Builders optimistic in the US

Builders optimistic in the US

The pace of housing construction stalled in June, with total housing starts falling 9.3 per cent for the month to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 893,000.

Counterfeit tools on the rise

Counterfeit tools on the rise

Low quality, high danger as more counterfeit chainsaws are available.

Leadership in a changing climate

Leadership in a changing climate

Professionals are required to use the best available science in making our decisions, and so we recognize that climate change is occurring.

Climate change requires action in BC

Climate change requires action in BC

"Climate change is occurring and it has fundamental impacts on British Columbia's communities and ecosystems."

Stella-Jones uses customized loaders

Stella-Jones uses customized loaders

When it came to choosing a replacement for their aging log-handling equipment, the two site managers, working 500 miles apart, came to the same conclusion.

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FPAC on innovation in forestry...
Catherine Cobden explains what is meant by innovation in forestry
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WorksafeBC cautions workers falling trees...
WorksafeBC cautions workers falling trees
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Edgewood optimized...
Edgewood optimized
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Forestry waste put to use...
Forestry waste put to use

Harvesting

Top lumberjack revealed

July 22, 2104, Toronto – Stirling Hart of Maple Ridge, B.C., won the Stihl Timbersports Canadian Championship taking place at the Honda Indy in Toronto. He edged out Marcel Dupuis of Memramcook, N.B. in second and J.P. Mercier from St-Etienne, Que., in third. "The competition at this level is amazing, so I'm just thrilled to take my first title," said Hart, who topped all competitors with 34 points. "As athletes we're separated by seconds in terms of how fast we can get though the wood. I was fortunate to put up consistently fast times in all six disciplines." As the Canadian Champion, Hart earned one of four spots to compete for Team Canada at this year's World Championship in Innsbruck, Austria, Nov. 14-15. Dupuis, Mercier and Mitch Hewitt of Scotch Creek, B.C. will join Hart on the team. Hewitt, the defending champion with four titles, slipped to fourth after suffering a disqualification in the final Hot Saw discipline. "Full credit to Stirling Hart, who is a rising star in our sport," said Team Canada coach Gerry Rizzo. "The best of the best come to compete in the STIHL Timbersports Series. We'll be sending a very strong Team Canada to compete at this year's World Championship." Results from Sunday's action: 1. Stirling Hart, Maple Ridge, B.C. 342. Marcel Dupuis, Memramcook, N.B. 313. JP Mercier, St-Etienne, Que. 314. Mitch Hewitt, Scotch Creek, B.C. 305. Cecil Starr, Sebright, Ont. 306. Donald Lambert, St-Gilles, Que. 227. Nick Russell, Port McNeil, B.C. 218. Karl Bischoff, Kamploops, B.C. 14 ABOUT STIHL TIMBERSPORTSThe STIHL Timbersports Series is established worldwide as the major league of lumberjack sports, with a massive global fan-base following competitive events live and on TV. The sport originated in Canada where lumberjacks held local competitions to determine the best of their profession. Over time these tests of strength and skill evolved to a professional level and in 1985 the first STIHL Timbersports Series Championships were held. In Canada, STIHL Timbersports has consistently grown from a niche sport in the lumberjack community to a National Tour with over 15 competitions from east to west.

Counterfeit tools on the rise

July 15, 2014 - Global counterfeit activity is growing in almost every industry and forestry tools are no exception. Illegal reproduction of chainsaws is a particular concern given the serious hazard it presents to consumer health and safety. Counterfeiters are not accountable to the same industry standards for process and product safety features as legitimate and authorized manufacturers. Modern chainsaws should be equipped with a kickback guard and chainsaw brake to reduce and avoid major injuries due to unexpected movements. The overall chainsaw design should also allow the stop control to be easily accessible so that the engine can be stopped quickly in an emergency. When manufactured illegally at inadequate facilities, counterfeit chainsaws are either poorly designed or they are missing these safety features entirely. This dangerous trend is a growing concern in the industry. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has estimated that about three to seven per cent of the total worldwide trade is represented by counterfeit products. In addition, if the current development rate remains unchanged, the Business Action to Stop Counterfeit and Piracy organization expects the number to grow significantly to 10-15 per cent by 2015. Since 2006, Husqvarna has sustained an anti-counterfeit program to protect the public from the dangers of poorly manufactured tools. By working with an international network of local sales organizations, distributors and dealers, Husqvarna aims to prevent counterfeit products from reaching consumers by combatting illegal reproductions. To keep these dangerous products out of consumers' hands, Husqvarna offers the following information to better understand how counterfeiters operate and how to avoid purchasing a fake chainsaw. Counterfeit manufacturing Counterfeit products are marketed and sold as genuine branded merchandise. Given that counterfeit activity is often managed by an established criminal network, these products are very likely manufactured in poor working conditions in countries where safety and labour regulations are either nonexistent or challenging to enforce. In the case of Husqvarna products, the majority of counterfeits are manufactured in China, and manufacturers often receive orders from an overseas buyer. These buyers will then pose as Husqvarna employees or dealers and distribute the counterfeit tools to consumers. Identifying counterfeits The quality of counterfeit chainsaws has improved over the years, making it sometimes hard to distinguish one from an authentic product. The point of sale, price, product appearance and origin are ways to tell the difference between counterfeit and genuine chainsaws: • Point of Sale: Genuine power tools are only sold through authorized channels such as dealers and retailers. Products sold by non-licensed channels, such as an unauthorized website, can easily lure people into mistakenly purchasing counterfeit products. • Price: In most cases, if the price of a product is substantially lower than regular price, it is likely a counterfeit chainsaw. • Product appearance: The look, quality and content of counterfeit packaging will not have the same professional finish as genuine products. Products are unlikely to have unique or up-to-date serial numbers and may have misspelled the brand name. The product colour may not be as vivid as the brand name and the product may feel lighter as cheaper parts and materials were used in the manufacturing process. • Origin: The product's origin may help you detect a counterfeit. The most counterfeited Husqvarna chainsaw models – the 365, 372XP and 395XP – are all made in Sweden. For these products, a "Made in China" statement is one indication that the product is counterfeit. Tips for purchasing chainsaws • Always buy from an authorized dealer and never from an ambulant seller – and remember to be cautious when shopping online. It is best to purchase the chainsaw in person when possible. • If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. • If you are feeling suspicious or unsure, contact the brand directly to verify the product before purchasing it. • If the product is promoted as new yet smells of petrol, it is likely to be counterfeit. If you have discovered that your new Husqvarna product is not genuine, Husqvarna may be able to assist you in your claim against the company or person that sold it. Contact your local dealer for more information or visit Husqvarna.ca. Michelle Sordi is the Director of Marketing for Husqvarna Canada. She leads brand and product marketing initiatives from the corporate head office located in Mississauga. For more information on counterfeit forestry tools visit Husqvarna.ca.

Sawmilling

InterSaw showcases solutions

July 15, 2014 - As the Canadian oil and gas industry continues to grow, recruiting and retaining filing room personnel in sawmills is getting increasingly difficult. Automation in the filing room is the solution to this industry problem. The most advanced filing room products, which include Vollmer automated grinding machinery and Kahny round saw tipping systems, can decrease the impact of exiting personnel. Machinery will allow sawmills to realize an increase in lumber quality, eliminate unscheduled saw changes and increase sawing precision due to the extreme accuracy of the machines. Cut Technologies will have a variety of solutions on display at InterSaw and experts on hand to discuss the challenges sawmill managers face in the saw filing room. To see all Cut Technologies product lines go to www.cuttech.com or visit booth #2138 at InterSaw 2014 in Montreal.

Asselin to lead kiln forum

July 14, 2014, Rogue River, OR – KilnDrying.org has welcomed Pierre Asselin to its panel of industry experts at Kilndrying.org's forum, where he will contribute to general forum topics and will launch a French language subsection of the forum as well. Pierre Asselin is a regular contributor to Canadian Forest Industries and woodbusiness.ca. Asselin graduated from Laval University in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in applied science, forest engineering, specializing in wood sciences technology. Since then, he has provided consultation and training to lumber mills in start-up, personnel training, quality control and product-specific development. Asselin has been part of European and Canadian efforts to identify and analyze vacuum drying technology and processes, and has done species-specific work related to processing and high-value appearance products like tamarack (See http://www.woodbusiness.ca/harvesting/for-the-love-of-larch). His 30 years of experience covers both general industry expertise, and targeted market segments in wood flooring and manufacturing. KilnDrying.org is also excited to have Asselin launch a French-language discussion board at KilnDrying.org. His deep knowledge of kiln drying and industry practices will bring greater depth to the expert panel at KilnDrying.org and expand the discussion to French-speaking industry professionals as well. KilnDrying.org offers a unique opportunity for kiln personnel and other industry experts to meet, to ask questions, and to share expert insights, along with a calendar of upcoming events and job opportunities for those in the kiln drying community. Experts on the forum add to the discussion from their wealth of knowledge and experience to provide insight, technical recommendations and the latest in kiln drying practices for professionals focused on drying wood, kiln optimization, grade recovery and other lumber drying-related topics. Asselin's expertise and leadership will be a welcome addition to the growing panel of industry experts at the KilnDrying.org forum. To learn more about this unique resource, and to welcome the forum's newest expert, Pierre Asselin, visit www.kilndrying.org and join the conversation.

Industry news

Canfor logistics challenges eased

July 24, 2014, Vancouver - Canfor Corporation reported net income attributable to shareholders of $54.3 million, or $0.39 per share, for the second quarter of 2014, compared to $45.5 million, or $0.33 per share, for the first quarter of 2014 and $110.3 million, or $0.77 per share, for the second quarter of 2013. For the six months ended June 30, 2014, the Company's shareholder net income was $99.8 million, or $0.72 per share, compared to shareholder net income of $172.2 million, or $1.21 per share, reported for the first half of 2013. The company reported operating income of $97.3 million for the second quarter of 2014, compared to operating income of $84.4 million for the first quarter of 2014. The positive variance largely reflected improved shipments across all segments in the current quarter resulting from improved railcar availability and resolution of the truckers' strike at the Vancouver port in the first quarter of 2014, mitigated somewhat by lower sales realizations in both the lumber and pulp and paper segments and maintenance outages at the Company's pulp and paper facilities. Reflecting the overhang of lumber inventories in British Columbia resulting from the transportation challenges experienced in the previous quarter, Western Spruce/Pine/Fir ("SPF") lumber prices saw a gradual decline through most of the second quarter of 2014. Towards the end of quarter, however, prices picked up in response to improved demand and as inventories reached more balanced levels. The U.S. housing market continued its recovery, albeit at a slower pace than anticipated as home construction activities continued to be hampered by a shortage of building lots and skilled construction workers across the country, as well as tight credit availability. U.S. housing starts averaged 980,000 units SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate), up 6% from the previous quarter. In Canada, lumber consumption was higher than the previous quarter, with Canadian housing starts up 11% from the first quarter of 2014, to 196,000 units SAAR. Offshore demand was steady, with higher shipments reflecting the improved transportation performance. The company's lumber sales realizations decreased moderately compared to the previous quarter, as a 9% decline in the average North American Western SPF 2x4 #2&Btr price (down US$32 per Mfbm to US$335 per Mfbm) was mitigated by less pronounced decreases on most wider dimension products as well as improved pricing on several other grades and more stable offshore prices. The latter largely reflected the nature of offshore pricing, much of which is negotiated monthly or quarterly in advance. Current quarter sales realizations also reflected the favourable impact of a higher percentage of prime products, in part reflecting the closure of the company's Quesnel Sawmill in the first quarter of 2014, and the unfavourable impact of a 1% stronger Canadian dollar compared to the US dollar. Overall sales realizations for Southern Yellow Pine ("SYP") products were up modestly compared to the previous quarter; while the benchmark SYP 2x4 #2 price was relatively unchanged, moderate increases were seen for several wider dimension products, which more than offset a decline in the 2x6 #2 price. Lumber shipments, at over 1.2 billion board feet, were up 33% from the previous quarter, reflecting the aforementioned improved railcar availability and increased offshore shipments. Lumber production, at just under 1.1 billion board feet, was down 2% from the first quarter of 2014, largely as a result of the closure of the Company's Quesnel Sawmill and the sale of the Company's Daaquam Sawmill in the previous quarter. Excluding the impact of the Quesnel and Daaquam Sawmills, the Company's lumber production was up 6% from the previous quarter, principally due to improved productivity following completion of several major capital projects as well as improved weather. Production in the current quarter was impacted by capital related downtime and continued ramp-ups at several sawmills following major capital upgrades in previous quarters. Lumber unit manufacturing costs were down slightly from the previous quarter, driven in part by the continued productivity improvements as well as other seasonal factors. Log costs remained relatively stable, mainly due to seasonally lower logging activity in the current quarter, ahead of an anticipated increase in log costs in the third quarter of 2014. Global softwood pulp markets were steady through the second quarter of 2014. Softwood pulp demand was solid across all regions and global softwood pulp producer inventory levels tightened through the quarter, decreasing 3 days from the end of March 2014 to 25 days' supply in June 2014, partly reflecting supply constraints due to seasonal maintenance downtime. The North American NBSK pulp list price was stable over the quarter averaging US$1,030 per tonne, up US$13 per tonne, or 1%, compared to the first quarter of 2014. Discount levels were consistent with the previous quarter. The NBSK pulp list price to Europe also remained largely unchanged, averaging US$925 per tonne, up US$5 per tonne from the previous quarter, while the average NBSK pulp list price to China was down US$27 per tonne, or 4%, to US$730 per tonne. Despite the average NBSK pulp prices to North America and Europe increasing slightly compared to the previous quarter, the combination of the weaker prices to China, the 1% stronger Canadian dollar and a higher proportion of shipments to lower-margin markets, including Asia (mostly tied to constraints in the previous quarter due to the Vancouver Port truckers' strike), resulted in a small decrease in pulp unit sales realizations. Pulp shipments were up 23% from the previous quarter, largely attributable to improved transportation performance following the challenges experienced in the prior quarter. Pulp production levels were down 7% from the previous quarter principally related to the maintenance outages at the Intercontinental and Prince George Pulp Mills, which reduced market pulp production by 18,000 tonnes. Pulp unit manufacturing costs were up moderately compared to the previous quarter, mostly due to the aforementioned maintenance outages and increased fibre costs, partially offset by seasonally lower energy costs. The higher unit fibre costs reflected higher delivered sawmill residual and whole log chip costs and seasonal factors. Commenting on the second quarter performance, Canfor's President and Chief Executive Officer, Don Kayne, said, "After the various logistical challenges experienced in the first quarter, we were pleased to see the transportation pressures across our lumber and pulp businesses ease somewhat in some regions in the second quarter. We continue to make good headway with our capital upgrades at our lumber business and anticipate a steady increase in production over the balance of the year and into 2015." Looking ahead, North American lumber consumption is forecast to improve with steady demand in the residential construction market and continued strength from the repair and remodeling sector. The build of lumber inventories from the shortage of railcars in the first quarter of 2014 is projected to be cleared before the end of the third quarter. Offshore shipments are forecast to remain stable reflecting steady demand from China and other emerging markets, while shipments to Japan are projected to ease and prices soften from lower lumber demand. NBSK pulp markets are steady heading into the seasonally slower third quarter of 2014. A risk of pulp price weakness remains for the second half of 2014 due in part to reduced global consumption during the historically slower summer months and new hardwood pulp capacity projected to flow into markets.

Builders optimistic in the US

July 24, 2014 - The pace of housing construction stalled in June, according to the US Census Bureau, with total housing starts falling 9.3 per cent for the month to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 893,000.  The decline was primarily in the South where local labour and lots shortages were slowing construction activity. Nationwide, the May count of unfilled construction jobs is the third highest since the end of the Great Recession. Builder sentiment, however, points to more positive conditions in the near term, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), which rose four points in July. At a current reading of 53, it's the first time since January that builder condfidence passed the key break-even level of 50. Builder sentiment is up in all four regions of the U.S. and in all components, including current sales, future sales and traffic.

Canfor Pulp has solid quarter

July 24, 2014, Vancouver - Canfor Pulp Products reported net income of $18.8 million, or $0.27 per share, for the second quarter of 2014, compared to $25.7 million, or $0.36 per share, for the first quarter of 2014 and $7.6 million, or $0.11 per share, for the second quarter of 2013. For the six months ended June 30, 2014, the company's net income was $44.5 million, or $0.63 per share, compared to $18.5 million, or $0.26 per share, for the six months ended June 30, 2013. After adjusting for items affecting comparability with the prior periods, the company's adjusted net income for the second quarter of 2014 was $18.4 million, or $0.26 per share, compared to an adjusted net income of $26.7 million, or $0.37 per share, for the first quarter of 2014. CPPI's adjusted net income for the second quarter of 2013 was $15.4 million, or $0.22 per share. The company reported operating income of $29.6 million for the second quarter of 2014, a decrease of $6.8 million from operating income of $36.4 million for the first quarter of 2014, as the impact of pulp and paper maintenance outages and higher fibre costs more than offset higher pulp and paper shipments. In addition, despite slight increases in the average Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft ("NBSK") pulp prices to North America and Europe, pulp unit sales realizations experienced a small decrease compared to the previous quarter due to a combination of weaker prices to China, a slightly stronger Canadian dollar and a higher proportion of shipments to lower-margin markets, including Asia, mostly tied to constraints in the previous quarter due to the Vancouver Port truckers' strike. Global softwood pulp markets were steady through the second quarter of 2014. Softwood pulp demand was solid across all regions and global softwood pulp producer inventory levels tightened through the quarter, decreasing 3 days from the end of March 2014 to 25 days' supply in June 2014, partly reflecting supply constraints due to seasonal maintenance downtime (market conditions are generally considered balanced when inventories are in the 27-30 days of supply range). The North American NBSK pulp list price was stable over the quarter averaging US$1,030 per tonne, up US$13 per tonne, or 1%, compared to the first quarter of 2014. Discount levels were consistent with the previous quarter. The NBSK pulp list price to Europe also remained largely unchanged, averaging US$925 per tonne, up US$5 per tonne from the previous quarter, while the average NBSK pulp list price to China was down US$27 per tonne, or 4%, to US$730 per tonne. Pulp shipments were up 11% from the previous quarter, largely attributable to improved transportation performance following the challenges experienced in the prior quarter. Pulp production levels were down 8% from the previous quarter principally related to the maintenance outages at the Intercontinental and Prince George Pulp Mills, which reduced market pulp production by 18,000 tonnes. Pulp unit manufacturing costs were up moderately compared to the previous quarter, mostly due to the aforementioned maintenance outages and increased fibre costs, partially offset by seasonally lower energy costs. The higher unit fibre costs reflected higher delivered sawmill residual and whole log chip costs and seasonal factors. The Company's paper segment's operating income was down $0.7 million from the previous quarter, with the impact of a maintenance outage of the Prince George Kraft paper machine partially offset by higher shipment levels reflecting the improved transportation performance. Commenting on the second quarter's results, CPPI's Chief Executive Officer, Don Kayne, said, "Market conditions were better than anticipated, allowing us to generate solid financial performance this quarter. With our largest maintenance outages behind us, we will be focused on optimizing our production performance and sales mix through the balance of the year." NBSK pulp markets are steady heading into the seasonally slower third quarter of 2014. For the month of July 2014, the company announced NBSK pulp list prices of US$1,030 per tonne in North America and US$730 per tonne in China, both unchanged from June 2014. A risk of price weakness remains for the second half of 2014 due in part to reduced global consumption during the historically slower summer months and new hardwood pulp capacity projected to flow into markets. Early in July, the company's operations experienced some disruptions which impacted production by approximately 10,000 tonnes; the mills have now returned to normal operating rates. A maintenance outage originally planned at the Northwood Pulp Mill in the third quarter of 2014 has been deferred to the fourth quarter of 2014 and is projected to reduce production by 10,000 tonnes.

LIGNA to include Wood Industry Summit

July 24, 2014 – LIGNA, one of the leading trade fairs for the forestry and wood industries, is to be held from May 11 to 15, 2015. It will be taking its commitment as the international shop window for the wood industry to the next level with an exciting new offering: the Wood Industry Summit. Organized by Deutsche Messe in partnership with the German Forestry Council (KWF), the all-new Wood Industry Summit will comprise an exhibition area, a matchmaking platform and a forum, making it a powerful hub for international lead generation and dialogue. It will be staged on about 800 square meters (2,000 sq. ft.) of display area in Hall 13. In the exhibition area, companies and institutions from the forestry technology, sawmill technology, wood panel products and veneer production, wood energy, solid wood working and pulp and paper industries will showcase their latest technology offerings in the immediate vicinity of international group pavilions run by key players from carefully selected timber-rich target market regions, such as Russia, China and North and South America. The matchmaking platform will feature institutions and delegations of high-ranking government and business representatives from Russia, China and North and South America, who will outline market access opportunities and regional wood-industry projects in their countries. The platform is also an opportunity for companies from European countries, such as Finland, Sweden, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, to present their technologies to the participating wood-industry representatives and purchasing delegations from their international target markets. The third component of the Wood Industry Summit is a special forum for key international representatives of industry, science and government. The aim of the forum is to present new solutions and the current state of the art in various technology areas, particularly harvesting technology, and to discuss current industry trends and issues. The forum is also an opportunity to share detailed information on how to initiate business in key target markets and to find the best technology fit for specific countries.

Wood Panels

No patent for wood grain

July 21, 2014 – Laminate designs based on nature cannot be copyrighted, according to a lawsuit between U.S. laminate flooring distributors Mannington Mills and Home Legend. Mannington sued Home Legend for copying its patented approach to a maple floor pattern but the judge said Mannington had tried to reproduce the wood grain, which occurs naturally and cannot be covered under copyright protection. For more information go to: www.woodworkingnetwork.com.

Engineered wood on upward trend

June 13, 2014 - Engineered wood products have come a long way since a Brit named Sir Samuel Bentham first conceptualized plywood in 1797. Because these products provide many important and unique benefits, they have become a permanent fixture in the range of materials now being selected and used in building construction. Much of the benefit lies in the fact that engineered wood products offer consistent quality and come in specific thicknesses, panel sizes and durability profiles. The strength of these products far surpasses wood. Indeed, glued laminated timber – glulam – is stronger than steel, per the same amount of mass, but takes less energy to produce. At the same time, engineered wood products can be worked like any piece of lumber and some are meant to be finished attractively with stains or paint. The products are also environmentally friendly because they can be made from small pieces of wood, defective wood or unpopular tree species.   Chantiers Chibougamau Ltd. in Chibougamau, Quebec, is one of Canada’s leaders in engineered wood products and systems. The company was started in 1961, when Lucien Filion and his employees began sawing timbers for the local mining industry. During the 1970s and 1980s, production shifted from squares to random-length dimensional lumber, and in the 1990s, the idea came along to consider engineered wood processing. The first product was finger-joint. “Since we are the forest products company located most north in Québec, the trees available were so small in our area that we had to deal with strong softwood products, but they showed some flash that was affecting the value,” says Chantiers Media Manager Frederic Verreault. “By jointing good-quality pieces, we were able to sell higher-value studs.” He also notes, at the same time the company was getting familiar with the jointing technology, the new taxes on softwood lumber going into the U.S. appeared. “So we decided to confirm our commitment to engineered wood products at that time, and we have continued to develop our diversity of products ever since,” says Verreault. In early 90s, Chantiers added HewSaw technology, allowing the use of small cross-sections of wood that would be otherwise unusable. At the same time, they also installed a flange production line and tension testing, which heralded the advent of joist production and the creation of its Nordic Engineered Wood brand in 2000. To create Nordic’s beams, headers, columns, tall wall studs, and their new NI-90x I-joist series from treetops and side cuts, Chantiers created a process called ENVIRO≡LAM. “This process offers greater dimensional stability than traditional timbers or glulams made from wide-dimension lumber,” says Verreault. The Nordic I-joists, used in floor and roof construction, consist of top and bottom flanges of various widths united with webs of various depths. They are able to carry heavy loads over long distances while using less lumber than a dimensional solid wood joist of the same load-bearing capacity. As the years went by, Nordic got calls from customers requesting more refined architectural solutions. This led to the creation of Nordic Wood Structures, a product line that includes straight and curved beams, arches and decking for use in non-residential projects. Verreault says market needs have also compelled Nordic to create dimension-sized glulam headers for wall panel producers and glulam log cabin blanks for manufactured housing. In addition to engineered wood products used in timber structures, industrial buildings, sports facilities and office complexes, Nordic offers in-house architectural and engineering services. “It allows customers to fully realize the potential for engineered wood construction,” says Verreault. To reach markets across Canada and parts of the U.S., as well as Europe and Asia, Nordic has set up sales offices and forged relationships with distribution partners. They have also established a permanent reload with full product mix capability for fast shipment on mixed truckloads to complement its direct railcar capabilities. Chantiers employs over 700 people, including those at Nordic. Last year, Chantiers employed some 30 to 50 workers to manufacture X-LAM for a dozen different construction projects. The company has deployed more than 50 projects since 2011, mainly in the non-residential construction sector. X-LAM developmentNordic X-LAM is an innovative cross-laminated timber panel (CLT). Verreault describes it as a strong, lightweight, fire-resistant material that is an environmentally friendly and cost-efficient alternative to concrete and steel for building foundations, frames and other structures. The easily assembled panels are made up of two-by-fours. “Having a higher strength to weight ratio than steel and concrete, X-LAM is rapidly gaining in popularity amongst engineers, builders and architects who want a greener alternative for slabs and walls,” says Verreault. It was in late 2009 that X-LAM product development began at Chantiers. “Sylvain Gagnon and others at FPInnovations first organized an exploratory mission in Europe to look at similar products,” says Verreault. “Our founder Lucien Filion was part of the trip and, when he came back, it was clear that he wanted to start developing this new project as soon as possible, so the work started right away.” Verreault says the lamination and gluing techniques they developed were inspired from the development of their previous technology for glulam around 2000, with the main difference being of course the crossed layers of the structural panels. In terms of how much these panel products speed things up for contractors, Verreault says, “For all the projects we’ve done so far, it took less than a week to complete a storey, which is particularly fast. For multi-level buildings in particular, X-LAM CLT replaces concrete or steel. The speed comes from the enormous sizes of each panel (up to 65 feet long by 8 feet), the fact that they are delivered precisely processed and the ease of using them on the job site, no matter what the conditions happen to be.” Verreault adds, “of course, having both the walls and the ceiling pieces ready to install at the same time helps as well. Finally, time is also saved when the panels are not hidden for some parts of the final building. This is all good news since time is money.” Verreault describes the panel manufacturing process as “quite simple.” “Once we have the two-by-four pieces, some of them are jointed over 65 feet,” he says. “They are later brought in the CLT section of the plant. Once side-by-side, over eight feet wide on the production line, we add the adhesive. Then on the other axis, come more two-by-fours to cover the previous layer.” Adhesive is added again, and the steps are repeated three, five or seven times, depending on the product that is required. “All the equipment was made specifically for the process we developed,” says Verreault, “with no particular changes since then.” In terms of what has been or is most challenging in the entire X-LAM chain – from development to manufacturing to marketing and sales – Verreault says it is definitely the marketing. “The biggest challenge is clearly in introducing a whole new way to design and build multi-storey projects,” he says. “It’s about educating people and we must take this one step at a time. We make the demonstration of how efficient and cost-effective this system is and people can see for themselves.” Most of the demonstration projects have been private multi-residential projects in the northern Quebec, Saguenay–Lac-St-Jean and Québec City regions. “We are still in the early marketing of the product, but we are at advanced levels for constructing some very stimulating projects in the U.S.,” says Verreault. “The interest is growing which is a good thing since we already have the capacity to deliver thousands of units per year. At the moment, less than five per cent of our more than 600-person team is dedicated to X-LAM CLT and therefore, we have lots of room for development.” Verreault says their company plan is basically to keep working hard. “We will continue to be more and more competitive and gain more market share, compared to other materials,” he explains. “Since building with light frame timber structures has been approved in Québec for buildings making up to six storeys in 2013, X-LAM is competing with other wood products as well, but we believe our products have the best characteristics. And we are ready to devote more production capacity to X-LAM within a very short time-frame.” “The demand for engineered wood solutions continues to grow with the standardization of building codes and the need for verifiable performance by code officials, insurance agencies, and homebuilders,” Verreault notes. “At Nordic, we believe it’s very important to have an ongoing dialogue with builders, specifiers and retailers. These discussions will also be a vital link in the product development chain.” Code changesCross-laminated timber (CLT) products were first developed in Austria and Germany in the mid-1990s, and since then they have been gaining popularity in residential and non-residential applications in Europe. “In the early 2000s, construction in CLT increased significantly, partially driven by the green building movement but also due to efficiencies, product approvals, and improved marketing and distribution channels,” says Sylvain Gagnon, FPInnovations associate research leader (structural performance group). “The easy handling in construction and the high level of prefabrication involved that facilitate a quick erection time are just some of the key advantages, especially in mid- and high-rise construction.” Good thermal insulation, good sound insulation and a fairly good performance under fire conditions are added benefits. Though established in Europe,  CLT products and systems are new to Canada and the United States. “Yes, the use of CLT in North America is gaining interest in both the construction and wood industries, and several North American manufacturers, including Chantiers/Nordic are in production,” Gagnon notes. “In order to move market acceptance and demand forward, CLT as a structural system needs to be implemented in the North American codes and standards.” With assistance through the Transformative Technologies Program of Natural Resources Canada, FPInnovations launched a multi-disciplinary research program on CLT in 2005 including studies, testing of samples and analyzing information from Europe. The result was the creation of a FPInnovations peer-reviewed Cross Laminated Timber Handbook in Canada in 2011. The  U.S. followed in 2013 with the publication of a U.S. edition. “Since the publishing of this handbook, interest in CLT has increased without a doubt,” says Gagnon. “Several buildings were built with CLT all across Canada. This is just the beginning of the story in North America. More to come.”  

Remanufacturing

UCS opens new Edmonton facility

July 16, 2014, Edmonton – Since its 1999 start in Calgary, under the leadership of Jeff Floyd (Alberta Division Manager) Upper Canada Forest Products has continually grown its market presence and scope in Alberta. In 2007 it acquired Cambium Forest Products, doubled the size of its Calgary warehouse in 2013, acquired Reimer Hardwoods of Alberta earlier this year, and now has opened of a new LEED certified warehouse facility in NW Edmonton. Edmonton has a vibrant and established millwork and cabinet industry and is a growing metropolis of almost 1.2 million people. Edmonton is also the stepping off point to many northern Alberta communities. UCS Forest Group is North America's premier importer, exporter, and distributor of specialty products serving discerning customers in the architectural woodworking, commercial and residential furniture, and cabinet-making industries. UCS does business as Sierra Forest Products in the United States, Upper Canada Forest Products in Canada, UCS Global internationally and A&M Wood Specialty.

Stella-Jones uses customized loaders

July 2, 2014  - While the Stella-Jones pole processing plants in Prince George and Galloway, British Columbia both report to North America's leading provider of utility poles and railway ties, each facility is responsible for managing its own operation independently. When it came to choosing a replacement for their aging log-handling equipment, the two site managers, working 500 miles apart, came to the same conclusion. Today, the Prince George and Galloway facilities are both running new purpose-built SENNEBOGEN 830 M-T material handlers. Bob Stewart was the Plant Manager in Prince George when the purchase of their 830 M-T was proposed to head office. "We looked at 3 or 4 different makes of machines last year, made our decision on Sennebogen and put together the business plan to acquire it." In Galloway, meanwhile, Richard Harkies was also shopping for new equipment. "We had already looked at the other two big names in material handlers," he recalls. "Then Tom Truman (from the Sennebogen dealer, Great West Equipment) came by and took us to see a Sennebogen demonstration in Lavington. We hadn't actually heard of Sennebogen before then!" Before the year was out, Galloway had become a Stella-Jones operation and the purchase of the machine went ahead. Great West Equipment delivered the first one of its 830 M-T's to Prince George in January, and the second was delivered to the Galloway Mill in June. The 830 M-T is a purpose-built material handler for trailer pulling. It has an undercarriage and transmission configuration that's specially built to pull over 100,000 lb. log trailers. The two material handlers were then fitted with Rotobec log grapples. They were also customized to widen out the tines and the tips to minimize damage to the wood. Each was then equipped with a live heel. While the two sites differ in some ways in their specific application, their managers are equally satisfied that the 830 M-T was the right way to go. The Prince George plant processes both utility poles and railway ties, so its log handler has to manage moving and loading square timber as well as round wood. "We stack the ties in packs of 25 for air seasoning," says Bob Stewart. "Then we load the bundles onto gondolas for delivery. The 830 M-T pulls a tridem trailer loaded up to 75,000 lbs. It could be a larger sized machine than we really need, but we wanted to be prepared for future demands, too. We anticipate that we'll get 10 to 15 years of service from this unit." "It has a lot of hydraulic power," he continues. "It takes a fine touch to grab a large load without damaging the wood. These controls are very user-friendly and the hydraulics are very responsive. We also find that the stance of the machine, with its wide wheelbase, is much better for getting around even in soft ground than what we experienced before." Richard Harkies also cites improvements in mobility among the advantages of the 830 M-T. "We have to drive a half-a-mile from one end of the yard to the other. With a separate transmission on each axle, it pulls smoother and it doesn't shift as hard and it's more stable." Harkies notes that the extra stability is especially helpful when the operator's cab is elevated. "The high-lift cab is way better for loading rail cars, because you can see the top of the load. The operators can set it at the best height, for comfort, for whatever they are doing. In the spring, after the snow, you can get potholes, which can make it a little rough up there! The wide stance and pneumatic tires smooth out the ride for them." Stewart and Harkies are both confident that their concerns about the future reliability of their equipment have been answered. Sennebogen's 100,000 sq. ft. headquarters near Charlotte, NC maintains the largest inventory of material handling parts in North America. Great West Equipment, their Sennebogen distributor, also keeps a large stock of off-the-shelf parts for their customers. And Stewart acknowledges the importance of Great West's experience in the industry. "We have been dealing with (Great West representative) Dillon Healey for 8 or 9 years. We always feel that we get a good deal and they're always very helpful making sure that our equipment is perfectly suited to our application." The stability and smooth pulling power of the 830 M-T is well suited to the 1/2 mile circuits in the log yard.

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