Wood Panels
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.
June 6, 2017 - It’s time to talk about mass timber.

You can’t go to an industry conference today without hearing about the mass timber movement, and more specifically about cross-laminated timber – the wood panels that make up the 18-storey UBC Brock Commons building, the world’s tallest wood building to date.
April 4, 2017 – An 18-storey wood building with a fire code that has left even fire chiefs impressed?

That is what has been achieved in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia where mass timber was used to build the world’s tallest wooden building.

Fire Fighting in Canada magazine’s feature on the project explains that the building is much taller than the six-storey limit for wooden buildings laid out by the National Building Code of Canada. The naturally fire resistant mass timber material used for it also requires its own permit.

According to the article, the National Building Code of Canada may consider encapsulated mass timber wood construction of up to 12 storeys come 2020.

“The building’s 169-millimetre-thick CLT panels, used for the floors, were constructed with five layers of dimensional lumber oriented at right angles to one another and then bonded together. Glulam, used in the columns, is also composed of bonded dimensional lumber, with the grain running parallel to the beam’s length,” the article reads.

A fire demonstration done in Quebec showed that in the event of a fire in with the same CLT panels, with temperatures reaching their highest, the fire would be contained to the compartment it started in, and even burn itself out in about two hours.

“I would call this extremely safe from a fire perspective,” Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services assistant chief of community safety Ray Bryant told FFIC magazine. “It’s a very safe building, once completed.” 

Bryant told FFIC that the use of mass timber in the construction of the building is what made it safer than a stick-built structure.

The building is being used to house university students living on the UBC campus this spring.

The success of this building could be a catalyst for similar uses of wood in the future. | READ MORE
March 21, 2017 - Why does glue stick? What makes wood unique when it comes to gluing it together? The adhesive bonding of wood is becoming increasingly important as large timber becomes more and more scarce.
Feb. 17, 2017 - Oregon is setting the pace for the nation in mass timber manufacturing, design and construction. A new report by the Oregon Forest Resources Institute offers insights from the architecture, engineering and construction communities on this burgeoning trend.

Forest to Frame showcases the public and private partnerships contributing to a growing movement that's redefining how apartments, hotels and offices are constructed. The 20-page report profiles Oregon developers, architects and contractors who are at the forefront of using advanced wood products such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) to build multistory structures – even skyscrapers – almost entirely out of wood. It also highlights prominent projects in the state that are changing perceptions about wood construction, including a 12-story timber tower in Portland that will be one of the first CLT high-rises in the United States.

Other topics covered in the report include groundbreaking research in Oregon demonstrating the safety of mass timber buildings, the many environmental benefits of building with wood, and how its use for construction supports economic development in Oregon's rural timber towns.

"Forest to Frame offers a fascinating overview of mass timber construction and why it holds great promise on a number of fronts," says OFRI Director of Forest Products Timm Locke. "The report demonstrates that it's both possible and practical to meet our growing construction demands with the most remarkable building material we've ever known: wood."

Digital and print copies of Forest to Frame are available to download and order through OFRI's website, OregonForests.org.



The Oregon Forest Resources Institute was created by the Oregon Legislature to advance public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products and to encourage sound forestry through landowner education. OFRI is governed by a 13-member board of directors and is funded by a portion of the forest products harvest tax.
Jan. 26, 2017 - Whether the structure you’ll be erecting is something that has been built a thousand times, or if it is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, an efficient and cost-effective construction process is heavily dependent on how well-organized and prepared your trades are. Major construction projects find multiple trades working in conjunction, and one crucial way to ensure success is to incorporate pre-fabrication into the process.

Mass timber manufacturer Structurlam Products is a Penticton, B.C.-based company that uses pre-fabrication in every project it undertakes. The company champions this process because they find it results in cost savings for clients, fast on-site assembly, safer work sites and an opportunity for higher quality structures.

Preparation is key in pre-fabrication

The important first step in pre-fabricating the pieces that will ultimately be put together to form a building is the creation of a 3D model. Mocking up the building exactly as it will need to be created — also known as virtual construction — from the walls, to the holes for plumbing and electricity, is a means of testing and fine-tuning the details to ensure everything is in place before anything is produced and sent to site. Structurlam advocates that all trades use a single geometry model during this process, as it reduces confusion and saves time for all involved. Once the modelling is underway, Structurlam can make adjustments to the building as needed to allow for tolerances and fabrication details.

Once the 3D model is complete, the customized data can then be used to create a list of materials that are needed, the exact shop drawings can be completed and then the pre-fabrication of the pieces can begin. The modelling work results in a process that creates the CNC machine codes for the geometry needed to produce each unique panel. This begins what will ultimately make completing the building akin to putting together a dresser from IKEA.

“At Structurlam we work closely with all trades involved to ensure everything that will go into the building is reflected perfectly in the 3D model,” said president of Structurlam Bill Downing. “Our ability to incorporate every detail into the pre-fabrication process allows us to deliver the pieces to a building that will come together smoothly and benefit all who are working together to erect it.”

Upon completion of the individual pieces, these fabricated panels are placed in order of delivery to the site. They are loaded on to the trucks perfectly to match the installation sequence. While this requires a tremendous amount of pre-planning, it is what results in the time and cost savings for the project and allows for buildings to be erected in high-traffic, small footprint areas, as there is no material stored on site.

Tall wood and pre-fabrication

Pre-fabrication is an essential element the construction of mass timber buildings. For example, this process was utilized at the recently completed Brock Commons at UBC, the world’s largest tall wood building. The 18-storey mass timber structure will be a student residence building, housing more than 400 students when it is completed in May 2017.

Structurlam provided 169 mm, 5 layer CLT panels measuring 2.9 x 11.8 m for floors, along with glulam columns for the building’s interior. Steel connectors allowed the building to be put together quickly and safely. The steel connectors allowed for a direct load transfer between columns and also provided a bearing surface for CLT panels. The seamless construction of this record-breaking project was well served by pre-fabricating the pieces.

Benefits of pre-fabrication

Pre-fabrication can be realized for any size or scope of project, from record-breaking towers to multi-family homes in dense urban areas; no matter the project the benefits will be the same:

·       Fast assembly: Perfect pieces delivered in order allows for an efficient and quick assembly; this can minimize the total schedule duration of a project.

·       Cost-effective: Pre-fabricating the pieces reduces waste and allows for a fast assembly, cutting down on costs and encouraging efficiency across the trades.

·       Safer work site: Many tasks are accomplished in Structurlam’s shop, removing the need for complicated work to be undertaken on site or at jarring heights.

·       Reduced labour on site: Prefabrication ultimately requires less people on site to install the structure.  

·       Higher quality: Critical elements of the building are completed in a controlled shop environment.

An organized and efficient construction site is ultimately dependent on how well the trades involved work together. Incorporating pre-fabrication supports these efforts and encourages collaboration and close working relationships from the onset of the project. Utilizing the impressive power of pre-fabrication serves projects of all sizes and delivers tremendous benefits across the board.  

Jan. 3, 2017 - German supplier Siempelkamp Maschinen- und Anlagenbau GmbH increases its stake in Pallmann Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG to 75 per cent.

In the range of services offered by the Siempelkamp Group, Pallmann plays an important role as the specialist for size-reduction technology and preparation systems. For plant operators from the wood-based materials industry, size-reduction equipment and preparation systems belong to the in-demand scope of supply. The main benefit for the customers: precision technology for the production of higher quality strands, flakes, and fibrous materials and the expertise in the ever more important area of recycling.

The Krefeld machine and plant engineering specialist therefore decided to continue the integration of the company from Zweibrücken. The 45-per cent increase in shareholding in Pallmann Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG and Ludwig Pallmann Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, last recorded in the beginning of 2016, was increased by Siempelkamp as of Dec. 15, 2016 to 75 per cent.

The taking over of a majority holding by the Siempelkamp Group was followed by a reorganization of the management of Pallmann Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG.

Dipl.-Kfm. Stefan Wissing, to date spokesman of the management of Siempelkamp Maschinen und Anlagenbau GmbH, was appointed spokesman of the management of Pallmann Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG with effect from Dec. 15, 2016.

At the same time, as the spokesman of the worldwide operating Siempelkamp Logistics & Service GmbH, Mr. Wissing is responsible for the entire service business of the Siempelkamp Group.

At the end of 2016, Dr.-Ing. Hans Fechner and Dr. Claus Maack are stepping down from the management of Pallmann Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG.

For 2017 many challenges are on the Pallmann agenda. We will focus on the process of fiberizing raw materials to fibers used in MDF production, the milling of raw materials to strands and flakes for particleboard and OSB production as well as the agglomeration process used in the production of insulation material. Thus, wood-plastic-composites made of wood flour and plastics or fiber-plastic-composites containing natural fibers from hemp or cork are produced. Under the heading “end of life tire”, the company furthermore will focus on the recycling of old tires.

Zweibrücken is home to 120 size reduction machines in the in-house research and development center. With this equipment the team focuses on process improvements, further development of our machines, and testing new developments. Customers from all over the world use the Pallman center to carry out tests with our process engineers to develop innovations for their industries.


The Siempelkamp Group is a supplier of technological equipment, and its three business units, Machine and Plant Engineering, Foundry Technology, and Engineering and Service, are oriented towards international markets. Siempelkamp Machine and Plant Engineering is a system supplier of press lines and complete plants for the wood-based materials industry, the metal forming industry, and the composites and rubber industry. Siempelkamp Foundry, one of the largest hand-molding foundries in the world, manufactures large cast components from cast iron with nodular graphite, with unit weights of up to 320 metric tons. Siempelkamp Engineering and Service specializes in the dismantling of nuclear facilities, and supplies transport and storage cask for radioactive waste. www.siempelkamp.com
Dec.15, 2016 – The future of North America’s oriented strand board (OSB) market is forecast to look up in 2017. And the continuation of that success lies on how balanced the OSB market proves to be in the next few years.

Wood Markets’ five-year outlook report has analyzed the data. 



As our forecasts have warned over the past few years, the timing of increased OSB supply — from the restarting of another seven curtailed OSB mills and two greenfield mills that will come on stream at some point in 2017-2021 — will determine the exact trend in prices over the forecast period. The forecast shows that OSB demand should increase by over 6 billion sf between 2016 and 2021 – that balances relatively well with the expected new capacity additions and normal annual incremental production gains. However, the exact timing of new capacity installations and their start-up date relative to rising demand will have the greatest impact on OSB prices – this “Goldilocks effect” of trying to get the temperature right, or the balance of OSB supply versus demand, will create some price volatility at various times in the next five years. For OSB, this is nothing new, where prices could easily move by US +/-$50/Msf or more in consecutive quarters.

As a result, OSB prices are expected to improve in 2017, as demand remains strong and production tightens, before new mills start up. With five OSB mills scheduled to start up by the end of 2018, the pendulum is expected to swing later in 2018, to a temporarily over-supplied market at times. As a result, OSB prices could ease in 2018 and bottom out in 2019 until the incremental supply base is absorbed. After that, rising prices are again expected.

Any potential delays in OSB mill capacity restarts will improve the whole market situation by minimizing any oversupply situations. The real question is: will any company’s strategy be to delay capacity restarts to allow for a better market situation, where their competitors who have restarted mills earlier will then benefit from this situation? History would suggest “no.” And the other question is: if the OSB market situation looks too good, will any new greenfield mills be announced to create more over-supply issues?



Forecast Highlights:

•   U.S. South OSB production is forecast to almost meet the previous OSB peak production volume (of 2007) in 2017 – moving from 2016’s anticipated 11.2 billion sf to over 15 billion sf in 2021 (+7% annually from 2016).

•   A growing concern will be the raw material supply and costs for existing, restarted and new OSB mills, particularly in the U.S. South. The rapid expansion of wood pellet manufacturing plants continues to rise at a very fast rate where some of the new pellet capacity as well as sawmill expansions (that take advantage of soaring lumber prices after Canadian export duties kick in) will both compete directly with OSB mills for pulp logs and small SYP sawlogs

•   If new wood biomass competitors in the U.S. South drive raw material supply prices higher, Canadian OSB mills may develop a raw material cost advantage (over and above the lower Canadian dollar), relative to U.S. South mills, and could gain market share.

•   The strength of the U.S. dollar versus most global currencies, combined with increasing US demand, will drive imports from Canada and attract more offshore supply higher over the forecast period.

•   Canadian OSB exports are forecast to increase from 6 billion sf in 2016 to 7.6 billion sf by 2021 — 28% increase over this five year period, with 98% going to the strong U.S. market.

•   From an estimated 8 billion sf in 2016, Canadian OSB output is forecast to rise to over 10 billion sf in 2021 — an average annual increase of 5.6% from 2016 to 2021.



Full details of the five-year outlook for the U.S. and Canada’s lumber and panels consumption, imports, exports, production and price trends are available in Wood Markets 2017 – The Solid Wood Products Outlook – 2017 to 2021.
Nov. 28, 2016 - A new massive plywood building panel developed by an Oregon company and tested at Oregon State University may be the largest such product ever manufactured.

Builders are familiar with standard plywood sheets that measure 4-feet wide, 8-feet long and between a quarter-inch and more than one-inch thick. The new panels made by the Freres Lumber Company of Lyons, Oregon, can be as much 12-feet wide, 48-feet long and 2-feet thick.

The company announced its new panels in October, capping more than a year of development and performance testing at Oregon State’s Advanced Wood Products Laboratory. “The results look very promising,” said Ari Sinha, assistant professor in OSU’s College of Forestry, who oversaw the tests. “This is a unique product with the potential for creating jobs in rural Oregon.”

Versatility is one of the benefits of the product known as a Mass Plywood Panel (MPP). “These panels can be customized for different applications. Because they have very good compression qualities, they could be used for columns as well as panels,” said Sinha.

The veneer manufacturing process enables manufacturers to orient wood grain and to distribute the defects found in smaller trees, such as knots, in a way that maintains the strength of the final product, Sinha added.

Tests in Sinha’s lab focused on the panels’ structural and physical properties such as density, adhesive bonding and resistance to the kinds of vertical and horizontal stresses experienced in an earthquake. Additional tests are planned after the first of the year.

Mass Plywood Panels can achieve the performance characteristics of a similar product known as Cross Laminated Timber panels with 20 to 30 per cent less wood.

“The market is wide enough that this product can compete in niche applications,” said Sinha. “MPP can be made to order.”

Sinha’s lab conducts wood-product testing year-around for companies in Oregon, Washington and other states. He evaluates connections between building components as well as component stresses stemming from wind, earthquakes and other forces.

With support from businesses, Oregon BEST and the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the new National Center for Advanced Wood Products Manufacturing and Design will continue to conduct tests on Mass Plywood Panels and on Cross Laminated Timber panels manufactured by companies in the Northwest and elsewhere. Housed at the OSU College of Forestry, the center is a collaboration between the college, the OSU College of Engineering and the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts.
Nov. 9, 2016 - USNR has acquired the business of Ventek, Inc., the industry leader in veneer scanning, grading, and handling systems for the plywood industry.
Oct. 28, 2016 - Two OSB mills in Quebec will swap ownership after a mill exchange agreement was reached today between Norbord Inc. and Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LP).
Sept. 27, 2016 - Mauro Calabrese, a planning forester for West Fraser in Williams Lake, contributed an article about Williams Lake Plywood for the Williams Lake Tribune's National Forest Week Celebrating Forestry 2016 supplement.

"Williams Lake Plywood has been operating at its Williams Lake location since 1953, but it didn’t start out as a West Fraser owned plant and it didn’t always make plywood.  It was originally known as “All Fir”- finishing rough lumber from the surrounding bush mills."

Read the full story.
Sept. 15, 2016 - You won’t read about it in the sports section any time soon, but a number of Canadian cities are competing in a high-stakes global race that will directly affect more than 200 of our communities.
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