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Dempsey automates bucking line with optimization and controls from USNR

International Forest Industries - Mi, 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 - Di, 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 - Di, 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.



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 - Di, 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 - Di, 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 - Do, 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 - Do, 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 - Mi, 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 - Mi, 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 - Mi, 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 - Mi, 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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Preference of domestic timber supplies can’t work

International Forest Industries - Di, 14/04/2020 - 19:16

New Zealand foresters are saying that log supply to domestic and export markets is inextricably linked and can’t be separated, as Forests Minister Shane Jones now seems to be advocating. Forest Owners Association President Phil Taylor says a harvest of just about any forest will produce higher grade logs for domestic construction, some logs for export and some lower value wood which is only suitable for domestic chipping.

“We just can’t go in and cut down some parts of a tree to cater to one market without harvesting the whole tree for other markets too. That was clearly shown up when forest companies were unable to export earlier in the year and how difficult it physically was to keep our local mills supplied,” Phil Taylor says.

“It’s not true either that we send all our logs overseas. In most years, the majority of the export value of our forest products comes from added value categories, such as sawn timber and pulp and paper. About 15 million tonnes of logs a year are consumed by our domestic processors and this represents just under half of the total annual harvest from New Zealand’s forests. That has been remarkably consistent and a welcome market for us over the past twenty years.”

“Of course, at the moment most of the industry is closed down in support of the government aim of ending the COVID-19 infection crisis. We have supported this measure,” Phil Taylor says “But the shut-down has meant we are getting increasing reports of tens of thousands of tonnes of logs left deteriorating on harvest sites and in yards around the country, which urgently need to be exported or processed before they are worth nothing.”

“When we do get back to business, we’d welcome new infrastructure projects the government says it intends to generate to get the economy going. It would be tremendous if wood construction was a major part of that,” Phil Taylor says. “It would also be great if some of these wood dependent projects could be in the regions. That would help those communities which grow, supply and process these logs. The forests are often in regions where other employment opportunities are generally scarce”.

“We are concerned for the forestry workforce in our rural communities. They have felt the market effects of Covid-19 right back to the beginning of this year, well before the shutdown began. Any restriction on exports has the potential to severely impact their well-being and that of their families.”

“Shane Jones is talking about creating new jobs. We’d love to see those, but not if we fail to protect current ones. We need a sustainable domestic market for our logs in New Zealand, just as we need a healthy export market.”

The Chief Executive of the Forest Industry Contractors Association Prue Younger says contractors as an industry sector will want to get back to work as quickly as possible, whether it be export logs or domestic processing. “Both offer opportunity to return our contractors to financial viability.”

“Ultimate stability with the right product balance needs to be the medium-term vision where retention of a skilled workforce is seen pivotal in the supply chain. Otherwise once again they hold the greatest risk as has become apparent through recent episodes of low log prices and the COVID19 crisis,” Prue Younger says.

Phil Taylor says if the export market was restricted it would most likely mean that less timber would be available locally. The Farm Forestry Association shares Phil Taylor’s concerns. President, Hamish Levack says he doesn’t know what Shane Jones is actually proposing.

“If the government introduced compulsory acquisition at low prices for instance, then I suspect most farm foresters, because they are not going to harvest at a loss, would shut up their woodlots and wait for a change of government. Our sector represents 40 percent of the currently harvestable trees.”

Phil Taylor says he doesn’t think some iwi would be very pleased either. “That is something of course that they might wish to speak for themselves about. Land owned by iwi which is growing commercial forests on it represents another 40 percent of the New Zealand forest estate, and Māori outside of the iwi estates own forests in their own right too.”

Phil Taylor says the industry has also been pushing for the Labour led government to fulfil its election promise of a wood preference policy in construction. “Ever since the government was elected, we have been trying to get Labour to prioritise New Zealand wood use over high carbon emission materials, such as mostly imported from overseas steel and concrete. It hasn’t happened unfortunately.”

“We would hardly be pushing for this policy if we wanted to keep logs for export. If the policy had come in during 2017, when it should have, we’d be well on the way of using a New Zealand grown resource being available for New Zealand workers to construct with when the COVID-19 lockdown ends,” Phil Taylor says.

‘As it is, it’ll will take years to grow New Zealand timber processing, while our immediate need will be many jobs to be available when the lockdown ends. Right now, we cannot afford to take an everyone for themselves approach. It is even more important than ever for all parts of our supply chain work together which can deliver solutions that are the best for all.”

Source: Forest Owners Association

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Harvest contractor making the most of the lockdown

International Forest Industries - Di, 14/04/2020 - 19:01

A good news story – and they’re rare as hen’s teeth right now. Whanganui father says he is rapt to be spending so much time at home with his kids, after years of working 80-hour weeks. The lockdown has seen logging company owner Harley Pomeroy trade his 3am wake-up and trudge into the dark forest for a “sleep in” and cuddles with his three young daughters.

“I have been in the bush for 23 years and I work between 70-90 hours a week and to actually wake-up at half past five in the morning and having my kids in bed with me – you can’t beat it,” he said. “I am not used to waking up in the morning having my kids next to me in bed and giving them breakfast, making them lunch, and seeing what they do day-to-day. I have never seen that side of things because I am never home for it.”

Pomeroy said his work commitments in the forestry industry meant he missed a lot of his two teenage sons growing up. He is relishing the opportunity under alert level four to have quality time with his daughters Jasmine, 11, Amber-Rose, 6, and Rhyana, 4.

But he admits, the reality of spending 24/7 with his children can be a “nightmare”, albeit a “good nightmare. I am not used to being home and seeing the girls actually physically do what they do during the day. I don’t know what they do during the day! Trying to keep them entertained is like a bull at a gate, especially three of them!”

“Go for a walk with the kids, have fun – that’s how I see my day. Okay, what are we doing today kids? What can we do together? And enjoy it that way.”

As for the business, Pomeroy said he had been worried about his workers, two of whom he had to lay off.

He is uncertain about how the company will fare after the lockdown, but he said the government’s wage subsidies had eased some pressure.

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NZ forest industry preparing for back to work

International Forest Industries - Di, 14/04/2020 - 18:16

NZ forest industry organisations are planning how to get back to work when restrictions on non-essential work are lifted for the industry. Organisations, representing forest growers, transport, processing and contractors have set up a working group to develop risk assessment protocols in readiness for start-up of the industry sector.

The National Safety Director of the Forest Industry Safety Council, Fiona Ewing says the aim is to assure government that the sector will be able to comply with the epidemic management conditions of COVID-19. “The priority and starting point is health and wellbeing.

“There is the complex technical side of start-ups that will be a ‘whole of industry’ scan of the value chain. That starts in the forest and moves through transport, processing and export through to the work at the ports. The group will be working with our stakeholders to get the start-up protocol proposal right.”

Fiona Ewing says the forest industry had accepted the government decision two weeks ago that forestry was a non-essential service provider. “However, we now have clear guidelines on MPI approved safe practices from other parts of the primary sector that we are working to adapt.”

These protocols will provide the guidelines and will still require companies and individuals to adopt safe practices specific to their sector groups says Fiona Ewing. “Our intention is to take the start-up protocol proposal directly to decision makers in MPI and Forestry Minister Shane Jones, so that the government is fully aware of the industry led recovery plan to re-activate the industry.”

Already there is also a fast-growing call from New Zealand’s international customers to provide wood-based products that are deemed essential in their own countries. “We need to act on this now. Even though the industry shut down in two days when lock down was announced, it will take much longer to get the forestry supply chain organised and moving again and advance planning will ensure a safe and successful restart.”

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DSE controls enable improved performance for forestry equipment and machinery

International Forest Industries - Di, 14/04/2020 - 15:55

DSE M-Series encompass displays, controllers and slave products that can be used together or independently to provide a range of flexible control solutions, allowing OEMs to meet the varying demands of Forestry equipment.

The DSE M8xx Displays provide programmable display solutions for controlling off highway vehicles and equipment, through a robust, optically bonded, colour screen and button fascia.  A full range of displays with screen size options 3.5” ,4.3”, 7” are available with a 12” version available later this year.  Many of the standard switches and controls that are normally found within the cab or control panel can be incorporated into the on-screen functions, to enable full control through one device if required, leading to a simplified system design.

The newest display is an extremely powerful CAN display, compatible with latest Tier 4F and Stage V engine applications. Programmable using CODESYS, the DSE M835 provides clear information for forest equipment where space is a premium as the high resolution, 3.5” optically bonded, full colour TFT display provides excellent readability, even in the most extreme environmental conditions.

Within the displays multiple independent CAN interfaces are each configurable for different CAN protocols including CANOpen, J1939 and Raw CAN; each CAN protocol offering its own unique property making them favourable for different uses.  This approach to product design optimises the versatility of the controller and enables the design engineer to produce a very efficient system by minimising the amount of data on each bus.

The displays are highly robust and reliable throughout the harshest environmental conditions including humidity and extreme temperatures and are IP67/NEMA 6 rated.  Offering camera input options for improved operator viewing and a choice of fixing solutions for in-cab or panel mounting to suit multiple operator locations.

The fully programmable screen presents clear information in a combination of text, graphical, numerical and icon formats providing the user with quick and easy access to operational functions. Features include multiple configurable I/Os, which are programmed using industry standard CODESYS. PWM and PWMi digital signal logic maximises efficiency, response and signal integrity even under the pressures of the harshest environmental conditions, continuing to operate at full load in widely varying climatic conditions from -40oC to + 85oC.

Photo: The M870 can used in landscape and portrait views ideal for a variety of different cab layouts.

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Forest Industry Commends Government for Dues Deferral

International Forest Industries - Di, 14/04/2020 - 12:25

Edmonton, April 7, 2020, the Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA) expressed its appreciation for the Government of Alberta’s decision to defer timber dues payments for up to six months.

The decision comes in light of the intense hardship that COVID-19 has placed on forestry companies. Those who produce building products like lumber, plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), laminated veneer lumber (LVL), and medium density fibreboard (MDF) have experienced rapidly deteriorating markets. Producers of newsprint and certain grades of pulp are also negatively impacted.

“We applaud Minister Dreeshen for taking the initiative to make Alberta the first jurisdiction in Canada to defer timber dues,” said AFPA President and CEO Paul Whittaker. “Like many segments of Alberta’s economy, the forest industry is experiencing an acute liquidity crisis from COVID-19. This decision will help forest companies have the resources on hand to pay bills and retain employees during the crisis.”

Whittaker also emphasized that the deferral is temporary and that forest companies fully intend to make payment. “This is not free money for the forest sector. It is temporary help during a time of crisis. We do expect markets to recover and companies will pay their dues.”

Forest companies pay approximately $125 million annually in timber dues to the Government of Alberta. Additionally, Alberta’s forest companies pay $500 million per year in taxes to federal, provincial, and municipal governments and $1.6 billion in wages and other compensation to employees.   

The AFPA is the voice of Alberta’s forest industry. Learn more about the Association on our website, or TwitterFacebook, and Instagram pages.

Brock Mulligan
Director of Communications
p) 780.239.6890
e) bmulligan@albertaforestproducts.ca

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Wood & Technology will be implemented as planned on September 8-11, 2020.

International Forest Industries - Do, 09/04/2020 - 16:16

First and foremost, we at Trä & Teknik want to send out our warmest thoughts to everyone who in different ways is affected and affected by the current situation in Sweden and the world as a result of covid-19.

The corona virus has affected us all in some way and many of us are currently facing their greatest trials ever, in both private and working life. In times of crisis, you need to change your mind and attitude, which also gives birth to creativity and innovation. Digitalisation is currently taking place with full force, not least in terms of our core product – to meet – and new digital concepts are being developed at a rapid pace to meet today’s needs.

But it is also now that the value of the physical meeting becomes extra clear. It is in personal meetings that partnerships and relationships are strengthened, which contributes to new insights and better business. Right now, we are working intensively to be ready when the situation is under control again. We collaborate with industry organizations, partners and other contributors to be able to carry out scheduled and advanced trade fairs this fall.

Wood & Technology will be implemented as planned on September 8-11, 2020.

We would like to emphasize that the health and safety of our visitors and employees is our highest priority and we naturally follow the recommendations and rules of our authorities due to covid-19.

Take care of you at Easter and try to be confident that there is an end to this and, after that, the beginning of something new!

Warm regards, The
team behind Wood & Technology

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Renholmen receives large orders from Nordic countries

International Forest Industries - Mi, 08/04/2020 - 14:46

In recent weeks, Renholmen AB made three major business agreements with a total order value of around SEK 135 million. Timber handling equipment will be delivered to sawmills in Finland, Sweden and Norway.

“It’s great that we’ve gained this trust from both new and old customers. The deals are a good acknowledgment that we have products and a well-functioning organization that meet the markets high demands”, says Per Jonsson, CEO of Renholmen AB.

New customer in Finland
Renholmen has been given the confidence to deliver a comprehensive upgrade of a green sorting plant to a new customer in Finland. For example, Renholmen will deliver the new fully electric high capacity machines Electro Positioner, Trimmer ElectroSinus and Flexicut. A new large bin section is also included in the upgrade.

The delivery also involves a rebuilding of the intake so that timber can be received in the new green sorting line alternatively to one of the two existing lines. The upgrade includes camera sys-tems along with Renholmen’s new control system with built-in security solution.

Green sorting line to Norway
Bergene Holm Nidarå in southern Norway has ordered a modern and powerful green sorting line with a Sticker Stacker that match the saw line.

Bergene Holm has 5 sawmills and 3 planing mills in Norway, and the plant at Nidarå is the largest with a modern saw line from 2013. When it was built, the existing green sorting and sticker stacker, which is now to be replaced, was retained.

In order to get the full effect of the saw line, a large investment is now being made in the green sorting line, which will contain a powerful intake including Trimmer Triax and 45 bins with push chains. The sticker stacker is also added with an automatic forklift sticker placer.

Previously, Renholmen has delivered equipment to Bergene Holm’s sawmill in Kirkenaer.

Upgrade of dry sorting in Sweden
Höglandssågen AB has production in three places and now an upgrade of the capacity in Domsjö’s dry sorting is being implemented. Two years ago, a brand new saw line was built in their main plant, Anundsjö. At the same time, Renholmen upgraded their green sorting and sticker stacker.

The sticker stacked wood packages are driven by truck from Anundsjö to Domsjö for grading. For the dry sorting plant to keep pace with the new saw, the capacity in Domsjö must be upgraded. Therefore, Renholmen will rebuild the dry sorting with, for example, a new camera sorting and im-proved intake. In order to pack the timber efficiently and quickly, Renholmen delivers a brand new Triple Stacker.

“In these deliveries we find our well tested solutions together with further developed market-unique products, which has given us a tremendous response from the market”, says Bernt-Ove Anders-son, Marketing Manager at Renholmen AB.

Company website here.

Bernt-Ove Andersson, Marketing Manager
Mobile 076 836 08 56

Per JonssonCEO Mobile 070-651 38 33
Renholmen AB Box10 934 24 Byske, Sweden

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John Deere Adds Four New Models to L-Series Utility Wheel Loader Line

International Forest Industries - Di, 07/04/2020 - 16:44

The new wheel loader models feature a redesigned Z-Bar linkage which provides improved visibility to the front attachment.

John Deere expands the L-Series Wheel Loader lineup with four new utility models, the 444L, 644L, 644L Hybrid and 724L. The new wheel loaders incorporate several customer-driven improvements to boost performance and productivity, including a redesigned Z-Bar loader linkage, an updated, ergonomically designed cab, electrohydraulic (EH) controls and a more robust heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

“The new L-Series Wheel Loader line is a culmination of customer feedback, industry-leading innovation, and versatile machines that are made to perform in a variety of applications,” says Grant Van Tine, Product Marketing Manager, Wheel Loaders. “Our customers expect machines that work as hard as they do. Having machines that are designed to improve productivity, provide all-day comfort and perform reliably day in and day out, makes all the difference.”

The powerful new wheel loaders were designed to maximize productivity. Horsepower has been increased from the previous K-Series models on the 644L, 644L Hybrid and 724L, boasting 249 hp (186 kW), 231 hp (172 kW) and 268 hp (200 kW), respectively. 

The redesigned Z-Bar linkage provides improved visibility to the front attachment and near parallel lift, which is now 8 degrees. A change from previous models, this improves load leveling throughout the lift cycle. Additionally, the 724L hinge pin height on the standard Z-Bar was enhanced by 3 in. compared to the K-Series machine, increasing clearance when dumping into hoppers or trucks.

The all-new cab is filled with features designed to provide a first-class work environment, including increased functional storage, durable seats and an improved HVAC system. Customers can choose one of two cab options — standard or premium — to ensure their needs are met. Both options deliver three more inches of room between the pedals and the seat compared to the previous models. The standard cab features a deluxe cloth, air suspension seat, while the premium cab is equipped with a heated and ventilated heavy-duty air suspension seat. The premium cab also features automatic temperature control. The updated and relocated HVAC controls are easily reached, so the operator can adjust the blower speed or temperature with ease, while rear defrost improves cold weather visibility.

The single-lever hydraulic joystick control with an ergonomically designed grip is equipped with a standard forward-neutral-reverse switch as well as two multifunction buttons that can be programmed to control any of 10 different functions selected in the monitor. This helps operators easily control multiple functions without removing their hand from the joystick. Additionally, when properly equipped, the lever features integrated thumb rollers for auxiliary functions, making the single-lever joystick capable of controlling up to six different functions.

With the new EH functionality, the operator can select how abrupt the bucket or boom stops and can adjust hydraulic flow percentage using the monitor for specific attachments. The bucket vibrate feature aids when dumping or sprinkling loose material, while the EH precision mode allows for fine metering when placing pipe or heavy objects. The operator is able to store specific settings for up to 10 different attachments in the monitor. In addition, the new constant auxiliary flow function allows the operator to continuously run attachments without having to hold a lever or roller.

The optional seat belt minder monitoring system sends an alert to JDLink if the seat belt is not latched within 30 seconds of releasing the park brake. A seat belt indicator beacon on the cab will illuminate green when the seat belt is in use.

The 644L and 724L machines are available with over 30 new pin-on and coupler bucket configurations, providing expanded options for customers. The new Enhanced Production buckets improve performance and material retention over previous buckets with integrated spill guards, curved side cutters and greater rollback. New shaft style forks provide better visibility through the forks and to the fork tips. With all the features of the new EH controls and programmable settings for a wide variety of attachments, the new L-Series utility wheel loaders offer the versatility operators need to tackle almost any application.

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John Deere integrates SmartGrade into 333G CTL

International Forest Industries - Di, 07/04/2020 - 15:07

John Deere has expanded availability of SmartGrade, its proprietary grade control technology, into the 333G compact track loader.

The implementation of SmartGrade is the first time a fully integrated grade control technology will be available on a compact machine.

“Already, the 333 has a really good reputation in the market,” said Gregg Zupancic, product marketing manager for skid steers and compact track loaders at John Deere Construction and Forestry.

“So, what we’re doing is integrating technologies that can help customers being more productive and more accurate.”

The SmartGrade 333G compact track loader will expand the capabilities of customers working in site development, roadbuilding, landscaping, residential and commercial building operations, by enabling them to take on new tasks and larger jobs that require accuracy.

By leveraging the latest grade control technology, the SmartGrade 333G machine levels the playing field with contractors running larger fleets.

“It has all the same attributes as a compact piece of equipment, even though this is more of a purpose-built package,” Zupancic said.

The SmartGrade 333G is designed to increase productivity by helping to automatically complete grading tasks, with fewer passes and less rework compared to working without grade control technology.

As well, operators can reap the benefit of a versatile, yet transportable, machine where the grade control system is fully integrated into the machine’s structures and software, delivering precise grading performance while eliminating vulnerable masts and cables.

SmartGrade meets DozerMode

In addition to introducing SmartGrade on the 333G, operators will also benefit from the launch of DozerMode, a breakthrough control solution that enables the EH joystick control system to function like a crawler dozer.

“At a push of a button, you can change the control pattern of the machine from a typical skid steer pattern to more of a dozer control pattern,” Zupancic said.

DozerMode is beneficial when operating the machine-equipped six-way dozer blade attachment that can both cut a grade and spread materials, streamlining attachment needs and setup time.

“This is robust enough to push material really well,” Zupancic said

The blade is fine-tuned to meet the performance needs of a compact track loader and does not require tools to change between other attachments.

It also enhances the versatility of the machine by accurately and automatically cutting or finishing light materials in tight spaces. In conjunction with SmartGrade technology, the blade reduces the amount of operator input, ultimately lowering operator fatigue.

“In a market that becomes more competitive by the day, it’s important we provide our customers with leading-edge equipment,” Zupancic said.

While the 333G is the first compact machine to feature SmartGrade, other machine may feature the technology in the future. “We’re dipping our toes in the market with this first,” Zupancic said. “We’re testing the waters. If it goes well we will make this technology available on smaller compact track loaders too.”

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by Dr. Radut