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Harvesters may explode the volume of data from forests

International Forest Industries - Tue, 22/01/2019 - 13:00

New technology and big data open up new opportunities for forest harvesting entrepreneurs, allowing them to provide services for a variety of purposes.

Even today, harvesters gather a stunning amount of data for forestry needs, but they could do it for others, too. The machine could make available many new types of data from forests.

”This could be of interest to other sectors of society, and some might even be prepared to pay for it,” says Matti Rahikka, an expert on data protection and Executive Director of the DPO Finland company. Rahikka was one of the speakers at the Forest Day organised by the Trade Association of Finnish Forestry and Earth Moving Contractors.

Sensors attached to harvesters already gather data on distances, temperatures, humidity, air pressure, velocity, light, soil conditions, geography and location, as well as the amount and water content of snow.

According to Rahikka, a harvester could also function as the ground base of a drone. Computer vision is developing fast and also offers new possibilities for drones.

Drones can be programmed to follow animate or inanimate objects, they are able to fly along a pre-set path, avoiding obstacles and then returning to their path. They can reach a speed of 50 km/h and are able to fly even seven kilometres without re-charging.

A drone could estimate the amount of stout timber in a forest and the amount of smaller timber for pulp production. It could estimate the quality of the forest and, for example, check the condition of powerlines.

It can identify animal species and count the number of individuals per species. It can look for spruces suitable for Christmas trees, find mushrooms and berries and tell whether they are good for picking – for it can tell the difference between ripe and unripe berries even if shaded by leaves.

 

Movable base station to harvesting sites

When a harvester is transported into the forest, the same lorry could bring in a base station for broadband connections and an aggregate. ”This would provide a power source and broadband to the people living nearby,” says Rahikka.

At the moment, image processing software is able to identify individuals by their faces in a crowd, as well as their moods – and even different foods and their components on a plate.

360-degree cameras could be installed in forest machinery to monitor, for example, the condition of the forest and the trees spared during logging. Machine vision can tell whether the operator is having a break, repairing the machine or back in his seat. Or whether he, or she, is in a good mood.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of all kinds of appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers, bicycles – of anything you can imagine – connected to the internet. When connected, these devices can then gather and transmit data wherever we want it.

The largest artefact in a forest is the harvester. ”Even today, it is full of computer and communication technology, but the time may have come for it to start serving not just the forest sector but the whole society,” says Rahikka.

 

New use for old NMT frequency

Sensors connected to the IoT network transmit data through the Narrow Band IoT (NBIoT), with a frequency of 450 megahertz. This was used earlier by analog mobile phone networks, such as the Nordic Mobile Telephone, the predecessor of the GSM network in the Nordic countries.

For IoT, the network has two important features. It has a very long range, several tens of kilometres. Secondly, it cannot transmit large quantities of data, but this is not a problem for sensors working in NBIoT.

As a result, these sensors do not need much energy and they may be located at quite a distance to the base station. At the moment such sensors may function for even ten years without re-charging, and their price is continuously decreasing.

Thus, the 450-megahertz network is best suited for appliances with moderate smarts, but it can accommodate a great number of them and across a large area. If the prices continue to drop, one day they might be scattered in the forest just like seeds to transmit data on the conditions in their environment for as long as the power supply will last.

Examples of existing NBIoT technologies include parking spaces indicating that they are free, problem spots in plumbing, remote sensing of heart rate, sensor-equipped collars for sheepto inform their location, or letterboxes and trash bins indicating they should be emptied.

Who owns the data?

But who owns the data gathered by a harvester? The data may be gathered for the harvester owner, but also sold to other parties.

According to Finnish legislation, you cannot own data, says Rahikka. “But you can own the device or appliance in which the data is stored. And in most cases sharing the data makes sense – whether or not you want someone to pay for it,” says Rahikka.

In Finland, there is by now an agreement on sharing the data gathered by forest machinery between forest industry companies, forest machine entrepreneurs and the manufacturers of forest machinery. The agreement aims at clarifying the rules of owning and sharing the data and at promoting new applications and services based on data gathered by forest machinery.

In addition to the forest industry companies, only one forest owner is a party to the agreement: the state forest company Metsähallitus. However, private forest owners are free to join in whenever they wish.

AUTHOR

Hannes Mäntyranta

https://smy.fi/en/artikkeli/harvesters-may-explode-the-volume-of-data-from-forests/

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Ftg Forest And Kallefall Produce A New Skidding Grapple

International Forest Industries - Tue, 22/01/2019 - 12:41

The FB22SG features well protected tongs‘ rear linkage placement and weight optimization.

The grapple is designed to extract single trees and bunches of smaller trees. The frame and tongs are reinforced in high stressed areas to improve durability and safety. Two high quality hydraulic cylinders are connected to the tractor’s quick couplings and the unit is ready for extraction. The grapples have a large opening, and sufficient distance from the slewing joint, which allows transporting of even larger bunches of timber. One of the biggest benefits is that it requires only a low horsepower tractor and does not require the operator to dismount from the tractor to operate it.

The skidding grapple is attached to the tractor’s three-point linkage. The robust design permits the long service life and low maintenance cost. A powerful double action cylinder and toothed frame provides strong grip which secures the logs or trees between the jaws. The hydraulics allow the grapple to swing to the sides (± 43°), which makes picking up of bunches from the extraction route easier as well as enables load steering to follow the tractor’s movements thus causing less/no damage to the growing young trees in thinning applications. It is an ideal application for short extraction distances.

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Progressive Kiln order from ULK Velsk Sawmill to HEINOLA

International Forest Industries - Tue, 22/01/2019 - 12:24

ULK Velsk Sawmill in Arkangelsk district has recently ordered two 2-zone Progressive Kiln type HFB from Heinola Sawmill Machinery Inc. with annual capacity of ca. 120.000 m3 when drying spruce and pine timber to 18 % final moisture content.

Progressive kilns are equipped with pressure frames and HEINOLA New Drying Kiln Control System. The new Progressive Kilns will be taken into production this year.

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Pilous – X-Cut Innovative Saw Band For Woodworking Band Saws

International Forest Industries - Tue, 22/01/2019 - 11:52

Pilous – The X-Cut saw band was developed based on customer requirements for woodworking and sawing on band saws. The X-Cut saw band quality can be found between Maxwood Bimetal and Maxwood Stelit saw bands.

An innovative combination of hardened spread-set teeth and stellite eliminates practically the complicated act of spread-setting the saw teeth (tooth setting).

The regeneration of the saw band is very effective, the teeth are only re-sharpened. Other unquestionable advantages of this new type of saw band include higher cutting times, exceeding the usual two hours, cutting surface quality and, last but not at least, excellent performance-price ratio. This is the optimal saw band for both soft and hardwood, available in a width of 35 to 60 mm.

X-Cut saw band: customers´ opinions

Partner from Slovakia: “We are very satisfied with the X-Cut saw bands because of, in particular, a smoother cutting surface, which is a real improvement in quality. This unique blade service life justifies the higher price of X-Cut saw band and has, in any case, an economic benefit to our production.”

Partner from Germany: “My impression of the X-Cut saw band is that this type of saw band is one of the most powerful saw bands I have ever had the opportunity to work with. Especially, the high dimensional precision of hardwoods such as hard, dry spruce wood amazed me. The service life is excellent, up to four hours without losing quality.”

Partner from Austria: “The saw band has a much longer service life. On average, it is by 1/3 higher than the saw bands with hardened tooth used so far. The stellite tooth takes over the main cutting power. The excellent quality of the cut surface.”

Partner from Poland: “Thanks to the X-Cut saw band, we achieve faster saw band feed into the cut with less effort. A big advantage consists in saving time. On average, we have a double service life as compared with previous band saws. The spread-setting of teeth is not required, when sharpening (grinding).”

Partners from the Czech Republic: “We are very satisfied with the X-Cut saw bands because of, in particular, a smoother cutting surface, which is a real improvement in quality. The good quality of the cut surface in connection with a very good service life justifies the higher price of the X-Cut saw band and has an economic benefit to our production as compared with conventional saw bands.“

“Positive results became evident just during the first cuts of frozen wood. Tests have shown us that the properties of the saw band are the same even after 8-10 installations on the machine. The X-cut saw bands are characterized by their high service life and excellent cutting quality.”

“The initial mistrust in using this type of band convinced me soon of the contrary. I am cutting dry spruce, acacia and oak and everything has a straight cut. I have a saw band on the machine for up to three hours. A significant plus is that there is no need to spread-set the teeth. “

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Focus on forest ownership at SkogsElmia

International Forest Industries - Tue, 22/01/2019 - 10:41

The new-generation forest owners are increasingly managing their own forests. At least as important as the yield is to manage the forests in a long-term and environmentally sound way. This approach will be in focus at SkogsElmia, which will be held this summer on 6–8 June 2019 in the forest south of Jönköping.

If Elmia Wood is the whole world’s forestry fair with a focus on technology and innovations, then SkogsElmia can be described as the whole Nordic region’s forestry fair. The overall theme of the fair will be forest ownership, a topic that affects everyone in the forest in different ways – from forest owners to machinery contractors to forestry officials.

The fair’s theme will encompass everything from ownership transfer and forest management to technology and logistics that minimise ground damage. As forest owners are making new demands, forestry fairs are becoming increasingly important meeting places for the forest industry’s various actors as well as platforms for the development of new products and services. Smart digital technology is being used more and more in forestry too, and so visitors to the fair can look forward to many innovations and much new thinking among the exhibitors.

SkogsElmia is held every fourth year and attracts about 30,000 visitors and 300 exhibitors. The new fair manager for SkogsElmia is Mattias Pontén, a certified forester with great expertise and solid experience of the forest industry. He takes up his post now in June.

“It will be a terrific experience to be part of the forest industry’s development,” he says. “Forest ownership is a broad topic with many different issues, which I care greatly about as a forest owner myself. One key focus right now is sustainable forest management with an eye to the future – a future that will be strongly characterised by digitalisation and the links between services and products. We will fill SkogsElmia with many relevant activities to complement the exhibitors’ many new products and services, and we anticipate a fair that will benefit everyone involved.”

 

Photo: Fair manager for SkogsElmia, Mattias Pontén,

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NZ – $400 a day to plant trees but no one wants the job

International Forest Industries - Fri, 18/01/2019 - 14:02

Pay rates of $400 a day are not enough to attract workers to plant trees, potentially putting a brake on the New Zealand Government’s one billion trees by 2028 campaign. Forest nurseries have doubled plantings to 100 million tree seedings in response to Government incentives, but finding staff is the biggest hurdle to getting them in the ground.

Forest Management director David Janett said the bottleneck was not so much acquiring seedlings from forest nurseries, but finding people to plant the trees. “We are fully booked up for this year.” Planting rates in the North Island were reaching 60 cents a tree, which equated to pay rates of $300 to $400 a day. “And we still can’t get people.”

“The greatest impediment is finding the labour to plant the trees. We can mechanise a lot of the work, but we can’t mechanise a person on a spade,” Janett said. Tree planting was done in autumn and winter and seasonal workers from the Pacific Islands would need to be recruited.

Forest Nursery Growers Association president Kevin Haine said its member nurseries would grow 100 million tree seedlings this year, almost double the 54m trees grown two years ago. Of this, the Government was responsible for about 20m trees through its Crown forestry partnerships, such as its agreement to establish a commercial forest on Ngati Rehia iwi land in Northland.

Tree planting had already increased to 70m trees last year in response to demand for replanting of harvested forests, as the “wall of wood” from a peak planting in 1994 reached maturity. “A positive aspect is that all the logged land is being replanted in trees. This is in contrast to about five years ago when carbon credits were low and it was cheap to get out of forestry and into farming.”

Nursery growers were aware that a change of government might lead to a change in tree-planting policy, which had occurred before, so were wary of gearing up too quickly, Haine said. “The contracts signed have only been for one year. The Government hasn’t signed any long-term contracts, so it’s year-by-year.

Source: Stuff

Photo: Patrick Murray, of Murrays Nurseries at Woodville, has doubled plantings of pinus radiata from 5 million to 10m trees in the last year

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HarvestTECH 2019 details now on line

International Forest Industries - Fri, 18/01/2019 - 13:20
Following on from the early announcement at the end of last year, full details of the two-yearly wood harvesting event, HarvestTECH 2019 have now been set in place and full details can now be found on the event website, www.harvesttech.events

The 2015 harvesting event, HarvestTECH was a SELL OUT. The 2017 event likewise sold out. Both at the time were the largest gathering of harvesting contractors, forestry managers, forest owners, harvest planners and all of the major equipment suppliers to the logging industry seen in New Zealand. Around 450 met up in Rotorua, New Zealand.

In addition to having most logging contractors from throughout the country attending, the events 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.

2019 is shaping up to be another standout. Already, as well as key local equipment and technology suppliers, most major international equipment providers will be bringing in international expertise for the event.

Leading contractors have already committed to present, as part of the two-day event, on new and innovative technologies along with some pretty clever operating practices that they’ve employed. This includes processes which are making a significant difference to their both their operations productivity and safety.

So, 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

The full programmes can now be viewed on line. You can check out what’s being planned on the event website, harvesttech.events.

As anticipated, at this stage, many of the exhibition stands have been taken. If a supplier to wood harvesting operations in this region and you haven’t as yet booked a space, best get onto it (contact gordon.thomson@fiea.org.nz or Tel: +64 7 921 1384) to avoid missing out.

Further information relating to this major event will follow.

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NZ – The attraction of operating multi-million-dollar machines

International Forest Industries - Fri, 18/01/2019 - 13:07
Scott Thomas is a young man with an exciting future. Aged just 21, he is currently working for Gamble Forest Harvesting in a fully mechanised 8-man hauler crew in Otago. Scott has found his passion, and that is driving big harvesting machines.

I caught up with Scott in Flagstaff Forest, part of the City Forests estate high above Dunedin, during a visit with Kevin Marsh, City Forest’s harvesting and OSH coordinator. Here the crew was operating at full tilt, with a daily harvest of 500-600 tonnes of second-rotation radiata pine. This equates to 18-20 truckloads of logs leaving the skid site every day.

“I really like operating the machinery,” says Scott, who left school at 16, and went straight into the bush – or rather, into the machines that work in the bush. He has only ever worked in mechanised operations, and joined Gamble Forest Harvesting early in 2018 after stints with a couple of other Otago contractors.

Scott is now being trained to operate a relatively new addition to the array of big machines operated by Gamble Forest Harvesting. This is a winch-assisted John Deere 909MH self-levelling feller-buncher, which on steeper terrain is attached to “ROB” – a 850j John Deere Remote Operated Bulldozer. ROB carries two 500-metre steel cables which secure the harvester from up-slope. All ROB operations from starting the bulldozer to operating the winch can be controlled from the cab of the feller-buncher, so making for a multi-million-dollar one-man operation.

“It’s an unreal piece of kit,” says Scott. “I’ve been really lucky because Tony (Gamble) has taken the time to train me. Tony is the expert – he still handles all the tricky stuff. There’s nothing like learning on the job with these machines, and it’s not every contractor that has time to train people.”

Scott reckons he can operate nine of the eleven machines on-site and is adept at processing, skidding and loading. He is climbing the qualifications ladder quickly, and has been working his way through a raft NZQA certificates, recently completing his National Certificate in Forest Harvesting Operations.

“I learn new things every day at work,” says Scott. “I learn about operations, but also about safety and how to look after the environment.” Owning and managing his own crew is on Scott’s list for the future. “First I need to learn how to plan and optimise harvesting operations.”

Scott also reckons he has a few big advantages over his mates, some of whom are tradesmen, others who have been to university. “I may have to get up earlier than them, but I have a great job and I earn more than most of my friends. Also I think forestry’s reputation as a dangerous industry is unfair. We have the best health and safety systems of any industry; there are huge precautions in place.”

Gamble Forest Harvesting is a certified contractor, and has worked for City Forests for many years. Owner Tony Gamble likes his crew members to be versatile, so they are all trained to operate multiple machines. “What I’m looking for are intelligent, motivated people,” says Tony. “We’re seeing more mechanisation and automation all the time, so it’s all about people’s attitude and versatility. Scott works hard and is really keen to learn, so he has all the right attributes and I’m happy to spend time training him.”

Source: Harriet Palmer, Journalist, supported by Forest Growers Commodity Levy

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New wood panels prefab operation for Australia

International Forest Industries - Fri, 18/01/2019 - 12:09

Quintessential Equity has hailed the opening late last year of a new Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) processing and offsite manufacturing factory at Avalon Airport’s new industrial precinct, as a major win for both the City of Geelong and the building industry’s march toward more sustainable methods of construction.

Executive Chairman of Quintessential Equity, Shane Quinn, said the launch of Cross Laminated Offsite Solutions’ (CLOS) factory will create local jobs, support sustainable development and bring significant potential to grow an advanced manufacturing industry in Geelong.

“Green design is no longer an option, it’s an expectation. We believe every new building in Australia from today onwards has to be designed with sustainability top of mind. The CLOS factory in Geelong will be a game-changer for the construction industry in Victoria and beyond. Local, accessible mass engineered timber will help put Australia in contention to meet and exceed global standards like WELL Ratings and the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“We’re excited about CLOS because Quintessential Equity wants to use CLT technology – we’d love to construct our first CLT building in Geelong. Building with CLT is sustainable and efficient. Eight times the amount of carbon is emitted to produce a tonne of concrete compared to a tonne of timber, and building costs can be reduced by up to 20 per cent during construction,” said Mr Quinn.

Quintessential Equity has a strong track record of green design and supporting local economies. “One of our earlier projects in Parramatta set the benchmark for exemplar sustainability winning the Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) Best Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Project.

We’ve also halved the carbon footprint of the NAB’s headquarters building in Adelaide and recently achieved global best practice at 1 Malop Street right here in Geelong, which also created hundreds of local jobs,” he said.

The CLOS factory, set to open mid-2019, will “pre-fabricate” engineered timber products into walls, floors, roofs and other building components, adding the necessary cladding, insulation and plasterboards. The materials will then be sent to building sites where they are assembled and used in construction, using a similar principle as IKEA flat pack furniture.

While CLOS will initially import the cross laminated timber (CLT) used, the company aims to become Australia’s second CLT producer within five years, which would create around 100 direct local jobs as well as secondary employment in areas such as transportation. Along with CLT processing and offsite manufacturing, CLOS will process laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and glued laminated timber (glulam).

CLOS Founder and Managing Director, John Fitzgibbon, was previously part of the building team for the new WorkSafe building in Geelong, where he saw an opportunity for Geelong to lead the way in mass engineered timber manufacturing.

“Mass engineered timber like CLT has so much potential. When you look at places like Europe and parts of the US, it’s clear Australia isn’t doing enough of it,” said Mr Fitzgibbon. The current prefabricated housing market in Australia is a AU$4.5 billion sector, or 3 per cent of the AU$150 billion construction industry, whereas Germany and Sweden’s prefabricated modular housing accounts for about 20 per cent and 70 per cent of their respective industries.

“There’s real opportunity for a major advanced manufacturing industry in Geelong – we have the space, the local workforce and the lifestyle that makes workers want to stay and live in the area. With the demise of hard manufacturing and the resurgence of white-collar jobs, I see advanced manufacturing as the next stage of Geelong’s economic growth.”

Photo: Executive Chairman of Quintessential Equity, Shane Quinn

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NZ – Napier Port sets new records

International Forest Industries - Thu, 17/01/2019 - 12:38

Napier Port reported another record profit this year as the amount of cargo handled also hit a record. Net profit lifted 5.4 percent to $17.6 million in the year ended 30 September on a 5 .8 percent increase in revenue to $91.7 million, its annual report shows.

The port handled a record 5.1 million tonnes of cargo, with log exports lifting 35 percent to a record 2.2 million tonnes. A total of 266,006 containers or twenty- foot equivalent units passed through the port’s container terminal, and the port’s onsite packing operation handled a record 51,126 TEU containers.

Apple exports exceeded 23,000 TEU containers for the first time, while fertiliser, cement and oil imports remained relatively steady.

“We saw an extraordinary amount of cargo come through Napier Port the previous financial year as a result of earthquake damage to Wellington’s port. To not only match that figure this year, but to beat it by more than 320,000 tonnes, really shows the pace of growth in Hawke’s Bay,” chief executive Todd Dawson said.

He said the port is also handling larger ships and a growing cruise industry.

A total of 684 ships called at Napier this year, including 57 cruise ships, he said. Cruise tourism in the region is flourishing, with a record 103,000 passengers visiting Napier shores in the 2017-2018 cruise season. Figures from Statistics New Zealand figures show those cruise passengers spent $23 million on credit cards alone.

The port paid $10 million in dividends to the Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company.

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Saskatchewan First Nations form group to advance forestry opportunities

International Forest Industries - Thu, 17/01/2019 - 12:14

Several local-area First Nations have signed on to a new agreement to manage forest lands and build on opportunities in the industry reports Charlene Tebbutt, Pa NOW.

The new Saskatchewan First Nations Forestry Alliance includes 13 First Nations, including the Montreal Lake Cree Nation, Big River First Nation, Pelican Lake First Nation, Witchekan Lake First Nation and Meadow Lake Tribal Council and their related business organizations.

The deal outlines how business-related opportunities will be handled on First Nations’ ancestral lands, which cover much of Saskatchewan’s forested area. Together, the groups direct forest management licenses and commercial arrangements on more than four million cubic metres of the annual allowable cut in the province.

Robert Fincati, chief executive officer with Montreal Lake Business Ventures, said the agreement has been in the works for several years.

“Everybody is really excited about it,” Fincati said Thursday. “We want to create stability in the forest industry in Saskatchewan. It’s important for all the nations.”

Fincati said there’s a lot of room for growth in the forestry sector.

“Right now there’s a huge gap in the forest industry in Saskatchewan and that is because there is no facility in Prince Albert,” he said, referencing the still-shuttered mill just outside the city. “It becomes really challenging to have an integrated forest operation when there’s nobody to take the hardwood.”

Fincati said the alliance is still finalizing some details around the new agreement, but the groups are eager to move forward and build on more business and growth opportunities.

“It’s actually a really good news story for all of Saskatchewan because a healthy forest industry in Saskatchewan is important for all, especially northern residents,” he added.

Provincial administrators are applauding news of the deal, and they will work with the alliance to engage and collaborate on any forest opportunities that come up, said Shane Vermette, executive director of the Forestry Development Branch with the Ministry of Energy and Resources. While the province wasn’t part of the discussions around the new agreement, Saskatchewan is a leader in Canada in working with First Nations groups on forest management, he said.

“This agreement, in fact, demonstrates Indigenous support for the sector in Saskatchewan and also collaboration by the numerous First Nations in further forestry sector growth opportunities,” Vermette added. “The annual allowable cut, which is the sustainable timber that can be harvested annually in the province, is just over eight million cubic metres, and we’re currently only harvesting about half of that.”

Dozens of Indigenous-owned forestry businesses operate in Saskatchewan, a statement from the province said, ranging from sawmills to timber harvesting, road construction, trucking and reforestation. According to statistics from the Government of Saskatchewan, about 1,300 Indigenous people work in the forestry sector here, making up 31 per cent of the total workforce, compared to four per cent across Canada.

Twenty-eight per cent of Saskatchewan’s timber supply is allocated to Indigenous businesses, the largest percentage of any province, the government noted.

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The U.S. Should Get Tough on Timber With Peru

NYT Logging Industry - Wed, 16/01/2019 - 21:09
A poorly enforced trade agreement continues to damage the environment and the economy.

New John Deere L-Series Utility Wheel Loaders primed to take job sites by storm

International Forest Industries - Wed, 16/01/2019 - 14:52

After much anticipation and countless hours of product development, John Deere unveils three powerful and productive L-Series utility wheel loaders. The 524L, 544L and 624L offer customers an intuitive solution, ideal for projects that require agility and versatility on the job site or farm. Designed with the operator in mind, the L-Series machines incorporate several new features, including improved cabs for more comfort and visibility, electrohydraulic (EH) loader controls for easier operation and redesigned near-parallel linkage, and enhanced performance buckets.

“Our next generation of wheel loaders improves upon the legacy of the John Deere wheel loader line,” said Chris Cline, product marketing manager for utility wheel loaders, John Deere Construction & Forestry. “The L-Series boasts several improvements over previous models designed to positively impact productivity, comfort and visibility, resulting in increased profitability.”

The most notable of changes to the L-Series from their K-Series predecessors is the improved cab, which is roomier and more comfortable, offering more functional storage and floor space. The optional premium heavy-duty air suspension seat is heated, ventilated and designed to offer additional legroom. The HVAC performance is also enhanced, now including rear defrost, increasing air flow while reducing noise. Three standard 12-volt auxiliary power ports in the cab enable the operator to charge multiple devices. Optional remote-heated, adjustable mirrors increase job site visibility.

Behind the wheel, EH loader controls with integrated third and fourth function auxiliary hydraulics provide faster cycle times, resulting in more material moved in shorter periods of time. Two multifunction buttons integrated into the hydraulic controls allow the operator to assign a function to each button, improving operability and productivity. This loader also has an ergonomically designed, seat-mounted right-hand joystick with a standard forward-neutral-reverse switch and fully integrated auxiliary hydraulic controls. A throttle lock option removes the need for the operator to push the throttle pedal to maintain engine speed.

Improvements to the machine boom structure directly result in increased productivity. The design increases visibility to the coupler, bucket or forks, reducing overall cycle times, material spillage and equipment damage. Additional bucket options include enhanced production buckets with integrated spill guards, profiled side cutters and greater rollback, improving bucket fill and material retention. A new shaft-style fork design offers more visibility and tine length options, including 48-inch, 60-inch and 72-inch. Smoother boom and bucket hydraulic kickouts reduce operator fatigue, while new standard parallel lift linkage improves load leveling, limits bucket spillage and increases fork operation speed.

Return-to-dig settings can now be set from the cab for both directions of the bucket, allowing operators to return-to-dig from any position without having to adjust the bucket to dump position. Boom and Bucket EH metering rate aggressiveness allows the operator to choose a setting — low, medium or high — for quicker hydraulics or reduced response in precision operations for improved comfort. Attachment configuration settings can be saved, allowing the operator to assign and save settings to an attachment, making it easier to switch between attachments without impacting productivity.

The 524L, 544L and 624L are available with optional High Lift (HL) and High Lift Plus (HL Plus) selections; there is also a tool carrier option on the 524L and 624L models. The HL Plus option features hinge pin heights that are 12 to 13 inches higher than current HL pin heights, allowing the operator to dump into higher trucks or wagons. The tool carrier option provides the best centerline visibility to the coupler or forks. It is ideal for customers handling materials, like pallets, pipe or logs, where centerline visibility is important.

From a service perspective, the hydraulic hose and electrical wire harness routing and retention are improved, and the machines feature 40 fewer leak points, lowering potential repair costs.

The 524L, 544L and 624L feature fuel-efficient Final Tier 4 John Deere diesel engines (6.8 liter) and boast 152 (113kW), 166 (123kW) and 192 (143kW) net peak horsepower, respectively.

Fleet managers looking to get the most out of their L-Series wheel loaders can rely on their John Deere dealers to provide Ultimate Uptime, featuring John Deere WorkSight™. With Ultimate Uptime, owners receive predelivery and follow-up inspections that include five years of JDLink™ telematics, machine health prognostics, remote diagnostics and programming capabilities and the ability to add dealer-provided uptime solutions to a customized package.

The 544L will also be on display at World of Concrete, Jan. 22-25, 2019, at booth C5451. Along side the 544L will be a JD544, built in December 1968, to commemorate 50 years of John Deere building wheel loaders. Contractors, builders, and sand and gravel-pit operators alike helped build the innovative JD544 50 years ago. The new L-Series machines are a testament of durability, dependability and productivity, and of continuous customer-inspired design. Throughout 2019, all new manufactured wheel loaders will showcase a 50 year anniversary emblem to signify this milestone.

For additional information and model-specific specifications about the new L-Series wheel loaders, visit www.JohnDeere.com or contact your local dealer.

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Renholmen gets new owner

International Forest Industries - Wed, 16/01/2019 - 14:23

Together with the companies ALMAB and Arivislanda, Renholmen AB is part of the ARAT Group. Now ARAT Group has been acquired by Storskogen AB from Provator AB.

“Storskogen invests in companies that are stable and profitable. It gives us great opportunities to continue our journey with development and expansion of the company,” says Renholmen’s CEO Per Jonsson.

“We look forward to continuing to develop our three leading companies in a positive spirit together with Storskogen, which also enables further acquisitions to the group,” says Johan Andersson, CEO of ARAT Group.

ARAT Group delivers high-tech equipment to sawmills and further processing industry. The three companies operate freely and have together a turnover of SEK 300 million and have 100 employees.

Storskogen is an industry and trading group, which today owns 28 Swedish companies with a turnover of just over SEK 4 billion.

Photo: Renholmen’s CEO Per Jonsson.

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LaSalle Lumber Company joins Southern Forest Products Association

International Forest Industries - Wed, 16/01/2019 - 13:48

Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA) welcomes LaSalle Lumber Company, LLC, a joint venture of Hunt Forest Products and Tolko Industries, as its newest lumber manufacturer member.

Tolko Industries, headquartered in Vernon, BC, has partnered with Louisiana-based Hunt Forest Products to build a state-of-the-art sawmill near Urania, Louisiana. Earlier this year, Tolko announced plans to build the new facility. The mill is designed to produce 200 million board feet annually, with three continuous dry kilns and a planer facility.

“This is our first venture into the United States,” said Brad Thorlakson, Tolko president and CEO. “And we are thrilled to be in Louisiana with Hunt Forest Products, a family-owned company like ours, and one that has played a vital, reliable role in Louisiana’s forestry industry for more than a century.”

Pino Pucci is the company’s manager and will represent LaSalle Lumber on the SFPA Board of Directors.

Photo: Brad Thorlakson, Tolko president and CEO

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Enviva Partners to expand wood pellet production facility in Virginia

International Forest Industries - Tue, 15/01/2019 - 14:06

Enviva Partners to invest at least $75.7 million to expand its operation in Southampton, Virginia. In addition to increasing wood pellet production by a third to approximately 750 thousand metric tons per year (MTPY), the expansion will allow for the processing of sustainably sourced pine at the existing facility, significantly augmenting the company’s usage of fiber (or raw material) from Virginia forests.

Enviva is a leading global energy company specializing in sustainable wood biomass. The company is the world’s largest producer of wood pellets, which provide sustainable, low-carbon heat and power that can replace fossil fuels.

Wood pellets produced at Enviva’s Southampton facility are primarily exported through the company’s deep-water marine terminal at the Port of Chesapeake, Virginia.

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Global Timber and Wood Products Market Update

International Forest Industries - Tue, 15/01/2019 - 11:04
Declining trade of softwood lumber, plummeting lumber prices in the US and slowing wood demand in China were some of the biggest international lumber developments in the 3Q/18, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly

Global Softwood Lumber Trade
Global trade of softwood lumber from January through September 2018 was down 2.5% as compared to the same period last year. China, Japan, the United Kingdom and the MENA region reduced their imports, while the US and continental Europe have imported more lumber this year than in 2017.

Lumber markets – North America
After US lumber imports reached a 10-year high in the 2Q/18, import volumes fell 3.5% to 9.44 million m3 in the 3Q/18, which was still over ten percent more than in the same quarter in 2017. The trend over the past few years has been that the market share for overseas lumber supply to the US has increased at the expense of Canadian supply, as reported in the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). The Canadian share has fallen from 95% of total imports in 2016 to 91% in 2018.

Lumber prices in the US plummeted during the summer and fall, with major grades falling about 40% from June to November.

Lumber exports from Canada were down in all markets in the 3Q, and the total export volume was down 4.3% q-o-q. Almost 80% of the shipments were destined for the United States. During the first nine months of 2018, export volumes to China were 16% lower than the same period last year.

Lumber markets – Northern Europe  
Lumber exports from both Finland and Sweden slowed substantially in the late summer, with August shipments being down 10% (Finland) and 6% (Sweden) from August 2017. The biggest decrease in Finnish exports so far this year have been in shipments to China and Saudi Arabia, while Swedish sawmills have reduced exports to Egypt, China and Japan the most. Both countries have kept up sales in the European market in 2018 with only minor changes in shipped volumes from 2017, according to the WRQ. Lumber prices in both Finland and Sweden have remained fairly stable during most of 2018.

Lumber market – United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is the world’s third largest importer of softwood lumber, after the US and China. In 2017, the country imported 7.5 million m3 of lumber, the highest level seen since 2007 and up almost 50% from five years ago. Sweden has long been the major supplier, with a market share of about 45%. However, demand for imported lumber to the UK has fallen by 20% during the first nine months of 2018.

Import prices for lumber have trended upwards in US dollar terms in the past few years to reach a three-year high in the 2Q/18, followed by a decline of 7.3% in the 3Q/18.

Lumber markets – China
A gloomier outlook by Chinese consumers and a shortage of credits for many provincial governments and state-run firms have contributed to reduced demand for forest products. As a result, total softwood lumber imports to China have slowed in 2018, with volumes in the first nine months falling 11% as compared to the same period in 2017, according to Chinese customs data. Imports were down from all supplying countries except Russia.

Wood Resources International    LLC
hakan@WoodPrices.co

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Bergs Timber appoints Jan Liljegren as CEO for Bergs Timber Production

International Forest Industries - Wed, 09/01/2019 - 13:11

As of January 1st 2019, Jan Liljegren will take the position as CEO for Bergs Timber Production AB, and will be responsible for the Swedish operations.
In the autumn, Jan held the position as Production Director and now stands up as CEO.

Bergs Timber produces and sells sawn and further processed wood products. It operates its production facilities in Sweden, Estonia and Latvia. The Group also includes its own port and logistics operations in England.

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New Tigercat Dealer In Russian Federation

International Forest Industries - Wed, 09/01/2019 - 12:49

Tigercat has announced that EkoNivaTechnika-Holding is now a Tigercat dealer for areas of Western Russia and Siberia.

With headquarters in Detchino, approximately 150 kilometers southeast of Moscow, EkoNivaTechnika-Holding has a regional presence through three operational branches: EkoNiva-Teсhnika in the Central region, EkoNiva-Chernozemye in the Central Black Earth region and EkoNivaSibir in the Siberian area.

With 24 years in the Russian agricultural equipment business, the company is a leader in mobile farm equipment and servicing.

Covering fourteen regions, EkoNiva has twelve service centres each with its own spare parts warehouses, state-of-the-art overhaul depots and field service trucks. The company has over 550 employees with a great deal of attention paid to training and development, both in Russia and abroad.

Matt Roberts, Tigercat sales manager for Europe and Russia comments, “We are very happy to welcome EkoNiva to the Tigercat dealer network. The company’s vast experience and proven record in customer support, combined with their operational excellence as a leading heavy equipment dealer in the Russian Federation, is an outstanding match for our products. We are confident that forestry customers in EkoNiva’s area will see great benefit to adding Tigercat products to their fleet with the support of EkoNiva’s strong network of branches and technicians.”

“We are excited to introduce Tigercat to our customers in Northern Russia and Siberia. Our choice for Tigercat is based on the premium quality of the forestry equipment and high level reputation as a customer driven company with strong engineering capabilities,” comments Bjoerne Drechsler, First Deputy Managing Director, EkoNivaTechnika-Holding.

Ekoniva strives to establish a long-term, honest and mutually beneficial cooperation with its customers, stating, “Every customer is unique for us. Each order is completed with consideration of the customer’s requirements and specific possibilities.”

Tigercat looks forward to expanding its customer base in Russia and along with EkoNiva, will deliver a high-class customer.

 

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Becsa to acquire Matriarch Equipment

International Forest Industries - Wed, 09/01/2019 - 11:45

Bell Equipment Company SA (BECSA) has reached agreement in principle to acquire the business of Matriarch Equipment CC.

Matriarch designs and manufactures a range of material handling products used predominantly in the forestry and sugar industries across local and international territories.

Bell said the intellectual property (IP) of the products designed by Matriarch is aligned to the broader strategy of the company to enhance IP ownership and to provide niche product solutions in the forestry and sugar industries.

In terms of the transaction BECSA will acquire all the assets of Matriarch consisting of the inventory, the value whereof will be finalised at an inventory count to be conducted on or about January 31, 2019; the operating assets to the value of circa-R1.3 million; the value of the IP which was determined by valuing the business of Matriarch on a discounted cash flow basis; and take on the employees of Matriarch.

BECSA will pay an initial consideration of R3.8 million for the Matriarch IP plus a performance-based consideration (PBC) based on future sales performance of Matriarch Products, retrospectively per quarter for five years. In addition to the five-year time limit, the PBC has a monetary cap of R15 million.

The finalisation announcement is expected on or about February 1, 2019.

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by Dr. Radut