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    RSS-News News   Page:    1  2  3  4  5  6   >> 
    15.12.2017   Stora Enso announces intent to acquire forest assets in conjunction with planned ...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... structural changes in Bergvik Skog AB

    Shareholders representing 98% of the owners in Bergvik Skog AB, a Swedish forest holding company, have agreed to initiate discussions, based on a non-binding letter of intent, aiming at structural changes in Bergvik Skog Group. These shareholders are Stora Enso, Länsförsäkringar, FAM, BillerudKorsnäs, Kåpan Pension, Tredje AP-fonden, Persson Invest, Karl Hedin AB and Tham Invest.

    “The wood supply agreement with Bergvik Skog, established 15 years ago, expires next year. Together with our partners, we have had a successful journey which now comes to an end. The planned transaction is a natural next step for us, as we strongly believe in the bioeconomy and want to secure our competitive raw material supply in the long term. We will seek support from the remaining 2% outstanding shareholders as well as all other relevant stakeholders”, says Karl-Henrik Sundström, CEO of Stora Enso.

    Bergvik Skog’s Swedish forest assets are owned by its subsidiaries Bergvik Väst AB and Bergvik Öst AB, representing approximately 83% and 17% respectively. As a result of the planned restructuring, Stora Enso would transform its current ownership of 49.3% in Bergvik Skog, to a direct holding of approximately 70% of the value of the forest assets in Bergvik Väst. Further, approximately 15% of Bergvik Väst would be directly owned by FAM, and approximately 15% directly owned by a consortium of smaller shareholders. BillerudKorsnäs would acquire Bergvik Öst. The remaining assets of Bergvik Skog would be liquidated or contributed to the forest holding entities.

    The restructuring of Bergvik Skog would involve dividing the company’s assets between the owners. The financial impacts for Stora Enso are estimated to be the following:

    Bergvik Skog is currently reported as an equity accounted investment. As a result of the restructuring, Bergvik Väst would be consolidated as a subsidiary. The transaction would result in a cash out effect of EUR 250–300 million. Stora Enso’s current debt would increase by approximately EUR 800 million. The net debt to EBITDA ratio would increase by approximately 0.6. The ratio was 1.8 in the end of Q3/2017. Capital employed would increase by approximately EUR 1 billion, resulting in a decrease in ROCE of approximately 1%-point. Bergvik Väst owns approximately 1.9 million hectares of forest land of which approximately 1.6 million hectares are productive forests. The balance sheet value of the fixed assets of Bergvik Väst amounts to approximately EUR 4 billion.

    The final agreements are currently under negotiations between the parties with the aim of initiating the transactions during the first half of 2018. During the transaction and transition period, there will be business as usual for Bergvik Skog. The final agreements are subject to relevant approvals.
    (Stora Enso Timber)
    14.12.2017   Pfleiderer Group recorded solid financial performance in three quarters of 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Pfleiderer Group recorded solid financial performance in three quarters of 2017 – strong order backlog and favorable market conditions
    -Pfleiderer Group’s consolidated net revenue earned in three quarters of 2017 totaled EUR 750.9 million.
    -The Group’s EBITDA in Q1-Q3 2017 soared by 24.6% to EUR 96.2 million. The EBITDA margin accounted for 12.8% of revenue.
    -Pfleiderer Group consistently implements its strategic projects – capital expenditures in nine months of 2017 stood at EUR 43.6 million.
    -The increase in EBITDA over last year has been driven by continued good sales performance, however at the same time the Company continues to face significant increases in the prices of raw materials over last year.
    -In the third quarter of 2017, Pfleiderer Group’s strategy by 2021 was successfully launched.

    During the first three quarters of 2017 Pfleiderer Group generated a solid financial performance. In that period the new Management Board was finally established and on 20th September Pfleiderer Group’s strategy by 2021 was successfully launched. At the turn of September and October the Company concluded the repurchase of its own shares, which will be offered to eligible individuals under long-term incentive program.

    Consolidated revenue during the first nine months of the year amounted to EUR 750.9 million as compared to EUR 726.6 million in the same period of the previous year, which represents a 3.3% increase. EBITDA amounted to EUR 96.2 million and was higher by 24.6%. EBITDA margin increased to 12.8%. The results were positively influenced by significant efficiency improvements, continued good sales performance and the expected significant reduction in non-sustainable items. At the same time the Group continues to face massive increases in the prices of raw materials over last year.

    Tom K. Schäbinger (photo), CEO Pfleiderer Group:
    “In 9 months of 2017 we recorded solid set of financial results, which however were below our expectations. In these period management initiatives were offset by tough growths in procurement costs. However, I am convinced that cost issues are successfully addressed and our efforts taken in recent months are reflected in the positive outlook for next periods. We have strong foundations for further growth – the new management team was finally established and we successfully launched our development strategy. Its implementation is supposed to translate into a stable increase of the Group's value for its shareholders in next quarters.”

    Pfleiderer Group pursues strategic investments
    All strategic projects are well on track and the capital expenditure amounted to EUR 43.6 million in the nine months of 2017. The Group continues a long-term investment program designed to align its production capacities to market needs and to enhance its cost effectiveness and productivity. The key projects for this year include completion and implementation of the sanding line in the biggest plant in Neumarkt, execution of an investment project to increase recycling wood and cut raw material costs in Neumarkt, and commissioning of a lacquering line in Leutkirch. In 2017, Pfleiderer Group has also focused on intensifying sales and marketing activities under “ONE COLLECTION”.

    Development strategy by 2021 successfully launched
    On 20th September the Management Board of Pfleiderer Group S.A. announced the strategy for the Group to be achieved by 2021. Thanks to its implementation Pfleiderer Group plans to steadily increase consolidated sales revenue to ca. EUR 1.2 billion for the year ended 31st December 2021. The aim is also to increase profitability for the year ended 31st December, 2021 at consolidated EBITDA to the level of at least 16% of the sales revenue value, which should also mean increased profits. The presented strategy foresees stable capital expenditures of approximately EUR 70 million per year on average (including EUR 20 million of maintenance capital expenditures p.a.) and maintaining a secure level of debt - target level of net financial leverage is between 1.5 and 2. The dividend policy has not been changed and the Management Board will recommend to the General Shareholder Meeting to allocate up to 70% of net profit to dividend payment.

    Share buyback program in combination with long-term incentive program have been well accepted
    Also on 20th September the Management Board determined the detailed terms of the repurchase of the shares in the Company. Buyback program was executed in October 12 with PLN 152 million and the Company purchased 3,235,050 shares. The price for the purchased shares was uniform and amounted to PLN 47 per share and the total price for all of the shares was at the level of PLN 152,047,350. The total nominal value of the purchased shares amounted to PLN 1,067,566.50, representing approximately 5% of the Company’s share capital. The total number of shares submitted by the shareholders for sale exceeded the number of shares that the Company intended to buy. For that reason, the number of purchased shares was established based on the rules of reduction. The reduction rate was 84.2%.
    (Pfleiderer Holzwerkstoffe GmbH)
    13.12.2017   Södra invests in more forestry drones    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Södra is now investing in more forestry drones. This digital technology speeds up the work of field staff at the same time as it makes it more comprehensive and safer.

    “We have identified numerous applications where drones can enhance the efficiency of forestry work, not least when making inventories of storm-damaged forests. By purchasing equipment and investing in raising skills, we are taking another step towards the development of tomorrow’s digital forestry operations,” said Johan Malmqvist, Project Manager at Södra.

    Since the end of 2015, Södra has trialled the use of drones for applications including inventories of forest damage. Test outcomes have been favourable and major potential has been identified for the digital technology moving forward. This summer, the Swedish Camera Monitoring Act was amended, which has simplified the use of drones in forestry.

    Södra is now taking further steps with digital development in the form of a considerable investment in drone technology and personnel skills development.

    “We have purchased drone equipment for all our forestry operations areas and, in the autumn, we trained 51 of our forestry professionals as drone pilots. This means we are now well equipped to further develop use of the technology,” said Johan Malmqvist.

    Drones are digital aids that enhance the efficiency of manual tasks for Södra’s field staff.

    “The technology is extremely cost-efficient. It is possible to obtain a good overview of the forest in very little time. The major advantage is from not having to waste unnecessary amounts of time on checks. Drones enable you to quickly see if and where a manual inspection or action is required. This enables more efficient work methods that, by extension, benefit our forest owner members. Moreover, drones make work safer for forest inspectors, not least when making inventories of windfalls following a storm,” said Johan Malmqvist.

    But drone technology is not only of great benefit when making inventories of forest damage.

    “For example, another potentially useful application is planting and cleaning. Gathering decision data for deciding actions and planning is another. An eye in the sky provides a much-improved view of conditions than looking through dense forest at ground level,” said Johan Malmqvist.
    (Södra Timber AB)
    12.12.2017   Stora Enso supplies LVL for the highest wooden office building in France    ( Company news )

    Company news
    “Perspective”, the highest wooden multi-storey office building in France, will be built with LVL by Stora Enso. The project will comprise seven floors reaching 30 meters in height. The structure combines a glulam post and beam system with LVL panels in X grade in the floors and as support for the concrete slab.

    The main reasons for using LVL were its low weight and short construction time thanks to the high level of prefabrication. The building work started in June 2017 and is planned to be finished at the end of 2017.

    The ambition is to have an energy-positive building and it will be BREEAM Very Good certified.

    Project info:
    Location: ZAC Euratlantique, Bordeaux, France
    Architect: Laisné Roussel
    Partner: Pyrenees Charpente
    LVL volume: 123 m³
    Illustration: Laisné Roussel / Virgin Lemon
    (Stora Enso Timber)
    11.12.2017   Sawmills and pulpmills in the US Northwest have been struggling to build log inventories...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... for the winter season because of the unusually long fire season this year, according to the North American Wood Fiber

    Increased competition for small-diameter logs in the four states of the US Pacific Northwest has resulted in a higher share of logs being consumed by sawmills, thus leaving many pulpmills with low log inventory levels going into the 4Q/17, reports the North American Wood Fiber Review.

    Overshadowed by BC’s unprecedented wildfire season, the US states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana also experienced a significant and disruptive wildfire year.

    By early September, almost two million acres of forest and rangeland had burned in the US Northwest. Harvest operations across the four states have been hampered by restrictions on operating hours, disruptions in transportation, and loggers diverted to fighting wildfires. In Montana, several sawmills had to close operations intermittently in the 3Q/17 due to the proximity of wildfires. Full harvest operations resumed after late September rains, though whether there was sufficient time to replenish sawlog and pulplog inventories before winter conditions set in remains the key question for many log procurement managers this fall.

    Unlike BC and its large provincially-owned commercial timber base, the loss of burnt timber on US federal forests has had little impact on the availability of timber with the exception being Montana, where regular timber sales from federal lands have proven crucial to selected sawmills. In general, however, the US Forest Service timber sale program provides minimal sawlog or pulplog volumes to the forest industry in Western US.

    With lower harvest levels in the Northwest due to wildfire-risk constraints, local sawmills expanded their procurement into small-diameter chip-n-saw grades and higher quality pulplogs that typically would be used by the region’s pulpmills. This less valuable log source, resulting in lower lumber yields, has still been profitable for many sawmills thanks to the high prices for softwood lumber during 2017.

    The increased competition for small-diameter logs has resulted in a dwindling supply of traditional pulplogs normally available for pulpmills and independent chipping operators, with pulplog inventories in August reaching their lowest level since the 2Q/14. The low level of pulplogs in the region’s pulp industry this late in the season is a major concern
    among wood fiber managers in the US Northwest as they seek to build adequate inventory levels of logs for the winter season when residual chip supply from the lumber industry typically declines.
    (Wood Resources International LLC)
    08.12.2017   Södra selects Ledinek's equipment for CLT facility    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Södra has selected Ledinek as supplier of the equipment for the cross-laminated timber (CLT) facility that Södra has decided to build at Värö.

    In mid-September, Södra decided to invest in a small CLT facility adjacent to Södra’s sawmill at Värö. The facility will have an annual capacity of about 5,000 m³ per shift, and require 3-5 new employees during 2018-19. The plans include a future investment in a larger facility.

    The contract with Ledinek includes feeding, finger-jointing, saw, sorting, stacking, gluing, pressing and CNC* milling equipment.

    The facility is being built as a pilot in order to learn about the product and market, and thereby minimise risks prior to building a larger facility.

    “Production is scheduled to start in May 2019. The plan is to speed up the installation of the CNC mill in order to gain rapid knowledge of market needs. One of the reasons for building a pilot is to acquire an understanding of needs and requirements in the value chain at an early stage,” said Fredrik Gellerstedt, sales manager, Södra's CLT-project.

    Södra is focused on increasing sustainable timber construction and wants to be part of, and stake out a position, in a growing market. The investment is an important part of Södra’s strategic objective to build long-term relationships across the value chain.

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

    The location at Värö has been strategically chosen for its proximity to several Nordic high-growth regions, and the ease of shipping to both the UK and other international destinations. The facility will be co-located with Södra’s pulp mill and sawmill for access to green electricity and existing infrastructure.
    (Södra Timber AB)
    08.12.2017   "Magna Expo Mueblera Industrial"    ( LIGNA 2019 )

    LIGNA 2019
    To feature a highly international exhibitor lineup, also thanks to recent registration by another market leader: the Biesse Group, Italy

    Picture: Federico Broccoli, Chairman Wood Division/Sales Director and Subsidiaries Division Director of the Biesse Group, Pesaro, Italy. Photo: Stephan Kleiser

    Joining market leaders like Altendorf GmbH, Leitz GmbH & Co. KG, the SCM Group, Stiles Machinery Inc. and Michael Weinig AG/Holzher, the Biesse Group (Italy) has confirmed its participation in the Magna Expo Mueblera Industrial trade fair to run from 17 to 20 January 2018 in Mexico City. The company will showcase its latest solutions and applications on an area of over 200 square meters.

    According to Federico Broccoli, Chairman, Wood Division/Sales Director and Subsidiaries Division Director of the Biesse Group, based in Pesaro, Italy: "The Biesse stand at Magna Expo Mueblera 2018 will offer a unique opportunity to experience the company's innovation in every area, from the strength of its history to its ability to define the technological features of the future of the manufacturing industry. We are taking part in this fair with great enthusiasm, both because we are well acquainted with the excellent organisational skills with which our partner DeutscheMesse manages this type of event, and due to our focus on this geographical area. Indeed, in 2017, the Mexican market has once again been providing us with very positive signals, which have translated into an increase in orders over the previous year, benefiting from the recovery in North America. In fact, the boost received from the US has enabled Mexico to record significant growth and we are confident that this market still has an enormous amount of potential to express."

    In just a few months' time, the gates will open on the international Magna Expo Mueblera at Centro Banamex in Mexico City. The event consists of two parallel exhibitions: Magna Expo Mueblera Industrial and Magna Expo Mobiliario e Interiores. Running from 17 to 20 January, Magna Expo Mueblera Industrial will cover the world of machines, tools, equipment and solutions for woodworking and wood process¬ing, while Magna Expo Mobiliario e Interiores will put the spotlight on furniture, interior decorating, household appliances and floor coverings. The double-header event will make digitization trends tangible and feature solutions and application scenarios as presented by local providers and major players, alike.

    Represented by their Mexican subsidiary Hannover Fairs México, the producers at Hannover-based Deutsche Messe have also developed a fascinating conference program covering CNC machines, integrated manufacturing and the latest furniture designs and trends. A presentation by Joerg F. Mayer, General Manager at Wilhelm Altendorf GmbH & Co. KG (based in Minden, Germany), will provide genuine added value – particularly for visitors from the woodworking trades, concentrating on a digital saw guide that promises efficiency in terms of material use and working time and offering an ideal introduction to integrated work processes.

    Further keynote speakers at the conference include corporate representatives such as Jürgen Köppel, CEO at Leitz and Präsident of EUMABOIS, plus Ingo Bathe from imos AG.
    (Deutsche Messe AG)
    07.12.2017   Sveaskog Interim report January – September 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    1 July – 30 September 2017
    • Net sales increased by 6% to SEK 1,294 million (1,222). Total delivery volumes rose 2% and prices increased by an average of 3%.
    • Operating profit from continuing operations increased by 20% and amounted to SEK 208 million (173). The improved earnings are mainly explained by higher prices and higher delivery volumes.
    • The net change in the carrying amount of standing timber amounted to SEK 54 million (99).
    • Profit for the quarter increased by 7% and amounted to SEK 220 million (206).
    • Earnings per share increased by 7% and amounted to SEK 1.86 (1.74).

    1 January – 30 September 2017
    • Net sales increased by 5% to SEK 4,593 million (4,373). Total delivery volumes rose 2% and prices increased by an average of 2%.
    • Operating profit from continuing operations increased by 14% and amounted to SEK 933 million (819). The improved earnings are mainly explained by higher prices and higher delivery volumes.
    • Yield, measured on a rolling 12-month basis, amounted to 4.6% (4.3).
    • The net change in the carrying amount of standing timber amounted to SEK 162 million (319).
    • Profit for the period increased by 11% and amounted to SEK 999 million (899).
    • Earnings per share increased by 11% and amounted to SEK 8.44 (7.59).

    Per-Olof Wedin (photo), President and CEO:
    Higher prices and increased volumes raised earnings
    Sveaskog’s operating profit from continuing operations amounted to SEK 933 million (819), an increase of 14%. Earnings in our core business continue to improve driven by a strong market, increased productivity and good control of costs. Yield amounted to 4.6% (4.3) and net sales increased to SEK 4,593 million (4,373).

    There is a high level of construction activity in Sweden and the rest of Europe at the same time as interest in using wood has increased within the building sector. Steel and concrete can with advantage be replaced by wooden building components. This provides economic gains for the end customer at the same time as wood binds carbon. Global demand for paper pulp is rising as is production capacity in our catchment area. Demand for wood raw material is high and prices increased during the autumn in particular for sawlogs.

    Sustainable forest management
    The forest and forest management are attracting increasing attention. Media debate has been particularly intensive recently as regards climate effects and impact on biodiversity. As far as Sveaskog is concerned, we conduct our forest management in the best interests of the entire Swedish population which involves achieving a balance between different interests: social, economic and ecological.
    Sveaskog issued its second green bond in September. The financing from this issue will be used for investments that will result in positive environmental impact with sustainable forest management at its core. There was considerable interest in participation in the issue and 22 Swedish and international investors subscribed for a total of one billion Swedish kronor.

    Proud employees
    Every other year, Sveaskog conducts a major employee survey and the response rate was record high this year at 91%. I am pleased to note that the high scores are largely retained. The survey shows that our employees are proud to work at Sveaskog and very happy to recommend others to apply for a job with us. The Employee Motivation Index (EMI) has a high result of 68 where the average in Sweden is 65. The Leadership Index amounts to 70 which is the average in Sweden. We continue our work to strengthen employeeship and leadership.

    Taken overall we have a sound platform and I see continued potential to increase profitability within the framework of sustainable forest management and to contribute to a green transition.
    (Sveaskog AB)
    06.12.2017   HOMAG Group reinforces top management team    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Andreas Denker (photo) becomes new EVP Global Sales & Marketing

    On November 1, 2017, Andreas Denker joined the HOMAG Group's top management team as Executive Vice President Global Sales and Marketing. In his capacity, and as member of the executive committee, he reports to CEO Pekka Paasivaara, who had been overseeing the Global Sales & Marketing field as an additional role until then. In Andreas Denker the HOMAG Group has gained another leader with an international background. He has extensive experience working for global technology companies, where he has held various management positions.

    Says Paasivaara: "We are delighted that Andreas Denker has joined our team. He will further professionalize our worldwide sales activities and enhance our relationships with customers."
    (Homag Holzbearbeitungssysteme GmbH)
    05.12.2017   EPAL: SAFETY FIRST now for chemical pallets too    ( Company news )

    Company news
    EPAL – the largest quality assurance association for wooden load carriers in the world – is introducing quality-assured EPAL chemical pallets. Licences can now be requested from EPAL for quality-assured CP pallets.

    With the maxim “the chemistry is right”, the European Pallet Association e.V. (EPAL) is launching the independently quality-assured EPAL CP pallets at its press conference in Düsseldorf. This expands EPAL’s existing and highly successful load carrier portfolio with nine more quality-assured wooden load carriers in order to play a supporting role in the chemicals industry and elsewhere.

    EPAL is applying its recognised and proven system of standardisation and independent quality assurance to the popular chemical pallets and in so doing, closes a gap in the chemical industry’s logistics chain.

    In the past, price competition and the lack of independent quality assurance have often meant that chemical pallets have not met the requirements for the safe transport of chemical products. EPAL has often been asked by stakeholders of the chemicals industry, why there were no EPAL chemical pallets. EPAL is now satisfying this demand for safe chemical pallets.

    From 1st January 2018, EPAL CP pallets produced in accordance with EPAL Technical Regulations will be available on the market. All EPAL CP pallets are treated in compliance with ISPM 15 standard and suitable for the international movement of goods.

    The market launch will take place in all countries across the world in which EPAL-licenced pallets are produced and reconditioned/repaired.

    Martin Leibrandt, CEO of EPAL, “I am pleased that EPAL has been able to satisfy user demand and add an important new component to the existing quality wooden load carrier offering. It is now up to users with their demand for EPAL CP pallets, to also count on independently tested quality, safety and sustainability in the chemical industry’s logistics chain.
    (EPAL European Pallet Association e.V.)
    04.12.2017   Metsä Wood expands the Kerto® LVL product range    ( Company news )

    Company news
    New L-panels offer faster, lighter, greener construction

    Metsä Wood is launching the innovative L-panel as part of the LVL product range. L-panel is suitable for a wide variety of applications, from wall and ceiling panels, to door blanks and window frames. It is easily customized and further expands the possibilities of Metsä Wood’s element partners to build competitive wooden structures.

    Designed with light and non-load-bearing applications in mind, Metsä Wood’s new L-panels are up to 10 per cent lighter than the rest of the Kerto® LVL products, while still delivering exceptional dimensional stability. L-panel has great insulating properties, with an improved thermal conductivity value up to 10 per cent better than that of standard Kerto® LVL.

    Customized and competitive construction solutions
    Kerto® LVL L-panels can be cut to custom dimensions, minimising waste and material costs. Featuring good bending strength, stiffness and a high strength-to-weight ratio, L-panel is suitable for a wide variety of applications, from wall and ceiling panels to door blanks and window frames.

    “Building with Kerto® LVL is fast, light and green,” says Henrik Söderström, SVP, Sales at Metsä Wood. “The lightness of the L-panel enables innovative ways to build.”
    (Metsä Wood)
    01.12.2017   UPM Plywood introduces new fire retardant WISA®-SpruceFR structural plywood for building ...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ...and construction

    UPM Plywood introduces a new fire retardant WISA-SpruceFR structural plywood for building and construction end uses. WISA-SpruceFR combines the market leading quality and structural performance with B-s1, d0 fire classification - the highest a wood product can have.

    "This is uniquely different type of plywood product released to the market," says Riku Härkönen, Product Manager at UPM Plywood. "There are products which are either extremely expensive, pressure treated, or they come with conditions and requirements for other structural solutions," Härkönen describes.

    Unlike in many other fire-resistant wooden products, the fire-retardant treatment in WISA-SpruceFR does not compromise the plywood's technical properties; the panels preserve the original qualities of untreated WISA-Spruce plywood. Also, different from many other wood panels, WISA-SpruceFR does not require any special structural design to achieve the fire classification. It can be used just like a regular plywood panel.

    "A significant development is that WISA-SpruceFR can be installed leaving air gaps between the panel and other structures and insulation and still retain the product's fire-retardant properties and classification," says Härkönen. The fact that the fire-retardant treatment is already applied on the panels during manufacturing is a substantial benefit for contractors and developers. It saves time, material and costs in various project phases," Härkönen points out. "For a customer this means efficiency made easy as fire retardant properties can be built into a normal structure".
    (UPM Timber)
    30.11.2017   Paper production decreased, growth in other forest industry product groups    ( Company news )

    Company news
    In January-September, paper production in Finland totalled 5.0 million tonnes, which represents a decrease of 2.3% compared to the corresponding period last year. In the third quarter, paper production amounted to 1.7 million tonnes, which is about 1% less than in the third quarter of 2016.

    “Demand for printing and writing paper has been decreasing for a long time now, especially due to digitalisation in developed markets, and this is reflected in paper production,” says Timo Jaatinen, Director General of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

    Meanwhile, changing consumer habits have had a positive impact on paperboard demand. Online shopping increases demand for paperboard packaging, as does the fact that plastic packaging is being replaced by paperboard packaging manufactured from a renewable material. In January-September, paperboard production totalled 2.7 million tonnes, which is 7.9% more than in the year ago period. In July-September, 0.9 million tonnes of paperboard was produced, which represents an increase of 9% compared to the corresponding period in 2016.

    Softwood sawn timber production in January-September increased by 5.9% compared to the year ago period and totalled 8.9 million cubic metres. In recent years, China has become a significant export market especially for spruce sawn timber. In the third quarter, softwood sawn timber production remained at the same level as in the corresponding period last year, that is, 2.6 million cubic metres.

    Plywood production increased by 10.3% in January-September to 0.9 million cubic metres. In July-September, plywood production totalled 0.3 million cubic metres, which is 16% more than in the year ago period. Plywood is primarily used in construction, vehicle flooring, and LNG tankers. Growth in the European new construction and renovation markets had a positive impact on plywood production.

    Pulp production in January-September amounted to 5.7 million tonnes, up by 2.3% from the same period last year. In recent years, Finnish forest industry companies have made significant investments into pulp production capacity but this is not yet fully reflected in production volumes. In July-September, 1.9 million tonnes of pulp was produced, an increase of 5% from the same period in 2016.

    Finnish forest industry companies’ markets are mostly in Europe and Asia, depending on the product groups they focus on. Finnish producers’ competitiveness, especially in the paper industry, is strained by high production costs as well as long transport distances compared to our main competing countries Sweden and Germany.

    “Forest industry companies operating in Finland bring the country substantial economic wellbeing by paying taxes, offering employment, and by using domestic raw materials. Forest industry products account for over a fifth of Finland’s merchandise exports. Companies operating in Finland need symmetrical operating conditions compared to competing countries, so that Finland remains an attractive and competitive location for industrial production and investments,” says Timo Jaatinen.
    (Metsateollisuus ry - Skogsindustrin rf / FFIF Finnish Forest Industries Federation)
    29.11.2017   Investment in Långasjö sawmill completed    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Södra’s investment of SEK 100 million in Långasjö has now been completed. The investment means that a totally new saw line will be in operation as of November. Next year, production at the facility will increase by almost 30 percent.

    The investment will increase the sawmill’s production capacity from 280,000 m³ to 360,000 m³, corresponding to 15 more logging trucks per day. To achieve this goal, the old small-diameter timber saw line has been replaced by a new profiling circular saw line, which means that sawing will be carried out with a circular blade instead of a band blade.

    “The new saw line will create a more efficient flow with higher precision. This will enable an even higher yield from the forest raw material in a shorter period of time,” said Magnus Algotsson, Mill Manager, Södra Wood Långasjö.

    The facility produces panelling and cross beams, but also painted products, and demand in this product category has grown every year since 2013. Deliveries are mainly made to the Netherlands and Sweden, two markets where pressure on construction timber is high.

    “The high demand for Swedish construction timber is very positive. More and more people are seeing the advantages of using timber as a construction material. Utilising wood’s ability to absorb CO₂ as both a raw material in the forest and as a finished product benefits all of society,” said Magnus Algotsson.

    In addition to the new saw line, a new stacker, wood dryer and timber warehouse of 8,000 m² have been built. The investment will create 25 new jobs at Långasjö.
    (Södra Timber AB)
    28.11.2017   Roughly half of all hardwood chips traded in the Pacific Rim have been destined for Chinese ports ..    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... in the 1H/17 with Vietnam and Australia being the major suppliers, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly

    Pulpmills in China and Japan continue to rely on large volumes of imported hardwood wood chips from a number of countries around the Pacific Rim. The biggest changes in trade over the past five years, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly, have been the increase in chip exports from Vietnam, record import volumes to China and a shift in Australian export shipments from Japan to China.

    Shipments of hardwood chips in the Pacific Rim have increased for six consecutive years and reached a record-high of 22.9 million odmt in 2016. Last year was also the year when China took over Japan’s role as the world’s largest importer of hardwood chips - roughly half of all hardwood chips traded in the Pacific Rim were destined for Chinese ports in 2016. Based on import volumes to China in the first nine months of 2017, it is likely that Chinese imports will hit a new record high of over 11.5 million odmt in 2017, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ).

    There have been a number of alterations in the trade flows of hardwood chips in the Pacific Rim over the past decade based on price fluctuations, chip quality preferences and changes in business relationships. In the latest issues of the WRQ we have chosen to highlight how the chip trade has evolved from 2012 to 2016 as an example of the shifting market that exists in this part of the world. The major changes over the past five years have been Vietnam’s expansion in exports to both China and Japan, Australia’s increase in shipments to China (equal to Vietnam’s volumes in the 2Q/17), Chile’s diversion of volumes from Japan to China, and Japan’s increasing reliance on hardwood chips from Vietnam and South Africa, at the expense of Australia and Chile.

    The top-five trade flows of hardwood chips in 2016 were (more details in the WRQ):
    1. Vietnam – China
    2. Australia – China
    3. Vietnam – Japan
    4. Chile – Japan
    5. Australia – Japan

    During the first half of 2017, hardwood chip shipments from most of the major supplying countries in the Pacific Rim have gone up with the notable exceptions of Australia, Thailand, Brazil and Uruguay, which reduced their export volumes by between four and twenty-one percent as compared to the first half of 2016. The biggest increases in chip supply to Japan and China year-over-year have been from Chile and Indonesia. Chilean chip exports are likely to reach a new all-time high in 2017 and the country will remain the third largest chip exporter in the world.
    (Wood Resources International LLC)
    27.11.2017   Ground-breaking ceremony for the EGGER plant in Poland    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Official kickoff for the 19th production plant of the EGGER Group

    On the 25th of October 2017, together with approximately 160 Polish customers, partners, political and industrial representatives, authorities, and members of the media, Michael Egger and Ulrich Bühler, EGGER Group Management Sales & Marketing, launched the ground-breaking ceremony. In Biskupiec, located in the Warmia-Masuria region of north-east Poland, an ultramodern production plant for 650,000 m3 of chipboard will be built by the end of 2018. The international corporate group with headquarters in St. Johann in Tirol (AT) is investing approximately EUR 250 million in this location.

    “I am very proud of the fact that we will build our 19th plant in Poland, in the heart of the European furniture industry. We’ve been active in Poland already since the early 1990s, and are successfully working with more than 150 local customers. With our growing chipboard plant, we will be able to serve the growing market in Poland and in the neighbouring regions even better”, announced Michael Egger during the ground-breaking ceremony. “We believe in sustainable growth through our own efforts and the plant in Biskupiec is also a long-term investment for future generations.”

    The Biskupiec plant will have ultramodern facilities that are based on the latest available production technology and environmental knowledge. The entire site covers 85 hectares. The current construction phase focuses on production lines for raw and laminated chipboard. The systems are designed for the production of 650,000 m3 raw chipboard. A large part of it is coated with melamine resin film. The first board is expected to be produced by the end of 2018.

    A 1,000 jobs for the region
    In addition to the Polish furniture producers and retailers, the region will experience a valuable push forward thanks to the investment. There will be approximately 400 jobs in the EGGER plant, and an addition 600 indirect jobs with suppliers or service providers. EGGER wants to be a good neighbour and active member of the local community in all its locations.
    Biskupiec was chosen due to the number of well-trained employees available in the region and the great tradition of wood processing. The location is also advantageous from the point of view of transport and enjoys a good supply of EGGER's key raw material - wood.
    (FRITZ EGGER GmbH & Co)
    24.11.2017   Vanachai orders longest 4' ContiRoll® from Siempelkamp Qingdao    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Order No. 12 marks renewed commitment to quality product

    New milestone for a long-standing successful customer relationship: The Thai Vanachai Panel Industries Company Limited placed its 12th order with Siempelkamp in October. This order represents another project in the trusting customer relationship that has existed since the 1980’s.

    Photo right: Wanthana Jaroennawarat (Managing Director Vanachai Group of Companies) with Henning Gloede (Managing Director Siempelkamp Pte. Ltd. Singapore)

    The order includes a 4’ x 48.7m forming and press line for particleboard production – the longest 4’ ContiRoll® ever supplied by Siempelkamp! The scope of supply also includes a cooling and stacking line, an automatic storage system as well as a sanding line.

    The Thai manufacturer for wood-based panels placed the order directly with Siempelkamp Qingdao Machinery & Equipment Co. Ltd., the second Chinese-based Siempelkamp location in the South of the Shandong province. This location provides the best conditions to serve the Asian market quickly and reliably with press components according to Siempelkamp’s quality standard.

    Vanachai, one of the leading wood-based materials manufacturers in Thailand, will produce standard products for the furniture industry in a cost-efficient way with the line. The company with roots reaching back to the 1940’s had already ordered an MDF plant made by Siempelkamp in late 2016. Same as the MDF Plant, this newly ordered particleboard plant will also be set up in the southern Thai province of Surat Thani. Vanachai operates the largest of its three board production locations in this area in Thailand.

    “This order is not only the second order that Vanachai has placed with Siempelkamp within one year, but it also represents the 12th Line that the customer placed with the Siempelkamp Group since the 1980’s,” says Henning Gloede, Managing Director of Siempelkamp Pte. Ltd. Singapore. Thus manifesting the longest and most successful customer relationship the machine manufacturing and engineering company from Krefeld has established in Southeast Asia since its first presence in this market dating back to the late 1970’s.

    The start of installation is scheduled for the 4th quarter of 2018. Following the successful startup, this Vanachai location will be home to 6 lines for MDF and particleboard production.
    (Siempelkamp Maschinen- und Anlagenbau GmbH)
    23.11.2017   Kastamonu Entegre commissions Dieffenbacher with plant relocation    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Former Darbo plant will be moved to Gorno Sahrane as a replacement investment

    In March 2017, the Turkish wood-based materials manufacturer Kastamonu Entegre purchased a particleboard plant from the insolvent estate of the French company Darbo. The plant will be relocated to the Kastamonu site in Gorno Sahrane, where it will replace a multi-daylight plant that is more than 30 years old.

    Image: View from the forming station to the CPS at the former Darbo site near Bordeaux.

    Dieffenbacher will undertake the relocation of the plant, consisting of forming station, forming line, pre-press and a 42.4-m long CPS. The contract also includes a modernization and optimization package as well as a completely new plant control system.

    The plant was commissioned in 1996 and received a press extension in 2000. Its production of about 580,000 m³ of particleboard per year will significantly expand Kastamonu’s production capacity in Bulgaria and strengthen its presence in the Eastern European market. The plant in France has already been dismantled. Re-commissioning at the new site is scheduled for the beginning of 2019.

    With the plant in Gorno Sahrane, Kastamonu Entegre now operates a total of four plants with continuous presses from Dieffenbacher.
    (Dieffenbacher GmbH)
    22.11.2017   HOMAG Group continues to grow    ( Company news )

    Company news
    In the first nine month of 2017, the HOMAG Group, the world's leading manufacturer of machines and systems for the woodworking industry and trade, continued its positive performance and recorded significant increases, especially in incoming orders and earnings.

    The HOMAG Group's incoming orders rose by 26 percent to € 1,079 million (previous year: € 858 million). On September 30, 2017, it recorded an order backlog of € 578 million (September 30, 2016: € 381 million), while sales were up 12 percent, reaching € 901 million (previous year: € 804 million). Operating EBIT rose by 47 percent to € 71.1 million (previous year: € 49.6 million). As at September 30, 2017, the HOMAG Group had 6,316 employees (previous year: 6,072 employees).

    "We are still seeing a high level of demand for our solutions", highlights CEO Pekka Paasivaara (photo). "And we are successful in all regions around the world." CFO Franz Peter Matheis sees the disproportionately strong increase in earnings as a validation of the measures taken to achieve efficiency gains. "We have standardized and optimized our processes and systems and made our production more efficient. Although we have already achieved a lot, we want to keep on getting better. This is why we have initiated a comprehensive Operational Excellence Program."

    Paasivaara expects further growth, mainly as a result of the customer trend toward digitization and automation. By offering end-to-end solutions, the HOMAG Group sees itself as a long-term partner to its customers. With this in mind, the HOMAG Group expects 2017 to be a successful year overall, and it remains confident for 2018, not least given the high order backlog.
    (Homag Holzbearbeitungssysteme GmbH)
    21.11.2017   Moelven earned NOK 296 million     ( Company news )

    Company news
    Moelven improved its operating result for the first nine months by NOK 24 million compared with the corresponding period last year.

    In the results for the first nine months the Group has entered a total of NOK 46 million as costs as a result of the decision to discontinue activities at Moelven Norsälven AB and resolution of a dispute related to a larger project in the Building Systems division. The underlying operating improvement so far this year is NOK 71 million compared to the corresponding period last year.

    Good underlying operations
    In the year’s 3rd quarter the Group earned NOK 84 million compared to NOK 66 million in the corresponding period the previous year.

    “Demand for the Group’s products and services developed as expected and was satisfactory overall,” says CEO Morten Kristiansen (photo) of Moelven Industrier ASA.

    Increased sales
    Revenues in the third quarter were NOK 2,441 million (NOK 2,359 million) and NOK 8 060 million (NOK 7 894 million) year to date.

    “We increased sales in the latest quarter and year to date by NOK 82 millioner and NOK 166 million respectively compared to the same periods last year. There has been good demand for sawn timber internationally, satisfactory activity in the building materials trade in Scandinavia and a healthy level of activity and a good order backlog in the Building Systems project division,” Kristiansen says.

    Climate-friendly wood
    The CEO explains that the increasing interest in climate-friendly construction and in wood as a building material is notable in all three divisions.

    “But the effect is most pronounced in the Building Systems division, which delivers small and large projects all over Scandinavia. This applies to both bridges and other projects where load-bearing structures in glulam dominate, in addition to module-based apartment buildings,” Kristiansen says.

    Satisfactory timber inventories
    In some areas the supply of sawlogs has been somewhat reduced due to the wet autumn, but at the end of the quarter sawlogs inventories were nevertheless satisfactory and on a par with the same time last year.

    “In both Norway and Sweden prices for sawlogs have increased slightly compared to the same period last year. Prices for chip and fibre products were at the same level as the third quarter last year, but for the Norwegian units, currency conditions and costs related to logistics have had a certain negative impact,” Kristiansen says.

    Increase in revenues
    For the Group as a whole revenues are expected to increase somewhat. The programme for operational improvement and structuring of the Group in line with the long-term strategy plan continues unabated and will contribute to continued improved profitability for the underlying operations.

    “The Group's composition, with divisions that experience different impacts from economic fluctuations and units that operate in different markets, provide us with a good starting point for further improvements. Overall, the result for 2017 is expected to be somewhat better than for 2016. We have a long-term goal of a return on capital employed of 13 per cent over an economic cycle. The Group has sufficient solidity and long-term access to liquidity to implement the restructuring and improvement projects required to achieve this goal,” Kristiansen says.
    (Moelven Industrier ASA)
    20.11.2017   Individuality is the key! Supreme discipline batch size 1    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Individual design, customization and fast delivery require an intelligent production with optimal material flow. Batch size 1 production requires an absolute process command. Right here we have the best knowledge. Today we offer you best technical solutions for your tomorrow’s production. An example is the new collating center TLB 321.

    Material management with more than 100,000 articles or machines that process more than 10,000 parts - both is no longer special for medium-sized companies, but is a prerequisite to remain competitive. How is it possible to produce profi tably and deliver "just in time" assortments even in batch size 1? HOMAG has the answer.

    Operating machines working in an automated environment have a clearly greater utilization factor than machines that are supplied manually in a traditional way with material. Automation solutions of HOMAG connect individual machines to userfriendly operation cells with high added value due to the control by intelligent software.

    Material flow with superhuman reliability
    Sorting in batch size 1. That is possible with the collating center TLB 321. Arriving panel streams are decoupled, sorted and provided to the next process in ideal order. The material is exactly positioned already when taken out of the transport belt. The new designed carriage whose surface can be flexibly used will be especially helpful in this respect.

    The carriage design also ensures better space use of the shelves, which can be served by the transport element carriage. The reason is the simultaneous transport and telescoping of workpieces onto the carriage. Using the TLB 321 enables ideal use of sheds, multiple storing of workpieces in a row and side by side, and an optimal utilization of the available space.

    However, the carriage is only one component of the new development. There are interesting developments in the topic of maintainability. The switch cabinet is a fixed component of the carriage frame and in the event of maintenance can be driven in an ideal position for the user. Several quick-change modules have also been integrated into the TLB to maintain various components without significant loss of time.

    In the end, the use according to size and capacity is only limited by the range of laser measurement. A sorting alley can be extended up to a length of 45 meters module by module due to the unitized scalable modular system. How many of these alleys are positioned next to each other depends on the customer's requirements. Finally, the customer has to decide.

    Uwe von Allwörden, Technical Sales Manager: "Today, it is our demand to develop affordable machines for all market segments so that also a handicraft enterprise may partly be automated. In this respect intelligent material streams are important which are only enabled through a continuous data management, and a project team that develops solutions by design."

    From small to large, single to complex
    HOMAG machines change furniture production in a revolutionary manner due to the material and data flow. The optimal capacity utilization of the operating machines and production center is a key element of the production's organization. Intelligent continuous software solutions link operation cells through innovative feeding and stacking systems, robot guided pick & place applications, and automatic storage and collating systems.

    The result: Efficiency and productivity multiply. Precision and repeat accuracy on high availability and process safety are improved in yet unknown magnitude. The fully automatic material management reduced costs in noticeable degrees.
    (Homag Automation GmbH)
    17.11.2017   Stora Enso to divest Puumerkki, a wholesaler of wooden building materials    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Stora Enso has divested 100% of its shares in the Finnish Puumerkki Oy and the Estonian Puumerkki AS to Mimir Invest AB, a global investment firm. Puumerkki is a specialised wholesaler of wooden building materials and was 100% owned by Stora Enso.

    This divestment supports Stora Enso’s Wood Products division in focusing on its growth strategy and further build on the strength of the premium portfolio of products and services. Puumerkki’s wholesale business does not belong to Stora Enso’s core business. The new owner is in a better position to give Puumerkki the attention it deserves and ensure its long-term development. Puumerkki will continue to be a key customer for Stora Enso’s renewable building materials also going forward.

    Puumerkki’s sales in 2016 were approximately EUR 160 million, and it has approximately 170 employees. The transaction was finalised immediately, and it will have no significant impact on Stora Enso’s operational EBIT or net debt. Stora Enso will book a loss of EUR 8 million in its operational EBIT in the fourth quarter of 2017 as an item affecting comparability (IAC).
    (Stora Enso Timber)
    16.11.2017   Weinig presents new CNC solution for furniture and frame construction    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Weinig has made a further addition to the Conturex CNC system with a new solution for furniture and frame construction.

    The C 125 Vario Furniture is based upon proven patented clamping table technology and combines maximum output with optimal flexibility. The new development is designed as a double-part system with special individual clamping technology. In keeping with this design, the C 125 Vario Furniture has parallel charging and unloading. This allows an output of 2 parts per minute in furniture applications. Two interpolating 5-axis heads ensure optimal flexibility with complex curved parts. The large parts buffer for up to 240 parts fulfills the prerequisites for long-term unmanned production. Integration into the Weinig Solid Wood Work Flow (WF) system ensures dynamic process sequences optimized in real time. Behind this stands an integrated software solution from idea to finished work piece. Besides the benefits of a standardized data set for all production processes, and the entire peripherals, WF includes parts identification via different processes, work piece data administration including an interface with angle units and monitoring via app and desktop. Owing to the comprehensive digital architecture, WF is ideally suited to virtual commissioning.

    One highlight of the C 125 Vario Furniture is the new Weinig CAM. This is a 3D CAD/CAM system, that can be integrated into every Conturex going forward. Simple and fast programming is just one of its many outstanding qualities. As a geometry-based system, Weinig CAM also offers a fully-fledged drawing program with smart commands. All standard CAD formats, such as dxf, dwg, solid, stl, rhino and parasolid, are supported. Unlike conventional systems that do not allow 3D surface processing, Weinig CAM includes 3D 5-axis interpolation. Other customer benefits include greater reliability thanks to detailed simulation down to single-item batches, simple operation via macro programming and modular design from 2D to 3D interpolation. Furthermore, Weinig CAM significantly increases flexibility. Unlike comparable systems, installation takes place in the office. Product Manager Michael Hemmerich: “This is not only a general technical trend, it is also completely consistent since the Conturex is a fully-automated production machine.”

    In the C 125 Vario Furniture, Weinig marks a new milestone in the evolution of the Conturex system. However, the designers are already thinking further ahead: The long-term objective of the latest stage of development is to offer individual automation solutions for a wide variety of solutions in the furniture sector.
    (Michael Weinig Aktiengesellschaft)
    15.11.2017   CNC Timber-Evolution Days first edition: a great success    ( Company news )

    Company news
    On October 12 to 13, in the splendid Tuscan autumn setting of the SCM Sinalunga plant, a number of companies and technological partners from the wooden construction industries in Japan, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Denmark and Italy have assembled in order to learn first-hand about the latest developments in Oikos and Area CNC machining centres. A great number of interested companies flocked to the first edition of the SCM open-house dedicated to constructors of large and small wooden buildings, residential and public; a clearly successful event with massive international presence during which SCM introduced new technological training programmes.

    Tommaso Martini, SCM Machining Centres for Timber Construction BU Manager, sums up well the energetic enthusiasm during the Tuscan days: "The fact that wooden buildings are more popular these days is also due to the great technological developments in this sector, achieved by research & development efforts in which SCM has invested heavily and continues to invest. SCM's CNC TIMBER-EVOLUTION finds its best expression in the Oikos and Area machining centres, which provide continuous innovation, maximum precision, application flexibility and ease of use, and which our partners from around the world continue to use to Build the Future with Wood."

    During the open-house event, a programme of technical demonstrations illustrated the peerless performance of the OIKOS machining centres by processing structural beams and X-LAM/CLT wall panels, as well as that of the AREA centres by processing walls, insulating panels and curved beams. These are two different machines, yet both are based on the same design principles that characterise all the SCM machining centres. Great interest was shown in the demonstrations of the SCM Beam & Wall Maestro software, where you could actually feel the ease of programming and controlling the Oikos and Area centres.

    A new partnership between SCM and the Turin Politecnico's Department of Architecture and Design (DAD) was announced during the open-house event. This long-term collaboration between the academic and industrial worlds is certain to produce ever more efficient and better technological solutions.
    (SCM Group S.p.A.)
    14.11.2017   Think Click! CoFix is the innovative connecting fitting by Hettich    ( Company news )

    Company news
    CoFix is the innovative connecting fitting by Hettich. Disassemble and reassemble upholstered furniture with just a click thanks to the new fitting. Transport, production or logistics – there are enough reasons to take apart upholstered furniture. The quick disassembly and reassembly also offers manufacturers new and unprecedented opportunities for modular product design. Did it click?

    CoFix is a K. D. fitting for upholstered furniture that permits arm- and backrests and even complete sofa bases to be knocked down into small units that are easy to handle. With CoFix, upholstered furniture can be knocked down completely, the individual parts can be transported easily and then can be reassembled at the customer's site. CoFix facilitates handling of upholstered furniture and therefore improves production, storage and transport of furniture. Flexible platform concepts are possible at any point of the value chain. Even topics such as environment protection and workplace safety are being improved at the same time.
    (Hettich Holding GmbH & Co. oHG)
    13.11.2017   Record increase in electricity from the forest     ( Company news )

    Company news
    Between January and September, Södra delivered 15 times more green electricity to the public electricity grid compared with the same period in 2015, an increase from 11 to 167 GWh. Deliveries are equivalent to the total electricity consumption of 7,000 houses per year. The electricity is produced from the forest raw material that is processed at Södra’s mills.

    “We are very pleased with this substantial increase. It shows how we can use innovation and investments in green industry to meet important societal needs,” said Roine Morin, Sustainability Director at Södra.
    Electricity is mainly generated at the three pulp mills in Värö, Mörrum and Mönsterås. In 2016, major investments were made at these mills, that provided the basis for the increase in deliveries. The largest investments were made at the Värö pulp mill, which increased its electricity generation by almost 70 percent, from 232 to 390 GWh, compared with January to September 2015.

    “The electricity is a by-product created through the use of resource-efficient solutions in production. This is one example of how the forest has a key role to play in the transition to a bioeconomy,” said Roine Morin.

    Södra has been self-sufficient in green electricity since 2007. At the same time, Södra is working to reduce its own electricity consumption. One of Södra’s sustainability targets concerns the efficient resource utilisation of electricity, with the aim of reducing consumption by at least 10 percent by 2025.
    (Södra Timber AB)
    10.11.2017   Tool changes with effortless ease with Weinig ServoLock    ( Company news )

    Company news
    A high degree of user-friendliness is a hallmark of Weinig moulders. In the new ServoLock aid, the market leader in machines and systems for solid wood processing sets standards once again.

    Photo: Weinig ServoLock: Loosening and tightening of the spindle nut have never been easier

    ServoLock makes the clamping of drilling tools more convenient than ever. Previously, a spindle nut would have to be loosened and tightened with a combination wrench. Handling such a key is awkward because the direction of rotation cannot be precisely defined. Loosening and tightening the spindle nut also requires a high amount of force to reach the specified torque of 80 Nm.

    This is precisely where Weinig ServoLock comes into its own. An internal gearbox ensures significant reduction of the manual effort required. This means spindle nuts can be loosened and tightened with effortless ease. Weinig ServoLock also has an in-built slipping clutch that, similarly to a torque wrench, ensures that the spindle nut is always tightened with the correct torque. The direction of rotation is marked with arrows to make handling easier. A further benefit is the saving in setup time via the rapid loosening and clamping of the spindle nut. ServoLock replaces the traditional tool wrench and can be used with most Weinig moulders. No adaptation of the machine is necessary. ServoLock can be ordered directly from the manufacturer.
    (Michael Weinig Aktiengesellschaft)
    09.11.2017   Setra invests in a new trim saw and planing machine in Hasselfors    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Wood products company Setra is investing in a new trim saw with integrated planing machine at its mill in Hasselfors (photo). The investment is expected to deliver major efficiency gains and help to strengthen Setra’s position in the global construction market.

    Setra’s Board has decided to invest in a new trim saw with integrated planing machine at Hasselfors sawmill. The new investment, amounting to SEK 300 million, is expected to deliver major efficiency gains and forms an integral part of Setra’s strategy to increase the proportion of finished products in response to the growing demand in the global construction market.

    “This investment will allow us to boost our competitiveness and sharpen up our offer to customers in Sweden, the rest of Europe and, not least, markets outside Europe. The investment will also mean greater flexibility and better service for existing and new customers alike,” says Olle Berg, Market Director at Setra.

    With the new facility in place, the mill in Hasselfors is expected to produce 320,000 m3 of wood products. Planed products will make up around two thirds of overall production.

    “This is a major step in our Hasselfors mill’s continued development. The new trim saw and planing machine will enable us to significantly improve the efficiency of our current operation. We’ll be able to expand and enhance our product portfolio and better meet our customers’ wishes, which is something we’re really looking forward to,” explains Jonas Fintling, Mill Manager at Setra Hasselfors.
    (Setra Group)
    08.11.2017   Södra strengthens offer for softwood pulpwood and small-diameter timber    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Demand for softwood pulpwood is high. The strategic investments in Södra’s mills have now led to higher fibre consumption. Södra is therefore raising the price of softwood pulpwood to SEK 320/mᶾ sub. The price of the small-diameter and softwood block range will also be raised by SEK 25/mᶾ sub.

    “The high demand for both sawlogs and softwood/hardwood pulpwood is gratifying for forest owners. The price increases will create excellent conditions for increasing the level of thinning in members’ forests,” said Olof Hansson, Acting President of the Södra Skog business area.

    Markets for sawn timber remain favourable, and therefore demand for pine and spruce logs. Södra has therefore decided to incorporate the existing contracting premium of SEK 25/mᶾ sub into the basic price.

    The new prices will apply for contracts signed as of 23 October.
    (Södra Timber AB)
    07.11.2017   UPM moves forward in sustainable biochemicals business    ( Company news )

    Company news
    UPM moves forward with the development of biochemicals business by evaluating the potential of building a biorefinery in the Chemical Park Frankfurt-Höchst in Germany. The new-to-the-world biorefinery would combine novel technologies and utilize sustainable wood raw material in an innovative way. This opportunity is the outcome of more than five years of extensive technology development and piloting.

    Photo: Juuso Konttinen, Vice President, UPM Biochemicals

    The planned industrial scale biorefinery would convert wood into bio-monoethylene glycol (bMEG), bio-monopropylene glycol (bMPG) and lignin up to 150,000 metric tons per year. Production would be based on hardwood from sustainably managed forests in Central Europe.

    Application areas for bio-monoethylene glycol include textiles, bottles, packaging and deicing fluids. Bio-monopropylene glycol is used for example in composites, pharma and cosmetics or detergents. Lignin can be used for example in wood resins, plastics or foams and coatings. Recently, UPM Plywood introduced WISA BioBond gluing solution that replaces fossil-based phenol with lignin in plywood products.

    UPM will now proceed with a detailed commercial and basic engineering study to verify the attractiveness of the business case. The estimated duration of this phase is about 12 months. If all preparation phases are concluded successfully, UPM would initiate the company's standard procedure of analysing and preparing an investment decision.

    "We are truly excited about this opportunity to bring bio-based products to the market, which would enable replacement of fossil-based materials with new renewable alternatives" says Juuso Konttinen, Vice President, UPM Biochemicals.

    "Renewable raw material and efficient processes enable significant reductions in CO2 footprint compared to fossil-based products. Furthermore, wood as a second generation raw material does not compete with food production. These are compelling sustainability arguments for brand owners and their businesses."
    (UPM Timber)
    06.11.2017   13TH BUILDASIA 2017 - International Trade Show on Building & Construction     ( Company news )

    Company news
    13th Build Asia Construction Machinery International Exhibition & Conference scheduled from 18-20 December 2017 at Karachi Expo Centre, a UFI approved event with an aim to focus on the immense potential of the Building and Construction Industry in Pakistan. The Event also incorporates Coating Expo, Furniture Asia, Property Asia & Stonefair Asia International Exhibitions.

    Build Asia will also feature the most comprehensive array of Conferences to provide a networking platform for engineers, contractors, builders, consultants, government officials, bankers, policy makers, stakeholders, other practitioners & professionals of Housing & Construction Industry.

    Build Asia housing & building construction material & machinery exhibition and conferences will display latest Technological Advancements of Equipments, Materials, Services and Techniques in the related fields, providing opportunities to Overseas Exhibitors to interact with entrepreneurs in Pakistan for joint ventures, transfer of technologies and appointing Agents / Distributors / Partners.
    (Ecommerce Gateway Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd)
    03.11.2017   Strong result and positive market conditions for Södra    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Södra’s operating profit totalled SEK 421 million (400) for the third quarter. The strong results were due, inter alia, to higher prices and stable demand for both paper pulp and sawn timber. During the quarter, decisions were also taken about future-oriented initiatives for increased wood processing and biofuel production.

    “Market conditions for forest industry products remained favourable, and higher prices for both market pulp and sawn timber contributed to a strong result. Production levels remained stable at all of Södra’s facilities during the quarter, while Södra is in its most extensive investment phase for decades,” said Lars Idermark (photo), President and CEO.

    “We also made decisions about important future initiatives during the period. These relate partly to increased wood processing in cross-laminated timber, and partly to the production of biofuel based on the by-product methanol from the pulp industry,” said Lars Idermark, President and CEO.

    Net sales in the third quarter increased 8 percent to SEK 4,763 million (4,417). Operating profit increased 5 percent to SEK 421 million (400). Operating margin was 9 percent (9).

    The Södra Skog business area reported operating profit of SEK 12 million (11) and a sales increase of 8 percent in the third quarter.

    The Södra Wood business area reported operating profit of SEK 8 million (0). The increased result was mainly due to a positive price development and high demand for sawn timber. Sales decreased 8 percent due to restructuring and a deliberate product portfolio reduction.

    The Södra Cell business area reported operating profit of SEK 421 million (377). The improved result was mainly due to strong demand. The new pulp mill in Värö is now fully operational and capacity has increased according to plan. The result was also positively impacted by the continuing high price level for softwood sulphate pulp.

    For the January to September period, net sales amounted to SEK 15,105 million (13,915), operating profit to SEK 1,336 million (699) and operating margin to 9 percent (5). Return on capital employed was 11 percent (6) and equity ratio was 55 percent (53).
    (Södra Timber AB)
    03.11.2017   ANDRITZ GROUP: Results for the third quarter of 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    International technology Group ANDRITZ recorded business development in line with its own expectations in the third quarter of 2017.

    The key financial figures developed as follows:
    -Order intake in the third quarter of 2017 amounted to 1,341.2 MEUR, decreasing by 8.8% compared to the previous year’s reference period (Q3 2016: 1,470.1 MEUR). This decline is attributable primarily to the HYDRO and the METALS business areas, whose order intake decreased by 9.5% and 19.8%, respectively, compared to the previous year’s reference period. In the first three quarters of 2017, the Group’s order intake at 4,112.5 MEUR was slightly higher than the level of the previous year’s reference period (+1.9% versus Q1-Q3 2016: 4,036.5 MEUR). This increase is particularly attributable to the PULP & PAPER business area, which achieved increases in both capital and service business. The SEPARATION business area also saw favorable development in the reporting period and was able to continue the rising trend in order intake that began in the previous quarters.

    -The order backlog as of September 30, 2017, amounted to 6,650.8 MEUR and was thus down slightly compared to the figure at the end of 2016 (-2.0% compared to December 31, 2016: 6,789.2 MEUR).

    -In the third quarter of 2017, sales decreased by 7.7% compared to the previous year’s reference period, reaching 1,364.6 MEUR (Q3 2016: 1,478.1 MEUR), with all four business areas showing a decline. The PULP & PAPER business area, in particular, saw a significant decline in sales compared to the previous year’s reference period, which had very high sales due to processing of a large order. Group sales in the first three quarters of 2017 amounted to 4,143.6 MEUR, decreasing slightly compared to the previous year’s reference figure (-2.3% compared to Q1-Q3 2016: 4,239.3 MEUR).

    -The EBITA also decreased at practically the same rate as sales; at 98.9 MEUR it was 9.3% below the figure for last year’s reference period (Q3 2016: 109.1 MEUR). Profitability (EBITA margin) declined slightly to 7.2% (Q3 2016: 7.4%). The EBITA amounted to 306.2 MEUR in the first three quarters of 2017 and thus increased compared to the previous year’s reference period (+4.8% compared to Q1-Q3 2016: 292.1 MEUR). Profitability increased to 7.4% (Q1-Q3 2016: 6.9%), although it is important to note that the second quarter of 2017 – as already disclosed – was impacted positively by an extraordinary effect mainly from sale of the Schuler Technical Center in Tianjin, China. Excluding this extraordinary effect, the Group’s EBITA would have been 283.3 MEUR and the profitability 6.8%.

    -The net income (without non-controlling interests) decreased to 189.8 MEUR (Q1-Q3 2016: 194.2 MEUR) in the first three quarters of 2017.

    Wolfgang Leitner (photo), President & CEO of ANDRITZ AG: “For the coming months, we do not anticipate any major changes in the markets we serve. In PULP & PAPER, we expect unchanged good project and investment activity and also assume that the positive development in the SEPARATION business area will continue. The Group’s service business, which currently accounts for around one third of sales, is also expected to continue its positive development.”

    ANDRITZ continues to expect a slight decline in Group sales for the 2017 business year compared to 2016, but also expects profitability (EBITA margin) to achieve the solid level of the previous year in spite of the decline in sales.
    (Andritz AG)
    02.11.2017   PONSSE'S INTERIM REPORT FOR 1 JANUARY – 30 SEPTEMBER 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    – Net sales amounted to EUR 398.3 (Q1-Q3/2016 349,9) million.
    – Q3 net sales amounted to EUR 139.6 (Q3/2016 112,7) million.
    – Operating result totalled EUR 46.8 (Q1-Q3/2016 37,0) million, equalling 11.8
    (10.6) per cent of net sales.
    – Q3 operating result totalled EUR 18.6 (Q3/2016 10,8) million, equalling 13.3
    (9.6) per cent of net sales.
    – Profit before taxes was EUR 40.4 (Q1-Q3/2016 38,5) million.
    – Cash flow from business operations was EUR 20.7 (14.9) million.
    – Earnings per share were EUR 1.08 (1.08).
    – Equity ratio was 50.2 (47.4) per cent.
    – Order books stood at EUR 154.2 (163.2) million.

    In the third quarter, demand for PONSSE forest machines was excellent. The order flow was strong, and the value of the order book at the end of the period under review was EUR 154.2 (163.2) million. The Russian market is growing very rapidly, and other markets are also functioning well. The markets in North America, the Nordic countries and Central Europe are in good situations.

    During the period under review, the company’s turnover was EUR 398.3 (349.9) million, showing growth of 13.8 per cent. In the third quarter, the company’s turnover was EUR 139.6 (112.7) million, showing growth of 23.9 percent compared to the comparison period. The quarter was historically strong, with all business areas growing positively. The turnover of the after sales services continued to increase significantly, and that of trade-in machines grew strongly from the year before. International business accounted for 75.9 (77.4) per cent of turnover.

    The operating result for the period under review was EUR 46.8 (37.0) million, giving an operating margin of 11.8 (10.6) per cent. The operating result for the third quarter was EUR 18.6 (10.8) million, giving an operating margin of 13.3 (9.6) per cent. The machine and market distribution combined with the heavy growth in all our business areas had a significant impact on profitability. In addition, operating costs were well under control during the quarter.

    Cash flow for the period was EUR 20.7 (14.9) million. The stock of trade-in machines is still higher than target level, even though it has decreased as a result of the notable increase in sales.

    The factory has been able to improve its productivity during investments, and the number of machines has increased. The general economic recovery has an impact on our supplier network, and component delivery times are increasing.

    Our investments are proceeding according to plan. New service centres have been completed in Uruguay and France, and our UK subsidiary's new facilities are ready and will open at the end of the year. The investment for the factory's expansion is on schedule. Construction work is nearly finished, and equipment installation has begun. The added benefits of the expansion will begin to be realised as planned, in the second half of 2018.

    Consolidated net sales for the period under review amounted to EUR 398.3 (349.9) million, which is 13.8 per cent more than in the comparison period.
    International business operations accounted for 75.9 (77.4) per cent of net sales.

    Net sales were regionally distributed as follows: Northern Europe 40.0 (37.7) per cent, Central and Southern Europe 19.1 (21.3) per cent, Russia and Asia 17.7 (14.4) per cent, North and South America 22.6 (25.1) per cent and other countries 0.6 (1.5) per cent.

    The operating result amounted to EUR 46.8 (37.0) million. The operating result equalled 11.8 (10.6) per cent of net sales for the period under review.
    Consolidated return on capital employed (ROCE) stood at 24.8 (27.6) per cent.

    Staff costs for the period totalled EUR 57.1 (52.7) million. Other operating expenses stood at EUR 35.0 (32.2) million. The net total of financial income and expenses amounted to EUR -6.5 (1.4) million. Exchange rate gains and losses with a net effect of EUR -5.8 (1.9) million were recognised under financial items for the period. Result for the period under review totalled EUR 30.1 (30.3) million. Diluted and undiluted earnings per share (EPS) came to EUR 1.08 (1.08).

    At the end of the period under review, the total consolidated statements of financial position amounted to EUR 334.9 (287.7) million. Inventories stood at EUR 136.8 (127.9) million. Trade receivables totalled EUR 43.2 (34.9) million, while liquid assets stood at EUR 24.1 (18.4) million. Group shareholders’ equity stood at EUR 162.0 (133.4) million and parent company shareholders’ equity (FAS) at EUR 152.2 (127.0) million. The amount of interest-bearing liabilities was EUR 74.2 (69.8) million. The company has used 63 per cent of its credit facility limit. The parent company's net receivables from other Group companies stood at EUR 94.4 (87.7) million. The parent company’s receivables from subsidiaries mainly consisted of trade receivables.
    Consolidated net liabilities totalled EUR 49.9 (51.3) million, and the debt-equity ratio (net gearing) was 30.8 (38.5) per cent. The equity ratio stood at 50.2 (47.4) percent at the end of the period under review.

    Cash flow from operating activities amounted to EUR 20.7 (14.9) million. Cash flow from investment activities came to EUR -25.8 (-17.8) million.

    Order intake for the period totalled EUR 433.4 (364.8) million, while period-end order books were valued at EUR 154.2 (163.2) million.

    The parent company Ponsse Plc established a new subsidiary Ponsse Machines Ireland Ltd in Ireland on 13 January 2017.

    The subsidiaries included in the Ponsse Group are Ponsse AB, Sweden; Ponsse AS, Norway; Ponssé S.A.S., France; Ponsse UK Ltd, the United Kingdom; Ponsse Machines Ireland Ltd, Ireland, Ponsse North America, Inc., the United States; Ponsse Latin America Ltda, Brazil; Ponsse Uruguay S.A., Uruguay; OOO Ponsse, Russia; Ponsse Asia-Pacific Ltd, Hong Kong; Ponsse China Ltd, China and Epec Oy, Finland. The Group includes also the property company OOO Ocean Safety Center, Russia. Sunit Oy, Finland, is an associate in which Ponsse Plc has a holding of 34 per cent.

    Group’s R&D expenses during the period under review totalled EUR 10.3 (8.9) million, of which EUR 3.0 (2.5) million was capitalised.

    Capital expenditure totalled EUR 25.9 (17.9) million. It consisted in addition to capitalised R&D expenses of investments in buildings and ordinary maintenance and replacement investments for machinery and equipment.

    The following persons were members of the Management Team: Juho Nummela, President and CEO, acting as the chairman; Petri Härkönen, CFO; Juha Inberg, Technology and R&D Director; Tapio Mertanen, Service Director; Paula Oksman, HR Director; Tommi Väänänen, Director of Delivery Chain Process and Jarmo Vidgrén, Deputy CEO, Sales and Marketing Director. The company management has regular management liability insurance.

    The area director organisation of sales is led by Jarmo Vidgrén, the Group's sales and marketing director, and Tapio Mertanen, service director. Area directors and managing directors of subsidiaries report to Jarmo Vidgrén, Ponsse Plc's sales and marketing director.

    Changes took place in the Ponsse sales organization during the period under review. Separate release was issued on 15 September 2017 on the changes. The changes concern the division of markets for which area directors and managing directors of subsidiaries are responsible, as well as changes in the responsible persons.

    The geographical distribution and the responsible persons are presented below:
    Northern Europe: Jani Liukkonen (Finland), Carl-Henrik Hammar (Sweden, Denmark), Jussi Hentunen (the Baltic countries) and Sigurd Skotte (Norway).

    Central and Southern Europe:
    Tuomo Moilanen (Germany and Austria), Clément Puybaret (France), Janne Tarvainen (Spain and Portugal), Gary Glendinning (the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia) and Jussi Hentunen (Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia).

    Russia and Asia:
    Jaakko Laurila (Russia and Belarus), Janne Tarvainen (Australia and South Africa) and Risto Kääriäinen (China and Japan).

    North and South America:
    Pekka Ruuskanen (the United States), Eero Lukkarinen (Canada),
    Marko Mattila (Brazil) and Martin Toledo (Uruguay, Chile and Argentina).

    The Group had an average staff of 1,498 (1,428) during the period and employed 1,525 (1,456) people at period-end.

    The company’s registered share capital consists of 28,000,000 shares. The trading volume of Ponsse Plc shares for 1 January – 30 September 2017 totalled 1,778,437, accounting for 6.4 per cent of the total number of shares. Share turnover amounted to EUR 41.4 million, with the period’s lowest and highest share prices amounting to EUR 20.85 and EUR 25.73, respectively.

    At the end of the period, shares closed at EUR 23.85, and market capitalisation totalled EUR 667.8 million.

    At the end of the period under review, the company held 33,092 treasury shares.

    A separate release was issued on 11 April 2017 regarding the authorizations given to the Board of Directors and other resolutions at the AGM.

    In its decision-making and administration, the company observes the Finnish Limited Liability Companies Act, other regulations governing publicly listed companies and the company’s Articles of Association. The company’s Board of Directors has adopted the Code of Governance that complies with the Finnish Corporate Governance Code approved by the Board of the Securities Market Association in 2015. The purpose of the code is to ensure that the company is professionally managed and that its business principles and practices are of a high ethical and professional standard.

    The Code of Governance is available on Ponsse’s website in the Investors section.

    Risk management is based on the company’s values, as well as strategic and financial objectives. Risk management aims to support the achievement of the objectives specified in the company’s strategy, as well as to ensure the financial development of the company and the continuity of its business.

    Furthermore, risk management aims to identify, assess and monitor business-related risks which may influence the achievement of the company’s strategic and financial goals or the continuity of its business. Decisions on the necessary measures to anticipate risks and react to observed risks are made on the basis of this information.

    Risk management is a part of regular daily business, and it is also included in the management system. Risk management is controlled by the risk management policy approved by the Board.

    A risk is any event that may prevent the company from reaching its objectives or that threatens the continuity of business. On the other hand, a risk may also be a positive event, in which case the risk is treated as an opportunity.
    Each risk is assessed on the basis of its impact and probability. Methods of risk management include avoiding, mitigating and transferring risks. Risks can also be managed by controlling and minimising their impact.

    The insecurity in the world economy may result in a decline in the demand for forest machines. The uncertainty may be increased by the volatility of developing countries’ foreign exchange markets. The geopolitical situation, in particular, will increase the uncertainty through financial market operations and sanctions.

    The parent company monitors the changes in the Group’s internal and external trade receivables and the associated risk of impairment.

    The key objective of the company’s financial risk management policy is to manage liquidity, interest and currency risks. The company ensures its liquidity through credit limit facilities agreed with a number of financial institutions. The effect of adverse changes in interest rates is minimised by utilising credit linked to different reference rates and by concluding interest rate swaps. The effects of currency rate fluctuations are mitigated through derivative contracts.

    Changes taking place in the fiscal and customs legislation in countries to which Ponsse exports may hamper the company’s export trade or its profitability.

    The risks in the supplier network may cause problems in material availability.

    The Group's euro-denominated operating profit is expected to be slightly higher in 2017 than in 2016.

    Company upgraded its outlook for the full financial year’s operating profit development by issuing the stock exchange release on 9 October 2017. The previous guidance stated the Group's euro-denominated operating profit to be at the same level in 2017 as it was in 2016.

    Ponsse's strongly updated and competitive product range and service solutions have had a significant impact on the company's growth. The market situation has continued to be particularly positive and the demand for PONSSE forest machines has been better than expected towards the end of the year. The Russian market in particular is extremely brisk. The market situation in United States, in the Nordic countries and in Germany and France in Central Europe is also good.

    Our investments are directed at development of the service level and capacity of the delivery chain and spare parts logistics and development of service business network both in Finland and abroad. The expansion of the Vieremä factory is progressing as planned on schedule. The construction work is soon to be finished and installation of the equipment has begun. The added benefits of the expansion will begin to be realised as planned, in the second half of 2018.
    The investment in the factory is related to the development of safety, productivity, product quality and capacity of the Vieremä factory. The total investment to the factory is approximately EUR 32 million.
    (Ponsse Oyj)
    01.11.2017   Honkarakenne delivers 2,500th house in Russia    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The 2,500th Honka log home will soon be completed in Russia, providing a second home of 1,080 square metres for a family from St. Petersburg. Honkarakenne, currently preparing for its 60th anniversary, has been operating in the Russian market for more than 20 years, gaining a significant market position during that time.

    The 2,500th Honka house currently under construction in the HonkaNova residential area is a home specifically customised to meet the customer’s needs. The house’s total area amounts to 1,080 m2 and comprises two floors. The one-floor wing contains a swimming pool with sauna facilities. The house was designed by architect Alexey Skoldinov, who is the man behind all architecture in the HonkaNova area.

    HonkaNova is a modern residential area in the Solnechnoye village near St. Petersburg, some 300 metres from the Gulf of Finland. The area is designed to represent modern European architecture, and it has been awarded several prizes, such as the Best of Elite Class in St. Petersburg (Village of the Year 2017), the Best Housing Development of the Decade (ProEstate Awards 2016) and the Best Architectural Concept (2013). The constructor of the area is the company Rossa Rakenne, the exclusive distributor of Honka in Russia.

    In 1995, Finland-based company Honkarakenne, founded in 1958, was the first western producer of log homes to launch operations in Russia. Russia remains the largest export market for Honkarakenne to this date, and its share of the company’s net revenue in 2016 was 28 per cent.

    “Honkarakenne has been working to promote better housing for nearly sixty years. We want to prove that a high-quality log home constructed from Finnish wood with the use of modern technology is a great choice for many different purposes and environments. We are glad to have maintained a good, long-term partnership with Rossa Rakenne for already two decades,” says Maria Turenkova, Sales Director for Honkarakenne’s Russian operations.

    Honkarakenne’s distributor Rossa Rakenne Spb. offers its customers a wide range of services from architectural design to interior design, construction and yard construction. The company specialises in large-scale projects such as the development of residential areas, restaurants and hotels.

    “Our customers appreciate healthy and natural housing in a naturally beautiful environment. Our goal is to set the trend for high-quality, ecologically sustainable construction that takes natural values into account. In addition, we want to promote the sense of community in the areas by, for example, including playgrounds and sports facilities in the residential areas,” says Alexander Tsarev, Chairman of the Board of Rossa Rakenne.
    (Honkarakenne Oyj)
    30.10.2017   Maria Baldin – new Director of Communications and Sustainability at Södra Group    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Maria Baldin (photo) has been appointed the new Director of Communications and Sustainability at Södra. She will assume her position on 1 January 2018 and will be a member of Group Senior Management, reporting to President and CEO Lars Idermark.

    Maria Baldin is 50 years old and most recently served as the Head of Communications and Sustainability Officer at Siemens Sweden. She has previously worked at Bewator, Comex Electronics and Bennett BTI Nordic. Maria has extensive and broad experience with a clear business focus. The company’s intention with the recruitment of Maria is to group together communication and sustainability under a single management function, and thereby further intensify focus on Södra’s strategy. Maria will assume her new position on 1 January 2018.

    “Maria Baldin has an industrial background with strong skills in communication and sustainability and a commercial focus. This will benefit Södra’s continued efforts to strengthen our competitiveness, growth and long-term profitability,” said Lars Idermark, President and CEO.

    “I am looking forward to working for Södra and my choice was guided by the sense of Södra as a stable company with strong values and a well-defined sustainability profile, underpinned by a high level of expertise. Clear targets, strategies and plans are in place that outline how Södra will show the way in communication and sustainability,” said Maria Baldin,

    Roine Morin, who has served as a highly competent Sustainability Director for many years, will gradually reduce his work load in 2018 and subsequently retire.

    “I would like to express my thanks to Roine for his fantastic work in advancing Södra’s environmental and sustainability agenda to the leading position that it now has,” said Lars Idermark, President and CEO.
    (Södra Timber AB)
    27.10.2017   Weinig Group makes major investment in Holz-Her production facility    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The symbolic groundbreaking ceremony on the Holz-Her production facility in Voitsberg, Austria, signaled the start of an ambitious forward-looking project. The 22,000 m2 site of the specialist in machines and systems for panel processing is being developed with a 1,000 m2 extension specifically designed for the planned new CNC milling machine for framework processing.

    Picture: Positive growth in the Weinig Group: Supervisory Board, Management Board and Holz-Her executives at the groundbreaking ceremony for the forward-looking, multi-million-euro project.

    The project was approved by Weinig's Supervisory Board as part of a series of planned investments. “Our decision is a deliberate response to the growing importance and huge potential of the Business Unit Panel Processing,” says Chairman of the Supervisory Board Thomas Bach. Holz-Her has been part of the Weinig Group since 2010. The innovative company can look back on an extremely successful last few years. Turnover has risen by 20 percent over the last two years alone. Just recently, Holz-Her attracted massive attention at the world's leading trade fair LIGNA with its Nextec technology for furniture production. As a result of the strong growth, production capacity in Voitsberg has already doubled over the last two years.

    The investment of 4.5 million euros is part of a group-wide investment package of more than 15 million euros and will secure the future, long-term growth of the company. To reflect the significance of the project for the future of the company, the groundbreaking ceremony was attended by both Weinig's Supervisory Board, led by Chairman Thomas Bach, and Weinig’s Management Board, represented by CEO Wolfgang Pöschl, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Gregor Baumbusch and Chief Financial Officer Gerald Schmidt. Together with Holz-Her Managing Director Frank Epple and the Managing Director of the Voitsberg production facility Harald Steiner, the start of the construction project was marked with a small ceremony attended by all personnel.

    The investment will also have a positive impact on the employment situation at the Holz-Her production site. Currently, 300 personnel are employed in Austria. Thanks to the further expansion of sales activities, the extension of the product portfolio with regard to CNC processing centers, the development of the saw/storage combination segment, the further evolution of edge banders for industrial applications and the extension of the factory, Frank Epple anticipates further requirements for qualified personnel. “Holz-Her, like the entire Weinig Group, is on a strong trajectory,” says Wolfgang Pöschl. Group orders to the end of April showed 17% growth while revenues rose by as much as 21%. The Weinig Group is very confident of achieving the order inflow of 471 million euros targeted for 2017. Owing to the excellent business growth, the group’s global personnel will increase to more than 2,100 in 2017.
    (Michael Weinig Aktiengesellschaft)
    26.10.2017   Rougier: Positive results for the first half of 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    First half business:
    The Rougier Group’s revenues for the first half of 2017 came to €76.0 million, down 3% year-on-year.

    The Rougier Afrique International branch generated €61.1 million of revenues, down 4% from the first half of 2016. This change primarily reflects volatile demand on several international markets and shipping delays at Douala Port in Cameroon. More specifically, these elements have had an adverse impact on operating margins in Cameroon and Congo, while EBIT in Gabon has continued to pick up, benefiting from the good level of forest production, the improvements in sawmill productivity and the launch of the contract with GSEZ (Gabon Special Economic Zone) for log supplies.

    Revenues for the France Import-Distribution branch are up 6% from the previous year to €17.7 million. This branch is confirming its turnaround, which was already underway in 2016, with significant progress and positive results.

    Consolidated accounts
    Earnings are higher than for the first half of 2016 despite the contraction in revenues. Income from ordinary operations broke even, up €0.4 million from last year. EBIT improved to €2.7 million, compared with a €(0.6) million loss for the first half of 2016. More specifically, this factors in the capital gain recorded by the holding company during the first half of 2017 on the sale of an investment property in France for €3.3 million.

    After taking into account the cost of net debt, down to €(1.5) million, and a tax expense offset by a deferred tax effect, total net income is positive, climbing to €0.6 million, compared with a €(3.4) million loss for the first half of 2016. On a Group share basis, net income comes out at €1.5 million. Consolidated shareholders’ equity at 30 June 2017 is up to €52.4 million, compared with €51.8 million at 31 December 2016. Net financial debt is down to €51.9 million at 30 June 2017, versus €56.1 million at 31 December 2016.

    The Group is focusing its actions in Africa on improving its industrial and logistics performances, as well as creating value through its more profitable timber species. In the second half of the year, the release of the first €5 million tranche from the €15 million loan set up with Proparco will enable Rougier to start up operations in the Central African Republic in the fourth quarter and give it the means to ensure its development in the Congo Basin.
    (Rougier International)
    25.10.2017   Setra initiates process of selling Setra Rolfs in Kalix    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Setra has set in motion the sale of its operation in Rolfs (photo), Kalix. The mill has around 60 employees and produces sawn wood products such as construction timber, cladding and a range of other building products.

    Hannele Arvonen, Setra’s President and CEO, comments:
    “We are focusing on increasing the synergies within the Group as a means of improving our long-term competitiveness. The level of integration between Setra Rolfs and Setra’s other production units is low when it comes to raw material supply and marketing concepts, and it therefore makes sense for us to explore other ownership structures for the unit.”

    Setra has previously sold units that did not directly link up with or support its core business.

    “It is a case of making choices and setting priorities. We have a strong financial position and have created a platform for developing Setra and taking the next step. This move is entirely in line with Setra’s overall strategy of optimising our resources, such as raw material and production capacity, and exploiting market opportunities as best we can in order to meet customers’ needs and wishes,” says Hannele Arvonen.

    Demand for sawn wood products remains very good in Sweden, the rest of Scandinavia and the world. Setra recently took on 19 new employees at its sawmill in Malå.

    “We have increased production of sawn wood products in Malå from 170,000 m3 per year to around 215,000 m3 per year. The planing mill has been refitted and updated to handle the higher production volume of interior products, including high-quality flooring and cladding. We also recently acquired a unit next to the mill that is ideal for our finishing work. With these measures in place, we have secured a better future for both established and new customers as regards volumes, product development and service,” states Hannele Arvonen.

    Setra’s mill in Rolfs, Kalix – one of the Group’s ten production units – manufactures sawn wood products such as construction timber, cladding and a range of other building products. The production volume amounted to 73,000 m3 in 2016. The mill has around 60 employees, the majority of which work in production, alongside their colleagues in administration, finance and marketing. The main markets for the products are Scandinavia and Europe.
    (Setra Group)
    24.10.2017   Chinese customer decided to buy proven Siempelkamp technology    ( Company news )

    Company news
    SciSky ordered a particleboard plant

    The significance of Siempelkamp’s expertise in the wood-based materials industry was again affirmed by a new order from Asia. The Chinese company Nanning Shuixin Ketien (SciSky) ordered a particleboard line to become established in a new area of wood-based materials.

    Signing of the contract in China: Wang, Dong Tao (General Manager Nanning Shuixin Ketien) with Andreas Krott (Siempelkamp)

    The order for the particleboard plant includes the forming and press line with a 9th generation 8’ x 30.5m ContiRoll® press. The machinery is driven by the innovative drive concept ContiRoll Ecodrive, the new standard drive for the ContiRoll®. Its key performance indicators and energy efficiency are convincing: The system provides plant operators with energy savings of at least 7 % under full load operation and up to 14 % under partial load operation. The scope of supply for this order also includes a cooling and stacking line as well as a storage system. The system will be especially suited for the processing of formaldehyde-free resins – for SciSky a special advantage because of the company’s commitment to non-toxic living environments.

    SciSky, which is headquartered in Lanzhou in the north-west Chinese province of Gānsù, is a global supplier of home decorations and furniture. The Chinese company is also established as producer of water-based coatings and paints as well as other water-based agents for interior construction. From now on SciSky will conquer new markets in the wood-based materials industry with the first plant at the Wuming location in the province of Guangxi. This plant will manufacture wood-based panels as well as furniture. Because Siempelkamp enjoys a high reputation as a quality supplier for modern wood-based panel production plants in China, SciSky chose the Krefeld-based company as the partner to implement its ambitious objectives.

    The expertise of the Siempelkamp subsidiaries Pallmann Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG in Zweibrücken, Germany, and CMC Texpan in Colzate, Italy, were also in demand for this order: The size reduction specialist Pallmann contributes five knife ring flakers, two surface layer mills, and one sanding robot. CMC Texpan and its expertise in front-end technology is also represented. The company will supply screening machines for dry chips, two sifters for surface and core layers, and the resin blending system. In this way Siempelkamp is presented as a strong partner in large-scale plant construction which provides all products and services from one source within its own Group.

    The installation of the plant is scheduled for May 2018, the startup for October 2018.
    (Siempelkamp Maschinen- und Anlagenbau GmbH)
    23.10.2017   binderholz Group acquires Klenk Holz AG from The Carlyle Group    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The Austrian binderholz Group, which has its headquarters in Fügen, has reached a binding agreement with The Carlyle Group to acquire the German sawmill and timber processing company Klenk Holz AG based in Oberrot. The purchase agreement was signed recently, as announced by both companies. The transaction is expected to be concluded at the start of November 2017, a conclusion dependent on the agreement of the competition authorities. Further details are not currently being disclosed.

    This step represents a milestone for the binderholz Group. Both companies’ sites and products are a perfect fit for each other. It is envisaged that the 3 Klenk sites will be expanded, with investment planned in the near future. Klenk Holz has an outstanding reputation in the market and the Klenk Holz brand will be retained. The purchase ensures the constantly growing demand for lumber for the binderholz Group’s finishing and processing sites. TTW Waldpflege, a forestry maintenance company, guarantees the reliable basic supply to the central European sawmills.

    With this acquisition, the binderholz Group is now one of the largest producers of lumber in Europe. In 2017 alone, over 5 million cubic metres of logs will be cut in the Group’s 7 sawmills in Austria, Germany and Finland. Over 2 million cubic metres of solid wood products are produced from the 3 million cubic metres of lumber.

    Reinhard Binder (photo), CEO of binderholz, explains the strategic rationale as follows: “Klenk Holz is a perfect fit for the binderholz Group. Thus strengthened, we will continue our successful journey as an integrated producer of solid wood and supplier to the DIY sector together with the management of Klenk Holz. We will continue to evolve our successful business model jointly with Klenk Holz’s dedicated employees.”

    Klenk Holz, which has its headquarters in Oberrot in Germany, currently employs around 1,000 people at three sites in Germany, with a turnover of approx. € 400 million. It produces lumber, solid wood panels, softwood lumber, multi-purpose panels, garden wood, solid construction timber, moulded pallet blocks, moulded wood pallets and waste timber. This product range is sold through builders merchants, retail, wood processing industries and the packaging industry, among others. Klenk Holz exports approx. 30% of its products and annually cuts approx. 2 million cubic metres.

    Ian Jackson, Managing Director and Co-Head of CSP explains: “Klenk Holz is one of the leading sawmill and wood processing companies in Europe. We have once again demonstrated our expertise in turnaround processes with our investment in Klenk Holz. We would like to thank Dr. Markus Adams and his management team for their successful cooperation. Together we have significantly increased productivity and growth at Klenk Holz and thus set the company up in an excellent position for continued growth under its new owner binderholz.”
    (Binderholz GmbH)
    20.10.2017   UPM Plywood starts using a new sustainable WISA BioBond gluing technology    ( Company news )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Photo: Juha Inberg and Teemu Raitis

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

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

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

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

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

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