Dec. 12, 2017 - Canadian Forest Industries Top 10 Under 40 contest is an annual tradition, drawing in nominations from coast-to-coast and recognizing young leaders in forestry. 
Dec. 12, 2017 - Standard on Sennebogen machines, the updated version of the Maxcab is about 3” (70 mm) longer than the previous generation. The resulting cab expansion not only provides more space for the operator to work comfortably. It also offers additional room for an optional electric cooler behind the seat, as well as additional storage space for other necessities. When Sennebogen introduced the first generation of Maxcab in 2006, it established a new benchmark in comfort, ergonomics and safety for the operators of material handlers and other lifting equipment. The innovative sliding door continues to provide convenient, safe access to the new Maxcab, but with an increased opening width for even easier access. From the start, end-users and designers were involved in the development of the new Maxcab. The result is a smart design meeting all required specifications. Throughout the new Maxcab’s design and development process, Sennebogen prioritized higher-quality solutions, including the most easy-to-understand, simple and intuitive operating elements. Optimum climate control The new and improved air conditioning system in today’s Maxcab features nine outlets for optimized air flow. Even with the fan on high, the air is blown at a pleasantly low speed via outlets that are strategically distributed around the cab. Helping to ensure a pleasant working environment, the Maxcab features a tiltable front windshield and a side window panel in the door that can be opened by the operator. Additional upgrades ensure comfort The windshield on the new Maxcab has been pulled right down to the floor optimizing the operator’s view of the primary work area at the front of the machine. Together with large side window panels, the operator has an unobstructed panoramic view over the entire jobsite. Charging outlets have been located behind the driver’s seat and additional storage spaces in the interior keeps the area tidy but all items are within easy reach of the operator. Additionally, the new cab’s floormat is flush with the access opening, making the cab’s floor safe to access and easy to clean. A permanent catwalk with a railing allows for safe access to the cab. Creating ideal conditions for fatigue-free work, the consoles and the ergonomic hydraulic-over-hydraulic joysticks move with the standard climate-controlled seat. The work station can be individually adjusted to best suit the size and weight of every operator. Sennebogen machines continue to employ efficient, cost-effective operating technologies. Individual operating switches instead of electronics makes it easy and cost effective to troubleshoot and repair. Sennebogen has been a leading name in the global material handling industry for 65 years. Based in Stanley, N.C., within the greater Charlotte region, Sennebogen LLC offers a complete range of purpose-built machines to suit virtually any material handling application. Established in America in the year 2000, Sennebogen LLC is a provider of specialized equipment solutions for recycling and scrap metal yards, demolition, barge and port operations, log-handling, transfer stations and waste facilities from coast to coast. Visit the website at www.sennebogen-na.com
Dec. 12, 2017 - John Deere has announced its new TimberOffice Data Transfer (TODT) app, a free smartphone application available for iOS or Android devices which simplifies data transfer from forestry machines to the office. The app, now available for Cut-to-Length forestry machines, allows the user to secure production and work statistics, even when used in a working environment with weak or non-existent mobile service. “We wanted to provide a solution that allows users to easily transfer the data they need to successfully manage their business – even when working outside of cellular service,” said Matt Flood, John Deere ForestSight product manager. “TimberOffice Data Transfer turns a smartphone into a temporary storage device that automatically transfers the data when cellular connectivity is reestablished.” Use of the TODT app, developed exclusively for John Deere customers, simply requires users to plug a TODT Wi-Fi device into their TimberMatic measuring and control system, creating a connection between the app and the machine. Once the connection is established, data is transferred to the mobile device with a single touch. When a mobile network is available, the TODT app automatically sends selected data to pre-assigned emails or production management systems, without requiring the user to go back into the app. The app, which can collect data from multiple machines, enables faster data utilization to help customers improve machine productivity. TODT utilization also results in increased production awareness and efficiency from the jobsite by sharing data on potentially more frequent intervals than ever before. To learn more about or download the TimberOffice Data Transfer app, please visit the Apple iTunes store or Google Play store.
Dec. 12, 2017 - Here's a look at CFI's latest equipment spotlight all about steep slopes!
Dec. 6, 2017 - Canadian Forest Industries Top 10 Under 40 contest is an annual tradition, drawing in nominations from coast-to-coast and recognizing young leaders in forestry. 
Dec. 6, 2017 - It’s an exciting time for British Columbia’s steep-slope-harvesting forestry workers and employers. Approximately 25 new mechanized-harvesting machines equipped with winch-assist technology are operating in the province, and another 20 are anticipated to be put into use over the next two years on British Columbia’s rugged, often treacherous forested landscape.
Dec. 6, 2017 - Chevy recently partnered with John Deere at its world headquarters to show off its newest version of the HD Silverado pickup. The reason? A work-related backdrop is vital to understanding the needs of the HD truck owner and frankly what looks better than some spanking new construction equipment towed by shiny 2018 Chevy pickups?
Dec. 4, 2017 - Working for the LeBeau brothers logging operations in Kamloops, B.C., is like joining a fraternity.
Dec. 4, 2017 - Birthdays are a good time for reflection. A time to think about what we accomplished over the past year. For those in the business of wood, Canada’s 150th year was full of ups and downs.
Nov. 30, 2017 - Overshadowed by B.C.'s unprecedented wildfire season, the U.S. states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana also experienced a significant and disruptive wildfire year. By early September, almost two million acres of forest and rangeland had burned in the U.S. Northwest. Harvest operations across the four states have been hampered by restrictions on operating hours, disruptions in transportation, and loggers diverted to fighting wildfires. In Montana, several sawmills had to close operations intermittently in the 3Q/17 due to the proximity of wildfires. Full harvest operations resumed after late September rains, though whether there was sufficient time to replenish sawlog and pulplog inventories before winter conditions set in remains the key question for many log procurement managers this fall. Unlike B.C. and its large provincially-owned commercial timber base, the loss of burnt timber on U.S. federal forests has had little impact on the availability of timber with the exception being Montana, where regular timber sales from federal lands have proven crucial to selected sawmills. In general, however, the U.S. Forest Service timber sale program provides minimal sawlog or pulplog volumes to the forest industry in Western U.S.With lower harvest levels in the Northwest due to wildfire-risk constraints, local sawmills expanded their procurement into small-diameter chip-n-saw grades and higher quality pulplogs that typically would be used by the region's pulpmills. This less valuable log source, resulting in lower lumber yields, has still been profitable for many sawmills thanks to the high prices for softwood lumber during 2017.  The increased competition for small-diameter logs has resulted in a dwindling supply of traditional pulplogs normally available for pulpmills and independent chipping operators, with pulplog inventories in August reaching their lowest level since the 2Q/14. The low level of pulplogs in the region's pulp industry this late in the season is a major concern among wood fiber managers in the U.S. Northwest as they seek to build adequate inventory levels of logs for the winter season when residual chip supply from the lumber industry typically declines. 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 publicationthat 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.
Nov. 28, 2017 - Canadian Forest Industries Top 10 Under 40 contest is an annual tradition, drawing in nominations from coast-to-coast and recognizing young leaders in forestry. To individually acknowledge each winner and his or her contributions to the forest industry, CFI will feature each of our top 10 winners of 2017 over the next 10 weeks.This week, we introduce our readers to Daniel Main.Daniel is general manager at Main Logging in Terrace, B.C.His love for logging dates back to when he was a toddler, napping at his dad’s feet in the cab of his machine, says Ferris Moxam, Daniel’s spouse.“I see his love for logging every time we hit the road and can’t drive past a piece of equipment without taking a closer look; or when he falls asleep to videos of grapple yarders at work,” Moxam says.Daniel is one of three brothers who took over the family business run out of Terrace, B.C. He started working as a logger after he graduated in 2005.The 29-year-old isn’t just brawn, Moxam adds. He became a journeyman heavy duty mechanic and has taken numerous courses and workshops related to project management and logging specific training. Today as general manager he is active in sourcing and securing work, managing crews, maintaining equipment and running equipment when need arises. “Daniel has earned the respect of his colleagues and crew by never being afraid to put in long hours or get his hands dirty,” Moxam says.Outside of the company, Daniel sits on the Terrace Economic Development Authority. Board member Kam Siemens describes Daniel as a hard working family man, and community minded. “Through all of this his creativity and innovative ways has allowed the company to flourish,” he says.Stay tuned for next week's spotlight on Jessica Kaknevicius. And read last week's.
Nov. 28, 2017 - For a group of 20 or so loggers who make up JHL Forestry in northeastern Alberta, the job has several unique challenges, not the least of which is their diet: 90 per cent aspen.
Dec. 13, 2017 - CFI toured Fornebu Lumber sawmill located near Bathurst, N.B., to hear how the mill has improved recovery and boosted feed speeds through a combination of a change in culture and capital projects. General manager Michael Godin and Safety & Training co-ordinator Christian Fournier gave us a warm welcome!
Dec. 12, 2017 - Built for construction contractors, landscapers and rental center operators, the new John Deere 204L and 304L compact wheel loaders deliver higher productivity, increased uptime and lower daily operating costs. An evolution of the 204K and 304K models, the L-series models are built for tasks that require peak productivity in small spaces and over rough terrain.       “We’re packing more productivity and efficiency into the wheel loader with the release of our L-Series models,” said Drew Miller, product marketing manager, compact wheel loaders, John Deere Construction & Forestry. “Perfect for year-round use, these workhorses were designed to take on tough jobs from warmer summer months to snowy winter conditions, while enabling the use of a versatile attachments portfolio when you need them.” The 62 horsepower (46 kW) 204L and 67 horsepower (50 kW) 304L models are equipped with Final Tier 4 Yanmar engines and fuel-efficient hydrostatic transmissions to keep noise to a minimum while still providing the productivity needed on the job. An optional ride control is now available, which reduces material spillage and makes for a smoother ride over rough and uneven terrain. Automatically activated front and rear differential locks provide increased traction in harsh conditions. The machine height of the 204L is also configurable to less than 8 feet, ideal for jobs with overhead space constraints. The L-Series compact wheel loaders are equipped with features to minimize maintenance. Hydraulically released, self-adjusting park and service brakes, ground-level maintenance points accessibility and excellent cooler access provide safer and easier means of machine upkeep. The new models also offer extended service intervals for engine oil/filter, final drives oil and hydraulic oil. Creature comforts on the new 204L and 304L increase operator comfort and efficiency. Owners have the option of selecting an enclosed cab or open station, providing unmatched 360-degree attachment visibility. An improved interior cooling system keeps the operator comfortable in warmer temperatures. Providing superior versatility, the L-Series compact wheel loaders are compatible with over 100 John Deere Worksite Pro attachments. Redesigned as a result of extensive customer and dealer feedback, the auxiliary hydraulic control used for attachments has been moved to the primary joystick to increase attachments productivity and ease of use. An optional LED lighting package provides a more reliable light source to increase productivity in low light conditions. To learn more, visit www.johndeere.com or contact your local John Deere dealer.
Dec. 12, 2017 - The optimizer only knows what we tell it. Not only do we have to define all the product details (e.g. thickness, width, length, grade, etc.) we also have to define all the mechanical parameters.
Dec. 12, 2017 - Earlier this year, the Wood Pellet Association of Canada Safety Committee (WPACSC) created a new safety working group – the Wood Fibre Storage Working Group (WFSWG) – to facilitate the development of proposed guidelines to assist employers in understanding and assessing the hazards and options for storage and infeed processes along with risk mitigation strategies and assessment.
Dec. 8, 2017 - Two Canadian-based companies, both in recent years having purchased and now operating multiple sawmills in the U.S. South, are considering building greenfield sawmills in the South.Interfor reports it has completed a detailed feasibility study and business case for a greenfield sawmill capable of producing in excess of 200MMBF annually and has identified a potential location in the Central Region of the U.S. South. Interfor estimates the total capital cost to be approximately US$115 million, including pre-startup costs and working capital. A decision on the project is expected in early 2018.Canfor reports it is conducting a detailed viability study of a greenfield opportunity at one of several locations in the U.S. South. The mill capacity currently being considered is 250MMBF annually. The study is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2018, with a final decision to follow.In addition, Interfor has been working on a multi-year strategic capital plan that will involve a number of projects, both large scale projects that involve the rebuilding of a number of machine centers, plus a series of smaller debottlenecking and optimization projects with attractive paybacks.For 2018, discretionary spending is expected to be in the range of $100 million, and the company is proceeding with projects at two of its sawmills in the U.S. South that involve spending more than US$60 million, which are designed to increase production by 150MMBF annually.Those projects appear to be a $16.5 million investment at its Meldrim, Ga. sawmill, focusing on eliminating a bottleneck at the back end of the operation and includes the installation of a new continuous lumber dry kiln and upgrades to the planer mill. Lumber production is expected to increase by 50%, in addition to improving product quality and mill efficiency.Interfor also plans to invest $46 million to upgrade and modernize its sawmill in Monticello, Ark. The project includes the installation of new state-of-the-art machine centers in the sawmill as well as upgrades to the planer mill and a new continuous lumber dry kiln. Annual lumber production is expected to double.Canfor said its board has also approved a US$125 million capital investment program focused on its U.S. South sawmill operations to increase production capacity by 350MMBF by the end of 2019. The investments will target a number of sawmill and planer modernization opportunities along with increased drying capacity.Story written by the Southern Loggin' Times.
Dec. 6, 2017 - Canadian Forest Industries' delved into the world of stacking and strapping to bring the latest to the forefront.
Dec. 6, 2017 - Every so often I get a letter from somebody asking me how they can learn sawfiling. Typically, they have a bushmill somewhere there are no services available and they feel that it’s just not cost effective for them to ship their saws out to get worked on.
Dec. 4, 2017 - A sawmill in Ontario that was first running in the late 1800s is now producing specialty products and supplying high-quality timber to the province’s cottage industry.
Dec. 1, 2017 - Canfor Pulp Products Inc. announced today that it has taken a temporary and unscheduled outage on one production line at its Northwood Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft (NBSK) pulp mill located in Prince George, B.C., as a result of a tube leak in the number five recovery boiler. Canfor Pulp anticipates the number five recovery boiler to be down for approximately two weeks, and is currently projecting 15,000 tonnes of reduced NBSK pulp production during the fourth quarter 2017, as well as higher associated maintenance costs and lower projected shipment volumes. To mitigate the impact of the incident, Canfor Pulp is continuing to operate the second production line at the Pulp mill and will advance certain mill maintenance activities previously scheduled to be performed in the first quarter of 2018. Due to mitigation efforts by Canfor Pulp the temporary outage is not expected to have a material impact on the financial condition of the Company. The company will be making a claim under its insurance program.
Nov. 30, 2017 - An alliance of three First Nation communities in northeastern Ontario is taking a 30 per cent stake in a Hornepayne dimensional lumber mill and co-generation plant, Northern Ontario Business reports. | READ MORE
Nov. 28, 2017 - The faint smell of burnt wood permeates Finland. The likely culprit: with a population of about 5.5 million, it is estimated there are four million saunas.
Nov. 22, 2017 - Wood Markets’ (FEA Canada) 8th biennial global benchmarking survey has once again placed the U.S. South at the top. The U.S. South was the highest margin sawmill region in North America - a place it has held since 2008 - as well as the top global earner again in 2016 and for the second quarter of 2017. All regions covered in the global sawmilling industry in 2016 and in 2017 showed good results; the average global earnings (EBITDA) at "average" sawmills actually dipped slightly from US$21/m3 (US$34/Mbf - nominal) in 2014 to US$18/m3 (US$29/Mbf) in 2016 but improved to US$24/m3 (US$39/Mbf) by 2017-Q2. For best or "top-quartile" mills, and depending on the region, earnings results were typically about double that of "average" sawmills in each country. The fortunes of most regions improved significantly in 2017-Q2 from higher global lumber prices. The North American economy has been stable, boosting lumber demand and prices and the European economy improved in 2016 and especially in 2017 as many mills (and countries) had their best results in five years. These results and detailed cost, revenue and earnings results were released earlier this month in the 2017 edition of the Global Timber / Sawmill / Lumber-Sawnwood Cost Benchmarking Report. A summary, including a "special analysis" on delivered lumber costs to key export markets, is also provided in this month's WOOD Markets Monthly International Report. Out of 32 countries and/or regions surveyed, "average" U.S. South mills had highest earnings data in 2016 with a 25% EBITDA and "top-quartile" mills earnings were off the scale. "As has been the case since 2008," explained Russ Taylor, Managing Director of FEA-Canada and the principal author of the report, "the major operating advantage for U.S. South mills continues to be the region's low log-cost structure. With a surplus of timber and not enough sawmills operating in the aftermath of the housing market collapse, delivered log prices remain among the lowest in the world with margins being the highest in the world." "Average" mills in the U.S. West Coast had earnings that below those in Western Canada in 2016, mainly due to tight log supplies and strong log export markets in Asia. EBITDA earnings at "average" mills in Canada were strong, partly as a result improving prices and no U.S. import duties in place for all of 2016. Canada's earnings as a whole were above average on a global scale and also ahead of Europe and Russia (mills with logs at cost) but lagged the U.S. weighted average The Canadian average earnings comprised a wide range of regional results, with higher earnings in the west versus half of those seen in the east. The Southern Hemisphere regions surveyed (Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Brazil and South Africa) achieved global average EBITDA earnings of 6% at "average" sawmills, lower than in 2014. Three Southern Hemisphere countries achieved earnings results below the region's average, Brazil and South Africa were above the average. European regions finally had improving markets starting in 2016, and especially in 2017. Overall EBITDA earnings for "average" European sawmills results moved higher from a small gain in 2014 to US$7/m3 (US$11/Mbf) in 2016 and higher in 2017-Q2. "Average" mills in Sweden and the Czech Republic achieved some of the highest earnings in Europe in 2016 partly from favourable log and operating costs. In the global survey, only Finland in 2016 and Finland and Siberia (with logs at market price) in 2017-Q2 recorded losses at "average" mills. Following the devaluation of the ruble, Russia had some of the best earnings in the world in 2014 but these slipped in 2016 and further in 2017-Q2. Russian mills that had to purchase logs on the open market achieved much reduced earnings, mainly due to rising log prices. The introduction of import duties in 2017 on Canadian lumber to the U.S. significantly reduced sawmill margins and has stimulated large increases of lumber exports to the U.S. from Europe, Russia and the Southern Hemisphere. "What is most interesting," commented Russell Taylor, "is that net margin achieved by mills in Sweden (delivered to the U.S. Gulf region) is now higher than all calculated margins from Canadian top-quartile mills. With import duties on Canadian lumber, top-quartile sawmills in Sweden now have the lowest delivered lumber costs aside from the various U.S. regions." The massive spike in U.S. imports of lumber from Sweden and Germany is no coincidence! The results for 32 countries/regions were compiled for both "average" and "top-quartile" sawmills for both 2016 and 2017-Q2 and includes quarterly data starting in 2015-Q1. The 2017 edition of the Global Timber / Sawmill / Lumber-Sawnwood Cost Benchmarking Report benchmarks delivered log costs (with a full break-out of logging, hauling, overhead and stumpage), sawmilling costs, lumber and by-product revenues, and EBITDA margins in 2016 for 32 producing countries and/or regions around the world, and includes an update for 2017-Q2 for both "average" and "top-quartile" sawmills. This 315-page report is available by subscription and a summary of the report appears in the November issue of WOOD Markets Monthly International Report. Read on our webpage: https://www.woodmarkets.com/news-release-strong-global-earnings-at-softwood-sawmills-in-2017/ 
Dec. 12, 2017 - Babcock & Wilcox MEGTEC (B&W MEGTEC), a subsidiary of Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, Inc., has announced it has been chosen by Louisiana-Pacific Corporation(LP) to install a B&W MEGTEC CleanSwitch regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) system at its OSB plant in Hanceville, Ala. The new RTO system has a rated design flow of 330,000 ACFM and will handle the off-gas from five bark-fired rotary drum dryers. This is the fourth LP plant to install a CleanSwitch system. Engineering is currently underway, and delivery is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2017, with projected startup set for of the first quarter of 2018. “The CleanSwitch RTO features a two-chamber, single-valve design that allows customers to achieve environmental compliance,” said RodneySchwartz, vice president-global sales, B&W MEGTEC. “The system features a single, patented switch valve, which minimizes maintenance and virtually eliminates pressure spikes associated with valve changes for better overall dryer control and energy efficiency. “Additionally, our process knowledge associated with ceramics engineering allows us to supply a heat-recovery bed tailored to the wood products industry. This maximizes thermal efficiency and minimizes bed maintenance for improved uptime performance.” The CleanSwitch unit is being manufactured at B&W MEGTEC’s facility in De Pere, Wis. The LP Hanceville operation has the capacity to produce 410 million square feet of oriented strand board (OSB) on a 3/8-inch basis, comprised largely of softwood furnish. About B&W MEGTEC Babcock & Wilcox MEGTEC, a subsidiary of Babcock & Wilcox, designs, engineers, manufactures and services sophisticated air pollution control systems, and coating and drying equipment for the industrial sector. About B&W Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Babcock & Wilcox is a global leader in energy and environmental technologies and services for the power and industrial markets, and has been transforming our world for 150 years. B&W companies employ approximately 5,000 people worldwide. Follow us on Twitter @BabcockWilcox and learn more at www.babcock.com.   About L-P Louisiana-Pacific Corporation is a leading manufacturer of quality engineered wood building materials including OSB, structural framing products, and exterior siding for use in residential, industrial and light commercial construction. From manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Canada, Chile and Brazil, LP products are sold to builders and homeowners through building materials distributors and dealers and retail home centers. Founded in 1973, LP is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under LPX. For more information, visit www.lpcorp.com.
Dec. 5, 2017 - An intense orange light frequently glows in Quebec’s Northern Lac Saint-Jean skies – a sign of industrial development. But unlike the forestry or aluminum development the region is used to, this time the glow is all about cucumbers.
Oct. 24, 2017 - Henco Viljoen, co-owner of Timbersoft in South Africa, is passionate about timber drying. He inherited this passion from his father, mentor, and co-partner, Johan Viljoen. Together they have developed customized drying systems for fine tuning, improving, and upgrading kilns. The result? Their client sawmills in South Africa are now generating greater productivity, higher quality products, and increased profits. “Our main business is optimizing the drying process,” says the younger Viljoen, who works from Sedgefield in the Garden Route section of the Western Cape. “Our strong suit is my father’s 50+ years hands-on knowledge, not only of drying, but the sawmilling industry as a whole, and my 20-year wood technology/IT automation background.” When Johan retired from milling in 2005, he decided to use his hands-on approach in helping other mills to improve their kiln drying. But he quickly discovered a problem – mills were now very technology driven, using computers, PLC and SCADA interfaces. He soon realized that processes happen behind the scenes in software code that he had no control over. This is where Henco got involved. With his IT knowledge, the Viljoens installed their first PLC/SCADA based kiln controller in late 2005. Installations and upgrades followed at regular intervals. The client base grew, and by 2013 Henco joined Timbersoft on a full-time basis after a career in IT and automation. In 2013, Henco started a small research project where he combined solar and heat pump technologies with their PLC and SCADA system to dry hardwoods “smokeless without a boiler.” The kiln dried Eucalyptus boards, which normally dry in four weeks, dried in less than two weeks. This technology opened up many more advancements, including the development of smoke/boiler free drying and ISPM15 heat treatment systems. “It also allowed me to make an in-depth study of the drying process, dynamics, and controls, enabling me to really improve our drying system by leaps and bounds. We used Johan’s vent cycle approach and developed a dynamic, self-adjusting schedule. “Although not yet 100% foolproof, we are very close. The system keeps improving. The goal is to leave the operator with only a start button…the program does the rest and stops at target moisture content (MC%). The operator won’t have to make any decisions,” Viljoen remarks. Since Henco joined the company full time, the business has grown by more than 300 percent and is still growing. Kilns running their system are currently drying about 300,000 cubic meters annually and are expected to increase to 400,000 cubic meters by the end of 2017. Measuring Moisture Moisture measurement is an integral link in the drying management chain -- and forms part of Timbersoft’s Process control. For that very important reason, Timbersoft relies upon moisture measurement. Viljoen says a moisture meter in the hands of a kiln operator is like a calculator or Excel spreadsheet in the hands of an accountant. Neither can go without it. Viljoen personally uses a Wagner L606 handheld meter to measure moisture in the kilns because of its speed, accuracy, dependability, consistency, and ease of use. Many of his clients use Wagner’s MMC220, L612 and L622 models, and the L722 stack probe for exactly these reasons. “The Wagner brand is very big in South Africa sawmilling with good reason. If you think capacitance moisture meter, Wagner is the first name that comes to mind. Even in student literature used by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Wood Technology course, the Wagner is used as an example of a capacitance meter,” Viljoen says. “You don’t hear of a Wagner meter that just stopped working,” he adds. While in-kiln moisture meters are important in achieving excellent results, Viljoen believes that MC alone should not be used as the only guide to where the schedule should be. However, for stopping at a desired final MC, it cannot be beaten. “The way the moisture evaporation rate in the timber reacts to a set point should be taken into consideration. This can be seen by observing how your vents react to a set point, but only when preparation, process control, and maintenance remain constant. “If you have the in-kiln moisture measuring facility AND you know how to interpret all the information your kiln controller is giving you, then you are on the road to becoming the best kiln operator a boss could ask for,” Viljoen declares. Photos by Tony Morgan, Wagner Meters. Photos by Tony Morgan, Wagner Meters.   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.woodbusiness.ca/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=1&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriace882e14ec High-Tech Advisory Because the Viljoen team is highly knowledgeable about using technology to dry timber, Timbersoft has achieved exceptional success. However, he cautions that operators who do not know how to interpret the information provided by high-tech systems can block improvements. “A kiln operator should be more skilled than just able to see the dry bulb is running low (call the boiler room), or the wet bulb is running high (fix water issue/check probe), or the in-kiln target MC% is reached (pull the timber),” he declares. The new high-tech systems have made kiln drying more graphic, and for a good operator with a clear understanding of these systems, it should be considerably easier. But for operators who lack this understanding, Viljoen says the ease of changing multiple variables can and has been catastrophic. “Kiln operators who use high-tech systems should never make more changes to a schedule than what they can accurately identify the outcome of,” he remarks. “Make a study of your kiln controller. Don’t just accept everything it presents you with. Try to figure out the logic it’s applying. More often than not, the programmer has no idea what kiln drying is about. The same applies to the kiln expert – he/she often has very little idea what programming is about. The operator needs to ask questions because the more he knows and understands, the more he’ll realize how little he knew when he started,” he adds. Kiln Drying Management Viljoen says there are five points of drying management. If one of the first three changes, then the schedule optimization is affected. The first three points include preparation, process control, and maintenance. Preparation involves sawing accuracy, board dimension, and stacking procedures. Process Control involves airflow, energy distribution and management, humidity control, and venting. While maintenance involves electrical, mechanical, instrumentation, and structure. “When any of those three changes, it affects the dynamics of the kiln. This affects the rate at which moisture leaves the timber – meaning that the MC is not yet where it’s supposed to be at that stage in drying. “A MC-based schedule is more forgiving, as it is supposed to only progress to the next stage of drying when a certain MC is reached. A standard time-based schedule, however, won’t know what to do. This is why it’s of utmost importance that a kiln operator spots these abnormalities on the process graph and have the authority to stop the kiln and have it fixed,” Viljoen says. Achieving Higher Profitability Quality control is essential for production yield and profitability. And one of the key factors in a good quality control program is moisture management. Inaccurate readings can lead to delays, low yields, and poor grade inspections. That’s why Timbersoft considers kiln moisture monitoring, using the Wagner moisture meters, to be part of their overall success. Timbersoft has many successful client case studies as proof of its customized approach to kiln moisture management. Learn more at www.tskilns.co.za. And, learn more about Wagner’s wood moisture measurement solutions at https://www.wagnermeters.com. Tony Morgan is a senior technician for Wagner Meters, where he serves on a team for product testing, development, and also customer service and training for moisture measurement products. Along with 19 years field experience for a number of electronics companies, Tony holds a B.A. in Management and his AAS in Electronics Technology. Call Wagner Meters today at (800) 634-9961 and ask for Tony, or visit www.wagnermeters.com.
Oct. 24, 2017 - Nestled in between the forests of Kenora, Ont. is Weyerhaeuser’s Kenora TimberStrand, a 10.5-acre engineered wood products facility that resides on a 65-hectare site. This plant is the base of operations for the production of the company’s TimberStrand Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL) products, which include wall framing, rimboard, concrete forms, columns and headers and beams.
Oct. 11, 2017 - Do you remember the last time you ate a popsicle? There is a good chance that you were holding on to your icy treat with a wooden stick produced by Quebec company John Lewis Industries. John Lewis provides the vast majority of popsicle sticks to food companies throughout North America.
Oct. 5, 2017 - American pallet manufacturer PalletOne, Inc. ("PalletOne"), announced its purchase of North East Texas Pallet, a pallet manufacturer located in Clarksville, Texas."I am happy to join the PalletOne team," said former owner Lance Downs. "The company's national presence provides many growth opportunities for the Clarksville operation." PalletOne chief executive officer Howe Wallace said, "We are excited to expand our market share in Texas. This acquisition enhances our operational efficiency and customer service. We are proud to have such a capable group of managers and employees join our team and excited Lance will continue with the company as a part of our leadership team."Founded in 1989, North East Texas Pallet primarily served customers in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Kansas. Producing over 100 truckloads weekly, the Clarksville facility manufactures standard, block and export pallets.Organized in 2001 from predecessor companies, PalletOne now operates 17 locations in 9 states and manufactures new pallets, repairs and recycles used pallets and produces a variety of other wood products.PalletOne's operations include Sunbelt Forest Products Corporation, one of the largest producers of pressure-treated lumber and residential fencing in the Southeast. Sunbelt operates four plants in Florida and Alabama.The combined operations of PalletOne processes more than 500 million board feet of lumber annually and employs more than 1,500 people at 21 locations.
Sept. 15, 2017 - Representatives at WOODRISE 2017, the 1st world congress dedicated to midrise and tall wood buildings taking place in Bordeaux, France, will make a formal call to take one step closer toward carbon neutrality by strengthening the share of wood used in building construction.
Sept. 14, 2017 - WOODRISE, the world's first conference dedicated to mid-rise and tall wood buildings opens its doors in Bordeaux, France.
Aug. 23, 2017 - Structurlam is the first Canadian manufacturer of cross-laminated timber (CLT) to be certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative's 2015‑2019 Chain-of-Custody Standard.
Aug. 22, 2017 - A new report available from reThink Wood demonstrates the fire resistance rating of glulam beam to column connections in Type IV construction. The findings support mass timber as a safe solution that meets, and in some cases exceeds, stringent fire safety standards for U.S. building design and construction.
July 27, 2017 - Tolko has ordered two pocket batch feeders to upgrade its OSB line at its re-opened High Prairie, Alta., mill.The OSB mill was restarted in June 2017. It had been closed since 2008 prior to that when the North American housing market fell and forced the mill to shut down.Production is expected to resume in the first quarter of 2018.“We are confident that current improvements in market conditions are sustainable and that customer demand for Tolko oriented strand board products will remain strong,” said Tolko president and chief executive officer Brad Thorlakson in a release. Tolko has ordered the pocket batch feeders from Surrey, B.C.-based equipment manufacturer Kadant Carmanah Design.  “We’re very happy to see this mill resume operation and to be awarded the order for critical equipment for the OSB line upgrade, said Kadant Carmanah president Michael Colwell. “Tolko and Kadant Carmanah share a long history of partnering to make the best solutions possible.”Once fully operational, the mill is expected to directly employ approximately 175 people.
June 26, 2017 - The Quebec Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks has granted Norbord a wood allocation for its curtailed Chambord, Que., OSB mill that will take effect next April.
Nov. 3, 2017 - Stella-Jones Inc. (TSX:SJ) ("Stella-Jones" or the "Company") today announced financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2017. "Stella-Jones' growing reach in the utility pole and residential lumber markets led to solid sales growth in these product categories during the third quarter, more than offsetting the effect of lower year-over-year pricing in the railway tie product category. Furthermore, a strong operating cash flow generation allowed us to significantly reduce our long-term debt and positions us for future expansion," said Brian McManus, President and Chief Executive Officer.  Financial highlights (in millions of Canadian dollars, except per share data) Quarters ended Sept. 30, Nine-months ended Sept. 30, 2017 2016 2017 2016 Sales 517.6 512.6 1,508.8 1,496.6 Operating income 63.1 67.3 178.4 205.1 Net income for the period 42.0 45.7 116.8 135.4   Per share - basic and diluted ($) 0.61 0.66 1.68 1.96 Weighted average shares outstanding (basic, in '000s) 69,330 69,255 69,319 69,200           THIRD QUARTER RESULTS Sales reached $517.6 million, up 1.0% from $512.6 million last year. Acquisitions contributed sales of approximately $2.1 million, while the conversion effect from fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar, Stella-Jones' reporting currency, versus the U.S. dollar, had a negative impact of $9.9 million on the value of U.S. dollar denominated sales. Excluding these factors, sales increased by $12.9 million, or 2.5%. Railway tie sales amounted to $160.8 million, compared with sales of $186.6 million in last year's third quarter. Excluding the currency conversion effect, railway tie sales declined approximately $21.7 million, or 11.6%, mainly due to lower pricing. Utility pole sales reached $172.5 million in the third quarter of 2017, representing a 7.8% increase over sales of $160.0 million a year ago. Excluding the contribution from acquisitions and the currency conversion effect, sales increased approximately $14.4 million, or 9.0%, reflecting organic sales growth in the southeastern United States and a gradual return to historical maintenance demand. Sales in the residential lumber category reached $125.8 million in the third quarter of 2017, up from $107.3 million a year earlier. Excluding the currency conversion effect, residential lumber sales increased approximately $20.2 million, or 18.8%, mainly reflecting higher selling prices due to increased untreated lumber costs and more favourable weather in Canada during the third quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year. Industrial product sales reached $25.6 million in the third quarter of 2017, down from $27.5 million in the third quarter of 2016. This variation is mainly due to lower sales of marine pilings in Canada, partially offset by higher sales of rail-related products in the United States. Logs and lumber sales totalled $32.9 million, versus $31.3 million in the third quarter of 2016. This variation reflects the timing of lumber purchase and resale activities, the timing of timber harvesting, as well as higher selling prices due to increased lumber costs. Operating income stood at $63.1 million, or 12.2% of sales, compared with $67.3 million, or 13.1% of sales in the third quarter of the previous year. The decrease as a percentage of sales essentially reflects lower selling prices for railway ties and a less favourable geographical mix in the utility pole category. Net income for the third quarter of 2017 was $42.0 million, or $0.61 per diluted share, versus $45.7 million, or $0.66 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2016. NINE-MONTH RESULTS For the nine-month period ended September 30, 2017, sales amounted to $1.51 billion, versus $1.50 billion for the corresponding period a year earlier. Acquisitions contributed sales of $40.9 million, while the currency conversion effect had a negative impact of $4.3 million on the value of U.S. dollar denominated sales. Excluding these factors, sales decreased approximately $24.4 million, or 1.6%. Operating income reached $178.4 million, or 11.8% of sales, compared with $205.1 million, or 13.7% of sales, last year. Net income totalled $116.8 million, or $1.68 per diluted share, versus $135.4 million, or $1.96 per diluted share, in the prior year. SOLID FINANCIAL POSITION As at September 30, 2017, the Company's financial position remained solid with long-term debt, including the current portion, of $454.1 million, down significantly from $615.8 million three months earlier. The decrease in long-term debt reflects a solid operating cash flow generation during the quarter and, to a lesser extent, the effect of local currency translation on U.S. dollar denominated long-term debt. As at September 30, 2017, Stella-Jones' total debt to total capitalization ratio was 0.30:1, down from 0.37:1 three months earlier. QUARTERLY DIVIDEND OF $0.11 PER SHARE On November 2, 2017, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.11 per common share payable on December 21, 2017 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 4, 2017. OUTLOOK "Based on current trends, we expect to conclude 2017 with slightly higher sales compared to the previous year. Looking ahead to 2018, conditions prevailing in the railway tie category should yield relatively stable sales. Meanwhile, normal maintenance patterns and improving demand for transmission poles should provide further momentum in the utility pole category. We also expect margins to slightly improve throughout 2018. Our focus remains on growing shareholder value by maximizing operating cash flow through ensuring efficient and cost- effective operations. Funds generated will be invested in working capital and our existing network, while maintaining an optimal dividend policy and examining expansion opportunities that offer strategic value in our main product categories," concluded Mr. McManus. CONFERENCE CALL Stella-Jones will hold a conference call to discuss these results on November 3, 2017, at 10:00 AM Eastern Time. Interested parties can join the call by dialing 1-647-788-4922 (Toronto or overseas) or 1-877-223-4471 (elsewhere in North America). Parties unable to call in at this time may access a recording by calling 1-800-585-8367 and entering the passcode 83494502. This recording will be available on Friday, November 3, 2017 as of 1:00 PM Eastern Time until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Friday, November 10, 2017. NON-IFRS FINANCIAL MEASURES Operating income is a financial measure not prescribed by IFRS and is not likely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. Management considers this non-IFRS measure to be useful information to assist knowledgeable investors regarding the Company's financial condition and results of operations as it provides an additional measure of its performance. ABOUT STELLA-JONES Stella-Jones Inc. (TSX:SJ) is a leading producer and marketer of pressure treated wood products. The Company supplies North America's railroad operators with railway ties and timbers, and the continent's electrical utilities and telecommunication companies with utility poles. Stella-Jones also manufactures and distributes residential lumber and accessories to retailers for outdoor applications, as well as industrial products for construction and marine applications. The Company's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Except for historical information provided herein, this press release may contain information and statements of a forward-looking nature concerning the future performance of the Company. These statements are based on suppositions and uncertainties as well as on management's best possible evaluation of future events. Such factors may include, without excluding other considerations, fluctuations in quarterly results, evolution in customer demand for the Company's products and services, the impact of price pressures exerted by competitors, the ability of the Company to raise the capital required for acquisitions, and general market trends or economic changes. As a result, readers are advised that actual results may differ from expected results.
Oct. 27, 2017 - Over the past few years, the lumber industry has been confronted with chip production above and beyond the demand, resulting in the creation of big surpluses in various regions of Quebec and Ontario. This situation may well get worse in the coming years, as pulp and paper mills—which used to be large consumers of this resource—buy less and less chips or if there is a substantial increase in production. At the same time, the wood panel manufacturing industry is facing a certain number of challenges relating to the constant supply of raw materials, and particularly with regard to the quantity and quality of the materials.To meet the needs of panel manufacturers that want to diversify their sources of supply as well as respond to the necessity of finding new markets for sawmill residues, FPInnovations has launched a new project aimed at evaluating innovative fragmentation technologies adapted to sawmills that convert small diameter logs for the production of by-products to be used in manufacturing structural and non-structural panels. Within this project, FPInnovations’ Engineered Wood Products Manufacturing team shipped to a European company already using the fragmentation technology sawmill residues in the form of slab wood, trim ends and cull logs from various species and in a variety of shapes and diameters. FPInnovations will evaluate the possibility of fragmenting these logs that are unfit for being processed into lumber in order to use them to make wood wafers of desired dimensions for panel board mills.Thanks to this new approach, wood wafers produced in sawmills may be delivered to panel manufacturers and used directly as raw materials, without any subsequent processing. In addition to offering new opportunities, this approach will help improve the mechanical and physical properties of the panels, while cutting the production costs, through a decrease in the density of the panels and a reduction in the amount of resin-based binder required.This development project aims to offer companies producing wood chips a way of increasing revenue from non-traditional markets. For more information, contact 
Aug. 14, 2017 - The owner of Precision Custom Remanufacturing in west Abbotsford, B.C., is crediting firefighters for preventing a fire that broke out on the property last week from destroying a $1.2-million thermal kiln. 
Aug. 10, 2017 - The low Canadian dollar as well as acquisitions helped Stella-Jones post a sales increase of 5.5 per cent from last year's number in Q2. 
Aug. 3, 2017 - Litco International, Inc. announces the publication of a new white paper: A Comparison of Pallet Strength and Functionality. The 12-page white paper, authored by Dr. Marshall White, provides detailed analysis comparing Litco's Inca molded pallets to GMA-style, new and repaired, traditional nailed wood pallets for one-way shipping.
July 18, 2017 - Hardwoods Distribution Inc., through its subsidiary Rugby Holdings LLC, has purchased substantially all of the assets and assumed certain liabilities of Downes & Reader Hardwood Company Inc. for a total value of US$6.0 million.
July 10, 2017 - Weston Forest has acquired Great Northern Lumber of Michigan, the company's first acquisition of U.S. assets. 
July 6, 2017 - Have you ever considered building a log cabin by hand? Log Cabin Hub has all the information you need to make it happen. The website lists, in detail, the steps needed to make a log cabin from scratch, including consideration of costs, zoning laws and building codes.
June 12, 2017 - Quadra Wood Products, a cedar remanufacturing company based in Abbotsford, B.C., is not unlike the wood it processes: weather resistant.
March 22, 2017 - Hardwoods Distribution Inc. has announced financial results for the three months and full year ended December 31, 2016.  Hardwoods is North America's largest wholesale distributor of non-structural architectural grade building products to the residential and commercial construction markets, with a strong US and Canadian distribution network.Highlights (For the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2016) On July 15, 2016, Hardwoods acquired Rugby Architectural Products ("Rugby") for a purchase price of US$107 million. Revenue increased 69.8% in the fourth quarter and 38.1% for the full year, compared to the same periods in 2015. The Company increased gross profit by 74.2% in the fourth quarter and by 44.3% in the 12-month period, compared to the same periods in 2015. Fourth quarter Adjusted EBITDA climbed 42.6% to $10.9 million, and full-year Adjusted EBITDA increased 32.6% to $46.1 million. Fourth quarter profit increased 47.4% to $6.6 million, while full-year profit climbed 18.4% to $23.9 million. Fourth quarter adjusted diluted profit per share increased to $0.29, while full-year adjusted diluted profit per share increased to$1.33. The Board of Directors approved a quarterly dividend of $0.0625 per share, payable on April 28, 2017 to shareholders of record as at April 17, 2017. "We achieved record top and bottom line results in 2016 as we benefited from the addition of Rugby Architectural Building Products and generated organic growth in mixed market conditions," said Rob Brown, President and CEO."The Rugby acquisition was the highlight of the year and has already proved accretive to our results with adjusted diluted profit per share growing 10.8% to $1.33 in 2016, from $1.20 in 2015. Rugby is a large and successful US wholesale distributor of architectural grade building products to customers that manufacture end-product to the commercial market. With the addition of Rugby's 28 distribution facilities, Hardwoods has emerged as the number one North American distributor in our sector with a total of 58 distribution facilities, more than 35,000 customers and a pro forma annual sales of approximately $1 billion.  During the five-and-a-half months we operated this business in 2016, Rugby contributed revenues of $175.1 million."Organic growth accounted for $20.4 million of Hardwoods' year-over-year sales growth. Foreign exchange was also a factor in the Company's performance, but affected the fourth quarter and full-year periods differently. Results for the three months ended December 31, 2016 were negatively impacted by a decrease in the value of the US dollar compared to the Canadian dollar, while full-year results were positively impacted by a strengthening in the average value of the US dollar during that period. A stronger US dollar benefits the Company by: i) increasing the value of sales and profits earned in the US operations when translated into Canadian dollars for financial reporting purposes; ii) increasing the selling price of US dollar-denominated products sold to Hardwoods' Canadian customers; and iii) improving the export competitiveness of the Company's Canadian industrial customers, many of whom have the capability to sell their manufactured products in the US."Our global product sourcing and commercial market strategies continue to play an important role in our business. We have the size, scale, and strong balance sheet position to pursue growth by acquisition, and the highly fragmented nature of the US architectural building products distribution industry provides numerous opportunities. We will continue to pursue opportunities that take us into new US markets, expand our presence in existing markets, and that can be added on an accretive basis for shareholders."On March 13, 2017 the Company acquired Eagle Plywood and Lumber ("Eagle") for a purchase price of US$0.4 million plus up to an additional US$0.2 million subject to future sales performance. "The Eagle acquisition  is an example of our ability to expand our presence in an existing market," said Mr. Brown.  "We've now completed five successful acquisitions in the past five and a half years and have a demonstrated ability to achieve profitable growth in this way," Mr. Brown concluded.OutlookThe recent change in US government administration is expected to usher in new approaches to trade and economic growth in the US. While it is still too early to identify what specific policies will be implemented or how they will impact the US economy, proposals for a large infrastructure spending program, a reduction in the corporate tax rate, and a more protectionist approach to trade, including the potential for a border adjustment tax (BAT), have been discussed.With 85% of its operations now domiciled in the US, Hardwoods is positioned to benefit from policies that stimulate the US economy or prove generally positive for business.   Conversely, the Company could be negatively impacted, at least in the near term, by trade decisions that affect its import program. As discussed in Hardwoods' press release of November 21, 2016, a trade case has been initiated in the US with respect to imported hardwood plywood from China. Although Hardwoods sells more domestically sourced hardwood plywood than imported, approximately 11% of the Company's total sales could be affected by this case. In the event that trade duties are levied against hardwood plywood, this would impact the market for hardwood plywood in the US with the potential for significant changes in selling prices, margins, and/or product supply availability. Should the US government move to impose a BAT, similar effects could be seen on a wider range of import products and not just those from China. We are watching both the current trade case and broader US trade policy decisions closely, and have worked to secure a range of alternative supply solutions.  Furthermore, we have increased our inventory balances and positioned ourselves to respond in the event significant changes occur.Notwithstanding the uncertainty around US trade and economic policy, Hardwoods' outlook for 2017 is positive. Gross profit margin as a percentage of sales is expected to remain above the levels Hardwoods has traditionally achieved, reflecting Rugby's higher-margin product mix. Operating expenses are also expected to be moderately higher due to Rugby's sales model. While EBITDA on a dollar basis is expected to benefit from increased sales, EBITDA as a percentage of revenue is expected to be moderately lower due to the increased operating expenses.On the market front, the unevenness and relatively slow growth experienced in the US residential construction market in 2016 is expected to continue into 2017.  As a result Hardwoods expects organic growth to remain modest in the near term. Market fundamentals remain sound however, with US job growth and income levels gaining momentum. Harvard's Joint  Center for Housing Studies report on the "state of the nation's housing" concluded that housing construction should average at least 1.6 million units a year over the next decade in order to replace older units and meet demand. With average housing starts at 1.2 million in 2016, there is considerable room for growth in this market, although it could take time to reach the 1.6 million level.In the non-residential construction market, the American Institute of Architects predicts moderate growth of 6.7% in 2017, with the strongest gains anticipated for the commercial sectors that Hardwoods focuses on.Strategically, the Company will continue to implement its strategies, including leveraging its excellent global product sourcing capabilities, capitalizing on opportunities in the commercial market and pursuing strategic acquisitions.The Board will continue to review Hardwoods' financial performance and assess dividend levels on a regular basis. However, the primary focus will be to retain the cash necessary to finance the significant market growth opportunity in the US and to keep the balance sheet strong, reduce debt and support future strategic acquisitions.Results from Operations - Year Ended December 31, 2016For the year ended December 31, 2016, total sales increased by 38.1% to $789.3 million, from $571.6 million in 2015. Of the $217.7 million year-over-year increase, $175.1 million, representing a 30.6% increase in sales, was driven by the addition of the Rugby operations, $20.4 million, representing a 3.6% increase in sales, was due to organic growth and $22.2 million, representing a 3.9% increase in sales, was due to the positive impact of a stronger US dollar when translating US sales to Canadian dollars for reporting purposes.Hardwoods' sales growth came primarily from its US operations, where sales activity increased by US$142.5 million, or 40.1%, toUS$498.2 million. Rugby, which was acquired on July 15, 2016, contributed sales of US$132.6 million. Organic growth accounted forUS$9.9 million of the US sales uplift as Hardwoods increased sales volumes in response to higher demand and yielded sales gains from its strategy of leveraging import products and strengthening sales into commercial construction accounts. Sales in Canadaincreased by $13.1 million, or 11.2% in 2016, reflecting Hardwoods' success in winning new business, as well as the positive impacts of a stronger US dollar.Gross profit for the 2016 year increased 44.3% to $143.8 million, from $99.6 million in 2015. This gain reflects the increased sales, together with a higher gross profit margin. As a percentage of sales, gross profit margin increased to 18.2%, from 17.4% in 2015.Full-year operating expenses increased to $104.9 million, from $67.4 million in 2015. The increase includes $29.3 million of Rugby operating expenses, $2.4 million of transaction expenses related to the Rugby acquisition, a $3.0 million increase in expenses due to the impact of a stronger US dollar on translation of US operating expense, and $2.7 million of added costs to support organic growth. As a percentage of sales, annual operating expenses were 13.3%, compared to 11.8% in 2015.Adjusted EBITDA for 2016 increased to $46.1 million, from $34.8 million in 2015.  The 32.6% gain primarily reflects the $44.1 millionincrease in gross profit, partially offset by the $32.8 million increase in operating expenses (before expenses related to the Rugby acquisition and before an increase in depreciation and amortization).  Adjusted profit for the period increased 26.0% to $25.4 million, from $20.1 million in 2015. The year-over-year increase reflects the higher Adjusted EBITDA partially offset by a $1.4 million increase in income tax expense, a $1.6 million increase in net finance costs, and a $2.2 million increase in depreciation and amortization. Depreciation and amortization in 2016 includes $0.9 million intangible assets amortization relating to customer relations acquired in connection with the acquisition of Rugby.A more detailed discussion of the Company's financial performance can be found in Hardwoods' 2016 Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A). The MD&A will be posted, along with the Company's audited financial statements, on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and on the Company's website (www.hardwoods-inc.com) on or before March 17, 2017.Results from Operations - Three Months Ended December 31, 2016For the three months ended December 31, 2016, total sales increased by 69.8% to $239.4 million, from $141.0 million in Q4 2015. Of the $98.4 million year-over-year increase, $93.5 million, representing a 66.3% increase in sales, was due to Rugby's operations and$5.8 million, representing a 4.1% increase in sales, was due to organic growth. The sales gain was partially offset by a $0.9 millionnegative foreign exchange impact resulting from a stronger Canadian dollar, representing a 0.6% decrease in sales.Hardwoods' US operations, which accounted for approximately 85% of fourth quarter revenues, increased sales by US$71.3 million, or 84.5%, to US$155.7 million.  The Rugby operations contributed US$70.1 million of this increase, with the remaining increase related to organic growth.Sales in Canada, which comprised approximately 15% of fourth quarter revenues, grew by $3.6 million, or 12.9%, to $31.7 million.  The improvement in Canadian sales reflects Hardwoods' success in winning new business.Fourth quarter gross profit increased to $43.5 million, an increase of 74.2% from $25.0 million in Q4 2015. The year-over-year improvement reflects higher sales revenue combined with a higher gross profit margin from both the Rugby and Hardwoods operations. As a percentage of sales, fourth quarter gross profit margin increased to 18.2%, from 17.7% in Q4 2015.Operating expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2016 were $34.8 million, compared to $18.0 million in Q4 2014.  This increase primarily reflects Rugby operating expenses of $16.3 million, $0.1 million of transaction-related expenses, and $0.5 million of added costs to support organic growth. These increases were partially offset by a $0.1 million decrease in expenses due to the impact of a stronger Canadian dollar on translation of US operating expenses. As a percentage of sales, operating expenses increased to 14.5% from 12.8% year-over-year, primarily reflecting Rugby's higher ratio of operating expenses as a percentage of sales.Fourth quarter Adjusted EBITDA increased 42.6% to $10.9 million, from $7.7 million in Q4 2015. The $3.3 million gain reflects the increase in gross profit, partially offset by higher operating expenses (before expenses related to the Rugby acquisition and before an increase in depreciation and amortization).  Profit for the period increased 47.4% to $6.6 million, from $4.5 million during the same period in 2015. The year-over-year increase reflects the higher Adjusted EBITDA and a $1.1 million decrease in income tax expense, partially offset by a $0.8 million increase in net finance costs and a $1.4 million increase in depreciation and amortization. Depreciation and amortization includes $0.9 million intangible assets amortization relating to customer relations acquired in connection with the acquisition of Rugby.
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

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