CFI launches industry webinar series

CFI launches industry webinar series

Canadian Forest Industries launches its 2015 industry webinar series.

WEBINAR: Ten Steps Toward Successful Drying

WEBINAR: Ten Steps Toward Successful Drying

Is lumber drying your operation's Achilles heel? Join our webinar, "Ten Steps Toward Successful Drying"

Forestry drives B.C. economy

Forestry drives B.C. economy

An economic impact report by international consulting firm MNP shows the continuing importance of the forest industry to the province of B.C.

Moisture management

Moisture management

HMI Hardwood has improved its process efficiency, maximized output and, most important of all, optimized profits.

Back in production

Back in production

On August 5th, the sawmill in Ear Falls was restarted, once again producing lumber for the U.S. and Canadian housing market.

In the forest with Island Timberlands...
CFI Editor Amie Silverwood goes into the forest near Nanaimo, B.C. with Island Timberlands.
Adapting to an evolving wood diet...
CFI Editor Amie Silverwood discusses how Ilnicki Bros is adapting to a changing wood diet in the forests near Williams Lake, B.C.
New technology for dust suppression...
Jordan Newton of SonicAire discusses new technologies available for dust suppression in the Canadian forest industry.
Safety and efficiency with Murray Latta...
Conor McElveen discusses the renewed commitment to safety and efficiency that can be seen in the latest product releases Murray LattaProgressive Machine Inc.


Komatsu PC390LC-11 Komatsu launches the PC390LC-11 excavator

Feb. 18, 2015 — Komatsu America Corp. introduced the PC390LC-11 hydraulic excavator. Featuring a net horsepower of 257 hp. (192 kW), the PC390LC-11 is powered by a Komatsu SAA6D114E-6 engine, which is EPA Tier 4 Final emissions certified. Komatsu’s Tier 4 Final engines are built on the solid foundation that started in 1996 with the introduction of Komatsu’s first Tier 1 engine. The culmination is today’s Tier 4 Final engine that is productive, dependable and efficient. This new excavator leverages Komatsu’s leadership in technology and innovation by delivering an environmentally friendly engine that provides high levels of performance while reducing operating costs and improving fuel efficiency. With an operating weight between 87,388 lbs. (39,638 kg) and 89,248 lbs. (40,579 kg), the PC390LC-11 has upgraded cab features and an enhanced power mode for greater productivity and lower cost per ton. In addition to improved productivity and upgraded cab features, the PC390LC-11 maintains the same lifting performance and stability of the previous model. The PC390LC-11 continues to feature one size class larger PC450 class heavy-duty undercarriage components to maintain the same high lift capacity and lateral stability as the former model. The larger undercarriage has a 6% wider track gauge and offers up to 18% greater over-the-side lift capacity than the PC360LC-11. The excavator is equipped with the latest KOMTRAX technology, which relays data such as fuel levels, Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) levels, operating hours, location, cautions and maintenance alerts. A new Operator Identification System reports key operating information for multiple operators, and the new Auto Idle Shutdown function helps reduce idle time as well as operating costs. Komatsu’s Tier 4 Interim foundation integrates a Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) system using DEF to meet EPA Tier 4 Final emission regulations for NOx emissions. The engine uses an advanced electronic control system to manage the air-flow rate, fuel injection, combustion parameters, and after treatment functions to optimize performance, reduce emissions, and provide advanced diagnostic capability. Komatsu continues to use its Komatsu Variable Geometry Turbocharger (KVGT) and an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve for precise temperature and air management control as well as longer component life. All major components on the new PC390LC-11 including the engine, hydraulic pumps, motors, and valves are exclusively designed and produced by Komatsu. This integrated design uses an efficient closed center load sensing hydraulic system and features a new enhanced power mode for improved performance and reduced cycle times. The PC390LC-11 cab provides a comfortable and quiet work environment. The ISO 12117-2 ROPS certified cab, specifically designed for hydraulic excavators, gains strength from a reinforced box structure framework. The cab is mounted on viscous isolation dampers that provide low vibration levels. A standard heated air suspension high back seat with new fully adjustable armrests provides improved comfort. In addition to the standard AM/FM stereo radio, a remote located auxiliary input for connecting external devices is provided to play music through the cab speakers. Additionally there are two 12-volt power ports incorporated into the cab, and optional joysticks are available with proportional controls for attachment operation. For global support, the high-resolution 7” LCD color monitor features enhanced capabilities and displays information in 33 languages. The operator can easily select up to six working modes to match machine performance to the application. The monitor panel provides information on DEF fluid level, Eco guidance, operational records, fuel consumption history, and utilization information. A new display interface combines vehicle information with a wide landscape view from the standard rearview camera so the operator can easily view the working area directly behind the machine. The PC390LC-11 has handrails on both sides of the upper structure for easy accessibility and service access. A large 10.3-gallon (39 litre) refill capacity DEF tank is located in a lockable compartment directly behind the right side toolbox, and is sized to provide a 2:1 diesel to DEF refill ratio. Side-by-side radiator and hydraulic oil coolers make it easy to maintain and service the machine. The new excavator is equipped with the exclusive Komatsu EMMS (Equipment Management Monitoring System), which has enhanced diagnostic features to give the operator and technicians greater monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities for preventative maintenance, minimizing diagnostic and repair time. All Komatsu Tier 4 Final construction machines come with Komatsu CARE. Komatsu CARE provides scheduled factory maintenance for the first 2,000 hours or three years, and includes a 50-point inspection at each service, as well as two complimentary KDPF exchanges in the first five years.

Logging for export

Feb. 18, 2015 - Shortly after Brian Frank launched the debate about log blocking, Canadian Forest Industries took a trip to Vancouver Island to see how one of the largest Canadian log exporters is handling the export restrictions. Island Timberlands exports its logs with the majority going to Asia. CFI was curious to see how the company is able to reconcile costs if the export rules are written to restrict logs from leaving Canada. Island Timberlands has 256,000 hectares of forestland divided into four geographic zones. Canadian Forest Industries visited the zone in the Northwest Bay operation not far from Nanaimo. In early May, the crew was processing second growth trees in a region comprised of 80 per cent Douglas fir and 20 per cent hemlock and cedar on the low elevation of the region. Snow was only starting to melt at higher elevations, but the crew expected to move into the mountains later that month or in early June. In the low-elevation second-growth forest, the Douglas fir was around 60 years old. “What’s unique about Vancouver Island compared to Washington, is because the soil here is draining well, the trees are growing more slowly,” director of marketing and distribution for Island Timberlands, Alain Deggan, says. “They’re a bit more stressed and so they’re growing up faster than they’re growing out. As a result, the grain is tighter. Down in Washington, they’re harvesting 30-40 year-old trees that are bigger in diameter than our 60 year-old trees,” he says. Vancouver Island Douglas fir second growth forests don’t produce as much yield per hectar on an annual basis as the forests in Washington State. But the timber is of a higher quality; it makes excellent peeler logs for the Japanese market because there are fewer knots and finer grain making ideal face and back qualities in the finished panels. The forest on the Northwest Bay side of the island benefited from a clearcut that was done in the 1950s. The species traditionally regenerates after huge forest fires that would clear swaths of forests of competing species while dropping seeds that would eventually start to grow. Douglas fir and alder would grow from the cleared site – alder fixing nitrogen into the soil and then dying off 50 years later- leaving the fir with the freedom to grow without competition. But, Island Timberlands will generally replant after harvesting, in order to give the forest a speedier recovery. Deggan recalls the call of the west coast that lures adventure-seekers from all walks of life to take on the elements while planting trees. He succumbed to the call himself in his younger years. “It was great because you could go planting before you went logging in the spring.  In tree planting camps, you’ve got a diverse group of people from different walks of life coming together for seasonal work. So when you were out in a remote location, it was just great being in that community,” Deggan says. But for many of the people who yield a pioneering spirit, the reality of life in the mountains, and the insects, kill the romance. “It’s a bit of a rough job,” Deggan admits. Safer than logging, but still hard work. Tree planters often get paid by the tree and those who are highly proficient do a good job and leave with good money. As a result of their hard work, the forest grows back more quickly. Harvesting the valueAt the jobsite, a Cat log loader is hoe-chucking full-length logs to the roadside where a processer sorts the pile. The falling was done by a contractor who works with a Tigercat in low elevations with less than a 40 per cent slope. But in the mountains, the company uses overhead cable systems. “In our older timber, it’s definitely a lot of hand falling still just like the old days. And still a lot of cable yarding,” Deggan says. “Grapple yarding is predominately what we use these days because it’s the only way to access timber on a steep hillside other than using a helicopter, and it’s a bit expensive.” Once the logs are piled near the roadside, a machine operator in a Cat D228 with a Waratah head, picks up the logs one-by-one, determining the best cuts to make based on a sheet of log values. Judging the potential value that can be extracted in each log, the operator will check for bumps or grooves that will make the section unfit as a peeler log. “Often the butt cut is the premium log because there’s obviously less branches near the base and as you get higher it gets more knotted so he’s making that the secondary log,” Deggan explains, as the operator sorts through logs that are 30 cm and bigger. The most high-valued log for Island Timberlands in the second-growth is a Douglas fir log and it would be cut to one of three lengths for the end-user in Japan. Once the premium log has been cut to size, the rest of the log will be cut to 12 metres for the Chinese or the U.S. market. Logs are then loaded onto a truck and sent to port. The company’s biggest export customer is Japan - a country whose people do most of their own shipping - so the logs are primarily sold FOB. Logs bound for China or Korea are chartered by Island Timberlands and the ones bound for the U.S. are towed to the border. Canadian sales are delivered to the mills or by FOB on the Fraser River. If one looks at costs on the coast, in general, “Second-growth is about $60/m3, old-growth is about $90/m3 FOB, and then you’ve got stumpage,” Deggan says. A Western Red Cedar gang log between eight to 12 inches would fetch around $160/m3 domestically and on the international market. A Douglas fir log destined for the Japanese peeler market would be worth about $140/m3. The lowest valued log on the international market would be one bound for China and would have a $85/m3 price tag. Domestically, however, these logs would be priced between $60 and $90/m3. Typically this represents a +$30m3 spread between domestic and International prices. “When we lose sight and we don’t put a value against the asset, you get unintended consequences. The cost of coastal harvesting in British Columbia is high and margins tight,” Deggan says. “Without access to international markets much of the timber is uneconomical. This is reflected in low stumpage paid to the government for Crown timber, which represents the bulk of the coastal harvest.” “The cost of administration may be higher than the revenue generated in a given year. While there are social benefits to be gained, the distortion from low cost timber and not getting all the value erodes much or all of those gains,” Deggan says, turning to a pile of premium logs. “And is there a more beautiful product in the world?” Making it workFor Deggan, the way to extract the most value from a stand of trees is through measured processes. Before an area is harvested, a quality control supervisor goes in to “put a prescription on that area” with a value matrix that determines the most valuable potential products in the stand. “Make as much of that as possible and then cascade all the way down sending it to the relative customers. So from a value perspective, I think we do a good job of targeting the best potential market at any given time,” Deggan says. Island Timberlands has an extensive market network, providing it some flexibility to manoeuvre as demand changes. “We’ll shift back and forth depending on market demand, currency, distribution costs and such,” Deggan says. “So it’s about the process: we’re trying to keep our costs as low as possible and get as much value as possible. It’s really a tree to a customer approach.” And yet, if there’s one thing that gives Island Timberlands an advantage over other coastal logging companies, it’s the company’s dry land dock – the only land loading facility of its kind in B.C. Logs go into the port by truck or barge, get decked, piled, dewatered (if it came by barge) and then advertised for a month. Over this month, domestic mills have the opportunity to block the export so that the logs must remain availabe to the local market. If it does not get blocked by a domestic mill, it is put on a ship bound (most likely) for Asia. “Not only is it cheaper to load logs from land than from water but also you get more on your ship,” Deggan explains, “because you can handle the wood in more accurate ways, more length sorts, really stow that ship properly.” Deggan also points out the benefit of keeping moisture content low. “You put wood in the water and it gets heavy. Sometimes, you’ve got as much as a 20 per cent spread in the weight of wood,” he says. The dock is a busy one with between 14 and 21 people on the land crew. When the water crew shows up, that number can swell as high as 60 people. “This sustains a lot of jobs,” Deggan says. “Right now, there’s 74,000 m3 of inventory.” Crew members measure the logs, trim them and operate a debarker that runs two shifts a day to remove the bark from the logs. The debarked logs fetch a premium depending on the port - most logs bound for China require debarking. The key to competing in any regulatory environment is to take any opportunity available to get more value for each log. Whether it’s finding the right market, keeping the freight costs low or debarking, Island Timberlands competes by unlocking the top value of a valuable commodity.  


Autolog turns scanning on an angle

Feb. 26, 2015 – Autolog has developed a scanning optimization system that provides extensive benefits by scanning boards at a 45-degree angle. The research and development group at Autolog came up with the idea to slant the scanner heads to try to help improve the boards and cants geometry. The experiment provided immediate positive results. Scanning the boards at an angle allowed for an improved edge detection and width accuracy, high density / faster scanner sensors combined with slanted features allowed for the detection of splits and shake, holes and torn grain. The R&D group worked for several months on extensive software algorithms that were necessary to achieve such positive results. The slanted heads do not retain dust and debris, so cleaning protocol is reduced to almost nothing. As an additional benefit, the air cleaning system is no longer necessary, thus reducing system and maintenance cost. Autolog supplies its transverse optimizer system on Windows 7. Multi-processors architecture, multi-threading applications and SQL database are all standard items within the optimizer systems.

LMI introduces the Gocator 2880

Feb. 19, 2014 – LMI Technologies (LMI) announced the official release of the Gocator 2880 Profile Sensor and an update to Gocator’s Firmware. Designed for scanning large objects with complex shapes, the 2880 is a highly networkable sensor that provides high speed data acquisition on large surface areas with irregular features and textures. The IP67 rated industrial housing also has a small footprint, making it a quality control solution for manufacturers in industries such as wood and packaging. “The G2880’s built-in dual cameras create complete scans over large fields of view and around protruding features, such as knots on logs, or occlusions around box sides and flaps,” says Chi Ho Ng, LMI’s Director of Product Management, “The sensor’s high speed data acquisition allows for full flexibility in optimizing scanning parameters to fit different manufacturing and processing requirements.” “The sensor’s large field of view and measurement range can accommodate a wide range of target sizes,” adds Len Chamberlain, LMI’s Director of Sales, “And like all Gocator sensors, the 2880 is highly flexible and easy to configure through its built-in web interface.” The upgrade to Gocator Firmware from version 4.0 to 4.1 improves process optimization with the addition of rich filtering for removing noise and outliers from sensor data; material selection for achieving the best possible data on targets with challenging material surfaces; a new Countersunk Hole Tool to measure center position, depth, outside diameter, bevel angle; and improved visualization for displacement sensors including range and intensity data.

Industry news

Logset Managing Director Tapio Ingervo Logset hires new Managing Director

Feb. 27, 2015 - KTM Tapio Ingervo has been appointed as the new Managing Director at Logset Oy. Ingervo has a solid background in international business of forest machines. At the moment he is working at Kesla Oyj as Marketing Director with responsibility for Kesla´s on-road products. He has previously had the position as Marketing Director at Mantsinen Oy and for a long period as Managing Director at Ponsse SAS in France. “We are very pleased to get such an expert of international trade of forest machines to lead the growth and development of Logset. Tapio Ingervo is well-known and appreciated and we believe that he will bring Logset to a higher level,” Chairman of the Board at Logset, Tapio Nikkanen says. “I am happy and proud to start leading the excellent team of Logset. The values are correct, and the company has developed fast during the last few years,” says new Managing Director Tapio Ingervo. “Since international business is close to my heart and has always been an important part of my career, it is a natural step to move on to Logset. Furthermore, the forest sector will be a stronger area in the future: the use of wood will change, diversify and will certainly grow. As an expert of harvesting technology, Logset will be a part of the development.”

Ainsworth reports mixed 2014 results

Feb. 27, 2015 – Lower OSB prices, a slower recovery of the U.S. housing market and higher overall unit costs contributed to weaker-than-expected fourth quarter and year end financial results for Ainsworth in 2014. Sales of $102.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 were $1.9 million lower than sales of $104.4 million for the same period in 2013. The decrease in sales was mainly due to a 4% decrease in realized pricing. Sales volumes increased by 2% due to the ongoing ramp up of High Level notwithstanding downtime taken during the fourth quarter. The impact of the U.S. benchmark declines on realized pricing was moderated by factors including the effect of a weaker Canadian dollar relative to the fourth quarter of 2013 combined with stable export pricing in Japan. Sales were $444.0 million in 2014 compared to $488.0 million in 2013. The $44.0 million decrease was primarily related to a 17% decrease in realized pricing, partially offset by a 9% increase in sales volumes. The impact of the U.S. benchmark declines on realized pricing was again moderated by factors including the effect of a weaker Canadian dollar relative to 2013 combined with stable export pricing in Japan. The increase in volume from High Level was partially offset by the downtime taken at the various mills to complete maintenance and other projects during the year. Ainsworth President and Chief Executive Officer, Jim Lake said, "North American OSB market conditions continued to drift throughout the year as the pace of demand growth did not materialize as expected. However, we remain optimistic that U.S. housing starts will return to more historical levels within the next several years, with various indicators pointing towards strong growth in 2015 versus 2014. "We maintained the strong performance we saw in 2013 in our key export market in Japan and also made progress in China as we began commercial shipments of our industrial core stock products. Additionally, we progressed in the ongoing ramp up of our High Level mill, including the completion of a number of strategic capital projects that will further position the mill to efficiently manufacture an enhanced range of products for North American and Asian customers." While the pace of improvement in U.S. housing starts in 2014 was more gradual than anticipated, Ainsworth expects that the U.S. housing recovery will gain further traction in 2015. The company remains optimistic that U.S. housing starts will return to more historical levels within the next several years. The restart of the High Level mill will allow them to meet the growing requirements of its existing customer base in North America and Asia as well as service new market segments. Ainsworth expects the merger with Norbord will allow the combined company to capitalize on the ongoing recovery in the U.S. housing market and growth opportunities in our traditional and emerging markets in Asia.

B.C. adopting new dust safety plan

Feb. 26, 2015 – Sawmill operators throughout B.C. have committed to the introduction of a new safety plan by WorkSafeBC that will include daily reporting mechanisms. According to a report from The Canadian Press, the new plan has been devised in response to an overhaul of inspection and investigation methods previously used by WorkSafeBC. The government appointed Gord Macatee to take on the responsibility of reviewing safety operations at B.C. sawmills. The result was 43 recommendations, several of which are already in practice. The new plan includes daily information tracking and weekly submissions to WorkSafeBC, which will also undertake more frequent inspections. There is currently a piece of legislation being debated in the B.C. legislature that would further address Macatee’s recommendations. For more on this story, CLICK HERE. To learn more about dust mitigation, be sure to check out our upcoming 3-part webinar series on the subject. CLICK HERE for more information or to register.

CFI launches dust mitigation webinar series

Get to the heart of this complex matter from your own desk or mill boardroom in these 1-hr webinars. Just register and click on the link at the allotted time, and for the price of a lunch you and your while staff can ensure you and your dust explosion mitigation procedures are up to snuff. We've partnered with John Bachynski, a dust explosion expert with EPM Consulting with 30 years field experience and a knack for putting things in operational terms, and an instructor who comes to us highly recommended from industry operations professionals who have taken his courses. Regardless of the size of your facility, learn what explosion and fire protection is required, when and how to do it to ensure your facility and staff are protected. Cost for each webinar is only $25, and you can enjoy it in your boardroom, office or lunchroom with as many colleagues or staff as you like. Wednesday, May 27 - Dust Explosion Mitigation I - Managing the risk Is your operation at risk? Are you confident in your risk assessment skill set, and how do you know if you are doing enough, or perhaps even too much, to manage your specific risk. Join John Bachynski, who has over 30 years experience managing dust explosion environments in a safe but cost-effective manner, as he walks you though the array of risks associated with wood or pellet processing in his unique hands-on manner. Register here! Tuesday June 23 - Dust Explosion Mitigation II - Managing the dust A whopping 51% of explosions happen in the dust collection system, and yet there are a range of myths and technical fallacies still making the rounds in Canada's wood products and pellet sector. Join John Bachynski as he walks us through the most cost-effective ways to manage dust for a variety of operations. Are you protected, are your systems safe, and have you covered the seven critical explosion areas in your mill? Register here! Wednesday July 22 - Dust Explosion Mitigation III - Managing the liability Do you fully understand your inspection and compliance requirements and liabilities? Recent events have shown what can go wrong, so don't be caught on the wrong side of this crucial issue. From dust collection to system maintenance, 30-year veteran John Bachynski walks you through the complexities from an operational perspective. Register here! John E. Bachynski, B.Sc. P.Eng., is President of EPM Consulting located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has over 30 years experience in the field of Mechanical Engineering, specializing in plant air quality, dust collection, transport, storage and dust explosion prevention. Since graduating from the Technical University of Nova Scotia (TUNS) (B.Eng., Mechanical) in 1980 he has worked continuously in the testing, design, installation and commissioning of industrial dust collection and explosion prevention systems. His project experience includes dust and fume collection systems, dilute and dense phase pneumatic conveying systems in the rubber, cement, coal, steel, grain, foundry, salt, machining, wood pellets, pulp, paper and wood handling facilities. He continues his growing client base in Canada, United States, Mexico and Europe specializing in upgrading plants to prevent dust explosions and also designing, commissioning and testing for new facilities. Mr. Bachynski has published articles on dust related topics for Bulk and Powder magazine, and has been a technical presenter for the dust related topics for Powder and Bulk, Dalhousie University, College of Continuing Education, NFPA International Technology Conference and private industry. He was nominated for a Canadian design award 1982, and received the Nova Scotia Award for Energy Conservation, Large Industry Sector, 1988 for the installation of a 40TPD wood dust burning boiler.

Wood Panels

Louisiana-Pacific reports 2014 losses

Feb. 13, 2015 - Louisiana-Pacific Corporation reported losses in the tens of millions for both its fourth quarter and year-end results for 2014. Total sales for the fourth quarter of $454 million, 5 percent lower than the year ago quarter. Total sales for the year were $1.9 billion, 7 percent lower than the previous year. Loss from continuing operations for the fourth quarter was $43 million ($0.30 per diluted share) and a loss of $73 million ($0.52 per diluted share) for the year. Non-GAAP adjusted loss from continuing operations was $32 million ($0.23 per diluted share) for the fourth quarter and a loss of $60 million ($0.42 per diluted share) for the year. Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations for the fourth quarter was negative $17 million compared to positive $24 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. For the year, EBITDA from continuing operations was $44 million compared to $330 million the previous year. Cash and cash equivalents were $533 million as of December 31, 2014. “The fourth quarter was a tough quarter for LP as OSB prices drifted downward, log outages affected our siding production and EWP sales slowed as dealers aggressively managed their inventories at year-end,” said Curt Stevens, CEO. “But, there are some positive signs that housing activity will improve including: increase in consumer confidence (lower energy prices); actions by the government to lower the cost and increase the availability of mortgages; lower mortgage rates; and a better outlook for jobs.” For the quarter ended December 31, 2014, LP reported net sales of $454 million, down from $480 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. For the fourth quarter, the company reported an operating loss of $49 million as compared to $22 million in 2013. For the fourth quarter of 2014, LP reported a loss from continuing operations of $43 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, compared to a loss of $19 million, or $0.14 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2013. Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2014 was negative $17 million compared to positive $24 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. For the year ended December 31, 2014, LP reported net sales of $1.9 billion compared to $2.1 billion in 2013. For the year ended 2014, the company reported an operating loss of $78 million compared to income of $203 million in 2013. For 2014, LP reported a loss from continuing operations of $73 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, compared to income of $177 million, or $1.23 per diluted share, for 2013. Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations for the year was $44 million compared to $330 million for 2013.

Louisiana-Pacific makes leadership changes

Feb. 13, 2015 - Louisiana-Pacific Corporation announced several internal changes to its executive management team. The organizational changes will be effective March 1, 2015. The changes effective March 1 include: Mike Sims will become senior vice president sales and marketing. He will replace Rick Olszewski, executive vice president of sales, marketing and South America, who is retiring from LP at the end of March. Frederick Price, president of LP South America, will report directly to Stevens. Brad Southern will become executive vice president OSB, replacing Jeff Wagner, who will retire from LP mid-year. In the interim, Wagner will be executive vice president Growth and Innovation, reporting directly to Stevens. Brian Luoma will serve as executive vice president Siding, replacing Southern in that position. Neil Sherman will become senior vice president, EWP, replacing Luoma in that position. CEO Curt Stevens said, “These changes provide opportunities for LP to benefit from the shared perspectives and best practices across businesses as we continue to develop our top leadership talent.” Stevens continued, “LP is very fortunate to have a strong bench of management talent; these team members represent decades of industry and LP experience. We were able to make these moves internally as a result of the talent pool within LP and our robust succession planning process. I look forward to continuing to work with these executives in their new roles to lead us into the future, as we benefit from an improving housing market and aggressively build our growth and innovation capabilities.” “I would also like to thank Rick Olszewski and Jeff Wagner for their important contributions to LP,” concluded Stevens. “Our sales and marketing organization has never been more customer focused, and our OSB business is strong, efficient, and the safest in the industry.” Sims has worked in building products in various sales and marketing capacities since 1984. Prior to joining LP, he served as area sales manager for Abitibi-Price Corporation and the director of marketing and vice president sales for ABTco Building Products. He has most recently held the position at LP of vice president OSB sales and marketing. Sims holds a B.A. from Western State Colorado University. Southern joined LP in 1999. He has led LP’s Siding business since 2005, and was previously vice president of specialty operations. Southern began his career with MacMillan Bloedel as a forester, where he held a variety of positions in forestry, strategic planning, finance, accounting and plant management. He has a B.S. in Forest Resources and a master’s in Forest Resources, both from the University of Georgia. Luoma has been with LP since 1987 and has headed the engineered wood products business since 2006. In his time with LP, Luoma has held a variety of positions, including director of forest resources, northern regional operations manager OSB, and more recently he served as vice president of procurement, supply management and logistics. He holds a B.S. in Forestry from Humboldt State University, and has completed the Executive Development Program at the University of Tennessee Center for Executive Education. Sherman joined LP in 1994. Most recently, he served as vice president of procurement, logistics and supply management. He previously was the project manager of LP’s successful ERP implementation and has held the director business development, and corporate real estate position for LP. Sherman holds a B.S. in Waste and Waste Water Management from Humboldt State University in Arcata, California.


UCS acquires White-Wood distributors

Feb. 24, 2015 – The UCS Forest Group of Companies (UCS) announced that they have reached an agreement to acquire the assets and ongoing business activities of the British Columbia business unit of White-Wood Distributors Ltd. UCS does business in Canada as Upper Canada Forest Products Ltd. “We are delighted with the opportunity to service the customers and support the suppliers that have been dealing with White-Wood throughout British Columbia,” stated Warren Spitz, President & CEO of UCS. “I would like to offer my thanks to Mark Yusishen for choosing us as White-Wood’s successor in this market. Our corporate strategy to grow in key markets continues across North America and we are very excited about this most recent opportunity.” “Our decision to complete this transaction with Upper Canada was based in part on our shared values and commitment to excellence in customer service’” commented Mark Yusishen, President & CEO of White-Wood. “We are confident that our valued customers in B.C. will continue to be well-served.” This is the third acquisition in the past 10 months for the UCS Forest Group, which recently acquired Reimer Hardwoods operations in Alberta and the Atlas Lumber Company in Los Angeles, California. Upper Canada Forest Products has serviced the British Columbia market for over 20 years and operates from an 80,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Burnaby and a second facility in Kelowna. In a timely manner, White-Wood’s operations will be integrated into Upper Canada’s facilities.

River Bend Wood Products shuts down

Feb. 19, 2015 – River Bend Wood Products, a hardwood flooring business based in Nova Scotia’s Antigonish County, is shutting down due to a lack of locally-sourced hardwood. According to an article from The Chronicle Herald, the struggles are not new in the region. River Bend may be the newest company to go out of business due to the hardwood shortage, but it certainly isn’t the first and is not likely to be the last. Groupe Savoie, which operates a hardwood sawmill in nearby Westville, could be next due to a lack of available logs. It was expected that the hardwood consumed at the Nova Scotia Power biomass boiler would be low-value hardwood, leaving the higher value stems to companies like Groupe Savoie. However, to this point, that has yet to materialize. For more on this story, CLICK HERE

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