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    23.06.2017   Pfleiderer – Wood Materials ordered Wedge    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Pfleiderer – Wood Materials placed an order of process diagnostic tool Wedge from Savcor. The aim is to increase productivity and strenghten their production line in the mill Baruth/Mark.

    The Pfleiderer Group focuses on the production of wood materials, especially fiber boards for furniture and interior finishing. In 2013, it employed around 3,500 people at eight locations in Germany and Poland and is the market leader in the market segment of the flat-plate press, better known as chipboard.
    (Savcor Forest Oy)
    22.06.2017   Martinsons commissions new production line for CLT    ( Company news )

    Company news
    CLT consists of solid panels of planed spruce that are glued together, with every other layer being cross laid. It is often used in walls, floors and ceilings. Martinsons has so far manufactured panels with a width of 1.2 metres, but with the new line in Bygdsiljum will also be able to offer storey-high panels, with a width of 3 metres.

    “We have been manufacturing CLT since 2003 and know the product inside and out, so we feel confident about this launch. We will implement a controlled start-up and then gradually increase production,” says Olov Martinson, Production Manager at Martinsons.

    Cross-laminated timber has long been established as a building material in Central Europe, but has been less commonly used in Sweden. Use has increased sharply over the past year, not least because it meets the growing need for time-efficient and simple building processes.

    “We have done what we can to spur on development in Sweden, including investing heavily in training designers and appointing a product manager for CLT. We know that those who begin using the material frequently increase their purchases over time and that is naturally an excellent testimony,” explains Lars Martinson.

    Martinsons has had environmental product declarations for its CLT and glulam construction components produced by EPD Norge ((The Norwegian EPD Foundation). They show that 1 m3 of CLT, taking into account extraction of raw material and transport, binds a net total of 658 kg CO2-eqv.

    “These are figures we are proud of and are the result of our substantial efforts to minimise our environmental impact. Our plants, for instance, are wholly powered by renewable electricity from hydropower and our transport activities use fossil-free diesel,” says Olov Martinson.
    (Martinsons Trä AB)
    22.06.2017   A memorable Ligna for Scm    ( Company news )

    Company news
    For Scm, the edition of Ligna that has just ended will remain memorable. Thousands of business customers and visitors flocked to Scm's beautiful hall, where more than sixty technological solutions and the “Lean Cell 4.0” were on display. The enormous table made by Riva1920 from thousand-year-old kauri and the Scm Arena were the focus of the enormous stand, one of the busiest in the whole event. The number of orders and negotiations has increased exponentially compared to the edition of two years ago. Confirmation that the sector is growing fast.

    Scm also had the honour of being represented at the closing press conference by Luigi De Vito, director of the woodworking machinery division. In his address, De Vito stressed the increasing internationalization of the event. Scm has been contacted by customers from more than 60 different countries from all around the globe. Ligna closed its doors with almost 100 thousand visitors and 2.8 million contacts on the various communication platforms.
    (SCM Group S.p.A.)
    22.06.2017   Pöyry and Betulium sign co-operation agreement to unlock full value chain benefits for clients in ..    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... bio-based businesses

    Pöyry and Betulium have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for co-operation that will enable both companies to serve their clients better in bio-based businesses. Pöyry and Betulium share common objectives in bioindustry: together they have the know-how and experience which can be used especially in the field of nanocellulose for composites, plastics and similar materials as well as for wood-based nanocellulose and material testing in both the forest and chemical industries.

    Betulium Oy is a Finnish clean-tech company established in 2013. Betulium provides renewable, biodegradable, and high-performance water-based cellulose materials to replace or supplement synthetic organic polymers in a vast number of industrial applications. Betulium runs a pilot plant producing material on an industrial scale in Espoo, Finland. Nanocellulose can be used in the manufacture of paper, feeds, foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

    Pöyry has a proven track record in process engineering excellence in the chemicals and biorefining sectors and knows the complex bioindustry value chain, megatrends, drivers and business partners. Pöyry's highly-skilled experts can help clients to identify value added opportunities and commercialise bioproducts with engineering solutions that maximise profitability, sustainability and health, safety and environmental (HSE) aspects.

    "Our services in bio-based solutions cover the whole project life cycle from identifying opportunities through market studies and developing the business idea to the design and start-up of industrial scale production plants. This co-operation initiative will benefit both parties but especially our clients who can make use of the whole value chain advantages reached from one source, enabling smoother and more efficient R&D operations," says Nicholas Oksanen, Executive Vice President of Pöyry's Industry Business Group.
    (Pöyry Plc, Forest Industry Business Group)
    21.06.2017   Logset has made significant dealer agreements in the U.S.    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Finnish forestry machine manufacturer Logset Oy has signed significant distribution agreement with U.S. based Fabick CAT and U.S. based Milton CAT to market Logset products. Under the terms of the agreement, the new dealers will provide sales, parts and service for Logset harvesters and forwarders throughout their service territories. The Fabick CAT territory includes the entire state of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, as well as major parts of Missouri and Illinois. The Milton CAT territory consists of New England and upstate New York. The initial shipment of machines is scheduled for June.

    Photo: Logset forwarder 4F GT

    The Great Lakes Region and the Northeastern United States is a key market for Logset. The area has embraced the Scandinavian cut-to-length (CTL) method of logging, and both Fabick CAT and Milton CAT are leading suppliers of CTL solutions in their territories.

    Logset machines will give Fabick CAT and Milton CAT technology leadership within CTL solutions, and further strengthen their positions as a full-line, full-service forestry solutions providers. Logset will ship middle sized and large forwarders, harvesters and harvester heads to U.S.

    - We have considered expanding our operations to the U.S. for some time, and the agreement with both dealers proceeded quickly. The U.S. is the most dynamic economy in the world, and we are extremely pleased to have Fabick and Milton as our U.S. partners. Their commitment to the forestry market, service capabilities and customer focus make them an ideal choice to represent the Logset product,” says Logset’s Chairman of the Board, Tapio Nikkanen.

    Fabick Cat’s Vice President of Sales, John Quillico is pleased about the new cooperation.

    - We are excited about representing the Logset CTL product in our territory. The addition of Logset’s rubber-tired harvester and forwarder products allow us to provide a complete CTL solution to our customers. This expansion of our product offering, along with our commitment to product support, positions Fabick CAT to be a reliable partner to our forestry customers, especially the ones looking to improve their efficiency in the woods.

    Peter Collins, Milton CAT’s Forest Products Manager agrees.

    - This cooperation agreement makes Milton CAT an even more reliable partner to our forestry customers as they look to improve their efficiency and profitability in the woods. In the Northeastern states, CTL solutions are taking over the market because land owners want more ecological solutions for their forests. Logset is our solution to this, he says.

    Logset is a forest machine manufacturer producing CTL solutions. All products; harvesters, forwarders, harvester heads and simulators are manufactured in the company’s factory located in Koivulahti, Finland. Logset machines are exported to 25 countries and export accounts for 85% of the production.

    Fabick Cat is the dealer for Caterpillar machinery and power systems in the Great Lakes Region. The company is proud to be celebrating 100 Years of service in 2017. They have nearly 1 200 skilled employees working in 37 locations.

    Milton CAT is the Northeastern United States Dealer for Caterpillar machinery and power systems. The company has expanded to thirteen locations and has a team of over 900 dedicated and experienced employees.
    (Logset Oy)
    20.06.2017   Homag at LIGNA 2017: Record trade fair and increased internationality    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The digital future has begun: At LIGNA, HOMAG presented its digital platform for the wood industry. The name: “tapio”. With tapio, the companies from this industry can now move into the next stage of Industry 4.0. At the same time, HOMAG has exceeded its trade fair goals – and has had the most successful trade fair for many years.

    Photo: The InnovationCenter gave a glimpse of the technologies that could have a decisive influence on the manufacture of furniture in the future.

    HOMAG is leading the industry into the digital future
    This is what the wood industry has been waiting for. “tapio” combines digital products for the entire wood industry with thousands of production machines from all manufacturers, different software solutions and a very diverse range of materials and tools in an IoT platform ("Internet of Things"). In short: This digital platform completely covers the wood industry value chain. The foundation for tapio is the close collaboration with major, renowned software partners such as Microsoft and Software AG.

    Just one of tapio’s numerous advantages is the mobile status display of machines (worldwide) in real time. The fair visitors were just fascinated and amazed: Anyone who used their smartphones to visit website while at LIGNA was able to track and analyze the current operational performance of individual fair machines and cells live and in real time via WebApp.

    All information about tapio can be found at
    (Press release, link to the online press conference, explanatory video: "What is tapio" and the partnership with Microsoft in the film, and much more ...)

    Goals exceeded: Record trade fair and increased internationality
    Whether visitor numbers, promising contacts or incoming orders: HOMAG has surpassed all goals set before the fair. HOMAG experts had more trade fair talks and discussions in Hanover than ever before. The furniture sector was especially interested and excited, in particular, solutions for kitchen and home furniture production including interior fittings and construction.
    A total of 93,000 people from over more than 100 countries visited LIGNA in Hannover. Nearly 65% of the visitors to HOMAG's exhibition booth traveled from international destinations. The highest visitor numbers were recorded from Poland, Austria and the USA. But also numerous visiting groups from Japan, China, Australia, South America and Canada made the HOMAG booth a fixed stop on their tour of the trade fair.
    Overall, LIGNA once again thrilled as an industry leading trade fair and delivered an outstanding performance. This was also confirmed by Pekka Paasivaara (CEO of HOMAG Group): "It was an excellent LIGNA for us. The HOMAG booth was very well attended. The 100-meter-long batch size 1 plant, our InnovationCenter and especially tapio – the digital platform for the wood industry – fascinated visitors. And especially our skilled craft and trade area was also very well visited. Internationality has increased and LIGNA has once again presented itself as a world leading trade fair."

    Software: Interest has never been so strong
    At LIGNA, HOMAG presented 50 machines from all performance classes that are ready for Industry 4.0 – through comprehensive software from the point of sale, over the entire production line to packaging, and by intelligent technologies and processes that communicate with each other.
    The enormous interest shown by the show’s visitors just confirms the fact that the demand for complete software solutions is continuing to grow in importance. So HOMAG completely relaunched the software product portfolio in time for LIGNA. By using modern visualizations, it demonstrated how individual solutions for companies from the trade and industry are configured from a modular kit – "One Platform for Integrated Solutions". The HOMAG experts in charge of the new product line "ProCollection" really had a lot to do. The modular end-to-end system provides an integrated solution for users from the interior construction and furniture industry, from sales planning through graphic order entry to the new production control system. This is called "ControllerMES" and is regarded as a fully developed and solid software basis for future requirements. The new production control system delivers 100% transparency in production and covers everything from production planning with optimal production lots through providing and generating production data for machines (cutting, edgebanding, CNC ...), up to the end report after final assembly.

    Workshop concepts for woodworking Shops
    For visitors from woodworking shops, HOMAG showed clever concepts from an entry level to an industrial and networked workshop. At a small entry level workshop, visitors could find the solution to step into the zero-joint technology – with the airTec unit as well as the new PU gluing technology for fast glue and color changes. On the small panel saw, mitre cuts could already be performed on the saw. The workshop also had a machine for body press technology and a CNC machine for vertical drilling. At the workshop for the industrial entry level area, a saw-bearing nesting cell and a drilling and dowel inserting machine were in operation fully networked with continuous data flow. The new IntelliGuide operator assistance system, which took second place at the SCHULER Novelty Symposium, was used on the panel-sizing saw.

    At the InnovationCenter – in the heart of the exhibition stand – HOMAG reserved an even more important space for the innovations of the future than before. Over 5,500 visitors discovered new, patent-pending technologies and smart Industrial 4.0 applications that provide inspiration for the furniture manufacturing in the future. This included:
    -New zero-joint technology waveTec ®: In this patented process, the functional layer is melted by microwaves. When heating up the glue, no heating-up time is required and volume heating of stronger functional layers is also possible.
    -3D printing / additive manufacturing: HOMAG tested the combination of slow-moving 3D technology and high-performance milling. The advantages: Less cutting volume and a function-optimized product design.
    -Smart Solutions: Here, HOMAG showed the opportunities to optimize production such as an automatic setup of machining parameters by scanning the tool and workpiece or the implementation of predictive maintenance on a tool spindle.

    At the end of the tour, HOMAG opened an extraordinary view of the "Smart Factory" in a 180 ° degree cinema – the furniture manufacturing of tomorrow.
    (Homag Holzbearbeitungssysteme GmbH)
    20.06.2017   Stora Enso has appointed Satu Härkönen as Head of Communications for Media Relations in ...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ...Finland and Wood Supply Finland

    Stora Enso has appointed Satu Härkönen (photo) as Head of Communications for Media Relations and Wood Supply in Finland.

    Satu Härkönen has been working for Stora Enso since 1995 in several leadership positions within sales, marketing and communications. Her most recent position was Project Manager for Stora Enso’s FIS Nordic World Ski Championships sponsorship in Lahti, Finland. Before that she was Head of Marketing and Communications for Wood Supply Finland. She holds MSc degrees in Forestry and History.

    Satu Härkönen started in her new position on 1 June 2017. She reports to Ulrika Lilja, EVP, Communications in Stora Enso.

    Liisa Nyyssönen, previously Head of Media Relations in Finland and SVP, Communications in Paper division, will continue as SVP, Communications in Paper division, and report to Kati ter Horst, EVP, Paper division in Stora Enso.
    (Stora Enso Oyj)
    19.06.2017   Schattdecor continues to invest in the development of its international locations    ( Company news )

    Company news
    By the end of 2018 Schattdecor will invest about 120 million Euros in the development of its current locations. With this, Schattdecor is implementing the largest investment program in the company’s history. Particularly noteworthy is the involvement with the impregnation company, Saintdecor, in Wuhan, China, which will expand the capacity of impregnation currently being done at the sites in Italy, Russia and Brazil. With this investment, Schattdecor is preparing itself, globally, for the future.

    Currently, Schattdecor is producing at 14 locations in nine countries and has a total of 12 impregnation channels, 7 lacquering channels, 35 printing machines, one single-pass digital printer and 12 lab printing machines. In 2017 the company will invest further in their print and impregnation activities as well as in surface refinement and trendsetting technologies.

    In the area of printing (printed Surfaces by Schattdecor), Schattdecor US will add a new rotogravure printing press by the end of the year. An additional rotogravure printing press will be installed in the first quarter of 2018 at the location in Turkey in order to meet the market growth forecast in that region. Beyond that, Schattdecor is reacting to the market dynamics in China and will add two rotogravure printing presses in Shanghai in the fall of 2017. Another printing production location in Quzhou is planned for the beginning of 2019. Also at Kingdecor in Quzhou a new paper machine will be installed in the third quarter of 2018.

    In the area of impregnation (impregnated Surfaces by Schattdecor), the investment in the Chinese impregnation location, Saintdecor, in Wuhan is especially noteworthy. Schattdecor took over 50% of the company after the joint venture contract at the end of March 2017. Production is scheduled to start in mid-2017 with two impregnation lines and one resin kitchen. “To offer the customers in China better service, Schattdecor AG decided to invest in a new impregnation plant called Saintdecor. These strategic measures take into account the importance of the market growth in China, as well as securing supplies to Chinese customers,” said Ulrich Ringelberg, Chairman of Sales International.

    Furthermore, investments are being made in Italy, Brazil and Russia. First of all, in Rosate, Italy, one more impregnation channel is being added to the four existing lines. There is also an option for a sixth channel. Production on the new line is set to begin in mid-2018. “The impregnation activities in Rosate have experienced strong growth in recent years. Since 2011, two new impregnation machines have been put into operation. At present, we produce on all four exiting impregnation machines 24/7,” explained Marco Aquino, General Director of Schattdecor Italy. A new production area with warehouse, resin kitchen and other infrastructure, totaling 10,700 m², will also be built at the Tschechov facility in Russia. Upon completion a new impregnation line will be put into operation in mid-2018. “The Russian wood-based materials industry is highly competitive and will continue to be very interesting. Schattdecor is once again showing with this investment that we believe in our customers and that they can count on Schattdecor as a reliable supplier in Russia,” mentioned Jens Palmen, General Director of Schattdecor in Russia. In Sao Jose dos Pinhais, Brazil the company will add approximately 5,000 square meters of production and warehouse space. This construction includes new offices, a cafeteria and other infrastructure measures that will be finished at the beginning of 2018.

    In the area of finished surfaces (finished Surfaces by Schattdecor), the headquarters in Thansau, Germany will invest in a lab lacquering line for radiation cured lacquer for the foil and lacquer development to support the growing demand for foil surfaces. This line will launch in mid-2018. Also, in Poland, the expansion of the office building and the new construction of the 2,500 square meter paper roll warehouse will move forward. By the middle of May 2017 the plant will be at maximum size and provide the capacity for two further lacquering channels.
    (Schattdecor AG)
    16.06.2017   Kijchai Places New Order with Dieffenbacher    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Thai company expands production capacity with new THDF plant

    Thai company S. Kijchai Enterprise PCL in Rayong—approximately 200 km southeast of Bangkok—has produced MDF boards from a Dieffenbacher plant for the past five years. The company is now expanding its production capacity and adding THDF boards to its product portfolio.

    Image: Kijchai MDF plant in Rayong

    "Due to our positive experiences with our MDF plant, we have chosen Dieffenbacher as the supplier for this new project, too. The CPS+ will allow us to produce boards at speeds of up to 1,800 mm/s," Vichai Sangwongkit (Managing Director, Kijchai) said during the signing of the contract.

    Kijchai's order is the fifth CPS+ project in Thailand in just two years. In addition to the 28 m long continuous press, the scope of supply includes the dryer, Z-sifter, forming station, Dieffensor, triple diagonal saw and raw board handling, along with a storage system.

    The thickness of the boards ranges from 1 to 32 mm. As Kijchai is championing sustainability, only wood from rubber trees grown on surrounding plantations will be used as the raw material.

    S. Kijchai Enterprise PCL has been active in the wood-based panel industry for 30 years. By investing in the new THDF plant, the company will be able to more than double its production capacity and therefore strengthen its position as one of the leading manufacturers of MDF in Thailand.
    (Dieffenbacher GmbH)
    15.06.2017   Jane Molony Named President of the ICFPA    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) announced Jane Molony (photo) as its new president. Molony, Executive Director of the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA), will serve in this capacity for the next two years.

    “Across the world, wood, paper and tissue products touch lives every day in ways that often go unnoticed. Without our industries’ products, many people would not be able to teach, read or learn; businesses would not be able to ship merchandise, or protect goods; nor would people be able to improve their lives through the basics of personal hygiene. Forest and paper products also have a great environmental and economic story to tell. It is a story that has been proudly told by the ICFPA for 15 years. I am particularly honoured to take charge of this group of leaders,” said Molony.

    Molony was elected at the ICFPA’s annual meeting in Berlin, Germany. The meeting was attended by 18 representatives from ICFPA members associations, who discussed future activities, cooperation and sustainability-related issue.

    Molony succeeds Elizabeth de Carvalhaes, president and CEO of the Brazilian Tree Industry, who served as ICFPA president for the past three years.

    “It has been a privilege to help the ICFPA continue its legacy of advocacy on important issues of interest of this global industry, and I have put significant efforts in communication. I believe this industry has a remarkable story to tell and we are just scratching the surface when it comes to public awareness and understanding of the sustainable benefits of the global forest products industry,” said Carvalhaes. “It was a great pleasure and honor to be part of this important forum and network of leaders and Ibá will continue to advocate towards the global forest industry and the plantations based industry locally and globally.”

    “On behalf of the entire ICFPA, I would like to thank Elizabeth for her leadership and guidance,” said Molony. “I look forward to continuing to work with her and the other members of the steering committee to ensure a strong global forest products industry.”
    (ICFPA International Council of Forest and Paper Associations)
    14.06.2017   James Latham Provides Materials For Plywood Exhibition At The V&A    ( Company news )

    Company news
    James Latham is providing plywood for the interior of an exhibition about the eclectic history of the sheet material which opens on 15 July at the Victoria and Albert Museum – known as the world’s leading museum of art and design.

    Plywood: Material of the Modern World will run between 15 July and 12 November 2017 and will explore the innovative use of plywood in objects ranging from vehicles to furniture, and from architecture to graphic design - offering a new perspective of this versatile material.

    James Latham’s unrivalled knowledge and passion for timber, and in particular, its incredible history of selling this product - which began more than two and a half centuries ago – and included supplying plywood for the manufacture of Spitfire aircrafts during World War 2, has close links to the exhibition which includes the story of the fastest and highest-flying aeroplane of WWII, the de Havilland Mosquito.

    Other highlights will include a moulded plywood leg splint designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1942, surfboards, and designs for mass-produced US prefabricated housing.

    Plywood: Material of the Modern World is co-curated by Christopher Wilk, Keeper of Furniture, Textiles and Fashion at the V&A, and Elizabeth Bisley, Curator in the Department of Furniture, Textiles and Fashion at the V&A. The exhibition brings together significant new research with new acquisitions and objects that have never before been on public display. It will take visitors through plywood’s many reputational transformations; from a cheap product that was often hidden or maligned for its inferiority to solid timber, to the material prized by mid-century modernists and by today’s flourishing maker movement.

    Chris Sutton, Managing Director of James Latham said: “This exhibition will look at the many different methods of manufacture using plywood and its history, from ancient times to use in today’s digital age so it is a perfect fit for James Latham, particularly because of our 260-year history in which time we will have supplied plywood for many of the innovative uses and applications which are being highlighted.”
    (James Latham P.L.C.)
    13.06.2017   Quality and energy efficiency essential factors in Frödinge's choice of lumber kilns    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Frödinge Hällerum Timber is investing in four trolley-fed batch kilns from Valutec. This will increase capacity for lumber drying at the sawmill in Frödinge and also facilitate quality gains.
    “We are known for high quality, and the drying process is essential in order to deliver the best products. The trolley-fed solution also helps us to achieve important energy savings,” says Torbjörn Svensson, MD of Frödinge Hällerum Timber.

    The sawmill in Frödinge, which currently has a production capacity of 50,000 cubic metres, has invested in its production chain over the past five years, including updating its saw line. The drying equipment is now being updated with four e-trolley-fed batch kilns, replacing an older continuous kiln and two conventional batch kilns.

    “The staff are familiar with the control system and are trained in drying technique, and that goes for our second sawmill in Hällerum too. We see major benefits to having equipment and drying control systems that are familiar at both sawmills. It makes for a valuable discussion forum between our kiln operators. In addition, it is a reliable system, with good support and service technicians in southern Sweden who can help us when we need it,” says Torbjörn.

    These investments mean that the entire group now uses Valutec’s drying technology and control systems.

    “Being entrusted to supply further equipment is the best testimonial you can receive from a customer. It also shows the importance of a broad and customised product range with both forklift-fed and e-trolley-fed kilns,” says Jon Lindberg, Sales Manager at Valutec.

    Sixty per cent of Frödinge’s output is re-processed. Frödinge has many customers within the building industry, who demand a high level of quality.

    “For a sawmill, good drying facilities can make the difference between earning money and finding things tough,” says Torbjörn.

    Frödinge sees increased flexibility, a higher utilisation rate and energy savings as benefits of the e-trolley-fed batch kilns, as the exchanges are not dependent on forklift drivers loading the lumber packages.

    “Any trained person can exchange packages in a short time. That was a major reason why we decided on this concept. The operational procedure of preparation and exchange in the kiln takes 20 minutes instead of 90, which is especially important in winter, as it requires a lot of energy to have the kiln open. This is something we are focusing strongly on,” stresses Torbjörn.
    (Valutec AB)
    12.06.2017   Global Forest and Paper Industry Focuses on Innovation and New Forest-Based Products    ( Company news )

    Company news
    On its fifteenth anniversary, The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) reflects on its purpose with the release of a new statement for the future.

    On its fifteenth anniversary, The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) reflects on its purpose with the release of a new statement for the future:
    “To benefit global society through collaboration with industry, governments and non-governmental organizations on public policies that facilitate the manufacture of sustainable products from virgin and recycled forest-based resources that meet human needs for information, packaging, housing, hygiene, energy and other innovative products.”

    The ICFPA purpose statement connects people to products and the planet and is at the root of why we exist. The forest-based industry is leading in the development of innovative products and processes to benefit society. Based on the understanding of the importance of far-sighted use of natural resources, we can ensure their availability for future generations while benefiting the present. The ICFPA has also updated its mission, broadening the scope of the organization to represent an innovative forest-based industry:
    “Serve as a forum of global dialogue among national and regional industry associations and their leadership to cooperate in the development of common positions on issues of mutual interest, represent the forest, paper, wood and forest fibre-based industries with global policy organizations and coordinate action and distribute information through member associations.”

    “The global forest products industry has significantly invested in research and has been developing new products and technologies to make the best use of wood and fibre-based products. We are an innovative industry with a key role to play in the transition towards a greener and more sustainable economy that will benefit current and future generations” said ICFPA President Jane Molony. “With this purpose statement and revised mission, we look forward to promoting the interests of the forest, paper, wood and fibre-based industries in global venues and serving as a resource for policy makers and other stakeholders in the years to come.”
    (ICFPA International Council of Forest and Paper Associations)
    09.06.2017   Setra hires new manager at Skutskär    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Setra Group has hired Sara Westberg (photo) as the new manager for its unit in Skutskär. Sara Westberg joins Setra from BillerudKorsnäs in Gävle where she was responsible for dispatch and packaging. At Setra Skutskär the company produces 97,000 m3 of processed wood products per year.

    Setra Group has hired Sara Westberg as the new manager of Setra’s processing unit in Skutskär. Operations including planing, pressure treatment and painting. The unit handles 97,000 m3 of processed wood every year. Sara Westberg joins Setra from a position where she was responsible for dispatch and packaging at BIllerudKorsnäs in Gävle. She took up her new position at Setra on 1 June.

    “I am really looking forward to starting at Setra. I hope to be able to contribute with a fresh look combined with my experience of similar operations. In my role as manager I will prioritise safety and work to achieve involved leadership where employeeship is in focus,” says Sara Westberg.

    Setra’s CEO, Hannele Arvonen, is pleased that the appointment of a new manager for the facility in Skutskär is now finalised.
    “We are delighted to welcome Sara Westberg to Setra and Skutskär. Sara has completely the right background to lead the continued development of this operation. Her management experience and her major interest in and commitment to sustainability and leadership will be extremely useful.”
    (Setra Group)
    08.06.2017   Catrin Gustavsson new Head of Innovation and New Business at Södra    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Catrin Gustavsson (photo) has been appointed Head of Innovation and New Business at Södra.

    She will succeed Laila Rogestedt and assume her new position on 1 August. Catrin will be a member of Group Senior Management and report to the President and CEO, Lars Idermark.

    Catrin Gustavsson, 46, holds a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from Chalmers University of Technology, and a PhD degree in pulp technology from the Royal Institute of Technology. She is currently head of the process engineering department at Södra’s pulp mill at Värö, outside Varberg. She has been active in the paper and pulp industry since 1999, both nationally and internationally, and held senior positions in production and technology development at BillerudKorsnäs, Kvaerner Pulping and Stora Enso.

    “I am very pleased that we have recruited Catrin internally. Innovation and New Business is a strategic area for Södra’s future, and the unit is responsible for our work with product and process care in our existing market for pulp and sawn wood products, and for developing new products and applications for wood as a raw material,” said CEO Lars Idermark.

    “In a world that is changing at an increasingly faster pace and with major global challenges, raw material from the forest offers countless and unique opportunities. I am pleased and proud to be entrusted with leadership of Innovation and New Business. Together with all of my talented colleagues at Södra, the continued development of innovation activities both internally and in partnership with external stakeholders will be interesting and motivating,” commented Catrin Gustavsson.

    As previously announced, Laila Rogestedt will be leaving Södra in mid-2017.
    (Södra Timber AB)
    07.06.2017   2016 full-year earnings - Rougier consolidates its strategic realignment in Africa ...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ...securing a €15 million long-term loan from Proparco, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD)

    Full-year highlights
    In 2016, with lower levels of demand in key emerging countries, the Rougier Afrique International branch generated €124.7 million of revenues, down 11.6% from 2015.
    This contraction in business reflects the significant drop in export prices for certain timber species, while sales for international trade in Africa are down by just over one third.
    This contraction has affected the margins recorded, particularly in Cameroon and Congo.

    The Import-Distribution France branch has continued to diversify its offering and its customer base. Its performances are reflected in €29.3 million in revenues, up 5.1%, and a significant improvement in EBIT, which became slightly positive again for the full year.

    Consolidated accounts
    EBIT is negative, coming in at €(0.8) million, compared with a positive result of €1.0 million last year.
    For 2016, it factors in €(1.6) million of write-downs for impairments of fixed assets in Cameroon; in 2015, € (1.5) million of write-downs were
    recorded on assets in Gabon.
    EBIT also includes a capital gain generated on the sale of a real estate asset in France for €1.3 million.

    After notably taking into account the cost of net debt for €(3.4) million and a €(1.5) million tax expense, total net income is negative, coming in at €(6.3) million, with €(3.9) million on a Group share basis.

    Consolidated shareholders' equity represented €51.8 million at 31 December 2016, down €5.9 million from 31 December 2015.
    Gross financial debt totaled €58.9 million at 31 December 2016, compared with €63.4 million at 31 December 2015.
    Cash represented €2.8 million at end-2016, versus €6.3 million at the end of 2015.

    Post-balance sheet events
    The Rougier Group is focused in priority on restoring its profitability and improving its financial resources.
    In April, Rougier SA finalized the sale of an investment property in Ivry-sur-Seine, France, for €4.75 million.

    On May 12, Rougier Afrique International signed a deal for a 10-year loan from Proparco, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD), for €15 million, including a three-year interest-only period.
    This operation will finance the launch of activities in the Central African Republic, as well as some of the Group's other development projects in Africa.
    This loan will also help diversify the Group's sources of financing.

    Rougier SA and its subsidiaries, Rougier Afrique International and Rougier Sylvaco Panneaux, have renegotiated their financing facilities with their banks in France, totaling €21.4 million as of 31 December 2016.
    The agreement, which has been reached, will secure the Group's financing over the short term.

    Rougier is moving forward with the strategic realignment of its operations in Africa, focusing on more profitable production activities, while optimizing its supply chains and its organization.

    In Gabon, Rougier is developing its timber production by positioning itself as a key player for the development of a responsible timber industry.
    Since February 2017, this dynamic new approach has led to a major log supply contract being signed with GSEZ (Gabon Special Economic Zone), which will be particularly important for the development of the Group's business in Gabon.

    Alongside this, Rougier is preparing to start up its first production operations in the Central African Republic.
    The medium-term loan set up with Proparco will give Rougier the means to develop its operations in the Congo Basin.
    Rougier is looking to further strengthen its competitive positions and it is expected to benefit from the upturn in sales prices on its market
    in 2017.
    (Rougier International)
    06.06.2017   Senior Changes Announced At James Latham    ( Company news )

    Company news
    James Latham has announced that Peter Latham (photo) will be retiring as Non-Executive Chairman of James Latham Plc and will be leaving the business at the Annual General Meeting on 23rd August 2017.

    Nick Latham will be taking over as Executive Chairman from that date.

    Peter has worked for the company for 44 years and has been on the Plc board since 1983, taking over as Chairman in December 2006.

    During his time with James Latham, Peter has also held a number of senior positions within the timber industry and is the current Chairman of the PEFC International Board. In 2012, he was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List in recognition of his service to the UK wood industry.

    Nick Latham commented, “I would like to personally thank Peter for everything he has done for our family business, especially the way that he has lead the business since becoming Chairman almost eleven years ago. The results speak for themselves.

    “Peter will be missed by everyone, and I am sure that the colleagues and friends he has made, both at James Latham and throughout the industry during his career, will want to join me in wishing him a very happy retirement.

    “In what is our 260th year in business, I am very much looking forward to taking on this new role and to continuing our journey. It’s an exciting time in the industry and I am relishing the challenge of taking up the reins to carry on Peter’s great work and to addressing emerging customer needs in an ever-changing marketplace.”
    (James Latham P.L.C.)
    02.06.2017   Moelven: Best first quarter since 2008     ( Company news )

    Company news
    Moelven improved its operating profit by NOK 71 million compared to the same period last year. The year's first quarter was the best since 2008.

    Operating profit increased to NOK 101 million (NOK 30 million in the same period last year) for the first quarter. Operating revenues increased by 2.8 per cent to NOK 2,678 million (2,605).

    Good demand
    CEO Morten Kristiansen of Moelven Industrier ASA says that it is a combination of significant improvements in underlying operations at several of Moelven's businesses, as well as good demand for the Group's products and services, that are the cause of the good results.

    Strong improvement
    The Group is experiencing increased demand in all divisions, a strong improvement in results, increased equity and a reduction in net interest bearing debt. All divisions have improved results compared to last year.

    “I'm particularly pleased that the realignment and restructuring measures we have implemented in the timber processing parts of the Group have yielded results. Overall, here we have an improvement of almost NOK 60 million compared to the same period last year,” says Kristiansen.

    Kristiansen is also of the opinion that it's worth mentioning the drive for robotised module production at Moelven Byggmodul AB in Säffle.

    “The effort - which a short time ago resulted in the company being named ‘“Lean Builder of the year’ at Bygge-galan 2017 in Stockholm for its work on smart production and robotisation – has led to an 80 per cent increase in production capacity,” Kristiansen says.

    New workplaces
    Robotisation, along with the installation of other production equipment, workstations and various systems, has brought almost 50 new jobs to Säffle.

    “This is proof of successful development and realignment in Moelven,” Kristiansen claims.

    Good outlook
    For the Group as a whole revenues are expected to increase somewhat. The programme for operational improvement and structuring of the group continues unabated and will contribute to improved profitability for the underlying operations.

    “The Group's composition, with divisions that experience different impacts from economic fluctuations and units that operate in different markets, provides a good starting point for further improvements. The result for 2017 is expected to be somewhat better than for 2016. The group has a long-term goal of a return on capital employed of 13 per cent over an economic cycle. We have sufficient solidity and long-term access to liquidity to implement the restructuring and improvement projects required to achieve this goal” Kristiansen says.
    (Moelven Industrier ASA)
    01.06.2017   Tarkett Q1 2017 Results: Good start to the year    ( Company news )

    Company news
    -Net sales up 6.1% year-on-year at €612m, including organic growth of 2.8%
    -Robust organic growth in EMEA (up 7.0%)(1) and a good start to the year for the CIS, APAC and Latin America segment (up 2.0%)(1)
    -Adjusted EBITDA(2) up 14.6% at €52m versus €45m in Q1 2016
    -Adjusted EBITDA margin up 62 bps to 8.4% (versus 7.8% in Q1 2016)

    Net sales at constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates advanced 2.8% in Q1 2017. The EMEA segment delivered an excellent performance in the quarter (up 7.0%), while the Sports segment continued to enjoy good momentum (up 3.6%). The CIS, APAC and Latin America segment started the year well, posting 2.0% organic growth. In North America, like-for-like(1) sales were down 2.1%, penalized by a high comparison basis.

    Reported sales were up 6.1% on Q1 2016. Exchange rates accounted for 3.3% sales growth, as the positive impact of a stronger ruble (partly countered by a selective promotions strategy) and gains in the US dollar against the euro more than offset weakness in pound sterling. The February 2017 acquisition of AlternaScapes had a negligible scope impact.

    Adjusted EBITDA was 14.6% higher at €52m versus €45m in Q1 2016. The adjusted EBITDA margin gained 62 bps year-on-year at 8.4%. The CIS, APAC and Latin America segment posted strong adjusted EBITDA growth. For the Group as a whole, the continuous improvement measures helped unlock further productivity gains of €8m. As expected however, raw material prices had a €2m negative impact on adjusted EBITDA.

    Commenting on these results, Michel Giannuzzi (photo), CEO, said:
    “We have made a good start to the year. The performance of our EMEA segment confirms our solid positions in several countries. I am pleased to note the steadily improving situation in CIS countries. Only North America was down, affected by tough prior-year comparatives. Despite the rise in raw material prices, margin growth shows the strength of our productivity efforts under our World Class Manufacturing Program.”
    (Tarkett SAS)
    01.06.2017   ICFPA announces the winners of the Blue Sky Young Researchers and Innovation Award    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) has announced the winners of the Blue Sky Young Researchers and Innovation Award, a global award that aims to stimulate interest by young researchers carrying out projects in a wide range of activities relevant to forest-based science, products as well as process improvements or other innovation throughout the value chain.

    The Announcement was made at the ICFPA CEOs Roundtable, a meeting of global leaders of the forest-based industry, organized by ICFPA, where researchers presented their projects.

    The theme of the 2016-2017 global competition was "Game Changing Technologies for the Forest and Paper Industries – Unfolding Potential of Forest, Paper and Wood-Based Products". Each participating country nominated national candidates to compete internationally. This year, twelve projects were nominated by ICFPA members to the international phase. Based on the assessment of a jury composed of experts of different regions and organizations three winners were selected:

    - Koh Sakai, with the project 'Cellulose nanofibres prepared by phosphorylation'
    - Shuji Fujisawa, with the project 'Biocompatible nanocellulose/polymer composite microparticles formed by emulsion-templated synthesis'
    - Esthevan Gasparoto, with the project 'Cutting-edge technologies for forest monitoring and measurement'

    "The ICFPA congratulates all the participants and the global winners of the first edition of this global competition. We believe it is important to foster knowledge and stimulate innovative research among young researchers. Our industry is a vibrant and dynamic workplace for the future and therefore we will continue our support of students and young professionals", said ICFPA President Elizabeth de Carvalhaes.
    (ICFPA International Council of Forest and Paper Associations)
    31.05.2017   Sawmills in Quebec and Ontario are running at record high levels, resulting in ...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... difficulty finding outlets for generated residuals, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review

    Record high production at sawmills in Ontario and Quebec in 2016 has generated large volumes of residues in the two provinces, reports the North American Wood Fiber Review. In the past that would have been good news for the local pulp industry, but with a declining pulp and paper sector, many sawmills are finding it difficult to sell their byproduct locally.

    Sawmills in Eastern Canada have been running at record high levels in 2016, with production reaching levels almost ten percent higher than in 2015 and almost 40 percent higher than five years ago. This has been very good news to the forest industry, with sawmills running at 97% operating rates in late 2016, according to the WWPA. However, there are also worrisome developments regarding the large volumes of residual chips that are being generated and where the chips can be sold.

    The pulp sector has been the key consumer of residuals in the past, but with a shrinking pulp industry in both Ontario and Quebec, there are concerns that sawmills in the region might be forced to limit production levels because it may be difficult to sell off the largevolumes of chips that are being produced.

    Despite the oversupply of residues in Quebec, wood chip prices have not changed much over the past few years in Canadian dollar terms. Most contract prices for residues are set on an annual basis and after four years of practically unchanged prices, they fell almost five percent in the 1Q/17. It is likely that prices will decline in the future but this will not necessarily solve the problem with access to chips in the province. Either new production capacity needs to be added (e.g. wood pulp, pellets, composite panels or bio-based products), or sawmills will have to find other outlets for their chips outside the province.

    Alternatively, sawmills might have to reduce production levels in the future. Although the latter alternative would be less desirable for both the domestic forest industry and for lumber consumers in the US to which much of the lumber is exported, itcould still be a reality later this year. If the new US softwood lumber import tariff is implemented at such a high rate that it reduces the profitability of the lumber companies in the two provinces, it is likely to result in reduced production levels and thus declining supply of residual chips to find a home for.
    (Wood Resources International LLC)
    30.05.2017   LIGNA 2017 delivers big on innovations    ( LIGNA 2017 )

    LIGNA 2017
    LIGNA 2017 drew to a close on Friday, 26 May, having delivered big in terms of innovations and global appeal, with a significant upswing in the number of exhibitors and visitors from abroad and new impetus for the wave of digitalization currently redefining the industry. After five action-packed days, the organizers could look back on a truly impressive event.

    Photo: LIGNA 2017 Closing Press Conference

    LIGNA 2017 drew to a close on Friday, 26 May, having delivered big in terms of innovations and global appeal, with a significant upswing in the number of exhibitors and visitors from abroad and new impetus for the wave of digitalization currently redefining the industry. After five action-packed days, the organizers could look back on a truly impressive event. The world's leading trade fair for woodworking and wood processing plant, machinery and tools is booming. "LIGNA 2017 will go down as a milestone in the digitalization of the wood industry," said Dr. Andreas Gruchow, the Deutsche Messe Managing Board member in charge of LIGNA, at the end-of-show press conference on Friday in Hannover. "Industry 4.0 concepts for the wood industry were the dominant theme at this year's LIGNA, with major emphasis placed on digitalization, integration and automation. The exhibitors covered everything from sophisticated approaches to plant integration right on down to entry-level systems for the skilled trades, thus offering the right technology for any scale of operation."

    LIGNA 2017 featured a new site layout and an array of display categories chosen to reflect the increasing technology convergence between the skilled trades and industry. "The new layout has proven to be a great success. Our customers have found it very easy to navigate", remarked Wolfgang Pöschl, Chairman of the Woodworking Machinery division of Germany's Mechanical Engineering Industry Association, VDMA (Frankfurt/Main), and Chairman of the Management Board of Michael Weinig AG (Tauberbischofsheim). "Digitalization and integrated production are the new keys to success for our customers. There is huge demand across the board, resulting in full order books. The challenge now is to shorten delivery lead times as much as possible."

    LIGNA's new approach is contributing to stable growth throughout the industry. More than 1,500 exhibitors, including 900 from abroad, were on hand to showcase innovative plant, machinery, tools and solutions on some 129,000 square meters (1,388,544 sq. ft.) of net space. According to Gruchow: "Many exhibitors have opted for stands with a highly classy design, in some cases even going for radically new structural approaches. This has put a fresh face on LIGNA and gone down very well with all concerned. LIGNA's international pulling power has also shot up considerably, thus underscoring the show's reputation as the industry's No. 1 event worldwide."

    LIGNA 2017 attracted a total of 93,000 visitors, including some 42,000 attendees from outside Germany who had come to Hannover from more than 100 different countries. The show's increasingly international turnout was reflected in the figures for virtually every corner of the globe, and particularly for Asia, North America and Europe. As noted by Gruchow: "These impressive figures confirm that international decision-makers have come to place their trust in LIGNA as the only event that can give them a full grasp of the latest wood processing and woodworking trends and developments." The top ten visitor nations after Germany were France, Austria, the United States, Sweden, Belgium, Spain, China, Poland, Italy and Russia.

    More than 80 percent of all attendees rated LIGNA's new thematic layout as "good" or "very good". The special highlighting of surface technology at the show also met with a very enthusiastic response, with one in three visitors expressing an interest in the topic.

    Market leaders used the flagship fair to introduce new software for integrating the complete range of plant components. In line with the mega-theme of Industry 4.0, visitors were especially interested in the trend towards visualizing process and work steps. The wood industry's capacity for innovation was showcased via solutions ranging from a service app for machine monitoring to a digital graphical operator saw guide, plus a bucket camera system for wheel loaders. Cloud-based digital twins of tools and machines were used to present effective processes for faster machine commissioning and life-cycle documentation.

    A further key trend at LIGNA consisted of ways of significantly boosting production efficiency with minimal demands on the operator. One exhibitor presented the first-ever "three-click" process for producing a complete item of furniture. Meanwhile, in the area of machine components and automation, robots continued their forward march.

    In the pavilion next to Hall 11, the first LIGNA training workshops for joiners, cabinetmakers, carpenters and mobile assemblers were held in partnership with the Sprint Academy (Cologne, Germany). Festool, Jowat, Mafell and Dr. Koch from the Thünen Institute were the training partners who delivered a program of practical-based content. The speakers communicated their knowledge and expertise on technology applications in the skilled trades in nine training workshops of one-and-a-half to two hours each. This included explaining the distinctive features of new commercial timbers or how the latest adhesives work. Participants were given the opportunity to put the manually-operated woodworking machines through their paces, under the watchful eye of expert technicians. Participants picked up many useful tips and tricks and praised the workshops as a valuable addition to the other LIGNA offerings.

    The LIGNA program also featured a series of brief presentations on the processing of plastics and composites at the Robotation Academy. Industry experts were on hand to share information and ideas on current themes and trends. Many exhibitors featured displays showing that woodworking machines can work not only with wood, but also with plastics, composite panels, and insulation and building materials. These applications are ideal for caravan and boat construction and for the interiors of vehicles, ships and aircraft as well as for plastics production.

    The new LIGNA layout was also well received by primary industry visitors, with the four thematic areas of Forestry Technology , Sawmill Technology , Wood-based Panel Production and Energy from Wood . The focus was on the production of wood as a raw material for products or energy generation, through the planning, felling and retrieval stages. The current state of the art on the use in forestry of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), or drones, proved a popular drawing card, along with the latest forest surveying processes.

    For the first time at this year's fair, an open-air demonstration area was set up at the foot of the Hermes tower, in partnership with the German Forestry Council (KWF). Several moderated technology presentations were staged each day on an area measuring approximately 1,500 square meters (approx. 16,145.87 sq. ft.). Every step in the process was covered: pruning, the extraction of standing timber with harvesters, removal to the forest roadside with forwarders and logging trailers, and transport to the sawmill.

    Another standout attraction, particularly for the international primary industry audience, was the second Wood Industry Summit . Fifteen delegations from 13 nations (including Canada, Colombia, Chile, Bulgaria and Romania) availed themselves of the opportunity for dialogue with industry experts. Under the motto of "Access to Resources and Technology", summit participants debated the latest trends and developments in the categories of "Forestry and Wood Industry 4.0", "Resource Roads", "Forest Fire Control" and "Fleet Management".

    The next LIGNA will be staged from 27 to 31 May 2019.
    (Deutsche Messe AG)
    29.05.2017   Raute Corporation - Interim report January 1 - March 31, 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    - The Group’s first quarter net sales, EUR 36.6 million (MEUR 26.4), increased 38% on the comparison period.
    - Operating profit, EUR 2.7 million (MEUR 1.4), almost doubled from the comparison period. The result before taxes was EUR 2.9 million (MEUR 1.3).
    - Earnings per share were EUR 0.50 (EUR 0.22).
    - Order intake, at EUR 24 million (MEUR 13), was at a good level. The order book at the end of the reporting period stood at EUR 93 million (MEUR 44).
    - Raute’s net sales are expected to grow in 2017 and operating profit is forecast to improve from 2016.

    We have every reason to be happy with our early-year performance both in terms of improving net sales and operating profit. Both were in line with our expectations. Our order intake, EUR 24 million, was relatively good, bearing in mind that it did not include any major individual projects. Our order book is still at a high level.

    During the first quarter, demand for mid-sized investment projects was brisker than before. In addition to the high work load in Production, our Sales personnel have also been kept busy. Several new mill-scale projects are at the negotiation phase. The continued active demand for spare parts and maintenance bolsters our belief that our customers are in a good position. Modernizations is our only production area where demand has been slow. I suspect that this results in part from our customers’ interest in new equipment acquisitions, emboldened by the market outlook. The strongest areas geographically speaking are currently the traditional developed markets. Demand has also continued to pick up in Russia.

    At the end of March, we concluded negotiations on an acquisition and purchased the business of a company called Metriguard in the United States. The business transferred to us at the beginning of April. The acquired technology complements our offering in veneer and plywood industry raw material optimization, and combined with our machine vision technology, generates new opportunities for product development. We have become familiar with Metriguard’s products over the years through the processes of several of our customers and we know that they are high-quality and are close to industry standard status. Moreover, we will be able to expand our offering to the sawmill industry and assist our new client base to optimize the value of their processes’ raw materials. Metriguard precisely represents one of our strategy’s growth areas and we are, as a result, thrilled to have gained this new opportunity. We are convinced that the acquisition is a positive arrangement for both Raute and Metriguard.

    Thanks to a good start to the year, a strong order book and continued active demand, I am in no doubt that our net sales will grow and our operating profit will improve from the previous year.
    (Raute Oyj)
    26.05.2017   Increased lumber imports to the US from Europe, New Zealand and Latin America expected ...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... in 2017 with US lumber prices reaching 13-year highs and Canadian lumber being hit with import tariffs of 20%, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly

    High import tariffs on Canadian lumber to the US are likely to increase US lumber production and boost shipments from overseas in 2017, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. Another outcome of the countervailing duties is that Canadian lumber companies will probably be more aggressive in their search for alternative markets to the US.

    Continued increase in US housing constructions, growing demand for wood, high lumber prices, imposed import tariffs on Canadian lumber, and a strong US dollar are recent market developments that will impact forest products market dynamics in 2017, not only in North America, but on other continents as well, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ).

    The US Department of Commerce announced on April 25 preliminary countervailing duties (CVD) on Canadian lumber imported to the US. The rate range for Canadian lumber producers, taking effect on May 1, 2017, were set from 3.0 to 24.12% with an average of about 20%.

    The announcement of the high tariffs did not come as a surprise and will probably not increase lumber prices over the next few months, as many lumber traders in the US had already accounted for a higher cost for lumber shipped from its neighbor in the north.

    Higher costs of housing, changes in log and lumber trade flows and upward price pressure on sawlogs in the US are some of the likely mid-term impacts from the new tariffs. These repercussions become more likely if the high temporary CVD rates become permanent and the anti-dumping duties (expected in the end of June) are substantial.

    Canadian lumber is very important to the US market, accounting for 32% of total lumber consumption in 2016. Overseas importation of softwood lumber from Europe, Latin America and New Zealand has gone up for four consecutive years with 2016 import volumes being 2.5 times higher than those in 2012, however, they still only account for five percent of total imports to the US. Despite the past few years’ substantial increase in overseas lumber supply to the US, import volumes in 2016 were still only 24% of the record high volumes of 2005. It is noteworthy that with the predicted rise in demand for lumber in the US in 2017, both domestic production and imports need to increase to meet the higher consumption levels. Even if overseas imports bounced up to their 2005 record highs, import volumes from Canada would still have to be higher than in 2015 to meet expected demand, according to the WRQ (

    Canada will remain a large and very important supplier of softwood lumber to the US market in the future but Canadian lumber companies will continue to diversify into new markets in Asia, Europe and the MENA countries (Middle East and Northern Africa).
    (WRI Wood Resources International LLC)
    24.05.2017   Tieto signs deal with SCA Forest Products to manage SAP environment    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Tieto has signed a three-year contract with SCA, Europe's largest private forest owner, to handle SAP Application Lifecycle Management Services for its forestry business area. The deal means Tieto will be responsible for application management and support.

    "We are extremely pleased that SCA Forest Products has entrusted us with the management of their extensive SAP environment. Tieto takes great pride in helping the forest industry meet the challenges brought on by digitalization and we are excited for the opportunity to work with SCA over the coming years," says Christer Lindqvist, Customer Executive for forest industry Sweden at Tieto.

    Under the contract, Tieto will provide application management within five major areas, including Incident Management, Problem Management, Event Management, Change Request Management and Change Control Management.

    Tieto will also support the implementation of Digital Core S/4HANA and increase the use of automatization and insights to business processes through SAP Solution Manager, while the use of offshore delivery centres is expected to help SCA cut costs. The contract also includes a framework agreement for further deals during the three-years period.

    Tieto has 20 years of SAP experience and offers several specialised solutions for the forest and paper industries.

    “This deal confirms Tieto’s position as a leading partner to the forest industry in the Nordics. Our aim is to help SCA follow industry best practices and at the same time ensure business continuity and lowering application maintenance costs,” says Christer Lindqvist.
    (Tieto Sweden AB)
    23.05.2017   Holzindustrie Schweighofer takes steps to protect primary and old growth forests in Romania    ( Company news )

    Company news
    - Primary and old growth forests owned by the Schweighofer Group will be evaluated and shall be placed under long-term protection
    - Campusel (Retezat Mountains) to become a nature conservation area
    - Schweighofer to commission scientific study to identify further areas to be placed under protection

    Holzindustrie Schweighofer is committed to preserve primary and old growth forests in Romania. All forests owned by the Schweighofer Group are managed according to state-of-the-art sustainability standards. In a further step, these forests shall be re-evaluated and all identified natural treasures shall be placed under long-term natural protection. Virgin forests and especially valuable forest areas are of significant importance for biodiversity, serving as a refuge for many animal species such as woodpeckers and various insects. To date, Schweighofer has already ceased all economic activities in 5% of its forest areas. By re-evaluating its plots, Holzindustrie Schweighofer surpasses all legal requirements by far. The Schweighofer Group will commission the environmental evaluation to renowned experts that are recommended by the Romanian NGO Agent Green.

    Frank Aigner, Managing Director of Holzindustrie Schweighofer: “We are willing to take on this responsibility that goes beyond the immediate competence of a wood processing company and a striving to set further measures in this regards. As a first step, we are offering up our forest plots in Campusel to be placed under environmental protection according to all legal provisions and to develop a ’non-intervention zone’ in this area.” The forest area lies right in between the Retezat and Domogled-Valea Cernei national parks. The valley is located at 1,250 to 1,650 metres a bove sea level and serves as an important wildlife corridor, especially for bears, lynx and deer.

    “With Agent Green we have found a combative and competent sparring partner with which we have had numerous discussions about biodiversity conservation in the Romanian forests, providing for opportunities to learn from one another”, says Frank Aigner.

    The Schweighofer Group owns 14,666 hectares of forest in the areas around Hunedoara, Gorj, Valcea, Prahova, Buzau, Vrancea, Neamt and Suceava. Within the next months, environmental experts will evaluate these areas and will identify the most precious forest habitats for nature conservation. Holzindustrie Schweighofer will publish the results and present the corresponding measures.
    (Holzindustrie Schweighofer GmbH)
    23.05.2017   WORLD PREMIERE: The digital platform for the wood industry's value chain    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Digital. Wood. Works. The digital future has now begun: At LIGNA in Hall 14, the HOMAG Group is presenting the digital platform for the wood industry. The name: “tapio”.

    An important step into the digital future.
    Information is the fuel of today. But does this also apply to the wood industry? The answer is a resounding "Yes". Without data, tools cannot be adjusted and workpieces cannot be machined. The solution is "tapio" – because companies in our industry are now taking the step into Industry 4.0 – and thus into the digital future.

    So, what is tapio?
    "tapio" stands for the world's digital platform for the value chain in the wood industry. tapio combines digital products for the entire wood industry with thousands of production machines as well as a wide range of materials and tools in an IoT platform (IoT = Internet of Things). In short: This digital platform completely covers the whole wood industry value chain.

    Start time: LIGNA
    All HOMAG Group machines ordered from LIGNA are ready to provide data to tapio's cloud. CloudReady machines have the necessary technology to connect to the IoT platform.

    The very first tapio products can be seen and experienced live at LIGNA – this includes, for example, a plant’s status as well as notifications and alerts from machines. These can be viewed by all visitors via a freely available app at the fair.
    (Homag Holzbearbeitungssysteme GmbH)
    22.05.2017   ANDRITZ to supply the first complete front-end system for production of ...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... insulating materials to Norway

    Picture: Handshake after signing the contract: (from left to right): Reinhard Schlager, Research and Technology; Gerhard Zauner, Project Manager, Thomas Hochmayr, Commercial Director; Michael Rupp, Director Sales and Marketing from ANDRITZ with Runar Jakobsen, Operation Director and Robert Dalen, Project Manager from Hunton Fiber AS

    International technology Group ANDRITZ has received an order from Hunton Fiber AS to supply chip handling, pressurized refining equipment, and the chemical dosing system for its insulation production line at the mill in Gjørvik, Norway. The new plant will be built on a greenfield site 5km from the existing plant. Furthermore, the new production facilities will be powered by clean and environmentally friendly hydropower from Norway. Start-up is scheduled for May 2018.

    ANDRITZ will deliver a chip feeding system, which will process 100% spruce as raw material, as well as a pressurized refining system with a capacity of 5 bdmt/h and a chemical dosing system. ANDRITZ pressurized refining systems feature highly efficient pre-steaming, excellent dewatering in the plug screw feeder, and low specific energy consumption by the overall system.

    The large number of successful references for pressurized refining systems and components for the production of wood-based insulation products as well as high reliability of the equipment and significant advantages in maintenance were decisive for Hunton in placing the order with ANDRITZ.

    Hunton is a leading international company for the production of blown-in insulation and insulation board. The company is well-known in Scandinavia, serving the needs of both the domestic and the overseas market.
    (Andritz AG)
    19.05.2017   Come and meet Valutec at Ligna    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Valutec is taking a team of experts and a Virtual Reality tour of a TC continuous kiln to the trade fair in Hannover! You will find Valutec, which was awarded the prestigious accolade of “Sägewerksausstatter des Jahres 2017” (Sawmill supplier of the year) by trade journal Holzkurier, at Hall 25, stand D23.

    Valutec will naturally be one of the exhibitors at Ligna on 22-26 May in Hannover. The company will travel down to the fair with a team of experts.
    “We are looking forward to hearing about the challenges faced by sawmills and their needs. A lot is going on in terms of development and I am sure that we will have many interesting discussions,” says Eric Johansson, Marketing Manager at Valutec.

    As the world-leading supplier of continuous kilns, Valutec will also be showcasing its new generation of TC continuous kilns (photo), which combine high capacity and quality with unbeatable flexibility.
    “This is a facility that streamlines the production process at many sawmills, thanks to the fact that the operator has complete freedom to mix dimensions and moisture ratios. In order to make it easier to get an idea of how the facility looks and operates we will be offering a virtual reality experience where visitors can go round a TC kiln,” says Eric.

    In addition, Valutec will be demonstrating its Valmatics control system, the world’s only control system that also includes a simulator (Valusim). This combination provides scope for optimising drying programmes based on capacity, quality and energy consumption.
    “It reduces costs owing to deficient quality and shortens running-in periods. It yields a rapid effect on the bottom line at sawmills,” says Eric.

    You will find Valutec, which was awarded the prestigious accolade of “Sägewerksausstatter des Jahres 2017” (Sawmill supplier of the year) by trade journal Holzkurier, at Hall 25, stand D23.
    (Valutec AB)
    18.05.2017   Post Show Review - Dubai WoodShow 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The 12th edition of Dubai International Wood and Machinery Show 2017 (Dubai WoodShow 2017) and the 1st edition of Dubai International Furniture Accessories & Components & Semi-Finished Products Show (DIFAC 2017) were launched by H.E. Sami Ahmad Dhaen Al Qamzi, Dubai Director General of Department of Economic Development.

    The launch also witnessed the esteemed presence of H.E. Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre and many other high-proile dignitaries and offcial visitors from both public and private sectors.

    At the opening ceremony, H.E. Sami Ahmad Dhaen Al Qamzi walked through the different exhibition halls and met with representatives of the participant companies, who had an opportunity to display and explain their products
    and special offerings H.E. Sami Ahmad Dhaen Al Qamzi lauded the efforts of the organisers for conducting a show of this repute and also acknowledged their valuable contribution to making Dubai a hub for such international events.

    The Dubai WoodShow is one of the biggest events of the industry in the region and across the world. This year’s edition is witnessing the largest participation, in terms of visitors, exhibitors and the exhibition space. In addition, the organisers anticipate more than 300 exhibitors from over 106 countries to visit the show. The total area of the exhibition is 17,388 square meters, offering exhibiting the companies a chance to display their products and offerings in a vast setting.
    (Strategic Marketing & Exhibitions)
    17.05.2017   Increased earnings for Setra    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Wood products company Setra reports an operating profit of SEK 33 million (9) for the first quarter of 2017. Net sales totalled SEK 1,007 million (1,028).

    “The higher earnings compared with the first quarter of 2016 are explained by the wood products market developing in a positive direction which has enabled us to increase both selling prices and sales and production volumes. We welcome this development in the wood products market and can see good demand from our customers. However, a lack of container capacity will affect deliveries in the coming months, especially to our customers in Asia,” says Hannele Arvonen (photo), President and CEO of Setra.

    The transaction for the sale of operations at Setra’s sawmill in Vimmerby to Bergs Timber was completed in January 2017. Figures for the previous year include the operations in Vimmerby as well as the subsidiary Setra Plusshus and the planing operations in Valbo, both of which were sold in the second quarter of 2016.

    Cash flow from operating activities for the first quarter amounted to SEK -28 million (-42). The Group’s financial position is strong. The Group’s financial net debt amounted to SEK 133 million at the end of the period which corresponds to a net debt/equity ratio of 10% (21).

    The Annual General Meeting of Setra Group AB was held recently and the meeting resolved to pay a dividend of SEK 1.94 per share for the financial year 2016, a total of approximately SEK 100 million.
    (Setra Group)
    16.05.2017   Three new services guarantee high machine availability    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The VOLLMER works at Biberach are adding three new services to their existing range. These consist of a service centre in Cloppenburg for customers in central and northern Germany, Denmark and Sweden, tiered service agreements and a new mobile service with integrated spare parts storage. With these additions, the grinding and eroding specialist is able to tailor its services more precisely to meet the specific requirements of the tool manufacturing and servicing sector – whether that involves maintaining a high level of machine availability or reaching the customer more quickly when needed. VOLLMER grinding and eroding machines are renowned worldwide for their long service life and precise machining results for rotary tools and circular saws. The three new VOLLMER services will help the brand move from strength to strength.

    "From consultation and financing to start-up and training, all the way through to upgrades and software – our VOLLMER services cover every phase of the machine life cycle," says Wolfgang Miller (photo), Services Director at VOLLMER. "The northern service centre in Cloppenburg, tiered service agreements and a new mobile service with integrated spare parts storage are our three latest innovations. They help us to provide our customers in the tool machining sector with a greater individual range of services."

    Northern service centre in Cloppenburg
    VOLLMER has over 75 service technicians worldwide who are continuously trained in all of the company's product areas. VOLLMER employs 25 service technicians in Germany alone. Since February 2016, an additional service centre in Cloppenburg has been responsible for supporting customers in central and northern Germany, Sweden and Denmark. "In the past, our service technicians had to travel a long way from Biberach to reach our customers located further north," says Wolfgang Miller. "Thanks to the service team located in Cloppenburg, we are now closer to these customers and consequently able to find a solution as quickly as possible when time is of the essence. This means we can meet exacting service quality standards at fair prices."

    Tiered service agreements
    Recurring maintenance and updates are key to the precise results and long service life offered by VOLLMER machines. For this reason, the grinding and eroding specialist from Biberach is now offering three preconfigured service packages which can be added to individually and thereby optimally tailored to meet customers' needs. Customers can therefore choose between the CHECK, PLUS and MAX agreements, tiered according to the scope of services offered. The CHECK service agreement covers basic services such as a six-monthly inspection and software updates. The next service level, PLUS, includes annual replacements for specific wear parts in addition to all the services in the basic package. The MAX service agreement includes the replacement of other wear parts at specified intervals.

    Mobile service with spare parts storage
    The third new addition to VOLLMER's range of services are utility vehicles equipped with integrated storage. Depending on the technician they are assigned to, the mobile service vehicles contain around 80 spare parts and machine components for the tool grinding or PCD eroding industry. The rolling spare parts storage enables immediate repairs without the need to re-order and is always ready for action in case of emergency.
    (Vollmer Werke Maschinenfabrik GmbH)
    15.05.2017   Satellites map carbon sequestered by forests, with accuracy of up to ten metres    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Led by VTT, the EU North State project has developed a new method of using satellite images to evaluate the forest carbon balance. The carbon balance indicates how much carbon is sequestered or released by forests each year. This enables the carbon balance to be displayed on digital maps, with an accuracy of up to ten metres.

    Caption: A carbon balance forecast for a detailed area in southern Finland, calculated using images from Sentinel 2. This prediction takes also account of carbon released by the decomposition of organic matter in the soil. The prediction has a resolution of ten metres.

    The technique involves mapping the key features of forest areas and forests – such as the location, main tree species, height and biomass – from images provided by the European Sentinel satellites. These digital images are fed into a model, alongside climate data. The result is carbon sequestration maps. Such maps reveal which areas are carbon sinks or carbon sources. This information can be used for activities such as planning forest management and assessing climate impacts.

    The simplest maps show the amount of carbon sequestered through photosynthesis, but take no account of carbon released by the decomposition of organic matter. More refined products take account of carbon released by living plants and carbon emissions from the soil. They provide a more precise idea of the carbon balance, but require the best source data. It was possible to create more advanced carbon balance maps of Finnish territory because sufficient ground reference data was available for guiding satellite image interpretation.

    "The partners in the project developed advanced methods of interpreting satellite and drone images. The University of Helsinki did the computing for the final carbon balance maps, based on VTT's satellite image interpretation. We had to invent a new approach to processing such huge quantities of data," says Research Professor Tuomas Häme.

    The University of Helsinki also developed a new way of using its carbon balance model to forecast growing stock volumes. The growing stock estimates for Finland yielded almost the same result as national forest inventories.

    At their most detailed, the maps had a resolution of ten metres. Coarser maps with a resolution of 500 metres were used to calculate the balance for the entire boreal coniferous forest zone from Iceland to the Urals. The same techniques could be used for satellite image interpretation and assessing the carbon balance, despite the major differences in image resolutions.

    The Sentinel satellite series forms the central part of the Copernicus Programme of the EU and the European Space Agency (ESA), which will provide free satellite data from across the globe over the forthcoming decades. The current total budget for the programme is over seven billion euros.

    Simosol Oy was the third Finnish partner involved in the North State project, in addition to the University of Helsinki and VTT. The other participating nations include the United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway and Russia. The total budget for North State was just under three million euros.

    Preparations are being made to put the project's results into practice, which is expected to occur within two years. Häme will presented the results recently in Helsinki at the Baltic from Space meeting of the European Space Agency (ESA).
    (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland)
    12.05.2017   PONSSE'S INTERIM REPORT FOR 1 JANUARY – 31 MARCH 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    – Net sales amounted to EUR 129.9 (115.1) million.
    – Operating result totalled EUR 14.3 (12.1) million, equalling 11.0 (10.5) percent of net sales.
    – Result before taxes was EUR 14.5 (12.0) million.
    – Cash flow from operating activities was EUR -5.4 (-2.3) million.
    – Earnings per share were EUR 0.40 (0.34).
    – Equity ratio was 52.4 (48.9) per cent.
    – Order books stood at EUR 118.6 (156.2) million.

    2017 started off well, and demand for PONSSE forest machines was high from the very beginning of the year. Orders for the first quarter were strong, and the order books at the end of the period under review stood at 118.6 (156.2) million euros.
    Net sales grew well during the first quarter to 129.9 (115.1) million euros.
    The growth of net sales in relation to the comparison period was 12.9 percent.
    The net sales of service business grew extremely well, but the growth of net sales in used machines was moderate. The portion of international business in net sales was 72.1 (72.7) percent.

    Profit for the past quarter amounted to 14.3 (12.1) million euros, with a
    growth of 18.3 percent. Result for the review period was 11.0 (10.5) percent.
    The distribution network and factory functioned as planned while operating
    costs remained under control, which had a positive effect on profitability.
    Cash flow was -5.4 (-2.3) million euros. The stock of used machines remains higher than expected.

    Our investments proceeded according to plans. New service centres were finished in Uruguay and France, and our UK subsidiary's new facilities are expected to be completed by the end of the year. The investment for the factory's expansion is on schedule. Building will be completed in the autumn of 2017, after which equipment will be installed.
    (Ponsse Oyj)
    11.05.2017   Stora Enso supplies massive wood to one of the Nordics largest wood construction projects    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Stora Enso has been commissioned to supply massive wood products to a residential project in Växjö municipality in southern Sweden. A total of 6,300 m3 of CLT (Cross Laminated Wood) will be delivered to the Trummens Strand project, making this one of the largest wooden building projects in the Nordic countries to date.

    The project includes, among other things, 150 exclusive apartments and a pre-school, which will be erected by construction contractor GBJ Bygg. The tallest residential buildings will be eight storeys high. The Norwegian company Woodcon will coordinate the delivery and design through its Swedish affiliate Woodconstruction Sweden. Work at Trummens Strand has recently begun and the site is planned to be ready at the turn of 2018/2019.

    "We are extremely pleased that we have been selected as the element provider for this extensive and exclusive housing project. It is clear that there is an increased focus on sustainable construction in Sweden, which increases the interest in wood as building material. Wood is the only fully renewable building material, so from an environmental standpoint there is no better alternative," says Mikael Lindberg, Head of Sales Scandinavia from Stora Enso Division Wood Products.

    "With today's climate challenges, it is important for us to focus on building in the most environmentally friendly way as possible. Building in wood feels right because it has so many positive climate impacts,” says Staffan Dahlström, CEO of GBJ Bygg.

    "The most important thing for me as an architect is to feel that this is a wooden structure. One should feel that it is wood and smell of wood, and when you lean against a massive wooden wall you can feel the quality," says architect Stefan Johansson of FOJAB Architects.

    "Trummens Strand is one of several exciting wooden house projects in Växjö municipality," says Anna Tenje, Chairman of the municipal council in Växjö. "In Växjö, we have developed a specific wood construction strategy to stimulate the increased use of wood. The goal is that by 2020, at least 50% of new municipal construction will be wood based. We are on track and the outcome for 2016 already ended up with a delighting 67%."
    (Stora Enso Oyj)
    10.05.2017   Case study: Wolfson Tree Management Centre, Westonbirt Arboretum    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Two radical timber buildings at the National Arboretum in Gloucestershire show how timber from trees felled in the routine maintenance of the estate were processed on site into structure and cladding, and constructed by volunteers and trainee carpenters.

    The two new buildings, designed by Piers Taylor of Invisible Studio, are focused on the requirements of staff at the arboretum, whose management and care of the tree collection are critical to its sustainable existence.

    The brief developed into two buildings; the Machine Shed, where tractors and agricultural equipment used by the staff are housed and maintained, and the Mess Room, which provides communal staff facilities. Both buildings sit close to each other at the far end of the estate.

    Timber was the obvious choice of material, and as the architect Piers Taylor explained: “We particularly wanted to use the timber from the arboretum – as the client had an extraordinary resource which they hadn’t exploited previously for building.

    “As a result, all the timber for these two buildings was grown and milled on site and used untreated for the construction with no further processing.”

    Graham Clarke, senior structural engineer at Buro Happold, described the structure: “The design team’s initial response was to look at the forest resources available at the arboretum. By gaining an understanding of the timber that would become available through the routine management of the arboretum, it became apparent that some significant sized trees could be harvested.”

    The two buildings were delivered on a tight budget and are able to demonstrate that, with the right design approach, locally sourced materials can be used to reduce the environmental impact of the built environment as well as reducing the construction costs.
    (TRADA - Timber Research and Development Association)
    09.05.2017   Metsä Wood establishes birch plywood mill in Pärnu, Estonia     ( Company news )

    Company news
    The construction of the birch plywood mill in Pärnu is part of the 100 million euro investment program Metsä Wood published in June 2016. The program is carried out during 2017-2018.
    The new mill will create approximately 200 jobs to Pärnu. The mill will start production by the second half of 2018.

    “Metsä Wood is investing in birch plywood production to better meet the globally growing demand. The location of the new mill in Pärnu offers very good logistical connections to our main markets. The birch veneers will be manufactured in Finland and converted into plywood at the Pärnu mill. This is a major investment in our competitiveness. The annual birch plywood production capacity at the Pärnu mill will be 50 000 cubic metres,” says Jari Tikkanen, SVP Production and technology at Metsä Wood.

    The construction agreement signed between Metsä Wood and Nordecon AS includes the construction of the production hall of 29 000 square metres and the non-work rooms and office premises.
    (Metsä Wood)
    08.05.2017   Kährs Group closes wood floor production unit in Finland    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The flooring company Kährs Group is reorganizing its hardwood flooring production and has decided to close its production unit in Tuupovaara, Finland.

    Twenty-one employees are affected and the implementation of the closure will start immediately and notices of termination will be given to the employees as soon as possible.

    Kährs Group is continuously evaluating its supply footprint to optimize capacity and streamline operations. The demand for products produced at the Tuupovaara unit have declined in recent years.

    “Streamlining our supply footprint and adjusting our production network to what is in demand is necessary to secure our long-term ability to provide customers with competitive, high-quality hardwood floors”, says Christer Persson, President and CEO of Kährs Group.
    (Karelia-Upofloor Oy)
    05.05.2017   Swedish Karl Hedin AB Group chooses again HEINOLAs Chamber Kilns!    ( Company news )

    Company news
    AS Toftan from Estonia Vorumaa invests again in HEINOLAs high-class Chamber Kilns. This kiln order is already second from AS Toftan to HEINOLA within one year. These six new Chamber Kilns type HCHD from Heinola Sawmill Machinery Inc. have annual capacity of ca. 130 000 m3 when drying 25 mm spruce to 14 % final moisture content. The drying kilns can be used for drying of pine and spruce timber with thicknesses of 25–75 mm from sawn green timber to the final moisture of 8–18 %. The new Chamber Kilns will be taken into production by the end of year 2017.

    Heinola Sawmill Machinery Inc. expresses its thanks to AS Toftan for their confidence to us!
    (Heinola Sawmill Machinery Inc.)
    04.05.2017   European sawlog prices continued their downward trend in late 2016, resulting in a decline...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    .. of the European Sawlog Price Index by 6.6% over the course of two years, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly

    Sawlog prices have fallen faster in Europe than in the rest of the world for the past two years but are still higher than in North America, Oceania and Latin America reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. The discrepancy between the global and European sawlog price indices reached its lowest level since 2006.

    Sawlog prices in Europe have been trending downward over the past three years from their record high levels in 2014. The biggest price drops have occurred in the Nordic countries and in Central Europe, while the log costs have fallen slightly less for sawmills in Eastern Europe.

    The European Sawlog Price Index (ESPI-€) in the 4Q/16 was 6.6 % below its peak in 2014. Sawlog prices in Sweden, Finland and Norway are currently at their lowest levels in over ten years in their local currencies despite healthy lumber markets for sawmills in the region and high production levels. In Germany and Austria there has been a slight increase in sawlog prices during 2016, but prices are still close to their lowest they have been since 2010.

    Wood raw-material costs for European lumber producers (which typically range between 60-70% of the production costs) have declined faster than in most other regions of the world over the past few years and sawmills on the continent have become more competitive, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). The European Sawlog Price Index (in US dollar terms) has fallen 19% from 2014 to 2016, while sawlog prices in North America and Latin America have declined by six percent and 13 percent respectively, during the same period. Although European sawmills continue to have some of the highest raw-material costs in the world, the discrepancy between the global sawlog price index (GSPI) and the European sawlog price index (in US dollar terms) has fallen, and in the 4Q/16 was at its lowest level in over ten years.
    (Wood Resources International LLC)
    03.05.2017   Södra retains some operations at the Torsås sawmill    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Södra will retain one planing line plus the tongue and groove board line at the Torsås sawmill. In June last year, Södra announced that the sawmill would be closed down. The decision means that seven employees who had previously received redundancy notice will be recalled.

    The original plan was to discontinue the sawing operations on 30 June this year, and to close the trimming plant and planing mill on 31 October.

    "The sawing operations at Torsås will be extended until 31 October, and then closed down. These activities will be extended because we need to support the sawmill at Långasjö with products while the new small-dimension line is being installed," said Jörgen Lindquist, President of the Södra Wood business area.

    Södra also intends to retain one planing line to increase its own planing capacity. Some volumes of planing is currently sub-contracted. Since the planing mill will be retained, the continuation of tongue and groove production is only logical.

    In connection with the decision to close the sawmill in June, it was also announced that construction shelter, joinery and boiler-related activities would remain in the area, requiring nine employees.
    (Södra Timber AB)
    02.05.2017   Tool sharpening for the woodworking industry - VOLLMER at Ligna 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    In line with their motto "Dialogue on Precision", the sharpening specialist VOLLMER will present their range of products and services at this year's Ligna woodworking trade fair. At stand B60 in Hall 27, the Swabian business will show off their grinding and eroding machines for the wood processing industry, designed to sharpen circular, band and gang saws as well as rotary tools. From 22nd to 26th May 2017, visitors to the trade fair will be able to get a closer look at the VOLLMER CC 355 production system for circular saws. In addition, the modified QXD 250 eroding machine for PCD-tipped rotary tools and the VGrind 360 grinding machine for carbide tools will be on display in Hanover. These machines are used by furniture makers, wood material manufacturers and sharpening services.

    Photo: With the VGrind 360 grinding machine for carbide tools, VOLLMER has brought the next generation of grinding machines to series production.

    VOLLMER at Ligna 2017
    Whether for circular, band and gang saws or rotary tools – at stand B60 in Hall 27 at the 2017 Ligna woodworking trade fair, VOLLMER is presenting efficient complete solutions for machining both saws and tools for the woodworking industry. The new CC 355 production system is suitable for manufacturers of carbide-tipped circular saws for use in wood cutting. The CC 355 enables large numbers of circular saw blades to be fully sharpened – including all tooth faces, tooth tops and side angles – in a single working cycle. Four grip arms automatically carry the saw blades, which can range from 150 to 355 millimetres in diameter, from the loading system to the three machining stations. The CP 650 sharpening machine will also be on show in Hanover from 22nd to 26th May 2017. It is suitable for sharpening tooth faces and tooth tops on carbide-tipped circular saw blades between 80 and 650 millimetres in diameter. What's more, VOLLMER will be available to provide information about other machines which can be used for sharpening services or in filing rooms at sawmills – simply pay them a visit at their Ligna stand.

    Sharpening carbide-tipped tools
    The VGrind 360 grinding machine is suitable for machining carbide tools such as drills and milling cutters, which are used in timber construction and furniture building. Thanks to two vertically positioned spindles, the VGrind 360 machines and finishes rotary tools in large quantities quickly and precisely. Its enhanced travel distances enable carbide-tipped steel bodies up to a diameter of 200 millimetres to be machined, depending on their geometry. With the VGrind 360, VOLLMER provides tool manufacturers around the world with solutions for rotary workpieces of varying geometries.

    Diamond-tipped tools – those that feature polycrystalline diamond (PCD) – are vitally important in the production of wood and composite materials. VOLLMER provides PCD tool manufacturers with a range of eroding machines. The QXD 250 disc erosion machine will be on show in Hanover. Thanks to its modified generator and expanded program functionalities, it enables more efficient, quicker, more precise machining. With the HC 5 pallet circulation magazine, the QXD 250 can be expanded by up to 28 workpiece positions.

    "The Ligna trade fair is an excellent forum for us to speak with representatives from the woodworking industry," says Dr Stefan Brand, CEO of VOLLMER in Biberach. "Alongside our sharpening machines, we are demonstrating our wide range of services which are tailored to meet the needs of our customers and which range from training and financing schemes to maintenance and repair."
    (Vollmer Werke Maschinenfabrik GmbH)
    28.04.2017   Swedish sawmilling group Siljan invests in batch kilns    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The Siljan sawmills at Blyberg and Siljan are investing in Valutec’s batch kilns and control system. A total of ten forklift-fed batch kilns and 29 control systems are to be purchased.

    The Siljan Group sawmills in Älvdalen and Mora are investing in Valutec’s batch kilns and control technology. The contract comprises ten forklift-fed batch kilns with a total capacity of around 120,000 m3 and 29 control systems. It also includes switching to the Valmatics control system throughout the drying park.
    “Reliability is one of the contributory reasons why we chose Valutec’s overall solution,” says Tomas Olaspers, MD at Blyberg Timber in Älvdalen.

    At Blyberg, the Siljan Group made a decision in December 2016 to invest in three forklift-fed batch kilns with greater capacity to achieve an increased drying-down ratio. At the same time it was noted that the sawmill needed to be further upgraded.
    “The old kilns that have kept up for a long time proved to be in worse condition than we first thought. We quickly decided to invest in a further three batch kilns from Valutec and the Valmatics control system,” says Tomas Olaspers, MD.

    The investment in drying capacity will also facilitate a capacity increase at the sawmill, from 205,000 cubic meters per year to 245,000 cubic metres.
    “We are investing in the future. In 2011, we invested in a new saw line, and we have now reached a very high level of capacity and the volumes are so big that we quite simply needed greater drying capacity. A lot of what we sell goes direct to end consumers and so a reliable drying process is required and Valutec can give us that,” says Tomas.

    The Siljan Group has grown over the past five years and produces a total of 430,000 cubic metres of sawn timber. Over time the need for increased drying capacity also arose at the sawmill in Mora, which also has TC and continuous kilns at its facility. They have invested in four new batch kilns, with a drying capacity of 50,000 cubic metres per year.
    “Choosing Valutec was a natural and obvious choice for us. We have always had Valutec and are pleased with the accompanying service and support. We have been approached by others in the industry, but have declined their offers”, says Jon Hansson, MD at Siljan Timber.

    The sawmill in Mora produces 70 per cent pine and 30 per cent spruce. A substantial proportion are industrial customers who refine the products, but the Siljan Group also undertakes in-house finishing of flooring and panel components.
    “We are seeing an upsurge for our products with quality pine and good surface treatment, which is positive. The batch kilns can take larger dimensions of planks and we want to increase the drying-down ratio there. With room-dry wood we can make even more pine flooring,” says Jon Hansson.

    Valutec is honoured to be entrusted with this by the Siljan Group.
    “They are a proactive group who we have had the privilege of working with for a long time. It is really gratifying that they have once again chosen us when investing for the future,” says Jon Lindberg, Sales Manager at Valutec.
    (Valutec AB)
    27.04.2017   Raute Corporation strengthens its offering for veneer and lumber grading technology...     ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... by acquiring the business of Metriguard Inc.

    Raute Corporation
    and the owners of Metriguard, Inc. have agreed on the purchase of the business of Metriguard Inc., Pullman, Washington, USA.

    Metriguard, established in 1972, is the world leader in high speed strength grading technology for lumber and veneer. Metriguard sells and provides services for its equipment globally, with installations in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

    Metriguard’s products and technology are complementary to Raute’s current product offerings. Over the years, Metriguard’s products have been integrated into dozens of Raute’s deliveries. Metriguard’s net sales were USD 4.6 million in 2016, with an EBIT of USD 0.8 million, and it employs 26 people.

    Metriguard’s business will continue by a newly established Raute’s subsidiary Metriguard Technologies, Inc.. Its financials will be reported as part of Raute’s wood products technology segment. The acquisition is deemed to have a positive effect on Raute’s net sales in 2017 and on its financial results starting from 2018.

    The acquisition is made as an asset purchase. Intangible assets, working capital and fixed assets, except real estate, are acquired. Metriguard’s personnel will transfer in along with the acquisition. The purchase price, estimated at USD 4.5 million, is paid in two installments. A base purchase price of USD 3.1 million is paid at closing, additionally there will be an earn-out payment based on net sales for a 12-month period following closing of the transaction.

    Says Raute’s President and CEO Tapani Kiiski: “Metriguard's technology has evolved over more than four decades and has proven to provide veneer and lumber mills with significant benefits in terms of enabling capturing the highest possible value of the given raw material. Raute's strategy is to provide technology to our customers to help them run their business in a profitable way, but strength grading technology has been missing from our offering. With Metriguard's technology, and its solid and well recognized brand, we will be able to offer even more comprehensive solutions. We believe this acquisition will help Raute grow and open new opportunities for Metriguard."

    James D. Logan, P.E., President and founder of Metriguard Inc. says that this is a great opportunity for the future of Metriguard, its employees and customers: “We are really pleased to be working with Raute, a global company with a most excellent reputation for quality of products and service. Metriguard's customers can look forward to a continuing supply of outstanding production line and quality control test equipment as well new developments that will enhance performance of existing equipment and provide new functionality. The company will continue to operate in Pullman, Washington where its personnel provide equipment and services to the global market. Metriguard's proximity to two major universities provide an excellent environment for research and development.”
    (Raute Oyj)
    26.04.2017   Moholt 50|50 wins 'Wooden Construction of the Year 2016' award    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Moholt 50|50 has been selected the wooden construction of the year 2016 in Norway. Its five houses are based on Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), and Moholt 50|50 is the largest massive wood project in Norway. It is also the highest timber building project in Scandinavia with the total of 6,500 m³ CLT, delivered by Stora Enso.

    With a strong environmental focus, Moholt 50|50 comprises five CLT buildings each 28 metres high, and meets the passive house standards. The goal of the project was not only to offer simple and affordable housing, but also to provide service functions such as a kindergarten, a laundry, training areas, hairdressers and a library.

    Criteria for the prize included innovative and exciting use of timber, high architectural quality as well as energy, economic and space efficiency. According to the jury, the project demonstrates all the set criteria to a large extent. Additionally all the players involved were challenged throughout the project resulting in innovations in wooden construction and working methods.

    “The project is an excellent example of demonstrating the power of co-operation. We want to develop a strong ecosystem of partners, together with whom we continuously develop industrialised building systems such as in this case together with Woodcon. Stora Enso as a building components and solutions provider already has vast experience in wood construction, and through innovative concepts and repetition we can improve the efficiency and take urban wood construction to the next level”, says Petri Perttula, SVP, Building Solutions at Stora Enso’s Wood Products division.

    Moholt 50|50 was shortlisted also for the WAN Wood in Architecture Award 2016.

    Furthermore, Moholt 50|50 was among the 40 works shortlisted to compete for the prestigious 2017 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award.
    (Stora Enso Oyj)
    26.04.2017   Strong first quarter for Södra    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Södra’s operating profit totalled SEK 451 million (249) for the first quarter. The operating margin improved to 9 percent (5) and return on capital employed to 11 percent (7).

    “Södra’s first quarter was strong with increased net sales, higher earnings and an improved operating margin. Robust demand contributed to the favourable volume and price trend, and the currency trend was also positive. Based on its Group strategy, Södra will continue to strengthen and focus on increased digitisation, innovation and sustainability,” said Lars Idermark (photo), President and CEO.

    “One important reason for the positive result was the improvement for the sawmill operations, where the ongoing restructuring process – with a customer and market focus, and the development of new products and services – is progressing according to plan,” said Lars Idermark.

    In the Södra Wood business area, earnings rose SEK 96 million to SEK 3 million (loss: 93).

    The Södra Cell business area was positively impacted by higher volumes due to expanded capacity at the Värö pulp mill. Earnings were also affected by favourable price levels and a positive trend for the business area’s currencies. Operating profit totalled SEK 457 million (371).

    The Södra Skog business area reported operating profit of SEK 16 million (18) for the first quarter.

    “Due to the positive trend we have seen since autumn 2016, the second quarter should also be strong. At the same time, our efficiency measures will continue with the aim of further improving profitability. However, there are still a number of geopolitical concerns and our business environment is rapidly changing,” said Lars Idermark.
    (Södra Timber AB)
    25.04.2017   Honkarakenne leads the way in healthy public construction by delivering 34 log daycare centres ...    ( Company news )

    Company news Finland

    Honkarakenne Plc and its network will deliver a total of 34 log daycare centres across Finland by the end of 2020. Log daycare centres are a response to the strongly growing demand for daycare facilities with clean indoor air for children. Honkarakenne’s share of the deliveries of daycare centres, including value added tax, will total approximately EUR 6.9 million.

    The delivery of daycare centres will begin already in 2017, during which time the aim is to start the construction of 5–7 daycare centres. Mediset Hoivarakentajat Oy will be the turnkey contractor for the daycare centres, and they will be operated by Pilke päiväkodit Oy. The cooperation between the parties began with the implementation of a daycare centre built in Aura, which confirmed the parties agreement on more extensive cooperation. The next log daycare centre will be built in Vantaa, and negotiations on building daycare centres are currently underway with several municipalities.

    Honkarakenne Plc has wanted to lead the way in healthy construction and create solutions to increasing indoor air and mould problems. The company announced its Healthy House concept, certified by VTT and implemented in cooperation with the Finnish Allergy and Asthma Federation, in 2014. Honkarakenne is now introducing this expertise to public construction as well.

    “This masterpiece by a Finnish network of expertise is great evidence of Finnish expertise. We are particularly happy to be involved in improving the quality of children’s daycare during Finland’s 100th anniversary. Over the years, we have delivered a large number of diverse public buildings abroad: daycare centres, schools, churches, even hospitals. It is astonishing that we are also allowed to take part in developing Finnish healthy public construction,” says Marko Saarelainen, CEO of Honkarakenne.
    Honkarakenne’s non-settling log provides benefits for public construction

    Today’s log buildings can be big and feature modern architecture. The non-settling log developed by Honkarakenne allows combining various materials with a massive wood frame and modern details and lining. Construction work and building system installation is smoother when there is no need to prepare for the settling of structures. Moreover, the Nollanurkka corner structure suitable for urban construction, in which a dovetail corner joint is protected inside the log structure and conventional cross corners are no longer required, can be combined with the non-settling structure. All of the log daycare centres of the cooperation network will be built from non-settling log using Nollanurkka structures.

    ”Non-settling log is a superior building material. The tightness, easy and quick installation and maintenance-free nature of the frame are significant benefits in public construction. The non-settling log combined with the Nollanurkka structure is aesthetically beautiful and also very well suited for urban environments. Honkarakenne has already 15 years of experience with the non-settling log, so in addition to VTT’s tests, the structure has also proven its strengths in practice,” says Juha Marttala, Managing Director of Mediset Hoivarakentajat Oy.

    A log daycare centre is an investment in the well-being of children and employees
    Pilke päiväkodit was delighted with log as a building material when visiting a site. The fresh indoor air, good acoustics and calm and peaceful atmosphere provided by massive wood in a daycare centre delivered by Honkarakenne in Oulu impressed the daycare centre operator.

    “Pilke päiväkodit aims to take into account the principles of sustainable development in construction. For example, we strive to use geothermal heat and LED lighting in our daycare centres. Ecological log construction is extremely well suited to our values. The healthy environment that is also friendly to the senses increase the well-being of children and educators alike during the day,” says Minna Martikainen, Managing Director of Pilke päiväkodit Oy.
    (Honkarakenne Oyj)
    24.04.2017   Mannington extends patent collaboration with Välinge to include US Floors patents    ( Company news )

    Company news
    American floor producer Mannington Mills, Inc. has reached an agreement with Välinge related to LVT and WPC flooring with mechanical locking system.

    Välinge’s patent portfolio for LVT and WPC products has been available to licensees for more than 10 years. In 2015, Välinge launched an Extended Patent Protection (EPP) initiative in order to offer extended IP protection to its licensees. The EPP comprises cross licenses and non-assertion undertaking with companies such as US Floors, related to WPC products including the COREtec® technology, and with Unilin, IVC and Balterio related to LVT/WPC products and technologies among others.

    Mannington and Välinge have a cooperation regarding mechanical locking system for laminate and engineered wood flooring as well as for LVT and WPC products where they have a license on the 2G and 5G® Fold Down locking systems. In 2012 the parties signed a cross-license agreement giving Välinge the exclusive right to sub-license the Mannington IP related to LVT locking technology to other producers.
    (Välinge Innovation AB)
    21.04.2017   Interfresa and FEDEMCO join forces to fight against intrusions in commercial practices ...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ...that harm both sectors

    The two associations will work together to preserve the food safety of consumers and prevent fraud.
    It has been detected that under the indication "Strawberry of Huelva" there are boxes which do not indicate producer, variety and origin as required by the European Community legislation.

    The Inter-professional Association of the Andalusian Strawberry (INTERFRESA) and the Spanish Federation of Wooden Crates and their Components (FEDEMCO-GROW) have agreed to join forces to collaborate in the fight against intrusions in commercial practices, which affect consumer information, violate sanitary regulations, endanger consumer food safety, and enable unfair competition for the entire Huelva’s strawberry sector and the wood packaging industry.

    In the talks held in Huelva to analyze the situation were present José Luis García-Palacios Álvarez INTERFRESAS’s president, Alberto Garrocho Robles FRESHUELVA’s president, Pedro Marín Andrés INTERFRESAS’s Manager and Alberto Palmí Alcober on behalf of FEDEMCO and FEFPEB (European Packaging Federation).

    This commitment to mutual collaboration arises because "in the markets and commercial areas, it has been detected wooden crates and cardboard crates with the indication "Strawberry of Huelva" that do not indicate producer, variety and origin as required by the European Community legislation. This is a serious violation of the sanitary regulations and other requirements of traceability of both the fruit and the packaging. In addition, in the case of packaging, it is contrary to the rules concerning materials in contact with food ".

    The first lines of work have been defined as a result of this first meeting. The commitment to sign a collaboration agreement between both organizations has already been reached. It will start with a campaign to inform and disseminate good commercial and hygiene practices in the commercialization of strawberries from Huelva. Their preparation and packaging in wooden boxes included.

    Also, both associations acquire the compromise to follow, through a work commission, the preparation, the production and the labeling of the producer and the manufacturer.

    Finally, in order to end the fraud that harms both sectors it is the intention of these organizations to pursue and report to the Health and Competition authorities to initiate inspections and collect evidence of such practices. That go against consumer rights, strawberry producers and packaging manufacturers.
    (FEDEMCO - Federación Española del Envase de Madera y sus Componentes)
    20.04.2017   Långshyttan delivers 100 percent    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Since August last year Setra’s glulam factory in Långshyttan has had 100% delivery reliability. But the employees are not exactly putting their feet up. A new product specialist and strengthened sales organisation are now setting their sights on increasing glulam volumes in the Nordic market.

    GLULAM IS STRONG, attractive and mouldable. It is suitable for most types of building project. The almost unlimited possibilities for design and execution make it a hot material of the future which really pushes the boundaries. So it is not so strange that interest in glulam is increasing and that the industry association’s statistics show a new Swedish sales record for 2015.
    This increased interest can also be seen at Setra’s production facility in Långshyttan which is highly automated and has an annual production volume of about 45,000 cubic metres. The facility is characterised by forward thinking and innovation. For nearly five years, work has been focused on the smallest details in order to optimise and streamline working methods.

    Thomas Kling is a new product specialist for glulam. He has extensive experience of the industry including as sales manager at Moelven Töreboda and with housebuilder Mälarvillan. You cannot help noticing that Thomas sees great potential both in glulam as a material and in the production unit in Långshyttan.
    “We see that more and more people are becoming aware of glulam and that the material is capturing market share for building frames. This is because it is strong, attractive and easy to handle and work. Also it is a fire-stable material and has an obvious role in a sustainable society. The work done here in Långshyttan is admirable in many ways. There is forward momentum where all employees are aware that their individual input is decisive for the end result.”

    A few seconds can mean significant time savings
    Efficiency work at Setra Långshyttan has paid off and it is now clear that a few seconds saved at each stage are sufficient to achieve significant time savings. The processing unit has in principle improved every metric that can benefit the customer. This applies not only on the factory floor but also in the office where short lead times from enquiry to offer have been a success factor for the business.
    “We have achieved a good flow in our work,” says Thomas Liiv who is a sales engineer and together with his colleagues Ronny Dahlberg, Niclas Tapper and Tobias Österberg has come up with a model for answering customers’ enquiries just a few hours after they come in.
    “Everybody does the same thing out in production and that also applies to us here in the office. To be able to have short response times we need things to be neat and tidy and to work in a structured manner,” states Tobias Österberg who is a designer and helps customers dimension glulam.

    Håkan Mettävainio is a salesman responsible for wood at Beijer Byggmaterial in Luleå and a customer of Setra Långshyttan. He confirms the importance of rapid feedback, not least since he thinks that forward planning in the building industry has got worse.“When I started at Beijer Byggmaterial 24 years ago the situation was different. Then I could have several weeks to prepare a proposal for my customer. Today, I need to get a price in the same afternoon that the enquiry came in. In this context Setra Långshyttan is unbeatable. They handle all questions immediately and although we have worked with them for a couple of years we are still amazed at how quick and efficient they are at getting back to us.”

    Setra Långshyttan is a partner to rely on
    Today about 40% of Långshyttan’s production is exported. Now Thomas Kling and his colleagues in the sales department are fully focused on increasing market share in Sweden. A lot of this, of course, is about building and maintaining good relations, but also informing about glulam in general and Långshyttan’s offering in particular.
    “We must tell the market how we can help. That we are a partner who can respond to enquiries fast and that a quick offer can often lead to a quick order. But also about the advantages of letting us get involved in the process as early as possible. Then we can give the best advice on how our glulam fits into a planned construction, which saves a lot of time on the project,” says Thomas Kling.

    At Långshyttan production has been set up to meet increased customer demands for glued wood and shape-stable products. The facility is extremely flexible, which means that each individual order can receive special treatment. The glulam that is delivered is customised directly for the end user and a well-developed logistics system delivers the products quickly and securely throughout Sweden.
    “The results of our efficiency work just get better and better and we have taken big strides on most fronts,” says Kjell Lilletjernbakken who is Mill Manager at Långshyttan. Since August last year we have had a delivery reliability of 100% and we have the shortest delivery times in Sweden. We promise eight days, but will pare that figure down further. Considering we have full control of our processes, I am convinced that we will achieve this.”
    (Setra Group)

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