Tamar Atik

Tamar Atik

Dec. 5, 2018 – Creole Dufour and his younger brother Easten run their own steep slope logging operation called Essential Evergreen in the Monashee Mountains near Lumby, B.C. Their work includes many high-risk steep and conventional blocks, which is where the new Timbermax Traction-Winch enters the picture.
Aug. 9, 2018 - Maritime Innovation Limited — J.D. Irving Limited’s (JDI) research lab in Sussex, N.B. — is one of only three places in the world that applies genetic science to grow softwood trees to sustain healthy forests and related forest products jobs. That means growing taller, straighter and more disease-resistant trees faster than they’re being harvested. The original seed sources are from local parent trees selected from forests across the region.
July 30, 2018 - Weyerhaeuser Company reported second quarter net earnings of $317 million, or 42 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $2.1 billion. This compares with earnings of $24 million, or 3 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $1.8 billion for the same period last year.
June 22, 2018 - Dust Safety Week is coming to a close after five days of coverage on dust safety best practices, technical information and solutions to help pellet plants and sawmills keep their operations and operators safe.

Our video this year highlights the importance of learning from each other’s experiences through sharing stories. Fornebu Lumber’s safety and training co-ordinator Christian Fournier describes an incident where two fires were both ignited and safely put out in one day. 

“We were very lucky that our staff acted very quickly and safely in order to contain the fire from spreading,” Fournier said.

Fournier said he chose to share this experience with others, including Fornebu Lumber’s corrective actions following the incident, to prevent this type of situation from occurring elsewhere. You can also find more details about the incident in Fournier’s article published this week.

Among our other main stories, you can also read about preventing a dust collector inlet explosion by regular CFI contributor and dust mitigation expert John Bachynski.

Fike’s Jef Snoeys, Jeff Mycroft, and Dave Buchanan outline concerns that arise from dust created during the processing of wood biomass, and best practices in the industry to mitigate those concerns. 

And don’t miss the six questions to ask when choosing a dust collection system contractor by the VETS Group’s Erin Rayner.

Find those stories and much more from our archives on the Dust Safety Week 2018 landing page, which will continue to be a hub for the industry to learn best practices and find the latest information on dust safety and mitigation.

Content on our landing page will be hosted there for the next year for readers to reference.

Thank you to our sponsors and safety partners VETS and Fike:

April 6, 2018 - The Atlantic Heavy Equipment Show roots its inception to 1986 when the first Atlantic Industrial Equipment Show (as it was then called) took place in Moncton, N.B.

The event, which runs every other year, has been owned and sponsored by the Atlantic Land Improvement Contractors (ALICA) since the beginning and has been managed by Master Promotions Ltd. following the 1990 show.

The 2018 edition is running for two days at the Moncton Coliseum and has brought out thousands of visitors so far to see the latest and greatest in forestry and road construction equipment from more than 190 exhibitors. The show’s 2016 edition brought out a record number of 14,700 visitors.

Canadian Forest Industries was there to spotlight the newest innovations on the market for forestry.

Below is a list of some of the equipment on display at AHES 2018!

Steep terrain harvester
Eco Log showcased its new 688E eight-wheel harvester specially designed for work in steep terrain, which minimizes ground pressure when working on sensitive ground. The Eco Log 688E combines its Volvo Penta D8 engine with its versatility and flexibility to be ready for the toughest job. The 688E has three turnable motors available as an option, new hoods to increase serviceability, improved mid-area stability, improved control of the tilt plate and an updated operator cab and service platform.

Forwarder with operator in focus
Eco Log also displayed its 574 forwarder as part of its E-series forwarders, which are developed with the operator in mind. With an entirely new cabin where space, comfort and visibility have been prioritized, the E-series forwarders provide a whole new operating experience. The Volvo Penta engines provide fuel efficiency, immediate response on increased workload and easy maintenance. The IQAN control system has been improved with additional integrated functions. The new control unit has a 7” touch screen. The 574E comes with optional utility blade and brush guard.

Horizontal grinder
Morbark’s new 3400X and 3400XT wood hog horizontal grinders were introduced by dealer Cardinal Equipment. Both feature sloped infeed sides and an additional 24” (60.96 cm) infeed length, which gives the operator improved visibility and loading efficiency. The variable speed infeed system consists of one 34” (86.26 cm) diameter top compression feed roll with internal drive and a 16’ long x 57 ½ “ (4.88 m x 146 cm) wide live floor equipped with four strands of WDH-120 chain in a staggered configuration. Cardinal Equipment is also the new dealer for Rayco for tree care products, manufacturing grinders, and millers.

Harvester head
Waratah’s recently updated H290 harvester head has been optimized for performance. It is a robust and powerful harvester head built for exceptional feeding and delimbing performance. The extra-efficient top saw option enables easy topping for increased stem utilization, boosting operational productivity. The H290 has a maximum upper delimb opening of 800 mm, maximum feed roller opening of 760 mm and a maximum cutting capacity of 750 mm. The H290 is used in harvesting in late thinnings or regeneration harvesting and is productive in crooked or straight wood. It can be applied in softwood harvesting, hardwood harvesting and debarking.

Sinto Lubrication Experts showcased its new Synthetic HD Diesel Motor Oil. Their unique formula including calciumtech and antifriction technology ensures the motor maximum performance while the fuel efficiency technology offers greater fuel economy. The oil is exceptional in engine protection, facilitates startup of the engine in cold weather, extends the frequency of oil changes and maximizes fuel economy. It is available in 4 L, 20 L, 55 L and 205 L formats.

Harvester head
AFM Forest’s AFM 65 harvester head is a strong, reliable and highly productive harvester head for medium sized wood which can work on both wheeled and tracked machines. AFM 65 means an optimal combination between capacity, weight, feeding power and force and is an efficient tool for clearcuttings, big thinnings and processing operations. Four movable knives on AFM 65 allow smooth and accurate delimbing even of big trees with heavy branches. The shape of knives on AFM 65 allows easy working from pile or in wind stormed areas. AFM 65 can work with a variety of different measuring systems and can be easily adapted to any type of base machine. The AFM 65 is perfectly suited for 20-25 tons excavators, wheeled and tracked harvesters.

Band sawmill that thinks forward
Logosol’s new Swedish-made band sawmill 751 cuts every board to exact dimensions. In its basic configuration it can saw 4.8 metres (15.75 ft.). It can manage large diameter logs, up to 75 cm (2.5 ft.) in diameter. Logosol’s own band sawmill is robust and has several well-thought-out features that will facilitate when working at the sawing site. Fixed sawing measurements allow for easily produce desired dimensions, quickly and accurately. The 751 is a stable and extremely functional sawmill that comes with a preassembled sawhead and a detailed user manual including band blade, adjustable feet, two log clamps, log supports, toe board, water cooling and adjustable blade guide. The Logosol 751 is distributed by Silvana.

High production mulcher
Promac displayed its new LDM 40 high production mulcher which is light on weight and heavy on performance. Combined with Promac’s optional hydraulically actuated rear door and forward offset rotor design, the superior forward and rear exposure of the rotor to the foliage is very efficient for mulching standing trees, brush and even tall grass, leaving consistent chip-style mulch. The standard features include an efficient 33cc hydraulic gear motor and 40” cutting width. The LDM 40 is suitable for excavators as small as eight tonnes and rubber-tired excavators. It is equipped with the Promac “Chip Production Rotor” and has a dual-face, chipper-style tooling with sharpening capabilities for longer life, as well as an innovative “drop out” rotor frame designed for ease of maintenance.

Material handler
The Fuchs MHL 350 F HD material handler was on display by dealer A.L.P.A. Equipment Ltd. The operating weight is 78,925–87,303 lbs. It has a six-cylinder inline engine and Stage Tier 4f exhaust emission standard. The hydraulic system’s main pump is an adjustable double displacement pump in an open circuit. The auxiliary pumps are gear pumps in the open circuit for supplying auxiliary loads. The transmission is a variable speed hydraulic motor with travel brake valve, two-speed power shift transmission and four-wheel drive. The braking systems is a hydraulically operated dual-circuit service braking system with multi-disk brakes. Fuchs is a Terex brand.

Saw heads
Pro Pac PP-22 & PP-24 saw heads are built with the logger in mind. Maximizing productivity while minimizing operating costs. Arm and butt plate geometry are optimized for large or small tree capability while minimizing butt plate wear. Grab arms incorporate a regen circuit to provide faster cycle times while maintaining the holding power of 2 individual cylinders. Supply hoses connected to a sealed bulkhead at rotator center eliminating hose wear and debris build up in the saw head. Heavy duty 360° rotator incorporates 30” bearing and three drive pinions providing superior load distribution and component life. Innovative disc design eliminates the use of large bolts for teeth allowing extra material and smooth transitions at high stress areas providing superior strength and component life, and heavy duty skis & skirt incorporate 3” x 48” heel held with 1” bolts.

Improved harvester head
Quadco showcased the newly updated Keto 660C harvester head. The 660C comes with a topping saw, this one a 16.5-in model, it relies on the dual track feed system that makes Keto heads unique, applying the full 8,000 lbf of delimbing force to the job at hand. Keto-660C is equipped in view of North American requirements. The head has a fixed track system and an eco-tilt with an integrated rotator. The topping saw, butt search sensor and saw stop function ensure efficient and safe operations. New features include a saw safety sensor that prevents sawing when the operator is in the chain shot zone.

April 4, 2018 - The Canadian Woodlands Forum’s 99th annual general meeting and 2018 spring meeting is taking place at the Crowne Plaza hotel in downtown Moncton, N.B. With more than 350 total registrants this year, attendees were tightly packed into the session rooms.

The morning’s sessions ranged from rebuilding public trust in forestry, to discussing best practices for safety and wellness in the forestry workplace from eating right to managing stress and potential cannabis legalization and opioid concerns.

“One thing that we spend a lot of time doing is to present issues and challenges that members of the whole supply chain face day-to-day,” Peter Robichaud, executive director of the CWF, told CFI. “We’re dealing with very hot topics in forest management, as well as looking at harvesting operations, and efficiency and productivity levels of our contractors that are doing the work, and then also focusing on taking the wood from outside and moving it in through the mill gates and looking at our trucking functions as key members of the supply chain collectively wanting to learn new improvements, best practices, and technologies that might be able to help them maintain a viable business.”

One other area of focus was the afternoon session on developing sustainable solutions in the face of climate change and in the interest of preserving forests and ecosystems for future generations.

Natural Resource Canada’s (NRCan) Vincent Roy discussed developing sustainable fibre solutions saying climate change in forests and the pressure on forests will increase, affecting the fibre supply and shrinking it.

Roy said the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre's (NRCan) Fibre Solutions Program is a three-part program to develop sustainable fibre solutions.

Maximizing genetic gain for plantations provides a better opportunity to control species composition and maximize the gains and desired traits like growth, resistance and wood quality, Roy said.

Rapid selection of conifers through the FastTRAC project uses genomic-assisted selection like DNA extraction to improve tree traits. Roy said the project hopes to develop seedlings that are resistant to spruce budworm in the near future.

Adam Dick from NRCan spoke about enhanced forest inventory in Atlantic Canada, while NRCan’s Jamie Farrell talked about species identification using LiDAR (light detection and ranging).

Nelson Thiffault from NRCan discussed challenges for vegetation management in an era of global change.

Thiffault said vegetation management is about reducing stress on trees by managing competition and allowing the desired species to get sufficient nutrients to help an ecosystem thrive. Too many trees on a site results in many smaller, weaker trees instead of a select few strong ones, he added.

"Forest vegetation management is a concept that has evolved over the decades," Thiffault said. It has shifted from a wood production definition to a sustainable forest management definition to an ecosystem-based management approach, he said. This means treatments used are maintaining ecosystem functions and resilience.

We don't have all the questions answered about vegetation management, Thiffault told the crowd. Vegetation management will play an integral role in preserving the world's forested areas with global changes like population numbers going up and reaching 10 billion people by 2080, Thiffault said adding that more people means more demand for wood products.

NRCan’s Chris Edge presented on the direct and indirect effects of a glyphosate-based herbicide in aquatic ecosystems.

"All of our actions have an effect on the system," Edge said. "We [he and his team] evaluate the risk of using a particular herbicide and we think about exposure and toxicity."

Approximately 40,000 ha are clearcut annually in New Brunswick, Edge said, which is 1.4 per cent of crown land.

The concern is on exposure to animals living in an aquatic ecosystem, Edge said before discussing some of the trials he and his team performed on ecosystems to understand the effects on organisms, like frogs, living within.
J.D. Irving’s Greg Adams discussed proactive approaches forest managers can use to improve resilience in a changing climate.

Adams said anticipating impact at a particular forest level is difficult when considering temperature changes and extremes, precipitation, insect and disease dynamics, CO2 levels and forest fires.

There are four specific areas Adams said are important to promote a healthy forest and forest industry. The first is ensuring biologically and economically sound decisions are made in the present day.

Adams said this first point really just means doing the right things in the right places.

The next approach is maintaining vigorous growth through stand tending. "This reduces the exposure time to risk and increases management options to respond to change," Adams said.

The third method is understanding genetic adaptive variation patterns for important species and conducting tree improvement across the region. "I would argue, one of the most proactive things you can do to improve resilience," Adams said.

The fourth approach is being aware of the most up-to-date research and being prepared to blend new strategies and technology rapidly in response to change as it progresses.

"Some of the species that are predicted to decline over the next 10 years, it's not because they're maladapted, it's because they're outcompeted," Adams said adding that the role of silviculture to influence that outcome should not be underestimated.

The J.D. Irving name also came up earlier in the day when Jack McMillan from Guthrie Enterprises Limited won the 2018 Atlantic Outstanding Logging Contractor of the Year award. McMillan was nominated by his colleagues at J.D. Irving.

Thursday marks the first day of the Atlantic Heavy Equipment Show here in Moncton. Look out for CFI’s coverage of that event.

April 3, 2018 - Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada) will be placing 1,600 youth in green jobs through partnerships with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Canadian Parks Council (CPC).

PLT Canada has received approximately $11 million in funding from the Canadian federal government to provide the youth with jobs in the summers of 2018 and 2019.

“We’re just trying to give youth some professional experience so that they might consider a green job in the future, and hopefully this is just one step in the right direction to be a sustainable leader in the future,” Jessica Kaknevicius, PLT Canada’s project lead on the Green Jobs Initiative tells CFI.

Kaknevicius, who also got introduced to forestry through tree-planting in her youth says the passion of the people who work in the sector is what drew her in, combined with being given the chance to explore.

“I wasn’t really an outdoors person growing up; I wasn’t really exposed to a lot of nature, but it was because of being given opportunities in green jobs that I ended up pursuing a career in it,” she says. “I think everyone’s dedicated and committed and really loves their job, and that’s something that’s contagious and something that has inspired me to continue in this field.”

Kaknevicius encourages interested youth to spend time interacting with those who are working in the field to find out about opportunities that are available. At the end of April, PLT Canada will have a website available with job postings for positions in the program that haven’t been filled yet.

Kaknevicius says the goal is to grow forest and conservation leaders by providing students with opportunities and careers in conservation and forest management across the country, as well as provide wage-matching to employers to provide more opportunities for youth to enter into green jobs.

Eligible organizations can access the federal funding for a 50 per cent wage-match. Working periods run from May through August and must be for a minimum of eight weeks to a maximum of 16 weeks. Canadian youth aged 15–30 are eligible and must be registered students returning to school, either secondary or post-secondary, according to PLT Canada.

The forest sector is being encouraged to participate by applying for green jobs that are applicable in different organizations.

“We’ve had lots of organizations across Canada already apply for funding to support positions like silvicultural technicians, forest technicians, wildlife researchers, so there are lots of opportunities for the forest sector that can be supported by this wage-matching program,” Kaknevicius says. “That’s the benefit of working with Project Learning Tree Canada and through SFI is that we’re really reaching out to our network members to provide this opportunity.”

Employers can find out if they’re eligible on PLT Canada’s website at pltcanada.org.
March 20, 2018 - While on location for the Montreal Wood Convention, Canadian Forest Industries received an exclusive opportunity to join a group of foreign buyers on a study tour to two Quebec sawmills. 

C.A. SPENCER Inc.’s Scierie Carrière Ltée is a hardwood specialty mill in Lachute where CFI experienced the second tour of the day.

Scierie Carrière is one of two sites owned by C.A. SPENCER. The second is Bois Hunting Inc. in Waterville, Que. 

Together, the two mills produce 30 million board feet of lumber a year, which altogether comes down to approximately 60,000 board feet of lumber produced in a day, and about 7,000 board feet produced in an hour. 

“Both mills each run a 20-hour day and night shift” among its more than 150 employees explained Max Cadrin, sales and marketing representative.

The mills works with varying lumber thicknesses ranging from 4/4 (1”) thru 12/4 (3”). Following the debarking process (which the tour members could not see due to safety measures), the lumber undergoes a metal detector to ensure no metal pieces are in the wood.

“With hardwoods, the good quality wood is found within the exterior part of the log,” operations manager Michel Ferron explained. Following this process, 2x3 and 4x4 cants are made. 

At Scierie Carrière, roughly 50 per cent of the total production is hard maple. Other main species are yellow birch, soft maple, red oak and basswood.

“There are six kilns here in Lachute with approximately 500,000 board feet per charge for the kiln capacity” Ferron explained. “Red oak for instance [which was being dried on site the day of our visit], takes roughly 35-45 days to dry depending on thickess,” he said.

C.A. SPENCER was founded in 1908, celebrating its 110th year in business in 2018 and spans five generations to this day.

To get a peek at the first mill tour of the day, click here.

Catch up on the action with CFI’s live coverage of the 2018 Montreal Wood Convention on Twitter @CFIMag.

And read our full coverage of the event here.
March 26, 2018 - Sawmillers in Canada today have more technology options to consider than ever before for every aspect of an operation. When it comes to kiln drying, batch systems are the more common choice, but there isn’t one application that fits every sawmillers’ needs. Canadian Forest Industries spoke to three suppliers of continuous dry kilns (CDKs) to offer insight for sawmillers trying to decide what would work best.
March 22, 2018 – The sixth annual Montreal Wood Convention is taking place at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in downtown Montreal and the agenda is wide-ranging with talks on transportation and logistical challenges in the rail sector to opportunities for Canadian wood products in the growing Chinese economy.

The industry seminar on economy and markets was moderated by Canadian Forest Industries publisher Scott Jamieson and drove home the message that despite all the factors that come into play for the industry, a shortage of labour is the biggest concern in lumber yards today.

Paul Quinn, paper and forest products analyst at RBC said export growth trend has been good generally and should accelerate going forward with the lower Canadian dollar.

In housing, Quinn said resales across Canada have been strong. In the U.S., household formations remain strong with a trend level at 1.1 million, Quinn said.

The biggest problem on home building now seems to be labour, Quinn said. Home ownership is also low, especially by the millennial generation.

Lumber prices hit record levels in 2018 due to B.C.'s record fire season, hurricanes Irma and Harvey and then the California fires, which greatly affected lumber prices in 2017.

Lumber margins are continuing to move higher. "People are making significantly more money even with the 20 per cent duties... Those duties really have no basis," Quinn said.

François Robichaud from Forest Economic Advisors (FEA) said the FEA expects housing starts to increase over the next few years but are concerned with the ability of the supply side to respond to demand.

Lumber demand is expected to continue an upward shift through 2019–2020, Robichaud said. He added that the FEA believes increasing labour supply issues are to blame for the currently largely underbuilt U.S. housing sector.

Robichaud said improved job security and wages may help fix the labour shortage issue by encouraging millennials to enter the industry. He added that small, regional builders are still showing a better bottom line so far.

The FEA predicts that more pre-fabrication will occur. “The labour issue right now and the Information Age we are in are unprecedented and will drive industrialization," Robichaud said.

Excess supply in lower grade hardwoods is going to help substitute the shortage elsewhere, Robichaud said.

Robichaud said lumber needs to be part of the solution in industrialized building systems and FEA's advice to lumber manufacturers is to be careful with grading and keep lumber quality very high.

Kirk Grundahl, executive director of the Structural Building Components Association was the final speaker on the economy panel and said nothing has changed in building processes since the late 1800s including the quality of building materials. He says today's technology can be used to automate aspects of the building process.

"There's a huge opportunity here for differentiating and providing reliable design properties… We need partners that think about our industry in an engineering way to make a big difference," Grundahl said.

Innovation through engineering and manufacturing is a priority, he said.

Human resources challenge
Stéphane Renou, president and CEO of FPInnovations moderated the human resources (HR) challenge in the manufacturing industry panel, which delved deeper into the labour issue and offered some recruitment tips to industry members.

Joel Neuheimer from the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) says key HR issues include access to fibre, carbon regulations, competitiveness, Aboriginal engagement and labour shortages.

The latter is a big issue today, Neuheimer said. "We're typically located in remote locations... We need to do a better job selling the way of life in those communities," he said.

Replacing an aging workforce, creating new jobs, promoting remote locations, and hiring more women, Aboriginals and new Canadians is part of the solution to HR challenges Neuheimer said.

There has been some hiring success with the Temporary Foreign Workers program, but there are shortages for positions like foresters and power engineers working in mills, Neuheimer said adding that FPAC created the greenestworkforce.ca to help solve HR challenges in forestry.

Bruno Lambert vice-president, services at HumEng International — a Quebec company that specializes in continuing education for the manufacturing, industrial and natural resource sectors — discussed wood industry workforce challenges in his presentation on the HR panel.

The average job tenure is decreasing year after year, he said adding that the average job tenure decreased from 4.5 years to 4.2 years from 2014 to 2016.

"Do we have the right mindset?" Lambert asked. "Are we managing jobs or are we managing skills?" He said different generations have different hiring needs and recruitment in the manufacturing sector is not high despite average salaries being 22 per cent higher than other sectors.

Lambert said three important retention moments for a company are an employee’s first 30–60 days at a new job, 12–18 months, and after three years where there is expectation for career progression.

Jeff Weber, executive vice-president and COO of EACOM discussed the value of investing in people and technology to attract talent to the sawmill industry. "Continuous improvement is a 24/7 endeavour," he said.

Weber said EACOM’s decision to invest in continuous improvement and specifically the human side is the reason for the company's production increase year-over-year.

Sylvain Messier, corporate projects and controls manager at EACOM said continuous development and acquisition of the latest technology attracts quality talent.

EACOM’s four pillars to human capital are innovation, collaboration, training and mentoring. "There's a lot of good talent out there. If a company is willing to create opportunity... They will attract some young talent," Messier said.

FPInnovations' Serge Constantineau presented the last session of the conference on smart and agile manufacturing and why it matters.

The FPInnovations SM2 initiative is about the industry reinventing itself to improve competitiveness, Constantineau said.

This includes finding innovative uses for surplus materials such as chips. The purpose is still to make chips, but to find new homes for the surplus in supply. Constantineau said the goal is to reduce chip production.

Constantineau also mentioned a shortage of skilled manpower as a major challenge in the forest industry sector. News of mill shutdowns prevents recruiting new people who, as a result of learning about the shutdowns, may not be inclined to join the industry, Constantineau said.

"Our manufacturing mission is in tune with the 21st century," Constantineau said. And he said the best way to accelerate is to work with partners.

Currently more than 200,000 chips are on the ground in Quebec for which there is no use, Constantineau told the crowd. The FPInnovations goal is to find a new use for these surplus materials.

A new home for chips could be for board insulation or even organic cat litter and Constantineau said perhaps that could expand to other animals.

Constantineau said FPInnovations will spend 20,000 hours on research to explore alternate uses for surplus materials from sawmills like chips and wants to work with mills to find creative solutions.

The 2018 edition of the Montreal Wood Convention brought together nearly 1,000 participants from across Canada and the globe including Mexico, France, Belgium, Japan, China, Senegal, Germany, Austria, Jordan, and the U.S.

Read about CFI's exclusive pre-conference tour to two Quebec sawmills here.
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