended it. That gave us a good head start,” says Minna Luomalahti, Koskisen’s HR and Communications Director.

The entire personnel have been very active and innovative in finding means to reduce the risk of infection during the workday. Enhancing cleaning, dividing shared control rooms into separate spaces, staggering shift changes and breaks, communicating electronically during shift changes – these are just a few examples of the creative and successful solutions that have been adopted.

“All this guarantees a safe work environment for personnel and deliveries to customers to keep the wheels of society turning. And by common agreement nobody comes to work sick,” Luomalahti says, adding that, thanks to a good hygiene level, the number of absences from work has been lower than normal since the beginning of April.

The shared control room in the chipboard mill has been temporarily divided into separate spaces.

High demand for wood products worldwide

Softwood sawing, plywood and chipboard manufacture at the Järvelä mills and the production of thin plywood at the Hirvensalmi mill have been running very well, sometimes to a point of nearing all-time production records.

“After the February strike, it was important that we managed to turn the company’s result upward, thus securing future investments and the development of the company,” says CEO Jukka Pahta.

“We still have work, but the order intake has declined. We are, of course, keeping a very close eye on the order book both daily and weekly. For the time being, operations will continue as planned, and there has been no need to plan for temporary lay-offs yet. If the situation changes, we will react accordingly,” Pahta says.

In an ever-evolving situation, Koskisen’s sales personnel are in daily contact with customers to hear their latest news and to know whether their production is running and how they are coping.

“Once the markets show the first positive signs, customers will want to have their products as soon as possible, which can lead to long delivery times. Close co-operation with customers is important especially now when it is quieter, so that our salespersons can make sure that our customers’ stocks are in order when the situation starts to normalise.”

Seventy summer workers to be hired

This year again, Koskisen will hire a high number of summer workers: 70 people will be needed for fire watch duties during the repair work carried out in summer and for shutdown work. The interviews with summer workers have already been started, also requiring some special arrangements.

“The interviews are easy to conduct in a large conference room, respecting the required safety distance. And one interview also took place via Teams,” says Panel Industry’s Process Manager Saija Korpela, who interviewed the future summer workers.

“This year, due to the restrictions concerning visits to our mills, we could not organise the mill tour normally included in the interview, but luckily, good presentations of Koskisen’s production plants can be found on YouTube and the young people had already watched them beforehand,” Korpela says.

Summer workers’ mill orientation will also be conducted through special arrangements, with a special focus on reviewing the coronavirus instructions and on keeping a sufficient safety distance. Hearing protection with radio will be worn during the orientation sessions, enabling the participants to keep a safe distance.

At Koskisen mills, summer workers have a great opportunity to get to know the many sides of the wood industry. The renewable and strong raw material that grows in Finnish forests and the products manufactured from it are in high demand worldwide.

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Forest machine suppliers Eco Log and Gremo to become one

International Forest Industries - Tue, 21/04/2020 - 14:08

Eco Log and Gremo are now planning for a common future as a strong and comprehensive operator in the forest machine business. A first step has been taken as an Intent of Merger has been signed to move the production of Gremo machines to the Eco Log Factory in Söderhamn – a move that is planned for Summer 2020.

Eco Log CEO, Anders Gustafson, sees big potential in a merger that is completely in line with the company‘s strategy of growth and, above all, a positive development for existing as well as new customers to both Eco Log and Gremo.

– Our customers are what is most important to us and I am certain they will benefit from this merger. We will be able to offer a complete range of forwarders and harvesters, from small to big, with capacity and benefits suited for any job or any terrain that our customers work in daily. The extended machine range and a more efficient After-Sales organization, with an even higher service level than before, will be a positive development to both Eco Log and Gremo customers, says Mr. Anders Gustafson.

A merger of the two companies results in a range of forwarders from 7.5 to 20 tonnes which meets the varied demands and needs of the market. Also, the already wide range of Eco Log harvesters are now complemented with a smaller 8-wheeled harvester that enables an environmently friendly and sustainable forestry – even in highly sensitive terrain.

The collaboration of Eco Log and Gremo is no news and to Martin Bredenfeldt, Gremo CEO, the upcoming merger is a natural development going forward.

– Our two companies have good prerequisites for becoming stronger and more efficient together as we complement each other in both range as well as working manner. Gremo and Eco Log also have had a well-working collaboration since many years back in different areas – procurement as one example. To be a part of the same organization is therefore very positive, says Mr. Martin Bredenfeldt.

 Facts of the merger

– An Intent of Merger has been signed by Eco Log and Gremo.

– From Summer 2020 all machines will be produced in the Eco Log Factory in Söderhamn.

– All sales will be handled by the Eco Log organization from Summer 2020.

– Gremo Maskin Service (GMS) will continue as a service provider in the Gremo Factory in Ätran.

 

Contact

Anders Gustafson Martin Bredenfeldt
Tel.: +46703207510 Tel.: +467344252221
CEO Eco Log Sweden AB

Martin Bredenfeldt
Tel.: +46703207510 Tel.: +467344252221
CEO Gremo

Photo: Anders Gustafson CEO of Eco Log Group.

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Metsä to build world’s most modern sawmill

International Forest Industries - Tue, 21/04/2020 - 13:27

Metsä Group is to invest €200m and build the world’s most modern sawmill in Rauma. It will be Finland’s largest ever sawmill investment. Investing €200m in the Rauma project, Metsä’s newest sawmill will have a projected capacity of 750,000 m3 of sawn pine timber per year.

The new sawmill will utilise machine vision and artificial intelligence in different stages of the sawing process which Metsä states “Is not yet in use anywhere in the sawmill industry”.

“The next-generation sawmill to be constructed in Rauma is a significant leap forward for the whole industry. The new technology allows for the transition from workstations to control room monitoring and continuous operation. The key elements of the Rauma sawmill’s operating model include employees’ in-depth expertise and multiple skills as well as user maintenance,” said Ismo Nousiainen, CEO of Metsä Fibre. “The demand for high-quality sawn timber will increase globally, especially in the demanding component and woodworking industries.”

The new sawmill will employ around 100 people directly and around 500 people across its supply chain. The total annual log consumption, sourced entirely from Finland, is estimated to be around 1.5 million m3. Sawn timber produced by the Rauma sawmill will be sold mainly to Europe and Asia.

The location of the new sawmill was chosen for its easy integration into the pulp mill and logistics through the Port of Rauma. Metsä Fibre has made an agreement with Veisto on the delivery of the new sawline.

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FIEA – Strong interest in new 2020 Mill Maps

International Forest Industries - Tue, 21/04/2020 - 12:28
The only thing that is constant is change … and isn’t that the truth. Not only do we face uncertainty with our businesses linked to COVID-19 at the moment but changes for our own wood products industry over the last 12 months have been significant.

Every two years Australasia’s wood processing and manufacturing industry is detailed in an eagerly awaited Forest Products Industry Mill Map that’s produced for this region. The new 2020 mill map has just been printed. We covered the printing and production a couple of weeks ago and orders have been flowing in.

This is the fourth edition of a full colour 980mm wide x 680mm tall map produced by the Forest Industry Engineering Association combining major wood processing and manufacturing plants in both Australia and New Zealand.

It features 171 wood processing operations including over 65 sawmills cutting in excess of 25,000m3 sawn lumber per annum (with sawn production levels), all fibreboard, particleboard, plywood, pulp & paper, veneer/LVL/CLT, paperboard and chip export operations along with major wood manufacturing operations.

Since the last edition produced in early 2018 there have been over 50 major updates to mill locations, ownership and production. Changes in the last two years have indeed been significant. The new map is now the most up-to-date industry reference providing an essential mapping resource for New Zealand and Australian forest products companies.

A folded copy of the map will be inserted into two industry magazines in April/May. If you wish to purchase your own folded or flat laminated copies of the new map, orders can now be made from the FIEA website (www.fiea.org.nz) or by clicking here

Note: Orders are being taken now and the maps will be posted as soon as we can.

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Electronic logging devices mandatory next year

International Forest Industries - Thu, 16/04/2020 - 19:38

A new federal mandate is expected to come into effect next year making electronic logging devices (ELDs) mandatory for federally-regulated motor carriers and their drivers. With few exceptions, anyone who currently uses paper logs to keep track of their hours behind the wheel will need to use ELDs beginning in June 2021.

Transport Canada included the mandate in the recently amended Commercial Vehicle Hours of Service Regulation. It comes into effect on June 21, 2021. All provinces and territories are expected to adopt the rules as well.

The move towards ELDs is to improve road safety. “It’s the key factor,” says Adime Bonsi, a senior transportation researcher with FPInnovations. “Transport Canada wants to ensure that drivers respect hours of service (HOS) regulations and accurately and efficiently account for driving hours, to reduce drowsiness that leads to accidents.”

FPInnovations’ transportation research group has extensive experience conducting third-party verifications of several ELD systems for the U.S. market. It is applying that know-how to advise fleet managers in their decision-making and implementation process.

Bonsi says transitioning from paper logs to ELDs is not a trivial matter. “It’s a learning curve for everyone. Fleet managers must select a certified ELD device that is registered with Transport Canada. They have to train drivers and technicians on how to use it, implement it within their fleet and ensure they fully understand the new ELD requirements, within the space of about a year.”

For forest-haul managers, the new regulation may also create challenges in fully optimizing the shift time of drivers and may require changes to how trips are scheduled.

FPInnovations takes steps to become an ELD certifying body

Bonsi leads a team that conducts ELD verifications for the U.S. market and is leading the organization’s application to become an ELD certification body in Canada. The certification process is expected to be in place by this summer. Several ELD suppliers have already contacted FPInnovations’ transportation research group to have their systems certified for the Canadian market.

How fleets can prepare for the coming ELD regulations

Forest-operation companies can become familiar with developments at Transport Canada by frequently checking this Transport Canada webpage, which has resources and information about ELDs.

Fleets with existing electronic on-board recorders should ask whether their suppliers will have their systems certified for use in Canada.

Thinking about an implementation plan takes time. It’s not too early to begin assessing the impact the plan will have on fleets, such as the cost of labour and training.

Few trucks to be exempted from ELD regulations

The coming ELD regulations will exclude trucks built before the model year 2000 and for short-term rentals under 30-days. Drivers operating under either a permit or a statutory exemption will also be exempt from having to use an ELD. The terms and conditions of a permit or an exemption can be complex and vary significantly depending on the circumstances.

FPInnovations’ transportation research team is available to support fleet managers through the process of acquiring and implementing ELDs. FPInnovations will be holding webinars this spring to present our members and their trucking contractors with an overview of ELDs. For more information, please contact Adime Bonsi.

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Canfor curtails Canadian lumber production by 100 mmbf

International Forest Industries - Thu, 16/04/2020 - 19:19

Canfor Corporation is undertaking additional temporary reductions in production capacity due to the impact of COVID-19 on the price of lumber and demand.

The following changes to Canfor’s operating schedule are in addition to the capacity reductions announced on March 26.

Effective April 13, Canadian lumber production will be curtailed by approximately 100 million board feet through to May 1, resulting in a total production run rate of approximately 30%. These reductions will be achieved by taking downtime at the majority of their British Columbia sawmills.

Canfor Southern Pine and Swedish facilities will continue to operate at less than full capacity with variable operating schedules and downtime, which will be adjusted to align production with market demand as required. These reduced operating rates are expected to remain in effect through May 1.

“As the global impacts of COVID-19 continue to evolve, there is the potential that further adjustments to operating plans may be required,” the company said in the press release.

Canfor is a leading integrated forest products company based in Vancouver, Canada. Canfor produces primarily softwood lumber.

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Carrier Group temporarily suspends operations in Canada

International Forest Industries - Wed, 15/04/2020 - 17:22

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Carrier Group of Companies have made decision to temporarily suspend operations at its Tabor Planer in Prince George, and the entire operation in Big River, Saskatchewan.

Tabor Sawmill will continue operations, as will Carrier Manufacturing and the Bar K Ranch. Shipping will continue at both the Tabor and Big River Mills

 

Photo: Big River Mill / Carrier Group

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NZ – Forestry: Plan for supporting essential services

International Forest Industries - Wed, 15/04/2020 - 15:49

Covid-19: Supporting essential services by continuing essential activity across the forestry sector.

(Also see: www.teururakau.govt.nz)

Wood processing, sawmilling, forest harvesting and forestry management are NOT essential services. However, MPI is working on a phased restart of some businesses to ensure essential service supply is maintained.

Businesses will need to register as an essential service and can start this process by emailing info@mpi.govt.nz and request a forestry registration form. Businesses can restart while the registration form is being processed.

Once this registration process is completed, a registration number will be issued.

Operators resuming activity will need to adopt best social distancing and health and safety practice to minimise the risk of community spread of Covid-19. MPI has guidelines to assist industry to develop their own site specific safe operating procedures. More information is available here: Safe work practices for businesses and workers.

Phased restart: From 14 April

  • Sawmills will be able to resume production of essential service products such as sawn timber for pallet manufacture or wood for heating using log stock that already exists at their place of business. Dispatch from sawmills is still restricted to only material required for the provision of domestic essential services. Transporting logs between sawmills and sites will be allowed, to create sufficient scale at some operations rather than running multiple sites for short periods.

 

  • Loading and cartage of existing log stockpiles in the forest, and other points of the supply chain, will be allowed to resume to provide feedstock exclusively for Oji’s Kinleith pulp mill, firewood and solid fuel producers.

 

  • MDF and other Engineered Wood Products plants will be permitted to restart production on a limited basis to prevent perishable inputs e.g. resins from compromising the supply chain and creating significant adverse environment effects. This production will only utilise existing raw materials that are already on site or in the associated supply chain.


From 20 April

  • Loading and cartage of existing log stockpiles in the forest, and other points of the supply chain, will be allowed to resume to sawmills to support the domestic production of other essential service inputs e.g. pallet material.


After 23rd April

  • Forestry management and harvesting are not essential services under Alert Level 4.

 

  • MPI will continue to work with industry to determine how harvesting could be undertaken to keep essential services operating, in the event that Alert Level 4 remains in place.

The information given here is current at time of publishing but MPI will continue to give updates as more information comes to hand and further decisions are made.

Financial help is available for the forestry sector who are not part of the restart.

A range of government support is available, including a wage subsidy, business finance guarantee, business cash flow and tax measures amongst others. If you’re an employer, contractor, sole trader or are self-employed you may qualify.

The wage subsidy is a lump sum payment for the employer to pass on to employees and covers 12 weeks per employee. The aim is to help keep your businesses going, if you face laying off staff or reducing their hours because of COVID-19.

More information on support packages is available on covid19.govt.nz

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NZ – BREAKING NEWS – 2pm UPDATE: Strict limits on processing

International Forest Industries - Wed, 15/04/2020 - 14:41
Strict limits as some wood processing resumes – Some wood processors will be cleared to resume limited operations this week in order to ensure supplies of key products during the current lockdown or to avoid costly damage to plant.

The Ministry for Primary Industries’ forestry arm – Te Uru Rakau – will oversee a phased increase in activity by sawmills that produce essential goods such as timber for pallets and crates.

Harvesting will not resume, and those mills will be supplied with felled logs already in forest stockpiles and then trucked to mills.

In addition, makers of fibreboard and other engineered wood products will be allowed to restart on a limited basis to use up perishable products such as resin that would otherwise wreck machinery it has been left in or have to be dumped, creating environmental issues.

Forestry Minister Shane Jones said the government has always been willing to take a pragmatic approach in dealing with potentially anomalous situations arising during the covid-19 lockdown.

In doing so, it had to manage both the health risks and the potential economic risks from the shutdown – the latter of which could have long-lasting and “systemic implications” if not dealt with carefully.

“There’s a lot of expectation on the forestry sector that they will be able to live up to the standards that have been required of them,” Jones told BusinessDesk.

No further widening of processing is expected before decisions are taken by the government next week on the next phase of the lockdown, he said.

All the country’s forestry harvesting was halted last month as the government worked to maximise the number of people kept at home in order to suppress the covid-19 outbreak here.

Sawmills were shut nationwide and only plants making packaging and pallets for essential food, export and medical supplies were allowed to continue operating.

Norske Skog Tasman’s paper mill at Kawerau was allowed to continue operating until April 12 to ensure sufficient domestic newsprint supplies, while Oji Fibre Solutions was required to concentrate its activities at its Kinleith mill in order to keep supplying packaging and tissue makers.

In a statement today, Jones said a national stocktake last week showed supplies for several key products would be exhausted before April 22.

As well as timber for pallets, shortages were also expected in wood supply for domestic heating in Canterbury, for wood pellet production for prisons and food processors and for wood chip for fuel and animal welfare in the central North Island.

Additional logs were also needed for Oji’s operation at Kinleith, and commercial nurseries have also been allowed to resume work in order to keep seedlings for the industry alive until the end of lockdown.

Jones said public health remains an “absolute priority” and that was reflected in the staged and minimal reopening of only those parts of the industry that were needed for essential supplies.

Source: BusinessDesk

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Australia – Tumut begins export program for fire-affected timber

International Forest Industries - Wed, 15/04/2020 - 13:36

Tumut – Salvage operations in softwood plantations impacted by this season’s fires are well underway, with local crews working at a significantly higher rate of production than normal, planting programs ramping up to restock plantations and preparations underway for some export operations.

Forestry Corporation of NSW’s Regional Manager Dean Anderson said Forestry Corporation is placing all the burnt wood it possibly can with local customers to allow as much as possible of the unburnt plantation to continue to grow to be there for the future.

“Unfortunately burnt wood does not last forever and some of the trees burnt are either too small or too young for the local sawmills. Some of these logs exceed what Visy can take, so they will be exported so we can clean the sites up ready for replanting as soon as possible,” Mr Anderson said.

“While timber from older trees is suitable to be processed into house frames, furniture and other essential renewable wood products, trees between 12-24 years old are generally not large enough for sawlog processing. “Our local industry cannot process this timber, but there is an opportunity to export it to offset some of the cost of the operations required to remove trees from fire-affected sites and prepare them for replanting”.

“Everything that can be processed locally will go to our local industry, and the surplus that is not suitable for domestic markets will be transported by truck to the Port of Melbourne for export. There is a significant task ahead of us, we will be looking to harvest about twice what we would normally harvest in a year from the full region just from the Green Hills area in less than 12 months”.

“With all this extra activity concentrated around Green Hills between Wondalga and Tumbarumba, we are asking the community to keep an eye out for trucks and please be patient, as there will be new drivers in the area taking our hills very carefully.”

Source: Forestry Corporation of NSW

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by Dr. Radut