Wood Business

Industry News News Wood Panels
New mass timber beams and columns invented by Freres Lumber


April 24, 2020
By Freres Lumber

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With its new MPP (Mass Plywood Panel) beam and column line up and running, Freres Lumber Co., Inc. is now able to provide customers with a cost-competitive MPP solution for all structural elements of large-scale wood buildings. The new beam and column line also gives customers a wider range of product dimensions than most other mass timber options on the market.

Freres’ column and beam line is currently APA certified up to a 12-inch width with a 72-inch depth, but has the ability to cut product up to 24” thick. And, although the beam and column line is capable of running product up to 60 feet in length, Freres’ current press is limited to 48 feet. Freres will be seeking certification for products in those larger widths and depths in the coming months.

The patented MPP process allows for large timber dimensions to be produced from small diameter timber. The panel thicknesses are produced in 1-inch increments, starting at two inches thick and available up to 24 inches thick. Depending on the orientation of the beam, the one-inch increments in thickness will occur in either the width or the depth of the product. Specific engineering data is provided in the APA product certification.

“We are excited to round out our MPP offering with these beams and columns,” said Kyle Freres, vice president of operations for Freres Lumber. “Most manufacturers produce either panels or glulam beams, but not necessarily both. Now, Freres is positioned to be a one-stop- shop for all the structural elements of large-scale wood buildings at a cost-competitive price.”

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Freres also gives a shout-out to the outstanding local equipment suppliers involved in this project including CTC for material handling, USNR for carriage and bandmill equipment, and Phillipi construction and North Side electrical for the installation.

MPP is an innovative, patented engineered wood product that uses 20-30 percent less wood than other mass timber products. With MPP, Freres can produce large dimension timbers out of small diameter logs, and those products can be engineered to efficiently utilize the wood fiber for its highest value.