March 22, 2017 - ARDCO’s new Articulating Multi-Purpose Truck (AMT) features a modular back-end platform that offers the flexibility to customize the vehicle to suit any work environment, from urban construction projects to extreme off-road jobsites. The powerful and rugged AMT is designed to accept a wide array of standard and customizable attachments. Available configurations include a bare chassis, flatbed, water tank, fuel tank, dump bed, service and lube station, utility bed, personnel carrier, pipe trailer, drill, and custom solutions. End-users can easily change attachments, while rental companies can serve a variety of customer applications with a single machine. Multiple tire choices – tractor, construction, terra or sand – help further configure the machine to various work conditions in construction, oil and gas, railroad, utility, forestry and agriculture. The AMT can navigate difficult terrain and work in any environment. Powered by a 250-horsepower Cummins QSB6.7 Tier 4 Final diesel engine, the AMT 600 model features selectable 4- or 6-wheel-drive and offers a maximum payload of 45,000 pounds. The AMT 400 model has a 200-horsepower Cummins Tier 4 engine, offers 2- or 4-wheel-drive, and provides a max payload of 28,000 pounds for hauling fuel, water, dirt and more. Top travel speed for each unit is 23 miles per hour. The AMT features a two-person, fully enclosed, all-weather ROPS cab that is sound rated to 68 dB. An upgraded 7-inch display is incorporated in the steering column, providing digital gauges with onboard diagnostics, digital manual access, and an optional backup camera display. A streamlined front-end angle offers the driver panoramic visibility to enhance safety. Specifically built for off-road travel, the AMT includes a high-strength center pivot trunnion with approximately 20 degrees of oscillation, which allows all the tires to maintain ground contact and traction while travelling over rough terrain. Dual hydraulic cylinders provide 37 degrees of steering each way, allowing not only great maneuverability, but also added traction. The articulating motion allows the tires to slide left or right in wet/muddy terrain and gain traction instead of spinning in one place and digging a rut. Both models include a Dana 6-speed powershift transmission with twist grip shifter. The AMT 600 features AxleTech rigid planetary axles with driver controlled differential lock, while the AMT 400 has Dana rigid planetary axles with automatic limited slip differentials, front and rear. Optional accessories include a hydraulically operated front push blade, front-mounted hydraulic winch, heavy-duty front bumper/brush guard, and auxiliary hydraulics. The AMT is covered by a limited one-year warranty.
March 22, 2017 - Caterpillar now offers the High Rotation Seat cab and an enhanced monitor display for Cat D Series wheel skidders. The High Rotation Seat cab offers 100 degrees of seat rotation and features the new Cat Advanced Ride Management (Cat ARM) seat suspension for ergonomics and comfort for the operator. The ability to rotate the seat 100 degrees when picking up bunches, working and backing the skidder around the deck, and backing down long skid trails improves operator ergonomics and efficiency. Combined with the integrated Cat ARM seat suspension, a four-point seat belt, and joystick steering, the High Rotation Seat reduces operator fatigue and provides leading ride quality for the operator. “Ride quality for the operator is best in class,” said Matt McDonald, Caterpillar Wheel Skidder Product Application Specialist. The Cat High Rotation Seat design allows the use of the most productive, efficient and only powershift transmission in the market, delivering more wood to the deck more efficiently. It enables loggers to maximize profitability by increasing utilization of the skidder because of improved operator ergonomics and efficiency. It contributes to faster cycle times and longer skid distances, which reduce time and cost to move landings or decks. A key safety advantage of the Cat High Rotation Seat is the utilization of the park brake to hold the machine in place when the operator is rotating the seat. The park brake will automatically apply when the seat is released. The machine is secured even in adverse terrain. Once the seat locks into position and an operator commands a direction, the park brake is released automatically, further improving safety. Numerous safety interlocks ensure there is no accidental seat release command initiated at high speed, and the throttle pedal in the opposite position is disabled to ensure there is no accidental throttle command. The proven powershift and lock-up torque converter technology distinguish Cat skidders since they do not utilize a hydrostatic drive system nor hydrostatic braking to hold the machine in place when the seat is rotated. “Because we use the park brake to hold the machine in place when the operator rotates the seat, the skidder will not ‘creep’ even if it is on a slope,” said McDonald. “It enhances safety. And the proven powershift and lock-up torque converter means faster cycles when the skidder goes back into the woods empty.” The semi-active Cat ARM seat suspension is a revolutionary development in seat suspension technology that Caterpillar has used in other products since 2013 and was introduced in skidders last year. The suspension adjusts the rate of damping in real time in response to changing ground conditions. Along with the four-point seat belt, the Cat ARM seat suspension stabilizes the operator and virtually eliminates end stop events for a smooth ride, reducing strain and fatigue. “When we developed the Cat ARM seat suspension, the feedback we received from operators about ride quality was unanimous,” said McDonald. “The improvement in overall operator comfort is unparalleled.” The new monitor display provides clean, clear digital gauges and intuitive features to monitor machine systems. The High Rotation Seat cab also includes an electronic seat rotation release-lock, Cat comfort seat, seat-mounted joystick steering controls with integrated transmission controls, seat-mounted grapple controls, dual throttle and brake pedal for full control in both seat positions, and hinged left-hand armrest for emergency exit. For more information, contact your nearest Cat dealer or go to www.cat.com/forestry.
March 16, 2017 - Grapple yarding has been a mainstay on the BC Coast for decades. A grapple yarder pulls felled timber off steep slopes to a collection point. The grapple yarder is similar to the game at the fair where you try to grab a stuffed toy by controlling a grapple with a joystick.Except, with a grapple yarder, the log may be 500 feet away or more from the Operator’s cab. In fact, the Operator may not even be able to see the log due to undulating slope or poor visibility. To help the grapple yard Operator spot and grab the logs, a person called a hook tender is located near the logs and communicates back to the Operator via a two-way radio. The success rate is only moderately better than the game at the fair.Worse, the hook tender can inadvertently end up in the line of fire through error or miscommunication. It was a solemn day at TimberWest in January 2015, when a hook tender was seriously injured when struck by a log. On the incident investigation, the question was asked – “How can this situation be avoided going forward?”The Holy Grail in safety is to engineer the risk out of the job. In the present case, the simple solution was to put a camera on the grapple and a screen in the Operator’s cab. It is astounding that in 2015, not one grapple yarder on Vancouver Island had a camera to help sight the logs.Enter T-Mar Industries. T-Mar has been proudly operating in Campbell River for over 30 years designing and manufacturing forestry equipment, including grapple yarders. They were already thinking about the possibility of placing a camera on the grapple. TimberWest and T-Mar joined forces – TimberWest agreed to support T-Mar’s development costs, and soon after an initial order for eight cameras was placed to underpin the business case.”We are very pleased to work with forward-thinking local companies like T-Mar to improve safety and productivity outcomes,” says Jeff Zweig, president and CEO of TimberWest. “T-Mar is working hard to innovate with its in-house engineering team. British Columbia has a truly world-class timber resource and challenging terrain. With that comes the opportunity to make B.C. a centre of global excellence in forest-sector technology and equipment. We have the ultimate proving ground.”The Grapple Camera provides the Operator with an improved view of the working area, which reduces the potential risk of a Hook Tender being “in the bite," or the unsafe location where accidents can happen.The first Contractor on board with this new technology was Fall River Logging. They received the first camera in November of 2015. To date, Kevin Playfair, manager of safety, and his Grapple Yarder Operator have been very impressed with the camera from both a safety and productivity point-of-view. “The feedback we received was immediately positive,” says Playfair, “Our guys can’t believe the difference the camera installation has made.” This endorsement led to more contractors adopting the technology.“T-Mar Industries is committed to making technological improvements that help keep people safe,” says Tyson Lambert, vice-president at T-Mar. “We value partners like TimberWest because it means real-life safety advancement can happen on the ground. The belief in our technology by TimberWest is a prime example of how companies can work together to improve the safety of high risk activities in the forest, and we are very proud of that accomplishment.”Like so many other situations, good safety leads to greater effectiveness. The camera not only removes an individual from a dangerous situation, it improves productivity by:Allowing operations in foggy conditions (common occurrence in coastal B.C.) Permitting low-light early starts (helpful during fire season) Facilitating grabbing more than one log per cycle Reducing log breakage Freeing up the hook tender to prepare for the next Grapple Yarder move. Today, all of the grapple yarders operating on TimberWest land must have a grapple camera. T-Mar is now commercializing the camera and selling it globally.This is a great example of home-grown safety innovation by a local company and enthusiastic adoption by our contractors. This is how B.C. is going to assert itself as a global leader in the forest sector.
March 15, 2017 - Based on the XPower large wheel loaders, Liebherr has developed the L 580 LogHandler XPower for the particular requirements of the timber industry. The new XPower generation machine stands out thanks to its wide range of innovative features and the investment made into its sturdiness. Thanks to a special lift arm with major reinforcements, the L 580 LogHandler XPower can cover large working areas with a maximum reach of almost four metres. Productivity is increased by optimised timber grabs that can be adjusted in size for individual applications. The Smooth Speed Reduction system (SSR system) gives the L 580 LogHandler XPower utmost load handling sensitivity. And, just like on the latest Liebherr large wheel loaders, the core component of the machine is the power-split XPower driveline, which equates to robustness and provides optimal performance, high travel speeds and maximum fuel efficiency.
March 14, 2017 - Wood pellet manufacturers in both the U.S. and Canada are increasingly diversifying their feedstock to reduce fibre costs and take advantage of less utilized fibre sources, according to analysis by Wood Resources International.The key fibre furnish in both countries are sawmill byproducts and forest residues, together accounting for over 80 per cent of the total feedstock in British Columbia and almost 50 per cent in the U.S. South.Over the past 10 years, there has been a clear shift in fibre-sourcing for pellet manufacturers in the U.S. South from logs to residues. In 2008, when the first large pellet plant was built, practically all fibre consumed by this plant was low-quality small-diameter logs from adjacent forests. This fibre source is a high-cost fibre furnish since it needs to be chipped, hammered and dried before it can be processed to pellets, which adds substantial cost to the manufacturing of pellets.Increasingly, pellet plants throughout the southern states have turned to sawmill by-products and forest residues that in the past have been left at the harvesting sites. The North American Wood Fiber Review (NAWFR) has for the past five years tracked the fibre sources for the pellet industry each quarter in the two major producing regions of North America – British Columbia and the U.S. South. There have been two clear trends:In British Columbia, pellet companies have moved from entirely relying on inexpensive sawdust from the local sawmills for its fibre furnish to increasingly supplementing its dominant fibre source with forest residues in the form of tree tops and branches left after harvest operations.In the U.S. South, there has been an increase in the usage of residuals at the expense of roundwood.In the 1Q/17, pellet plants in B.C. consumed just over 82 per cent sawmill residues, while forest residues accounted for about 17 per cent. With the expected reduction in lumber production in the province in the coming years, pellet plants will increasingly have to rely on forest residues and low-cost logs for their furnish since the available supply of sawmill by-products will diminish.In the US South, the fibre sourcing trend is the opposite of British Columbia with expected increases in the usage of sawmill residues as the lumber production is likely to expand in the future. From the 1Q/13 to the 1Q/17, the usage of industry and forest residues increased from 33 per cent to 47 per cent of the total fibre furnish for the pellet industry, according to the NAWFR. This upward trend is expected to continue, especially in regards to the usage of sawdust and microchips (chips manufactured from tree tops, tree branches and small-diameter trees from forest thinnings). The North American Wood Fiber Review (NAWFR) has tracked wood fiber markets in the US and Canada for over 30 years and it is the only publication that includes prices for sawlogs, pulpwood, wood chips and biomass in North America. The 36-page quarterly report includes wood market updates for 15 regions on the continent in addition to the latest export statistics for sawlogs, lumber, wood pellets and wood chips. www.woodprices.com
March 14, 2017 – The Government of B.C. is investing $3.6 billion in rural communities in the next year, with some funding also being allocated to forestry. The government says the goal is to strengthen and diversify B.C.’s rural communities with specific attention going into improving local economies, working with youth and partnering with Indigenous communities. Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson made the announcement, saying the initiative reflects the importance the province places on people living and working in rural areas of B.C. “Creating the conditions for rural British Columbia to grow and thrive is a key priority for our government,” Thomson said in a statement. A $500,000 investment is going into the Regional District of Mount Waddington to create more forestry jobs there. “The creation of this rural economic development blueprint helps guide strategic investments which connect people, improve the health of our communities and environment, and stimulate business activity,” Rural Advisory Council member Jonathan Lok said in a statement. “These are meaningful initiatives that will make a difference for all of us in rural B.C.” A $150 million investment is being placed in the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia which will be used to save the environment via tree-planting. It will also create more than 3,000 jobs in rural British Columbia, according to a government statement. “B.C.’s rural economies and natural resource industries are at the backbone of our economy, and are shouldering the risk posed by the global downturn in commodity prices,” Premier Christy Clark said. “These challenges require immediate action to support our rural communities and a long-term plan that builds on our rural advantages to create jobs and diversify our economy.” The province of B.C. provides more than $2.2 billion every year to help rural areas with education and skills training.
March 8, 2017 - During CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017, Vermeer will introduce the new HG6800TX horizontal grinder. Featuring 950 hp (708 kW) in a 92,000 lb (41,730.5 kg) class, and an infeed design to aid in feeding larger material such as whole trees, the new grinder is built to power through tough materials with less operator interaction. More information on the HG6800TX will be available on Vermeer.com in the coming months.Precise Design “The HG6800TX is designed for large-scale land-clearing contractors to help maximize productivity and efficiency,” said Jeff Bradley, product manager for Recycling and Forestry equipment at Vermeer. “The feed roller on this machine can climb up to 50” (127 cm) to help tackle the tough material elements that land-clearing contractors often come across.” The new infeed on the HG6800TX was designed with low sidewalls to help the operator more easily load material into the machine. This feature allows larger loads to be dropped on the infeed with less interaction and manipulation of the material, so the operator can drop the load and focus on the next one. Exclusive Technology Equipped with the latest technology from Vermeer, the HG6800TX features the patented Series III duplex hard-faced drum. In addition to providing long-lasting durability, maintenance time is decreased with the ability to remove and flip or replace single hammers, as well as being able to externally balance the drum The remote control puts the machine control menu and machine operating information at the user’s fingertips so operators can monitor machine health from the loader cab. With the optional Damage Defense system, contractors who deal with contaminated wood can help protect their equipment by reducing the likelihood of major machine damage caused by certain metal contaminants entering the hammermill. The system reacts to the initial contact of metal by reversing the feed system to allow for removal. The HG6800TX also features proven Vermeer technologies like SmartFeed and the Thrown Object Deflector (TOD). SmartFeed optimizes machine performance and production electronically and allows the operator to focus on loading raw product and move finished product about the jobsite. The function stops and reverses material from feeding into the hammermill when engine rpm’s drop below efficient operating range. The patented TOD decreases the quantity and distance of thrown objects, allowing the machine to be operated in a smaller “safe” work zone. The feature is hinged and can be raised or lowered depending upon grinding applications, simply with the remote control.
March 8, 2017 - The brand new Kootrac 3600 pictured working in Cottage Grove, Ore., is designed with safety in mind and engineered for steep, challenging terrain and minimal site disturbance. Kootrac’s hydrostatic drive, high speed, steel track swing grapple /skidder increases production in the most challenging terrain.It provides the perfect alternative to winch assist directional falling on slopes to 50-55 per cent. The high speed (max 9mph high) track and torsion suspension conforms to uneven ground and minimizes site disturbance.Its swing boom grapple design easily accesses and moves bunched wood to roadside and landings. It also offers a four-way or six-way hydraulic angle tilt blade, and rear and grapple cameras. www.kmc-kootrac.com
March 7, 2017 - Morbark, LLC, a manufacturer of forestry, biomass, tree care, sawmill, and wood recycling equipment, debuted the 3400XT Wood Hog horizontal grinder at this year’s CONEXPO show. “Morbark listened closely to customer feedback while developing the design for the 3400XT,” said Michael Stanton, Morbark director of industrial sales. “The result is that we were able to provide the features our customers want and the versatility they need, while staying true to our proven technology.” One of the most important features of the 3400XT is its standard width of 8’4″ (2.53 m), making it within the legal transport width in any country, no matter what engine is used. This model accommodates engines from 540 to 800 horsepower (402 to 596 kW), so it is ideal for a broad range of applications in a wide variety of markets worldwide. Like all of Morbark Wood Hog models, the 3400XT also is available with electric power. “The size of the 3400XT allows the same model, using a broad range of engines, to be configured for multiple applications and global markets without additional design considerations,” said Stanton. New Operator-Friendly Features Customer feedback also steered Morbark towards creating more operator-friendly features on the Wood Hog. Key among these are the design of the infeed bed and the maintenance platform. The infeed bed is an additional 24 inches (60.96 cm) longer with sloped sides. This configuration improves operator sight lines for more efficient loading of material. Standard on the 3400XT is a removable infeed chain return floor, which allows excess material to fall away to minimize the wear on the floor, bed chain and inserts, particularly useful in land-clearing or other applications with dirty material. The variable-speed infeed system consists of one 34-inch (86.36 cm) diameter top compression feed roll; a direct-driven internal planetary drive with no chains and sprockets for lower maintenance, more torque and better durability; and four strands of WDH-120 chain in a staggered configuration. When maintenance is required, it’ll be quicker and easier to perform on the extended platform. The area between the hood and the engine has been reconfigured to provide an additional 12 inches (30.48 cm) of working space, for better access to components for general maintenance or to change screens. Other Key Features Morbark’s proven and exclusive driveline protection system is standard on all Wood Hog models. The externally adjustable, break-away torque limiter helps to protect the driveline and hammermill from catastrophic damage caused by contaminants. The 3400XT is available with either Strickland or CAT undercarriage options. While the first unit built is a tracked unit, this model can be manufactured in a trailer or stationary unit as well (3400X). The remote-mounted radiator and oil cooler have independent reversing fans. The 3400XT is equipped with the Morbark Integrated Control System — or MICS. The ultimate diagnostics tool and control system, this allows the operator to automatically adjust feed rates and monitor pressures and feed wheel position to maximize production and engine efficiency. New smart device apps allow you to connect to your machine using your phone or tablet’s Bluetooth or allow you to connect your machine directly to Morbark, so Morbark personal will be able to view and edit your machine’s settings and program or send you updated programming. Other standard features include an 11-horsepower (8.2 kW) air compressor for general maintenance and changing inserts; the self-contained rod puller for changing rods in the hammermill; and a magnetized end pulley with collecting slide tray for removal of ferrous metals. Attendees at CONEXPO can see the 3400XT in person. Stop by Morbark’s booth (#S-5682 in the Silver Lot) for more information on this or any other Morbark equipment.
March 7, 2017 - Resolute Forest Products is filing a lawsuit against Greenpeace, stating the environment conservation group has been slanderous in its claims against the forestry company. Since 2012, Greenpeace has stated that Resolute has not carried out environmentally friendly logging practices, thus harming animals and ecosystems, and disregarding Indigenous people and their lands. Resolute has denied the claims and is now suing Greenpeace after the latter recently admitted that its claims against Resolute were not fact-based.Greenpeace is currently trying to toss out the lawsuit without a hearing.Resolute vice-president Seth Kursman told the Canadian Press, “This is the most significant development in the four-plus years of this saga. Greenpeace has admitted that they were lying about our forestry practices. Their campaign has been peddling falsehoods.”Read more here.
March 3, 2017 - An audit of Husby Forest Products Ltd.’s activities on Forest Licence A16869, in the Haida Gwaii Natural Resource District, found compliance with almost all of the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act, according to a report released Thursday. “Our auditors found that Husby complied with most requirements of the legislation, but found fire-hazard assessments were not completed on time,” said Tim Ryan, board chair. “However, Husby had abated fire hazards in an effective and timely manner and now has a system in place to conduct hazard assessments in the future.” “Auditors also noted that Husby located, marked and mapped culturally significant features in its planning, such as yew, crabapple and monumental cedar trees, to protect them. Husby also covers all road approaches to fish stream crossings with gravel and shot rock to prevent sediment from getting into the streams”, said Ryan. “These are good practices in a challenging operating area.” The audit area is located north of Masset Inlet in the Collison Point and Eden Lake areas. All forestry activities carried out between Aug 1, 2014, and Aug. 23, 2016, were subject to audit, including harvesting, roads, silviculture, wildfire protection and associated planning. The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board audits forest and range practices on public lands and appropriateness of government enforcement. It can also make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.
March 2, 2017 - Komatsu America Corp. has announced a completely new line of EPA Tier 4 Final certified forwarders. This new 845, 855, 875 and 895 lineup provides increased performance, productivity, operator comfort and convenience, and serviceability, compared to the prior 855.1, 865 and 895 Tier 4 Interim models. The 845 is a new, additional model which competes in the 12 metric ton payload class. Performance and Productivity Rated payload capacities for the 845, 855, 875 and 895 are 12, 14, 16 and 20 metric tons, respectively, and provide broad market coverage. The 875 model is in a unique size class, compared to competitors, who have either 15 or 18 metric ton capacity. These EPA Tier 4 Final certified engines provide 9 per cent to 15 per cent more horsepower and lower fuel consumption, compared to the prior models. In addition, they also produce 9 per cent more engine torque on the 875 and 895 models. Along with the increased horsepower, these engines also feature high torque backup, high capacity cooling systems and lower noise levels, for high performance and productivity. Rough terrain capability has been significantly improved with larger hydrostatic transmission (HST) pumps and/or motors producing 3 per cent - 11 per cent higher tractive effort. The intelligent HST control unit continually responds to changes in terrain, load, engine power output and crane usage. This HST combines with the proven Komatsu Comfort Bogie system with high portal offset, 42º articulated steering, over 1” higher ground clearance, and V-shaped, high-strength, steel-frame bottom, to create the ideal combination of traction, speed, maneuverability and comfort in all driving conditions. A new, front blade arm design improves front-end ground clearance. The rugged, updated Komatsu F-series family of parallel cranes feature high lifting and slewing torque for productivity. The 875 has 14 per cent more lifting torque and 32 per cent more slewing torque, and the 895 has best-in-class lifting and slewing torque. Komatsu’s exclusive ProTec system provides excellent grapple hose protection for increased reliability. The new, more robust FlexBunk system, with multiple frame lengths, optimizes the load space to further maximize productivity. The 845 and 895 feature the latest version of Komatsu’s patented rugged FlexGate headboard, which “flexes” when hit by the crane or log. The 855 & 875 use Komatsu’s fixed headboard with hydraulic telescopic upper gate. Operator Comfort & Convenience A modern cab serves as the centre point for operator comfort and convenience. Large windows offer 360° and upward/downward line-of-sight visibility, providing the operator with a widescreen working view. Fourteen (14) powerful LED working lights provide illumination, for improved productivity in low light conditions. An air suspension, air-vented seat, fully adjustable ergonomic armrests and hand controls, and an automatic, four-season climate control system, keep the operator comfortable in all working conditions. The spacious cab has multiple covered and open storage areas, including separate heating/cooling boxes for food and beverages in the 855, 875 and 895 (optional on the 845). The Komatsu Comfort Ride hydraulic cab suspension system option on the 855, 875 and 895 greatly reduces operator fatigue, due its smooth-ride characteristics. A new, more powerful computer and Komatsu’s advanced MaxiXplorer control and information system allows the operator to track production, adjust machine settings, and track machine functions and status. A deluxe AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo system, with remote control, USB, Bluetooth, SiriusXM capability and handsfree microphone, comes standard. Serviceability All daily maintenance checks and service points can be performed at ground level. All filters are now vertically mounted to minimize spills and ease replacement. The electrically-actuated engine hood tilts 90° to provide full engine access and serves as a work platform (manually-actuated hood on 845). Separate hydraulic tank and crane service platforms allow easy access to these component areas. Eight (8) service hatches under the front and rear frames provide excellent drivetrain component access.
March 24, 2017 - A fire destroyed the Elite Forest Products sawmill in Malakwa, British Columbia on March 9.The sawmill, located in the Shuswap Lake area, was completely destroyed along with half of the buildings on site, Global News reported.The planer mill was not damaged.The sawmill was closed for the winter, but was set to resume operations one day later on March 10. | READ MORE.
March 22, 2017 - A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. That proverb is the main recruiting philosophy at EACOM’s Elk Lake sawmill. Here, hiring is based on values, not just skill-set. “It's like a secret club, you have to be taught the secret handshake and you have to be the right type of person. It’s all about the outcome, whatever it takes,” mill manager Mark Everard explains. Dedication to the job is the reason why Everard says new hires will never be recruited on a whim at Elk Lake, despite a town population of just a few hundred, and a consequent need to find people from nearby areas in the Timiskaming District of northeastern Ontario. “We can teach anyone how to run a canter, we can teach a lot of people how to maintain a canter. We can't teach the attitude of staff getting a call that, ‘It's nine o'clock at night, we're in trouble here; I don't know what happened here but every log is jamming,’ and the reply is, ‘Hmm, well I'll put the kids in bed and I'll be in in a half an hour to help out,’” Everard illustrates. Everard says. “We have a pretty good group here. We have several vacancies but we are not in a hurry to fill them. We will wait until we get what we want.” Some potential employees can on occasion be lost to other sectors like the mining industry when they are doing well. Still, Everard says the sawmill will never settle for less than what it’s looking for in a new recruit. “There have always been good people here and we're helping to direct those energies in a productive and focused way,” he says. As important as work values are to Everard, he also places some weight on the kinds of values that would make a person appreciate a northern lifestyle. Those are the hires that tend to stick. “[If you ask the canter operators], they'll talk about Lake Trout fishing last week and how good it was… and the Speckles were biting too! That's the type of lifestyle people enjoy here, hunting and fishing. If you like that, this is paradise,” Everard says with a laugh. He says chances are high that once someone gets through the initial evaluation period, they won’t be quick to change jobs again. “People come for the money and stay for the people and lifestyle.”
March 16, 2017 - Auto grading is standard at the planermill, but what happens when you move the scanner into the sawmill for green sawn lumber? What are the challenges and what are the benefits?
March 14, 2017 - While $13 million invested in new technology since 2012 has helped bring EACOM’s Elk Lake mill up to respectable efficiency levels, mill manager Mark Everard explains that ongoing work on culture and performance management have been just as important. “You pour a bunch of money into a mill, that’s the easiest part; it’s only the beginning,” Everard says from outside the mill on a crisp February morning. “The real challenge is getting everybody up to speed on how to get the most out of that equipment, and the most value out of our fibre. And that’s what we’re right in the middle of.” This push to create a culture of continual improvement may only date back a couple of years, but the equipment upgrades themselves began back in 2012 with the addition of two single-pass sawlines. “In 2012, the company elected to refit the sawmill canter lines and they bought Comact DDM 12 and DDM 6 lines at an auction and then refurbished them. They also added a new USNR board edger and a new chipper,” Everard explains. “We kept the same debarkers, we’ve got two 18 inch D-Tec Cambio style and a 22-inch, single ring Nicholson A5A, which is adequate.” Lumber flows from the canters to a Comact trimmer optimizer and trimmer and a 44-bin sling sorter. The final piece is an older Comact single-fork stacker, which Everard says exemplifies what they are trying to accomplish at Elk Lake. “You might go ‘Gee whiz, that's an old stacker.’ Then again, if you maintain them, a single-fork stacker should be able to get 12 cycles a minute dependably and smoothly. People will claim you can get more, but day-in day-out, real life, if you're getting 15 you're really doing something special. This stacker will be able to keep up to about 56,000 fbm/hour so we are fine for now. It goes back to that continuous improvement mindset we’re trying to build that not only includes the iron but the people and the philosophy. So when we talk about the stacker — we’re not going to ask for a new stacker until we get 100 per cent of what this one is capable of.” Where it makes sense though, the mill is happy to invest in ongoing training, as is the case with the two Comact DDM lines. A few years back EACOM felt they should be getting more production through those lines, and so in addition to setting clear targets and establishing accountability, they have invested in significant training from the supplier. The difference in production has been significant Everard explains. “Part of why the DDMs are running so well is because every three months we have a Comact guy come in and he stays for a week, and he goes over it with our operators, with our maintenance group, and with our leadership group again and again and again. We're now in our second year of this ongoing training. Initial visits precipitated large amounts of work to be done on the canters, now, when Comact concludes a visit they have largely been tuning and training we rarely have issues.” Overall, through continual tweaking of existing gear, including both operations and maintenance, the sawmill is now producing around 25 per cent more than it did 2.5 years ago. In hard numbers, that means producing about 150 million bdft/year with a wood supply that is 75 per cent 6-in in diameter and below. Photos// Scott Jamieson Photos// Scott Jamieson View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.woodbusiness.ca/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=1&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria2d44353248 Drying better That same process has been used to extract significantly more from the mill’s existing dry kilns. While the mill plans to produce 150 million bdft in 2017, a number Everard feels they can exceed depending on log diet, until recently the kilns had been struggling to dry 125 million bdft. The mill runs an older Hemco (USNR) kiln and two newer Cathilds off a Konus hot oil system that until recently was also used to heat the mill. For starters they added a few hot air furnaces to heat the mill, allowing them to isolate the glycol system for lumber drying alone for a 25 per cent gain in drying energy. Then they looked at each step in the process to maximize efficiency. “We didn’t spend any capital, but instead put a lot of attention on our kiln schedules, repaired the kilns top to bottom, the baffles etc… We also had to re-tube the Konus system. In the end we’ve been drying at 30 per cent over previous capacity for the past six months, so we are comfortable that can dry our current production now.” The planer mill Elk Lake’s sawmill isn’t the only area reaping the benefits of upgrades and performance management. Its planer mill, which burned down in 2005 and was rebuilt the following year, is also a big part. As Everard explains, it’s a well-built line that just required some tweaking. “As the mill cranked up, it caused the need for the planer to crank up, and the planer is really answering the call well. It's a standard horseshoe configuration, with mainly Carbotech iron, but I’ve got to hand it to the guy that dreamed this up, he did a nice job — really nice tilt hoist, really good infeed to the pineapples,” Everard says. “We're going to do some automation in there, but it's a nice set up. Gilbert planer, which is a really nice planer.” “The back end is basically Carbotech with a PLC lug loader. We did new Autolog controls with the new Prograder which helped as Autolog has some good code people. After the lugloader we have a real nice Carbotech, dual-trim saw setup. We've got a standard Carbotech fence with the standard trim saw and then a second PET fence with a second PET trim saw,” Everard says. “The second fence and saw set was never commissioned so we're in the process of re-commissioning that so we can get that extra value. There's a fair amount of value extraction capability in this line and we're going to realize its full potential.” The most recent upgrade is the replacement of the original Autolog geometric planer optimizer with the supplier’s latest Pro Grader planer optimization scanning system that adds a wide array of visual defect detection. It was only two weeks old when CFI was on site, but Everard said the retrofit was going well. “We want it all done yesterday,” Everard says, laughing. “In all honesty it's going well; we're on schedule with our proforma but it's got more and we're going to be several months dialing this thing to get all that it’s got.” The Pro Grader adds functionalities like knot detection and measurement, slope of grain, stain and rot, but Everard says solving the latter might be easier said than done. “I'm not convinced we're going to completely solve the rot detection problem. But the slope of grain, knot measurement, and sap stain will be a huge impact on our grade recovery; enormous.” The new unit is designed to sit in the same footprint as the original Pro Grader, which helped simplify the retrofit, Everard notes. While the mill looked at the full gamut of planer optimizers on the market for the project, they felt the Autolog unit gave the best value for dollar in their application. The planer team has been through a similar process as that in the sawmill, with similar gains. Everard says productivity is up 25 per cent in that same 2.5 year period, with better grade upturns. The latter is expected to improve further still with the new optimizer installed. ‘A good place’ Everard says all the hard work over the past few years is paying off in markedly improved productivity. There is still work to be done, he adds, to turn the mill into an above-average performer. Still, he feels the roughest part is now in the rear-view mirror. “We're a work in progress; we're about halfway to where we want to be, but we're in the fun part now. The real heavy lifting has been done and now it's becoming easier and easier. Once you get people aligned with the philosophy, adopt it, adjust to it, and then they start winning — the entire site is running at levels it’s never seen before — everyone starts having fun, and that's a good place.”VIDEO | Exploring EACOM's Elk Lake sawmill
March 14, 2017 - West Fraser announced Monday that Larry Hughes will retire as vice‑president of finance and CFO at the end of March 2017.President and CEO Ted Seraphim said, "Larry has contributed greatly to West Fraser during his 10 years as part of our senior executive team. Before joining West Fraser he was our outside legal counsel and served on our Board from 2002 to 2005. Larry has played a pivotal role in the growth of West Fraser and we have all benefitted from his practical approach and thoughtful advice."West Fraser is pleased to announce that Chris Virostek will become vice‑president of finance and CFO upon Mr. Hughes' retirement. Chris is a Chartered Professional Accountant, CA and has held a number of senior financial roles at Masonite International Corporation since 2002, most recently as senior vice‑president of strategy and corporate development.Mr. Hughes will remain with the company until the end of June 2017 to assist with the transition process and thereafter may provide advisory services to West Fraser's management.
March 10, 2017 - Resolute Forest Products Inc. announced Friday the indefinite idling of its paper mill located in Thorold, Ont. The facility, which employed over 100 workers, has an annual production capacity of approximately 197,000 metric tons of newsprint on one machine using 100 percent recycled furnish. The difficult decision to proceed with the indefinite idling is driven by the ongoing significant decline in North American newsprint consumption, coupled with the increasing cost of recovered paper. The company had already been taking downtime at the operation since mid-December 2016. Resolute is collaborating with Stone House Investments Holdings Inc., an independent third party interested in converting Thorold to production of an alternative product. Resolute recognizes the impact of today's announcement and believes conversion of the mill would provide a more sustainable future for the operation, its workforce and the surrounding community. The company remains committed to customer service and delivery of high-quality products, and is working closely with customers to ensure a smooth transition. The indefinite idling of the paper mill is effective immediately.
March 9, 2017 - What is sawmilling 4.0 and what does it mean for your mill? How can optimized data-collection impact operations? What does the future of the smart mill look like?
March 9, 2017 - Heicor Enterprises, LLC introduces a new generation of kilns under the brand name HDE Dry Kilns to the North American market. HDE Kilns will offer an exceptional value for both large and small kiln drying operations, supplying units from 500 BDFT to over 170,000 BDFT, in track or package loaded configurations. Container kilns, as well as pallet and firewood heat treating kilns are also available. Heat sources will include steam, hot water, thermal oil, or indirect fired gas. HDE Dry Kilns use US sourced heat systems, piping, heat exchangers, valves, UL approved motor controls, and kiln controls. Kiln chambers, fans and fan shrouds are produced by the Harbin Halei Drying Equipment Company. The kiln controls will be supplied exclusively by Lignomat USA. Uli Heimerdinger, president of Lignomat USA LTD, said, “After supplying Lignomat kiln control systems for many years to Harbin Halei Drying Equipment Company , it became evident that they are a quality manufacturer. HDE Dry Kilns is the result of shared German and US kiln design technology paired with this proven and reliable manufacturing company.”
March 9, 2017 - EACOM’s Elk Lake sawmill in northern Ontario has invested in $13 million toward new technology since 2012. But as mill manager Mark Everard explains, that’s where the real work began.Canadian Forest Industries got a peek at the inner workings of the sawmill, adjacent planer mill and the wood drying process here in Elk Lake.RELATED | What goes into a $13M sawmill investment?EACOM's total Elk Lake sawmill investment more than $13 million
Feb. 27, 2017 - Portable band sawmill manufacturer Wood-Mizer has significantly broadened its reach into the industrial sawmilling market. With the introduction of Wood-Mizer TITAN, the company now offers a full line of wideband sawmill equipment that is designed to improve timber production rates and elevate a sawmill’s operational efficiency. This new product line is a result of a purchase agreement with Multisaw, a well-established manufacturer of wideband sawmill equipment since 1990. The Wood-Mizer TITAN Line The Wood-Mizer TITAN line includes wideband primary and secondary breakdown sawmills and resaws as well as circular saw edgers, multirips, optimizing edgers, manual board edgers, and material handling equipment. The move will add further momentum to Wood-Mizer’s ability to offer high-capacity equipment and broaden the corporation’s global reach. “Our well-known narrowband industrial range has helped wood producers worldwide cut costs and raise yields,” says Richard Vivers, president and CEO of Wood-Mizer. “But that is just one piece of a very big market. With Wood-Mizer TITAN, we will serve the high-throughput needs of industrial operations with our established network of locations and commitment to customer support throughout the world.” TITAN wideband sawmill equipment has proven its advantages in the most demanding markets in the world. Customers, Patula Product Sawmill in South Africa, utilize the TITAN system to produce high-throughput of structural timber. Patula’s operation consists of a TITAN twin vertical bandsaw, TITAN double arbor circular multirip, TITAN twin head resaw, and two TITAN manual board edging systems. “We wanted high production wideband sawmilling technology that we could rely on to cut the quality that we want and with enough additional capacity available to grow production into the future,” said Phillip Anderson of Patula Product Sawmill. “This is exactly what we’ve now achieved,” added Troy Cooper of Patula Product Sawmill. “In the last month, we have increased throughput again by 27%.” The Wood-Mizer Product Line TITAN wideband machines will greatly expand Wood-Mizer’s range, which will now consist of two distinct product lines, each geared towards the specific volume and budget requirements of the end-user. Wood-Mizer’s portable and industrial sawmill line continues to provide narrowband sawmilling equipment for entry level to professional and industrial operations. Wood-Mizer’s TITAN products are strongly-built wideband sawmilling equipment for high-throughput industrial sawmilling applications. Each TITAN product is designed to operate as standalone equipment for existing sawmilling lines or to form an entire sawmilling line that can be customized to the requirements of the end-user. The TITAN line provides for primary and secondary log breakdown across a range of log diameters varying from 4” to 24” (100-600 mm). In addition, Wood-Mizer will be offering wideband blades soon for use on TITAN machines with blade widths up to 6” (150 mm).
Feb. 24, 2017 - OptiSaw – the must-attend forum for those driving the future of sawmilling – is accepting registrations for the one-day event in Richmond, B.C., on April 25.
Feb. 17, 2017 - Oregon is setting the pace for the nation in mass timber manufacturing, design and construction. A new report by the Oregon Forest Resources Institute offers insights from the architecture, engineering and construction communities on this burgeoning trend.Forest to Frame showcases the public and private partnerships contributing to a growing movement that's redefining how apartments, hotels and offices are constructed. The 20-page report profiles Oregon developers, architects and contractors who are at the forefront of using advanced wood products such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) to build multistory structures – even skyscrapers – almost entirely out of wood. It also highlights prominent projects in the state that are changing perceptions about wood construction, including a 12-story timber tower in Portland that will be one of the first CLT high-rises in the United States.Other topics covered in the report include groundbreaking research in Oregon demonstrating the safety of mass timber buildings, the many environmental benefits of building with wood, and how its use for construction supports economic development in Oregon's rural timber towns."Forest to Frame offers a fascinating overview of mass timber construction and why it holds great promise on a number of fronts," says OFRI Director of Forest Products Timm Locke. "The report demonstrates that it's both possible and practical to meet our growing construction demands with the most remarkable building material we've ever known: wood."Digital and print copies of Forest to Frame are available to download and order through OFRI's website, OregonForests.org.The Oregon Forest Resources Institute was created by the Oregon Legislature to advance public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products and to encourage sound forestry through landowner education. OFRI is governed by a 13-member board of directors and is funded by a portion of the forest products harvest tax.
Jan. 26, 2017 - Whether the structure you’ll be erecting is something that has been built a thousand times, or if it is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, an efficient and cost-effective construction process is heavily dependent on how well-organized and prepared your trades are. Major construction projects find multiple trades working in conjunction, and one crucial way to ensure success is to incorporate pre-fabrication into the process. Mass timber manufacturer Structurlam Products is a Penticton, B.C.-based company that uses pre-fabrication in every project it undertakes. The company champions this process because they find it results in cost savings for clients, fast on-site assembly, safer work sites and an opportunity for higher quality structures. Preparation is key in pre-fabrication The important first step in pre-fabricating the pieces that will ultimately be put together to form a building is the creation of a 3D model. Mocking up the building exactly as it will need to be created — also known as virtual construction — from the walls, to the holes for plumbing and electricity, is a means of testing and fine-tuning the details to ensure everything is in place before anything is produced and sent to site. Structurlam advocates that all trades use a single geometry model during this process, as it reduces confusion and saves time for all involved. Once the modelling is underway, Structurlam can make adjustments to the building as needed to allow for tolerances and fabrication details. Once the 3D model is complete, the customized data can then be used to create a list of materials that are needed, the exact shop drawings can be completed and then the pre-fabrication of the pieces can begin. The modelling work results in a process that creates the CNC machine codes for the geometry needed to produce each unique panel. This begins what will ultimately make completing the building akin to putting together a dresser from IKEA. “At Structurlam we work closely with all trades involved to ensure everything that will go into the building is reflected perfectly in the 3D model,” said president of Structurlam Bill Downing. “Our ability to incorporate every detail into the pre-fabrication process allows us to deliver the pieces to a building that will come together smoothly and benefit all who are working together to erect it.” Upon completion of the individual pieces, these fabricated panels are placed in order of delivery to the site. They are loaded on to the trucks perfectly to match the installation sequence. While this requires a tremendous amount of pre-planning, it is what results in the time and cost savings for the project and allows for buildings to be erected in high-traffic, small footprint areas, as there is no material stored on site. Tall wood and pre-fabrication Pre-fabrication is an essential element the construction of mass timber buildings. For example, this process was utilized at the recently completed Brock Commons at UBC, the world’s largest tall wood building. The 18-storey mass timber structure will be a student residence building, housing more than 400 students when it is completed in May 2017. Structurlam provided 169 mm, 5 layer CLT panels measuring 2.9 x 11.8 m for floors, along with glulam columns for the building’s interior. Steel connectors allowed the building to be put together quickly and safely. The steel connectors allowed for a direct load transfer between columns and also provided a bearing surface for CLT panels. The seamless construction of this record-breaking project was well served by pre-fabricating the pieces. Benefits of pre-fabrication Pre-fabrication can be realized for any size or scope of project, from record-breaking towers to multi-family homes in dense urban areas; no matter the project the benefits will be the same: · Fast assembly: Perfect pieces delivered in order allows for an efficient and quick assembly; this can minimize the total schedule duration of a project. · Cost-effective: Pre-fabricating the pieces reduces waste and allows for a fast assembly, cutting down on costs and encouraging efficiency across the trades. · Safer work site: Many tasks are accomplished in Structurlam’s shop, removing the need for complicated work to be undertaken on site or at jarring heights. · Reduced labour on site: Prefabrication ultimately requires less people on site to install the structure. · Higher quality: Critical elements of the building are completed in a controlled shop environment. An organized and efficient construction site is ultimately dependent on how well the trades involved work together. Incorporating pre-fabrication supports these efforts and encourages collaboration and close working relationships from the onset of the project. Utilizing the impressive power of pre-fabrication serves projects of all sizes and delivers tremendous benefits across the board. Photos//Structurlam Photos//Structurlam View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.woodbusiness.ca/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=1&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriafe6aac1396
Jan. 3, 2017 - German supplier Siempelkamp Maschinen- und Anlagenbau GmbH increases its stake in Pallmann Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG to 75 per cent.In the range of services offered by the Siempelkamp Group, Pallmann plays an important role as the specialist for size-reduction technology and preparation systems. For plant operators from the wood-based materials industry, size-reduction equipment and preparation systems belong to the in-demand scope of supply. The main benefit for the customers: precision technology for the production of higher quality strands, flakes, and fibrous materials and the expertise in the ever more important area of recycling.The Krefeld machine and plant engineering specialist therefore decided to continue the integration of the company from Zweibrücken. The 45-per cent increase in shareholding in Pallmann Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG and Ludwig Pallmann Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, last recorded in the beginning of 2016, was increased by Siempelkamp as of Dec. 15, 2016 to 75 per cent.The taking over of a majority holding by the Siempelkamp Group was followed by a reorganization of the management of Pallmann Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG.Dipl.-Kfm. Stefan Wissing, to date spokesman of the management of Siempelkamp Maschinen und Anlagenbau GmbH, was appointed spokesman of the management of Pallmann Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG with effect from Dec. 15, 2016.At the same time, as the spokesman of the worldwide operating Siempelkamp Logistics & Service GmbH, Mr. Wissing is responsible for the entire service business of the Siempelkamp Group.At the end of 2016, Dr.-Ing. Hans Fechner and Dr. Claus Maack are stepping down from the management of Pallmann Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG.For 2017 many challenges are on the Pallmann agenda. We will focus on the process of fiberizing raw materials to fibers used in MDF production, the milling of raw materials to strands and flakes for particleboard and OSB production as well as the agglomeration process used in the production of insulation material. Thus, wood-plastic-composites made of wood flour and plastics or fiber-plastic-composites containing natural fibers from hemp or cork are produced. Under the heading “end of life tire”, the company furthermore will focus on the recycling of old tires.Zweibrücken is home to 120 size reduction machines in the in-house research and development center. With this equipment the team focuses on process improvements, further development of our machines, and testing new developments. Customers from all over the world use the Pallman center to carry out tests with our process engineers to develop innovations for their industries.The Siempelkamp Group is a supplier of technological equipment, and its three business units, Machine and Plant Engineering, Foundry Technology, and Engineering and Service, are oriented towards international markets. Siempelkamp Machine and Plant Engineering is a system supplier of press lines and complete plants for the wood-based materials industry, the metal forming industry, and the composites and rubber industry. Siempelkamp Foundry, one of the largest hand-molding foundries in the world, manufactures large cast components from cast iron with nodular graphite, with unit weights of up to 320 metric tons. Siempelkamp Engineering and Service specializes in the dismantling of nuclear facilities, and supplies transport and storage cask for radioactive waste. www.siempelkamp.com
Dec.15, 2016 – The future of North America’s oriented strand board (OSB) market is forecast to look up in 2017. And the continuation of that success lies on how balanced the OSB market proves to be in the next few years. Wood Markets’ five-year outlook report has analyzed the data. As our forecasts have warned over the past few years, the timing of increased OSB supply — from the restarting of another seven curtailed OSB mills and two greenfield mills that will come on stream at some point in 2017-2021 — will determine the exact trend in prices over the forecast period. The forecast shows that OSB demand should increase by over 6 billion sf between 2016 and 2021 – that balances relatively well with the expected new capacity additions and normal annual incremental production gains. However, the exact timing of new capacity installations and their start-up date relative to rising demand will have the greatest impact on OSB prices – this “Goldilocks effect” of trying to get the temperature right, or the balance of OSB supply versus demand, will create some price volatility at various times in the next five years. For OSB, this is nothing new, where prices could easily move by US +/-$50/Msf or more in consecutive quarters. As a result, OSB prices are expected to improve in 2017, as demand remains strong and production tightens, before new mills start up. With five OSB mills scheduled to start up by the end of 2018, the pendulum is expected to swing later in 2018, to a temporarily over-supplied market at times. As a result, OSB prices could ease in 2018 and bottom out in 2019 until the incremental supply base is absorbed. After that, rising prices are again expected. Any potential delays in OSB mill capacity restarts will improve the whole market situation by minimizing any oversupply situations. The real question is: will any company’s strategy be to delay capacity restarts to allow for a better market situation, where their competitors who have restarted mills earlier will then benefit from this situation? History would suggest “no.” And the other question is: if the OSB market situation looks too good, will any new greenfield mills be announced to create more over-supply issues? Forecast Highlights: • U.S. South OSB production is forecast to almost meet the previous OSB peak production volume (of 2007) in 2017 – moving from 2016’s anticipated 11.2 billion sf to over 15 billion sf in 2021 (+7% annually from 2016). • A growing concern will be the raw material supply and costs for existing, restarted and new OSB mills, particularly in the U.S. South. The rapid expansion of wood pellet manufacturing plants continues to rise at a very fast rate where some of the new pellet capacity as well as sawmill expansions (that take advantage of soaring lumber prices after Canadian export duties kick in) will both compete directly with OSB mills for pulp logs and small SYP sawlogs • If new wood biomass competitors in the U.S. South drive raw material supply prices higher, Canadian OSB mills may develop a raw material cost advantage (over and above the lower Canadian dollar), relative to U.S. South mills, and could gain market share. • The strength of the U.S. dollar versus most global currencies, combined with increasing US demand, will drive imports from Canada and attract more offshore supply higher over the forecast period. • Canadian OSB exports are forecast to increase from 6 billion sf in 2016 to 7.6 billion sf by 2021 — 28% increase over this five year period, with 98% going to the strong U.S. market. • From an estimated 8 billion sf in 2016, Canadian OSB output is forecast to rise to over 10 billion sf in 2021 — an average annual increase of 5.6% from 2016 to 2021. Full details of the five-year outlook for the U.S. and Canada’s lumber and panels consumption, imports, exports, production and price trends are available in Wood Markets 2017 – The Solid Wood Products Outlook – 2017 to 2021.
Nov. 28, 2016 - A new massive plywood building panel developed by an Oregon company and tested at Oregon State University may be the largest such product ever manufactured. Builders are familiar with standard plywood sheets that measure 4-feet wide, 8-feet long and between a quarter-inch and more than one-inch thick. The new panels made by the Freres Lumber Company of Lyons, Oregon, can be as much 12-feet wide, 48-feet long and 2-feet thick. The company announced its new panels in October, capping more than a year of development and performance testing at Oregon State’s Advanced Wood Products Laboratory. “The results look very promising,” said Ari Sinha, assistant professor in OSU’s College of Forestry, who oversaw the tests. “This is a unique product with the potential for creating jobs in rural Oregon.” Versatility is one of the benefits of the product known as a Mass Plywood Panel (MPP). “These panels can be customized for different applications. Because they have very good compression qualities, they could be used for columns as well as panels,” said Sinha. The veneer manufacturing process enables manufacturers to orient wood grain and to distribute the defects found in smaller trees, such as knots, in a way that maintains the strength of the final product, Sinha added. Tests in Sinha’s lab focused on the panels’ structural and physical properties such as density, adhesive bonding and resistance to the kinds of vertical and horizontal stresses experienced in an earthquake. Additional tests are planned after the first of the year. Mass Plywood Panels can achieve the performance characteristics of a similar product known as Cross Laminated Timber panels with 20 to 30 per cent less wood. “The market is wide enough that this product can compete in niche applications,” said Sinha. “MPP can be made to order.” Sinha’s lab conducts wood-product testing year-around for companies in Oregon, Washington and other states. He evaluates connections between building components as well as component stresses stemming from wind, earthquakes and other forces. With support from businesses, Oregon BEST and the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the new National Center for Advanced Wood Products Manufacturing and Design will continue to conduct tests on Mass Plywood Panels and on Cross Laminated Timber panels manufactured by companies in the Northwest and elsewhere. Housed at the OSU College of Forestry, the center is a collaboration between the college, the OSU College of Engineering and the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts.
Nov. 9, 2016 - USNR has acquired the business of Ventek, Inc., the industry leader in veneer scanning, grading, and handling systems for the plywood industry.
Oct. 28, 2016 - Two OSB mills in Quebec will swap ownership after a mill exchange agreement was reached today between Norbord Inc. and Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LP).
Sept. 27, 2016 - Mauro Calabrese, a planning forester for West Fraser in Williams Lake, contributed an article about Williams Lake Plywood for the Williams Lake Tribune's National Forest Week Celebrating Forestry 2016 supplement."Williams Lake Plywood has been operating at its Williams Lake location since 1953, but it didn’t start out as a West Fraser owned plant and it didn’t always make plywood. It was originally known as “All Fir”- finishing rough lumber from the surrounding bush mills."Read the full story.
Sept. 15, 2016 - You won’t read about it in the sports section any time soon, but a number of Canadian cities are competing in a high-stakes global race that will directly affect more than 200 of our communities.
Sept. 2, 2016 - Columbia Forest Products’ veneer plant, Rutherglen mill, east of North Bay, Ont., is ramping up towards full-production after restarting operations in April.
Aug. 12, 2016 - Higher demand and strong sales to construction accounts are reasons behind Hardwoods Distribution Inc.'s increase in sales in the second quarter. The company reports that total sales increased by 9.5% to $157.0 million from $143.4 million in Q2 2015. Hardwoods' U.S. operations increased sales by 3.7% to $95.5 million (USD).
July 26, 2016 - Norbord Inc. reported Adjusted EBITDA of $94 million for the second quarter of 2016 versus $19 million in the second quarter of 2015 and $61 million in the first quarter of 2016. The improvement versus both comparative periods is primarily due to higher North American oriented strand board (OSB) prices and shipment volumes. North American operations generated Adjusted EBITDA of $85 million in the quarter compared to $11 million in the same quarter last year and $53 million in the prior quarter. European operations delivered Adjusted EBITDA of $11 million compared to $10 million in both comparative quarters. "Our financial and operational performance continued to improve in the second quarter. Our Adjusted EBITDA has increased for six consecutive quarters and so far in 2016, we have generated $120 million more in Adjusted EBITDA than this time last year. Further, our Adjusted earnings were more than double the first quarter," said Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord's President and CEO. "Our North American mills produced at 96% of stated capacity during the quarter. The benchmark OSB spot price is currently up 44% since its February low, the highest level in over three years. We see further upside to our performance as recovering US housing starts, particularly single-family, continue to drive increasing OSB demand." "In Europe, our panel business delivered a 10% improvement in Adjusted EBITDA. The underlying fundamentals of our European business remain favourable in spite of the political uncertainty following the Brexit referendum. The UK is a net importer of panelboard and as a primarily UK-based producer, the recent pressure on the Pound Sterling makes Norbord's domestically-produced panels more competitive than imports. Our modernization project at Inverness will lower our manufacturing costs and is underpinned by growing European OSB demand, largely driven by increasing substitution of OSB for higher cost plywood." Market Conditions In North America, year-to-date US housing starts were up 7% versus the same period last year. Single-family starts, which use approximately three times more OSB than multi-family, increased by 13% and single-family permits were 10% higher. The seasonally-adjusted annualized rate was 1.19 million in June. The consensus forecast from US housing economists is for approximately 1.20 million starts in 2016, which suggests an 8% year-over-year improvement. Second quarter North American benchmark OSB prices increased significantly from both the same quarter last year and the previous quarter as new home construction activity and OSB demand continue to improve. OSB prices increased rapidly during the month of May before pulling back in June, and the North Central benchmark price finished the quarter at $275 per thousand square feet (Msf) (7/16-inch basis). The North Central benchmark price averaged $264 per Msf for the quarter, compared to $193 per Msf in the same quarter last year and $226 per Msf in the previous quarter. In the South East region, where approximately 35% of Norbord's North American OSB capacity is located, benchmark prices averaged $245 per Msf in the quarter, compared to $174 in the same quarter last year and $215 in the prior quarter. In the Western Canada region, where approximately 30% of Norbord's North American capacity is located, benchmark prices averaged $242 per Msf in the quarter, compared to $152 in the same quarter last year and $191 in the previous quarter. In Europe, Norbord's core panel markets in the UK and Germany continued to experience strong demand growth in the quarter. Second quarter average panel prices were in line with both the same quarter last year and the previous quarter. OSB prices were stable in the UK and continued to rise on the continent, resulting in average prices that were 4% higher year-over-year and 2% higher quarter-over-quarter. Medium density fibreboard (MDF) and particleboard prices were 5% lower year-over-year due to increased import competition when the Pound Sterling was stronger earlier this year, but were in line with the previous quarter. Performance Norbord's North American OSB shipments increased 8% year-over-year and 11% quarter-over-quarter due to fewer maintenance and market shuts and improved mill productivity. Norbord's operating North American OSB mills produced at 96% of stated capacity (excluding the two curtailed mills in Huguley, Alabama and Val-d'Or, Quebec), up from 89% in the same quarter last year and 92% in the prior quarter. Capacity utilization increased versus both comparative periods due to improved productivity, as well as fewer maintenance shuts and production curtailments, partially offset by approximately three weeks of lost production due to the fire at the High Level, Alberta mill. Three of Norbord's North American mills achieved quarterly production records. Norbord's North American OSB cash production costs per unit (before mill profit share) decreased 6% year-to-date due to improved productivity, lower resin prices, improved raw material usages, fewer maintenance shuts and production curtailments and the weaker Canadian dollar, which were partially offset by higher supplies and maintenance costs. In Europe, Norbord's shipments were 5% higher than the same quarter last year and 6% higher than the prior quarter. The European mills produced at 104% of stated capacity in the quarter compared to 101% in the same quarter last year and 100% in the prior quarter due to improved productivity. One of Norbord's European mills achieved a quarterly production record. Norbord's mills delivered Margin Improvement Program (MIP) gains of $14 million year-to-date from improved productivity and lower raw material use as well as merger synergies and returns on recent capital investments. MIP gains are measured relative to the prior year at constant prices and exchange rates. In the 15 months since the merger with Ainsworth, Norbord has captured $32 million in cumulative merger synergies ($39 million annualized), or 87% of the $45 million total commitment. The Company remains on track to deliver its full $45 million target by the end of 2016. In addition to these synergies, the merger has enabled the Company to avoid significant cash outlays it would otherwise have had to incur. Norbord estimates this capital and operating cost avoidance at $18 million, which includes transferring formerly idle assets, maintaining lower inventory levels and optimizing the timing of supplier payments. In January 2016, the Board of Directors approved a $135 million investment over the next two years to modernize and expand the Company's Inverness, Scotland OSB mill. During the quarter, on-site construction work commenced and work began to move the unused second press from the Grande Prairie, Alberta mill to Inverness. Capital investments year-to-date were $34 million (including $6 million related to the Inverness project) compared to $28 million in the first half of last year. Norbord's 2016 regular capital expenditure budget is $75 million. In addition, the Company expects to spend $45 million on the Inverness project in 2016. Operating working capital was $163 million at quarter-end compared to $151 million at the end of the same quarter last year and $172 million at the end of the prior quarter. Working capital increased year-over-year primarily due to the impact of higher North American OSB prices on accounts receivable and the insurance receivable related to the High Level fire. Working capital decreased quarter-over-quarter primarily due to the seasonal inventory drawdown at the northern mills and the loss of log inventory due to the High Level fire (which is covered by insurance). Due to improved Adjusted EBITDA, cash generated from operations for the first six months of 2016 was $86 million compared with $55 million of cash consumed in the same period of 2015. At quarter-end, Norbord's unutilized liquidity improved by $50 million to $374 million and consisted of $12 million in cash and $362 million in unused credit lines. During the quarter, the Company repaid $55 million that had previously been drawn under the accounts receivable securitization program. In June 2016, the Company amended its bank lines to reset the tangible net worth covenant to $500 million and extend the maturity date for $225 million of the total aggregate commitment to May 2019. The remaining $20 million commitment matures in May 2018. The Company's tangible net worth was $799 million and net debt to total capitalization on a book basis was 48%. Both ratios remain well within bank covenants. Norbord has $200 million senior secured notes that are due in February 2017, which the Company intends to permanently repay at maturity using cash on hand, cash generated from operations and if necessary, by drawing upon the accounts receivable securitization program. Quarterly highlights On the back of strong North American pricing, we delivered Adjusted EBITDA of $94 million during the quarter (Adjusted earnings per share of $0.49) – over 50% more than the previous quarter. Across our global operations, manufacturing costs declined 4% year-over-year and we had record quarterly production at four mills. Our improved mill productivity enabled a 7% increase in sales volume year-over-year, consistent with the demand increases we had been forecasting. While still a small part of our revenues, sales to Asia are also improving, with exports to both Japan and China up over last year. We continue to make progress on the synergies from our merger with Ainsworth. To-date we have captured $39 million (annualized) in cumulative synergies, or 87% of our overall $45 million target. In addition to these synergies, our now larger post-merger operations have enabled us to avoid significant cash outlays we would otherwise have had to incur. We estimate this capital and operating cost avoidance at $18 million, which includes transferring and putting formerly idle assets to productive use, maintaining lower inventory levels and optimizing the timing of supplier payments. While we continue to allocate capital toward optimizing and growing our operations, we are also reducing our debt. During the second quarter we completely paid down our $55 million in accounts receivable securitization drawings, improving our liquidity position by more than $50 million to $374 million. Deleveraging remains a priority and we are committed to using our free cash flow and this liquidity to pay down our $200 million 2017 bonds when they come due next February. Well positioned to navigate political uncertainty in the UK While Norbord, like all companies active in the UK, is affected by the prevailing political environment following the referendum result, the underlying fundamentals and market dynamics that relate to our specific industry continue to be favourable. For context, our European business represents 24% of our shipments volume (of which about two-thirds remains in the UK) and contributed 12% of our Adjusted EBITDA this quarter. We are are well positioned to navigate the current economic uncertainties and this perspective is founded on two principal facts. First, OSB represents only about 45% of structural panel consumption in Europe compared to over 65% in North America. Substitution of OSB for higher cost plywood has been driving double-digit demand growth for the past several years. Since the vast majority of competing plywood is imported from outside Europe and denominated in US dollars, it has become 10% more expensive in the UK market since the referendum. Further, the UK is a net importer of OSB, MDF and particleboard, and Norbord is the largest domestic panelboard producer. The Pound Sterling has also devalued almost 10% versus the Euro, making our domestically produced panels even more appealing for UK customers. Second, there is a chronic undersupply of new housing in the UK. The UK government acknowledges that the number of new homes built annually needs to double from its current level. Over the past few years, a number of measures have been legislated to debottleneck the cumbersome planning process. This new supply may not be built out as quickly now as before the referendum, but the fact remains there is a housing gap that needs to be filled. While new home construction drives only about one-quarter of UK OSB demand, this continues to represent a significant opportunity for Norbord. We are confident the underlying fundamentals are positive and that we have the right strategy and operational approach in place. Our Inverness project is a unique and low-risk way to further strengthen our European business. Our $135 million project budget translates to $190 per thousand square feet of capacity. This is half the cost of greenfield and represents the new low water mark for capacity cost in our industry. The referendum has not changed the project economics and the benefits will be driven by significantly lowering the mill's manufacturing cost through the installation of larger scale, modern press technology that has been sitting idle at our Grande Prairie, Alberta mill. The opportunity is further underpinned by the site's access to a growing and low-cost wood basket in Europe.
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.
March 2, 2017 - Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC (GP) announced that it has signed a patent license agreement with Huber Engineered Woods LLC (HEW) to settle litigation related to GP's ForceField System products. HEW, the maker of ZIP System branded products, has a portfolio of patents and related pending applications for a structural roof and wall system incorporating water resistant and air barrier technologies that streamline the weatherization process. These technologies provide an advantaged means to weatherize a home. The confidential settlement terms grant to GP a license to offer its ForceField System products with the payment of an undisclosed upfront amount and ongoing royalties. "Our license with Huber provides GP with the flexibility to meet our customers' needs for products that install more quickly than house wrap," said Clarence Young, vice-president of oriented strand board (OSB) at Georgia-Pacific Wood Products. "We are pleased to bring closure to the lawsuit with Huber so that we can continue to serve our customers with innovative products that solve real challenges in the building community," added Young. For additional information regarding the ForceField System, visit www.gpforcefield.com.
Feb. 13, 2017 - Ever had your eyes glued to the screen watching elaborate cottage and cabin renovation shows? Well Log Cabin Hub magazine has created an infographic offering a peek at log homes that go beyond your typical, humble abode. Belonging to public figures ranging from Ralph Lauren and Paul McCartney, all the way to Oprah Winfrey and Queen Elizabeth II, here are 20 log cabins of the rich and famous:(Click on the image below and expand to see the full list.) Infographic//Courtesy of Log Cabin Hub Infographic//Courtesy of Log Cabin Hub View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.woodbusiness.ca/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=1&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria3609fdb794
Jan. 26, 2017 – Canadian forest products company Western Forest Products (WFP) is permanently closing its South Vancouver Island remanufacturing plant. The announcement came on Wednesday and follows WFP’s plan to strengthen the company through recapitalization and consolidation. WFP’s goal is to become a global competitor, according to a statement. The statement also mentions that all employees of the consolidated South Vancouver Island plant have either received compensation or been located to other facilities within WFP. WFP also consolidated its sawmills in Nanaimo, B.C. in October 2014. President and CEO Don Demens said that the decision was also part of the strategy to make WFP more competitive worldwide. “This strategy involves the evaluation of new market programs and operating configurations designed to improve our operating results," Demens said. According to the company, “Since 2011, Western has invested over $260 million in recapitalizing its coastal operations, including more than $94 million in strategic investments towards upgrading technology, with a focus on reducing costs while maintaining product flexibility.”
Jan. 16, 2017 - Stella-Jones Inc. has provided preliminary unaudited results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2016. These preliminary results are based on information available to the company as of Jan. 13, 2017 and are subject to revision upon finalizing the audit of Stella-Jones' annual consolidated financial statements. Financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2016 will be reported on March 17, 2017.Stella-Jones is providing this update to inform of lower year-over-year financial results in the fourth quarter. For this period, the company is currently anticipating sales in the range of $340.0-$342.0 million, compared with $357.5 million last year, while operating income is expected to be between $27.0 and $29.0 million, versus $48.3 million a year ago.2016 will mark the sixteenth consecutive year of sales and net income growth for Stella-Jones. For the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2016, consolidated sales are expected to show a year-over-year increase of nearly 18.0 per cent, reaching close to $1.84 billion, while operating income should be between $232.0 and $234.0 million, up from $220.1 million last year.The year-over-year decrease in sales and profitability in the fourth quarter of 2016 was primarily driven by lower railway tie demand at the end of the year, as anticipated in management's discussion and analysis for the third quarter of 2016. For the current fiscal year, total sales and operating margins are expected to remain comparable to 2016, assuming stable currencies.
Jan. 3, 2017 - Growing interest from Asia in resort-style living that is market by specialty wood products is opening doors for B.C.'s remanufacturers.
Nov. 17, 2016 - A fire at the Tolko Industries remanufacturing plant in Lake Country, B.C. prompted an evacuation Tuesday night. Castanet reports the fire was small and got put out quickly. “The workers ... managed to put a fire hose on it and got it knocked down before our engine arrived on scene,” Lake Country Fire Chief Steve Windsor told Castanet. Read more here.
Nov. 8, 2016 - Stella-Jones is profiting from acquisitions and a greater reach in the residential lumber product category, reporting a sales jump of 18.4 per cent from one year ago.
Oct. 5, 2016 - Damage from a fire that burned through DAG-Wood Products in Osler, Sask., on the weekend is estimated at $1 million.
Sept. 14, 2016 - The federal government is investing close to $4.5 million in an East Coast startup working to commercialize a technology that uses rejected wood fibers to make high-strength, lightweight composite building materials, packaging and furniture.Corruven Canada Inc. plans to use the investments, as well as about $2 million in private funds, to install its first industrial-scale corrugating line and build a market for its products in the U.S. and Canada. The company’s technology allows it to process and press veneer rejects into usable products such as packaging and bed platforms. The company says its materials are approximately 75 per cent lighter and six-time strong than traditional building materials.Supporting the Canadian forestry industry, the Canadian government’s Investments in Forest Industry Transformation Program provided Corruven $2.5 million in funding for the project, while the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency contributed the remaining $2 million in government funding.The startup expects the corrugating line and associated research will create 10 new jobs at its base in Saint-Basile, N.B., as well as an additional 14 if the project proves successful.
Aug. 26, 2016 - Brink Forest Products Ltd. has entered into an agreement with the BID Group of Companies to purchase Vanderhoof Specialty Wood Products Ltd.
Aug. 11, 2016 - With the recent closing of manufacturing plants in the North Bay, Ont., area, one can assume that most people living in the region were relieved to witness the reopening of Columbia Forest Product’s hardwood veneer plant in Rutherglen, Ont. The plant was reopened this past April with USD$1.5 million invested into the facility.
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International Mass Timber ConferenceTue Mar 28, 2017
March 28 & 30 Wood Dust Collection Seminars (B.C.)Tue Mar 28, 2017
Montreal Wood ConventionTue Mar 28, 2017
COFI Convention 2017Wed Apr 05, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM