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Renowned Machine Manufacturing Companies To Enter Into A Close Partnership

Thu, 11/10/2018 - 10:55

JARTEK, Finland, is acquiring a significant shareholding in ROSÉNS MASKIN, Sweden, with a view to ensuring both companies can continue offering the market a broad product range for sawmills and the timber industry and meet the most diverse range of requirements for capacity as well as design.

The companies’ joint product range will continue to consist of log sorting lines, wood-drying kilns, board sorting lines, planing mill equipment and Thermowood kilns.

This partnership is a strategic move based on the fact that the companies complement each other in the best possible way in terms of ensuring maximum exposure to a growing market.
“With 40 years of industry experience, we consider ourselves one of the most well-rounded manufacturers of material-handling equipment with a focus on mid-sized sawmills and planing mills where complete building structures have been and remain important elements.

Our partnership with JARTEK means that we now span the whole field and can accordingly become an important actor also in relation to large sawmills, as well as a broader market,” said Peter Davidsson, General Manager of ROSÉNS MASKIN.

“JARTEK is one of the leading suppliers of sawmill technology with 60 years’ experience in this sector. Like ROSÉNS MASKIN, we are a family-owned business, and we share the same values in terms of business ethics and customer service.

Through this partnership with ROSÉNS MASKIN, we will now have the opportunity to serve our customers even better, for instance by being able to offer them more comprehensive board handling systems. We are eager to embark on this partnership, which will allow us to meet the needs of sawmills at every capacity level,” said Teemu Uimonen, General Manager of JARTEK. Both companies will be attending the trade fair “Wood Products & Technology” from 28-31 August in Gothenburg, Sweden. Booths:  B05:34.  The present management teams and companies in each country will remain unaltered.

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John Deere: New technology solutions at your fingertips

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 11:26

John Deere’s Forestry Division has released new streamlined software solutions for loggers designed to enhance machine connectivity and communication. Available for John Deere wheeled-cut-to-length equipment, the revolutionary TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager software is another way John Deere is continuing to help customers optimize machines, increasing productivity.
“Understanding that our customers need access to real-time data to help increase production and accurately manage their business, we developed a streamlined, integrated solution: TimberMatic Maps for operations on-board the machines and TimberManager as an Off-Board, management solution,” said Matt Flood ForestSight product manager, John Deere. “In today’s challenging applications and environments, loggers need the right tools to maximize their visibility to machines, jobsites and their businesses to increase profitability.”

The TimberMatic Maps system is used in G-Series Harvesters and Forwarders, utilizing a mobile network to share real-time production information between harvester and the forwarder, as well back to managers in the office. Managers can access the data using TimberManager, a web-based solution for a PC, tablet or mobile phone, allowing loggers to follow progress of the work site. Combined, the software provides complete visibility to the operation from land harvested to the machines at work, streamlining communication and increasing efficiency when shift planning.

The data shared is collected by the sensors on the harvester, while the location of the production is collected through the GPS technology. Information is automatically transmitted to the TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager systems, providing real- time updates to operators and managers both on and off the jobsite.

One of the key benefits of TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager is the ability to plan work that needs to get done in a day. The map provides the precise location, volume and species of timber with the network of logging routes, allowing operators to efficiently work. As timber is transported, the operator can mark the map to indicate it has occurred, providing an exact volume count of the timber taken to the storage area. This helps the manager track the volume of timber at the storage area, simplifying planning for trailer transports and the onward transportation of timber.

Additionally, the map allows all operators to add markings, pointing out other challenging terrain factors such as an area with soft ground, making it easier to plan routes. The real-time updates provide on demand visibility to the entire crew.

To learn more about the John Deere #TimberManager and #TimberMatic Maps software solution, please visit www.JohnDeere.com.


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China: Wood products trade update

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 10:58

China’s first half 2018 wood products trade

Data from China Customs shows that in the first half of 2018 the value of China’s wood products trade totalled US$80.97 billion, up 9% from the same period of 2017 but this was a slower growth than in the first half of 2017.

Of the total, the value of exports in the first half rose 6% to US$39.1 billion. China’s traders accelerated their wood product exports to beat the introduction of tariffs by the US.

The value of imports of wood products rose 13% to US$41.9 billion in the first half of 2017, down 9% year on year. Overall the pace of China’s wood products imports was slower in the first half of 2018.

China: Main Wood Product Imports

Logs: In the first half of 2018 the volume of China’s log imports totalled 30.32 million cubic metres valued at US$5.8 billion, a year on year increase of 17% and 28% respectively.

Sawnwood: In the first half of 2018 the volume of China’s sawnwood imports totalled 18.15 million cubic metres valued at US$5.2 billion, a year on year increase of 0.1% and 9% respectively.

Wood pulp: In the first half of 2018 the volume of China’s wood pulp imports totalled 12.35 million tonnes valued at US$9.8 billion, a year on year increase of 2% and 33% respectively.

Source: ITTO TTM Report

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Global timber and wood products market update

Tue, 09/10/2018 - 14:11

GLobal Timber – Exports of softwood lumber from Russia, Germany and the Nordic countries have increased due to high demand for wood in Asia and Europe in early 2018, while Canadian exports fell to the lowest levels in five years, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly.

Global Softwood Lumber Trade
Worldwide trade of lumber inched up again in early 2018, hinting that this may be another record year. Six of the ten largest lumber-exporting countries in the world have increased their shipments in 2018, with exports from Russia, Germany, Ukraine and Austria increasing the most year-over-year.

The biggest decline in exports y-o-y has been from Canada, with shipments in 2018 on pace to be the lowest in five years. Canadian shipments to China and the US during the 1H/18 were down 19% and 6% respectively, as compared to the same period in 2017.

Lumber markets – North America
Lumber prices in the US have been on a roller coaster ride the past year, with sharp increases during the 2H/17 and early 2018 followed by plunging prices during the summer months of 2018. The dramatic price fluctuations are mostly a reflection of changes in the strength of the US housing market.

US lumber production was up 5.5% in the first four months of 2018 as compared to the same period in 2017. The biggest increase came in the US West (+10%), while the rise in the US South was more modest (+2.1%). Canadian lumber production was down 1.2% for the first four months, with British Columbia’s sawmills running 4.3% below last year’s production levels.

Lumber markets – Northern Europe
From 2016 to 2017, lumber exports from Finland increased 8.7%. However, export volumes were 3.5% lower in the first four months of 2018 than in the same period in 2017. So far this year, Saudi Arabia (-49%), China (-25%) and the United Kingdom (-6.7%) have seen the biggest declines in volumes shipped.

The annual export volume of softwood lumber from Sweden in 2017 was 13 million m3, practically unchanged from 2016, and the pattern held true in early 2018 (year-over-year). The biggest changes in exports from 2017 and 2018 have been declines in shipments to Egypt and Japan and increased exports to European customers.

Lumber markets – China
Russia supplied China with record volumes of softwood lumber in the 2Q/18, while imports from the US and Europe were down from the 1Q/18. Lumber producers in Siberia and Russia Far East have continuously increased their market share of total lumber imports to China over the past few years, increasing from about 36% in 2011 to 56% in 2018. The rise in shipments of softwood lumber from Russia to China in the past seven years has come at the expense of log exports. Import prices for lumber plateaued in the 2Q/18 after steadily increasing since early 2016.

Lumber market – Japan
Softwood lumber import volumes to Japan were up 6.7% q-o-q, reaching almost 1.6 million m3 in the 2Q/18. This was the second highest quarterly import volume in four years. During the 1H/18 there have been only minor changes in the sourcing of lumber. Prices (in Yen terms) for both domestic and imported softwood lumber have remained practically unchanged in Japan in 2018, but with the weakening domestic currency, costs for lumber in US dollar terms have fallen.

This is a brief excerpt from the newly released market report Wood Resource Quarterly. To read the full 56-page quarterly report, please visit www.WoodPrices.com to initiate an annual subscription. 

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Poland pushing forest agenda as climate host

Tue, 09/10/2018 - 13:55

Poland will ask all nations to agree on forests’ central role in the fight to curb climate change when they host UN talks later this year, a leaked document has revealed.
In a draft statement intended to be adopted by all governments at this year’s major climate conference, host country Poland emphasised the “essential role of carbon sinks in mitigating climate change” and called on states to ensure “that global forest carbon stocks are maintained and further enhanced by 2050”.

The draft has been circulated to governments ahead of the meeting in Katowice in December. It calls on scientists from the UN climate science panel to “explore and quantify” the role of forests in storing carbon in “achieving a balance” with greenhouse gas pollution.

The declaration ends with the statement: “Finally [we] affirm that there is no future without tackling climate change, but there is no future without forests either.” Scientists and NGOs interviewed by Climate Home News welcomed the declaration, but warned against using forests as a get-out-of-jail-free card for continued pollution.

“I could only support bringing forests in the picture,” director of the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research Michael Tausz said. “However, in the context of COP24, managing forests to take up CO2 does not release [governments] from the duty of curbing emissions, particularly from land-use change, of course.”

In particular, environmentalists are nervous Poland will focus on offsetting carbon emissions through forests, rather than curbing its polluting coal sector. In 2015, nearly 81% of the country’s electricity came from coal.

“Yes the climate is important and forests are important – but to tackle climate change we both need to keep trees standing and reduce fossil-fuel emissions,” said Hannah Mowat, a campaigner specialising in the relationship between climate change and forests from the Dutch NGO Fern.

Poland has some of the largest forest expanses in Europe and has lobbied the EU to give greater prominence to forest carbon in its climate policies. But the country was recently found to have violated EU law by logging the Unesco-protected Białowieża forest.

In 2014, the New York Declaration on Forests committed to globally halve forest loss by 2020. That goal is still far out of reach, however. By comparison to the period between 2001 and 2013, the pace at which trees disappeared between 2014 and 2017 rose by 42%.

Source: Climate Home News

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Volvo’s self-driving Vera concept

Tue, 09/10/2018 - 13:17

Much is said about the emergence of autonomous cars on our streets, but enclosed areas like ports, factories and corporate campuses may well be where they are put to work first. With this in mind, Volvo has just announced a new electric vehicle concept built to tow loads around these kinds of environments all on their lonesome, so much so it hasn’t even bothered with a cabin.
“We can see a boom in e-commerce, as well as overall global consumption and it shows no signs of slowing down,” says Mikael Karlsson, Volvo’s Vice President Autonomous Solutions. “The industry needs to find new ways to meet the increased demand on transport in an efficient and sustainable way. Therefore, new solutions need to be developed to complement what’s available today.”

The Volvo Vera concept is designed to lighten the load around ports, factories, logistics centres and anywhere else where goods are moved on the regular. The vehicle is more electric sled than electric car, removing the driver’s cabin altogether (similar to Einride’s T-log), while retaining the ability to latch standard load carriers and trailers onto the back.

Powered by the same drivetrain and battery packs as Volvo’s electric trucks, the Vera is built to carry out repetitive, short-distance trips with large, heavy loads.

The idea is that fleets of Veras would work together by connecting to a control centre over the cloud, which would optimize traffic flow to keep things operating smoothly and waits to a minimum. To that end, this central node would monitor the battery levels of the vehicles, along with their position, the content of their loads and service requirements.

Volvo doesn’t outline any production plans for the Vera, but does say that in the “near future” it will work with selected customers to develop the concept further and the potential for the concept to expand into other types of applications in the future.

You can see the Vera at work in the video below.


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Russian forestry industry on the move

Tue, 09/10/2018 - 12:59

Russia is one of the world’s dominant log and lumber producers and exporters. Due to its immense land mass, roughly half of which is forested, Russia accounts for nearly 20% of the world’s standing forest resource — nearly 82 billion m3 out of a global standing stock of roughly 434 billion m3. With this tremendous resource, Russia ranks as one of the world’s major players in the global trade of timber and wood products. Specifically:

  • Russia harvested 157.6 million m3 in 2017, representing a 14.4% share of global softwood timber (log) production after having passed Canada in 2014 as the second-leading producer (behind the U.S.); – Russia is the third-largest softwood lumber producer (37.8 million m3), representing 11.1% of worldwide production; – Russia ranks second in log exports at 11.9 million m3 (14% global market share, ranking behind New Zealand); and – Russia is the second-largest lumber exporter with 28 million m3 (22% global market share, ranking behind Canada).
  • The Russian forestry and sawmilling industry has become a much greater competitive force in log and lumber export markets since the late-2014 devaluation of the ruble. In recent times, the country’s industry has undergone a rapid change and is now seen to be remaking itself into an influential worldwide competitor. Today, with global markets becoming increasingly competitive, it’s more important than ever to truly understand the changing competitiveness and strategy of the Russian industry and its exporters — particularly given its expanding role in the ever-significant Chinese market.
  • The cost-competitiveness of the Russian industry was once considered bleak. This was back in 2012–14, when high costs, constrained road and rail infrastructure, and prevailing poor forest logistics were responsible for an inability to access economic timber. With many Russian forests comprising a mixture of hardwood and softwood (particularly in Siberia), the lack of markets for low-grade hardwoods (particularly aspen/poplar) hampered the economics of processing mixed stands and led to escalating logging and road costs. The outlook was also dimmed by the lack of new investments in sawmilling during the early 2010s.

In late 2014, however, the weakening of Russia’s currency significantly brightened the picture for investing in the forest products sector, ultimately leading to peak earnings in 2015 and early 2016 when the ruble’s devaluation was most extreme. The subsequent strengthening of the ruble, however, worked in combination with increased log prices to create a state of inflation in 2016 and 2017 that eroded Russian exporters’ competitiveness. Nevertheless, the considerable investments made by many companies to lower logging and sawmilling costs were able to improve the sector’s overall financial and export market position. The good news for Russian producers today is that the ruble began to weaken again early this year; in mid-September, as we write this report, it is approaching 68–69 to the U.S. dollar.

Its improved competitive position in international markets has enabled Russia’s wood products industry to expand, as evidenced by 11% growth in the index of industrial activity for woodworking in the second quarter of 2018; in June alone, it grew by 15% (more than any other processing industry in the country). The importance of export markets cannot be overstated, and is especially evident when one considers that this strong growth is in sharp contrast to a decline in the rate of housing construction within Russia in 2017 (down 0.7%, according to the Ministry of Construction, and down 2.1%, according to Rosstat) and a reduction in furniture output.

In other good news for the Russian industry, prices for commodities and exchange goods on world markets recently reached their highest peak of the last ten years, with the price of Russian spruce sawn timber from the Northwest achieving a level of $285/m3 (#1–4 SF 30×125/150, Shanghai port) at the end of 2017. By comparison, prices for Finnish spruce sawn timber (#1–5 sawfalling grade) in China reached $295/m3.

Source: Russ Taylor, Managing Director, FEA Holdings – Canada Inc, Excerpted and summarized from China’s Import Demand for Softwood Logs and Lumber to 2023 • The Changing Supply Chain in China with a Focus on Russia’s Industry/Export Potential


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NZ / Australia – Continuous forest monitoring using daily satellite imagery

Tue, 09/10/2018 - 12:26

In the recent years there has been a marked uptake of remote sensing technologies. Drones and LiDAR have acquired a high profile. These indisputably have a place provided they are cost-effective, deliver consistent results, and add value. Not to go unnoticed, though is the increased availability of satellite imagery and technological advances that allow repeat assessment of forests at low cost. The main catalysts have been the launching of more satellites and the development of cloud-based processing engines. Between them, they can provide near real-time monitoring.

New satellites with the capacity to record and monitor vegetation change are now launched monthly. The so-called temporal resolution has progressed to daily revisits. By monitoring a given location repeatedly, it is then possible to detect subtle changes in vegetation vigour and identify underlying trends.

Any such initiatives do, though come to involve massive data sets. Downloading and storing these for local processing can lead to unworkable delays. A dramatic step forward has come with the availability of cloud computing systems. These allow the petabytes of historical and recently acquired images to remain in the cloud. If the data remains lodged there, it overcomes any need to individually review, download, or process and analyse satellite imagery as was the norm until recently.

Indufor’s resource monitoring team has developed a Continuous Plantation Monitoring System (CPMS). This can access both free and commercial satellites (such as Planet) to provide timely and accurate information. It has a ready capacity to assess large areas. CPMS assists forest planners in more efficiently deploying field activities, whether their purpose is to grow, harvest or quantify tree crops.

Dr Pete Watt is Head of Indufor’s resource monitoring team. He observes that within the company’s activities the CPMS outputs save time and resources by allowing targeted field inspections. These are designed to quickly validate harvest areas and pinpoint areas of un-mapped change, disease or crop failure.

“For example, before going to the field, we run our Canopy Index (CI) model over the satellite image to check for any unusual deviations from expected benchmark values.” Examples might include areas affected by foliar diseases, or, as shown in the illustration, pockets of wind damage.

Algorithms have been developed to provide automated monitoring of such planned operations as harvesting, roading and plantation thinning. These events can be tracked by comparing images acquired at different points in time. The detection algorithm identifies the change and groups all similar pixels to produce a change layer that can be loaded into a GIS. The outputs include a summary of the area harvested to date.

The inclusion of daily imagery such as from Planet’s constellation of around 200 satellites makes the process of month-end area reconciliations a much less onerous task. The advances in the capture and processing of satellite imagery have removed barriers that have previously discouraged its operational use. CPMS captures the dynamic attributes of forests – the very characteristics that make them so valuable to us.

Indufor Asia Pacific (Pete Watt and Chaplin Chan) will be presenting at the upcoming ForestTECH 2018 series being run for forest resource managers, remote sensing specialists and inventory foresters in November. It runs in Rotorua on 14-15 November and then again in Melbourne, Australia on 20-21 November.

In addition to the technology update from Indufor, presentations from the Interpine Group, Swift Geospatial and Pan Pac Forest Products are being given on the collection, processing and the practical operational use by forestry companies of data being collected from satellites as part of the November series. Full details on the programmes and technology series can be found on the event website, www.foresttech.events.

Source: Indufor

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Logmax Log Mate 510

Fri, 05/10/2018 - 13:43

The latest release of Logmax Log Mate control system is now available.

The Log Mate 510 offers full control over all Log Max harvester head functions and detailed production reporting compliant with the latest StanForD 2010 v.2 and v.3.

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Komatsu Forest buys land

Fri, 05/10/2018 - 13:01

Komatsu Forest has an intention to invest in land at Klockarbäcken in Umeå, Sweden, to further expand their operations. The land area is in an existing industrial and commercial area.

Komatsu Forest manufactures forest machines that are sold worldwide. The company, which is wholly owned by the Japanese company Komatsu LTD, has its manufacturing and head office in Umeå.

There are many signs of growth in forestry and Komatsu Forest sees a strong demand globally. The company also says that forestry is an industry for the future, where it is likely to see a variety of new, innovative and climate-smart materials made from wood.

“The investment we make here is primarily about ensuring long-term growth here in Umeå”, Martin Ärlestig, Factory Manager, Komatsu Forest concludes.

Annelie Persson
General Manager Marketing & Information
+46 90 70 97 32

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New more user-friendly interface when you sign in to Komatsu MaxiFleet

Fri, 05/10/2018 - 12:43

The new design in the Komatsu MaxiFleet now provides a better overview of the machines and how they perform. In the machine overview you can choose what information you want to see, and you can more clearly see the machine’s position, key figures and warnings directly in the machine´s detail page.

The administration is simplified, and you can easily create and follow up on a harvesting area, all in the same place. Additionally, the mobile customization provides you with a better experience on all devices.

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Ponsse’s President And Ceo Juho Nummela Named Business Person Of The Year

Fri, 05/10/2018 - 12:21

Ponsse Plc’s President and CEO Juho Nummela was named businessperson of the year (Vuoden Liikemies) in an annual event held by Suomen Liikemiesyhdistys in cooperation with Kauppalehti and Aalto University.  This marked the first time when the second person from a single company has received the recognition. Ponsse’s founder Einari Vidgrén was presented with the recognition in 1997.

The choice for the businessperson of the year (Vuoden Liikemies) was published last week at an event held in Helsinki. The criteria for the recognition mentioned that Juho Nummela combines the characteristics of modern sustainable leadership. According to the jury, Juho Nummela implements principles in which responsible operations, transparency and the engagement of stakeholders have produced both financial success and success measurable in employee experiences.

“Juho Nummela’s leadership exhibits a simultaneous respect for the company’s roots and the creation of something new. These new things are created in cooperation with every Ponsse employee, which allows Nummela himself to be inspired by a common drive to develop the company, regardless of the organisational level.  Nummela is a manager who engages his employees in genuine dialogue and sets an example when it comes to the leadership capabilities of a new age,” said the statement given by the jury.

Juho Nummela’s time as the President and CEO of Ponsse has included some major turning points. He took up his position right before the international financial crisis, which also had a strong impact on Ponsse’s operations. Right now, the people working at Vieremä are busy taking the company’s biggest factory investment into use.

Juho Nummela has a doctorate in technology. He has been Ponsse Plc’s President and CEO for ten years, since 2008. He began his career at Ponsse Plc as a thesis worker in 2002, and continued as the company’s Quality and IT Director in 2005–2006 and as its Factory Director in 2006–2008. Nummela received the Future CEO of the Year recognition in 2017.

Established in 1896, Suomen Liikemiesyhdistys is an organisation aiming to promote the interests of the business entrepreneurs’ community. During the course of its history, the association established Kauppalehti’s and participated in the establishment of School of Business’s, for example. The association’s Vuoden Liikemies recognition has been awarded since 1980.

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NZ – Foreign buyer saves Kawerau jobs

Fri, 05/10/2018 - 11:57

More than 160 jobs at the Kawerau pulp and paper mills will be saved as a result of a US majority-owned buyer picking up the assets. The Overseas Investment Office has given approval for NS Norway to buy Norwegian company Norske Skog’s Kawerau assets for $29.9 million.

The OIO said Norse Skog was financially distressed and owned the freehold interest in 351 hectares at Fletcher Ave, Kawerau where the mill is located, and 48ha at Springs Rd Kawerau.

“We consider that without this Investment, the Tasman mill and New Zealand- based business of Norske Skog Tasman are likely to be closed down in the short term,” the OIO said. “This Investment is likely to enable the business and Tasman mill to continue operating while it is economically feasible to do so.”

Norske Skog’s New Zealand subsidiaries have assets valued at more than $100m, but the OIO consent refers to the “sensitive land” that requires OIO consent.

The buyer, NS Norway, is an international newsprint and magazine paper producer that has been operating for about 50 years.

NS Norway intends to continue to run the business from New Zealand in conjunction with its international paper mills and product supply chains across several countries including Austria, Ireland, Poland, and Australia.

“We note that the international paper market is experiencing aggregate oversupply issues and there is generally expected to be on-going decreasing demand for paper products over the longer term,” the OIO said.

Government ministers were satisfied that the investment would be likely to achieve a number of benefits, including saving the 160 jobs, maintaining export receipts of more than $65m a year, market competition in the chip and pulp log processing industry particularly in the central North Island, maintaining productivity on the land, and continuing to produce approximately 140-150 kilotonnes of newsprint.

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The little “two in one” Komptech Axtor

Fri, 05/10/2018 - 11:02

With the new Axtor 4510 Komptech is offering an all-purpose wood chipper that is the smallest in the Axtor series, but like its bigger brothers is perfect for both chipping and shredding. It’s the perfect entry-level machine for small to medium-sized plants as well as contract service providers.

The new Axtor 4510 rounds out the proven Axtor series at the bottom end. Like its big brothers the Axtor 6010 and 8012, this new machine can shred as well as chip, and is designed for wood and green cuttings. In shredder mode with free-swinging teeth it makes composting material, while in chipper mode with fixed blades and lower speed it makes biomass fuel that is ideal for heating plants.

With 456 HP and the same rotor dimensions as the Axtor 6010, the new Axtor is a balanced package with exactly the performance and economy that its target group is looking for. With its small dimensions and its total weight of 19 tonnes in the two-axle trailer version, not only is it very easy to move around, it’s also right-sized for small to medium-scale facilities. Naturally, the easy transportation makes it likewise ideal for contract service providers, who need to react flexibly in terms of work sites as well as in their service offerings, from shredding to chipping.

Chipping and shredding – flexible and fast conversion
Conversion from shredder to chipper is fast and simple: In three hours or less, the free-swinging shredder blades can be replaced by fixed holders with precision-cut chipping blades or tough shredder blades. Conversion using fixed teeth is even faster, going from shredder to chipper mode in under one and a half hours. There are few limits to the flexibility of the Axtor 4510.

The machine can be very precisely configured for the intended use. Whether waste wood, trunks, forestry residue, bark or green cuttings, with different blades and the right screen basket it can deliver astonishingly high throughput with excellent fuel efficiency. For example, with woody green cuttings as a structuring material for composting, throughput of up to 150 m³ per hour is possible.

Well thought out, well executed
Komptech didn’t just downsize one of the big machines to a smaller scale, but instead put customer needs first, like it always does. One example is the Axtor 4510’s outstanding maintenance access, with hydraulically lifting engine cover and roomy service platform with integrated folded ladder.

The same goes for the massive sectional steel belt intake system, the continuous discharge conveyor with a cone height of four and a half meters, and the hydraulic tilt hopper. Everything is designed with the user in mind, from avoidance of leakage during material transport to the tough components to the clever details that help work go smoothly on-site.

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Komptech – New Organics Processing Machines

Thu, 04/10/2018 - 14:46

High-end organics material prepping is gaining in importance – given the strict requirements of natural fertilizer laws and other quality guidelines, going forward only high-quality compost or fermented products will be marketable.

One major factor is the removal of contraries and foreign matter, which will unfortunately continue to find their way into the organic waste stream in higher amounts. Plastic, glass and metal are the major culprits. They are visible in the final product and reduce its public acceptance. This has given rise to some quite rigid limit values, which place high demands on feedstock preparation. We offer a range of machines ideally configured to deal with those issues. New developments have made these machines even more powerful.

Focus on optimizing preparation processes
The material prepping process is the first step, because the quality of the output depends on the quality of the input. One way to facilitate the process is to use a low-speed machine to shred the input. Examples are the Terminator single-shaft shredder and Crambo dual-shaft shredder, both of which are offered in mobile and stationary versions.

The Crambo has proven very effective with severely contaminated organic waste. In its extra-large shredding chamber, two 2.8 m counterrotating toothed drums ensure positive feed. They open up the material to expose foreign items and contraries, but don’t shred them smaller than necessary. This makes these materials much easier to deal with downstream in the treatment process. With the very heterogeneous and packaged material typical of organic input, only the Crambo can greatly reduce oversizes and reliably open packages, greatly facilitating downstream processes. Another approach is to pre-screen input prior to shredding, to remove contraries like packaging right from the start.

Separation can take place at the end of the process chain
At the end of the process, in addition to screening with star or drum screens, a wind sifter like the Hurrikan or a stone separator like the Stonefex is an invaluable piece of equipment. While the Hurrikan can remove light contraries like plastic film, the Stonefex separates out heavy and hard items like stones and hard plastic. If the input material contains both kinds of contraries, both machines can be readily combined.

New technology: Practical use counts
One of the most interesting new machines for organic waste prepping is the Metalfex non-ferrous metal separator. Like the Stonefex and Hurrikan, the Metalfex greatly improves product quality at the end of the process chain. An optional ferrous separator can also be installed. Three different mobility configurations make it a very flexible technology. We also updated our screening offerings.

Based on the successful Nemus 2700, the Nemus 3000 is a drum screener that sets a new standard in maintenance and service-friendliness. Longer discharge belts and the ability to use screen drums from competitor machines are further benefits of this thoroughly practical new machine.

Visit: Komptech

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US company snaps up farmland for forestry plantation

Tue, 02/10/2018 - 13:06

A large-scale land purchase by an American forestry company west of Taupō will see 1148ha of farmland converted into a redwood forest.

The $7 million purchase north of Taumarunui, near Matiere, by The New Zealand Redwood Company was approved by the Overseas Investment Office in July.

The venture was likely to create six full-time jobs and increase New Zealand’s export returns because the bulk of the timber will be exported to the United States in a processed form, the OIO consent said.

Taupō-based NZRC was formed in 2001 by the Soper Wheeler Co of California, a 100-year-old forestry firm.

NZRC specialises in redwoods, which are the world’s tallest trees and are found naturally in a coastal strip in Oregon and California. It has so far planted 3000ha of redwood and intends to keep establishing forests in New Zealand.

In the US, these trees can grow to 110 metres and have an average lifespan of 600 years. However, they can survive for over 2000 years.

NZRC chief executive Simon Rapley said the company plans to plant redwoods on 650ha, retain the 270ha of native forest and leave the balance in pasture on the sheep-beef farm.

“We will plant over 400,000 trees on the property,” Rapley said in an emailed statement.

The trees will be harvested between 35 and 40 years of age and will almost certainly be processed locally.

It will take 100 workers for the log harvest and wood processing.

“The processed wood will most likely end up in California, which is the only existing market until other markets can be developed.”

Some of the wood will also be available for the domestic market.

“New Zealanders will have access to decorative, durable and dimensionally stable wood that is sustainably grown and has had 40 years of absorbing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere,” he said.

Redwood is an “appearance wood” and is used for interior panelling, cladding, decks and fences.

The planting would also advance the Government’s plan to plant a billion trees over the next 10 years and create a walking access route across the land.

As of August 27, 60.055 million trees had been planted since the policy was announced and a further 67.475m seedlings had been sold for planting this year, according to the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Rapley said NZRC plans to create esplanades to provide public access along the Ōhura River, even though it’s unlikely people would want to fish on the river due to its high sediment load.


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Precision forestry: a revolution in the woods

Tue, 02/10/2018 - 12:25

This report by Harsh Choudhry and Glen O’Kelly for McKinsey & Company looks at which advanced technologies for forest management are most promising, and how forestry companies can start their digital transformation.

The authors argue that while digital technology is revolutionising industries around the globe – from manufacturing to healthcare to agriculture – forestry has lagged behind. However, this is finally starting to change. Choudry and O’Kelly report some forestry pioneers are starting to achieve productivity increases and returns on investment similar to other industries, and the size of these gains is comparable to the shift from animal-powered to mechanised processes.

Unfortunately, according to the authors, digital solutions in forestry management science currently confront a system that still operates largely on the basis of fundamentals developed by Hans Carl von Carlowitz more than 300 years ago.

However, inspired by advances in agriculture, some forestry operators have begun pioneering the use of advanced technologies to improve forest management results. Within the industry, this approach is widely called ‘precision forestry’. Precision forestry is enabled by a wide range of emerging technologies, such as drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), laser scanning (lidar), and soil sensors.

But precision forestry is not simply the adoption of digital technologies. For forest managers, it involves a paradigm shift from a highly manual and analog system with broad-brush management prescriptions, to a system with digital data capture and planning, granular management prescriptions and tight operational control.

Each of the precision forestry technologies offers improvements to forest management through one or a combination of four ways:

  • Tighter control of operations with improved data collection.
  • Increased selectivity of prescriptions to match site and needs, for instance, soil nutrients and the genetic material of seedlings planted.
  • Automation of operations, from nurseries to wood logistics.
  • Optimised decision-making with advanced analytics.

The report details 15 precision forestry technologies or practices the authors believe show the greatest promise to transform operations and improve forest management results.

Choudry and O’Kelly found that many leading forestry companies globally are adopting precision forestry technologies and there has been a noticeable proliferation of technology suppliers seeking to develop this space. While many precision forestry technologies remain in trial phases, some are already established and increasingly gaining traction. The availability of these technologies, even of those being trialled, signals a major shift in the industry.

The authors advise that the key to capturing the potential value will be a holistic digital transformation that brings together the disparate applications of new technologies. They say companies will need an end-to-end digital transformation in terms of the four Ds:

  • Discover – understand where you are and where you want to go, create a road map.
  • Design – design and deliver first at small scale on limited projects and/or single site.
  • Deliver – deliver at a larger scale with a broader project portfolio, potentially at all sites.
  • De-risk – implement structure to reduce operational and financial risk over the long term.

In addition, they offer these five practical pointers to ensure a company is well aligned at the start of its precision forestry digital transformation:

  • Start now, don’t wait for the technology to fully mature. For instance, use manual reading of UAV images while algorithms are being built. This helps narrow down the exact problems to solve and the requirements for doing so.
  • Begin with your business needs. Many precision forestry technologies are used for data collection, which is only the starting point and should be followed by analytics, and only then decision-making.
  • Combine technologies to address specific problems. The new technologies are most powerful when used in combination. For instance, for forest re-establishment, use UAVs to collect stocking data, analysis to identify low stocking hot spots, and decision-making to prioritise areas to replant.
  • Make the best of use of existing data. This, if cleaned and integrated into one unified data set, may be enough in itself to run predictive analytics and drive improved decision-making.
  • Consider the full set of enablers. Don’t look at just the new technologies – consider the IT backbone, business processes, capabilities, and organisational setup as well.

The report concludes: “The advent of these new tools and capabilities offers potential beyond raising the efficiency of practices handed down from the 18th century. It heralds the start of a revolution in how we manage the health and the performance of the world’s forests.”

The full report is available online.
Photo: McKinsey
Source: FWPA R&D Works

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Funding for NSW forestry projects opens Oct 1

Tue, 02/10/2018 - 11:33

The NSW Government are funding new innovative forestry projects aimed at improving profitability, opening up new local and international markets, and preparing for future opportunities. Minister for Lands and Forestry Paul Toole said applications would soon open for the first round of the AU$34 million Forest Industries Innovation Fund.

“As part of the 2018-19 Budget, I announced an AU$71.8 million forestry package across four years, aimed at supporting the industry and keeping jobs in our regions,” Mr Toole said. “The Innovation Fund will provide loans of up to AU$3 million for a range of projects such as timber mill infrastructure upgrades, development of new products, or initiatives that open new markets.

“We want to see industry take control of their future and develop new programs that support their local businesses. “The AU$2.4 billion NSW forest and wood product industry is an economic driver for the regions and I am pleased to be delivering this support for jobs.”

Applications will be open for six weeks from 1 October, with successful projects able to access concessional loans of 2.5 per cent for up to 20 years. The Forest Industries Innovation Fund supports the objectives of the NSW Forestry Industry Roadmap and will be administered by the Rural Assistance Authority.

Eligibility guidelines, application form and other information will be available on the RAA website ( www.raa.nsw.gov.au) from 1 October.

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NZ log export fallout from US trade disputes

Tue, 02/10/2018 - 11:14

New Zealand’s export log market took a hit from the trade dispute between the US and China as the declining value of the yuan crimps the buying power of the country’s largest log market.

The average price for New Zealand A-grade export logs dropped to US$133/JAS from US$141/JAS in August, and US$145/JAS in July, and is now the lowest since June 2017, according to AgriHQ’s Forestry Market Report for September.

“The Chinese log market has again dominated talk in the NZ forestry industry amid its sudden depreciation these past two months. Purely from a data perspective August and early September don’t make for pretty reading,” AgriHQ analyst Reece Brick said in his report. “All of this weakness is directly related to the reduction in Chinese buying power, itself due to the depreciation of the CNY:USD.”

The yuan has depreciated 7.5 percent since mid-June, recently trading at 6.8763 per US dollar. Still, Brick said that despite the fall, market sentiment has stayed “quite positive” as factors such as port-level inventories, offtake rates and shipping rates otherwise point towards healthy fundamentals for New Zealand log trading in China.

“Consensus among the majority of traders is that we’ve settled at the bottom of the market for at least the time being,” he said. Chinese demand for New Zealand logs has been strong over recent years after Asia’s largest economy clamped down on the harvesting of its own forests and reduced tariffs on imported logs to meet demand in its local market. However, trade tensions between the US and China have dented the value of the Chinese currency and traders fear rising tariffs will hurt economic growth and dampen demand.

“What the future looks like will largely be dictated by the actions of the Trump administration,” Brick said. “The latest round of 10 percent tariffs covering US$200 billion of Chinese products is yet to be felt within the log industry. The main headache, however, is that there’s no end in sight for the trade war. It’s expected the latest tariffs will be lifted to 25 percent by Christmas, while Trump has threatened to extend these tariffs to another US$267 billion worth of Chinese products.

“Given log demand is so closely tied to economic growth, we can only hope these two power-houses can settle their differences sooner rather than later. Just don’t count on it,” he said.

Brick noted that neither India nor South Korea, New Zealand’s other major log markets, have provided any significant relief for exporters either. However, he noted the weaker New Zealand exchange rate against the US dollar had offered some protection for local export traders against the depreciation within China.

Source: BusinessDesk

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EOI to Present – HarvestTECH 2019

Tue, 02/10/2018 - 10:59

Very popular when last run in 2017 HarvestTECH 2017 SOLD OUT  well in advance of the event even running. Over 450 harvesting and wood transport contractors, harvest planners, forest managers and equipment and tech providers met up at one place, Rotorua, New Zealand over a couple of days. It was the largest gathering yet seen in New Zealand.

In addition to having most harvesting contractors from throughout the country attending, the FIEA event drew in a large contingent of contractors and forest managers from throughout Australia, as well as attracting key equipment suppliers, researchers, forestry companies and international contractors from Europe, the US, Canada, Papua New Guinea and Asia. As well as the two-day conference and over 40 displays, two one-day field tours ran for HarvestTECH 2017 delegates.

So, the two-yearly gathering has been scheduled for next year. Mark the dates 26-27 June 2019, Rotorua New Zealand for the two-yearly harvesting event, HarvestTECH 2019. Early details on the programme can be found on the event website. At this early stage, Expressions of Interest to present at the harvesting event are being sought.

If you are keen to be a speaker at the conference and you are an early adopter, developer, innovator, contractor, technology or equipment supplier, service provider or researcher involved in wood harvesting operations, they would like to hear from you.


What’s being covered?

– Recent innovations in steep slope and winch assist harvesting

– Getting the best out of existing hauler & ground-based operations

– Harvest planning – new systems really making a difference

– Effective use of collected data from your harvesting operation

– Options for eliminating log sorts and reducing landing sizes

– Tools & Systems for harvesting smaller woodlots

– Remote sensing technologies for harvest planning and operations

– Solutions for improving in-forest communications

– Increased automation and mechanisation – new R&D

– Remote control, robotics, virtual reality and automation in the bush

– Filling the skills gap in harvesting

Interested speakers or exhibitors – or others who’d like to look at building in visits, tours or meetings in and around this major harvesting event, please contact Brent Apthorp (Tel: (+64) 21 227 5177) or brent.apthorp@fiea.org.nz BEFORE Friday 19 October.

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by Dr. Radut