March 23, 2018 - Like many successful loggers, Liz Bernier and Joel St. Onge had the operations side of their business nailed down. They had the growth curve to prove it. Yet as they grew, they outgrew some of their business practices. That’s where the Business Skills program from FPInnovations entered the picture.
March 21, 2018 - Spring is a time for renewal and growth. In Canada, this means tree planting.
March 15, 2018 – Healthy, vibrant and sustainable Canadian forests is the theme of a new youth-focused initiative announced today by Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and Earth Rangers, the kids’ conservation organization.Announced on the sidelines of the GLOBE Forum, the largest and longest-running leadership summit for sustainable business in North America, the joint Living Forests Initiative will focus on educating youth about the many benefits healthy, living forests provide — and what needs to be done to ensure they continue to thrive for generations to come. To help raise awareness of the central role forests play for all life in Canada, the initiative kicks off on May 1, 2018 with the launch the first ever Earth Rangers Living Forests Photo Competition, which is open to aspiring photographers aged 12 and under across Canada. Categories include “best wildlife photo,” “best forest landscape” and “best tree photo.” A panel of expert judges will review all entries, and prizes will be awarded for the top photos in each category after the competition wraps up on June 18, 2018. “As future stewards of some of the world’s most vibrant forests, kids in Canada need to have a direct stake in the health of this incredible natural resource. Earth Rangers is looking forward to working with FPAC on this exciting new initiative to help educate and inspire the next generation of conservation leaders,” says Tovah Barocas, vice-president of external relations at Earth Rangers.Canadian forests provide huge environmental, economic, and social benefits. Home to almost 70 per cent of Canada’s terrestrial species, healthy forests provide us with the air we breathe and help reduce the impacts of climate change. They also play a crucial role in Canada’s economy, with the forestry sector acting as one of the largest sources of employment in the country while also supplying important products like lumber and newsprint. “We view this partnership with Earth Rangers as an important part of FPAC’s continuing efforts to engage and communicate to the public the important work our sector plays in sustainable resource management and putting Canadians to work,” says Derek Nighbor, chief executive officer of the Forest Products Association of Canada.
March 13, 2018 - The Board of Directors of the BC Forest Safety Council (BCFSC) is pleased to announce that Dave Lehane has been appointed chair of the BCFSC, effective March 22, 2018. Dave takes over from Ken Higginbotham, who retired at the end of 2017.
March 6, 2018 - For a logger, machine uptime is one of the most critical factors to ensure productivity and profitability. In the past, loggers were dependent on daily walk-arounds and hand-written maintenance schedules to keep machines up and running. Today, forestry professionals can be far more effective by utilizing the latest in machine data technology. Modern forestry equipment is designed with powerful telematics systems that provide loggers with constant visibility to their jobsites and machines. Through remote diagnostics and programming, owners and operators can constantly access machine health prognostics in almost real time. Loggers can no longer rely on a single daily check to keep machines running at maximum efficiency. Rather, progressive loggers should work closely with their equipment manufacturers and dealers to access data that keeps pace with the constant changes of their work environment and solve potential issues before downtime occurs. There is a misconception that technology is complicated and difficult to use, leading some loggers to ignore solutions instead of taking advantage of the power available at their fingertips. In reality, technology is often very intuitive, and the solutions being offered by the leading equipment manufacturers are designed to simplify, not complicate, machine maintenance. Constant visibility Through technology, owners have an insight to their machines that wasn’t available in the past. While an operator’s instinct and mechanical knowledge is still valuable, today’s machines are equipped with onboard hardware that constantly monitors the machine status, providing alerts about potential issues early. Through innovative telematics systems, such as John Deere’s JDLink system, loggers have visibility to the status of their machines at any point, from the jobsite or the office. Telematics solutions provide owners with the information they need to optimize their machines and operations, ultimately increasing productivity and overall profitability. Through an easy-to-use dashboard, loggers can track important information from their entire fleet in one place: · Machine efficiency – Using technology, owners can track machine efficiency, analyzing machine movement, fuel usage and production data, making it easier to identify areas where processes can be improved. · Service intervals – Machine data technology improves maintenance, as service intervals can be captured within the system, giving owners a complete overview of upcoming maintenance to help them better prepare for planned downtime. · Unplanned machine issues – The integration of telematics on equipment enables remote diagnostics and programming, alerting owners as soon as an issue occurs so it can be quickly addressed before it causes more costly repairs and downtime. Telematics solutions take machine management to the next level, providing loggers the information they need to plan for the future at a moment’s notice. Dealer integration Technology by itself offers limited value – it must be paired with support from equipment dealers and manufacturers. With increased technology comes a need to interpret, analyze and act upon the data it provides. With smartphone apps, owners and operators have the ability to access some of that information at their fingertips. But where loggers find the real benefit of technology is when they partner with their local dealer. By proactively analyzing the data provided by machine technology, modern equipment dealers are preventing many problems before they occur. If a problem does occur, dealers now have the ability to troubleshoot remotely. With remote diagnostics, a technician can arrive at the jobsite knowing what problem to address and with the right part in hand. This minimizes costly downtime and unnecessary travel time – increasing logger productivity and profitability. With all of these advantages, many loggers today are relying on equipment dealers for more than just equipment sales and repairs. Many find that enrolling in a preventative maintenance program has been a great way to add efficiency to their business. Having preventative maintenance performed by the dealer can create a variety of benefits to logging operations. Factory trained technicians, utilizing the latest in machine technology, can typically complete service tasks much faster than those who do not do it every day. Machines are serviced using factory specified parts and lubricants, keeping the machine performing at peak levels. Routine maintenance can be scheduled at off-peak times to maintain production schedules. Logging crews can remain focused on revenue generating tasks like cutting and hauling while leaving non-revenue generating tasks of maintenance to the equipment dealers. Moreover, when it comes time to trade out of that machine, owners are able to present a machine with a documented history of factory specified maintenance care, thus increasing the resale value. All of this is made easier and faster with integrated machine technology that is quickly becoming the standard for high production logging operations today. Driving the future of machines Understanding the opportunities presented by telematics, equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have started to take advantage of technology by collecting and analyzing fleet data, helping to improve the machines of tomorrow. Using the data flowing in from thousands of connected machines, OEMs are capturing data and uncovering machine trends. At John Deere, this information is being utilized in the Machine Health Monitoring Center, a centrally located centre staffed with analysts examining machine data. This information provides input to manufacturing and design processes for future machines and for continuous product improvements on current production machines. This information can also be used to develop new and improved preventative maintenance processes, or create machine repair protocols, increasing the productivity of existing machines. The forestry industry is rapidly evolving, and with technology loggers are able to make informed decisions that can positively impact their business. Not so long ago machine maintenance required loggers to track schedules by hand and sometimes shut a machine down for days while waiting for a service technician to travel to the jobsite, costing the business time and money. With the power of technology, operators can optimize machines, taking their business to the next level by minimizing downtime and increasing productivity, ensuring long-term success. Kevin Drake is manager of customer product support for John Deere Forestry.
Feb. 26, 2018 - The John Deere 3756G Forestry Swing Machine has been recognized with a Good Design award for its design excellence and innovation. The Good Design awards program is known as the oldest, most prestigious design award, and is organized annually by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies. “We are incredibly honoured to have received a Good Design award for the 3756G Swing Machine,” said Tom Budan, vice-president of worldwide forestry at John Deere. “This award verifies that we not only created a productive and powerful piece of equipment, but also the innovation of the swing machine design. Innovation is one of our core principles, and this recognition solidifies John Deere as the world leader in the forestry industry.” A panel of 14 designers, architects, journalists and critics identified the 3756G Swing Machine as a “rugged, efficient new player” in the John Deere Forestry line-up. The machine’s productivity capabilities and power in the toughest conditions is what caught the judges’ attention, as well as the improved uptime, reliability and durability. The 3756G features a high rise cab with floor-mounted windows. The larger windows in the new cab improve visibility for the operator when maneuvering over difficult ground conditions. The rear-entry cab promotes safe and easy entry and exit, further showcasing the customer-first design that is at the forefront of all John Deere machinery. Additionally, the 3756G cab is climate-controlled and includes fatigue-reducing features such as ergonomic controls and isolation mounts to boost operator productivity during long work days. The 3756G Swing Machine is not the only piece of John Deere equipment to be recognized. The 310E Articulated Dump Truck, the 4-Track 9RX Series Tractors and the Round Baler Family also received a Good Design award. To learn more about the 3756G Swing Machine, as well as the full line of John Deere equipment, visit www.johndeere.com.
Feb. 26, 2018 - Iotatel Inc. is a Vancouver Island-based start-up backed by FPInnovations, the largest forest research company in the world. The company’s primary goal is to provide remote logging facilities with reliable, highly available networking connectivity. Today Iotatel provides a network connectivity solution for forestry camps in remote locations using Cradlepoint’s COR IBR900 ruggedized LTE router for quick, reliable, cloud-managed deployments. With Iotatel’s customers spread all over the region, remote network management is critical. Cradlepoint’s NetCloud platform also enables a single- pane-of-glass view for remote management and network operations. Since installing the Cradlepoint solution, network performance for these remote sites has improved by a factor of 10 times or more. “These facilities are remote, so going out there to configure or troubleshoot is not efficient. We use NetCloud for monitoring the devices, checking in remotely, looking at client data usage, and to make any adjustments as necessary,” said Nick Birch, Iotatel founder and chief executive officer. Iotatel works with forestry and logging camps that are at log sort facilities. The facilities are almost always in semi-remote locations or areas where wired Internet connections including ADSL, cable, fibre, and more are unavailable or cost-prohibitive. The facilities are large outdoor properties and are filled with log piles, logging machines, and usually several small outbuildings that all require secure and reliable network connectivity. Iotatel needed a 4G LTE routing solution it could trust to provide reliable connectivity and be able to handle inclement weather and a hazardous work environment. Prior to implementing the Cradlepoint solution, the facilities were using small USB-based cellular modems and low-powered access points. This did not provide adequate bandwidth or capacity for a regular staff of 10-20 employees’ client devices, nor did it provide the network coverage required throughout the yard. They were experiencing significant packet loss and network drop-out. For these remote logging facilities, Iotatel chose a comprehensive solution including Cradlepoint’s COR IBR900 routers and NetCloud Manager, with the option to add dual-modem Extensibility Docks in the future. The IBR900 acts as the Internet gateway, then the network is built using point-to- point microwave links and WiFi access points to provide coverage across the facility.
Feb. 26, 2018 - This year’s challenge consisted of mid-size, full-size and HD entries – 10 trucks total – all vying for a win in what is now the 11th year of the Canadian Truck King Challenge. We tested 10 2018 pickup trucks covering the 2500 HD segment; two midsize and five full-size pickups completed the rest of the 2018 entries. A complete list of scores by model reveal our choice for the winner of the 2018 Canadian Truck King Challenge.
Feb. 26, 2018 - Canadian Forest Industries gathered details on the newest residual reducing equipment working in Canada’s forests.
Feb. 26, 2018 - In the Rouge-Matawin wildlife preserve, a crew of young foresters is busy at work in a predominantly softwood sector about an hour’s drive away from Saint-Michel-des-Saints, Que. An operator in new six-wheeled Tigercat 635G skidder that arrived a few short weeks ago is hauling a heavy load of tree-length wood through swampy and steep terrain.
Feb. 26, 2018 - Derek Tchir is a logger because he likes the smell of trees. He’s surprised when I tell him that’s the first time I’ve heard that response.
Feb. 20, 2018 - Supply chains have evolved significantly in recent decades, and yet are now on the edge of even more transformative changes driven by the digital revolution. The fourth industrial revolution, as it is called, is characterized by an interconnection of machines and systems within the production sites as well as between them and the outside world.
March 22, 2018 - From facial recognition to medical diagnostics to self-driving cars, artificial intelligence is becoming more prevalent in our everyday lives. But how does AI fit into your sawmill operation?
March 20, 2018 - While on location for the Montreal Wood Convention, Canadian Forest Industries received an exclusive opportunity to join a group of foreign buyers on a study tour to two Quebec sawmills. Groupe Crête Groupe Crête Inc.’s Saint-Faustin-Lac-Carré mill was the first stop. The mill is one of two Quebec plants owned by the company — the other location is in Chertsey. Saint-Faustin-Lac-Carré only produces softwood — mainly spruce and fir, with a small amount of jack pine (about five per cent). The mix is usually split in half but has been 65 per cent spruce and 35 per cent fir this year, Alain Gagnon, Groupe Crête’s director of sales explained. This plant been at this location since 2000, but the Crête family bought it in 2011 and has owned the mill since 1949. The mill produces 150 million board feet of softwood a year that is FSC-certified on-demand. Its main customers are in Quebec, Ontario and the U.S., however 60 per cent of its products are sold in Quebec. In addition to lumber, the mill produces sub-products such as wood chips, which are then sold to pulp and paper mills —45 per cent of the log volume is sent to pulp and paper mills. The mill has two debarkers, which go through 35 logs a minute. The scanning is done in the sawmill, while the grading is done at the planer mill on site. Trimming is done to cut the maximum length possible for each piece, thereby optimizing the length on each one. In the lug loader, the speed is 115 lugs a minute. Pieces that are too short go to the chipper and get sold to the aforementioned pulp and paper mills. The bark at Saint-Faustin-Lac-Carré is burned to produce energy for the kiln and to heat the plant. About 50 per cent of the facility’s bark is used for energy production, including ash, and four tonnes of bark is burned per hour here. The plant also has five batch kilns, four of which are Wellons and one of which is Cathilde. Spruce takes approximately 35–45 hours to dry, depending on the season (summer to winter), while fir takes about 90–110 hours to dry in the same seasonal range due to its high water content. Once the lumber is in the planer mill, the machine separates it by quality. Each piece is graded into seven grades. Then the lumber goes to the sorting bins where 140 pieces are graded per minute. That equals approximately 50,000 pieces a day. Pieces are cut according to the market price for each grade, Gagnon explained, but six feet is the shortest length here. The system is manufactured to produce North American lengths. C.A. Spencer / Scierie Carrière C.A. Spencer Inc.’s Scierie Carrière Ltée is a hardwood specialty mill in Lachute where CFI experienced its second tour of the day. Scierie Carrière is one of two sites owned by C.A. Spencer. The second is Bois Hunting Inc. in Waterville, Que. Together, the two mills produce 30 million board feet of lumber a year, which comes down to approximately 60,000 board feet of lumber produced in a day, and about 7,000 board feet produced in an hour. The mills run 20-hour shifts night and day among its more than 150 employees, sales and marketing representative Max Cadrin explained. The mill works with varying lumber thicknesses. Following the debarking process (which the tour members could not see due to safety measures), the lumber undergoes a metal detector to ensure no pieces are in the wood. With hardwood, the good wood is outside of the logs, operations manager Michel Ferron explained. Following this process, 2x3 and 4x4 cants are made. At Scierie Carrière 50 per cent of the production is maple, but also includes birch, soft maple, red oak, basswood and some aspen, Ferron said adding that there are six doors of kilns here in Lachute with 500,000 million board feet per charge for the kiln capacity. The red oak (which was on site the day of our visit) takes 35-36 days to dry, Ferron said. C.A. Spencer was founded in 1908, celebrating its 110th year in business in 2018 and spans five generations. Stay tuned for CFI’s live coverage of the 2018 Montreal Wood Convention this week.
March 13, 2018 - The re-opening of the sawmill in White River, Ont., was one of the lumber industry’s rare “good news” stories of 2013. Shuttered six years earlier, the town’s population had dwindled to nearly half its size from the 1990s. Then numbering about 600 residents, the Township of White River and the nearby Pic Mobert First Nation joined forces to create White River Forest Products LP (WRFP). Led by CEO Frank Dottori, the renowned founder of Canadian forestry giant Tembec, the new venture invested heavily in restoring the site and creating a new model of efficiency in Ontario’s north. The centerpiece of the new mill is the new saw line and the infeed deck with the new debarker. Equipped with 14 scanners to achieve dramatic improvements in the mill’s yield from every tree, the new saw line can out-produce all three of White River’s previous lines put together. The next challenge was to match that efficiency in the yard’s loading capability. For that task, WRFP has turned to Sennebogen 830 M-T purpose-built material handlers. Robert Acs, the yard manager at WRFP, recalls the effort to move wood as fast as the saw can process it. “We acquired some older equipment with the assets we purchased. We tried upgrading to another material handler but it only lasted six months. We could see it wasn’t working out.” Getting up to speed In the meantime, the yard contracted out a loading by-the-hour service with Dan Bolduc of DKR Trucking. Bolduc was operating an 830 M-T, specially designed by Sennebogen to pull a large trailer. The 830 took on the yard’s full range of loading duties: offloading trucks, stockpiling the wood, forwarding logs to the mill on a trailer and loading the infeed from the trailer. With a front row view of how Bolduc’s machine did it all, Dottori and the WRFP board soon approved the purchase of another unit from Strongco, the Sennebogen distributor located in Sudbury, Ont. Strongco’s Danny Virgoe explains how the 830 M-T adds to the success of the mill. “White River, located in north Ontario deals with cold and harsh weather conditions. Some equipment just isn’t designed for extreme conditions like this. And this part of the world is no place to be looking for repair parts in a hurry,” Virgoe says. “Uptime is critical,” Acs agrees. “It’s a full day for the bus to deliver in-stock parts from the Strongco branch in Thunder Bay. A week is pretty good if we need anything from the factory. But these are low maintenance machines. They work 20 hours a day, five days a week. We’ve put 13,000 hours on our machine in two and a half years; Dan has 17,000 hours on his 830 — but we haven’t had any major downtime with the machine.” On the move Surviving the cold of White River winters is just one of the challenges for the Sennebogen machines. Wicked freeze and thaw cycles in the spring leave the yard in a slippery, boggy condition: tough sledding when you’re pulling a big load. Forwarding from the stockpiles to the deck can be a trip of up to 700 yards. The undercarriage’s higher clearance is uniquely designed for the job, with dual transmissions to drive each axle and with a frame specially reinforced against pulling stresses. Sennebogen’s elevating Maxcab provides operators with the visibility to keep the site safe while unloading and stacking. The cab’s sliding door and catwalk allows safe entry and exit, especially when the yard is filled with snow and ice. Acs notes that the high lift of the material handler further reduces any potential delays in forwarding cycles. “We can stack more wood closer to the mill, so that saves travel time,” he says. With the upgraded saw line, White River can produce up to 40,000 board feet per hour. Processing black spruce and jack pine logs from 4” to 20” in diameter, its chip volume has been reduced by half. The mill now yields more lumber from each tree. At full capacity, it targets 150 million board feet of FSC-certified products, with about 70 per cent in 16’ lengths of 2 x 4 and 2 x 6.The return of the mill has led to a rapid resurgence of the town. With 160 employees at the mill, White River is seeing the return of experienced workers like Acs. The town’s population has risen again to more than 1,000, and its most pressing problem these days is housing its new residents. With the 830 M-Ts in the yard, Acs is keeping up with the saw line. The mill is keeping up with today’s most advanced technology. And now, happily, the town is working to keep up with the mill.
March 13, 2018 - Ontario is supporting Columbia Forest Products to expand its plywood mill in Hearst and Rutherglen, helping to create and maintain almost 350 jobs and boost economic growth. The province is investing nearly $3.2 million over five years in Columbia Forest Products’ infrastructure project, which will enable the company to grow its business and increase efficiency by modernizing its infrastructure and purchasing new equipment to maximize production capacity, increase competitiveness and expand into new markets, while ensuring resources are managed sustainably. “A respectful working relationship between the Ontario government, our union partners and Columbia’s leadership team in Ontario continues to strengthen as evidenced by the ongoing expansion and modernization of Columbia’s Ontario hardwood plywood and veneer operations — a positive case study that witnesses complementary organizations working together to build a solid future for Columbia’s dedicated Ontario team members,” said Gary Gillespie, executive vice-president of Canadian plywood and decorative veneer operations at Columbia Forest Products. Columbia Forest Products is one of North America's largest manufacturers of hardwood plywood and hardwood veneer products. Columbia's decorative interior veneers and panels are used in high-end cabinetry, fine furniture, architectural millwork and commercial fixtures. “I am happy to see the investment we are making in northern Ontario, and the support this will provide to families in Ontario,” said Minister of Economic Development and Growth Steven Del Duca. By generating over $15.3 billion in revenues and supporting approximately 172,000 direct and indirect jobs, the forestry sector is a significant part of communities across the province. “Our government understands how important a strong forest products sector is to Ontario’s economy and the key role it plays in many northern and rural communities,” said Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Nathalie Des Rosiers. “The Forestry Growth Fund, under the Jobs and Prosperity Fund, is assisting the sector to increase production capacity and expand into new markets while continuing to ensure our forests are sustainably managed.”
March 12, 2018 - Tolko is investing in a new BioVision Edger line for its sawmill at Armstrong, B.C. The new line will comprise an unscrambler, Maximizer positioning infeed with dual fetchers, 4-saw edger, and close-coupled picker tailer. The optimizer is a BioVision system utilizing data from the new transverse scanner fitted with BioLuma 2900LV vision sensors. Also included is a MillTrak lumber flow control system comprising two sensors mounted above the unscrambler.BioVision's edger grade evaluation adds overall value through re-manufacture or rip, based on the final grade of the wood. For example, a #3 appearance due to knots can be edged to #3 wane with confidence, to maximize recovery. Likewise a low grade 2x8 may be worth more as two 2x4s, one being a higher grade.
March 6, 2018 - Wood-Mizer has acquired the Swedish company, MOReTENs AB, placing a full range of popular 4-sided planer/moulders, table saws, spindle moulders, and CNC routers into Wood-Mizer’s globally available product range. Founded in 1980, MOReTENs designs and manufactures a popular range of woodworking machinery which includes 4-sided planer/moulder combination models, spindle moulders, and a workshop table saw. In addition, MOReTENs also supplies high-end, CNC-controlled routers and log home building machinery. “Throughout our history, Wood-Mizer has been committed to providing the best quality equipment to process logs into finished wood products,” said Wood-Mizer president and CEO Richard Vivers. “The affordable and versatile moulder and planer product lines from MOReTENs have been proven worldwide for decades, and are now backed by the high-quality service and support network customers expect from Wood-Mizer.” The founder and owner of MOReTENs, Bo Mårtensson, has joined Wood-Mizer as the general director of the factory in Ostersund, Sweden. The factory in Sweden marks Wood-Mizer’s fifth manufacturing plant throughout the world including three facilities in the USA and one in Poland. “Many years ago, I was a young engineer with carpentry experience when I started MOReTENs and began building woodworking machinery,” said Mårtensson. “I’m proud to see my products in workshops worldwide, and now we are very pleased to be joining the Wood-Mizer team, which will see our existing products being available to a much wider customer base and will also accelerate our capability to introduce new products to meet our customers’ needs.” Beginning in March 2018, Wood-Mizer will offer the new range of planers/moulders through their distribution network. The latest acquisition of MOReTENs builds on Wood-Mizer's position as a worldwide manufacturer and supplier of narrow band sawmills, now offering a full range of equipment that can seamlessly convert logs into dried lumber and finally into finished wood products - all backed by Wood-Mizer's expertise and commitment to excellent customer service.
March 5, 2018 - Conifex has recently made a $100-million investment and turned an idled sawmill into a new modern mill complex outfitted with best-in-class technology.USNR is proud to have been a major supplier on this project, and to partner with Mid-South Engineering to help bring Conifex’s vision to reality. Click here to watch a video of the Conifex El Dorado operations.
Feb. 27, 2018 - In 1999, thousands of hours of dedicated volunteer work and more than 20 years of community input came to fruition with the incorporation of the Harrop-Procter Community Co-operative.
Feb. 26, 2018 - Steven Freeman recalls the trials and deliberations that led his family to purchase a Sennebogen 830 M‑T log-handler four years ago. “The decision for our second Sennebogen was a lot simpler than the first,” he says. “Our yard is tough: it’s rock, and wood debris, and some mud, and the stud yard is up the hill, 300 to 400 yards from the mill. It’s a cruel environment for a machine.” Steven represents the sixth generation of his family to manage Harry Freeman and Son Limited, located about 100 miles south of Halifax, N.S., in the midst of Nova Scotia’s white pine forests where they process spruce and eastern white pine. Operating since 1832, the Freeman mill has always taken pride in progressively updating its equipment and processes. Sennebogen designed the 830 M-T specifically for this kind of work, combining excellent reach and lifting efficiency with rugged all-wheel drive trailer-pulling capacity. Dealing with downtime Their first 830 was put to work forwarding wood for the stud mill processing 8’ - 10’ (2.5 -3.0 m) logs. Meanwhile, the random wood mill relied on a wheel loader fitted with a log grapple to bring in mostly 16’ (4.9 m) and 12’ (3.7 m) logs. “But whenever the 830 had to come out for scheduled maintenance, it was very disruptive to our production,” Freeman says. “Today, production levels are maintained using our new 830 M-T.” “We did try another make of log-handler before we bought our first Sennebogen but it wasn’t built as heavy and couldn’t withstand the application.” Keeping up with mill throughput The Freeman mill produces approximately 100 million board feet (30,480,000 m) of lumber per year. As Freeman notes, with a staff of more than 150 over two shifts, having a whole crew standing around, waiting for wood, is not a good thing. “It used to be that before we put the 830 in maintenance, we’d have to lower the tiers for the wheel loader to handle the studs and the log stacks. Our back-up plan wasn’t pretty either — we’d have to hire self-loading trucks to forward the studs from up the hill. They couldn’t keep up with it; it left the mill starved for wood.” Due diligence The family conducted its due diligence before ordering another 830 M-T to take over duties in the random yard. Consideration was given to buying a pick and carry machine instead, but the decision moved quickly to adding a second Sennebogen trailer pulling log loader equipped with a Rotobec F1250 HD rotator grapple capable of handling over 1.5 yds (1.15 m) of 16’ (4.9 m) logs. “First, we knew what we’re getting,” Freeman explains. “Getting the same machine again means we have the same equipment to service and same parts to stock. Our support from Strongco, our Sennebogen dealer, has been excellent. Standardizing on the Cummins engines are helpful. There’s nothing exotic about them for us to maintain. Plus, the 830 gives us the extra flexibility of two machines that can feed the mill, as well as forward the wood. “With the two 830s working together, we have more than enough capacity now. Our ability to move wood is not a bottleneck anymore and together these two machines have replaced the need for three pieces of mobile equipment required to meet our ongoing production needs.”
Feb. 26, 2018 - Read all the latest information compiled by Canadian Forest Industrieson what's out there in dust control to keep your operation running smoothly and safely.
Feb. 26, 2018 - How many times you have heard the phrase “safety first” or “everything starts with safety”? I’m pretty sure that we have all heard some variation of these phrases at one point or another. As a safety professional at a sawmill, it can be challenging at times to know which approach is the best for motivating employees and staff to be more safety conscious in the workplace and at home.
Feb. 26, 2018 - The story of Northland Forest Product’s fight against The Beast – the fire that ravaged Fort McMurray in May 2016, destroying close to 2,500 buildings – is almost hard to believe.
March 23, 2018 - On the picturesque shores of Vancouver Island, in the city limits of Nanaimo, B.C., a veneer and roundwood facility has been efficiently turning 100 per cent Douglas fir into quality veneer sheets since 1988.
March 15, 2018 - Norbord Inc. announced today that a shortage of wood will cause it to temporarily suspend production at its oriented strand board (OSB) mill in 100 Mile House, British Columbia. Norbord currently expects the suspension to commence on or about May 14, 2018 and to continue for approximately one month.The significant wildfires that the province of British Columbia experienced in the summer of 2017 seriously damaged logging areas surrounding the 100 Mile House mill. Further, the severe weather conditions this winter have limited loggers' ability to access the forests during the months when the mill typically builds its annual log inventory. Combined, these extraordinary circumstances have impacted Norbord's ability to secure a sufficient wood supply to operate the mill on a continuous basis during this one-month period.Norbord will continue to supply its customers with production from its other OSB mills and the 100 Mile House mill will continue to receive log deliveries during this period. The Company currently estimates that the curtailment will negatively impact its second quarter 2018 financial results by approximately US$5 million.The 100 Mile House mill has a stated annual production capacity of 440 million square feet (3/8-inch basis).
March 6, 2018 - Oregon-based Roseburg Forest Products recently reached an agreement in principle with Pembroke MDF, Inc. to purchase Pembroke’s medium density fiberboard (MDF) and molding production facilities located in northeastern Ontario, Canada. Upon final due diligence and board of director approval, the parties expect the sale to close by April 9, 2018. The acquisition will be Roseburg’s first international purchase and will continue the company’s expansion throughout North America. Roseburg is currently building an engineered wood products plant in Chester, S.C., and recently acquired 158,000 acres of timberland in Virginia and North Carolina. “The Pembroke plant and its employees present untapped potential that can be used to better serve existing and future customers of our innovative and versatile MDF product line,” said Mark Avery, Roseburg senior vice-president of industrial products and national accounts. “It’s an exciting opportunity for Roseburg to move into the northeastern region and further diversify our operations and meet demand.” Roseburg currently owns and operates an MDF plant in Medford, Ore., which produces the company’s Arreis, Medite, Medex, Permacore and Fibrlite product lines. “The addition of the Pembroke MDF plant means Roseburg customers will have access to a broader portfolio of products from a company with a demonstrated, long-term commitment to the industry,” said Jim Buffington, Roseburg’s business director for industrial products. “While this deal represents an excellent strategic opportunity for the company, it also offers Pembroke employees and suppliers the promise of stability and consistency provided by Roseburg’s large manufacturing enterprise,” Roseburg president and CEO Grady Mulbery said. “This is a win-win for everyone involved, and we look forward to what the future will bring.” Founded in 1936, Roseburg Forest Products is a privately owned company and one of North America’s leading producers of particleboard, medium density fiberboard and thermally fused laminates. Roseburg also manufactures softwood and hardwood plywood, lumber, LVL and I-joists. The company owns and sustainably manages more than 600,000 acres of timberland in Oregon, North Carolina and Virginia, as well as an export wood chip terminal facility in Coos Bay, Ore. Roseburg products are shipped throughout North America and the Pacific Rim. To learn more about the company please visit www.Roseburg.com.
Feb. 6, 2018 – Quebec-based Arbec Forest Products has received an additional investment of up to $1 million to support its $10-million upgrade of its oriented strand board (OSB) plant in Miramichi, N.B. The investment, by the New Brunswick government will go toward ensuring new equipment and technology is used to increase productivity and quality control. “We have enormous confidence in the skills of our workforce here in Miramichi and we hope that the more than $10-million worth of capital investments we are making speak to that very clearly,” mill manager Les Flett said in a statement. Arbec purchased the Miramichi plant in 2011 and began production in 2012 following renovations. The company currently employs 124.
Jan. 16, 2018 - CFI takes you inside Coastland Wood Industries' veneer and roundwood mill in Nanaimo, B.C., where they process 100 per cent Coastal Douglas fir.
Jan. 5, 2018 - Terrace House, the highly anticipated development by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban, with its highest point sitting at 232 feet above ground level, has received official approval to use exposed mass timber in the top seven storeys of this 19-storey building. The issuance of the Building Permit required approval of an “Alternative Solution” to demonstrate compliance with Vancouver’s Building Code, thereby allowing the use of mass timber in the construction of a high-rise building. This approval from the Chief Building Official’s Office is significant as Terrace House is the tallest hybrid wood structure approved for construction in North America.“As an engineer, it is imperative not only that I trust my own work, but that my work receives rigorous review and confirmation by others, including peer reviewers and competent authorities having jurisdiction, such as the City of Vancouver,” said Andrew Harmsworth, lead fire engineer and building code consultant from GHL Consultants Ltd.Prior to the official approval of Terrace House, the use of exposed mass timber in a hybrid wood structure of this height had never been permitted in either Canada or the United States. While there has been much discussion of the environmental benefits of tall mass timber buildings, few exceeding 6-storeys have been permitted or constructed. The recently completed Brock Commons, an 18-storey student residence at the University of British Columbia, was permitted only as an exception to the B.C. Building Code and the acceptance was based in part on covering all the timber with fire-rated gypsum wallboard.The approval is a milestone for Terrace House and the City of Vancouver. It was achieved through a process of performance-based fire and structural engineering tests supported by analysis of fire risks including risk of fire after earthquake. Tests demonstrated to the City and the expert peer reviewers that this hybrid mass timber building is as safe, if not safer, than a conventional concrete or steel high-rise. The approval is a major step forward in Vancouver's goal of being the Greenest City in Canada. Wood is a sustainable and versatile building material that stores, rather than emits, carbon dioxide for the life of the structure and beyond. The environmental and performance benefits of wood construction include reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced embodied energy, renewable benefits, and direct occupant and builder health benefits. For Shigeru Ban Architects, wood is valued for many of these reasons, and particularly for its economy, tactile qualities and performance attributes.Terrace House has advanced tall wood construction in Canada through its use of exposed mass timber not only as a structural, environmentally sustainable element, but also as an integral interior finish within a residential market high-rise.
Dec. 12, 2017 - Babcock & Wilcox MEGTEC (B&W MEGTEC), a subsidiary of Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, Inc., has announced it has been chosen by Louisiana-Pacific Corporation(LP) to install a B&W MEGTEC CleanSwitch regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) system at its OSB plant in Hanceville, Ala. The new RTO system has a rated design flow of 330,000 ACFM and will handle the off-gas from five bark-fired rotary drum dryers. This is the fourth LP plant to install a CleanSwitch system. Engineering is currently underway, and delivery is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2017, with projected startup set for of the first quarter of 2018. “The CleanSwitch RTO features a two-chamber, single-valve design that allows customers to achieve environmental compliance,” said RodneySchwartz, vice president-global sales, B&W MEGTEC. “The system features a single, patented switch valve, which minimizes maintenance and virtually eliminates pressure spikes associated with valve changes for better overall dryer control and energy efficiency. “Additionally, our process knowledge associated with ceramics engineering allows us to supply a heat-recovery bed tailored to the wood products industry. This maximizes thermal efficiency and minimizes bed maintenance for improved uptime performance.” The CleanSwitch unit is being manufactured at B&W MEGTEC’s facility in De Pere, Wis. The LP Hanceville operation has the capacity to produce 410 million square feet of oriented strand board (OSB) on a 3/8-inch basis, comprised largely of softwood furnish. About B&W MEGTEC Babcock & Wilcox MEGTEC, a subsidiary of Babcock & Wilcox, designs, engineers, manufactures and services sophisticated air pollution control systems, and coating and drying equipment for the industrial sector. About B&W Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Babcock & Wilcox is a global leader in energy and environmental technologies and services for the power and industrial markets, and has been transforming our world for 150 years. B&W companies employ approximately 5,000 people worldwide. Follow us on Twitter @BabcockWilcox and learn more at www.babcock.com. About L-P Louisiana-Pacific Corporation is a leading manufacturer of quality engineered wood building materials including OSB, structural framing products, and exterior siding for use in residential, industrial and light commercial construction. From manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Canada, Chile and Brazil, LP products are sold to builders and homeowners through building materials distributors and dealers and retail home centers. Founded in 1973, LP is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under LPX. For more information, visit www.lpcorp.com.
Dec. 5, 2017 - An intense orange light frequently glows in Quebec’s Northern Lac Saint-Jean skies – a sign of industrial development. But unlike the forestry or aluminum development the region is used to, this time the glow is all about cucumbers.
Oct. 24, 2017 - Henco Viljoen, co-owner of Timbersoft in South Africa, is passionate about timber drying. He inherited this passion from his father, mentor, and co-partner, Johan Viljoen. Together they have developed customized drying systems for fine tuning, improving, and upgrading kilns. The result? Their client sawmills in South Africa are now generating greater productivity, higher quality products, and increased profits. “Our main business is optimizing the drying process,” says the younger Viljoen, who works from Sedgefield in the Garden Route section of the Western Cape. “Our strong suit is my father’s 50+ years hands-on knowledge, not only of drying, but the sawmilling industry as a whole, and my 20-year wood technology/IT automation background.” When Johan retired from milling in 2005, he decided to use his hands-on approach in helping other mills to improve their kiln drying. But he quickly discovered a problem – mills were now very technology driven, using computers, PLC and SCADA interfaces. He soon realized that processes happen behind the scenes in software code that he had no control over. This is where Henco got involved. With his IT knowledge, the Viljoens installed their first PLC/SCADA based kiln controller in late 2005. Installations and upgrades followed at regular intervals. The client base grew, and by 2013 Henco joined Timbersoft on a full-time basis after a career in IT and automation. In 2013, Henco started a small research project where he combined solar and heat pump technologies with their PLC and SCADA system to dry hardwoods “smokeless without a boiler.” The kiln dried Eucalyptus boards, which normally dry in four weeks, dried in less than two weeks. This technology opened up many more advancements, including the development of smoke/boiler free drying and ISPM15 heat treatment systems. “It also allowed me to make an in-depth study of the drying process, dynamics, and controls, enabling me to really improve our drying system by leaps and bounds. We used Johan’s vent cycle approach and developed a dynamic, self-adjusting schedule. “Although not yet 100% foolproof, we are very close. The system keeps improving. The goal is to leave the operator with only a start button…the program does the rest and stops at target moisture content (MC%). The operator won’t have to make any decisions,” Viljoen remarks. Since Henco joined the company full time, the business has grown by more than 300 percent and is still growing. Kilns running their system are currently drying about 300,000 cubic meters annually and are expected to increase to 400,000 cubic meters by the end of 2017. Measuring Moisture Moisture measurement is an integral link in the drying management chain -- and forms part of Timbersoft’s Process control. For that very important reason, Timbersoft relies upon moisture measurement. Viljoen says a moisture meter in the hands of a kiln operator is like a calculator or Excel spreadsheet in the hands of an accountant. Neither can go without it. Viljoen personally uses a Wagner L606 handheld meter to measure moisture in the kilns because of its speed, accuracy, dependability, consistency, and ease of use. Many of his clients use Wagner’s MMC220, L612 and L622 models, and the L722 stack probe for exactly these reasons. “The Wagner brand is very big in South Africa sawmilling with good reason. If you think capacitance moisture meter, Wagner is the first name that comes to mind. Even in student literature used by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Wood Technology course, the Wagner is used as an example of a capacitance meter,” Viljoen says. “You don’t hear of a Wagner meter that just stopped working,” he adds. While in-kiln moisture meters are important in achieving excellent results, Viljoen believes that MC alone should not be used as the only guide to where the schedule should be. However, for stopping at a desired final MC, it cannot be beaten. “The way the moisture evaporation rate in the timber reacts to a set point should be taken into consideration. This can be seen by observing how your vents react to a set point, but only when preparation, process control, and maintenance remain constant. “If you have the in-kiln moisture measuring facility AND you know how to interpret all the information your kiln controller is giving you, then you are on the road to becoming the best kiln operator a boss could ask for,” Viljoen declares. Photos by Tony Morgan, Wagner Meters. Photos by Tony Morgan, Wagner Meters. View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.woodbusiness.ca/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=1&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriace882e14ec High-Tech Advisory Because the Viljoen team is highly knowledgeable about using technology to dry timber, Timbersoft has achieved exceptional success. However, he cautions that operators who do not know how to interpret the information provided by high-tech systems can block improvements. “A kiln operator should be more skilled than just able to see the dry bulb is running low (call the boiler room), or the wet bulb is running high (fix water issue/check probe), or the in-kiln target MC% is reached (pull the timber),” he declares. The new high-tech systems have made kiln drying more graphic, and for a good operator with a clear understanding of these systems, it should be considerably easier. But for operators who lack this understanding, Viljoen says the ease of changing multiple variables can and has been catastrophic. “Kiln operators who use high-tech systems should never make more changes to a schedule than what they can accurately identify the outcome of,” he remarks. “Make a study of your kiln controller. Don’t just accept everything it presents you with. Try to figure out the logic it’s applying. More often than not, the programmer has no idea what kiln drying is about. The same applies to the kiln expert – he/she often has very little idea what programming is about. The operator needs to ask questions because the more he knows and understands, the more he’ll realize how little he knew when he started,” he adds. Kiln Drying Management Viljoen says there are five points of drying management. If one of the first three changes, then the schedule optimization is affected. The first three points include preparation, process control, and maintenance. Preparation involves sawing accuracy, board dimension, and stacking procedures. Process Control involves airflow, energy distribution and management, humidity control, and venting. While maintenance involves electrical, mechanical, instrumentation, and structure. “When any of those three changes, it affects the dynamics of the kiln. This affects the rate at which moisture leaves the timber – meaning that the MC is not yet where it’s supposed to be at that stage in drying. “A MC-based schedule is more forgiving, as it is supposed to only progress to the next stage of drying when a certain MC is reached. A standard time-based schedule, however, won’t know what to do. This is why it’s of utmost importance that a kiln operator spots these abnormalities on the process graph and have the authority to stop the kiln and have it fixed,” Viljoen says. Achieving Higher Profitability Quality control is essential for production yield and profitability. And one of the key factors in a good quality control program is moisture management. Inaccurate readings can lead to delays, low yields, and poor grade inspections. That’s why Timbersoft considers kiln moisture monitoring, using the Wagner moisture meters, to be part of their overall success. Timbersoft has many successful client case studies as proof of its customized approach to kiln moisture management. Learn more at www.tskilns.co.za. And, learn more about Wagner’s wood moisture measurement solutions at https://www.wagnermeters.com. Tony Morgan is a senior technician for Wagner Meters, where he serves on a team for product testing, development, and also customer service and training for moisture measurement products. Along with 19 years field experience for a number of electronics companies, Tony holds a B.A. in Management and his AAS in Electronics Technology. Call Wagner Meters today at (800) 634-9961 and ask for Tony, or visit www.wagnermeters.com.
Oct. 24, 2017 - Nestled in between the forests of Kenora, Ont. is Weyerhaeuser’s Kenora TimberStrand, a 10.5-acre engineered wood products facility that resides on a 65-hectare site. This plant is the base of operations for the production of the company’s TimberStrand Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL) products, which include wall framing, rimboard, concrete forms, columns and headers and beams.
Oct. 11, 2017 - Do you remember the last time you ate a popsicle? There is a good chance that you were holding on to your icy treat with a wooden stick produced by Quebec company John Lewis Industries. John Lewis provides the vast majority of popsicle sticks to food companies throughout North America.
Oct. 5, 2017 - American pallet manufacturer PalletOne, Inc. ("PalletOne"), announced its purchase of North East Texas Pallet, a pallet manufacturer located in Clarksville, Texas."I am happy to join the PalletOne team," said former owner Lance Downs. "The company's national presence provides many growth opportunities for the Clarksville operation." PalletOne chief executive officer Howe Wallace said, "We are excited to expand our market share in Texas. This acquisition enhances our operational efficiency and customer service. We are proud to have such a capable group of managers and employees join our team and excited Lance will continue with the company as a part of our leadership team."Founded in 1989, North East Texas Pallet primarily served customers in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Kansas. Producing over 100 truckloads weekly, the Clarksville facility manufactures standard, block and export pallets.Organized in 2001 from predecessor companies, PalletOne now operates 17 locations in 9 states and manufactures new pallets, repairs and recycles used pallets and produces a variety of other wood products.PalletOne's operations include Sunbelt Forest Products Corporation, one of the largest producers of pressure-treated lumber and residential fencing in the Southeast. Sunbelt operates four plants in Florida and Alabama.The combined operations of PalletOne processes more than 500 million board feet of lumber annually and employs more than 1,500 people at 21 locations.
March 13, 2018 - Pinnacle and West Fraser have begun the conversion of an existing particle board facility in Smithers, B.C., to a wood pellet production facility.The project under the Smithers Pellet Limited Partnership will be co-owned by West Fraser Timber Co. (30 per cent) and Pinnacle (70 per cent).Located in northwestern B.C. approximately halfway between Prince George and Prince Rupert, the Smithers facility is connected by direct rail to Pinnacle’s Westview Port Terminal in Prince Rupert.The plant will have an annual capacity of 125,000 metric tonnes, with production expected to begin in the third quarter of 2018.Both fibre supply and customer off-take agreements are in place under long-term agreements, the company reports. “We are pleased to be partnering on the Smithers facility redevelopment with West Fraser. This project will contribute to the economic vitality and job growth of Smithers and other local communities,” Robert McCurdy, CEO of Pinnacle, said in a news release. “We are committed to the numerous communities throughout the Western Canadian fibre basket in which we operate, and we plan to continue to look for similar projects to support our future growth.”Pinnacle currently operates six industrial wood pellet production facilities and a port terminal in B.C., and, in addition to the Smithers operation, has a new production facility under construction in Entwistle, Alta.
Feb. 27, 2018 - Eric Savics and Danny Hagge established Van Urban Timber to produce live-edge slabs and custom wood furniture from locally salvaged urban trees in Vancouver, B.C. “Van Urban Timber started with a theory and an idea that came from Danny [Hagge]," Savics says. "He had a theory that there were enough urban trees coming down on a daily basis that could sustain enough fibre to run a small timber business. What we would do, is provide a free service to go and pick up these trees whether they were coming down for reasons of liability, aesthetic, development, what have you.” “When we started Van Urban Timber we were excited because we were doing something people weren’t doing in the city," Hagge says. "We were taking green waste and turning it into something no one was producing in Vancouver. I think that is the backbone of our company. No matter what, we are always going to strive to be recycling, reusing, and I think that’s the way of the future. Renewable is definitely the way.”
Feb. 27, 2018 - Lincoln Dobson is in the search, rescue and recycling business. He searches for old growth forest timber used in building construction, rescues them from the demolition scrap heap, and recycles the douglas fir, western larch, spruce, and pine beams into new timber frame buildings, lumber products, and even heirloom-quality bed frames. By harvesting the industrial forest in this way, Lincoln’s Buena Vista, Sask.,-based business, Last Mountain Timber Wrighting and Recycling, helps to preserve existing old growth forests while providing some of the soundest, richly-textured, appearance grade wood available for new construction. “After high school, I started tree planting in Western Canada and could see the logging clear cuts, which disturbed me,” Lincoln says. “I have a love of nature and wondered what I could do to help the forest in addition to planting trees.” Besides tree planting, Lincoln also spent years working for a timber framing company in British Columbia, where he acquired the mortise and tenon joinery skills needed to build hand-crafted timber frame structures. His inspiration for rescuing and recycling wood was ignited when his father, who was in the building demolition business, informed him that many old wooden grain elevators scattered throughout the rural countryside were being demolished. When he returned to Buena Vista, Lincoln’s desire to save forests along with his sawmilling and carpentry skills enabled him to launch Last Mountain Timber. Throughout the past 20 years, the company has rescued more than 1.6 million board feet of timber from demolished buildings. The old growth beams have typically been in structural building components anywhere from 40 to 110 years, with some beams measuring as large as 12” X 16” up to 24’ long. The company either salvages the timbers themselves or purchases them from elsewhere as they become available. Last Mountain Timber’s best industrial timber resource has been old wooden grain elevators slated for demolition. For many years, the business was extremely busy rescuing high quality, old growth wood commonly used in these structures. “There were some summers when I was getting a grain elevator each week and dealing with five or six demolition companies,” Lincoln says. “Now it is in its twilight.”To this point, the company has salvaged timber from 205 grain elevators, but Dobson says that similar to old growth forests, it is becoming harder and harder to find industrial timbers from demolition projects, as many grain storage silos have transitioned to cement construction. This year, there were only three elevator demolition projects and that will likely be the last of them. In the meantime, the company’s customers keep a keen eye for demolition projects where beams could be rescued and let Lincoln know when they become available. While harvesting the industrial forest is an important part of Dobson’s business, what happens to the old growth timber after they are rescued is how the company makes a profit. The timbers are sometimes used in new timber frame construction, but more often, the surfaces on the square beams are carefully sawn to remove the grey exterior appearance acquired over time to reveal their natural inner beauty. The timbers are then custom-sawn into a variety of wood dimensions to meet customer requirements. Recently, they installed a 12” X 14” timber measuring 20’ long and a couple of 12” X 14” posts at the entrance to the Jiffy Lube headquarters building in Edmonton, Alta. They have also supplied material for a Montana’s restaurant in Saskatoon, Sask. While they have done business throughout Canada and the United States, their sales and projects these days are a lot closer to home. The key component to the sawmilling side of their business is a Wood-Mizer LT40 band sawmill with a 12’ bed extension. This allows the company to custom saw timbers up to 33’ long. While there was no question that Lincoln was going to purchase a Wood-Mizer sawmill because of his past positive experience using the equipment, he says it was important to properly power the unit to deal with harder wood material like recycled douglas fir. “I was definitely looking for a diesel. I get so much more power and so much more fuel efficiency with it,” Lincoln says. “I knew that I was going to be a professional about running my business, and so I chose the Wood-Mizer LT40 because it was a heavier duty unit. I can definitely count on it. The sawmill is durable and dollar for dollar, it’s probably some of the best money I’ve ever spent.” Recently, Lincoln upgraded to using Wood-Mizer RazorTip carbide tipped blades for remanufacturing purposes on abrasive timber. The material produced on the band sawmill has numerous uses in homes, cabins, lodges, commercial structures, home additions, garages, barns, gazebos and covered residential decks. “When we put a timber on there, it could be for a set of stairs, a table, a bed or a bar top,” Lincoln says, depending on the cut list to fill orders. The company also manufactures truss and roof systems, residential and commercial flooring, mouldings, baseboards, and casings. The material from the band sawmill could also be components for the supply and construction of engineered and handcrafted mortise and tenon timber frame buildings that Last Mountain Timber offers as part of its diverse product line. To complement his Wood-Mizer sawmill, Lincoln uses a Wood-Mizer EG200 twin blade board edger primarily to conserve and edge grey jacket boards generated from the first cut on the bandsaw mill. These boards are aesthetically pleasing material for feature walls or as headboards on bed frames. Most recently, Lincoln purchased a Wood-Mizer BMS250 blade sharpener and BMT150 tooth setter. “It’s working really well because the system is able to do a better job than the two guys I was sending my blades to for sharpening,” Lincoln says. He says that he likes that Wood-Mizer offers many options to grow as needed with all their equipment. With industrial old growth forest timber becoming harder to find, Last Mountain Timber has made the transition to also marketing green and first-cut wood, which includes processing raw logs, sawing other wood species like birch, and salvaging local downed trees that might have ended up in the landfill or burned as firewood. Lincoln concludes that he depends on and uses his Wood-Mizer equipment every day and his business wouldn’t be where it is today without it.
Feb. 26, 2018 - Located in the small community of Haute-Aboujagane in the southeastern part of New Brunswick is the family-owned and operated G.L. Wood Products. Established in 1985, the value-added remanufacturing company produces a variety of wood products including wooden boxes, pallets, stickers & laths, and dunnage. “The main line is buying lumber at a certain price that we remanufacture and sell for a higher price,” said Guy Donelle, operations manager at G.L. Wood Products. “Over the years, we have diversified and grown our company from 5 seasonal employees to over 40 yearly employees.”G.L. Wood Products is situated a few miles west of the Atlantic Ocean where the local economy relies heavily on the fish and wood products industries. The company capitalizes on both markets and first came into business by primarily processing wooden boxes for shipping fish domestically as well as to the northeastern United States, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Iceland. G.L. produces various sized boxes for smoked herring, cod, halibut, oysters, potatoes, berries, and boned salt ranging from five pound to 300 pound capacities. Donelle said the industry prefers wooden boxes compared to cardboard or waxed curtain cardboard boxes because clients generally reuse the quality wood for another purpose, especially in countries such as Haiti and the Dominican. Wooden boxes produced by G.L. were originally processed by double arbor circular saw blades, but the business had issues with the product consistency and quality. In 1995, G.L. purchased a six-head horizontal resaw manufactured by Wood-Mizer in order to increase their efficiency from the thin-kerf bandsaw blades it utilized.“It changed the company,” Donelle said. “Because of the thin-kerf, we increased 20 per cent of our production by getting an extra piece from each 2 x 6.”After buying heat treated dry spruce 2 x 6 lumber, the multi-head resaw splits the boards horizontally in half to get two ends of the wooden box. For the box sides, bottom, and cover, another 2 x 6 board is split into five pieces through one complete pass on the six-head resaw. Once the correct size of box pieces are prepared and custom printing of a company’s name and product description is added, the pieces ship to the customer unassembled which saves on shipping costs and cargo space. According to Donelle, the operation became more efficient when running their equipment at an optimal speed to process up to 28,000 board feet during each nine hour work shift. For more than 20 years with the same resaw, the company has processed six million board feet of dry spruce annually which is equal to more than one million wooden boxes produced for the seafood shipping and packaging industry each year.Along with the success of wooden boxes, diversification of products has been pivotal for the growth of the business. Although the Atlantic provinces are not considered to be a large manufacturing sector, in 1996 G.L. identified a market to produce and sell wooden pallets for the industry.“We have grown the business by selling to fisheries, peat moss companies and also the manufacturing sector,” Donelle said. “We build a lot of custom pallets both softwood and hardwood and have over 60 different types of pallets from stringer, block, and wing pallets.”Although pallet production is supplemental to the primary wooden box business, the company produces more than 300,000 pallets per year for companies throughout Eastern Canada and the United States.In 2005, G.L. further diversified and added a second Wood-Mizer six-head resaw to begin producing kiln stickers and laths for local sawmills in the area.“The [Wood-Mizer] multi-head resaw gives us the kerf and the precision needed for making these products,” Donelle said. “With the durability and service we were getting from Wood-Mizer, we didn’t hesitate in buying a second multi-head and didn’t even quote the competition.”For manufacturing the stickers and laths, G.L. takes a 2 x 6 piece and passes it through the six-head resaw vertically to produce stickers. “That’s why we bought the second multi-head,” Donelle explained. “Because we can get seven boards off the 2 x 6 in one pass.” Almost nothing goes to waste in the operation as byproducts prove profitable as well with the selling of kindling from below-grade kiln stickers along with shavings and sawdust sold to local farmers. The scheduled management of their bandsaw blades has also proved beneficial by sharpening each blade as many as six times instead of throwing them away at the first signs of dullness.“Instead of using a blade and run it until it breaks, we change the blades every half day,” Donelle said. “By doing that we save a lot on the downtime because you seldom see blades break during production.”G.L. depends on Wood-Mizer blade sharpeners and tooth setters to maintain the performance of their own blades on-site and has been using Wood-Mizer bandsaw blades for the past several years.Today, G.L. is making wooden boxes more than ever, but has now diversified into additional wood products and markets to establish a sound blueprint for sustained success. Throughout decades of lucrative operations, Donelle said their accomplishments have come from employing good people and treating them as family. “You really have to surround yourself with good people. When you have good employees and good suppliers and good customers, you’re building all the right bridges and it keeps business simpler. Our employees are ultimately important to our business and our overall key to success.”
Feb. 9, 2018 – Natural wood has been used to build structures for centuries, but it has its limitations. Even after pre-treatment, temperature changes like extreme heat can make wood expand causing it to weaken.A team of scientists at the University of Maryland came up with a two-step process to help natural wood overcome those barriers since it is a cheap and preferred building material all over the world. Their solution involves the partial removal of lignin and hemicellulose from the natural wood followed by hot-pressing to completely densify the natural wood and increase its strength tenfold. “Our processed wood has a specific strength higher than that of most structural metals and alloys, making it a low-cost, high-performance, lightweight alternative,” the scientists wrote in their academic article published in the science journal Nature.
Jan. 2, 2018 - Alberta forest products company Millar Western Forest Products Ltd. announced that it is continuing to execute its growth strategy through the acquisition of Spruceland Millworks Inc. Millar Western has acquired all shares of the company, its manufacturing operations in Acheson, Alta., and its woodlands assets. The transaction brings together two companies that have enjoyed a productive business relationship for decades.Spruceland Millworks is a value-added manufacturer and international distributor of high quality SPF wood products. Started in 1982 by Ben Sawatzky with a simple table saw and a second-hand forklift, the company today has grown to become a "go-to" supplier for its customers and trusted employer in the region. Its more than 100 highly-skilled employees operate a 130,000-square foot manufacturing facility in Acheson. "For the past 35 years, Spruceland Millworks has been a leader in Alberta's value-added wood products sector, developing new products and building new markets in Canada, the U.S. and overseas," said Craig Armstrong, president and chief executive officer of Millar Western. "Through most of those years, Millar Western has been Spruceland's largest supplier of raw material. We look forward to working in even closer partnership with Spruceland leadership to continue the advancement of this dynamic business." This transaction will strengthen Millar Western by integrating the company's existing sawmill operations with Spruceland's value-added manufacturing capabilities. Operating as a division of Millar Western, Spruceland will continue to work under its existing, proven management team and highly-regarded brand. "Alberta forest companies have a reputation as progressive, responsible and innovative," said Tim Fazio, managing partner and co-founder of Atlas Holdings, which entered into partnership with Millar Western in May 2017, becoming majority shareholder. "We are excited about the prospects for growth and expansion within the province's forest sector, led by proven companies like Millar Western and Spruceland." Ben Sawatzky, Spruceland Millworks chief executive officer, commented that the two companies share a family-business background and a common approach to management. "With their long history in Alberta, strong core values, proven ability in sustainable forest management, commitment to the value-added sector and reputation as a good employer, Millar Western is ideally suited to assist Spruceland in its next phase of growth. I am especially pleased that this strategic alliance will ensure a strong future for Spruceland's dedicated staff and security of supply for our valued customers." Headquartered in Edmonton, Millar Western is a century-old, Alberta-based forest products company that produces SPF and aspen lumber, pulp and bioenergy at facilities in Whitecourt and Fox Creek. Established in 1982 and based in Acheson, Spruceland uses SPF dimension lumber to produce value-added wood products including decking, studs, furring strips and industrial access mats. Combined, Millar Western and Spruceland employ nearly 700 people on a full-time basis, and hundreds more on contract.
Nov. 3, 2017 - Stella-Jones Inc. (TSX:SJ) ("Stella-Jones" or the "Company") today announced financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2017. "Stella-Jones' growing reach in the utility pole and residential lumber markets led to solid sales growth in these product categories during the third quarter, more than offsetting the effect of lower year-over-year pricing in the railway tie product category. Furthermore, a strong operating cash flow generation allowed us to significantly reduce our long-term debt and positions us for future expansion," said Brian McManus, President and Chief Executive Officer. Financial highlights (in millions of Canadian dollars, except per share data) Quarters ended Sept. 30, Nine-months ended Sept. 30, 2017 2016 2017 2016 Sales 517.6 512.6 1,508.8 1,496.6 Operating income 63.1 67.3 178.4 205.1 Net income for the period 42.0 45.7 116.8 135.4 Per share - basic and diluted ($) 0.61 0.66 1.68 1.96 Weighted average shares outstanding (basic, in '000s) 69,330 69,255 69,319 69,200 THIRD QUARTER RESULTS Sales reached $517.6 million, up 1.0% from $512.6 million last year. Acquisitions contributed sales of approximately $2.1 million, while the conversion effect from fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar, Stella-Jones' reporting currency, versus the U.S. dollar, had a negative impact of $9.9 million on the value of U.S. dollar denominated sales. Excluding these factors, sales increased by $12.9 million, or 2.5%. Railway tie sales amounted to $160.8 million, compared with sales of $186.6 million in last year's third quarter. Excluding the currency conversion effect, railway tie sales declined approximately $21.7 million, or 11.6%, mainly due to lower pricing. Utility pole sales reached $172.5 million in the third quarter of 2017, representing a 7.8% increase over sales of $160.0 million a year ago. Excluding the contribution from acquisitions and the currency conversion effect, sales increased approximately $14.4 million, or 9.0%, reflecting organic sales growth in the southeastern United States and a gradual return to historical maintenance demand. Sales in the residential lumber category reached $125.8 million in the third quarter of 2017, up from $107.3 million a year earlier. Excluding the currency conversion effect, residential lumber sales increased approximately $20.2 million, or 18.8%, mainly reflecting higher selling prices due to increased untreated lumber costs and more favourable weather in Canada during the third quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year. Industrial product sales reached $25.6 million in the third quarter of 2017, down from $27.5 million in the third quarter of 2016. This variation is mainly due to lower sales of marine pilings in Canada, partially offset by higher sales of rail-related products in the United States. Logs and lumber sales totalled $32.9 million, versus $31.3 million in the third quarter of 2016. This variation reflects the timing of lumber purchase and resale activities, the timing of timber harvesting, as well as higher selling prices due to increased lumber costs. Operating income stood at $63.1 million, or 12.2% of sales, compared with $67.3 million, or 13.1% of sales in the third quarter of the previous year. The decrease as a percentage of sales essentially reflects lower selling prices for railway ties and a less favourable geographical mix in the utility pole category. Net income for the third quarter of 2017 was $42.0 million, or $0.61 per diluted share, versus $45.7 million, or $0.66 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2016. NINE-MONTH RESULTS For the nine-month period ended September 30, 2017, sales amounted to $1.51 billion, versus $1.50 billion for the corresponding period a year earlier. Acquisitions contributed sales of $40.9 million, while the currency conversion effect had a negative impact of $4.3 million on the value of U.S. dollar denominated sales. Excluding these factors, sales decreased approximately $24.4 million, or 1.6%. Operating income reached $178.4 million, or 11.8% of sales, compared with $205.1 million, or 13.7% of sales, last year. Net income totalled $116.8 million, or $1.68 per diluted share, versus $135.4 million, or $1.96 per diluted share, in the prior year. SOLID FINANCIAL POSITION As at September 30, 2017, the Company's financial position remained solid with long-term debt, including the current portion, of $454.1 million, down significantly from $615.8 million three months earlier. The decrease in long-term debt reflects a solid operating cash flow generation during the quarter and, to a lesser extent, the effect of local currency translation on U.S. dollar denominated long-term debt. As at September 30, 2017, Stella-Jones' total debt to total capitalization ratio was 0.30:1, down from 0.37:1 three months earlier. QUARTERLY DIVIDEND OF $0.11 PER SHARE On November 2, 2017, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.11 per common share payable on December 21, 2017 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 4, 2017. OUTLOOK "Based on current trends, we expect to conclude 2017 with slightly higher sales compared to the previous year. Looking ahead to 2018, conditions prevailing in the railway tie category should yield relatively stable sales. Meanwhile, normal maintenance patterns and improving demand for transmission poles should provide further momentum in the utility pole category. We also expect margins to slightly improve throughout 2018. Our focus remains on growing shareholder value by maximizing operating cash flow through ensuring efficient and cost- effective operations. Funds generated will be invested in working capital and our existing network, while maintaining an optimal dividend policy and examining expansion opportunities that offer strategic value in our main product categories," concluded Mr. McManus. CONFERENCE CALL Stella-Jones will hold a conference call to discuss these results on November 3, 2017, at 10:00 AM Eastern Time. Interested parties can join the call by dialing 1-647-788-4922 (Toronto or overseas) or 1-877-223-4471 (elsewhere in North America). Parties unable to call in at this time may access a recording by calling 1-800-585-8367 and entering the passcode 83494502. This recording will be available on Friday, November 3, 2017 as of 1:00 PM Eastern Time until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Friday, November 10, 2017. NON-IFRS FINANCIAL MEASURES Operating income is a financial measure not prescribed by IFRS and is not likely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. Management considers this non-IFRS measure to be useful information to assist knowledgeable investors regarding the Company's financial condition and results of operations as it provides an additional measure of its performance. ABOUT STELLA-JONES Stella-Jones Inc. (TSX:SJ) is a leading producer and marketer of pressure treated wood products. The Company supplies North America's railroad operators with railway ties and timbers, and the continent's electrical utilities and telecommunication companies with utility poles. Stella-Jones also manufactures and distributes residential lumber and accessories to retailers for outdoor applications, as well as industrial products for construction and marine applications. The Company's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Except for historical information provided herein, this press release may contain information and statements of a forward-looking nature concerning the future performance of the Company. These statements are based on suppositions and uncertainties as well as on management's best possible evaluation of future events. Such factors may include, without excluding other considerations, fluctuations in quarterly results, evolution in customer demand for the Company's products and services, the impact of price pressures exerted by competitors, the ability of the Company to raise the capital required for acquisitions, and general market trends or economic changes. As a result, readers are advised that actual results may differ from expected results.
Oct. 27, 2017 - Over the past few years, the lumber industry has been confronted with chip production above and beyond the demand, resulting in the creation of big surpluses in various regions of Quebec and Ontario. This situation may well get worse in the coming years, as pulp and paper mills—which used to be large consumers of this resource—buy less and less chips or if there is a substantial increase in production. At the same time, the wood panel manufacturing industry is facing a certain number of challenges relating to the constant supply of raw materials, and particularly with regard to the quantity and quality of the materials.To meet the needs of panel manufacturers that want to diversify their sources of supply as well as respond to the necessity of finding new markets for sawmill residues, FPInnovations has launched a new project aimed at evaluating innovative fragmentation technologies adapted to sawmills that convert small diameter logs for the production of by-products to be used in manufacturing structural and non-structural panels. Within this project, FPInnovations’ Engineered Wood Products Manufacturing team shipped to a European company already using the fragmentation technology sawmill residues in the form of slab wood, trim ends and cull logs from various species and in a variety of shapes and diameters. FPInnovations will evaluate the possibility of fragmenting these logs that are unfit for being processed into lumber in order to use them to make wood wafers of desired dimensions for panel board mills.Thanks to this new approach, wood wafers produced in sawmills may be delivered to panel manufacturers and used directly as raw materials, without any subsequent processing. In addition to offering new opportunities, this approach will help improve the mechanical and physical properties of the panels, while cutting the production costs, through a decrease in the density of the panels and a reduction in the amount of resin-based binder required.This development project aims to offer companies producing wood chips a way of increasing revenue from non-traditional markets. For more information, contact
Aug. 14, 2017 - The owner of Precision Custom Remanufacturing in west Abbotsford, B.C., is crediting firefighters for preventing a fire that broke out on the property last week from destroying a $1.2-million thermal kiln.
Aug. 10, 2017 - The low Canadian dollar as well as acquisitions helped Stella-Jones post a sales increase of 5.5 per cent from last year's number in Q2.
Aug. 3, 2017 - Litco International, Inc. announces the publication of a new white paper: A Comparison of Pallet Strength and Functionality. The 12-page white paper, authored by Dr. Marshall White, provides detailed analysis comparing Litco's Inca molded pallets to GMA-style, new and repaired, traditional nailed wood pallets for one-way shipping.
July 18, 2017 - Hardwoods Distribution Inc., through its subsidiary Rugby Holdings LLC, has purchased substantially all of the assets and assumed certain liabilities of Downes & Reader Hardwood Company Inc. for a total value of US$6.0 million.
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Canadian Woodlands Forum Spring Meeting
April 4-5, 2018
Atlantic Heavy Equipment Show
April 5-6, 2018
2018 BC Council of Forest Industries Convention
April 6-8, 2018
April 11-13, 2018