Feb. 13, 2018 – The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is encouraging citizens to help it solve natural resource violation cases. They include poaching large and small game; unlawful hunting or shooting from a roadway; fishing out hunting out-of-season; the illegal sale of species at risk, wildlife or animal parts; taking more fish or game than allowed; dumping waste on Crown land; illegally removing sand, gravel or wood from public lands; having fires in restricted fire zones or without a permit; and illegal activities in provincial parks and protected areas. Many of the cases go unsolved because they occur in remote areas with few witnesses. The ministry is encouraging people who have information to call its tip line at 1-877-847-7667. A full map of the unsolved cases can be found here.
Feb. 9, 2018 – Husqvarna has reformulated its line of machine oils to set new industry standards in performance and product longevity. Made specifically for Husqvarna products, the improved formulations deliver lower operating temperatures and greater detergency inside engines. The new bar and chain oil range offers reduced friction and wear on cutting equipment. Available at Husqvarna dealers across Canada, the reformulated selection of oil and lubricants has been improved using premium additives and semi-synthetic base oils to specifications that exceed industry standards, enhancing the output and extending the life of Husqvarna products.  “Husqvarna’s commitment to ensuring the optimum performance of our state-of-the-art equipment extends to the entire product ecosystem, from the design through to accessories,” said Giovanni Crespi, Husqvarna’s director of regional product management for North America. “Using proprietary blends of synthetic and virgin base stocks, we’ve reformulated our oils and lubricants to run cleaner and last longer, helping our customers experience even greater performance and efficiency from their Husqvarna tools.” The evolution of 2-stroke engine oils Each of Husqvarna’s improved 2-Stroke oils has Verified Engine Formula (VEF) certification, denoting that they have been designed, tested and approved specifically for Husqvarna engines. VEF is determined via a series of stress tests in hundreds of engines, over thousands of hours to ensure the oils are optimal for Husqvarna engines. Husqvarna fuel mix and engines complement each other to deliver maximum power output, running cleaner and longer, season after season. ·      Husqvarna XP+ 2-Stroke Oil has been formulated with premium additives, and semi-synthetic base oils. Engineered to maximize engine performance, it is JASO-FD certified, ensuring this formulation meets and exceeds the toughest oil standards, providing the perfect balance of engine lubricity, detergency and exhaust output. Its low-smoke formulation was also specifically engineered to ensure the lowest operating temperature, preventing premature engine bearing failures. ·      HP Synthetic Blend 2-Stroke Oil combines semi-synthetic base oils and high-quality additives to ensure optimal lubricity and detergency, resulting in lower operating temperature and less deposits in the crankcase. The HP oil formulation also contains fuel stabilizer to help reduce the risk of engine failure caused by spoiled gas. Less wear and improved tackifier Husqvarna X-Guard Premium Bar and Chain Oil has been reformulated with unique anti-wear properties that result in outstanding wear protection. The addition of a premium tackifier adheres the oil to the bar and chain for longer and provides less “sling off.” Husqvarna X-Guard Premium Bar and Chain Oils greatly reduces friction and welding of metal parts under high loads. There are three formulations available: All Season, Low Temperature which is rated down to -49F (-45C) and Biodegradable which does so in less than 28 days. Less wear and longer life Husqvarna’s 4-Stroke Oils are premium oil blends designed for tough, commercial use, but ideal for all Husqvarna wheeled products, including tractors, walk mowers, snow blowers, commercial zero turn mowers and commercial walk behind mowers. Reformulated using high-quality base stocks, our 4-stroke range provides superior viscosity retention and protection, easier starting, less oxidation and fewer deposits resulting in less wear and longer engine life. ·      There are four versions available, all exceeding all API SJ specifications: SAE 10W-30 Full Synthetic, SAE 30 4-Stroke Oil, SAE 5W-30 Semi Synthetic and SAE 5W-30 Mineral Oil. High octane for high performance Husqvarna’s premium pre-mix fuels have an octane rating of (R+M)/2 METHOD 95. Unlike pump gas, both the 2- and 4-stroke formulas do not degrade or oxidize. The fuel stays fresh for years solving long-term storage needs. ·      XP+ 2-Stroke Fuel + Oil is mixed with the best synthetic oil blend and is specifically formulated to provide the Husqvarna handheld owner with optimal equipment performance. Ready to use with no mixing required, it protects the fuel system saving carburetors and helping to avoid costly rebuilds and downtime. XP+ is a JASO-FD certified premium synthetic oil blend for your 2-Stroke air-cooled engine. ·      Husqvarna 4-Stroke Fuel contains premium high-octane fuel stabilizers to enhance the performance of any Husqvarna air-cooled 4-stroke engine. It delivers superior protection for fuel systems, resulting in easier and more dependable starts. Superior performance, superior warranty Consumers who purchase 2-stroke gas-powered Husqvarna handheld products can extend their product warranty from 2-years to a 4-year limited warranty when they purchase Husqvarna branded oil and fuel. Learn more at www.husqvarna.ca. To learn more, join the conversation by liking Husqvarna on Facebook (www.facebook.com/HusqvarnaCA) and by following Husqvarna on Instagram (www.instagram.com/husqvarnaca). Husqvarna Professional Products Inc. is a subsidiary of the Husqvarna Group. Husqvarna Group is a producer of outdoor power products for garden, park and forest care. Products include chainsaws, trimmers, robotic lawn mowers and ride-on lawn mowers.
Feb. 7, 2018 - WorkSafeBC has released a new three-year plan to help employers reduce serious injuries in the forestry sector. The 2018-2020 Forestry High-Risk Strategy is a renewed three-year strategy for prevention activities in harvesting and related operations. “The intent of the forestry high-risk strategy is to implement focused and effective inspections in those areas of the timber harvesting sector that have the most risk to workers,” said Dan Strand, director of prevention field services for WorkSafeBC. “Our goal with the high-risk strategies is simple — to reduce the number of serious injuries.” Identified high-risk work activities typically fall into five areas of timber harvesting: Manual tree falling Log transportation Cable yarding Mechanized harvesting Silviculture In addition to the five main areas, emergency-response planning has also been identified as a critical target area for the forestry high-risk strategy. Due to the continuing high injury rate in hand falling, a dedicated inspection team will focus on employers with high injury rates and/or poor compliance rates. The seasonal nature of forestry work is also incorporated into the forestry strategy. Officers in different regions of the province will continue to have the latitude to shift their inspection activity to reflect seasonal work. The serious injury rate in the forestry sector is much higher than the average in other sectors. In 2016, the serious injury rate in forestry was 1.2 per 100 person-years of employment, compared to 0.3 across all sectors in B.C. In 2016, there were 13 fatal workplace incidents involving forestry workers (based on the classification units that comprise the forestry high-risk strategy). WorkSafeBC’s high-risk strategies identify and target industries and employers with a high risk of serious workplace injury and a significant contribution to the serious-injury rate. High-risk strategies include four industry sectors: construction, forestry, health care and manufacturing. More information about the forestry high-risk strategy, including 2018 deliverables and timelines, is available at worksafebc.com.
Feb. 6, 2018 – The towns of Canmore and Whitecourt, Alta., as well as Woodlands County have received a combined total of $130,000 to eradicate the mountain pine beetle. The mountain pine beetle threatens six million hectares of Alberta’s pine forest and affects the activities of more than half of the major forest companies operating in the province.The funds are being allocated as follows:Canmore –  $75,000Whitecourt ­– $29,000Woodlands – $26,000 “Our best chance to combat the mountain pine beetle infestation is if our government partners with local municipalities on aggressive and proactive detection and control programs,” said Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. In 2017, more than 92,000 trees across the province were cut and burned to help control the mountain pine beetle outbreak.
Feb. 6, 2018 – FPInnovations has released a special guidebook outlining best management practices for integrated harvest operations in British Columbia. The guidebook explains that harvest residue is increasingly in demand to be used for fuel with the goal of expanding the bioeconomy. It encourages forest residues to be used for this environmentally friendly practice rather than be burned or left to rot by the roadside. The publications explains that this residue could be used to create hog fuel, chips, wood pellets or firewood. It goes on to describe piling practice based on machinery and transportation. The guidebook finishes by outlining best practices for primary and secondary harvesters.    Access the full publication here.
Feb. 6, 2018 - Pierce’s long history of high-lift Paralifts reach back to the design’s inception — and long before European loaders were even involved in log yards. Since then, Pierce has continued to improve on the original design, resulting in Paralifts that offer unsurpassed reliability and performance. “Outstanding productivity and remarkable longevity are the hallmarks of our high-lift Paralifts,” says Pierce’s Greg Hildebrandt. “In fact many of them have logged as many as 50,000 to 70,000 hours on the metre.” The company’s decades of experience with this product have led to the creation of countless purpose-built, high-lift Paralift loaders for handling shortwood — all designed to maintain high visibility for safe and efficient throughput. And with grapple options ranging from eight to 16 feet, Pierce Paralifts will likely meet just about any log yard requirement. For more information about Pierce’s line of high-lift Paralifts visit www.piercepacific.com.
Jan. 30, 2018 - RedMax, a global outdoor power equipment brand of Husqvarna, is expanding its lineup to offer professionals the full solution of equipment for tree care needs.The RedMax GZ3500T Pro Chainsaw is leading the lineup. This new saw for tree care professionals offers fuel-efficient, performance-optimized operation with low-vibration design and insulated handles for longer use and turbo air cleaning for less maintenance.“Developing innovative and reliable products for commercial use is paramount for us,” said Jeff Dewosky, vice-president and general manager of Husqvarna North America. “We are excited to share our latest innovations for RedMax that show how our products can help professionals be more productive and efficient with intelligently designed products that focus on what matters.”The GZ3500T is a lightweight top handle chainsaw for heavy-duty use, equipped with a 35-cc engine and a 14-inch bar. Please visit RedMax.com to find your local RedMax dealer.
Jan. 23, 2018 - A pilot project to produce and commercialize biochemicals derived from wood at Resolute Forest Products's pulp and paper mill in Thunder Bay, Ont., has received a new round of funding.The project will establish a biorefinery for TMP-Bio – a patented technology developed by FPInnovations to produce biochemicals, including cellulosic sugars and high-quality H-lignin, from wood.The federal government is contributing $5.8 million to the project – $3 million through FedNor and $2.8 million through Natural Resources Canada. The Ontario government announced funding for the project in 2016."Our Government values innovation and is committed to building collaborative working relationships to help support the forest sector. FPInnovations has shown leadership in transforming the industry, promoting a culture of collaboration, and demonstrating results by developing bio-products with a low carbon footprint." Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr said in a news release. @FPInnovations and @resolutefp announce investment in pilot project in #Ontario to produce #bio-chemicals derived from #wood @CRIBE_Biomass @NRCan @NOHFC @FedNor @TBCEDC https://t.co/mbhOyue2VA pic.twitter.com/4NiIKHGUFL — FPInnovations (@FPInnovations) January 22, 2018 Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Don Rusnak called the project is a significant step towards developing a bioeconomy in Northern Ontario and all of Canada. "The project has the potential to completely transform the forest products industry of our region, and I look forward to seeing the positive impacts it will have," Rusnak said."This project highlights the importance of investing in de-risking new technologies and products, and points the way for developing and delivering a transformative technology that contributes to the Canadian bio-economy," said FPInnovations president and CEO Stéphane Renou. "This major initiative strengthens the industry's position as a leader in the bio-refinery sector." Richard Garneau, president and CEO of Resolute, said the company is pleased to provide a host facility and funding for the project. "This project will help create opportunities to diversify the use of wood fibre into higher-value-added products," he said.
Jan. 23, 2018 - Canadian Forest Industries Top 10 Under 40 contest is an annual tradition, drawing in nominations from coast-to-coast and recognizing young leaders in forestry. To individually acknowledge each winner and his or her contributions to the forest industry, CFI has featured each of our top 10 winners of 2017 over 10 weeks.In wrapping up our amazing roster of young individuals, we introduce our readers to Marco Gaudette.Marco is owner and operator at Broyage RM in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que.As soon as he turned 18, Marco decided to become a construction entrepreneur. Years later, in 2009, Marco trained as a carpenter and took interest in the forest sector. At the time wood pallet businesses had a lot of residues to shred and Marco saw a business opportunity. “I called Domtar to sell them the biomass before buying a wood chipper,” Marco says. “But they did not transfer me to the right person, because a forester offered me a grinding contract on their private lands.” That contract was more than enough for Marco to invest in a wood grinder and launch Broyage RM in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que.Marco’s margins were slim with his first contract, but the entrepreneur persevered. Eight years later, at 34-years-old, Marco’s company now processes 225,000 tons of biomass yearly for clients such as Domtar, Acadian Timber and Irving. Meanwhile, he developed a unique business model: he buys the raw material left in the forest, grinds it and sells it to pulp and paper mills. The profitability of his business is tied to transportation costs. In 2009, operations were limited to 75 kilometres or less from the mill in order for Broyage RM to make money. Today, Marco Gaudette can go as far as 130 kilometres and still make a profit with his three grinders – two Vermeer’s and one Morbark – and nine employees.To keep his business growing, Marco now dreams about a biomass mill that would store and process even more raw material for his clients.Thank you once again to all of our nominees. We can't wait to read about more talented individuals in forestry in the search for the next Top 10 Under 40!Read last week's spotlight on Ali Zarei.
Jan. 23, 2018 - Bandit Industries has added an additional option to The Beast horizontal grinder lineup by introducing the Model 2460XP. Available as a towable or track machine, the Model 2460XP is a machine built from the ground up to outperform every other horizontal grinder in its class. “We looked at everything when designing the Model 2460XP. Every design decision, every standard feature, and every option was chosen to make this the most productive horizontal grinder with 520 horsepower,” said Bandit sales manager Jason Morey. “Anyone who sees the 2460XP in action will be able to immediately see what makes this unit so special.” Special attention was paid to making the 2460XP among the easiest horizontal grinders to service and maintain. Common maintenance items were designed to be accessible from either the ground or on built-in platforms. This reduces maintenance downtime and increases the useful uptime. “Key to any of The Beast horizontal grinders is the patented downturning cuttermill,” Morey said. “The 2460XP is equipped with a 60” wide by 30” diameter, 30-tooth cuttermill running Bandit’s patented saw-tooth style cutterbodies. This regulates the size of the tooth’s bite, so most of the material is sized on the initial cut, allowing material to be sized correctly on the first pass so it exits the larger screening area more quickly.” For the tracked 2460XP, Bandit offers Strickland and Caterpillar, giving customers an additional option for their track machines.
Jan. 23, 2018 - Bandit Industries unveiled the BTC-300 track carrier in 2017, kicking off a new track carrier line that will include additional machines in the future. “The BTC-300 is the next evolution for high-performance track carriers,” said Bandit sales manager Jason Morey. “And the feedback we’ve received about our new track carrier has been amazing. Customer feedback went into a majority of the design of the BTC-300.” Many customers are discovering the rugged Bandit construction and luxurious cab with extraordinary visibility, making this machine a dependable addition to their machine lineup. The cab is comfortable and quiet, making it easy to put a full day of work at the controls. The 10-way adjusting air-ride captain’s chair positions all the controls with easy reach. And bulletproof-grade glass eliminates the need for metal safety bars, so the BTC-300 offers the best visibility among the competition, all while still maintaining FOPS/ROPS/OPS safety standards. Maintenance components are easily accessible, most from the ground or built-in platforms. Hydraulic pumps are easily accessible, and separate hydraulic systems operate the tracks and the mower head. The BTC-300 rides on a powerful CAT 315 steel tracks, allowing unbeatable ground clearance. Engine options are available from John Deere, Cat and Volvo up to 321 horsepower. Outfit your BTC-300 with a 90-inch wide forestry mower head or a 44-inch diameter stump grinder cutter wheel. Both are quick and easy to attach, and can be done in the field without costly trips back to the machine shop.
Jan. 23, 2018 - Ponsse celebrates two important milestones today. The biggest extension project in the company's history has reached the topping-out phase, and the factory has produced the 13,000th forest machine made in the Vieremä facility in Finland.       Ponsse machine number 13,000, a PONSSE Ergo 8w, was delivered to the company's German customer FoWi GmbH & Co. This also marks the beginning of Ponsse's and German distributor Wahlers Forsttechnik GmbH's jubilee year: 25 years have passed since Ponsse and Wahlers signed their contract on distribution and service collaboration in the German-speaking regions of Europe. The seeds of this collaboration were sown already in the early 1970s when Einari Vidgrén, Ponsse's founder, was logging on a storm devastation sites in Germany. Quality and flexibility through investments The current production facility investment is the biggest in Ponsse's history: the factory will expand from the current 2.7 hectares to 4 hectares. Most importantly, the investment contributes to ongoing improvement and development of quality, flexibility, safety and productivity of Ponsse's operations. The extension of production facilities enables the company to respond to changing market situations with more flexibility, and to tailor machines to customer requirements more efficiently in a serial-production environment. The new facilities in Vieremä will be completed by the end of the year, and will be the most advanced forest machine production facility in the world.   Our strong focus on the development of cut-to-length forest machines requires constant development of our production operations. That is the only way we can fulfill the needs of our customers and stay at the forefront of technology in the demanding forest machine market. A safe, modern factory is also an important investment in our employees, says Ponsse's president and chief executive officer Juho Nummela.  The Ponsse factory in Vieremä currently employs 570 employees, 390 of whom work in production tasks. All Ponsse forest machines are made in Vieremä, Finland. New factory in operation by end of year  New assembly lines and storage facilities housed in the new extension will be phased in gradually during 2018. Relocation to new facilities starts in March with warehouse operations. New smart warehouse technologies make production warehouse logistics more efficient and increase the degree of automation considerably. Warehouse automation covers 15,500 storage slots for small items and components and 3,900 pallet positions.  After the warehouse relocation, a new harvester head assembly line will move to the new facilities. A new assembly line for base machines will be in operation by the end of the summer, and by end of 2018 cabin and crane assembly lines will also be renewed. The amount of production-time testing used to support quality control will increase in all production lines. High-quality work from local experts  Starting with earthworks, most of the factory extension has been built by local companies. The massive project was split into several smaller parts to enable local companies to offer their services. The main contractor, construction company U. Lipsanen, delivered the factory extension project that was started one year ago to Ponsse today.
Feb. 6, 2018 – The Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (BNA) First Nation’s Sawmill Manager Project is receiving $57,746 from the Ontario government to ensure the BNA has a qualified manager to run sawmill operations. Papasay Value-Added Wood Products is a First Nation-owned sawmill located in the Lake Nipigon Forest, about 180km northwest of Thunder Bay. The company’s goal is to provide long-term sustainable employment opportunities for BNA Band Members and workers from the region by utilizing the natural resources available in the area to produce rough sawn lumber including birch, cedar, poplar and SPF, as well as value-added products such as columns and posts.
Jan. 30, 2018 - 3D scanning and inspection solutions developer LMI Technologies (LMI) has launched a new line of modular multi-point scanners called the Gocator 200 Series. The Gocator 200 Series is the latest addition to the Gocator line of smart, all-in-one 3D sensors for material optimization and 100 per cent quality control. With Gocator 200 multi-point scanners, users can create a scanning system based on a modular design that allows a mix of 3D profiling, tracheid detection, and colour vision for sawmills and planer mills looking to maximize wood breakdown decisions, the company said in a release. The G200 series is based on coplanar scanning that effectively captures both the leading and trailing edges of lumber while minimizing conveyor footprint, offers true differential profiling for accurate thickness measurement, and can scale from one to 48 sensors to cover various lumber length requirements.Based on the proven high-density profile design of chroma+scan, Gocator 200 scanners run 50 per cent faster to achieve scan rates at 3 kHz matching mills running at 300 feet per minute. In addition, tracheid scan rates are three times faster to deliver 1.5khz density for exceptional detail in wood grain detection. “Gocator 200 gives customers a modular advantage so that saw and planer mills can now create their own custom material optimization solutions,” said Terry Arden, chief executive officer of LMI Technologies. “We are excited by the possibilities the G200 offers to the wood industry including the many benefits of Gocator’s proven all-in-one 3D smart capabilities.” With the launch of the G200 series, LMI is also expanding the capabilities of its standard Gocator Software Development Kit (GoSDK) with a new Web Scanning SDK (GoWebScan). GoWebScan SDK allows users to quickly and easily implement their own solutions by taking care of common tasks like system alignment, and merging data from multiple sensors.
Jan. 30, 2018 - With many wood processing facilities demanding larger system capabilities Allied Blower & Sheet Metal has successfully certified a line of BBDs that reach sizes up to 50” (1270 mm) in diameter.  When comparing the options of using a Passive Mechanical System or an Active Chemical Suppression system the Mechanical Systems are perceived to have less maintenance costs due to simplicity in function, design, training requirements, and the low frequency of inspections.  With a mechanical BBD, mill staff do not need specialized training or tools when inspecting and keeping maintenance records for NFPA compliance, as they would require with an Active Chemical system. This results in more up-time, allowing for more production. The Allied BBDs are built in Canada and designed for easy installation, inspection, and maintenance.  The instrumentation meets North American standards to easily integrate into a plant or mill PLC system and is available in Class 2 Div 2.  The BBD can resist a vented dust collector explosion reaching a Pred of 5 psi (0.35 bar) for dusts with a Kst of up to 200 bar-m/sec. This range provides safe operation for a large range of deflagrable dusts used in industry.  A combination of Allied BDD and an Allied’s NFPA certified rotary feeders can provide NFPA compliant passive isolation for large sized systems.  Located in Western Canada, Allied is owner-operated, making for short lead times and easily available replacement components. Being familiar with North American standards and technologies as well as European technologies and systems, the knowledgeable Allied design team can support your deflagrable dust issues and help you get back into compliance. Founded in 1974, Allied supplies design, fabrication, installation and service for industrial air systems.  For more info visit www.alliedblower.com.
Jan. 23, 2018 - The travelling saw salesman; could there be a more hallowed tradition in the world of saw filing?
Jan. 23, 2018 - In early 2016, northern Ontario business Kenora Forest Products (KFP) re-started the local sawmill, and by year end, had added a second shift in the planer and sawmill to meet production capacity. Much of their staffing success is due to an innovative community partnership with local Aboriginal organizations and provincial health and safety association Workplace Safety North (WSN). As part of the mill restart negotiations, the Kenora, business made a commitment to hire Aboriginal workers and surpassed its original target of a 30 per cent Aboriginal workforce to more than 50 per cent. According to the Kenora Daily Miner and News, there are approximately 110 unionized and non-unionized positions at the mill, with additional indirect jobs created in woodlands operations.Reaching out to community partnersAt the early stages of hiring, KFP managers realized they had many positions to fill and understood that many of the new workers would have little to no sawmill experience. They were also committed to ensure local Aboriginal people shared in the economic benefits of the reopening. A decision was made to work with community partners to help ensure their workforce had proper pre-employment training to prepare workers for sawmill positions. Community partners included Seven Generations Education Institute, Ozhibii’igewigamig Employment and Training Centre, Shooniyaa Wa-Biitong, Ne-Chee Friendship Centre, and WSN.  Ozhibii’igewigamig Employment and Training Centre recruits workersBased out of Kenora, the Ozhibii’igewigamig Employment and Training Centre (a partnership between Shooniyaa Wa-Biitong and Ne-Chee Friendship Centre) was skillfully involved in the planning phase and recruitment. The organization works to create new partnerships with industry to help build strong community workforces. They worked with KFP managers to understand the employee skillsets needed.From there, the organization recruited individuals, coached and prepared the candidates for job readiness by working on resume writing, interview skills, job expectations and the required personal safety equipment for selected training candidates. Shooniyaa Wa-Biitong and Ne-Chee Friendship Centre also helped by providing some funding for the pre-employment training as well as travel assistance where required.WSN assesses needs and provides health and safety training coursesWorkplace Safety North and KFP managers worked together to select appropriate health and safety training courses to prepare workers for the sawmill environment. The courses included Occupational Health and Safety training, Lockout Awareness, Safe Use of Machinery, Ergonomics, and Violence and Harassment Prevention. Additionally, the new provincial standard for Working at Heights Safety Training was provided for all trainees.  Seven Generations Education Institute organizes training logisticsSeven Generations Education Institute was involved in organizing the logistics around training dates, classroom locations, and lunches prepared by their culinary students. They also provided training on cultural awareness and communication expectations in the workplace. The awareness workshop helps people better understand the local Anishinaabe culture. Getting to know and understand people’s different cultures helps build a workforce that works together as a team. This local employer was extremely successful by “thinking outside the box” versus traditional “do-it-yourself,” and by collaborating with a variety of community partners. A leader in working with community partners, KFP is a subsidiary of Manitoba-based Prendiville Industries, a resource-based company that manufactures a wide range of wood products for the building, mining and construction industries.For more information, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Jan. 16, 2018 - Like a wisp of smoke, a waft of alcohol, or a tiny pill, it’s difficult to measure the exact size of the problem of substance abuse in the workplace, but a group of sawmill industry experts has placed the issue firmly at the top of their safety agenda.Last June 2017, a volunteer group of subject matter experts met face-to-face for a sawmill workplace risk assessment at Workplace Safety North (WSN) headquarters in North Bay, Ontario. The group of 15 representatives from management, labour, government, and not-for-profit organizations, was facilitated by Sujoy Dey, Ph.D., Corporate Risk Officer at the Ministry of Labour (MOL).In advance of the workshop, each industry expert submitted their top health and safety concerns, and during the one-day workshop, all 80 identified risks were reviewed and discussed by the group.When it came time for the final vote on the top risks, only actual workers and managers in the sawmill industry were allowed to vote. In order to ensure an open and fair voting process, handheld electronic devices recorded votes anonymously. Both labour and management agreed: the top danger sawmill workers face is substance abuse.“As they identified specific conditions and situations that could result in injury or illness, we asked the group, ‘What keeps you up at night?’” says Dr. Dey, “And both workers and managers agreed: the number one risk in sawmills is substance abuse.” Dey notes the category includes not just alcohol and recreational drugs, but also prescription drugs, such as pain medication.Top 10 health and safety risks in sawmills1. Substance Abuse: Under the influence of drugs and alcohol in the workplace2. Training: Employees taking shortcuts3. Not properly locking out or guarding equipment4. Age: Inexperience of new, young workers who don’t see the dangers5. Psychosocial: Lack of focus, distraction of worker while performing duties 6. Slips, trips, and falls7. Occupational disease: Loss of hearing, ringing in the ears8. Psychosocial: Stress, including job and family pressures9. Working from heights: Absence of engineered anchor points10. Caught in or crushed by mobile equipmentBeing under the influence of alcohol or drugs – prescription or not – is a longstanding safety concern in the workplace, and it’s a difficult thing to measure (unlike, for example, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board statistics on slips, trips, and falls in the workplace). Even though there are issues regarding social stigma, privacy, and human rights concerns, drug and alcohol use in the workplace is an issue that’s too risky to ignore any longer. “An interesting outcome of the workshop was that the number one risk was not on Workplace Safety North’s radar as a priority concern,” says Tom Welton, WSN Industrial Director. “WSN historically uses WSIB [Workplace Safety and Insurance Board] statistics to provide a clear picture of workplace injuries and trends. “The risk assessment workshop provided direct feedback from industry experts about their perception of the workplace. By using leading rather than lagging indicators, WSN can be more proactive,” says Welton.Psychological health and safety in the workplaceThree of the top 10 risks involve psychosocial or mental health issues: substance use, lack of focus, and stress. As more workplaces gain a better understanding about the importance of taking a holistic approach to health and safety and having a supportive workplace culture that encourages both self-care and concern for co-workers, research also supports an increased focus on overall well-being. The results of the workshop were reviewed by the Ontario volunteer industry advisory committee for Forestry, Paper, Printing, and Converting sectors. The committee, in conjunction with WSN, is supportive of the next step: a detailed analysis of the root causes of substance abuse in the workplace, and the creation of an effective prevention plan. For more information, contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .This article was originally published by Workplace Safety North.
Jan. 11, 2018 -To handle growing business volumes, Carbotech has opened a new office on Québec City’s south shore.A division of the Plessiville head office’s engineering department, the new offices will mainly accommodate new draftspeople, mechanical engineering technicians, engineers, project managers and the members of the after-sales service, Carbocare.Carbotech will continue developing markets in South America, Europe, Oceania, the United States and Canada. At the same time, the company will continue to develop patented concepts for efficient lumber production. Carbotech will be launching an extensive recruitment campaign in the greater Québec City area to welcome more people to its team. Carbotech specializes in maximizing production efficiency and high-speed board handling in sawmills and planer mills. Always working on new ideas and patents, Carbotech is a highly valued partner in the industry, relying on a skilled 100-person workforce. Its mission over the past 30 years has focused on these four principles: speed, precision, know-how and durability. Carbotech has a number of business partners, parts & service distribution centres and mechanical intervention centres to serve its markets around the world. For more information, please visit www.carbotech.ca. 
Jan. 9, 2018 - Canadian Forest Industries Top 10 Under 40 contest is an annual tradition, drawing in nominations from coast-to-coast and recognizing young leaders in forestry. To individually acknowledge each winner and his or her contributions to the forest industry, CFI is featuring each of our top 10 winners of 2017 over 10 weeks.This week, we introduce our readers to Chris Kalesnikoff.He has come a long way from his younger days doing clean-up in the family mill, piling stackers and shovelling sawdust and bark. Today, at just 32, Chris is the chief operating officer of Kalesnikoff Lumber Company in Thrums, B.C.But his journey to the COO seat involved more than just learning to operate every piece of equipment in the mill. After high school, Chris received a business diploma in Medicine Hat, Alta., on a basketball scholarship, and then later spent a year at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., in their business program while playing basketball at the national level.“While his first love may have been sports, sawdust always ran in his veins,” Ron Corneil, Chris’ co-worker and coach explains.Chris returned to Kalesnikoff in 2008 to work as a front line leader in the sawmill. Two years later he took on responsibilities as operations manager and then in 2011 and 2012 led Kalesnikoff’s sawmill modernization project, the largest investment in the history of the company. He has since overseen upgrades to the planer and the installation of a new kiln.Chris’ other achievements include reducing injury rates to historical lows, formalizing a team-based work system to build on the company’s strong work ethic, and earning the respect of the sawmill team. “He is typically one of the first people to arrive at work and one of the last to leave. His open-door policy makes him accessible to everyone in the organization, regardless of the time of day or day of the week,” Corneil says. Stay tuned for next week's spotlight on Ali Zarei. And read last week's on Sean Dinsmore.
Jan. 5, 2018 - Murray Latta Progressive Machine is celebrating a very important milestone in 2018: 100 years as a successful and growing machine manufacturing and distribution business! Murray Latta Progressive Machine was formed by a merger of Progressive Mill Supplies (est. 1954) and Murray-Latta Machine (est. 1918) after working together for over 50 years. And with the recent addition of Brunette Machinery Company we’ve expanded our forest industry presence even further by adding their products and 70+ years of machine building experience. Since 1954, Murray Latta Progressive Machine has been the trusted manufacturer and distributor of planer mill equipment, parts and consumables. We manufactured and refurbished complete planer lines and wood waste processing equipment for over 50 years, and we have leveraged this experience to develop equipment upgrades and components to enhance productivity, quality and safety. Additionally, we represent other industry leading equipment suppliers to provide the full spectrum of capital equipment, parts and repair services for all of your planer mill equipment needs. ·       Sales and integration of planer and wood waste processing equipment. ·       Planer equipment upgrades to increase productivity, quality and safety. ·       Pro Edge-Tec III – Fully automatic planer cutter head knife grinder ·       Highest quality planer replacement parts and consumables ·       In house equipment refurbishment and component repair services ·       On site installation, maintenance and training. For all these years our technical knowledge, pride in workmanship and dedication to excellent customer service have been our highest priority because this is the key to our longevity.  The mission of our 100th anniversary doesn’t solely focus on celebrating through reflecting on our proud past. We are focussing on future success while connecting with our customers from all over the world to celebrate their part in helping us become what we are today – a successful and growing company. Be sure to follow our 100th year celebration on the company’s website: www.mlpmachine.com
Jan. 5, 2018 - Today Simonds International and Burton Saw announced the merger of the companies in a transaction that will create a stronger producer and marketer of cutting tools and related equipment for the primary wood fibre industry. The combined entity, Wood Fiber Holdings, Inc., will continue to operate in the United States and Canada with 12 facilities located in the major wood fibre regions of North America. All products and customers segments currently served by Burton, Simonds and B.G.R. Saws will continue uninterrupted during the integration process and thereafter.“This merger will combine the two leading companies in our industry with a deep history of product innovation, quality products and customer focused organizations providing value added services to our customers," said Ray Martino, president and chief executive officer of Simonds. "The cultures of the two companies are similar and will strengthen our service to the industry. The Burton, Simonds and B.G.R. brands are prominent in the industry and will remain a core part of the combined company in the future.”“The merger brings together the strengths of two great companies with a common goal, efficient and innovative solutions to the industry we serve," said Craig Tompkins, president and chief executive officer of Burton Saw. "The products and services offered by the merger will enable both companies to go beyond current offerings and bring a complete solution through products, services and equipment that reflect the needs of the marketplace.” About Simonds International Simonds International, founded in 1832, is a supplier and marketer of cutting tools and related products to the wood, pulp, paper and tree care industries B.G.R. Saws was established in 1968, through almost 50 years of history the company developed into a sawmill source for their saw needs as well as innovative line of filing room equipment. Simonds and BGR merged in May of 2017.  For more information, call (800) 343- 1616 or visit www.simondsint.com. About Burton Burton Saw and Supply, founded in Vancouver, BC in 1903, originally sold only saw manufacturer supplies to the mills of Western Canada. In 1927, The Burton Saw Company moved to Eugene, Oregon and transformed itself into a provider of products, equipment and technical solutions to the saw filing and knife grinding rooms, as the company expanded throughout North America. For more information visit our website at www.burtonsaw.com. 
Jan. 2, 2018 - The last few days of 2017 brought along some financial damage for Kenora Forest Products. Fire crews battled a blaze at the sawmill, located in Kenora, Ont., on the evening of Dec. 29 leading into the following morning. Two kilns were completely destroyed, and damages are estimated at $850,000. There were no reported injuries. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.Despite the damage, the mill is expected to resume operations shortly. Read the full story by TBNewsWatch.
Dec. 19, 2017 - Are you a manufacturer or researcher in the sawmill industry offering an innovative optimization or automation option that can help sawmill operations succeed? Send us your presentation proposal for OptiSaw.
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.
Sept. 15, 2017 - Representatives at WOODRISE 2017, the 1st world congress dedicated to midrise and tall wood buildings taking place in Bordeaux, France, will make a formal call to take one step closer toward carbon neutrality by strengthening the share of wood used in building construction.
Sept. 14, 2017 - WOODRISE, the world's first conference dedicated to mid-rise and tall wood buildings opens its doors in Bordeaux, France.
Aug. 23, 2017 - Structurlam is the first Canadian manufacturer of cross-laminated timber (CLT) to be certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative's 2015‑2019 Chain-of-Custody Standard.
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.
July 10, 2017 - Weston Forest has acquired Great Northern Lumber of Michigan, the company's first acquisition of U.S. assets. 
July 6, 2017 - Have you ever considered building a log cabin by hand? Log Cabin Hub has all the information you need to make it happen. The website lists, in detail, the steps needed to make a log cabin from scratch, including consideration of costs, zoning laws and building codes.
June 12, 2017 - Quadra Wood Products, a cedar remanufacturing company based in Abbotsford, B.C., is not unlike the wood it processes: weather resistant.
March 22, 2017 - Hardwoods Distribution Inc. has announced financial results for the three months and full year ended December 31, 2016.  Hardwoods is North America's largest wholesale distributor of non-structural architectural grade building products to the residential and commercial construction markets, with a strong US and Canadian distribution network.Highlights (For the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2016) On July 15, 2016, Hardwoods acquired Rugby Architectural Products ("Rugby") for a purchase price of US$107 million. Revenue increased 69.8% in the fourth quarter and 38.1% for the full year, compared to the same periods in 2015. The Company increased gross profit by 74.2% in the fourth quarter and by 44.3% in the 12-month period, compared to the same periods in 2015. Fourth quarter Adjusted EBITDA climbed 42.6% to $10.9 million, and full-year Adjusted EBITDA increased 32.6% to $46.1 million. Fourth quarter profit increased 47.4% to $6.6 million, while full-year profit climbed 18.4% to $23.9 million. Fourth quarter adjusted diluted profit per share increased to $0.29, while full-year adjusted diluted profit per share increased to$1.33. The Board of Directors approved a quarterly dividend of $0.0625 per share, payable on April 28, 2017 to shareholders of record as at April 17, 2017. "We achieved record top and bottom line results in 2016 as we benefited from the addition of Rugby Architectural Building Products and generated organic growth in mixed market conditions," said Rob Brown, President and CEO."The Rugby acquisition was the highlight of the year and has already proved accretive to our results with adjusted diluted profit per share growing 10.8% to $1.33 in 2016, from $1.20 in 2015. Rugby is a large and successful US wholesale distributor of architectural grade building products to customers that manufacture end-product to the commercial market. With the addition of Rugby's 28 distribution facilities, Hardwoods has emerged as the number one North American distributor in our sector with a total of 58 distribution facilities, more than 35,000 customers and a pro forma annual sales of approximately $1 billion.  During the five-and-a-half months we operated this business in 2016, Rugby contributed revenues of $175.1 million."Organic growth accounted for $20.4 million of Hardwoods' year-over-year sales growth. Foreign exchange was also a factor in the Company's performance, but affected the fourth quarter and full-year periods differently. Results for the three months ended December 31, 2016 were negatively impacted by a decrease in the value of the US dollar compared to the Canadian dollar, while full-year results were positively impacted by a strengthening in the average value of the US dollar during that period. A stronger US dollar benefits the Company by: i) increasing the value of sales and profits earned in the US operations when translated into Canadian dollars for financial reporting purposes; ii) increasing the selling price of US dollar-denominated products sold to Hardwoods' Canadian customers; and iii) improving the export competitiveness of the Company's Canadian industrial customers, many of whom have the capability to sell their manufactured products in the US."Our global product sourcing and commercial market strategies continue to play an important role in our business. We have the size, scale, and strong balance sheet position to pursue growth by acquisition, and the highly fragmented nature of the US architectural building products distribution industry provides numerous opportunities. We will continue to pursue opportunities that take us into new US markets, expand our presence in existing markets, and that can be added on an accretive basis for shareholders."On March 13, 2017 the Company acquired Eagle Plywood and Lumber ("Eagle") for a purchase price of US$0.4 million plus up to an additional US$0.2 million subject to future sales performance. "The Eagle acquisition  is an example of our ability to expand our presence in an existing market," said Mr. Brown.  "We've now completed five successful acquisitions in the past five and a half years and have a demonstrated ability to achieve profitable growth in this way," Mr. Brown concluded.OutlookThe recent change in US government administration is expected to usher in new approaches to trade and economic growth in the US. While it is still too early to identify what specific policies will be implemented or how they will impact the US economy, proposals for a large infrastructure spending program, a reduction in the corporate tax rate, and a more protectionist approach to trade, including the potential for a border adjustment tax (BAT), have been discussed.With 85% of its operations now domiciled in the US, Hardwoods is positioned to benefit from policies that stimulate the US economy or prove generally positive for business.   Conversely, the Company could be negatively impacted, at least in the near term, by trade decisions that affect its import program. As discussed in Hardwoods' press release of November 21, 2016, a trade case has been initiated in the US with respect to imported hardwood plywood from China. Although Hardwoods sells more domestically sourced hardwood plywood than imported, approximately 11% of the Company's total sales could be affected by this case. In the event that trade duties are levied against hardwood plywood, this would impact the market for hardwood plywood in the US with the potential for significant changes in selling prices, margins, and/or product supply availability. Should the US government move to impose a BAT, similar effects could be seen on a wider range of import products and not just those from China. We are watching both the current trade case and broader US trade policy decisions closely, and have worked to secure a range of alternative supply solutions.  Furthermore, we have increased our inventory balances and positioned ourselves to respond in the event significant changes occur.Notwithstanding the uncertainty around US trade and economic policy, Hardwoods' outlook for 2017 is positive. Gross profit margin as a percentage of sales is expected to remain above the levels Hardwoods has traditionally achieved, reflecting Rugby's higher-margin product mix. Operating expenses are also expected to be moderately higher due to Rugby's sales model. While EBITDA on a dollar basis is expected to benefit from increased sales, EBITDA as a percentage of revenue is expected to be moderately lower due to the increased operating expenses.On the market front, the unevenness and relatively slow growth experienced in the US residential construction market in 2016 is expected to continue into 2017.  As a result Hardwoods expects organic growth to remain modest in the near term. Market fundamentals remain sound however, with US job growth and income levels gaining momentum. Harvard's Joint  Center for Housing Studies report on the "state of the nation's housing" concluded that housing construction should average at least 1.6 million units a year over the next decade in order to replace older units and meet demand. With average housing starts at 1.2 million in 2016, there is considerable room for growth in this market, although it could take time to reach the 1.6 million level.In the non-residential construction market, the American Institute of Architects predicts moderate growth of 6.7% in 2017, with the strongest gains anticipated for the commercial sectors that Hardwoods focuses on.Strategically, the Company will continue to implement its strategies, including leveraging its excellent global product sourcing capabilities, capitalizing on opportunities in the commercial market and pursuing strategic acquisitions.The Board will continue to review Hardwoods' financial performance and assess dividend levels on a regular basis. However, the primary focus will be to retain the cash necessary to finance the significant market growth opportunity in the US and to keep the balance sheet strong, reduce debt and support future strategic acquisitions.Results from Operations - Year Ended December 31, 2016For the year ended December 31, 2016, total sales increased by 38.1% to $789.3 million, from $571.6 million in 2015. Of the $217.7 million year-over-year increase, $175.1 million, representing a 30.6% increase in sales, was driven by the addition of the Rugby operations, $20.4 million, representing a 3.6% increase in sales, was due to organic growth and $22.2 million, representing a 3.9% increase in sales, was due to the positive impact of a stronger US dollar when translating US sales to Canadian dollars for reporting purposes.Hardwoods' sales growth came primarily from its US operations, where sales activity increased by US$142.5 million, or 40.1%, toUS$498.2 million. Rugby, which was acquired on July 15, 2016, contributed sales of US$132.6 million. Organic growth accounted forUS$9.9 million of the US sales uplift as Hardwoods increased sales volumes in response to higher demand and yielded sales gains from its strategy of leveraging import products and strengthening sales into commercial construction accounts. Sales in Canadaincreased by $13.1 million, or 11.2% in 2016, reflecting Hardwoods' success in winning new business, as well as the positive impacts of a stronger US dollar.Gross profit for the 2016 year increased 44.3% to $143.8 million, from $99.6 million in 2015. This gain reflects the increased sales, together with a higher gross profit margin. As a percentage of sales, gross profit margin increased to 18.2%, from 17.4% in 2015.Full-year operating expenses increased to $104.9 million, from $67.4 million in 2015. The increase includes $29.3 million of Rugby operating expenses, $2.4 million of transaction expenses related to the Rugby acquisition, a $3.0 million increase in expenses due to the impact of a stronger US dollar on translation of US operating expense, and $2.7 million of added costs to support organic growth. As a percentage of sales, annual operating expenses were 13.3%, compared to 11.8% in 2015.Adjusted EBITDA for 2016 increased to $46.1 million, from $34.8 million in 2015.  The 32.6% gain primarily reflects the $44.1 millionincrease in gross profit, partially offset by the $32.8 million increase in operating expenses (before expenses related to the Rugby acquisition and before an increase in depreciation and amortization).  Adjusted profit for the period increased 26.0% to $25.4 million, from $20.1 million in 2015. The year-over-year increase reflects the higher Adjusted EBITDA partially offset by a $1.4 million increase in income tax expense, a $1.6 million increase in net finance costs, and a $2.2 million increase in depreciation and amortization. Depreciation and amortization in 2016 includes $0.9 million intangible assets amortization relating to customer relations acquired in connection with the acquisition of Rugby.A more detailed discussion of the Company's financial performance can be found in Hardwoods' 2016 Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A). The MD&A will be posted, along with the Company's audited financial statements, on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and on the Company's website (www.hardwoods-inc.com) on or before March 17, 2017.Results from Operations - Three Months Ended December 31, 2016For the three months ended December 31, 2016, total sales increased by 69.8% to $239.4 million, from $141.0 million in Q4 2015. Of the $98.4 million year-over-year increase, $93.5 million, representing a 66.3% increase in sales, was due to Rugby's operations and$5.8 million, representing a 4.1% increase in sales, was due to organic growth. The sales gain was partially offset by a $0.9 millionnegative foreign exchange impact resulting from a stronger Canadian dollar, representing a 0.6% decrease in sales.Hardwoods' US operations, which accounted for approximately 85% of fourth quarter revenues, increased sales by US$71.3 million, or 84.5%, to US$155.7 million.  The Rugby operations contributed US$70.1 million of this increase, with the remaining increase related to organic growth.Sales in Canada, which comprised approximately 15% of fourth quarter revenues, grew by $3.6 million, or 12.9%, to $31.7 million.  The improvement in Canadian sales reflects Hardwoods' success in winning new business.Fourth quarter gross profit increased to $43.5 million, an increase of 74.2% from $25.0 million in Q4 2015. The year-over-year improvement reflects higher sales revenue combined with a higher gross profit margin from both the Rugby and Hardwoods operations. As a percentage of sales, fourth quarter gross profit margin increased to 18.2%, from 17.7% in Q4 2015.Operating expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2016 were $34.8 million, compared to $18.0 million in Q4 2014.  This increase primarily reflects Rugby operating expenses of $16.3 million, $0.1 million of transaction-related expenses, and $0.5 million of added costs to support organic growth. These increases were partially offset by a $0.1 million decrease in expenses due to the impact of a stronger Canadian dollar on translation of US operating expenses. As a percentage of sales, operating expenses increased to 14.5% from 12.8% year-over-year, primarily reflecting Rugby's higher ratio of operating expenses as a percentage of sales.Fourth quarter Adjusted EBITDA increased 42.6% to $10.9 million, from $7.7 million in Q4 2015. The $3.3 million gain reflects the increase in gross profit, partially offset by higher operating expenses (before expenses related to the Rugby acquisition and before an increase in depreciation and amortization).  Profit for the period increased 47.4% to $6.6 million, from $4.5 million during the same period in 2015. The year-over-year increase reflects the higher Adjusted EBITDA and a $1.1 million decrease in income tax expense, partially offset by a $0.8 million increase in net finance costs and a $1.4 million increase in depreciation and amortization. Depreciation and amortization includes $0.9 million intangible assets amortization relating to customer relations acquired in connection with the acquisition of Rugby.

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