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    20.10.2017   UPM Plywood starts using a new sustainable WISA BioBond gluing technology    ( Company news )

    Company news
    UPM Plywood starts using a new sustainable lignin based WISA BioBond gluing technology in plywood manufacturing. In the new technology 50% of the fossil-based phenol has been replaced with lignin obtained as a by product of kraf pulp production.

    "Our long term goal has been to develop a gluing technology that utilizes lignin as raw material. The technological breakthrough that now has been achieved is the most significant innovation in plywood gluing in five decades" says Susanna Rinne, Vice President, Business Development at UPM Plywood.

    UPM Plywood plans to take the new gluing technology into use gradually in all of its plywood mills.

    Technical properties of the plywood manufactured using the new gluing technology match those of the traditional method. Therefore, WISA BioBond products replace old products directly. The change of the gluing technology has no practical effect on end-users, nor does it reguire any actions from their side. Customers will be able to utilise the sustainability of the new WISA BioBond in their own business gradually as the implementation of the technology progresses.

    "Sustainable and effective use of raw-materials is one of the corner stones of UPM's Biofore strategy. WISA BioBond is a prime example of this strategy in practice. Through cross-business co-operation we have developed a gluing technology that makes our WISA plywood products the most sustainbe ones on the market" says Mika Sillanpää, Executive Vice President of UPM Plywood.

    Ability to use ligning obtained as a by-product of kraft pulp production in gluing wood has been studied for a long time. WISA BioBond is based on patented UPM BioPiva lignin technology developed by UPM Biochemicals. UPM Plywood is now bringing the first patent pending plywood products utilising the technology to the market.
    (UPM Timber)
    19.10.2017   A new dimension for the furniture industry: BASF and Sonae Arauco win AVK Innovation Award 2017...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... for 3D moldable wood fiber composites

    -New acForm™ binder technology enables thermoformable wood fiber composites to be manufactured on existing standard MDF production lines
    -3D moldability opens up new design options for the furniture industry

    At the International Composites Congress in Stuttgart, BASF and Sonae Arauco were jointly honored with the AVK (German Federation of Reinforced Plastics) Innovation Award 2017 for a new development in 3D moldable wood fiber components. The two companies ranked first in the category “Innovative products/components or applications” for providing the furniture industry with a storage stable composite that can be processed by hot molding.

    In contrast to standard thermoset boards, the new wood-based composite is able to be post-molded and its surface can be structured in short cycles on standard furniture molding equipment.

    The novel wood composites are based on BASF’s new binder technology, acForm. Its application is using Sonae Arauco wood refining technology which is adjusted to be used without any productivity restrictions. Due to the specific binder-fiber composition the composite allows all three spatial axes to be formed at the same time.

    “Our new composites greatly facilitate the thermo-molding and thermo-embossing processes, because several production steps, including veneer gluing and layering, are no longer necessary,” says Dr. Thorsten Habeck, Head of BASF’s marketing unit Dispersions for Fiber Bonding Europe, Middle East & Africa. “This allows much shorter cycle times than separate layering and a significant productivity increase.”

    In addition, the composites can be used to produce highly structured or curved components. This opens up new design options for application fields like door and furniture fronts, wall or ceiling linings, room dividers, partition walls in open-plan offices or structured flooring.

    acForm also sets new standards in terms of work place health and safety, meeting the most stringent regulations because formaldehyde is not added to the binder system.

    The production of 3D moldable composites is using Sonae Arauco’s continuous wood refining technology, ensuring consistency of materials and improved environmentally-friendly products. “The composites are “ready to be converted” materials ensuring higher productivity and lower costs for customers versus current conventional embedded processes such as plywood, deep rooted panels, bended HDF, allowing exhaustive applications in all segments of the furniture and construction market”, says Adelaide Alves, Manager Product Development Sonae Arauco.

    The AVK Innovation Award acknowledges innovations in the field of fiber reinforced plastics (FRPs)/composites in four different categories. The award promotes the development of new products/components and applications using FRPs as well as new procedures and processes for manufacturing FRP based products.
    (BASF Bereich Performance Chemicals for Plastics and Specialties / E-EVP/KT)
    18.10.2017   Lucrative log markets in China have resulted in a tripling of softwood log export volumes...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    .... from Australia the past four years, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly

    Timberland owners in Australia are increasingly exploring opportunities for the exportation of logs as an alternative to selling logs in the domestic market. From 2012 to 2016, the export volume was up 300%, and 2017 is likely to set a new record high, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly. Rising log prices in the export market have been the key drivers of the increase in exports. Conversely, prices in the domestic market have stagnated the past few years.

    Australia has rapidly become a major exporter of softwood logs and was the world’s sixth largest log exporter in 2016. During the 1H/17, the upward trend continued with shipments being 17% higher than in the 1H/16. In 2012, Australia’s annual exports totaled only 1.2 million m3. Just four years later, in 2016, exports had tripled to a record high of 3.6 million m3, of which 96% was destined for China. If the upward trend seen this far in the first six months of 2017 continues, export volumes will end up totaling over four million m3 in 2017, which represents approximately 25% of the total softwood timber harvest in Australia.

    Obviously, exportation of logs has become an attractive alternative to domestic sales for timberland owners in Australia. Wood Resource Quarterly reports that in 2012, there were minimal price premiums for exported logs over domestic logs, but by 2016 and 2017, premiums had surged to between A$35-50/m3. Despite these recent price increases, Australia is still considered to be a low-cost log supplier in the Chinese market as compared to other suppliers such as New Zealand, Russia and North America, mainly because of higher domestic sawlog prices in those markets.

    Higher log export volumes have occurred at the same time as domestic log demand has gone up over 20% in four years, from 3.6 million m3 of lumber in 2012 to an estimated 4.4 million m3 in 2016. Although sawmill production fell slightly in 2016 from the previous year, the output from the Australian sawmill sector reached record high levels the past two years thanks to healthy domestic demand for softwood lumber.
    (Wood Resources International LLC)
    17.10.2017   Dieffenbacher builds the world's largest continuous LVL press    ( Company news )

    Company news
    At its new site in Chester, South Carolina, Roseburg will produce 285,000 m³ of LVL boards per year on one line

    The U.S. company Roseburg Forest Products operates a Dieffenbacher particleboard plant in Simsboro, Louisiana, that has been running for the past 15 years. Roseburg has now contracted with Dieffenbacher to supply the microwave preheating system, continuous press and stacking system for its new LVL plant in Chester, South Carolina.

    With a daily output of 800 m³, the more-than-65-m long CPS will be the world's largest continuous LVL press as measured by production capacity. The upstream 600 kW microwave will be the most powerful preheating system of this type in LVL production.

    "We obviously knew of Dieffenbacher's previous LVL projects. These excellent references are among the reasons that we ultimately chose Dieffenbacher as our supplier," said Roseburg President and CEO Grady Mulbery. He added, "The short distance between Chester and Dieffenbacher's service center in Alpharetta, Georgia, is another plus for us."

    Roseburg has earmarked a total investment of USD 200 million for its new LVL production line. Construction starts in the first quarter of 2018. Production of the first board is planned for 2019.
    (Dieffenbacher GmbH)
    16.10.2017   Markus Baukmeier elected President of the European Federation of Prefabricated Building    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The European Federation of Prefabricated Building (EFV) have elected the German entrepreneur Markus Baukmeier as its president. Baukmeier manages the family enterprise Meisterstück-HAUS Otto Baukmeier Holzbau - Fertigbau GmbH & Co KG in Hameln/Lower Saxony, and is an active board member of the Association of German Prefabricated Building Manufacturers (BDF). Members of EFV are the industry associations from Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. They advocate quality assurance, fair competition and the representation of the prefabricated way of construction at European level. In 2016 the management of EFV has moved from Vienna to BDF Bad Honnef.

    Picture: Board members of the European Federation of Prefabricated Building with its new president Markus Baukmeier (center). Picture credits: BDF
    (BDF Bundesverband Deutscher Fertigbau e.V.)
    13.10.2017   FFIF: Jyrki Peisa appointed director and member of the management team    ( Company news )

    Company news
    LL.M. Jyrki Peisa (38) has been appointed director and member of the management team at Finnish Forest Industries Federation as of 1 November 2017. He will be in charge of lobbying associated with energy and climate policy, mill environment issues and product logistics.

    Peisa currently works as Special adviser for Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister for Housing, Energy and the Environment. Before this, he served as Managing Director at The Bioenergy Association of Finland.
    (Metsateollisuus ry - Skogsindustrin rf / FFIF Finnish Forest Industries Federation)
    12.10.2017   HOLTEC receives the order for a new log sorting line at Holzwerke Weinzierl     ( Company news )

    Company news
    In Vilshofen in Bavaria, Holzwerke Weinzierl runs one of the best performing softwood sawmills in Germany. At a area of more than 20 hectare, more than 700 000 solid cubic meters of logs are processed each year. Due to the company’s dynamic development during the last years, it was necessary to extend the log sorting and the storage areas accordingly and to adapt them to state-of-the-art technology. Junior manager Hans Weinzierl did not take the decision easily – it was the result of a long and very intense planning period. Eventually, HOLTEC asserted itself with its chain-less technology in the feeding and acceleration area, since the reduction of ongoing operating costs takes an ever higher priority. These arguments were already convincing in 2015, when the sawmill infeed had to be exchanged. “At that time, the Holtec technology has already convinced us in the sawmill – thus, it was a consistent step to prefer HOLTEC in the log sorting as well” states Hans Weinzierl, who is the managing director in Vilshofen since 2006.

    HOLTEC is looking forward to another reference installation in Bavaria and is thankful for the confidence.
    (Holtec GmbH & Co. KG)
    12.10.2017   Södra's port becomes fossil-fuel free    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Södra’s port in Mönsterås will become completely free from fossil fuels in October. All work vehicles and cranes at the port will begin using HVO diesel – a completely fossil-free alternative to standard diesel.

    Södra’s port has four cranes and 16 work vehicles. Together, these handle about three million tonnes of freight each year. The freight is loaded for transport to Europe by land and sea and includes 430,000 tonnes of paper pulp and 170,000 m³ of sawn timber. This will now be carried out using only fossil-free HVO diesel.

    “As a representative of a green industry, we consider this an obvious next step,” said Niclas Strömqvist, Site Manager at Södra’s port in Mönsterås.

    The switchover at the port began in the spring of 2017 and was completed at the end of September. The move is part of Södra’s sustainability targets that aim to achieve fossil-free production by 2020 and fossil-free transportation by 2030 – targets adopted in 2016 and assigned the same status as Södra’s financial targets.

    “Efforts have focused on examining and ensuring that the HVO diesel is compatible with existing equipment at the port. We are always on the lookout for climate-smart solutions. This is in line with how we want to act and operate as a company,” said Jörgen Erlandsson, Head of Technology, Environment and Quality at Södra’s port in Mönsterås.

    HVO is both a climate-smart and economical alternative to synthetically produced petrodiesel. The raw materials for Södra’s HVO are slaughterhouse waste and rapeseed oil.

    “HVO is a better environmental choice because it is 100-percent fossil-free. This means it is completely renewable and greenhouse gas emissions are substantially lower,” said Åsa Forss, Manager of Södra’s wood-chip truck fleet.
    (Södra Timber AB)
    11.10.2017   Ponsse and Epec to open a product development unit in Tampere    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Ponsse and Epec are jointly establishing a product development unit in Tampere for designing the software and automation of mobile work machines. The aim is to ensure the continued availability of top experts in the fields of software and automation.

    Photo: Juha Inberg and Teemu Raitis

    With Finland’s improving economic situation, competition for the top
    professionals in various sectors has become more intense. Given the change in the situation, the aim is to ensure the competitiveness of Ponsse and Epec and the availability of personnel by expanding the product development activities of the two companies to southern Finland. With the rapid development of technology, the importance of software in forest machines is growing rapidly.
    Ponsse wants to remain at the forefront of development.

    Tampere was chosen as the location of the new product development unit, since the city has become a growth centre for the work machine industry. The Tampere region also has strong training expertise and business operations in software and automation.

    “Ponsse’s product development will continue to focus mainly on Vieremä and
    Kajaani, so there will continue to be good communications between customers, manufacturing and product development. With the Tampere product development unit we are seeking to ensure the continued availability of a skilled workforce,” says Ponsse’s director of technology and R&D Juha Inberg.

    Engineers will be recruited for the Tampere R&D unit to meet the needs of
    Ponsse’s subsidiary Epec also. Epec is actively seeking growth as a supplier of smart control system solutions. Managing Director Teemu Raitis says that having the unit in Tampere also enables the company to cooperate more closely with its customers in southern Finland. The focus of Epec’s product development will continue to be its headquarters in Seinäjoki.

    The R&D unit will be located in Kampusareena, which is a hub of science,
    research and technology located at the heart of the campus of Tampere
    University of Technology. Ponsse and Epec will arrange a recruiting and
    information event in the new premises on November 3, 2017 and the operations are scheduled to begin before the end of the year. The product development unit will have approximately 20 employees by the end of next year.
    (Ponsse Oyj)
    10.10.2017   Vollmer builds new subsidiary in Poland    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Vollmer has built its new subsidiary for Poland in Zabrze near Katowice in Upper Silesia. On around 500 square metres there are offices for seven employees, workshops, storage facilities and a showroom where the Biberach-based sharpening specialist displays its sharpening machines. The machines include the QXD 250 eroding machine, as well as the VGrind 360 tool grinding machines and the CHD 270 grinding machine for carbide-tipped circular saw blades. With the new subsidiary Vollmer Polska, the sharpening specialist expands its offer for the wood and metalworking industries and strengthens its market position in Eastern Europe.

    "Vollmer has been represented in Poland since 2012 with its own subsidiary and has successfully positioned itself here in the industry for grinding and eroding machines", states Marcin Kurcon, Managing Director of Vollmer Polska. "Our new building in Zabrze is part of this development. We now have more space for our sharpening machines which we can promote better to our customers. In addition, more training courses and machine tests can be performed than before."

    Situated only 20 kilometres from the previous Vollmer subsidiary in Bytom, Poland, the new subsidiary is in Zabrze near Katowice. Marcin Kurcon received a visit from the Mayor of Zabrze Malgorzata Manka-Szulik at the official opening. Vollmer Managing Directors Dr. Stefan Brand and Sieglinde Vollmer travelled especially from Biberach for the event. Sieglinde Vollmer is curator of the Sieglinde Vollmer Foundation, member of the Supervisory Board of the Vollmer plants and daughter of the company's founder Heinrich Vollmer.

    The entire grounds cover around 4,700 square metres, the new building has space for offices, workshop, warehouse and showroom on around 500 square metres. In the machine demonstration room Vollmer Polska showcases high-quality sharpening machines for machining tools and circular saw blades. The product portfolio includes five machines such as the QXD 250 eroding machine, as well as the VGrind 360 grinding machine for machining rotary carbide-tipped tools and the CHD 270 grinding machine which can be used to automatically sharpen carbide-tipped circular saws.

    Customers come from the woodworking industry and include furniture manufacturers, sawmills and service companies because Poland is one of the biggest furniture producers in Europe. Circular saws and rotary tools made from carbide or with PCD (polycrystalline diamond) play a decisive role in the precise machining of wood, chipboard or composite materials. The metalworking industry with customers from car manufacturing as well as aerospace technology is also becoming increasingly important. It is not only companies from the region who make their way to Vollmer Polska, but companies from Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic region also rely on these tried and tested products.

    "For Vollmer, Poland has become an important market for sophisticated eroding and grinding machines", states Dr.-Ing. Stefan Brand, Managing Director of the Vollmer Group. "The investment in our new building in Poland is another valuable component of our growth strategy in order to be able to offer our customers more intensive support and meet the increasing requirements of future-oriented technologies and services."
    (Vollmer Werke Maschinenfabrik GmbH)
    09.10.2017   Södra invests SEK 25 million in Kallinge    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Södra is strengthening the long-term competitiveness of its planing operations and intends to co-locate the units in Ronneby and Kallinge. The new proposed location will be in Kallinge, where SEK 25 million is to be invested in upgrading to a paint system that is more environmentally sustainable, in new machinery and in improvements to the logistics centre. These measures will lead to efficiency enhancements and trade union negotiations in accordance with the Co-Determination in the Workplace Act (MBL) will start immediately.

    Market conditions have changed considerably for interior wood products in recent years. Södra has implemented many adjustments to the production structure in response to the changes in conditions. The next step is now being taken by co-locating units in Kallinge and Ronneby to achieve synergies.

    “We are now planning to invest in line-based production in Kallinge to strengthen competitiveness and are moving the warehouse in Ronneby to Kallinge in autumn/winter 2017, which will also improve the work environment. We will then move production in summer 2018 and cease production and logistics in Ronneby. Processes in marketing, logistics, order handling and general administration will also be streamlined. There is strong demand for interior wood products, with growth in the building materials trade of more than 4 percent for the first six months of 2017. The proposed changes will improve conditions to establish competitive interior wood operations,” said Peter Karlsson, segment manager for Interior Wood.

    Slightly more than 55 employees of the total 142 employees in Ronneby and Kallinge will be affected by the restructuring. MBL negotiations will begin immediately. Kallinge and Ronneby have joint priority rules for the order of termination and the two facilities are only three kilometres apart, which makes commuting to a new unit easier.

    “Unfortunately, employees will have to leave Södra, and we are doing everything we can to act responsibly and offer career transition and relocation support,” said Jörgen Lindquist, President of the Södra Wood business area.

    Over the past year, Södra has worked intensively with restructuring to increase the profitability of its interior products business. In June 2016, Södra Wood Rottne was divested to Ess-Enn Timber. In early October, Nordingrå Trä was sold to Pro Unica AB and Södra Wood Föllinge to Rickard Eriksson. On 1 November, Södra Wood Grimslöv was divested to the German company Sörnsen Holzleisten and Sörnsen also acquired UAB SIWood in Lithuania on 1 July this year.
    (Södra Timber AB)
    06.10.2017   New: DP form cutters for fischer undercut anchor system    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Picture: The fischer®-undercut anchor system requires an outstanding precision

    The diamond-tipped cutter is used for the production of undercut drill holes for the fischer® undercut anchor type FZP II- (T) M6 (fischer Zykon panel anchors). Normally, the facade materials to be processed are mineral based materials, high-pressure laminate (HPL) or fiber cement boards.

    The cutting material DP stands for a very long edge life and thus for considerably lower costs per hole compared to conventional solid carbide cutters. A special tooth geometry reduces the friction coefficient and ensures the lowest possible heat generation.

    A high-strength tool body guarantees high stiffness and excellent stability. The LEUCO topline design offers optimum cutting quality thanks to a special edge preparation.
    (Leuco AG)
    05.10.2017   Production cost margins for sawmills in Brazil, Russia and Finland have fallen during the first half    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... while they increased to their second highest level in 13 years in the US South in the 2Q/17, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly

    The sawmill margins to cover non-wood costs and profits have been squeezed in a number of countries in the first half of 2017 because of relatively higher raw-material costs and lower lumber prices, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly. Since the wood costs account for about two-thirds of the production costs when manufacturing softwood lumber, it is essential for sawmills to control the wood cost/lumber price ratio.

    Wood costs are by far the largest and most important cost component when manufacturing softwood lumber. The Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ) has tracked quarterly sawlog prices worldwide since 1995 and is now also reporting the quarterly sawmill cost margins for key lumber-regions around the world. The costs for sawlogs when manufacturing lumber accounts for 65-70% of the production costs and is the factor that often determines a lumber company’s competitiveness.

    The sawmill cost margin, defined as the difference between the cost of wood rawmaterial and the revenue from lumber and sawmill residues, is a reliable indicator of the changing trend of the profitability of a region’s sawmill sector.

    In the latest issue of the WRQ, production cost margins for sawmills in the US South, Finland, Brazil and Eastern Russia are reported for the period 1Q/05 to 2Q/17. Additional regions of North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific will be added in the upcoming issues in 2017 and 2018.

    The average production cost margin for sawmills in the US South increased during much of 2016 and 2017 and reached its second highest level in 13 years in the 2Q/17. The higher margins have been the result of slightly declining sawlog costs and increasing lumber prices thanks to higher wood demand in the domestic housing sector.

    In Finland, lumber prices and income from residues have fallen faster than the log costs during 2014 to 2017, which has resulted in a decline in the cost margin by 25% in US dollar terms. In the local currency, the decline has been a more modest 8% over the past three years.
    (WRI Wood Resources International LLC)
    04.10.2017   Valutec gains new orders from Europe’s largest privately owned sawmill    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Valutec’s TC continuous kiln is an excellent choice for us, as this solution meets our high demand for capacity combined with flexibility. We have also had very good experiences working with Valutec in recent years,” stresses Kai Matthies, head of wood drying at Ziegler Holzindustrie.

    Valutec has ensured its tenth continuous kiln delivery in ten years to central Europe. This follows a further order from the German Ziegler Holzindustrie, Europe’s largest privately owned sawmill. The TC kiln to be delivered will be used to dry side boards and has a capacity of 110,000 cubic meters (46 600 MBF) of lumber per year.

    “This is our third order from Ziegler Holzindustrie. Renewed trust is a great acknowledgment for us and it's pleasing that they’ve chosen to invest in a TC continuous kiln. This shows they really believe in our solutions,” says Robert Larsson, CEO at Valutec.

    Valutec has previously supplier two continuous kilns to Ziegler Holzindustrie. The first delivery was ten years ago and was followed up in 2014 with an OTC continuous kiln, boasting a capacity of around 50,000 cubic meters (21 200 MBF).

    The new TC continuous kiln will be designed with space for three packages at air-blow depth, instead of two - which has long been standard. It will have ten individual drying zones.

    “Valutec’s TC continuous kiln is an excellent choice for us, as this solution meets our high demand for capacity combined with flexibility. We have also had very good experiences working with Valutec in recent years,” stresses Kai Matthies, head of wood drying at Ziegler Holzindustrie.

    There is huge market potential for timber drying in central Europe, where there has been a high proportion of timber that does not have a long drying phase, when compared to places such as the Scandinavian countries. In line with clients increasing their quality requirements, greater volumes of side-sawn boards have begun to be dried, which has created openings for Valutec, specifically for TC continuous kilns.
    “With TC continuous kilns, you have a unique flexibility that is highly valued by many people. In theory, when you can have ten different products in the kiln, this reduces the need for production planning and therefore there is also a high utilization ratio,” says Robert Larsson.

    The kiln is being made from stainless steel and will be equipped with Valutec’s Valmatics control system. It will be put into operation in February 2018 and will then be the second TC continuous kiln in Germany. Over the year, Valutec has supplied and put into operation a kiln for Egger Brilon.
    (Valutec AB)
    02.10.2017   Metsä Wood considering Kerto LVL investment in Punkaharju     ( Company news )

    Company news
    Metsä Wood is considering the construction of a new, 65,000 m3 Kerto® LVL line to its mill in Punkaharju, Finland. The value of the potential investment would be approximately EUR 52 million. Metsä Wood is negotiating with the town of Savonlinna and the mill’s personnel to create the conditions for the investment. The final investment decision will be made by the end of the year. If the investment is carried out as planned, the line will start up during the first half of 2019.

    The new line would bring approximately 35 new jobs to Punkaharju. In addition, the new line would add some 40 person-years to the subcontractors’ chain. If the investment is carried out, it will increase demand for logs by 160,000 m3 a year.

    “The demand for Kerto LVL is driven by urbanisation, which is creating new, specialised needs for construction products. We believe in the further growth of wood construction, which has gathered momentum over the past few years. Building with wood is fast, light and green. We want to develop partnerships in construction so that we can work with our partnership networks to offer increasingly effective solutions for our customers. The exceptional strength properties of Kerto LVL coupled with its lightness make it an excellent product for this type of construction,” says Esa Kaikkonen, Executive Vice President, Metsä Wood.
    (Metsä Wood)
    02.10.2017   DREMA 2017: Gold medal for Powermat 1500    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Success for WEINIG in Poland: The moulder Powermat 1500 and its System Plus were awarded a gold medal at the DREMA 2017 trade fair in Posen.

    The machine was praised for its high product quality and innovative technical development. The Powermat 1500 features the new Comfort Set operating concept and SmartTouch setup aid. Its flexibility makes it fully suitable for a wide range of applications. The digital System Plus combines all processes upstream of production, creating a perfect operating environment for the moulder.
    (Michael Weinig Aktiengesellschaft)

    29.09.2017   Increased demand for softwood lumber worldwide has pushed lumber prices upward, ...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... particularly in the US and China during the first half of 2017, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly

    Global Lumber Trade
    International trade of softwood lumber is on pace to a new record high in 2017 if the trend from the first six months of 2017 continues in the second half of the year. Of the ten largest lumber-exporting countries in the world, Russia, Finland, Austria and Ukraine increased shipments the most year-over-year during the first half of 2017. Russia alone, has accounted for 22% of global lumber trade so far in 2017, which is up from 15% ten years ago, according to the WRQ. Canada’s seven consecutive years of expanding shipments may reach an end this year with export volumes having declined 2.2% during the 1H/17.

    Lumber markets – North America
    During the first five months of 2017, lumber production in the US South bounced back after having declined during the second half of 2016. The total production output from January through May was 7.3% higher this year as compared to the same period in 2016, according to the WWPA.

    In Canada, lumber production was up seven percent in the Eastern provinces during the first five months of 2017, while it fell 2.1% in British Columbia. The decline in BC occurred mostly because of a reduction in lumber exports to China by 10% year-overyear.

    Lumber prices in both the US and Canada have trended upward for almost two years and reached 13-year highs in July. One exception has been pine lumber prices in the US South, which have fallen the past few months to the lowest level seen in almost a year.

    Lumber markets – Northern Europe
    Lumber production in the Nordic countries has increased faster than the rest of the continent the past five years. The sawmilling industry in Finland has grown more than in any other country in Europe the past few years, with production in 2016 being 21% higher than in 2012. This can be compared to increase of 12% during the same period in all of Europe.

    Lumber prices in the Nordic countries continue to be depressed in US dollar terms, although they have moved up slightly during the 2Q/17. Current price levels are close to the lowest they have been in eight years.

    Lumber markets – China
    Demand for softwood lumber has picked up in China in 2017 with import volumes during the first seven months being 16% higher than during the same period in 2016. By far, the biggest jump in supply sources has been from Russia, which increased shipments by 24% y-o-y to 7.1 million m3 from January to July.

    Russian sawmills also increased their market share from 42% of total Chinese imports in 2014 to 62% in 2017. Despite a substantial decline in the cost of Canadian lumber delivered to China from the record highs in 2013 and 2014, Canadian sawmills have lost market share substantially, dropping from a 40% share in 2013, when it was the largest supplier of softwood lumber to the Chinese market, to a current 22%.

    Lumber market – Japan
    Japan has increased importation of softwood lumber by two percent during the first half of 2017 as compared to the 1H/16. Total import volume in the 2Q/17 was 1.6 million m3, the highest level in two years. The biggest changes on the supply side this year compared to 2016 has been an increase in imports from Canada and Sweden, and a decline from Russia.

    In Yen terms, domestic lumber prices have moved up slightly in 2017, while import prices have remained practically unchanged.

    Lumber market – Russia
    Russian sawmills have increased production by an estimated 14% the past five years, mainly driven by a rise in demand for wood in China. Although domestic softwood lumber demand was up three percent in 2016 from the previous year, domestic consumption has fallen 12 percent the past five years. Russia has become a major player in the global lumber market the past ten years, but exported a surprisingly small share to Europe or the US. Instead a majority of the Russian lumber has been shipped to China, Japan, Iran and the CIS countries (see detailed export data in the latest WRQ Trade Snapshot). Export prices have trended upward for more than a year, and in June 2017, reached their highest levels since February of 2015.
    (WRI Wood Resources International LLC)
    28.09.2017   Keep carbon locked in     ( Company news )

    Company news
    Government subsidies for biomass energy production are not only distorting the UK market for wood but also releasing unnecessary CO2 into the atmosphere.

    Norbord continues to campaign for the best use of wood supplies via the Use Wood Wisely campaign – In the wood panels industry, among others, wood is made into into panels that lock up carbon for many decades.

    However, as part of the government’s commitment to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, they are continuing to support the mass-industrialised burning of wood for energy, thus releasing tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere instead.

    Today, it is estimated that almost 3 million tonnes of British-sourced wood is being burnt by power generators every year.

    Use Wood Wisely campaign aims to highlight this predicament and to promote the responsible and sustainable use of wood. Norbord argues that it is much more efficient to process virgin timber into added-value products that have an important role to play in the world. Only when the wood products come to the end of their use, and can no longer be recycled or upcycled into other products, should their timber element be considered fit for burning for energy.

    This is known as the ‘cascade of use’ and is a best-practice model supported by a number of NGOs, who are otherwise unlikely bedfellows in campaigning efforts regards the biomass issue.

    As well as increased CO2 emissions, burning wood that isn’t at the end of its lifecycle is directly impacting the wood panel industry in terms of supply and cost. A recent report* highlighted the long-term imbalance between supply and demand in the UK. While it provides evidence that wood supply and demand will be roughly balanced for the next 15 years, there are concerns about demand exceeding supply beyond 2035. A concerning figure when one considers that trees take decades to fully mature.

    The extra demand is predominantly coming from the growth in sub-50MW biomass power stations in the UK and, in addition to putting extra pressure on the supply of wood, these plants also benefit from government subsidies which advantage them when it comes to competition for wood resource.

    Since E.ON commissioned a 50MW woodfired power station at Lockerbie, Scotland, in 2006, there has been a steady increase in wood-based power generation. This has created more competition for wood supplies in the UK but put companies like Norbord at a disadvantage as the government subsidies allow energy companies to distort the market, resulting in increased prices.

    For example, the Drax station in North Yorkshire will burn 7.5 million tones of wood pellets per annum – that’s equivalent to chopping down 12,000km2 of forest. Drax is sourcing the bulk of its wood pellets from North America and therefore contributing further to CO2 emissions in this long-distance transportation process.

    Norbord and the Wood Panel Industries Federation (WPIF), which represents other wood-consuming companies, are lobbying the government over this issue, but the WPIF is not against the development of biomass energy generation or competition – the industry just wants to compete for its raw material on a level playing field with the generators.

    In fact, Norbord has installed biomass boilers at its mills as an environmentally-efficient way of using up wood residues from its panel manufacturing process as fuel, wood that otherwise would go to landfill.

    Nevertheless, apart from the unfair competition situation, the Use Wood Wisely campaign has a strong ethical argument to get the best use out of a valuable resource before it is consigned to the flames.
    (Norbord (South Molton) Ltd)
    27.09.2017   Södra to invest in new CLT facility at Värö    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Södra is investing in a small facility for cross-laminated timber (CLT) adjacent to Södra’s sawmill at Värö. The plans include a future investment in a larger facility.

    “Södra is focused on increasing the use of sustainable timber construction and wants to take part, and to stake out a position, in this growing market. Production is scheduled to commence in early 2019. The facility will have an annual capacity of about 5,000 m³ per shift,” said Jörgen Lindquist, President of the Södra Wood business area.

    The investment is an important part of Södra’s strategic process of building long-term relationships across the value chain.

    “CLT will help us develop a new way of working, where we will be offering the most cost-effective material on the market for the construction of high-rise buildings. We are putting a complete customer offering together for CLT and will expand profitability as the market grows,” said Jörgen Lindquist.

    High-rise construction with timber is a growing market and demand is driven by both economics and sustainability. Demand is strong across all of northern Europe – in countries where Södra already holds a leading market position. CLT is a flexible material and particularly competitive in major cities, where the aim is to densify and construct high-rise buildings. Compared with other materials, CLT is transport-efficient, light and maintains high environmental integrity. These benefits are reflected not only in housing production, but also in the construction of sports facilities, warehouses, offices and schools.

    An extensive project has been ongoing for 12 months to improve and develop the profitability of Södra’s existing sawmills. At the same time, the best type of timber engineering for Södra’s structure, position and various markets has been under assessment.

    “Södra’s main mission is to strengthen family forestry by offering new and innovative products. We have identified CLT as an interesting product and want to take part, and to stake out a position, in a growing market. But we are also aware that this will require heavy investment, take time to position ourselves in the market and is associated with business risks. That is why we are starting out small,” said Lars Idermark, CEO of Södra.

    The location at Värö has been strategically chosen for its proximity to several Nordic high-growth regions, and the ease of shipping to both the UK and other international destinations. The facility will be co-located with Södra’s pulp mills and sawmills for access to green electricity and completed infrastructure. The investment is expected to require several new recruitments.
    (Södra Timber AB)
    27.09.2017   Scm Group continues to grow : Turnover for the first half of 2017 up by 15%    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Upward trend reinforced by the takeover of the German company HG Grimme

    The Board of Directors of Scm Group, a world leader in the machinery sector for processing wood, composites, plastic, glass, marble, metal and industrial components, met at the end of July 2017 to approve the financial report for the first half of 2017. In the first six months of the current year the group has achieved a turnover of 311 million euro, an increase of 14.5 per cent compared to the 271,7 million euro reached in 2016.

    On the basis of these incredible results, Scm Group expects to exceed the ambitious targets set for 2017. Scm Group ended 2016 with a turnover of 600 million euro, an increase of 15 per cent compared to 2015.

    This upward trend is also confirmed by the takeover of 51% of HG Grimme, a German specialist in the design and manufacturing of machines for processing plastic and composite materials. This operation – completed on 31st July 2017 – has led to the strengthening of global leadership in the production of technological solutions for the processing of plastic and composite materials, in which the SCM group is already present with the CMS brand.

    The recent Shareholders’ Meeting has also confirmed the Board of Directors, which is made up of: Giovanni Gemmani, President and Director-General; Andrea Aureli, CEO; Alfredo Aureli, Director; and Linda Gemmani, Director.
    (SCM Group S.p.A.)
    26.09.2017   The Global Forest Industry in the 2Q/2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Global Timber Markets
    - Sawlog prices were up quarter-over-quarter in practically all regions of the world in the 2Q/17. The biggest increases were seen in Central and Eastern Europe while there were modest price declines in the US South, Coastal British Columbia, Quebec and Brazil.
    - Although European sawmills continue to have some of the world’s highest rawmaterial costs, the discrepancy between the Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) and the European Sawlog Price Index (in US dollar terms) has fallen, bottoming out in the first quarter of 2017 to reach its lowest level in more than ten years, according to the WRQ.

    Global Pulpwood Prices
    - Both the WRI global wood fiber price indices inched up in the 2Q/17 because of a weaker US dollar and higher prices in the local currencies in many of the 17 regions that the two indices are comprised of.

    - In the 2Q/17, the Global Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) was up 0.1% from the previous quarter to $85.10/odmt, which was the first qo-q increase since the 2Q/16. The biggest price increases (in dollar terms) occurred in the US Northwest, the Nordic countries, Spain, Russia and Chile.

    - The Global Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) also experienced a modest
    increase in the 2Q/17, mainly because of higher prices of hardwood pulplogs throughout Europe and Russia, as reported in the Wood Resource Quarterly.

    Global Pulp Markets
    - Higher pulp production in Latin America contributed to a rise global market pulp production by about 0.5% during the first five months of 2017 as compared to the same period in 2016. During the same period, production fell in North America partly because of the seasonal maintenance downtime at the pulp industry during the spring.

    - Strong demand and tighter supply during the spring pushed pulp prices upward in Europe, North America and China, with hardwood pulp price increasing the most. The price discrepancy between NBSK and BHK has tightened considerably compared to 2016.

    Global Lumber Markets
    - International trade of softwood lumber is on pace to a new record high in 2017 if the trend from the first six months of 2017 continues in the second half of the year.

    - Of the ten largest lumber-exporting countries in the world, Russia, Finland, Austria and Ukraine increased shipments the most year-over-year during the first half of 2017. Russia alone, has accounted for 22% of global lumber trade so far in 2017, which is up from 15% ten years ago.

    - During the first five months of 2017, lumber production in the US South bounced back after having declined during the second half of 2016. The total production output from January through May was 7.3% higher this year as compared to the same period in 2016.

    - Lumber prices in both the US and Canada have trended upward for almost two

    - Prices for lumber prices in the Nordic countries continue to be depressed in US dollar terms, although they have moved up slightly during the 2Q/17. Current price levels are close to the lowest they have been in eight years.

    - Demand for softwood lumber has picked up in China in 2017 with import volumes during the first seven months being 16% higher than during the same period in 2016. By far, the biggest jump in supply sources has been from Russia.

    Global Biomass Markets
    - Global trade of wood pellets has experienced a dramatic growth with a doubling of shipments to 16 million tons in 2016. There are four countries, the United Kingdom, Denmark, South Korea and Italy, that currently consume almost 80% of the world’s traded pellets.
    (WRI Wood Resources International LLC)
    25.09.2017   Moelven Norsälven AB may be closed    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The Board of Moelven Norsälven AB is considering closure of the sawmill. The reason is that the investment needs at the plant are extensive.

    The Chairman of the company, Division Manager Anders Lindh of Moelven Timber, says that even with extensive investment it will be difficult to achieve a future-oriented and profitable plant.

    “Considering closing a company is never easy. Unfortunately, Moelven Norsälven currently has a very low technical status and requires extensive ongoing maintenance to keep up operations,” Lindh says.

    Photo: The Board of Moelven Norsälven AB is considering closure of the sawmill. Photo: Tommy Helström

    MBL negotiations
    Employee representatives have been formally asked to attend MBL negotiations pursuant to section 19. Negotiations have been initiated. 44 employees risk losing their jobs.
    The company has annual revenues of just below SEK 200 million.

    Major maintenance measures
    Lindh says that attempts have been made to continue operations at Moelven Norsälven for as long as possible.
    “We now recognize that it is a question of time with regard to how long operations can continue in a proper manner without implementing improvement measures in the shape of major investments,” Lindh explains.

    Positive so far this year
    So far this year, results at the company have however been relatively positive.
    “However, this must be viewed in the context of the economic situation for Swedish sawmills being the best in 10 years. Overall, the company has posted a loss in the five-year period from 2012 to 2016”, Lindh says.

    Major investment needs
    Lindh says that overall investment needs will total at least SEK 70 million in the next three years in order to provide hope for justifiable operations.
    “We nevertheless believe that this will not result in sufficient long-term profitability.”

    Focus on Karlskoga and Torsby
    Two other large sawmills in Sweden – Moelven Valåsen AB and Moelven Notnäs AB – are in the midst of a development programme involving methodology, investments and organizational development.
    “These two companies will have increased production capacity that can compensate for the reduction in production that an eventual closure of Moelven Norsälven will entail,” Lindh says.

    Strengthens profitability
    According to Lindh, Moelven's overall production of sawn timber can be maintained at the same level, while efficiency and profitability is strengthened.
    “Customers and suppliers will therefore not be affected by an eventual closure of Moelven Norsälven and restructuring of operations,” Lindh says.
    (Moelven Norsälven AB)
    22.09.2017   Södra to invest in new CLT facility at Värö    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Södra is investing in a small facility for cross-laminated timber (CLT) adjacent to Södra’s sawmill at Värö. The plans include a future investment in a larger facility.

    “Södra is focused on increasing the use of sustainable timber construction and wants to take part, and to stake out a position, in this growing market. Production is scheduled to commence in early 2019. The facility will have an annual capacity of about 5,000 m³ per shift,” said Jörgen Lindquist, President of the Södra Wood business area.

    The investment is an important part of Södra’s strategic process of building long-term relationships across the value chain.

    “CLT will help us develop a new way of working, where we will be offering the most cost-effective material on the market for the construction of high-rise buildings. We are putting a complete customer offering together for CLT and will expand profitability as the market grows,” said Jörgen Lindquist.

    High-rise construction with timber is a growing market and demand is driven by both economics and sustainability. Demand is strong across all of northern Europe – in countries where Södra already holds a leading market position. CLT is a flexible material and particularly competitive in major cities, where the aim is to densify and construct high-rise buildings. Compared with other materials, CLT is transport-efficient, light and maintains high environmental integrity. These benefits are reflected not only in housing production, but also in the construction of sports facilities, warehouses, offices and schools.

    An extensive project has been ongoing for 12 months to improve and develop the profitability of Södra’s existing sawmills. At the same time, the best type of timber engineering for Södra’s structure, position and various markets has been under assessment.

    “Södra’s main mission is to strengthen family forestry by offering new and innovative products. We have identified CLT as an interesting product and want to take part, and to stake out a position, in a growing market. But we are also aware that this will require heavy investment, take time to position ourselves in the market and is associated with business risks. That is why we are starting out small,” said Lars Idermark, CEO of Södra.

    The location at Värö has been strategically chosen for its proximity to several Nordic high-growth regions, and the ease of shipping to both the UK and other international destinations. The facility will be co-located with Södra’s pulp mills and sawmills for access to green electricity and completed infrastructure. The investment is expected to require several new recruitments.
    (Södra Timber AB)
    21.09.2017   2017 INTERNATIONAL SOFTWOOD CONFERENCE 4TH-6TH OCTOBER 2017 HAMBURG    ( Company news )

    Company news
    After the great success of the previous editions, the 2017 INTERNATIONAL SOFTWOOD CONFERENCE will be organized this year on the 4TH-6TH OCTOBER 2017 in the fascinating city of Hamburg.

    Located on the River Elbe, Hamburg is one of the three city-states in Germany and the largest sea-port in Germany, third largest in Europe.

    As per tradition, the conference will be anticipated by a cocktail reception in the early evening on the 4th October, then will officially start at 9 o’clock the following morning with the market analysis from the perspective of top-class international speakers.

    The presentations will be focused on facts and figures showing softwood production as well as consumption in the most relevant timber markets such as North Africa, Egypt, Japan, Russia and USA, for mentioning just a few. An insight view of the Great Britain market after the BREXIT result will be one of the most interesting points of discussion of this year’s ISC. Moreover, a detailed insight view of the Canadian market and clarification on the softwood lumber agreement between USA and Canada will certainly contribute to enrich the debate between participants.

    The 2017 International Softwood conference is hosted by the German Timber Trade Federation (GD HOLZ), the European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF) and the European Organization of the Sawmill Industry (EOS).
    (EOS European Organisation of Sawmill Industry aisbl)
    20.09.2017   Theme Days at WEINIG DIMTER in Illertissen / 8 and 9 November 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    WEINIG DIMTER and HOLZ-HER are inviting you to WEINIG DIMTER Packaging Days in Illertissen.

    Thousands of valuable goods are transported around the world every day. To get them safely from A to B, packaging concepts are becoming increasingly important to the distributor. To produce packaging materials efficiently, suitable manufacturing machines and a precise production planning system is essential.

    WEINIG DIMTER is specialized in cross-cut saws and gluing presses for solid wood processing. HOLZ-HER is your competent specialist for stationary panel processing.

    During the WEINIG DIMTER Packaging Days we will present everything around the manufacturing of wooden packaging products and pallets. You will be able to listen to experts and you will see how lengths and widths are cut and how cutting processes are optimized – all for your perfect packaging.

    Exclusively for you, we are going to offer a guided visit to the running production of our customer Tricor Packaging & Logistics AG.

    We cordially invite you to join our Packaging Days on 8 and 9 November 2017 in Illertissen, where we would like to show you exciting new options on productive packaging manufacturing for your business.
    (Weinig Dimter GmbH & Co. KG)
    19.09.2017   At 18 storeys, Mjøsa Tower in Brumunddal to take title of world's tallest wooden building    ( Company news )

    Company news
    When completed in March 2019, Mjøsa Tower in the Norwegian town of Brumunddal will be the world’s tallest wooden building. The construction, which started in early April this year, is an example of how wood can be substituted for concrete, which is considerably heavier and less environmentally friendly. The building will stand over 80 metres tall, and its 18 storeys will house offices, a hotel and apartments.

    Wooden buildings are the solution to the high demand for new housing and offices, urban densification, and stringent environmental demands. Using wood as the main building material produces lightweight and cost-effective buildings that are quick to build and have minimal environmental impact. This also applies to load-bearing elements.

    Environmental concerns are perhaps key
    This high-rise is being built using glulam, CLT, and Metsä Wood’s Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber). To ensure the required load-bearing capacity, cross-bonded veneer panels called Kerto-Q LVL will be used for the flooring between the storeys. The panels are extremely strong and durable.

    Wood is an environmentally friendly building material. As a raw material, it is renewable and abundantly available in the Nordic countries. The material absorbs more carbon dioxide as the tree grows than the quantities emitted in the manufacture of this construction material. The wood’s light weight means less transportation and lighter foundations of the kind required for concrete buildings.

    Construction time slashed by half
    Using wood as the main construction material, even in high-rises, is key to shortening the construction time and, consequentially, cost. Modern technology enables us to prefabricate all components in a factory with a very high degree of precision. Compared to cast-in-situ concrete, wood makes it possible for construction time to be slashed by half. In addition, it’s relatively easy to make adjustments or corrections on-site.

    “The floor structures, which consist of massive beams with Kerto panels on top, are assembled in our factory, just 15 kilometres from the construction site. Obviously, that’s a huge advantage if you have something that needs to be adjusted at the factory. The work is progressing at the rate of one storey a week, which has shortened our construction time by approximately 35 to 40 per cent compared to using cast-in-site concrete. And since the wooden components are so lightweight, we don’t need the machinery to be as heavy,” says Rune Abrahamsen, Managing Director of Moelven Limtre AS, a general subcontractor in the Mjøsa Tower project.

    Using wood means greater fire safety
    Fire safety is not a weak point in the wooden Mjøsa Tower. Untreated solid wood creates its own fire-resistant surface because the outermost layer chars when exposed to fire, protecting against further fire damage.

    In fact, wood is a fireproof material despite the commonly held belief that it isn’t. “Fire safety rules state that buildings must be able to withstand a full fire for at least two hours without collapsing. When you have a building made of steel and concrete, the steel melts and the building collapses,” says Erik Tveit, Project Manager at HENT AS, the general contractor for the site.

    Nevertheless, concrete will be used between the floors of the Tower’s top seven storeys. Using concrete has nothing to do with the load-bearing capacity. There's a simpler explanation: the swaying that increases the higher you get in a building built of wood or concrete. The weight of the concrete in the upper storeys makes the swaying slower and not as readily perceivable.

    Metsä Wood is supplying Kerto LVL to Moelven Limtre AS, which is constructing the wooden frame for the general contractor HENT.
    (Metsä Wood)
    18.09.2017   Norway: Agreement Signed for Forest Protection and Restoration in Ethiopia    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The Governments of Norway and Ethiopia have taken an important step towards supporting Ethiopia’s climate friendly economic development. The Government of Norway has allocated up to NOK 600 million for sustainable forest management and forest restoration in Ethiopia until 2020.

    Photo: Bale Forest, Ethiopia Photo: RNE

    Representatives of the two countries have signed an agreement for a NOK 600 million (approximately USD 80 million) investment aiming to protect Ethiopia’s remaining natural forests and for transforming the Ethiopian forest sector. The grant will be used for forest protection and restoration activities and for establishing innovative public-private partnerships in the forestry sector. The support will contribute to Ethiopia’s Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) Strategy which aims for middle-income country status by 2025 while maintaining greenhouse gas emissions at 2010-level. To achieve this, Ethiopia plans to avoid greenhouse gas emissions of 255 Mt CO2e by 2025, compared to a business as usual emissions scenario. Half of these emissions will be avoided by protecting and restoring forests.

    The agreement constitutes the main element of Phase II of the Ethiopian-Norwegian partnership agreement on forests and climate.

    “Protection of Ethiopia's remaining natural forest as well as forest restoration at an unprecedented scale is needed to reach Ethiopia’s climate ambitions. Norwegian support focuses on innovation and new partnerships aiming to drive the costs of forest restoration down. Success in this area is important, not only to Ethiopia, but to all countries planning to undertake large scale forest restoration.”, said H.E. Mr. Andreas Gaarder, Norwegian Ambassador to Ethiopia.

    The majority of Ethiopians depend on rainfed agriculture for their livelihoods. The country is highly vulnerable to climate change and suffering from unpredictable rainfall, drought and extreme weather. Forests prevent soil erosion and can help raise the ground water level as well as provide food, fuel and building material. Forests are also a source of commodities such as honey, coffee and herbs and an important resource and security net for the poor. From a global climate perspective, forests have huge importance because of their ability to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This multidimensional benefit of forests makes investment in the sector a worthy developmental pursuit and a strategic area for tackling challenges of climate change.
    (Royal Norwegian Embassy in Addis Ababa)
    15.09.2017   KPA Unicon to supply power plant to Grubišno Polje, Croatia    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Energostatik d.o.o and KPA Unicon have signed a contract on the supply of Unicon Altius 5 MWe biomass power plant to Grubišno Polje in Croatia. The plant will generate electricity to the local power grid and heat to the nearby wood processing plant. Wood biomass is used as fuel. The new power plant will be handed over to the customer in the fall of 2018. The developer of the project is a French company called Akuo Energy.

    KPA Unicon delivers the power plant on an EPC turn-key contract basis. The scope of supply includes design, civil engineering and foundation works, building, steel structures, all main and process equipment, installation work, commissioning and training of the personal. The contract also includes a high-tech PlantSys system which enables remote support, operation and monitoring of the plant. The parties have also agreed on a 14-year operation and maintenance contract.

    The plant design is based on KPA Unicon’s Biograte combustion technology. Unicon Biograte is a proven and reliable combustion technology with over 100 references.

    "KPA Unicon’s bioenergy solutions cover a wide range of combustion technologies and services. Akuo Energy opted for KPA Unicon’s customer-oriented approach and standardized combustion technology solution. Akuo Energy also wanted us to take responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the plant. We are very pleased about the trust demonstrated by Akuo Energy, and in this project we see a number of goals in line with our international strategy", says Kari Liukko, Energy Business Director of KPA Unicon.

    "As a project developer, it was crucial to Akuo Energy to choose an EPC partner who can support project development with economical technology, efficient plant performance and project delivery capabilities. We value KPA Unicon’s customer-oriented solution and way of working. In addition to the plant delivery, we wanted to ensure long term operation of the plant by using KPA Unicon´s operation and maintenance capabilities", says Emil Bakic, director of Akuo Energy MED.

    The power plant construction has been ongoing since December 2016. Laying of the foundation stone was celebrated in Grubišno Polje on May 19, 2017 in the presence of representatives of the central and local governments as well as the Finnish Embassy. At the ceremony, KPA Unicon was represented by Pekka Kovanen, Chairman of the Board, and Arttu Laitinen, Key Account Manager of KPA Unicon.
    (KPA Unicon Group Oy)
    14.09.2017   LEUCO airStream-System – Reduces noise and increases the chip caption degree    ( Company news )

    Company news
    LEUCO airStream-System” tools reduce noise and increase the chip caption degree up to 99 per cent on through-feed machines. This innovation is the result of mutual research and development activities of the tool manufacturers LEUCO (Horb/DE) and HOLZ-HER (Nürtingen/DE).

    The airStream-System is patented and exclusively available for HOLZ-HER machines.

    Advantages of the LEUCO airStream-System
    -Very quiet jointing and low-noise edge trimming
    -Excellent chip caption, almost no contamination of the machine
    -Significantly less double hogging, longer tool edge lives

    A complete range of tools with LEUCO airStream-Systemfor jointing cutting and edge trimming on HOLZ-HER machines is available from stock.
    (Leuco AG)
    13.09.2017   Håkan Larsson to become Director of Strategy for the Södra Group    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Håkan Larsson (photo), Director of Forestry and President of Södra Skog, assumes responsibility for strategic issues within the Södra Group. He will remain a member of Södra’s Group Senior Management and continue to report to the President, Lars Idermark.

    “After more than four very rewarding and stimulating years as President of Södra Skog and over 20 years of engagement in this business area, I feel that I’m ready for a change. I am very happy, therefore, for this opportunity to work with Södra’s more long-term issues,” said Håkan Larsson.

    “Rapid and major changes are taking place in our business environment. Increased globalisation and digitisation is changing companies’ business models. The role of forests as an active player in a more forest-based bioeconomy is subject to growing demand. Håkan Larsson is a driven and experienced person and will now be working with these strategic issues for the entire Group, which will generate major business value for Södra,” said Lars Idermark.

    The change will take effect on 1 September and mean that Håkan Larsson will be stepping down from his position as President of Södra Skog. A process to recruit a successor to the Director of Forestry position will begin immediately. The Interim President of the Södra Skog business area will be Södra’s Wood Supply Manager, Olof Hansson.
    (Södra Timber AB)
    13.09.2017   Sep 20-21 & 26-27, WoodTECH Melbourne & Rotorua 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    WoodTECH 2017, will be attracting again scanning and sawing technology leaders, innovators and practitioners from around the world.

    Armin von Grebmer, CSO Microtec, will give a presentation on both WoodTECH venues in Melbourne and Rotorua with the title "Yield optimization: Volume vs. Quality. Case studies - improving lumber recoveries - from log breakdown to rip and cross cut optimization." This scientific presentation will contain data from real installations and best practice solutions for sawmills and planer mills.

    This events has the objective to showcase the very latest in wood scanning, sawmilling, and mill optimization technologies best suited to local sawmilling companies as well as providing a series of practical workshops for production and operational staff on how to extract the best performance out of their existing sawing operations. As a global leader in providing solutions for sawmills, planer mills and secondary wood processing industries, Microtec delivers custom designed mechanical, electrical and automation solutions. Our quality grading scanners are all of latest and most reliable technology.

    FIEA's WoodTECH conference series has earned great success two years ago. Over 350 delegates from all major wood processing companies in the region came to Melbourne and Rotorua.
    (Microtec s.r.l.)
    12.09.2017   Foundation stone of the Metsä Wood's birch plywood mill laid in Pärnu, Estonia     ( Company news )

    Company news
    The foundation stone of Metsä Wood’s new birch plywood mill was laid on August 23rd in Pärnu, Estonia. The greetings in the ceremony were delivered by the Minister of Public Administration of Estonia Mr. Jaak Aab and the President and CEO of Metsä Group Mr. Kari Jordan.

    “This is an important investment for Metsä Wood and the whole Metsä Group. It is done to better meet the globally growing plywood demand and to further improve Metsä Wood’s industrial efficiency. The new mill is a good example of Finnish-Estonian cooperation. Estonia has favourable business climate and it offers good logistical connections to our main markets.” said CEO of Metsä Group Kari Jordan in today’s ceremony.

    The annual birch plywood production capacity at the Pärnu mill will be 50 000 cubic metres and the total investment is approximately 55 million euros. The birch veneers will be produced in Äänekoski Finland and plywood will then be manufactured at the Pärnu mill. The new birch plywood mill will create approximately 200 jobs to Pärnu area.

    “I am very satisfied that Estonia remains an attractive investment destination, especially when it comes to new and advanced industrial production. The birch plywood factory in Pärnu is a good example of our large investor support scheme. The new mill will raise Estonia’s industrial competitiveness, supports the labour market around Pärnu and drives our exports,” said Minister Jaak Aab.

    The new mill will start production by end of year 2018. 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.

    The construction of the birch plywood mill in Pärnu is part of the EUR 100 million investment programme Metsä Wood published in June 2016. The programme is carried out during 2017-2018.
    (Metsä Wood)
    12.09.2017   PulPaper looks to the future of the forest industry    ( Company news )

    Company news
    PulPaper is the leading international event in the forest industry’s calendar, and will be held at Messukeskus in Helsinki on 29–31 May 2018. The event acts as a global meeting place where visitors can get a comprehensive overview of the latest forestry technology. The previous event attracted visitors from a total of 70 different countries, and exhibitors from 30 countries are expected at PulPaper 2018.

    The event was last held in 2014. Preparations for the 2018 event are now in full swing with regard to both the programme and sales. New technologies and innovations from start-ups will also be on display at the event.

    Three other even ts will also be held at the same time as PulPaper: Wood, a new event in the field of mechanical wood processing; PacTec Helsinki, a packaging industry event; and the brand-new Bioenergy.

    In addition to comprehensive coverage of fields in the forest industry, the event programme as a whole also covers the packaging, energy and chemical industries to offer visitors and participating companies a chance to meet actors from many different industries.

    “Together, the events form a vast, synergetic programme in which each field supports the others. There is nothing comparable anywhere else in the world, and this new event programme supports integration within the forestry cluster. PulPaper offers a unique opportunity for uniting different fields in the forest industry,” says Messukeskus Sales Team Manager Marcus Bergström, who is in charge of the events.

    “PulPaper has received an enthusiastic reception. Almost all of the leading forest companies and equipment suppliers in the forest and packaging industries are attending, and their commitment has also encouraged other companies to reserve their exhibition spaces well ahead of the event,” says Hanna Koskela, Sales Manager.

    What does the future of the industry look like?
    The event’s theme – Visit tomorrow today – is clearly focused on the future. The programme includes both paid conferences and free lectures. Topics in PulPaper’s conference programme include the circular economy, 3D printing, the bioeconomy, climate change, digitalisation, and the opportunities afforded by the industrial internet. Practical examples from companies bring a concrete aspect to these visions of the future.

    Business Forum – a new seminar package targeted at company management – will be held on the opening day. Its speakers will be forefront opinion leaders from both Finland and abroad, and their topics will range from consumer habits to change management, and from innovation to sustainable development.

    The exhibition area’s Future Square stage will run a free programme focusing on the opportunities afforded by the bioeconomy and career outlooks for industry students. The programme will also be supplemented with visits to pioneering companies in the industry, such as the new bioproduct mill in Äänekoski.

    “Thanks to numerous new investments, the future looks bright for Finnish advancements in the bioforest industry. A lot of new things have been happening in the industry, and new products have come on the market. Expectations are high for the new event programme. PulPaper will have an extremely interesting and diverse conference programme reflecting the positive developments in the industry,” says Antti Lindqvist, CEO of Puunjalostusinsinöörit ry.

    The forest, packaging, energy and chemical industry events PulPaper, Wood, PacTec Helsinki and Bioenergy will be held at Messukeskus in Helsinki on 29–31 May 2018.
    (PulPaper Helsinki 2018)
    11.09.2017   Valutec seals major kiln deal with Keitele Timber    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Valutec has secured one of its largest deals of all time in the Finnish sawmill market. The Keitele Group chose to invest in six continuous kilns (photo) for their sawmill in Alajärvi. The higher drying capacity is a part of a major investment program comprising a total of EUR 32 million. With these investments, the Keitele Group’s total production capacity will increase to one million cubic meters per year (423 776 MBF).

    “We’re looking forward to helping Keitele Timber take the next step in its development,” says Robert Larsson, CEO at Valutec, and continues:
    “In a deal of this size, it’s about quality and capacity, as well as delivery reliability. We have a strong offering and extensive experience there, both in deliveries in Finland and elsewhere in Europe and Asia.”

    The total annual capacity of the timber kilns delivered to Keitele Timber amounts to 300,000 cubic meters (127 000 MBF), the equivalent of nearly 19,000 soccer fields with boards placed side by side. In terms of capacity, the deal is comparable to last year’s delivery to the Siberian Sawmill 25, which comprised five continuous kilns and 12 batch kilns.

    “It involves sawmills with completely different needs and conditions. Prior to investments, we always conduct a close dialog with the sawmills to get to the bottom of their product needs and inflow of raw materials to find the best possible solution,” explains Robert Larsson.

    The continuous kilns delivered to Keitele’s sawmill in Alajärvi are of the FB type where the drying takes place in two separate zones to enable a high and even quality. They also come equipped with Valutec’s Valmatics control system. In addition to this, extensive noise reduction and optical safety alarms will also be installed to ensure a good working environment.

    “Safety is an important part of our development work. It’s a part of the quality we deliver, just like the possibility of optimizing the drying process using the control system,” says Robert.

    Installation of the systems will begin early next year and they are scheduled to be in operation in autumn 2018.

    The Keitele Group is a family-owned company that owns three sawmills and employs around 450 people. The largest markets for the company’s products are in Europe, Asia and North Africa.
    (Valutec AB)
    08.09.2017   PONSSE'S INTERIM REPORT FOR 1 JANUARY – 30 JUNE 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    – Net sales amounted to EUR 258.7 (H1/2016 237.1) million.
    – Q2 net sales amounted to EUR 128.8 (Q2/2016 122.0) million.
    – Operating result totalled EUR 28.2 (H1/2016 26.2) million, equalling 10.9
    (11.1) per cent of net sales.
    – Q2 operating result totalled EUR 13.9 (Q2/2016 14.1) million, equalling 10.8
    (11.6) per cent of net sales.
    – Profit before taxes was EUR 22.6 (H1/2016 28.2) million.
    – Cash flow from business operations was EUR -0.7 (3.8) million.
    – Earnings per share were EUR 0.60 (0.82).
    – Equity ratio was 47.3 (45.0) per cent.
    – Order books stood at EUR 141.4 (166.1) million.

    In the second quarter, demand for PONSSE forest machines remained good. Order
    flow was strong, and the value of the order book at the end of the period under review was EUR 141.4 (166.1) million. The Russian market in particular is extremely brisk. The market situation in the Nordic countries and in Germany and France in Central Europe is also good.

    During the first half of the year, the company’s net sales was EUR 258.7
    (237.1) million, giving a growth in net sales of 9.1 percent. In the second quarter, the company’s net sales was EUR 128.8 (122.0) million, which is a growth in net sales of 5.5 percent compared to the reference period. Net sales for after sales services continued to increase strongly. The growth in the net sales of after sales services is affected by the significant global growth in machine stock, especially in areas where the annual usage rate of machinery is high. Growth in net sales for used machines picked up slightly in the past quarter. International business accounted for 74.5 (77.9) percent of net sales.

    The operating result for the first half of the year was EUR 28.2 (26.2)
    million, giving an operating margin of 10.9 (11.1) percent. The operating
    result for the past quarter was EUR 13.9 (14.1) million, giving an operating margin of 10.8 (11.6) percent. In the second quarter, expenses grew faster than in the first quarter, which reduced profitability slightly. Cash flow was EUR -0.7 (3.8) million. Our used machine inventory is still larger than planned.

    Our investments proceeded according to plan. New service centres were completed in Uruguay and France, and our UK subsidiary's new facilities are expected to be ready by the end of the year. The investment for the factory's expansion is on schedule. Construction work will be completed in the autumn of 2017, after which the equipment will be installed. The added benefits of the expansion will begin to be realised as planned, in the second half of 2018.
    (Ponsse Oyj)
    07.09.2017   Dome of Visions made from sustainable wood     ( Company news )

    Company news
    Aarhus in Denmark is the European Capital of Culture in 2017, and for this occasion, a huge transparent dome of glue-laminated timber will serve as the Aarhus municipal pavilion for building culture. The dome-shaped wooden building, Dome of Visions, is made from Metsä Wood's sustainable Kerto® LVL beams. It will throughout 2017 give inspiration for new ways of building and living. At the same time, the building will function as a modern community hall, which will make room for conferences and debates on the sustainable cities and buildings of the future.

    The dome is an improved version of two previous dome experiments. The first was placed in both Aarhus and Copenhagen, and the second in Stockholm. In this third version, the dome has grown to be 10.5 metres tall and with a cross section of 24 metres, which forms a room of 450 square metres. It is about 100 m2 larger than versions 1 and 2.

    Sustainable building material from solar powered factory
    The architect Kristoffer Tejlgaard focuses on sustainability, and to him the natural choice of building material is wood. For that reason as much of the Dome as possible has been built with wood. For example, this applies to the spectacular grid construction that forms the dome and where Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber) proved to be the optimal building material.

    "Wood as a building material has obvious advantages giving sustainability for the building industry. In principle, wood is a material that comes from a solar-powered factory," says Tejlgaard, referring to the ability of trees to extract CO2 from the atmosphere and store it as carbon in their trunks, solely by means of solar energy.

    Kerto LVL ensures slim and elegant grid construction
    A new system of curved wooden beams, composed of 21 mm strips of Kerto LVL, made it possible to minimize the amount of steel while achieving both a sleek and elegant grid construction. Using curved wooden beams, the brackets for the dome's focal points were cut as stars in five-millimetre steel plate.

    "With the custom-made Kerto beams, it was possible to avoid complicated and costly welded brackets used in earlier versions of the Dome of Vision," says Tejlgaard.

    A successful carbon-bearing wooden building experiment
    The total construction is made with approximately 100 cubic metres of wood, and according to the architect, this stores 80 tonnes of CO2.

    "This will save the atmosphere from 100 tonnes of CO2 compared to a similar building in concrete, which would emit about 20 tonnes of CO2," says Tejlgaard.

    The finished dome is the result of a successful experiment with Kerto LVL, giving Aarhus and the European Capital of Culture a unique place for events in a spectacular wooden building. A building that undoubtedly will provide inspiration for a future with more sustainable and climate-friendly timber construction.
    (Metsä Wood)
    06.09.2017   International Hardwood Conference 2017 from 15 to 17 November in Venice    ( Company news )

    Company news
    After the success of the last edition, the International Hardwood Conference 2017 will be organized from 15 to 17 November in Venice, one of the most fascinating cities in the world.

    The International Hardwood Conference, which is jointly co-organized by the European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF) and the European Organization of the Sawmill Industry (EOS), is the only international event which provides a global and exclusive vision of the production and trade of hardwood lumber; the Conference attracts the industry's most significant key stakeholders, thus providing a unique opportunity to network with a vast and high-level audience.

    A large attendance of delegates from over 20 countries - representing businesses, NGOs, industry media and the most important international associations - is expected to participate in the Conference.

    On November 16, 2017, in the charming venue of the Molino Stucky Hilton Venice, several qualified speakers will provide in-depth analyses of the most relevant international trends in the hardwood sector. The Conference will be divided into two sessions: the first one will zoom in on sector figures, analyzing the market in detail, while the second one will give suggestions and food for thought to entrepreneurs who are confronted with the issues of sustainability, legality, technology and innovation.

    Courtesy of this outstanding programme, Venice will become for some days the capital of wood, emphasizing the strong connection between the city and this precious material.
    (European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry EOS)
    05.09.2017   Moelven Group chooses again HEINOLAs Chamber Kilns!    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Swedish Moelven Notnäs AB invests again in HEINOLAs high-class Chamber Kilns. This kiln order is already second from Moelven to HEINOLA within one year. These six new Chamber Kilns type HCH from Heinola Sawmill Machinery Inc. have annual capacity of ca. 40 000 m3. The drying kilns can be used for drying of pine and spruce timber with thicknesses of 32–75 mm from sawn green timber to the final moisture of 8–18 %. The new Chamber Kilns will be taken into production in the first half of year 2018.

    Heinola Sawmill Machinery Inc. expresses its thanks to Moelven for their confidence to us!
    (Heinola Sawmill Machinery Inc.)
    04.09.2017   New Kerto® LVL line at Lohja mill starts up    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Production at Metsä Wood's new Kerto® LVL line in Lohja has started. The construction project has progressed according to plan and in schedule. The investment is part of Metsä Wood's EUR 100 million investment program for Kerto® LVL and plywood, and it supports the company’s industrial efficiency strategy.

    At the Lohja mill, three Kerto LVL production lines were operating until the end of last year. With the investment, one of the old lines has been dismantled and another old line is being run down by the end of 2017.

    The new Kerto LVL line increases the mill’s production capacity by 20,000 m3 per year. The mill has a total capacity of 120,000 m3. The new line will reach full capacity within one year.
    (Metsä Wood)
    01.09.2017   Westag & Getalit: Group sales revenues and earnings below prior year in H1 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Westag & Getalit AG generated consolidated sales revenues of € 117.8 million in the first half of 2017. This means that revenues were down by a moderate -0.9% on the previous year (€ 118.8 million), reflecting the decline in domestic business. Exports showed a positive trend during this period, with revenues in the Group’s foreign markets rising by 4.7% to € 26.5 million (previous year: EUR 25.3 million). Consequently, the export share climbed from 21.3% to 22.5%.

    This business performance translated into consolidated earnings before taxes of € 4.5 million, which was clearly below the previous year’s € 5.4 million. Apart from the unsatisfactory trend in top line revenues, earnings were impacted by price increases for a wide variety of raw materials as well as higher budgets allocated to sales activities. As a result, net profit for the period declined to € 3.1 million (previous year: € 3.8 million). Net profit per share amounted to € 0.56 for the ordinary shares (previous year: € 0.67) and to € 0.62 for the preference shares (previous year: € 0.73).

    The Management Board is not satisfied with the business performance during the first half of 2017. Apart from the subdued sales revenues for the first six months, current trends in the commodities markets are one of the key factors in the Group’s profitability. Specifically, Westag & Getalit AG is faced with clearly higher raw materials prices. The result for the full year 2017 will be determined in great measure by the company’s ability to pass on these price increases by raising the prices of its own products.

    The management is optimistic that the enhanced sales activities will have a positive impact on sales revenues during the remaining months of the financial year 2017. Against this background, the Management Board continues to assume that both divisions will achieve a slight increase in sales revenues for the full year. Taking into account the factors weighing on profitability as discussed above, consolidated earnings for the full year are expected to come in below the previous year’s level.

    Given that a Russian distribution company was established at the end of 2016, Westag & Getalit AG publishes its figures on a consolidated basis. The prior year figures have been adjusted accordingly.
    (Westag & Getalit AG)
    31.08.2017   Kronospan orders additional OSB plant core package from Dieffenbacher    ( Company news )

    Company news
    New order is part of expansion and modernization project at Sanem site in Luxembourg

    Kronospan plans on investing 330 million euros at its Sanem site in Luxembourg over the next four years. Before the planned new construction of a particleboard plant in the second project phase, the existing OSB plant will be partially refurbished and modernized.

    The multi-opening plant, in operation since 1996, was one of the first OSB production plants in Western Europe. After more than 20 years of operation, it will be replaced by a continuous production line with CPS+. In addition to the press, the order also covers the forming station, the forming line, the finishing line (comprising a diagonal saw, large stack formation and large stack storage) as well as the conveyor technology, the filter systems and the press exhaust air treatment. The execution and supervision of the assembly are also included in the Dieffenbacher scope of supply.

    This cutting-edge plant was planned entirely using 3D design tools. This allowed Dieffenbacher to fine-tune the plant structure to the conditions at the site, largely avoiding additional preparatory work for Kronospan. The contract was signed at the end of May, and commissioning is set for autumn 2018.

    The project continues the long-standing collaboration between Dieffenbacher and Kronospan, especially in the area of OSB. Sanem will be the sixth OSB project completed by Dieffenbacher for Kronospan in less than 15 years. Kronospan also produces OSB panels using Dieffenbacher plants in Jihlava (Czech Republic), Riga (Latvia), Brasov (Romania), Mogilev (Belarus) and Strzelce Opolskie (Poland).
    (Dieffenbacher GmbH)
    30.08.2017   Tarkett: Good operating results in H1 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Organic growth at 3.0%
    Adjusted EBITDA margin stable at 11.8%

    -Net sales up 5.1% year-on-year at €1,364m, including organic growth of 3.0%(1)
    -Good organic growth in the CIS, APAC & Latin America (+7.2%), Sports (+5.3%) and EMEA (+4.2%) segments
    -Adjusted EBITDA(2) up 5.9% at €160m and EBITDA margin at 11.8% (versus 11.7% in H1 2016)
    -Net profit(3) of -€98m, penalized by a €150m provision in relation to the proceedings in progress with the French Competition Authority
    -Significant improvement in the net debt/adjusted EBITDA ratio: 1.3x versus 1.8x at end-June 2016

    Net sales at constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates moved up 3.0% in H1 2017. The CIS, APAC & Latin America segment delivered robust growth (+7.2%), led mainly by an increase in volumes and an improved mix in CIS countries. The Sports segment also put in a good H1 performance (+5.3%), while the EMEA segment posted a 4.2% rise in sales. Only North America segment (-1.6%) continued to suffer from a high year-on-year comparison basis. All segments helped drive the acceleration in organic growth in Q2 (up 3.2%) versus Q1 (+2.8%) with the exception of EMEA, hit by a negative calendar effect of around -4.0% in Q2.

    Reported sales were up 5.1% on H1 2016. Exchange rates accounted for a positive 2.0% impact, thanks to gains in the US dollar and Russian ruble against the euro that offset the fall in pound sterling. The acquisition of the assets of AlternaScapes, a Florida-based landscape turf distributor and installer, had a minor scope impact (+0.1%).

    Adjusted EBITDA was €160m versus €151m in H1 2016, while the adjusted EBITDA margin came in at 11.8% compared to 11.7% in the six months to June 30, 2016. The CIS, APAC & Latin America segment posted strong adjusted EBITDA growth, driven by a good performance in the CIS segment in terms of selling prices, volumes and productivity. Adjusted EBITDA for the Sports segment benefited from a US$ 12m one-off settlement payment in connection with a favorable ruling enforced against AstroTurf. In contrast, adjusted EBITDA for EMEA and for North America was down, owing mainly to the rise in raw material costs and the negative impact of certain currencies in the EMEA region. The rise in raw material prices had an adverse impact of €13m for the Group as a whole. Productivity gains represented €18m.

    Net profit attributable to owners of the Company was -€98m, reflecting a €150m provision in relation to the proceedings in progress with the French Competition Authority. On July 25, 2017, the Group signed minutes of a settlement agreement with the investigation services. This settlement, along with the final amount of the fine, will be subject to a final decision by the “Collège” of the French Competition Authority.

    Commenting on these results, Michel Giannuzzi (photo), CEO, stated:
    “After a solid start to the year, the increase in sales picked up pace in Q2. We were able to capitalize on the economic recovery in CIS countries, where growth gained traction and profitability improved sharply. High raw material prices weighed on our H1 results. We are confident that our markets will hold firm over the rest of the year.”
    (Tarkett SAS)
    29.08.2017   Low-noise milling and hogging with the LEUCO airFace design    ( Company news )

    Company news
    An "owl wing" smoothes the air flow by means of the serrated edge and scatters noise, which allows nearly noiseless flight characteristics without having a negative effect on the aerodynamics. LEUCO has used this concept of learning from nature to make sizing tools even more aerodynamic and to achieve further effects in noise reduction! LEUCO has filed a patent for this aerodynamic design named "airFace".

    Quiet, quieter, aerodynamic!
    "Innovative design of sizing tools – one wing beat ahead!"
    Bionics is the technical term for analyzing examples from nature and using them to develop new technical approaches. The owl is an animal that has much to offer in this regard. Their sophisticated feather structures allow them a nearly noiseless flight so that prey animals are not startled. Most of the noise is generated by turbulences at the rear edge of the wing. The "owl wing" concept smoothes the air flow by means of the serrated edge and scatters noise, which allows nearly noiseless flight characteristics without having a negative effect on the aerodynamics.

    Nature as a model
    LEUCO has used this concept of learning from nature to make sizing tools even more aerodynamic and to achieve further effects in noise reduction!

    The rotation of tools generates air turbulences, in particular on projecting edges and in the gullet of the jointing cutter. This is where the air flow is strongest and most uncontrolled. Both at idling speed and during operation, these air flows generate noise that affects the working environment around the machine.

    With the slogan "always one wing beat ahead" and thanks to the completely new design approach, the tools have been designed for the first time without studs behind the cutting edge and with a special surface!

    This kind of design has never been used in the field of woodworking and therefore represents a milestone in the jointing cutter evolution.

    The owl wing is the role model for the new "LEUCO airFace design"
    LEUCO has recognized the advantages of the owl wing structure and implemented this concept in the design of the new generation of jointing cutters. The aim was to systematically guide the air flow around the diamond-tipped DP cutting edges and to reduce turbulences. The so-called "LEUCO airFace" surface on the entire steel body of the jointing cutters is the result of intense research and development work of experienced engineers. The principal effect of the gullet with the "owl wing edge" is to canalize the air at this point.

    Consistently aerodynamic design
    The aerodynamic design principle of the body has been consistently implemented. To avoid the negative influence of balancing bores on the airFace surface, LEUCO has decided to manufacture the body with defined threads for balancing screws. They allow process-safe tool production while ensuring the tools' highly precise concentricity tolerance.

    New seat for the diamond-tipped cutting edges
    In order to achieve a continuous "airFace" surface, the new jointing cutters have been designed for the first time without studs behind the edges. Instead of a stud, the diamond-tipped edge is provided with a strong tungsten carbide supporting plate. A more dominant DP plate ensures the stability of the DP cutting edge.

    Noise reduction by up to 2 dB(A) through airFace
    airFace has been developed for the operators at the machines. With the new LEUCO DIAMAX airFace, a noise reduction of up to 1 dB can be achieved at idle speed. Its "big brother", the LEUCO DIAREX airFace, actually features a noise reduction of up to 2 dB(A) at idle speed – compared to the already quiet predecessor model. This means a clear noise reduction for this industry segment. These cutters are the quietest jointing cutters with steel body.

    LEUCO presented the new generation of airFace jointing cutters for the first time at LIGNA 2017. The new concept for noise reduction received excellent feedback from the professional world.

    In addition to the new DIAMAX and DIAREX jointing cutters, LEUCO is going to apply the patent-pending airFace design to other tools as well.

    Best performance at a fair price
    The new LEUCO DIAREX airFace will be additionally provided with a larger shear angle. It is therefore excellently suited for machining novel materials such as anti-fingerprint panels, for example. DIAMAX, DIAREX and SmartJointer keep their proven resharpening areas: 1.5 mm for LEUCO DIAMAX airFace and SmartJointer airFace, and 3.0 mm for LEUCO DIAREX airFace.

    These diamond-tipped jointing cutters have a very good price-performance ratio, which makes them the ideal option for sophisticated craftsmanship and industrial applications with high performance requirements!
    (Leuco AG)
    28.08.2017   Republic of Congo joins PEFC as a national member    ( Company news )

    Company news
    “The forests in the Congo Basin are home to more than 10,000 species. They provide food, water and shelter to more than 75 million people, and are of significant economic importance,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International PEFC International.

    “With PAFC-Congo becoming a member of PEFC and their work on developing a national forest certification system, we are taking a huge step towards safeguarding the benefits the forests in the region provide. We are thrilled to welcome PAFC-Congo into the PEFC alliance.”

    “We have been working in the Congo Basin for several years, and the addition of the Republic of Congo marks an important move forward for the development of certification in the basin,” Mr. Gunneberg concluded.

    PEFC the right choice
    “There have been strong evolutions in the way forests are managed in the Republic of Congo, but certification is struggling to develop and become widespread,” explained Mr. Brice Séverin Pongui, Chairman of PAFC-Congo.

    “PAFC is set to help promote sustainable forest management, making it more accessible and inclusive, thanks to its development respecting the local context.”

    “With its careful balance of the environmental, social and economic benefits forests provide to the local forest owners and communities as well as society at large, we are convinced that PEFC certification is the right choice for our country.”

    Certification in Republic of Congo moves closer
    “We are currently strengthening the capacity of PAFC Congo, mapping all respective stakeholders and developing and validating our national sustainable forest management standard,” said Mr. Brice Séverin Pongui.

    “This will all be done through a transparent and inclusive process, involving everyone interested, through departmental and national workshops.”

    “We will also study and analyze the international PEFC requirements, as well as the PAFC standards in Gabon and Cameroon, in order to best develop our national certification system,” Mr. Brice Séverin Pongui concluded.

    PAFC: the journey so far
    Since 2011, we have been engaged in a number of initiatives to promote uptake of forest certification in Africa, with a particular focus on Central Africa.

    Working under the common name PAFC – Pan-African Forest Certification, there are now three PEFC members in the region: PAFC Cameroon, PAFC Congo and PAFC Gabon.

    The PEFC alliance grows!
    PAFC-Congo is also joined by the Council for Sustainable Forest Management and Certification in Bulgaria and the South African Forestry Assurance Scheme (SAFAS) as the latest members of the PEFC alliance. This means there are now 49 PEFC national members around the world!
    (PEFC International)
    25.08.2017   First Continuous Press in North Africa    ( Company news )

    Company news
    BIGSTAR subsidiary Panneaux d‘Algérie orders a complete MDF plant including CPS+

    Dieffenbacher's first greenfield project on African soil provides an outstanding example of the extremely versatile applications of the CPS+: The Algerian family-owned company Panneaux d‘Algérie has commissioned Dieffenbacher SWPM to deliver a complete system for producing MDF panels at its site in El Tarf in the far northeast of the country.

    Image: inside view of the under-construction production hall in El Tarf, Algeria.

    The plant concept is designed specifically for smaller capacities. Here, the CPS+ proves that it can also be the ideal entry-level system for newcomers to the wood-based panel market and an economic alternative for easily replacing older single- or multi-opening presses in existing small-capacity plants.

    Panneaux d‘Algérie is just such a newcomer. Although the parent company BIGSTAR has been active in the wood-based panel trade for many years, it has never produced its own materials. That is now set to change. “There is a rising demand for MDF boards in Algeria, and imports from other countries are becoming increasingly costly. We have been considering producing our own materials for a long time for this reason, and Dieffenbacher SWPM has given us the perfect concept to do so," explained Guelai Mohamed Chiheb, BIGSTAR CEO. BIGSTAR President Guelai Belkacimar added: "We've remained in contact since we first started thinking about having our own production line four years ago. We feel as if we've always received excellent advice. We've twice been able to visit the Dieffenbacher headquarters in Eppingen and get a first-hand experience of the outstanding work done there. We have great confidence in Dieffenbacher and Dieffenbacher SWPM, and we’re very pleased to have a working relationship with this long-standing family business."

    The 6 ft wide, 14.5 m long CPS+ for BIGSTAR will be supplied from Eppingen. Dieffenbacher SWPM is responsible for the remainder of the scope of supply and for project management. The complete order includes the entire material preparation process, the refiner, the dryer, the forming station and the forming line. The complete raw board handling, including the diagonal saw, the star cooler and billet stacking right through to the short-cycle laminating line, is also part of the delivery scope.

    The plant is designed to offer a production capacity of 250 m³ per day. Assembly will begin in the second quarter of 2018. The first board will be produced in December of the same year.
    (Dieffenbacher GmbH)
    24.08.2017   Raute Corporation - Half-year report January 1 - June 30, 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    - The Group’s net sales, EUR 71.8 million (MEUR 53.7), increased 34% on the comparison period. Order intake was EUR 52 million (MEUR 28).
    - Operating profit was EUR 4.1 million (MEUR 2.9), showing growth of 41% on the comparison period. The result before taxes was EUR 4.2 million (MEUR 2.8).
    - Earnings per share were EUR 0.71 (EUR 0.51).
    - Net sales for the second quarter were EUR 35.2 million and operating profit was EUR 1.4 million positive. Order intake was EUR 29 million. The order book at the end of the reporting period stood at EUR 86 million (MEUR 32).
    - Raute revised its guidance for the full year 2017 on July 27, 2017. Raute’s 2017 net sales are expected to clearly grow and operating profit is forecast to clearly improve from 2016.

    We can continue to be pleased with our performance throughout the first half of the year, in terms of both net sales growth and improving our operating profit. Both were in line with our expectations.

    Our order intake, at EUR 29 million in the second quarter, was at a good level, bearing in mind that it did not include any major individual projects. Following a quieter period, demand for modernizations also picked up. In terms of new orders, the European market is still exceptionally strong, but projects are also being actively negotiated in North America, Asia and Russia, to name a few. I estimate that in the near future, other market areas will complement the demand in Europe.

    Our deliveries proceeded according to plan in the second quarter. Our relative profitability was influenced by the start-up of the Metriguard business that was acquired in early April, additional investments aimed at the Chinese market, and investments in sales and marketing. Our focus on product development and digital services, in particular, also continued.

    Our order book has remained strong, which means we will retain our good momentum and our resources will be used at a high capacity also in the second half of the year. Our aim is to deliver the high number of orders scheduled for the latter half of the year on time, successfully and in keeping with the budgeted costs, which will, in turn, improve our relative profitability for the second half of the year. Our recent past serves as proof of our success in such situations. Success also partly comes down to our customers, and we need them to be successful as well.

    Thanks to a good start to the year, a strong order book and continued active demand, I am confident that our net sales will clearly grow and our operating profit will clearly improve from the previous year.

    Order intake and order book
    The total order intake in the second quarter, EUR 29 million (MEUR 16), was at a good level, bearing in mind that it did not include major individual projects. The biggest single new orders were for peeling lines in France and Italy.

    Technology services accounted for more than half of new orders and amounted to EUR 15 million (MEUR 9). Growth compared to the first quarter of the year was mainly due to orders resulting from lengthy negotiations on modernization deals.

    The order book declined during the second quarter by EUR 7 million, but nevertheless ended the period at a strong EUR 86 million (MEUR 32).

    Net sales
    Second-quarter net sales amounted to EUR 35.2 million (MEUR 27.3). Technology services accounted for 33 percent (37%) of the total net sales and amounted to EUR 12 million (MEUR 10).

    Result and profitability
    Operating profit in the second quarter was EUR 1.4 million positive (MEUR 1.5 positive) and accounted for 4,0 percent (5.6%) of net sales. The result was EUR 0.9 million positive (MEUR 1.2 positive), and earnings per share were EUR +0.21 (EUR +0.29). Second-quarter profitability was influenced by investments in the start-up of the new Metriguard business, additional investments aimed at the Chinese market, and investments in sales and marketing.

    Market situation in customer industries
    The situation in the global economy and the financial markets in the first half of 2017 did not change considerably with respect to Raute or Raute’s customer base.

    Although construction activity has increased in many market areas, it is still at a fairly low level in all market areas, including North America. Thanks to a brighter market situation, investment activity among Raute’s customers has gradually improved, and projects that were in the negotiating phase have materialized into orders. Demand remained brisk throughout the first half of the year.

    Demand for wood products technology and technology services
    Invitations to tender for both creating new capacity and even smaller project-type undertakings were at a good level, and trade negotiations took place at a brisk pace. Projects encompassing individual machine lines were started up to a greater extent than in the recent past.

    Demand for modernizations also picked up in the second quarter following a quieter period. Demand for maintenance and spare parts services remained good. This indicates that the utilization rates of Raute’s customers’ production facilities continued to remain, for the most part, at a good level.

    Raute serves the wood products industry with a full-service concept based on service that encompasses the entire life cycle of the delivered equipment. Raute’s business consists of project deliveries and technology services. Project deliveries encompass projects from individual machine or production line deliveries to deliveries of all the machines and equipment belonging to a mill’s production process. Additionally, Raute’s full-service concept includes comprehensive technology services ranging from spare parts deliveries to regular maintenance and equipment modernizations, as well as consulting, training and reconditioned machinery.

    The order intake during the review period was at a good level and amounted to EUR 52 million (MEUR 28). A significant proportion of new orders was again received from European customers.

    Of new orders, 56 percent came from Europe (39%), 17 percent from North America (21%), 17 percent from Russia (29%), 9 percent from South America (7%) and 1 percent from Asia-Pacific (4%). The second quarter accounted for EUR 29 million of the order intake. Sometimes even strong fluctuations in the distribution of new orders between the various market areas and over time are typical for project-focused business.

    Order intake in technology services amounted to EUR 25 million (MEUR 19), increasing 33 percent on the comparison period. Growth came equally from all areas of technology services.

    The order book declined during the second quarter by EUR 7 million. The order book at the end of the reporting period amounted to a strong EUR 86 million (MEUR 32). Part of the order book is scheduled for 2018.

    Raute’s competitive position has remained unchanged and is good. Raute’s solutions help customers in securing their delivery and service capabilities throughout the life cycle of the production process or a part thereof. In such investments, the supplier’s overall expertise and extensive and diverse technology offering play a key role. The competitive edge provided by Raute plays a major role when customers select their cooperation partners. Raute’s strong financial position and long-term dedication to serving selected customer industries also enhance its credibility and improve its competitive position as a company that carries out long-term investment projects.

    The Metriguard products acquired in April complement Raute’s product range. Metriguard’s equipment has been integrated into dozens of Raute’s deliveries over the years. The active installed equipment base extends from North and South America to Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

    Net sales for the reporting period, EUR 71.8 million (MEUR 53.7), were up 34 percent on the comparison period.

    Of the total net sales for the reporting period, Europe accounted for 49 percent (63%), Russia for 33 percent (15%), North America for 12 percent (15%), South America for 4 percent (3%), and Asia-Pacific for 2 percent (5%).

    Net sales for technology services grew during the reporting period by 19 per cent and amounted to EUR 22 million (MEUR 19). Technology services’ share of the Group’s total net sales declined to 31 per cent (35%) due to the strong 41 per cent growth in project deliveries.

    During the period under review, operating profit was EUR 4.1 million positive (MEUR 2.9 positive) and accounted for 5.7 percent of net sales (5.4%). Operating profit grew 41 percent on the comparison period.

    The result before taxes for the reporting period was EUR 4.2 million positive (MEUR 2.8 positive). The result for the reporting period was EUR 3.0 million positive (MEUR 2.1 positive). Earnings per share (undiluted) were EUR 0.71 (EUR 0.51).

    The Group’s financial position remained good, despite the growing need for working capital in the second quarter. At the end of the reporting period, gearing was 9 percent (17%) and the equity ratio was 58 percent (59%). Fluctuations in balance sheet working capital items and the key figures based on them are due to differences in the timing of customer payments and the cost accumulation from project deliveries, which is typical of the project business.

    The Group’s cash and cash equivalents amounted to EUR 3.1 million (MEUR 1.6) at the end of the reporting period. Operating cash flow was EUR 15.1 million negative (MEUR 5.4 negative). Cash flow from investment activities was EUR 4.5 million negative (MEUR 1.6 negative), including the cash consideration of EUR 2.9 million on the purchase price and costs of EUR 0.5 million related to the acquisition of the Metriguard business. Cash flow from financing activities was EUR 1.1 million negative (MEUR 2.1 positive), including a dividend payment of EUR 4.2 million and a short-term drawdown of EUR 3.0 million.

    Interest-bearing liabilities amounted to EUR 6.0 million (MEUR 6.4) at the end of the reporting period.

    The parent company Raute Corporation has a EUR 10 million commercial paper program, which allows the company to issue commercial papers maturing in less than one year.

    The parent company Raute Corporation is prepared for future working capital needs and has long-term credit facility agreements with three Nordic banks totaling EUR 23.0 million. The main covenants for the credit facility are an equity ratio of >30% and gearing of <100%. Of the credit facilities, EUR 18.6 million remained unused at the end of the reporting period.

    Raute Corporation published stock exchange releases on the following events:
    January 2, 2017 Market-making for Raute Corporation transferred to Nordea Bank AB (publ)
    January 11, 2017 Raute Corporation's trading and issuer codes to change as from January 16, 2017
    February 15, 2017 A new performance- and share-value-based long-term incentive program established for Raute’s top management
    March 6, 2017 Disposal of Raute Corporation’s own shares
    March 28, 2017 Decisions of Raute’s Annual General Meeting
    March 31, 2017 Raute Corporation strengthens its offering in veneer and lumber grading technology by acquiring the business of Metriguard Inc.

    Raute is a leading technology supplier for the plywood and LVL industries and focuses strongly on the development of increasingly efficient, productive and environmentally friendly manufacturing technology and supporting measurement and machine vision applications. Opportunities provided by digitalization are also an essential part of R&D activities.

    Research and development costs in the reporting period amounted to EUR 1.8 million (MEUR 1.6), representing 2.4 percent of net sales (2.9%).

    Capital expenditure during the period came to EUR 4.8 million (MEUR 1.7) and accounted for 6.6 percent (3.1%) of net sales. The acquisition of the Metriguard business accounted for EUR 3.4 million of the Group’s capital expenditure, including an estimate of the earn-out share to be paid in 2018.

    During the reporting period, the Group’s personnel grew by 62 people, numbering 705 (650) at the end of the reporting period. The higher number of personnel includes the transfer of 24 employees to Raute in connection with the acquisition of Metriguard Inc. Group companies outside Finland accounted for 29 percent (29%) of employees.

    Converted to full-time employees (“effective headcount”), the average number of employees was 652 (632) during the reporting period.

    Raute Corporation established a new subsidiary, Metriguard Technologies, Inc., in the United States. The new subsidiary was a party to the acquisition agreement realized with Metriguard Inc. and has continued Metriguard Inc.’s business as of April 3, 2017.

    Metriguard is a market leader in grading technology for lumber and veneer manufactured in an industrial production process. Metriguard sells and maintains measuring equipment for the veneer and plywood industry and for sawmills on a global scale. The subsidiary is located in Pullman, Washington.

    The Metriguard business’s financial information will be reported as part of Raute’s wood products technology segment. The full consideration for the business was EUR 4.0 million, of which EUR 2.9 million was paid in the form of a cash consideration. The value of the acquired net assets amounted to EUR 3.0 million and goodwill generated was EUR 1.0 million. Expenses of EUR 0.5 million related to the acquisition were entered as a cost item.

    The number of Raute Corporation’s shares at the end of the reporting period totaled 4,225,311, of which 991,161 were series K shares (ordinary share, 20 votes/share) and 3,234,150 were series A shares (1 vote/share). Series K and A shares confer equal rights to dividends and company assets.

    Series K shares can be converted to series A shares under the terms set out in section 3 of the Articles of Association. If an ordinary share is transferred to a new owner who has not previously held series K shares, the new owner must notify the Board of Directors of this in writing and without delay. Other holders of series K shares have the right to redeem the share under the terms specified in Article 4 of the Articles of Association.

    Raute Corporation’s series A shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. The trading code is RAUTE. Raute Corporation has signed a market making agreement with Nordea Bank Ab in compliance with the Liquidity Providing (LP) requirements issued by Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd.

    The company’s market capitalization at the end of the reporting period was EUR 96.8 million (MEUR 54.5), with series K shares valued at the closing price of series A shares on June 30, 2017, i.e. EUR 22.92 (EUR 13.10).

    At the end of the reporting period, altogether 28,845 of the company’s series C 2010 stock options were unexercised. The subscription period for Raute Corporation’s series B stock options ended on March 31, 2017.

    Raute Corporation’s series C 2010 stock options are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd under the trading code RAUTEEW310. The subscription period for series C stock options is March 1, 2015–March 31, 2018. The subscription price at the end of the reporting period was EUR 5.00 and the closing price was EUR 15.00.

    The Group has remuneration systems in place that cover the entire personnel.

    Share-based incentive plans
    The Group has valid long-term share-based incentive plans based on performance.

    The company presented its latest performance- and share-based long-term incentive plan to the top management on February 15, 2017.

    The terms and conditions of the incentive plans are available on the company’s website.

    The number of shareholders stood at 3,625 at the beginning of the year and at 4,093 at the end of the reporting period. Series K shares were held by 55 private individuals (50) at the end of the reporting period. Nominee-registered shares accounted for 2.7 percent (2.7%) of shares. The company did not receive any flagging notifications during the reporting period.

    The Board of Directors, the President and CEO as well as the Executive Board held altogether 249,973 company shares, equaling 5.9 percent (5.7%) of the company shares and 11.2 percent (11.2%) of the votes at the end of the reporting period.

    Raute Corporation complies with the Finnish Corporate Governance Code 2015 for listed companies issued by the Securities Market Association on October 1, 2015.

    Raute Group’s Executive Board and the members’ areas of responsibility:
    Tapani Kiiski, President and CEO, Chairman – Sales
    Arja Hakala, Group Vice President, Finance, CFO – Finance and administration
    Marko Hjelt, Group Vice President, Human Resources – Human resources and competence development
    Mika Hyysti, Group Vice President, Technology – Technology, products and R&D
    Timo Kangas, Group Vice President, EMEA – Market area EMEA
    Antti Laulainen, Group Vice President, Technology Services and Sales Management – Technology services and sales management
    Petri Strengell, Group Vice President, Supply Chain – Sourcing and production.

    Raute Corporation’s Annual General Meeting was held on March 28, 2017. More detailed information on the decisions of the Annual General Meeting can be found in the stock exchange release issued on March 28, 2017.

    The Annual General Meeting held on March 28, 2017 decided to pay a dividend of EUR 1.00 per share for the financial year 2016. The total amount of dividends is EUR 4.2 million, with series A shares accounting for EUR 3,228,550.00 and series K shares for EUR 991,161.00. The dividend payment date was April 6, 2017.

    At the General Meeting on March 28, 2017, Mr. Erkki Pehu-Lehtonen was elected Chairman of the Board, Mr. Mika Mustakallio was elected Vice-Chair, and Mr. Joni Bask, Ms. Laura Raitio, Mr. Pekka Suominen, and Mr. Patrick von Essen were elected as Board members. The Board of Directors’ term of office will continue until the 2018 Annual General Meeting.

    Based on the evaluation of independence, Chairman Mr. Erkki Pehu-Lehtonen and members Mr. Joni Bask, Mr. Patrick von Essen, Ms. Laura Raitio, and Mr. Pekka Suominen are independent of the company. The Chairman of the Board (Mr. Erkki Pehu-Lehtonen) and two Board members (Mr. Patrick von Essen and Ms. Laura Raitio) are independent of major shareholders.
    Raute Corporation’s Board of Directors has an Appointments Committee. The Appointments Committee is chaired by Mr. Erkki Pehu-Lehtonen and its members are Mr. Mika Mustakallio and Mr. Pekka Suominen. The Audit and Working Committees’ tasks are handled by the Board of Directors.

    Raute Corporation published stock exchange releases on the following events after the reporting period:
    July 27, 2017 Raute revises its guidance for 2017 net sales and operating profit: Net sales will grow clearly and operating profit will improve clearly
    July 31, 2017 Raute receives an order worth over EUR 11 million to USA

    Risks in the near term continue to be driven by the uncertainty relating to the global economic situation and the development of the financial markets, as well as by international political instability. During the reporting period, there were no essential changes in the business risks described in the 2016 Board of Directors’ Report and Financial Statements.

    The most significant risks for Raute in the near term are related to the implementation of major mill-scale projects included in the order book in accordance with the contract terms.

    OUTLOOK FOR 2017
    On July 27, 2017, Raute revised its guidance for the full year 2017 concerning net sales and operating profit. Based on a strong order book, order intake and continued active demand, Raute’s net sales in 2017 are expected to clearly grow and operating profit to clearly improve from 2016.
    (Raute Oyj)
    23.08.2017   EGGER announces plans for a Greenfield project in the USA    ( Company news )

    Company news
    During an official meeting with the Governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper, and representatives of local authorities, which took place on 24.07.2017, Michael Egger and Walter Schiegl, EGGER Group Management Technology/Production, announced plans to build a wood-based materials plant in Lexington, North Carolina.

    The project implementation is scheduled to take place in several stages, the first being the construction of a chipboard plant with coating capacities. The first project phase involves an investment volume of approximately EUR 260 million and will create 400 direct jobs over the next six years. Assuming all agreed framework conditions are fulfilled and the relevant permits are obtained, construction should start by the end of 2018. Production should start in 2020.

    The North Carolina plant will have ultramodern facilities for producing laminated chipboard, and will allow EGGER to better serve its customers in North-America. EGGER’s previous sales activities in the USA and Canada have already clearly shown that the range of products, the quality, and the price structure of the product portfolio are very attractive for architects, designers, distributors, and industry customers. The planned production location in Lexington, North Carolina, will play a decisive role for EGGER’s increasing presence on the North-American market for wood-based materials, as well as ensure product availability and delivery speed for our customers.
    (FRITZ EGGER GmbH & Co)
    22.08.2017   Successful first half-year for Dieffenbacher    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Dieffenbacher increases its sales while showing at the LIGNA trade fair how the production of wood-based panels can be even more efficient

    The first half of 2017 was eventful and extremely successful for Dieffenbacher. Orders for six wood-based panel plants already ensured well-filled order books before the LIGNA trade fair in May. By the end of the second quarter, three additional projects were booked.

    Image: Signing ceremony with Thien Lam Dat JSC. From the left: Christian Dieffenbacher (member of the management board, Dieffenbacher) and Dang Quoc Lich (Chairman of the Board, Thien Lam Dat JSC).

    On the second day of LIGNA, Vietnamese company Thien Lam Dat JSC signed a contract for a complete MDF plant with CPS+. The Algerian company BIGSTAR, via its subsidiary Panneaux d'Algérie, also entrusted Dieffenbacher with the delivery of a complete MDF plant with CPS+. It will be the first continuous press operating in North Africa. In addition, Kronospan ordered for its Sanem site in Luxembourg the core package of an OSB plant. A CPS+ will replace the multi-opening press, which has operated since 1996. The new projects demonstrate how CPS+ has reached the global market and become the gold standard for efficient continuous press systems.

    Dieffenbacher’s new stand at LIGNA reflected the company’s early 2017 success and its commitment to helping customers reach "the next level of plant efficiency." Dieffenbacher presented numerous new developments and solutions for complete production plants and plant modernization.

    At the conclusion of LIGNA, Christian Dieffenbacher, member of the management board, said that Dieffenbacher's pledge to produce the most efficient overall plant solutions hit the mark with customers. "We had a lot of good discussions and were pleased by the exceptionally high level of enthusiasm for our message and our products.” With a view to the successful first half-year, he added: "We are extremely satisfied with our progress and look confidently ahead to the future. We expect a significant increase in sales for the whole of 2017."
    (Dieffenbacher GmbH)
    21.08.2017   Ponsse introduces new technology for productivity and ergonomics    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Ponsse offers the broadest range of products in the market for cut-to-length logging. Solutions that focus especially on improving the operator's performance and comfort supplement the new model series.

    Photo: Another innovation to improve operator ergonomics is the new PONSSE Seat.

    The PONSSE Scorpion harvester, the flagship of the new PONSSE model series, was launched at the 2013 Elmia Wood exhibition. The launch gave start to a complete modernisation of the model series, focusing specifically on improved productivity and ergonomics alongside higher serviceability. So far, more than 500 Scorpions have been sold in 20 different countries, and more than 100 have been sold in Sweden.

    PONSSE ActiveFrame, the most comfortable suspension system in the market, is now also available for harvesters
    PONSSE ActiveFrame is a whole new cabin suspension system for eight-wheel
    machines. ­It levels out any roughness of the terrain and keeps the cabin
    horizontal at all times. This makes working more effective as the cabin is
    always horizontal when using the crane. In addition to forwarders, the
    ActiveFrame solution is now also available for the PONSSE Ergo 8w harvester, Ponsse's most popular harvester model.

    ActiveFrame has a simple and functional structure, effectively suspending any sideways movement directed at the operator allowing e.g. higher driving speeds for forwarders. As a result, any stress on the body is much smaller than before. The operator's comfort is a central factor in terms of productivity and quality. When operators do not tire from the roughness of the terrain, they remain more alert and can focus on work, even through a long shift.

    The suspension system actively keeps the cabin horizontal, following the shape of the ground surface at all times. Thanks to the dual frame structure, the pivot point of the suspension system is very low at the level of the bogie axle, which efficiently eliminates any swaying directed at the operator. The solution is technologically close to the PONSSE Scorpion levelling system, in which separate sensors have been replaced by reliable components built in the control module. The maximum angle of levelling in Ergo is fourteen degrees, seven on both sides.

    Another innovation to improve operator ergonomics is the new PONSSE Seat. It is the first seat designed exclusively for forest machines. The adjustments and extra strong base structure of PONSSE Seat provide forest machine operators with the best possible comfort. Combined with the strong structure, the new seat better suspends any swings and impacts directed at the operator.

    The first VR training simulator
    Ponsse is the first forest machine manufacturer to launch a virtual reality (VR) training simulator. VR headsets can be added to all PONSSE Full simulator models as optional equipment. VR headsets raise the simulator experience to a whole new level: they help the operator to perceive the environment and machine functions much better than in conventional simulators. The solution uses HTC Vive headsets and sensors to display images correctly. As a result, operators feel like they are actually in the forest and the driving experience feels more real – the environment can be explored by simply turning the head. By better perceiving distances and dimensions, it is also easier to train with the crane.
    The Full simulator can also be used without any headsets as before by simply switching it to the regular simulator mode through the user interface.

    PONSSE Manager for managing the functions of forest machine companies
    PONSSE Manager is a tool for the real-time management of the operations of
    forest machine companies. It provides real-time, comprehensive information
    about the machine fleet – both on its performance and sites. Detailed
    information about the productivity of the machine fleet supports the profitable operations of companies and keeps entrepreneurs up to date about matters affecting profitability.

    The Manager system guides companies in the productive use of their machines, maximising the efficiency and productivity of the fleet and minimising its downtime. The informative and easy-to-use tool with clear graphics helps companies to maintain their harvester fleet and improves the efficiency of work planning and reporting.

    Communication between operators and the company is also easier. Data is
    transferred automatically from the machine without the operator having to send files during harvesting. The machine operator can monitor and guide the daily operations of the company on a smartphone, tablet or computer, regardless of location.

    Fleet Management is a PONSSE Manager component for managing and monitoring
    field operations and the progress of harvesting in real time. Fleet Management displays the condition of the machine and the production volume of the machines by ­stand in real time. The application displays the cut total volume, breakdown of assortments and the average size of trees for each on-going stand.
    The map view and information about the progress of stands also make efficient planning of machine transfers possible. Machines are in the right place at the right time, with less time spent waiting for transfers, and their maintenance can be timed correctly.

    PONSSE Manager's Ecodrive function is a system that instructs the operator and gives measured feedback, for example, on the impact of maintenance on machine productivity. The function makes it possible to monitor the productivity and work phases of an individual machine in detail. Work phase-specific indicators serve to develop working methods to be more productive and economical and ensure the functionality of the adjustments of the machine.

    Major investments in quality and the future
    In addition to R&D investments, Ponsse invests heavily in the development of its production and network. A record number of forest machines was produced at Ponsse's Vieremä factory last year. Currently, the factory is undergoing a significant expansion, as a result of which the factory area will expand from 2.7 hectares to four hectares. The aim of this expansion and machine investments is to improve quality and flexibility alongside increased productivity and occupational safety. However, Ponsse invests in more than just its production. This year, new service centres have been opened in Uruguay and in the south of France and, by the end of the year, the UK service centre will move to new modern facilities. Last year, Ponsse expanded its Iisalmi central warehouse which serves Ponsse's international network. At the same time, new service facilities were opened in the United States and in Russia.
    (Ponsse Oyj)
    18.08.2017   Incoming orders increase by 33 percent in the first six months    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The HOMAG Group, the world's leading manufacturer of machinery and systems for the woodworking industry and trade, has continued to grow, recording strong demand for its products and solutions in the first half of 2017.

    In the first six months of 2017, the world market leader's incoming orders increased by 33 percent to € 734 million (previous year: € 552 million). By June 30, 2017, the order backlog had reached € 542 million (June 30, 2016: € 354 million) and sales were up 13 percent to € 597 million (previous year: € 527 million). Operating EBIT rose by 47 percent to € 46.9 million (previous year: € 31.9 million). As at June 30, 2017, the HOMAG Group had 6,149 employees (previous year: 5,983 employees).

    "Our encouraging start to 2017 continued in the second quarter, which means we had an excellent first half", highlights CEO Pekka Paasivaara. "We recorded strong growth in all regions. In China we increased our incoming orders by over 100 percent." CFO Franz Peter Matheis adds: "The disproportionately high rise in our earnings also shows that our numerous measures for enhancing efficiency and for standardizing our processes and systems are paying off."

    Paasivaara is also pleased with the outcome of the LIGNA trade fair, which took place in Hanover at the end of May: "It was clear that our customers are increasingly tending toward digitization and automation, where we can already offer end-to-end solutions from a single source. And thanks to 'tapio', the open digital industry platform that we presented at LIGNA, we are all set to lead the entire woodworking industry securely into the digital future. In addition, customers have already confirmed that our concept to ensure digital data continuity from point of sale through the entire production process, based on our comprehensive software suite, is unique in this industry." With this in mind, the HOMAG Group is also optimistic about the future and expects 2017 to be a successful year as a whole.
    (Homag Holzbearbeitungssysteme GmbH)

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