FPInnovations study looks at agile and flexible wood processing methods
As the sawmill industry develops, it is facing many challenges; however, it is being offered many business opportunities as well. With this in mind, FPInnovations recently conducted a detailed study mainly aimed at presenting the sawmill industry with new product and market opportunities. The study showed the changes in wood-using industries and the need for the primary wood processing industry to acquire agile and flexible processing methods.
The project, funded by the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec, was specifically designed to support and guide ongoing research projects under the SM2 Initiative, in order to meet the demand for new products and to present 4 or 5 products that have passed the summary analysis tests and that offer the best potential for success as new business opportunities or research projects.
To carry out this project, a systematic approach was followed, including a first phase to take inventory of the various products, a second phase of summary analysis of the products inventoried and a third and final phase that included the selection of products to be retained and the transfer of the information to the industry. A review of documentation, market intelligence, consultation with experts and plant visits, particularly in Europe and Quebec, served as the basis for this process.
Promising options for the industry
In total, more than 50 different innovative products and systems were analyzed as part of the study. Twelve product classes were identified and described, including the technical challenges they represent. The study brought to light certain products that show interesting manufacturing and market potential for Quebec producers.
The final report presents both the preliminary and final findings of the study and recommends products with great potential for Quebec plants, if technical improvements are made in the production of primary raw materials (particularly in the production of non-standard sizes, in drying at moisture levels below 19% and in the production of small batches in an agile and flexible way). And lastly, the various regulations and normative barriers for each of the twelve product classes are described.
This study was carried out as part of the SM2 initiative, which aims, among other things, to diversify sawmill products or products derived from sawmill products, based on intelligent and agile technologies. FPInnovations would like to thank the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec for its financial support in this project.