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    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 The solution is technologically close to the PONSSE Scorpion levelling system, in which separate sensors have been replaced by reliable components built in the control module.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)
     
    17.08.2017   Sawlog prices in Brazil have gone up over the past 12 months after five years in decline and ...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... the expectations are that the recent upward trend will continue for the remainder of the year, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly

    Stronger wood product exports from Brazil have resulted in higher demand for logs and increasing sawlog prices during 2016 and early 2017, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. Despite the recent price increases, current prices are below the long-term trend lines in the local currency.

    In the 1Q/17, pine sawlog prices in Brazil increased in both US dollars and in the Brazilian Real quarter-over-quarter. Over the last 12 months, sawlog prices have gone up by 26%, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly. Most of the rise in prices has been the result of a stronger Real, but there have also been smaller upward price adjustments in the local currency because of higher labor and energy costs. The recent price increases follow a downward price trend that lasted for much of 2011-2015.

    There are expectations that sawlog prices may continue to go up in the coming months because of improved opportunities for Brazilian exporters of lumber, plywood and valueadded products such as doors and mouldings to increase shipments overseas. During the first quarter of 2017, pine lumber exports reached an all-time high and were equal to the annual export volume just five years ago. The countries that have increased imports of Brazilian lumber the most in the past year are, in descending order, the US, Mexico, China and Saudi Arabia.

    An analysis of long-term timber price trends, volatility, and a point-in-time assessment of current timber prices relative to historical trends was recently undertaken by the timberland investment consultancy firm ForestEdge LLC (www.forestedgellc.com).
    Sixteen products were tracked, generally representing plantation roundwood products in Brazil, Chile, South Africa and New Zealand, in addition to conifer sawlogs in Sweden and hardwood pulpwood in the US South. Only pulpwood in Brazil (both pine and Eucalyptus) and conifer products in South Africa (pulpwood, small and large sawlogs) registered increasing prices over the 1995-2016 period in inflation adjusted US dollars.

    With respect to current delivered timber prices in local currency, it is interesting to note that with few exceptions, most timber prices in the local currencies in the 4Q/16 were not far from their trend-line values. Prices in both Brazil and Chile remained below their local currency trend lines, reflecting somewhat depressed timber markets.
    (Wood Resources International LLC)
     
    16.08.2017   EPAL Euro pallets continue their road to success: 10% growth in the second quarter of 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The production of EPAL Euro pallets increased by 10% in the first two quarters of 2017 compared to the previous year. In the first six months of this year, 42.5 million EPAL Euro pallets were produced worldwide.

    There was also an increase in the number of repairs: +11.5%, with 13.7 million repaired EPAL pallets in the first six months of 2017.

    The constantly increasing production over the last four years, since the “EPAL in oval” mark has been branded on all four blocks, is the unique success story of the EPAL Euro pallet, which represents quality, safety and sustainability. In 2015 for the first time, the 100 million mark was achieved for EPAL pallets produced and repaired worldwide and in the following year even exceeded with 105.5 million EPAL pallets in total.

    Martin Leibrandt, CEO of EPAL, “I would never have thought that EPAL could top the historic result of 2015, but the users of EPAL pallets’ trust is unwavering, growing all the time. At EPAL we are very proud of this and would like to sincerely thank all users of EPAL Euro pallets.”
    (EPAL European Pallet Association e.V.)
     
    15.08.2017   Milestone in Södra's investment in Långasjö    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Södra is investing just over SEK 100 million in the Långasjö sawmill and mid-July marks a milestone in the major investment project. This is when the old sawmill from 1982 will be demolished to make way for a new profiling line. A total of 25 people are working with dismantling operations. The sawmill will return to full production by the end of October.

    Photo: Dismantling operations of the old small-diameter timber saw line.

    The investment will increase capacity at the sawmill from 280,000 m³ to 360,000 m³. A capacity increase equivalent to 15 more timber trucks per day. To achieve this, the old small-diameter timber saw line will be replaced with a new profiling curve sawing line. This means throughput at the saw will be simplified and streamlined. In addition, a stacker and binding stick stacker is being built, a brand new wood dryer and a new 8,000-square-metre warehouse.

    The sawmill is the heart of the operation and the last log was sawn in the old saw line on Thursday, 20 July. Work then began demolishing the old small-diameter timber saw line.

    "25 people are working during the week with dismantling operations. It is demanding work, where each person removes two tonnes of scrap metal per hour. On 31 July, the premises will be ready to begin moving in the new profiling line. The premises are also being extended to manage the boards and planks from the new line," said Markus Förster, project manager for the profiling line.

    The sawmill currently consists of one line for large dimensions and one for small-diameter timber, where the large-dimension line will be retained. The small-diameter line will be replaced with a fully optimised profiling line with a maximum speed of 150 metres per minute, compared with the current speed of 88 metres per minute. The supplier is AriVislanda. The production line will be adjusted between 11 September and 15 October. From November, it will be in full production.

    The sub-projects for the new wood dryer and new warehouse are already complete and the new stacker is scheduled for takeover by mid-November.

    The investment also means 25 new jobs in Långasjö. Employees at the Torsås sawmill, which will close down this autumn, have been able to apply for these jobs.
    (Södra Timber AB)
     
    14.08.2017   The EGGER Group is growing: Stable results for the business year 2016/2017, ...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ...big plans for the future

    The wood-based material manufacturer recorded EUR 2.38 billion sales and EUR 363.7 million EBITDA for the business year 2016/2017.

    The EGGER Group again set new records in its annual results for 2016/2017. The sales increased during the business year 2016/2017 by +1.7% to reach EUR 2,384.8 million. The EBITDA increased by +4.0 % to reach EUR 363.7 million. The EBITDA margin exceeded previous years’ levels by 15.3 %. The family business continues to enjoy a good credit rating thanks to a high equity ratio of 37.5 %. The quantity of rawboards, incl. timber, increased to 7.9 million m3 (+3 %), which means the full utilisation of all primary production capacities. On average last year, EGGER employed 8,145 employees group-wide.

    Positive sales developments were achieved and the market share was developed in almost all regions across the world. Despite uncertainties following the Brexit vote, the overall development in Great Britain over the past twelve months was positive. Diminished sales and earnings are due exclusively to a weaker British Pound. The tense political and economic situation in Turkey led to lower local sales of edging, which, however, was largely compensated through exports.
    Under the EGGER motto “Sustainable international growth”, investments in property and intangible assets as well as acquisitions of EUR 259.2 million were posted during the business year 2016/2017 (previous year: EUR 302.7 million). Out of this amount, EUR 64.3 million was spent on maintenance investments and EUR 194.9 million on growth investments.

    Large upcoming investments

    EGGER will be busy taking big steps towards further growth during the current business year 2017/2018 and beyond. On the 17th of July, the EGGER Group announced it is taking over the plant Concordia, Argentina, from the Chilean Masisa S.A. This will be the first time EGGER is represented with a production site outside Europe.

    The already announced new construction of a chipboard plant in Biskupiec, in the north of Poland, is due to start on the 85 ha site in the next few weeks. The new wood-based materials plant will use the latest technology and will be equipped with a raw chip capacity of 650,000 m³, lamination and impregnation units.

    Another greenfield project is currently in the early planning stages. Together with the Governor and representatives of local authorities, EGGER has recently announced its intention 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.
    (FRITZ EGGER GmbH & Co)
     
    11.08.2017   Wood raw-material costs for European pulpmills continued to slide in early 2017 ...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... to reach their lowest levels in over five years, reports the
    Wood Resource Quarterly

    The European pulp industry has become much more competitive in the international pulp and paper market the past five years with wood fiber costs, which account for 55-65% of the production costs, having fallen more than in most other regions of the world, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. Some of the biggest price declines have been for hardwood pulplogs in the Nordic countries.

    Wood costs for the pulp industry in Europe were generally lower in the 1Q/17 than in the previous quarter, continuing a downward trend that, depending on the country, has lasted for 4-6 years. The biggest price declines for pulplogs and sawmill residues in early 2017 occurred in Germany and France, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). The price reductions occurred mainly because of an oversupply of pulplogs, unchanged demand for wood fiber from the pulp industry, and reduced usage of raw-material by the competing wood pellet sector.

    In neighboring Austria, conifer pulplog prices have been very stable during most of 2015 and 2016 (in Euro terms) and prices did not change much in the 1Q/17. However, the weakening of the Euro against the US dollar has resulted in Austrian pulplog prices falling seven percent in two years.

    In the Nordic countries, wood fiber costs in the 1Q/17 were at their lowest levels since 2006 (in US dollars). This was mostly thanks to the weakening of the local currencies in both Sweden and Finland. The wood fiber costs currently account for about 60% of the manufacturing cost when manufacturing pulp in the region, according to Fisher International, so a reduction in prices for pulplogs and wood chips has a major impact in improving the competitiveness of the pulp and paper industry when competing in the global market place.

    The pulp sectors in Portugal and Spain, which are the third and fourth largest consumers of hardwood logs in Europe, have also enjoyed a period of declining wood costs with the price levels in early 2017 being 20-25% below the fiber costs five years ago.

    Hardwood fiber costs for pulpmill in Europe have fallen more rapidly than in other parts of the world from 2012 to 2017, and the industry has become much more competitive with competitors in North America, Latin America and Asia, according to the WRQ. For example, the price discrepancy for hardwood pulplogs between Sweden and the US South has fallen from US$62/odmt in the 1Q/12 to only US$9/odmt in the 1Q/17.
    (WRI Wood Resources International LLC)
     
    10.08.2017   Predictive maintenance thanks to spindle temperature monitoring    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Have you ever experienced this scenario? Your order books are full, the machines are running, the production is booming. Suddenly, there is a problem on one of your machines. One spindle of the moulder is standing still - and the complete production line, too. Now, time is money! You need to get spare parts and a replacement of the spindle as quickly as possible.

    Don't worry, thanks to the new WEINIG solution this nightmare scenario is a thing of the past!

    Photo: Warning in the WEINIG Service App and in PowerCom

    Using the spindle temperature monitoring you already know in advance, if there is some damage to foreshadow and you can counteract at the right time.

    The PowerCom machine control permanently monitors the spindle temperature. As soon as the first boundary temperature is exceeded, the control unit gives a warning. If the second boundary temperature is exceeded, the machine is automatically stopped in order to prevent any damage. These reports can be tracked for each spindle in PowerCom and in the WEINIG Service App.

    This way, it is possible to detect critical conditions at an early stage and damage is avoided. Instead, maintenance intervals can be planned specifically, unscheduled downtime is eliminated and cost of repairs are reduced.

    Especially machines for industrial applications benefit from the spindle monitoring. This feature implies an added value by increasing production safety, machine availability and profitability.
    (Michael Weinig Aktiengesellschaft)
     
    10.08.2017   The fiber costs for pellet plants in North America have trended downward the past year ...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... with the US and Canadian Pellet Feedstock Price Indices reaching their lowest levels in over four years in the 2Q/17, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review

    With the feed stock shifting towards lower cost fiber, including industry and forest residues, total wood costs for pellet manufacturers fell during 2016 and early 2017, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review. The PFPI price indices for the US and Canada have fallen 16% and 26%, respectively since 2013.

    Wood pellet manufacturers in North America consume wood fiber from a variety of sources with different price levels, trends and cost drivers. The WRI pellet feedstock price indices for Canada and the US (PFPI-US and PFPI-CA), which were launched in 2013, show a quarterly volume-weighted price for the fiber consumed by each country’s pellet sector. Each individual facility’s estimated mix of fiber (roundwood, sawdust, shavings, microchips, etc.) are calculated using local fiber pricing to determine a weighted price, which is further combined with production capacity and operating rate to calculate the final regional index price.

    The price indices for both the US and Canada have trended downward the past few years and reached record lows in both countries in the 2Q/17. The PFPI-US has fallen 15% from its peak in the 3Q/13 to the 2Q/17. Slightly declining roundwood prices, plummeting sawdust costs, and a change in the feedstock mix towards lower cost residuals in both the Gulf States and the Atlantic States were the major reasons behind the decline in the PFPI-US Index the past year.

    A snapshot of the various feedstocks currently being used by the US export pellet sector shows 50 percent was roundwood in the 2Q/17, followed by significant volumes of sawdust and shavings, and an increasing supply of forest microchips.

    The Canadian price index, PFPI-CA, which ccombines the larger Western export pellet sector primarily in BC with the smaller Eastern sector found in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, has fallen more than the US index (in US dollar terms), mostly because of the weaker Canadian dollar. However, wood fiber costs for pellet manufacturers have also fallen slightly in Canadian dollar terms because of lower costs for logs the past few years. From its record high in early 2013 to the 2Q/17, the PFPI-CA declined 26%. The lower indexed price in the 2Q/17 primarily reflected the falling costs of sawdust and shavings and incremental increases in the usage of these feedstock forms over higher cost roundwood.
    (Wood Resources International LLC)
     
    09.08.2017   Bookings Open for Mumbaiwood     ( Company news )

    Company news
    We are glad to inform you that BOOKINGS ARE NOW OPEN for the 3rd edition of MUMBAIWOOD, the International Trade Fair for Furniture Production Technologies, Woodworking Machinery, Tools, Fittings, Accessories, Raw Materials and Products scheduled to be held from 12 to 14 October, 2017 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon (E), Mumbai.

    MUMBAIWOOD 2017, ramps up to be an international 3 DAY event and will be once again the Asia's largest sourcing platform for furniture manufacturers, wood based handicraft manufacturers, saw millers, craftsmen, woodworking professionals, builders, architects and interior designers in the region and will attract audience from pan India and neighbouring countries. The show floor of MUMBAIWOOD will span over 10,000 square meters of woodworking solutions, machineries, materials and components.
    (Pradeep Deviah & Associates Pvt. Ltd)
     
    08.08.2017   Glen Morrison succeeds Michel Giannuzzi as CEO of Tarkett    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Tarkett’s Supervisory Board has appointed Glen Morrison (photo), currently President of Tarkett North America, to be the new Group CEO, effective as of September 1st 2017. Glen will succeed Michel Giannuzzi, who will take over a new CEO position outside Tarkett after ten years of successful accomplishments.

    Glen Morrison, a British and American citizen, joined Tarkett in May 2015 as President of North America. During his tenure, Glen oversaw a rapid and efficient integration of Tarkett North America’s brands and organizations, helping to accelerate the Group’s organic growth and significantly improve its profitability. Previously, Glen had gained extensive experience in General Management through his five-year role as President of Building and Construction Systems at Alcoa (a global lightweight metals leader), a business segment that he successfully developed. Glen has also held various Sales & Marketing positions in the construction industry in Europe (UK, Belgium, and Switzerland).

    Michel Giannuzzi has been CEO of Tarkett since September 2007. Since the global recession in 2009 and in spite of macroeconomics headwinds in Russia, he has delivered a profitable growth strategy, including 21 acquisitions, that has led to a 7% compound annual growth rate increase in both Sales and EBITDA. In 2013, he successfully oversaw Tarkett’s IPO on Euronext Paris, and over the past ten years the Group’s capitalization has more than tripled under his leadership. He has built a talented organization, entrenching strong company values in Tarkett’s DNA, thus reinforcing the Group’s leadership worldwide.

    Didier Deconinck, Chairman of Tarkett’s Supervisory Board declared: “On behalf of my family and the Board of Directors, I am delighted to welcome Glen Morrison as the next CEO of Tarkett. His proven leadership qualities and his excellent track record will ensure the continued success of Tarkett’s entrepreneurial story. We know he will uphold our company’s values and we are confident that his leadership will embark Tarkett on a new era of growth. I would like to thank Michel Giannuzzi for his considerable achievements over the last decade, in strengthening Tarkett’s profitable growth, increasing its geographical presence and products’ portfolio as well as positioning Tarkett as a recognized innovative and sustainable leader.”

    Glen Morrison said: “I am very pleased to have been asked by the Board of Directors to become Chief Executive Officer of Tarkett. I am excited about my new responsibilities and the opportunity to lead Tarkett into the next phase of its strategic development. I have great ambitions for our company to continue our winning strategy, and I will endeavour to promote innovation and development worldwide for the benefit of our clients, employees and shareholders.”

    Michel Giannuzzi declared: “It has been a pleasure and an honour for me to lead the great teams of Tarkett, and to drive this fantastic entrepreneurial journey. I wish Glen every success for the future.”
    (Tarkett SAS)
     
    07.08.2017   HOMAG Group invests in Schopfloch site    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The HOMAG Group is investing in its Schopfloch site. Investments for the extension of a building to further increase the production area and for new parking spaces will reach around € 2.5 million this year. Further investments are due to follow.

    The ground-breaking ceremony to mark the 1,800 m2 extension of the production area took place recently, attended by the HOMAG Group's CEO, Pekka Paasivaara, the Freudenstadt district administrator, Dr. Klaus Michael Rückert, and Schopfloch's mayor, Klaas Klaasen. The extension, due to be completed by early 2018, will cost around € 2 million.

    Pekka Paasivaara: "With our complex high-tech products, our domestic sites remain important to the HOMAG Group. This is why we continue to invest in their sustainability, just as we are doing now in Schopfloch. The excellent business climate has prompted us to expand our production capacities in order to serve our customers as quickly as possible."

    Carmen Hettich-Günter, chair of the works council in Schopfloch and chair of the HOMAG Group works council, adds: "The staff are looking forward to the extension and regard the investment as a strong commitment to the Schopfloch site. We also see it as an appreciation of the great dedication demonstrated by the employees."

    New parking spaces for the workforce will also be created. Further investments in the machinery will follow.
    (Homag Holzbearbeitungssysteme GmbH)
     
    04.08.2017   Stora Enso's CLT wall and floor panels now available as BIM objects    ( Company news )

    Company news
    A key element in Stora Enso’s strategy is to increase the use of wood as a building material. To make this happen, Stora Enso’s Wood Products division promotes cost efficient multi-storey building systems based on wood components such Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL). Now the Building System manuals are available as digital objects from the Building Information Modelling (BIM) library.

    Stora Enso collaborates with ProdLib, a product library for designers, to bring the Building System manuals and building components to every architect and engineer's desktops. Designers can find the CLT wall and floor components as well as the wall and floor structures as BIM objects (currently only for Revit), and many structural details in DWG and PDF format. The structure types and construction details are easy to find with a customised interface by clicking a specific part in the example building.

    “This is just the first step in the development of a digital toolbox to make our building components and systems easily available for designers in a form that is also usable for our production planning team”, says Petri Perttula, SVP, Building Solutions at Stora Enso’s Wood Products division.

    “The real benefits of BIM will become visible only when the common rules, roles and definitions for BIM in wood construction industry have been defined throughout the design and construction process. There is still much work to do, and Stora Enso wants to take an active role in making this happen”, Perttula continues.

    New ProdLib users need to download the product library first and after that the Stora Enso’s building components and systems are easily available and continuously updated. Revit users get the BIM objects directly in their own software by clicking the Stora Enso icon.
    (Stora Enso Timber)
     
    04.08.2017   ANDRITZ GROUP: Results for the first half of 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    International technology Group ANDRITZ saw satisfactory business development in the first half of 2017. The key financial figures developed as follows:
    -Sales amounted to 2,779.0 MEUR in the first half of 2017 and were thus at practically the same level as in the previous year's reference period (+0.6% compared to H1 2016: 2,761.2 MEUR). Sales in the second quarter of 2017 dropped by 5.6% compared to the previous year to 1,392.8 MEUR (Q2 2016: 1,475.6 MEUR).
    -The order intake increased – due to the very strong first quarter – in the first half of 2017 to 2,771.3 MEUR and was thus 8.0% higher than in the previous year’s reference period (H1 2016: 2,566.4 MEUR).

    Photo: Wolfgang Leitner, President & CEO of ANDRITZ AG

    The PULP & PAPER business area, in particular, achieved a substantial increase in order intake that more than compensated the decline in order intake in the HYDRO business area. In the second quarter of 2017, the order intake of 1,211.3 MEUR was 8.2% below the level of the previous year’s reference period (Q2 2016: 1,319.0 MEUR). The reason for this decrease was the lower order intake due to market conditions in the HYDRO business area and a decline in the metal forming sector, which achieved an extraordinarily high order intake in the previous year’s reference period.
    -The order backlog as of June 30, 2017, amounted to 6,849.1 MEUR (+0.9% compared to December 31, 2016: 6,789.2 MEUR).
    -The EBITA in the first half of 2017 was positively impacted by a one-off effect in the amount of around 25 MEUR, which resulted mainly from the sale of Schuler’s technical center in Tianjin, China; it reached 207.3 MEUR and was thus significantly higher than the figure for the previous year’s reference period (+13.3% compared to H1 2016: 183.0 MEUR). As a result, profitability (EBITA margin) increased to 7.5% (H1 2016: 6.6%). Excluding this one-off effect, profitability would have remained unchanged compared to the previous year at 6.6%. In the second quarter of 2017, the EBITA amounted to 109.9 MEUR (+10.9% compared to Q2 2016: 99.1 MEUR).
    -The net income (without non-controlling interests) increased in the first half of 2017 to 130.8 MEUR (H1 2016: 120.2 MEUR).

    Wolfgang Leitner, President & CEO of ANDRITZ AG: “We are satisfied overall with developments in the first half of the year, even though we were not able to reach all our targets in our business areas. As far as the markets we serve are concerned, we do not expect any substantial changes in project and investment activity for the remainder of the year.”

    For the 2017 business year, ANDRITZ has revised its sales forecast slightly and now expects a marginal decline in sales compared to 2016. From today’s perspective, profitability (EBITA margin) should at least reach the solid level of the previous year.
    (Andritz AG)
     
    03.08.2017   Sonae Arauco ordered a new Siempelkamp production line for MDF/HDF for ...     ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... its Mangualde, Portugal, location

    To expand production capacities at its Portugese Mangualde location, Sonae Arauco decided to order a MDF/HDF plant from Siempelkamp. The scope of supply includes a forming and press line with a complex handling system for different board lengths and widths and an interface to the existing storage system and the sanding and packing lines.

    Sonae Arauco S.A. is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of wood-based materials and operates in Europe, Canada, South America, and South Africa. The company’s portfolio includes products from all areas of the wood-based materials industry, such as particleboard, MDF or OSB, if desired with melamine finish, as well as various special products.

    The new production line for Mangualde will replace a multi-daylight press and will allow Sonae Arauco material and energy efficient production of MDF and HDF with a wide thickness range. The order comprises of the forming and press line with all pneumatic and mechanical conveyors including the automation technology. The press line with a ContiRoll® press of the latest design will be equipped with cutting-edge and energy-efficient synchronous motor drive technology. The press will be 28.8 m long and 8’ wide. It will produce MDF and HDF with a thickness ranging from 2 – 37.8 mm.

    The concept of sequential thickness changeovers will allow the operator to change the production automatically to new order-specific parameters and thus make the production of smaller batches possible. In this way product and quality variations as well as material losses will be minimized.
    (Siempelkamp Maschinen- und Anlagenbau GmbH)
     
    02.08.2017   Serbia ratified EFI Convention    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The Republic of Serbia has ratified the Convention on the European Forest Institute and the entry into force will take place on 2 September 2017.

    The Convention on EFI has now been ratified by a total of 28 European countries. The ratifying countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK.

    These countries are the Members of the Institute. The highest decision making body of the Institute, the Council, consists of representatives of the Members, and meets in ordinary session every three years. Ireland holds the Chairmanship of the Council for the period 2017–2020.
    (EFI European Forest Institute Headquarters)
     
    01.08.2017   Bulgaria joins the PEFC alliance    ( Company news )

    Company news
    “The benefit of PEFC is that we are responsible for the development of our own national forest certification system,” said Antony Stefanov, from the Council for Sustainable Forest Management and Certification in Bulgaria.

    “This means we can ensure that our specific needs are taken into account, which is particularly important for our many small- and family-forest owners.”

    “We are delighted to have been accepted into the PEFC alliance,” Mr. Stefanov continued, following the acceptance of Bulgaria as a PEFC national member.

    A nationally developed system
    The acceptance of the Council for Sustainable Forest Management and Certification in Bulgaria as a PEFC member is an important step towards preparing their national system for PEFC endorsement.

    A national sustainable forest management standard is currently being developed by a multi-stakeholder process. It is expected to undergo pilot testing and public consultation in 2017.

    It is important to highlight that the work of the Council goes beyond technical work: “The Bulgarian council will not only be responsible for managing the certification system, but also for providing comprehensive support to the country’s forest owners,” emphasized Mr. Stefanov.

    Regional progress
    “We have seen fantastic progress in Southeast Europe over the last year,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International. “Both Macedonia and Romania joined the PEFC alliance last year, and now we are delighted to welcome Bulgaria to the family.”

    Forests play an important societal and economic role in this region. More than half the population lives in rural areas and forests are a significant source of income, jobs and resources.

    We have been actively supporting projects within the Balkans since the first Collaboration Fund back in 2011. Thanks to our International Stakeholder member Connecting Natural Values and People Foundation (CNVP), from 2016 we moved to a regional approach to increase forest certification throughout the Balkans.

    The PEFC alliance grows!
    The Council for Sustainable Forest Management and Certification in Bulgaria is also joined by PAFC-Congo 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)
     
    31.07.2017   Swedish wood increasingly global    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Global demand for Swedish wood is constantly rising. In the first half of 2017, Södra delivered sawn timber to 38 counties, representing more than a 100-percent increase in geographic markets since 2005.

    More and more global markets are acknowledging Swedish wood as a building material for both interior purposes and residential construction. Södra delivered to 17 countries in 2005 and the figure has increased to 38 countries to date this year, ranging from the US in the west to Japan in the east.

    "This is a very positive trend that we can also see on a global scale. Timber construction is by far the most environmentally friendly alternative and a condition for the global change to a more sustainable society," said Andreas Jonasson, Marketing Manager at Södra Wood. 

    Higher demand in Asia
    Sweden is experiencing a strong trend in construction timber and Södra has increased its sales for three consecutive years. Demand from Asia, where most new markets are located, is also rising in parallel with this trend. Södra’s core markets for sawn timber are the UK, the Netherlands and Sweden, but it is China – where Södra has been making deliveries since 2010 – that is the fastest growing market. Sales have risen every year and in 2016 were up 32 percent year-on-year.

    "Swedish wood is becoming increasingly sought-after in Asia. Drivers include high delivery reliability and high product quality, as well as Swedish raw materials coming from certified and sustainable forests with extensive consideration of nature conservation," said Andreas Jonasson.
    (Södra Timber AB)
     
    28.07.2017   Wood adds warmth to interior design    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Renovation of one summer cottage in the archipelago had two major objectives; the new interior surfaces needed to blend seamlessly into the old, and the interior had to fit in with the gorgeous view beyond the large windows. Birch plywood provided the means for bringing this specific vision to life.

    Interior stylist and designer Minna Jones has been working as an entrepreneur for over a decade. Her educational background in clothing provided a great basis for combining aesthetics, practicality and different types of material in her work. “Furniture is not that different from clothing,” says Jones. Her interest in her job could be described as a mission: In addition to customer projects, Jones also loves to design, decorate and renovate in her spare time.

    A few years ago, Jones and her family bought a log cottage in Nauvo. Built in 1973, the 46-square-metre cottage required some renovation and an extension so that the family of five could spend their spare time there all year round. Minna Jones designed a modern two-storey extension for the cottage.

    “I wanted the surfaces of the old thin log structures of the cottage and the interior surfaces of the newly constructed wing to have a unified look. In addition, the atmosphere of the interior had to be harmonious with the view from the large windows. “I like surfaces that retain the look and feel of wood. That’s why I chose birch plywood as the material. When used indoors, untreated plywood wears well against the weather conditions and moisture of the archipelago. It also acquires a beautiful patina as it ages,” Jones explains. The size of the cottage today is approximately 80 square metres, and the interior walls and ceiling are lined with birch plywood. The old boarded floor of the cottage was too slanted to be repaired, so a new floor was built using pine boards that were treated with lye and waxed to give them a brightened look.

    “Birch plywood adds more warmth to modern decor. For example, if the interiors are designed using a lot of white, plywood softens the overall impression,” Jones says. “I love the surface of birch plywood. It is vivid and looks beautiful even without treatment. Plywood is also a traditional Finnish material. For example, Alvar Aalto used a lot of plywood in his designs, which has undoubtedly had an impact on my own taste over the years. I had such a strong vision concerning the use of wood in the interior design of the cottage that I didn’t even consider using other alternatives.”

    Increasing interest in plywood
    Along with the walls and ceiling of the cottage, Jones used birch plywood in the floating countertops and some of the fittings and furniture. The plywood was measured and installed by a carpenter she already knew. “In an old building, the walls may not be completely straight, so having a good carpenter is extremely important,” Jones explains. She has documented the progress of her cottage renovation project in her blog and received many questions about building with wood and using plywood, some of which even came from abroad. “Wood is considered more exotic elsewhere in Europe. In Finland, we see wood as a familiar material that we may sometimes even take for granted.”

    However, Jones has observed that trends in interior design are starting to move away from hard and clinical interiors towards wood and natural materials. “Even in Finland, wooden furniture has regained some of its popularity in the last ten years. Untreated wooden surfaces have also become a more common feature in interior design, and log walls are no longer being covered. Painting, waxing or using other surface treatments on wood has decreased in popularity as well,” Jones notes.

    Sustainable decor — even for summer cottages
    Jones and her family renovated their cottage on a small budget but without making any compromises on quality. Minna Jones explains that she purchased a lot of the furniture and furnishing textiles second-hand.

    “In my design projects, I want to consider also the ecological viewpoint. In rural areas, it is not that easy to get rid of purchases that turn out to be a mistake: We only have a small bin for household waste, and hazardous waste presents quite a problem! The Artek catchphrase ‘buy now, keep forever’ really hits home in the countryside.”

    Jones sees room for improvement in the typical Finnish summer cottage decor.
    “Many people in Finland basically use rubbish to decorate the interior of their summer cottage. They drive an expensive car, and yet they use it to bring all of their old or broken things that they don’t have the heart to throw away or that no longer fit in with their decor at home to their cottage. Finnish people could use some lessons in decorating their summer cottage! The whole idea of the cottage is to have a place to rest your soul. We have a wonderful, well-functioning recycling system in Finland: You can sell or give away almost anything you no longer like. I don’t understand the logic behind using your summer cottage as a kind of recycling centre for your life,” Jones muses. She promotes sustainable and functional purchases. “Life gets much easier when you don’t constantly have to go around objects, move things out of the way, or clean cobwebs from souvenirs.”

    Minna Jones loves traditional and timeless objects. “The plywood surface will still look good 10 years from now. Although the decoration may change, the walls will remain the same. They will darken with age, but that’s just life.”

    Building a new sauna hut and improving the shore are the next projects on the horizon for Jones. “My list of projects is endless, but the cottage is already in a very good shape!” she concludes.
    (UPM Timber)
     
    27.07.2017   The new SECTOR series - Sophisticated cutting precision in minimum space    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The new upright panel saws from the SECTOR series combine proven technology from over 50 years of experience with a basic, solid design offering you a unique price-performance ratio.

    The completely welded frame with extremely high rigidity is your guarantee for precise cutting quality. A finished cut that is ready for immediate edgebanding goes without saying for HOLZ-HER. With their extreme capacity, the powerful sawing motors ensure perfect cutting results and are at the same time easy to adjust, guaranteeing ergonomic operation.

    On the SECTOR 1260 automatic, you have the option of choosing between manual and automatic operation. Automatic operation allows automatic plunge cutting, through cutting and retraction, along with return to the starting point, therefore making the cutting of panels significantly easier and ensuring higher cutting power.

    The professional OptiBase V-Cut cutting optimization is available for all SECTOR models. This enables you to optimize your cutting and labeling in a professional way. You can choose to carry out the optimization on the machine or also in the office with a network connection.
    (HOLZ-HER GmbH)
     
    26.07.2017   Strong second quarter result for Södra    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Södra´s operating profit totalled SEK 464 million (50) for the second quarter. The trend was boosted by favourable demand for Södra’s products, higher prices and internal operational improvements.

    "The overall forest economy remains strong, which is to Södra’s advantage. Higher prices for both market pulp and sawn timber contributed to a strong quarter for Södra. A firmer customer and market orientation is also yielding results. In addition, the expansion investments at our pulp mills and the restructuring process in the sawmill operations had a positive impact on operating profit", said Lars Idermark (photo), President and CEO.

    "All business areas reported higher year-on-year operating profit. Efforts to increase our strength and focus, based on Södra’s new strategic direction, will continue unabated", said Lars Idermark.

    Consolidated net sales amounted to SEK 5,244 million (4,953) for the second quarter, up 6 percent, and the operating margin increased to 9 percent (1).

    Södra Skog’s operating profit for the quarter totalled SEK 37 million (36), reflecting volume growth of 4 percent.

    Södra Wood’s operating profit for the second quarter totalled SEK 50 million (loss: 204). The sharply increased result was mainly due to improved earnings for sawn timber. In addition, the second quarter of 2016 was impacted by a non-recurring cost of SEK 204 million related to the restructuring of Södra Wood’s sawmill operations.

    Södra Cell’s operating profit for the second quarter totalled SEK 418 million (253), an improvement of 65 percent. The earnings trend was mainly due to higher volumes. Following the extensive expansion investments of recent years, the pulp mill at Värö is now fully operational and capacity is increasing according to plan, resulting in higher production and delivery volumes.

    Sales for the first half-year amounted to SEK 10,342 million (9,498), the operating profit totalled SEK 915 M (299) and the operating margin was 9 percent (3). Return on capital employed was 11 percent (4) and equity ratio was 55 percent (52).
    (Södra Cell AB)
     
    25.07.2017   The total value of logs exported from New Zealand in the 1Q/17 was almost three times as high ...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... as the value of exported lumber, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly

    Over 50% of the timber harvest in New Zealand is being exported in log form. However, some sawmills in the country have taken advantage of the growing demand for softwood lumber in the US the past few years, with the total export value having gone 37% from 2012 to 2016, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly.

    New Zealand’s log exports have fallen for two consecutive quarters and were at 3.8 million m3 in the 1Q/17, down 12% from the two-year high in the 3Q/16. China continues to be the major destination for the radiata pine logs, accounting for 70% of the shipments during the first three months of 2017, followed by South Korea (16%), India (9%) and Japan (4%), as reported in the latest issue of the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ).

    No country in the world exports a higher percentage of its harvested conifer timber in unprocessed form than New Zealand. Although the share has declined over the past three years, the log export volume accounted for 52% of the total harvest in 2016. There has long been a debate about how the country could expand domestic processing of forest products and increase exports of lumber and other further processed forest products. The good news is that lumber production has gone up by about ten percent over the past three years. The “less good” news is that there has not yet been any major progress in the expansion of lumber sales to the international arena. Quite to the contrary, New Zealand lumber export volumes were 15% lower in 2016 than in 2013.

    The exported logs from New Zealand value was just over 1.6 billion US dollars in 2016, which was almost three times as much as the price for softwood lumber. The total export value for lumber fluctuated within a fairly narrow range over the past seven years, ranging between 570 million US dollars and 660 million dollars, reports the WRQ. The biggest shift in market export sales in the past few years (by value) has been that the US has overtaken Australia as the number one destination for pine lumber produced in New Zealand. In terms of value, New Zealand is the second largest overseas lumber supplier to the US, behind Chile, but ahead of lumber exporters from Europe. Shipments from New Zealand have gone up 37% over just the past four years and during the first five months of 2017, the upward trends continued with another 16% increase from the same period in 2016. With lumber demand expected to continue to improve in the US market, there continue to be opportunities for overseas lumber producers to expand their sales to North America in the coming years.
    (WRI Wood Resources International LLC)
     
    24.07.2017   Kurekss first in the Baltic region with TC continuous kiln    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The Latvian sawmill Kurekss has invested in a TC continuous kiln from Valutec. This will be the first continuous kiln of this model to be built in the Baltic countries.

    “Kurekss has clear ideas for how they want to develop their business. At the same time, they are open to innovative thinking, and when we presented the TC continuous kiln, they quickly realised that it was ideally suited to meet their specific needs,” comments Stefan Sundqvist, Export Sales Manager at Valutec.

    Kurrekss is a privately-owned sawmill in western Latvia that was founded in 1995. A large part of the company’s production is customer-specific and in various dimensions, which means flexible drying options are an obvious requirement.

    “A classic continuous kiln was not the optimal choice, as they are most efficient for sawmills that dry large volumes in similar dimensions. The TC continuous kiln is an option that gives sawmills a high capacity while also allowing the running of packets of different dimensions,” says Stefan.

    TC is the abbreviation of the Swedish for “cross circulation”. The principle is based on the lumber package being fed lengthways through zones in which the air circulates laterally across the drying channel. This enables the separate regulation of the climate in different zones according to a schedule that comes very close to the ideal schedule of a batch kiln. The kiln model is part of the latest generation of continuous kilns from Valutec. They have rapidly become popular in both Sweden and Central Europe.

    Kurekss will mainly use the kiln to dry planks of between 19 millimetres and 25 millimetres. The kiln, which is made from stainless steel, will have six zones and a capacity of over 50,000 cubic metres for mixed dimensions. The delivery also includes a heat recovery system, pressure frames and the Valmatics control system. The equipment will be delivered over the course of the autumn and will be operational towards the end of the year.
    (Valutec AB)
     
    21.07.2017   Kuhmo Oy selects HEINOLA's new fully automatic high capacity HTC Progressive Kiln    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Kuhmo Oy has ordered a fully automatic high capacity 2-zone progressive kiln type HTC with an annual capacity of ca. 65 000 m3 from Heinola Sawmill Machinery Inc.. The drying kiln can be used for drying of pine and spruce timber with thicknesses of 16 – 50 mm from sawn green timber to the final moisture of 12 – 18 %. The turnkey delivery consists also energy measuring system, high capacity heat recovery unit, pressure frames and HEINOLA’s advanced Dry Kiln Control System. The new progressive kiln will be taken into production early 2018. This investment eliminates the bottleneck in Kuhmo Oy’s process and thereby enables increase in production.

    “We compared different suppliers,but ended up choosing HEINOLA as they provided the best technical and economical solution”, explains Kuhmo Oy’s MD Tommi Ruha.“HEINOLA offered the highest capacity connected to our load transfer tracks. HEINOLA’s fully automatic kiln was also a major selection argument. Based on earlier drying kiln and other projects, we trust HEINOLA’s project management, technical support and maintenance services!”

    Heinola Sawmill Machinery Inc. expresses its thanks to Kuhmo Oy for their confidence to us!
    (Heinola Sawmill Machinery Inc.)
     
    20.07.2017   Stora Enso invests in cross laminated timber (CLT) production in Gruvön, Sweden    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Stora Enso has decided to invest EUR 45 million in a new production unit for cross laminated timber (CLT) in connection with its Gruvön Mill in Sweden. The investment will further enhance Stora Enso’s position as a global provider of high quality engineered wooden elements and as a market leader in CLT.

    The production is scheduled to begin during the first quarter of 2019. The estimated yearly capacity of the production line will be approximately 100 000 m³ after ramp-up, subject to required approvals being in place. The investment is expected to generate annual sales of approximately EUR 50 million when run at full capacity and over time significantly exceed the Wood Products division’s profitability target, operational return on operating capital (ROOC) of 18%.

    The green field investment is made as an extension of the existing Gruvön sawmill. The construction is expected to start by the end of Q4 2017. Stora Enso invests in advanced technology, which together with completely integrated production, will ensure cost efficient solutions for customers and premium products to the market.

    “This investment supports our strategy to grow in the construction industry and increase the use of wood as a building material. We target to increase our cost competitive CLT capacity located favourably in relation to target markets. We see extensive potential for CLT in the Nordic market. The demand for this premium product, our well proven concepts, and massive building components and systems is constantly increasing,” says Jari Suominen, Executive Vice President, Stora Enso’s Wood Products division.

    In Gruvön, Stora Enso can take advantage of and make best use of the premises available, an industrial infrastructure for efficient logistics, the local supply of raw material to optimise wood sourcing and highly competent workforce. This investment is not anticipated to impact current operational level at the existing mill. The estimated total employment impact for the region is estimated to be 60 FTEs.

    The investment is subject to receipt of final regulatory permits and approvals.
    (Stora Enso Timber)
     
    19.07.2017   SEK 35 million for increased production in Orrefors    ( Company news )

    Company news
    At its small-diameter timber sawmill in Orrefors, Södra is investing about SEK 35 million in a new boiler and drying facility, which will enable production increases in the future. The supplier is Fröseke Industriservice AB.

    “This investment is necessary for profitability. Currently, there is insufficient boiler capacity, which means we must sell some goods undried. The investment will enable us to increase production and also dry the entire sawn volume,” said Jörgen Lindquist, President of the Södra Wood business area.

    The limiting factors for the sawmill’s capacity are the boilers and wood dryers. The two existing biofuel boilers that currently serve the sawmill are to be replaced by a new, larger biofuel boiler of 6 MW instead of todays 2.5 MW.

    “The change of boiler will also enable the simultaneous expansion of wood drying through the addition of six chamber dryers. Following the investment, the sawmill will go from a drying capacity of about 60,000 cubic metres to approximately 105,000 cubic metres,” says Jörgen Lindquist.

    The new facility will be put into operation in 2018.

    Over the past year, Södra has worked intensively to increase the profitability of its sawmill operations by optimising the flows of raw materials to customers and reviewing the sawmill structure. The restructuring programme, which was presented in June last year, includes a SEK 200 million investment package.
    (Södra Timber AB)
     
    18.07.2017   Deufol opens next generation production facility in Czech Republic    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Deufol, global market leader for industrial packaging, opens its new production facility in Cheb, Czech Republic. Only one year after the ground-breaking ceremony: now the commissioning of the new state of the art production facility commenced and will be completed by the end of the year.

    The opening ceremony took place in Cheb’s industrial area and was attended by the highest representatives of the region of Karlovy Vary, the City of Cheb, as well as the top management of the Deufol Group.

    The production facility in Cheb is a key strategic milestone in the implementation of Deufol’s strategy. Innovative and highly efficient manufacturing processes enable Deufol to process time critical customer orders, while reaching the maximum value creation. The flexible standardized production of the new industrial packaging is focused on the growing demand of efficient standardized packing materials in the field of sequenced lead times.

    Here, Deufol combines its competence in design and manufacturing of efficient standardized packaging. The new operation in Cheb lives digital networking and fully implements the Industry 4.0 principles. The startup phase will be completed by the end of 2017.

    Within the City of Cheb as well as the entire region of Karlovy Vary, over 100 new jobs were generated to further strengthen the profitability of the region.

    These highly modern production processes will increase Deufol’s productivity and improve its market position significantly.
    (Deufol SE)
     
    17.07.2017   Valutec delivers kiln to Swedish Vida    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Vida Alvesta has chosen to invest in a continuous kiln from Valutec. The investment will increase the drying capacity at Vida Alvesta from around 175,000 cubic metres to 225,000 cubic metres and will help to even out production and facilitate stock management.

    The continuous kiln will be delivered and installed in the autumn and put into operation in November. Vida Alvesta already has ten batch kilns and one continuous kiln from Valutec.

    The plant to be delivered is a 2-zone FB continuous kiln, which means that drying takes place in two separate zones. The first zone provides quicker humidifying, which reduces the risk of dry cracks at the input end. The second zone acts as an equalisation zone and reduces moisture distribution. The continuous kiln is equipped with Valutec’s Valmatics control system and will solely be used for drying spruce down to a moisture ratio of 18%.
    (Valutec AB)
     
    14.07.2017   Wood fiber costs for pulpmills throughout the US fell during 2016 and early 2017 with the ...     ( Company news )

    Company news
    ...price discrepancy between the Northwest and the Southern states narrowing, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review

    Wood fiber costs for pulpmills in the US Northwest have fallen faster than in other region of the US the past year, resulting in a more competitive industry sector, reports the North American Wood Fiber Review. Despite the recent price reductions in Washington and Oregon, pulp manufacturers in the southern states continued to have lower wood fiber costs than pulpmills in the Northwest, Northeast and the Lake States in the 1Q/17.

    “Volatile” could best describe many of the North American regional market conditions in the first quarter of 2017! The volatility came in many different areas; adverse weather events, operation breakdowns, plant explosions, and idling, as well as uncertainties over looming trade policy decisions, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review (NAWFR). Wood flows across Canada and the U.S. northern tier of states as well as through the Pacific Northwest were impacted by weather–either too much snow (leading to transportation difficulties), or mild temperatures followed by early breakup.

    The declining price trend for chips and pulplogs in the Northwest that occurred during 2015 and 2016 came to a halt in early 2017 because of uncertainty about fiber availability as a result of slowdowns in harvest operations. Over the past two years, fiber costs have declined by 13% in the Northwest and pulpmills in the region have become more competitive. In the 1Q/17, pulpmills had only slightly higher wood fiber costs than pulpmills in the historically low-cost US South. Pulpmills in the Lake States and the Northeastern states continue to have the highest wood costs in the US.

    Wood fiber costs for pulpmills in the US South have also fallen over the past year, with average softwood pulplog prices being five percent lower in the 1Q/17 than in the 2Q/16.

    Prices for both softwood and hardwood pulplogs have slowly declined over the past four quarters to reach their lowest levels in three years. With several planned pulpmill maintenance outages anticipated in the 2Q/17, fiber demand will remain muted in the coming months. Increased lumber production across the South will continue to generate additional volumes of residual chips resulting in downward price pressure on both chips
    and pulplogs in late spring and summer.
    (Wood Resources International LLC)
     
    13.07.2017   Sweden celebrates Finland's 100 years of independence with a substantial investment ...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... into forest bioeconomy research

    In honour of Finland’s 100th anniversary, Sweden is giving Finland a substantial sum, SEK 24 million, for forest bioeconomy research.

    The “Tandem Forest Values” projects aim to produce high-quality research and expertise. A total of 12 research positions will be funded; four for sustainable forest management research and eight for research into new forest industry products and processes. Existing research groups at universities and institutes can apply for the funding. The projects will be realised as bilateral research collaborations and one requirement is that the research be carried out in both Finland and Sweden. The first call is planned for Finland’s Independence Day in December 2017.

    Sweden’s research funding gift will be half financed by the private sector while the public sector will provide the other half. In addition to the Swedish government, the following are taking part in the donation: the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, the Kempe Foundations, the Forestry Research Institute of Sweden, as well as the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry. The funding period spans two years.

    For Finland and the forest industry, it is ideal that Sweden honours Finland with a gift that strengthens the forest bioeconomy, helps further develop renewable wood resources, and, importantly, results in new expertise. The two countries share a unique natural resource – boreal coniferous forests. Furthermore, Finland and Sweden both have strong bioeconomy expertise. The long-term research collaboration that is now initiated provides a starting point for many opportunities towards a more sustainable bioeconomy.
    (Metsateollisuus ry - Skogsindustrin rf / FFIF Finnish Forest Industries Federation)
     
    13.07.2017   Seminar on Modern Technologies in Furniture Industry    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The main objective is to increase the participants' awareness about using the modern technologies in furniture industry and transform it for a better future.

    The seminar aims to explore and promote the latest updates about Hardwood and Timber including Grading, Legality and Certifications, as well as to present the latest Technology solutions in the design and manufacturing of Furniture. This is to underline the show's commitment to involve more the professionals who are directly engaged in projects where the use of wood, both as a building and decorative material, can be explored and maximized. The seminar also aspires to involve architects, contractors, investors and developers in the initiative to bolster the use of wood with green & sustainable building and construction practices.

    Wednesday, 19th July 2017
    Kempinski Hotel, Cairo, Egypt
    (Strategic Marketing & Exhibitions)
     
    12.07.2017   Wood pellet imports to both South Korea and Japan were close to record highs in late 2016 ...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ...with a majority of the supply continuing to be sourced from Vietnam, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly

    Over the past few years, South Korea has become the largest pellet importer in Asia, ahead of Japan, and the third largest in the world, and South Korean demand is expected to continue to increase in the coming years, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. Vietnam has been the major supplier of pellets to Asia, accounting for about 65% of the total import volume in late 2016 and early 2017.

    Wood pellet imports to Asia reached an all-time-high in the 4Q/16 when Japan and South Korea together imported 630,000 tons of pellets. Although import volumes were down slightly in the 1Q/17, they were still over 40% higher than in the 1Q/16, as reported in the latest issue of the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ).

    South Korea is by far the main destination for pellets in Asia, and in 2016, the country was the world’s third largest importer of pellets, trailing only the United Kingdom and Denmark. Although import volumes to Japan have tripled from 2014 to 2016, the usage of pellets is still at a relatively low level (see WRQ for detailed trade data).

    Consumption of pellets in Japan and South Korea has increased quite rapidly the past four years because of new government requirements which favor reducing carbon emissions and increasing the usage of renewable energy. The recent trend in pellet usage is likely to continue in the future and is driven both by incentives (subsidies) and regulations (renewable energy portfolio standards). With an urgent need to replace
    nuclear energy and generous feed-in-tariffs, it is expected that Japan will increase importation of wood pellets quite substantially over the next five years.

    Vietnam has been the major supplier of pellets to the Asian market for the past three years, accounting for almost two-thirds of the shipments to Japan and South Korea in 2016. Canada was an early supplier to the Asian market, but its market share dropped from 22% in 2014 to 14% in 2016. However, in the 1Q/17, Canada increased shipments to Asia to the second the highest quarterly level on record and the market share was up to 21%.

    Import prices for pellets to South Korea fell dramatically from early 2014 to the summer of 2016, according to a recent WRQ Trade Snapshot report. The two-year long price decline ended in the 3Q/16, when prices slowly started to recover. The import prices continued their upward trend during the first four months of 2017 with Malaysian pellets increasing the most.
    (Wood Resources International LLC)
     
    11.07.2017   Added value: What makes the Cube so unique    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The incredible response to the LIGNA prize draw is no surprise: The Cube is a machine that would suit any operation. Its qualities are unrivaled in the market.

    Thanks to its intuitive operation, the Cube makes planing easier than ever. And ten times faster than using a traditional jointer and thickness planer. All that is required is to enter the planing width and depth on the touchscreen. "Moulder Preview" allows the operator to make any adjustments and correct chip removal where necessary. This ensures optimal wood recovery even before the workpiece is processed. The Cube achieves planing results that are often only possible with a jointer and planer after time-consuming reworking and correcting. Other benefits of the four-sider include rapid dimension changes while the machine is running. The Cube Plus can also be extended with an automatic stacker, while the compact dimensions of the Cube Plus make it extremely flexible. A forklift is sufficient to transport the machine from one location to another.

    The Cube Plus is a machine that can be used by anybody who processes solid wood. Even for panel specialists who process solid wood as a sideline, the Cube is an interesting addition to their equipment. And let’s not forget, a machine such as the Cube can only be offered by WEINIG. Cube – it’s magic! When will you join the Cube revolution?
    (Michael Weinig Aktiengesellschaft)
     
    10.07.2017   Kaarel Tali appointed Mill Director to Pärnu's birch plywood mill     ( Company news )

    Company news
    Kaarel Tali (MSc Engineering, photo) has been appointed Mill Director for Metsä Wood’s Pärnu Mill as of 1th August 2017. He reports to Jari Tikkanen, SVP, Production & Technology.

    As Mill Director Tali will be responsible for the birch plywood mill operations in Estonia as well as implementing Metsä Wood strategy to the mill level. Before the start-up of the mill, Kaarel Tali is involved in the construction project and recruiting personnel for the new mill, and works with local stakeholders.

    Tali has a long career in the wood products industry at Metsä Svir sawmill in Russia. He has worked for example as Purchasing Manager, Production Designer and Mill Manager.
    (Metsä Wood)
     
    07.07.2017   New product: SVEZA Parquet for the engineered flooring producers    ( Company news )

    Company news
    SVEZA is launching a new product – SVEZA Parquet, extra strong high-quality calibrated plywood which is best suited for engineered flooring production. The novelty has already been available for order.

    SVEZA Parquet is offered in two grades: SVEZA Parquet Standard and SVEZA Parquet Premium, both are made of 100% birch and meet key requirements of the flooring manufacturers.

    SVEZA Parquet Premium features superior bonding strength. This is achieved by using solid veneers with minimum defects not only for the outer layers but also for the inner ones.

    «SVEZA has a long collaboration history with major flooring manufacturers and it is our great pleasure to present the product that fully supports the needs of our clients. - Natalia Bugajskaya, SVEZA product manager for “Furniture/Interior” segment comments. - The use of SVEZA Parquet allows not only to optimize the cost of the floor production but also to achieve the full compliance with high-end industry standards”.
    (Sveza-Les OOO)
     
    06.07.2017   Södra, Derome and Nordströms Group sign multi-year agreement    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Södra, Derome and Nordströms Group signed a multi-year agreement for interior wood products. The agreement means Södra will become the main supplier of products such as panelling, moulding and glue boards to the expanding building trade companies.

    “We have worked with Derome and Nordströms for several years and see a major benefit from working with customers who focus on long-term relationships, just like Södra. This enables joint initiatives that are beneficial to both parties. One example is that Derome was the first retailer to install Södra’s new store concept for mouldings, which offers a much better overview of this assortment for the end consumer,” said Urban Blomster, Sales Director at Södra Interiör.

    Derome is in a highly expansive phase and recently extended its market presence with 12 new stores across Sweden. Nordströmsgruppen is also investing heavily in its ten facilities, located between Uppsala and Linköping.

    “Södra has the strength and logistics to join us in our strong development. It is strategically important to create the prerequisites to continue our progress, and Södra is a good fit in this context,” said Diana Larsson, Product Manager Joinery Products at Derome.

    “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Södra for mouldings and interior wood. We have collaborated for some time and I am positive that we are continuing on this path,” said Johan Perjos, Product Manager at Nordströms.
    (Södra Timber AB)
     
    05.07.2017   Metsä Wood launches Open Source Wood Initiative    ( Company news )

    Company news
    A pioneering open innovation project to accelerate growth in large scale wood construction.

    Metsä Wood’s Open Source Wood initiative is a call to action to architects, designers and engineers to join forces, share innovation and contribute knowledge about large-scale, modular wood construction.

    By creating an open innovation platform around modular wood construction, Metsä Wood’s aim is to connect the local wood construction industry with global knowledge to facilitate collaboration and growth.

    Today the construction industry is dominated by two materials – steel and concrete. Only a fraction (5-10%) of global urban construction is wood, due in part to the fact that the industry is fragmented and local. Wood, however, is an optimal material for urban construction as it enables faster building processes; its lightness leads to more affordable structures and it is the most environmentally friendly building material, battling climate change through carbon storage.

    Metsä Wood’s Executive Vice President, Esa Kaikkonen, explains: “Not enough knowledge about modular wood design and building is shared, so wood construction remains niche. There is plenty of innovation but it is difficult to find, so Open Source Wood is our solution. We believe that with open collaboration the industry can achieve significant growth.”

    Inspired by open source ideology
    The initiative takes its inspiration from open source ideology, championed by the software industry, to drive innovation further and faster, and to increase speed to market.

    Metsä Wood is taking the first step by sharing its own intellectual property for modular Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber) wood elements, making them available freely for everyone.

    Metsä Wood to award 30,000€ prize
    Additionally, Metsä Wood will award innovation in modular element design by offering 30k euro in prize money during 2017 to exceptional designs, submitted as part of the initiative, using its Kerto LVL material.

    By 2050, approximately 70% of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas. This means that we need living space for billions. At the same time, cities contribute to up to 70% of the total greenhouse gas emissions and we need to fight climate change. One way to fight climate change is to make construction more sustainable and that’s possible when building with wood on a global scale.

    Eric Karsh, an engineer at Vancouver-based Equilibrium Consulting, adds: “We fundamentally need to challenge the way we build. Timber technology is now progressing so fast that knowledge transfer is often the bottleneck. Those of us who have expertise have a responsibility to share, and the fastest way is an open source approach promoting knowledge and innovation from all corners of the world. That’s why Metsä Wood is launching the initiative and makes the first step in giving away knowledge and intellectual property for prefabricated elements, allowing systematic creativity and efficiency in building.”

    Open Source Wood is a continuation of Metsä Wood’s project Plan B, launched in 2015 as an ambitious blueprint to explore the possibilities of using wood in urban construction.
    (Metsä Wood)
     
    04.07.2017   Timberland Investing Conference - Who Will Own the Forest? September 12-14, 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Considering Timberland as an investment? Join us for our 13th Who Will Own the Forest? conference focusing on timberland investing, both domestically and overseas.

    Institutional investors have been allocating part of their portfolios to timberland as they seek diversification, inflation protection, and potentially higher rates of return than the bond or equity markets.

    The Who Will Own the Forest? conferences offer a wide range of perspectives on institutional timberland investing, both domestically and overseas. We invite you to join our discussions as we address this maturing and evolving asset class, and examine the issues that will impact the demand for commercial timber, diversify values from forestland, and maximize returns to investors.

    This 2½ day conference offers both networking and educational benefits, including continuing education credits for certified foresters, appraisers, attorneys, and CPAs. Day One is focused North American issues, while Day Two covers the global and emerging markets landscape.

    Topics include:
    • Picking up: Implications of accelerating economic growth for timber
    • US-Canadian Lumber Trade and the Impact on Markets
    • Institutional Investor Concerns
    • NCREIF vs other Indices
    • Specific Recommendations for Investors When Evaluating Investment and Manager Performance
    • Best Appraisal Practices and the NCREIF Timber Index
    • What's Next for TIMOs? Innovative Management and Investment Structures
    • Political Winds and Legislative Developments
    • Tax Reform Affecting Timberlands
    • Who Will Manage the Forests? A Date with the Deans
    • Logging Technology
    • Timberland Investment in Brazil: Resurgence of the Pine Market
    • Foreign Ownership Challenges
    • Australasian Timberland Risk and Reward
    • What makes a good project – when land owners should consider carbon
    • Challenging legal questions for owners of carbon project lands
    • When Carbon Project Don't Make Sense
    (World Forestry Center)
     
    03.07.2017   Global softwood lumber prices trended upward North America, China and Japan in early 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Global softwood lumber prices trended upward in early 2017 with prices in North America hitting a 13-year high, Chinese import prices increasing 13% in 18 months and Japanese prices moving modestly higher in the 1Q/17, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly

    Global Lumber Trade
    Globally traded softwood lumber reached an all-time high in 2016. WRI estimates that 118 million m3 of lumber was traded last year, or 10 percent more than in 2015. Imports to the US account for about one-third of globally traded lumber and have almost doubled in five years. China accounted for about 17% of import volumes in 2016, followed by the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany.
    The biggest declines in imports globally from 2015 to 2016 were to the MENA region, where demand for lumber fell in all the major markets, including Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Morocco.

    Lumber markets – North America
    Lumber production in North America in 2016 was up six percent from the previous year, reaching its highest level since 2007. The biggest rises in production occurred in the US South and Eastern Canada, while the increases in western Canada and the western US were more modest.
    Prices for lumber in the US have jumped during the first four months of the year to hit a 13-year high in April. Many of the commonly traded grades surged in price by more than 20% from April of 2016.

    Lumber markets – Northern Europe
    Sweden exported 12.9 million m3 of softwood lumber in 2016, which was the highest volume exported since 2006. The increase from 2015 was a modest 1.5%, with shipments to Denmark, Japan, China and France rising the most.
    Domestic lumber prices in both Finland and Sweden continue to be close to their lowest levels in ten years in US dollar terms, as reported in the Wood Resource Quarterly.

    Lumber markets – China
    Prices for imported softwood lumber to China have been in a steady upward trend during 2016 and 2017 with the average import price in March 2017 being 13% higher than 18 months earlier. The biggest change in pricing over the past two year has been that prices for Russian lumber are no longer substantially cheaper than those for lumber from other supplying regions, but instead are rather close to the average import price.

    Lumber market – Japan
    Total housing starts were up 3.2% in Japan in the 1Q/17 as compared to the same quarter in 2016, and the economic outlook for the coming year is slightly more optimistic than that for last year.
    Prices for domestic and imported lumber have remained practically unchanged for almost a year in Yen terms. With the Yen strengthening against the US dollar during the first four months of 2017, lumber prices have increased so far this year in US dollar terms.

    Lumber market – Russia
    After a substantial decline in softwood lumber export prices during 2014 and 2015, Russian lumber prices have trended upward for most of 2016 and early 2017. Average export prices in March 2017 were 12% higher than in the same month last year, and prices for wood going to China have gone up even faster over the same time-period.
    Export volumes to China in the 1Q/17 were unchanged from the previous quarter, holding steady at the second highest level on record.
    (Wood Resources International LLC)
     
    30.06.2017   Moving towards Industry 4.0: Digitization with sound judgment    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Intelligent, networked systems play a central role in the efficiency of your production. In the W4.0 digital standard, the WEINIG Group offers you targeted solutions that place the highest priority on customer benefits.

    The key megatrend in the wood sector is Industry 4.0. However, digitization for its own sake does not guarantee success. You have only made the right investment decision if it gives you a competitive advantage. Your solution should make you more efficient and facilitate resource-saving planning, production and maintenance. Intelligent networking can provide crucial support in this regard. However, it is essential to engage the person handling the system. WEINIG systems are user-friendly and channel the flood of data. Our technologies provide you with the right information at the right time, regardless of the size of your company.

    W4.0 digital: The future is here
    Optimization of process sequences is decisive when it comes to digitizing your production. WEINIG standard W4.0 digital has been developed precisely for this purpose. In System Plus, we offer a solution for the perfectly organized working environment. System Plus links all process stages from the idea to the finished profile.

    WEINIG Solid Woodwork Flow (solid WF) also guarantees significant improvements in efficiency. All standard sector software can be seamlessly connected via master computer control. Profiling, cutting and automation from WEINIG, combined with the Conturex centerpiece, create a highly-efficient production cell for windows, doors, conservatories and furniture.

    Millvision and Envision use WEINIG and HOLZ-HER technology to link all processes from the incoming order via cutting to the finished product. For smaller operations, the “smart workshop” from HOLZ-HER is ideal. The intelligent connection of a pressure beam saw or nesting machines to an automated panel store ensures optimal utilization and increases productivity. In pallet and crate production, the WEINIG OptiPal production program guarantees intelligent cutting list creation. Monitoring and predictive maintenance are always possible with WEINIG, regardless of your location. The integrated live window in the WEINIG Service App keeps you updated of your machine status on your smartphone at all times. Systems such as the newly developed WEINIG spindle monitoring also create a high level of transparency.

    Networked production places high demands on operating personnel. This is why WEINIG aims for simplification. Examples include setup aids such as SmartTouch, the OptiCom/Plus standard user interface and monitoring sensors in WEINIG machines.

    Your WEINIG expert will be happy to configure the perfect complete system with you. The unique, modular complete offering from the WEINIG Group ensures that it will be a solution with maximum customer benefit.
    (Michael Weinig Aktiengesellschaft)
     
    29.06.2017   RUBNER group sells Nordlam GmbH to HASSLACHER group     ( Company news )

    Company news
    The RUBNER corporate group has sold Nordlam GmbH and Abbundzentrum Nordlam GmbH (cutting centre) to the HASSLACHER group. Approval by the competition authority is anticipated at the end of July.

    Photo from left: Franz Meließnig, Stefan Rubner, Christoph Kulterer, Peter Rubner

    On 13/06/2017, Stefan Rubner (President, RUBNER Holzindustrie AG) and Christoph Kulterer (CEO HASSLACHER group) signed the contract for the takeover of all parts of the two firms, Nordlam GmbH and Abbundzentrum Nordlam GmbH, headquartered in Magdeburg. The 250 employees were informed of the takeover by Stefan Rubner in an information event immediately after the signing. At the same time, HASSLACHER group was presented as the future owner. Nordlam GmbH was founded by RUBNER in 2000 as a greenfield project and has grown over a period of a few years to become one of the largest glulam producers in Europe. Today the Nordlam brand stands for high-quality laminated timber in pre-cut standard forms, commissioned products and Express Elements. In the last few years, the site was extended by adding a cutting centre and a second glulam production line. Today around 200,000 m3 of glulam are produced in Magdeburg and sold all over the world.

    “With HASSLACHER group we have found a dependable partner for the responsible, continued management of the Magdeburg site, confident that we are placing our long-serving and worthy staff in good hands, and we look forward to excellent collaboration in the future”, said the managing director, Stefan Rubner. “In future, RUBNER will concentrate more on producing wooden panel material and its core competence of construction using wood”.

    Because with the Nordpan brand, RUBNER is a leading manufacturer of single and three-layer panels made of spruce, pine and larch. Going forward, the intent is to extend market leadership in this area, which is why RUBNER has decided to concentrate 100% on this area. To this end, forward-looking investments and decisions have already been made.

    “As a company with many years’ experience in the production of high-quality laminated timber, Nordlam is very close to us, not only in terms of its product portfolio but also it high technological standards”, said CEO Christoph Kulterer. “The acquisition of Nordlam enables further growth for us on international markets, so that we can cater for increasing demand. We look forward to collaboration across this location with all 250 Nordlam staff.”

    HASSLACHER group plans to increase production at the Magdeburg site with the existing staff and to enlarge the product portfolio in the medium term.
    (Rubner Holding)
     
    28.06.2017   Dieffenbacher introduces 3-D feeding of knife ring flakers    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Inhomogeneous material distribution is a well-known problem of all knife ring flakers currently on the market. The material often impacts the knives of the knife ring only at a relatively limited zone. As a result, the entire knife length (knife ring width) cannot always be used evenly. Furthermore, gravity makes it impossible to distribute material over the knife ring circumference homogeneously. Consequences are uneven wear, difficulties adjusting knife protrusion, rapid worsening of the cutting conditions, and finally, loss of flake quality.

    Image: FlowOptimizer working principle: even material distribution over the knife ring circumference.

    The new FlowOptimizer solves the material distribution problem and ensures optimized flake quality while simultaneously reducing operating costs per ton of material produced. The FlowOptimizer is a special distribution rotor integrated into the flaking chamber, enabling 3-D material distribution. The axially blown-in chips enter the inner chambers of the distribution rotor, are set into rotation and are guided via centrifugal forces through the openings at the front and rear side of the system toward the main rotor. This achieves optimum distribution over both the knife ring width and the entire knife ring circumference, allowing the optimum and uniform use of the entire knife length.

    Based on successful laboratory tests, a pilot machine was installed in a particleboard plant to test long-term operation under industrial conditions. Comprehensive laboratory tests clearly demonstrated that the material distribution in the flaking chamber could be substantially enhanced. Additional machines will be equipped with FlowOptimizer technology.

    The new FlowOptimizer is mounted with bearings in the flaker door, making the retrofitting of existing machines very simple: Only the door with the distribution rotor and heavy particle separator must be replaced. The FlowOptimizer will be available as an upgrade for existing flaker systems and as a standard component for the latest generation of Maier MRZ knife ring flakers.
    (Dieffenbacher GmbH)
     
    27.06.2017   Södra divests UAB SIWood to Soernsen Group    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Södra is divesting UAB SIWood in Lithuania to the German company Soernsen Group. The transfer will take place on 1 July.

    SIWood is a subsidiary of the Södra Group that produces MDF products for walls and ceilings, architrave, window sills and window reveals. The company has annual production of 1 million m2 and its largest markets are the building materials trade in Sweden and Norway. Some 60 people are employed at the facility.

    “On January 1st this year, we transferred Södra Wood Grimslöv to Soernsen Group and have since deepened our cooperation with the company. Today, Soernsen Group is one of our main suppliers, and its acquisition of SIWood will further strengthen our collaboration. With the takeover of SIWood, Soernsen will gain a competitive production model, resulting in greater delivery reliability and improved flexibility for us as a customer,” said Jörgen Lindquist, Business Area President of Södra Wood.

    The buyer is Soernsen Group, which was founded in 1945 and has several production sites in northern Germany, Estonia and Sweden. The company produces a broad range of mouldings; its standard assortment contains more than 3,000 items in various wood species and it delivers to countries worldwide. It has sales of EUR 70 million and 350 employees.

    “The Soernsen Group is facing a strong increase in business activity this year. SIWood focuses on producing MDF mouldings and panels for the Scandinavian markets and has some spare capacity. Soernsen has a strong demand for MDF skirtings for Central Europe. SIWood, which will stand for Soernsen International Wood in the future, will soon present an expanded range of MDF products. In addition, pine products will be launched in the second half of 2017,” said Robert Soernsen, CEO of Soernsen Group.

    “The Lithuanian staff stays highly motivated and is already enjoying the good cooperation between Södra and Soernsen,” concluded Robert Soernsen.
    (Södra Timber AB)
     
    26.06.2017   The Global Forest Industry in the 1Q/2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Global Timber Markets
    • The Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) was up 0.3% quarter-over-quarter in the 1Q/17. This was only the second time in almost three years that the GSPI increased quarter-over-quarter. Over the past year, sawlog prices have generally gone up in Latin America, Oceania and North America, while they have declined in Europe.
    • In the 1Q/17, the European Sawlog Price Index (ESPI-€) was €83.12/m3, which was practically unchanged from the previous quarter. Since the record high in the 1Q/14, the ESPI-€ has fallen by 8.3% with the biggest declines seen in Central and Northern Europe.

    Global Pulpwood Prices
    • The Global Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) fell 0.7% quarter-over-quarter in the 1Q/17, which was down 3.0% from the 1Q/16. The SPFI has been in decline for almost five years and is currently at its lowest level since the 3Q/04. In real terms, the SFPI in the 1Q/17 was at its lowest level since WRQ initiated the index 30 years ago in 1988. The biggest recent declines in softwood fiber costs for the pulp sector have occurred in Eastern Canada, Finland, France and Germany.

    • Hardwood wood fiber prices have generally moved up worldwide in the 1Q/17, with the Global Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) increasing one percent qo-q to $86.99/odmt in the 1Q/17. Prices rose the most in Australia, Brazil, Russia and the western US.

    Global Pulp Markets
    • Demand for chemical market pulp was up by over six percent during the first three months of 2017 as compared to the same quarter in 2016. Chinese demand was up the most, 22%, while Western Europe was the only region where consumption was down in early 2017.
    • Prices for most pulp grades have increased in early 2017 because of a combination of tight supply and continued strong demand.
    • The BHKP price has gone up the most this year, having increased almost $90/ton to $740/ton in just four months, while the price rise of NBSK has been a more modest $30/ton from January to April.

    Global Lumber Markets
    • Globally traded softwood lumber reached an all-time high in 2016. WRI estimates that 118 million m3 of lumber was traded last year, or 10 percent more than in 2015. Imports to the US account for about one-third of globally traded lumber and have almost doubled in five years. China accounted for about 17% of import volumes in 2016.
    • Lumber production in North America in 2016 was up six percent from the previous year, reaching its highest level since 2007. The biggest rises in production were in the US South and Eastern Canada, while the increases in western Canada and the western US were more modest. This trend continued during the first two months of the year with production on the continent being 1.5% higher than in the same period in 2016.
    • Domestic lumber prices in both Finland and Sweden continue to be close to their lowest levels in ten years in US dollar terms.
    • Prices for imported softwood lumber to China have been in a steady upward trend during 2016 and 2017 with the average import price in March 2017 being 13% higher than 18 months earlier.

    Global Biomass Markets
    • Wood pellet imports to Asia reached an all-time-high in the 4Q/16 when Japan and South Korea together imported 630,000 tons of pellets. Although import volumes were down slightly in the 1Q/17, they were still 43% higher than in the 1Q/16.
    • Over the past ten years, there has been a clear shift in fiber-sourcing for pellet manufacturers in the US South from logs to residues.
    (Wood Resources International LLC)
     
    23.06.2017   Pfleiderer – Wood Materials ordered Wedge    ( Company news )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Company news
    ... bio-based businesses

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

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

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

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

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

    Photo: Logset forwarder 4F GT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    At the end of the tour, HOMAG opened an extraordinary view of the "Smart Factory" in a 180 ° degree cinema – the furniture manufacturing of tomorrow.
    (Homag Holzbearbeitungssysteme GmbH)
     

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