EGGER Ltd welcomed the UK Government’s Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Claire Perry, to its wood-based materials manufacturing site at Hexham, Northumberland, earlier this month, a trip that comes on the back of concerns raised by the industry about the increasing demand for the UK annual wood basket.
These concerns, which come through the Wood Panel Industries Federation (WPIF), are related to ensuring that wood security is at the forefront of future UK business and energy policy.
“The wood panel manufacturing sector uses 25% of the 11 Mt of wood delivered from UK forestry every year,” EGGER said. “UK manufacturers supply approximately 65% of the total UK annual consumption of wood-based panel products, which can be found in virtually every office, home and workplace across the country and is relied upon by the furniture, house building and construction industries across the UK.”
The minister was joined by Hexham’s local representative Guy Opperman, Northumberland County Council Leader Peter Jackson and Councillor for Hexham East, Cath Homer.
Perry said: “It was a pleasure to be in Hexham with Guy Opperman MP and visit the Egger plant to meet representatives of the wood panel industry and discuss the importance of forestry to the UK Economy. It’s great to see manufacturing firms continuing to invest domestically and bringing highly skilled, quality jobs to the area.”
Hexham’s Member of Parliament, Guy Opperman, said: “I was delighted to welcome Energy Minister Claire Perry to EGGER in Hexham to show off one of our top local employers. It was a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the importance of forestry to Northumberland, and I really hope she takes the message loud and clear about the need to maintain forestry and keep timber costs down on an ongoing basis.”
WPIF Director General, Alastair Kerr, said, “We really appreciate the time and engagement the minister gave to this visit. Being able to showcase first-hand the nature of the industry, its products and processes is extremely valuable as it creates a more informed context to future discussions that we hope to have with the minister and her department”.
John Paterson, Director, EGGER Forestry, said: “It was a pleasure to host this meeting with the minister, where we were able to discuss the impact of energy policy on our wood supply.
“Our industry is at the forefront of sustainable UK manufacturing. I was pleased to show the minister what we are able to manufacture at Hexham to meet the demands of the furniture, interior design and construction sectors. Wood security is vital to underpin our manufacturing capability and future capital investment.”
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Powerful cutting performance, fast travel speeds and operator presence controls. Vermeer enhances its professional tree care equipment product line with the introduction of the SC70TX stump cutter. Equipped with a 67 hp (50 kW) Cat turbocharged, Tier 4 Final/Stage IIIB diesel engine, the SC70TX stump cutter delivers power to the cutter wheel and can travel up to 1560 rpm.
“Vermeer designed the SC70TX stump cutter for challenging residential, commercial, municipal and rental applications,” said Todd Roorda, tree care, rental and landscaping sales manager at Vermeer. “We have made several enhancements upon qualities to create a powerful and efficient machine. We know contractors will be pleased with the power, speed and controls of the SC70TX model.”
The ground speeds of the SC70TX stump cutter will be noticeable to operators the moment they take it off the trailer. With a transport speed of 65 ft/,in (19.8 m/min), contractors can maneuver much quickly from stump to stump. The undercarriage system has 4.3 psi (29.6 kPA) ground-bearing pressure in soft ground and allows the machine to track quietly and smoothly. The model’s rubber tracks have a tread design that helps reduce the risk of turf damage while turning.
Vermeer has also incorporated performance and safety features found on its other stump cutters, including an operator presence system that stops the cutting wheel when an operator disengages contact with capacitance-sensing control handles and the patented SmartSweep® control system that monitors the engine speed and automatically adjusts the cutter wheel sweep speed to maximize power to the cutter wheel while reducing engine stress. An optional remote control that gives the operator visibility and flexibility is also available.
The SC70TX stump cutter has an efficient direct drive that maximizes the amount of horsepower to the 23-inch (58.4 cm) cutter wheel, and the Vermeer Yellow Jacket™ cutter system allows for efficient and convenient serviceability.
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Metsä Group has renewed its strategic sustainability objectives. These 2030 objectives extending to 2030 cover all Metsä Group operations and are also mirrored across the supply chain.
Metsä Group’s target is to increase the amount of carbon stored in forests and its products. The amount of carbon in forests will be increased through expanding the area covered by Metsä Group’s forest management services by 30% compared to 2018. The amount of carbon stored in products will be increased also by 30% through investing in products that store carbon for a long period of time. In addition, biodiversity will be safeguarded through increasing the volume of decayed wood in forests.
Metsä Group’s objective is to have fossil free production by the year 2030. This means that the mills will not use fossil fuels and products will be made from renewable raw materials. The resource efficiency of production will be ensured by utilising all the production side streams and by reducing the use of process water by 25% from the year 2018.
Progress against the sustainability objectives will be verified within Metsä Group’s own operations as well as in the supply chain. The aim is to ensure that all personnel will act according to Metsä Group’s ethical principles and the work environment will be accident-free.
Metsä Group renewed its 2030 sustainability objectives as a part of its strategy update. The main raw material of all Metsä Group’s products is renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests.
For further information, please contact:
Päivi Makkonen, VP, Sustainability, Metsä Group, tel. +358 50 598 9591
Juha Laine, SVP, Communications, Metsä Group, tel. +358 50 346 0350
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Tornator ’s net sales were Euro 112.8 million, up 11%. The growth was due to increases in felling volumes and market prices for wood.
Operating profit at fair value amounted to Euro 116.5 million and profit for the period was Euro 78.9 million. The fair value of biological assets increased in all operating countries, which contributed to the change in operating profit.
The change in the fair value of biological assets increased operating profit by Euro 32.6 million, and a negative change in the fair value of financial instruments decreased profit by Euro 1.6 million before deferred taxes.
Comparable net sales, operating profit and net profit increased in all countries: Finland, Estonia and Romania.
CEO Sixten Sunabacka said: “The year 2018 was excellent for Tornator. Net timber sales, comparable operating profit and net profit were record-high. It was the last year of our three-year strategy period. I am glad to say that we accomplished a comfortable two-digit growth and profitability improved further. The sales of silvicultural services aimed at forestry professionals nearly doubled.”
Tornator is a leading company specialised in sustainable forestry in Europe. It owns forests in Finland, Estonia and Romania.
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SCA Wood France and the French company Innovation Solutions Bois, Groupe ISB, have merged their operations in wood processing and distribution of wood products in France. SCA’s contribution is the company’s operations in wood processing and distribution in Rochefort, France. SCA’s Bonneuil-Matours site will not be part of Groupe ISB, but will be closed after the fire in 2018.
“The French building materials sector is growing and is of great importance to SCA. With the merger we create a large and resourceful supplier serving demanding customers all over France”, says Jerry Larsson, President SCA Wood.
SCA’s contribution amounts to SEK 300 million ($33 million) and contains SCA’s wood operations in France and procurement of shares in ISB. SCA will have a 38.5% share in Groupe ISB and will become the largest shareholder. SCA will not consolidate the company.
Innovation Solutions Bois is France’s largest supplier of wood products to the building materials market.
SCA Wood France supplies more than 100,000 cubic metres of wood products to the French building materials market. The products include wood paneling, flooring, decking and construction timber.
Italian IMAL-PAL Group signed an important project with the Korean company Hanwha for a new pellet plant of 40 t/h capacity, a production of approx. 320,000 t/year. Delivery is scheduled for October 2019.
PAL to supply:
– Screening and Cleaning system of the chips feeding stream by Dynascreen and dry cleaning machines.
– Wet and dry wood milling system by 8 Hammermills of the Falcon type in its high-performance configuration, complete of screw metering, metal and contaminant removing system through magnetic drum and air selection system.
– After the dryer, a screening and cleaning system by Superscreen and wind sifter is to provide for the reduction of energy consumption in the milling area and at the same time ensure the wood quality having removed all residual contaminants in the wood mix.
The Imal-Pal Group is an Italian equipment and plant manufacturers for the wood-based panel industry.
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Komatsu Forest Oy and Dojus Group have made an agreement about Komatsu forest machine dealership including new and used machine sales and also spare part and service sales. The agreement is valid from April 1st 2019.
The group employs 340 people in Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus and Kaliningrad. Komatsu forest machine agreement covers Lithuania.
“To start the Komatsu forest machine dealership with Dojus Group in Lithuania is an important part of Komatsu Forest’s long-term strategy in the Baltic market area,” says managing director of Komatsu Forest Oy Jari Alahuhtala in Kaunas.
“Our realistic goal is to raise our share in machine sales and after sales products in the Lithuanian market and the agreement with Dojus Group will already in short term raise Komatsu Forest’s ability to answer to modern technology requirements and improve serving forest machine customers also in longer term perspective,” continues Alahuhtala.
Komatsu Forest manufactures forest machines that are sold worldwide.
Laesti, owned by Bergs Timber, with two facilities in Pärnu, Estonia (Savi sawmill and Sauga sawmill), will cease all sawmilling and planing at Savi plant, leaving Savi site as drying center of Sauga production.
At the Sauga plant, at the same time about SEK 10 million ($1.1 million) will be invested in new, capacity-increasing log intake and the production will increase to 95,000 cubic metres annual output production.
After the closure of Savi, Bergs Timber’s Estonian sawmilling capacity will reduce by 15,000 cubic metres. Savi has today about 70 employees out of about 20 will be offered to move to Sauga site and the total reduction will be about 50 employees.
“After the implementation our profitability in the sawmill business is improved while we are increasing the processing operations. Unfortunately, many employees are affected in Estonia and we will do our best to handle the situation in the best possible way,” says Peter Nilsson, CEO of Bergs Timber.
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.
Peter Nilsson, CEO of Bergs Timber. Visit the Company website here.
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HARVESTERS: It’s worth taking a step back to appreciate just how refined the harvester has become under the watch of the contemporary group of harvester suppliers.
LOGGING • BIOMASS
Harvesters: It’s worth taking a step back to appreciate just how refined the harvester has become under the watch of the contemporary group of harvester suppliers.
Lifting & Loading: A concerted effort to improve the mechanics of lifting logs should improve productivity and energy consumption and improve the bottom line for contractors.
Access To The Timber Stand: The land-clearing specialists ensure a smooth ride for forestry contractors but that doesn’t mean ensuring access to the timber stand needs to be an uncomfortable job.
Two’s Company: Ex-oil field worker partners with lifetime logger to take on tough conditions in Michigan’s upper peninsula.
The Northernmost Bear In Sweden: In Örnsköldsvik in the Swedish province of Ångermanland, one can run into an exceptionally big bear.
Truck Mounted Chippers: Jenz The JENZ product range varies from classic Chippertruck as a three-axle model with drive via the truck engine, to the hybrid version as a four-axle with dual engine technology
Stenner: Stenner produce the most extensive range of wide band resaws in the world.
Pilous: The X-Cut saw band was developed based on customer requirements for woodworking and sawing on band saws.
System Tm: Experiencing the full range of System TM and MiCROTEC machinery in action will be taking center stage at this year’s LIGNA exhibition.
Tp & Ee: Mills turn out in force Portland, ORE.
Coming up in the April/May 2019 edition of IFI
Sawlines: The complete sawline sits at the heart of the sawmill and provides a home for a multitude of technologies that combine to make sure that heart beats consistently and rhythmically. IFI speaks to companies delivering complete sawlines into businesses across the world to see who is drumming up the most business and what the market is demanding.
Wood Drying Technology: From double-track, single-track and side-loading configurations, the sawmill’s work isn’t done until the icing is put on the cake. For the lumber processing industry, icing the cake involved drying and finishing the sawn-wood products properly, dressing them up for market. The feature will look at not only the latest in kiln technology and the issues facing kiln manufacturers, but the supporting components that keep modern kilns at the cutting edge, such as moisture measurement systems, kiln humidification systems, and thermal modification and vacuum drying.
Scanning & Optimisation: The technology at the pointy end of the sawmilling sector. Scanning and optimisation technology is being increasingly turned to by sawmillers to streamline operations and cut down on costs. It is also a sector that is constantly coming up with new ideas to help the sawmilling industry achieve its goals. We’ll review not only technology breakthroughs and innovations but also look at case studies where these technologies have transformed the fortunes of sawmills.
Debarkers: How have the industry’s found avenues to improve the way we debark logs – faster, cleaner, more efficient? Further advancements are possible and we’ll chat with the people pushing the boundaries. We also look back to the forest to consider how debarking in the stand is changing to add value to logs before they leave the site.
Operation Focus: TBC
Operation Focus: TBC
LOGGING • BIOMASS
Chippers: The emerging forestry subsector of chipping continues to take hold, keeping pace with one of its min drivers – biomass and bioenergy. The battle for market supremacy continues to intensify and the innovations continue to roll out.
Feller Bunchers: The harvesting method pioneered in North America using the feller buncher has spread acrss the globe. The latest advances in these machines are covered in an annual technology review.
Operation Focus: Tigercat
Operation Focus: John Deere
Operation Focus: Ponsse
Operation Focus: TBC
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More than forty state parliamentarians joined over 100 industry stakeholders on Wednesday night to launch the Queensland Parliamentary Friends of the Forest and Timber Industry Network at Parliament House in Brisbane.
Timber Queensland’s Chair James Hyne said this landmark event provided industry an opportunity to showcase its diversity and for MPs to gain a greater appreciation of its bright future. “Queensland’s $3.2 billion forest and timber industry delivers 25,000 direct and indirect jobs predominately in rural and regional communities,” said Mr Hyne.
“We gathered last night to celebrate our contribution and to show we’ve got room to grow. There are exciting trends in timber innovation and we have significant forest resources that can play a greater role in the state’s economic future,” he said.
“This growth potential strengthens our position as Queensland’s third highest value agricultural industry, with significant downstream processing and manufacturing that supports the state’s $44 billion building and construction industry.”
The event was co-hosted by Labor MP for Maryborough Mr Bruce Saunders and Liberal National MP for Gympie Mr Tony Perrett, who are both co-chairs of the new network. They were joined by the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Mr Mark Furner, and the Leader of the Opposition Mrs Deb Frecklington.
James Hyne said he was pleased with the overwhelming response from industry participants and members of parliament who attended the event. “The wide attendance from all sides of politics was a clear demonstration of their support of our renewable and carbon friendly industry,” said Mr Hyne.
The Parliamentary Friends of Queensland’s Forest and Timber Industry Network will strengthen the industry’s engagement with parliamentarians and state policy makers, and build awareness of the multiple economic, social and environmental benefits it delivers for Queensland.
Photo: James Hyne, Timber Queensland Chair, Bruce Saunders MP, Member for Maryborough, Tony Perrett MP, Member for Gympie, and Mick Stephens, Timber Queensland CEO, officially launch the Network at Parliament House.
Source: Timber Queensland
A new report, published this week, exploring the long-term potential of establishing new timber plantations in Australia, suggests up to 490,000 hectares of new softwood plantations would be required by 2050 to meet demand of softwood sawlogs.
The Economic potential for new plantation establishment in Australia: outlook to 2050 report is based on a joint work program between Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) and the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).
Ric Sinclair, Managing Director of FWPA, said: “There is a lot of interest in using timber products for taller buildings, as well as the traditional detached house market. The new ABARES report reveals that Australia needs to significantly increase the amount of softwood plantations over the coming decades if we want to meet this demand domestically.
“The local softwood plantation estate has been effectively frozen for nearly 30 years and this resource underpins domestic wood processing,” Mr Sinclair said. The key findings of the report are:
- The plantation sector is critical to the forestry industry
In 2015–16 commercial timber plantations, which were split virtually evenly between softwood and hardwood species, accounted for 87 per cent of Australia’s log production.
- Domestic demand for sawlogs is growing
ABARES forecasts a shortfall in the volume of softwood sawlogs available for the domestic market of 2.6 million cubic metres. In terms of new softwood plantations, an additional 200,000 to 250,000 hectares would be required by 2050 to make up the shortfall. However, given the uncertainty around softwood sawlog supply and log-equivalent demand in 2050, some estimates suggest the required area could be higher with Omega Consulting indicating that this could be as much as 490,000 hectares.
- Future plantation investment may not be enough
In order to meet growing demand, the domestic market will become increasingly reliant on imports of sawnwood. ABARES estimates the volume of imports will more than double by 2050. This is a potential missed opportunity for the Australian forestry sector, unless the current softwood timber plantation estate expands to meet growing demand.
- The good news
The report also modelled five different scenarios to see which market mechanisms could have the most impact on plantation expansion. These included: productivity improvements, changes in agricultural land prices, increases in demand, changes in exchange rates and reductions in the required rate of return (discount rate).
Interestingly, while all the scenarios supported the need for an expansion of the softwood estate, changes in the discount rate had the greatest impact because softwood plantations managed for sawlogs have much longer rotation lengths and therefore pay-off periods. For instance, a 1 per cent reduction in the discount rate to 6 per cent would encourage a further 264,520 hectares of softwood plantation development. In addition, a 5 per cent discount rate could see the softwood estate expand by some 700,000 hectares.
The report notes “While there are some limitations of the modelling framework used in this research, the analysis outlines key factors that could influence future plantations and highlights potential missed opportunities for the forestry sector, if action is not taken.”
Mr Sinclair said the report has identified potential for the forestry industry to grow and potential policy levers to make this happen. “As the old proverb says, the best time to plant trees was yesterday and the second best is to plant them now. Commercial plantations can provide economic, social and environmental benefits for Australia and we need to get back onto a growth path as soon as possible,” he said.
Achieving yet another manufacturing milestone, John Deere commemorated the production of its 5,000th forestry swing machine, a 2656G Log Loader, with a special ceremony at the John Deere-Hitachi Specialty Products (DHSP) factory. Held on the morning of Jan. 31, John Deere invited the customer who purchased the milestone unit, Bighorn Logging, for a unique presentation and factory tour during a signature Gold Key event.
“This is a paramount moment for the DHSP factory and our employees,” said Jarvis de Groot, DHSP product marketing manager, forestry swing machines. “As a company, we are committed to producing high-quality, reliable equipment, and the achievement of this milestone is a nod to our hardworking, dedicated committees, both in the DSHP factory and worldwide. Our customers are the heartbeat of the company and the reason we are able to do what we do every day. It is an honor to open our doors and celebrate with Bighorn Logging.”
For the event, the DHSP factory hosted Bighorn Logging president, Harve Dethlefs, and vice-president, Mark Standley, as well as their dealer, Papé Machinery. The event started with an overview of the storied history of the DHSP factory, followed by a question and answer session. During the session, which was held in front of the factory employees, Dethlefs and Standley discussed their business and the critical role equipment plays.
Following the interview, Bighorn Logging was presented with a plaque and the 5,000th swing machine was revved up for the very first time in celebration. The day concluded with a factory tour and small reception.
Photo: Jarvis de Groot, DHSP product marketing manager
China market update – The combined effect of strict environmental inspection, the trade friction between China and the United States and the volatility of RMB exchange rate coupled with declining domestic demand is having a big impact on the level of trade and prices at the Zhangjiagang timber market. Analysts write that it is the falling domestic demand that is of most concern to traders.
Zhangjiagang city is the largest distribution centre for imported timber in China. At present there are 28 timber markets around the Zhangjiagang Port with an operation area of more than 1 million square metres and over 2000 timber traders and hundreds of timber processing mills. About half of these mills have developed in recent years.
Zhangjiagang timber imports account for about 25% of all timber imports. The major issue for the industries in the area during 2018 was environmental protection as wood processing plants become the focus of attention because of their poor pollution abatement technologies.
Most of the timber enterprises around the Zhangjiagang Port are family workshops having no effective measures to deal with pollution. This led to the Zhangjiagang industries becoming the focus of investigation in 2018.
As many as 60% of wood processing enterprises around Zhangjiagang Port have been forced to close due to environment control problems since the beginning of 2018. In addition the domestic economic downturn is proving fatal for many small enterprises.
The Chinese real estate industry is the mainstay of the national economy and this suffered a heavy blow in 2018 due to the economic downturn.
Pölkky Oy has announced a major investment program, targeting its production facilities in northern Finland. The value of the first phase in the investment program is Euro 30 million. In the first phase, Pölkky will modernize the production technologies at its sawmill in Kajaani, enabling more effective usage of the high-quality raw material in the Kainuu region, as the company says in the press release received by Lesprom Network.
As new technologies create the need for new kinds of competence, Pölkky Oy is also investing in its people. Pölkky has initiated extensive programs for recruitment as well for the development of its employees’ wellbeing at work. In addition to modern technology, the company believes that employee wellbeing is a significant competitive advantage in today’s market.
“The global growth trend in timber construction is increasing the need for high quality processed wood products in all markets. Meanwhile, the value of raw timber in the forest is growing. With our new investment program we aim to significantly increase the use of raw timber, generating new jobs in all phases in our production chain in northern Finland,” says Petteri Virranniemi, CEO of Pölkky Oy.
Pölkky Oy is the largest private wood processing company in northern Finland. Pölkky Oy uses 1.4 million cubic metres of raw timber annually, across its four sawmills in Finland. The company’s turnover is Euro 180 million. Pölkky has 420 employees in wood procurement, sawing and processing.
Photo : Petteri Virranniemi, CEO of Pölkky Oy
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Tigercat continues to set the bar high with the introduction of the new 890 logger – the largest machine in the Tigercat forestry equipment line-up – a heavy duty, purpose-built forestry carrier that can be configured for loading, shovel logging or processing.
Weighing 47 900 kg (105,600 lb), it is the largest, highest capacity machine in Tigercat’s purpose built forestry product line. The Tigercat FPT C87 engine delivers 245 kW (330 hp) at 2,000 rpm for Tier 2 and Tier 4 emission compliance.
The large swing bearing provides increased capacity and swing torque. The twin swing drive system reduces gear tooth loads, and a massive single-piece, forged pedestal strengthens the undercarriage and improves durability.
A new, longer F7-172 heavy-duty10 roller track frame with a wide stance carbody gives the 890 exceptional stability. Track components are co-designed with Berco to provide maximum durability in forestry applications.
The 890 logger shares the modular main hydraulic valve with all other Tigercat 800 series carriers for improved parts commonality. With the ability to easily swap out a valve section, the modular design simplifies maintenance. New larger capacity valve sections are used for main and stick boom circuits to provide higher flow rates and improve efficiency.
The 890 has plenty of cooling capacity with an automatic variable speed fan for improved fuel efficiency and an automatic reversing cycle to clean the heat exchangers. Another fuel saving feature is the energy recovery swing system. A closed loop drive feeds power back to the engine when swing decelerates, reducing fuel consumption and recovering energy for other machine functions.
Service access is outstanding with the power operated side engine door and overhead roof enclosure. The entire upper assembly is designed for extreme duty. Heavy wall side bumpers and a solid cast counterweight protect the upper assembly from impacts when swinging.
Convenient walk-up access to the rear entry door leads to a generous interior cab. The cabin is quiet and comfortable with excellent visibility. The full-length front window and additional floor windows provide clear sightlines. The high output climate control system keeps the operator comfortable even in temperature extremes. LED lighting and the new rearVIEW camera system improve operator visibility.
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Komatsu America Corp. a leading global heavy equipment manufacturer, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire TimberPro, Inc.
Rolling Meadows, Ill., February 19, 2019 – Komatsu America Corp. a leading global heavy equipment manufacturer, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire TimberPro, Inc.
The acquisition is expected to close on April 1st 2019, subject to completion of the closing conditions.
Established in 2002, TimberPro is a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of purpose-built forest machines and attachments, offering tracked feller bunchers and harvesters, forwarders, wheeled harvesters, and felling heads.
“Acquiring TimberPro will strengthen the company’s position in the full-tree-length market and enables us to offer a highly competitive range of products for professional logging,” said Rod Schrader, CEO, Komatsu America Corp.
About Komatsu America Corp.
Komatsu America Corp. is a U.S. subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd., the world’s second largest manufacturer and supplier of earth-moving equipment, consisting of construction, mining and compact construction equipment. Komatsu America also serves the forklift and forestry markets. Through its distributor network, Komatsu offers a state-of-the-art parts and service program to support its equipment. Komatsu has proudly provided high-quality reliable products for nearly a century. Visit the website at www.komatsuamerica.com for more information.
Komatsu® is an authorized trademark of Komatsu Ltd. Komatsu America Corp. is an authorized licensee of Komatsu Ltd. All other trademarks and service marks used herein are the property of Komatsu Ltd., Komatsu America Corp., or their respective owners or licensees.
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REVISED Cat® M Series Wheel Loader (950M – 982M)
The 2019 product update package for Cat® M Series Medium Wheel Loaders (950M – 982M) includes technology advances that provide: lower operating costs via extended service intervals; enhanced operator comfort with new seats and suspensions; emissions control strategies to meet EU Stage V standards (EU only); added machine configurations (982M Forestry Machine and 982M High Lift); expanded productivity measurement tools; remote software update capability; and refinements in ground engaging tool and coupler systems. Periodic updates allow Caterpillar to bring new and improved features to market more quickly and more frequently than do conventional New Product Introduction (NPI) cycles.
Extended service intervals, emissions control
U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final and EU Stage V models save maintenance costs by extending engine oil, engine oil filter and hydraulic oil filter change intervals from 500 hours up to 1,000 hours. Based on estimated comparisons of total engine and hydraulic fluids, filters, and sampling costs during a 6,000-hour period, costs can be potentially reduced by 16 to 23 percent. (For Tier 3 equivalent models, extended intervals apply only to hydraulic filters.)
In addition, several fuel and engine oil filters are being converted from spin-on to cartridge-type. Benefits of cartridge-type filters include fewer parts to replace at servicing (housing is retained), easier disposal of used elements, and less costly replacement parts.
Next Generation seats and suspensions
The “next generation” of seats and suspensions offers three trim levels—comfort, deluxe, and premium plus—and feature high-visibility, seat-adjustment controls, as well as ride stiffness adjustments. A new “breakthrough” suspension for deluxe and premium plus trim levels increases dampening at the top and bottom of seat travel, providing additional suspension stability and avoiding hard stops at travel limits.
The ride stiffness of the seat suspension is adjustable to different settings, allowing operators to tailor seat dampening to individual preferences and to the application. This feature was previously included only with EH steering (joystick and wheel), but with the 2019 product update, it is now included with HMU steering wheel units with deluxe and premium plus seats.
The Cat Advanced Productivity application is a web-based tool used to visualize machine production-related data and complements Cat PAYLOAD, Cat Production Measurement 2.0. The tool is accessed from VisionLink™ and includes a user-customizable report dashboard, cycle-by-cycle downloadable data, and a list of features for truck and material identification lists.
Other key features include a new user interface (mobile friendly), time series data, multiple asset comparison, fleet or individual asset key-process-indicator target settings, and support for multiple machine types. Requirements for use include cellular Product Link™, Advanced Productivity subscription, and authorized User ID.
Remote flash support
Remote flash support allows the dealer to push software update files to the customer’s machine and authorizes the user to initiate installation via the dealer service portal. Any authorized user with CWS (Caterpillar Corporate Web Security ID) and a mobile device can initiate flash, which occurs in 30 minutes from initiation to completion. This service is provided at no cost to dealer for machines for machines with cellular Product Link, (standard on current 950 – 982 medium wheel loaders except the 950 GC), with remote-flash-compatible software. CWS authorization and mobile device required to initiate.
New 982M configurations
New configurations in the medium wheel loader lineup include the 982M Forestry Machine and the 982M High Lift. The new 982M Forestry Machine (logger) is capable lifting 28,000 pounds (12 700 kg) with a pin-on mill yard grapple. Changes from the standard 982M include a larger tilt cylinder, upgraded rear frame, and heavier counterweight. Third party logging grapples and woodchip buckets are available.
The 982M High Lift, compared with the standard lift version, increases dump clearance under the bucket pin from 15 feet 6 inches, to 16 feet 10 inches (4 743 to 5 143 mm). Configuration changes from the standard 982M include a new lift arm, new tilt cylinder, new tilt link, and the counterweight from the 982M Aggregate Handler.
The Advansys ground-engaging-tool system included in the product update is a Cat tip system designed with exclusive performance features that result in less drag and higher productivity. The new tip shapes place wear-resistant material in the most vulnerable areas, resulting in significantly longer service life. A stronger adapter nose results in up to 50 percent less stress, and improved adapter-nose geometry reduces sliding wear on adapter surfaces. The improved tip shapes shadow the adapter straps and welds for longer adapter life. New 980M/982M buckets are released with weld on adapters; 950M – 982M bolt-on adapters are interchangeable with the former J and K Series.
Among the package of updates for medium wheel loaders is a new universal coupler for models 966M – 972M. The new coupler eliminates width interference with multiple tools and a reduced offset increases breakout force by 4 percent.
New LED and Halogen work and roading light packages increase safety when working in dark conditions. Handrail high visibility films enhance awareness of handrail locations and are available from your Caterpillar dealership.
As outlined in an earlier release a couple of weeks ago, John Deere Construction & Forestry and Hitachi Construction Machinery (Australia) Pty Ltd had announced they were ending a successful 29-year distribution arrangement of Deere branded and manufactured construction, forestry, and compact machinery in Australia. In line with this change, AFGRI Equipment has been appointed by John Deere to distribute its construction and forestry equipment in Western Australia.
According to Patrick Roux, Chairman of the Board of AFGRI Australia, this is thanks to the exceptional relationship that AFGRI has established with John Deere, spanning 56 years. “The success we’ve enjoyed with the John Deere agricultural range in Western Australia, combined with our outstanding service levels and ethos, as well as excellent customer relationships and our extensive retail network in Australia, encouraged John Deere to approach us to manage its construction and forestry equipment retail network in the region.”
Effective 1 May 2019, AFGRI Equipment will be a fully-fledged John Deere construction and forestry equipment dealer in Western Australia. It will initially operate across five strategically placed branches in the state, namely Geraldton, Albany, Esperance, Boyup Brook and Perth.
Roux added that he was confident that AFGRI Equipment’s deep retail knowledge and experience in the agricultural sector could easily be transferred to the construction and forestry space. “We have become the ‘go to’ company for many Australian farmers, and we’re truly delighted to extend our services to local construction and forestry companies, we are sure we will earn this same reputation.”
Roux concluded by saying, “With the contract now signed, we are very enthusiastic to prove ourselves worthy of this appointment and have already actively started to recruit and appoint specialist staff, so we can get off to a cracking start come 1 May.”
Source & Photo: John Deere
Leading Canadian Sawmill Machinery Manufacturer TS Manufacturing has recently acquired a majority shareholding in Automation & Electronics NZ Ltd and its AEUSA division based in North Carolina. The acquisition strengthens TS Controls division in the North American market by adding additional controls support combined with AE Optimization technology.
A&E is a well-established company with a 33-year history in the Australasian wood processing market combined with AEUSA having a ten-year presence in the US market. The acquisition consolidates A&E’s position in the US market enabling significant growth and further R&D investment.
For A&E in New Zealand it means business as normal and continuing to support existing clients along with traditional engineering partners in Australia and New Zealand. Brian Smith founding Director of Automation & Electronics says “this is an exciting time for the business that enables us to expand our North American presence, increase our global engineering capability and at the same time be able to better support our Australasian and OEM clients with the added value of TS support in behind.
The other exciting factor in the negotiation is we have retained our valued twenty-five- year association with Windsor Engineering Group who remain as a shareholder within the company which further consolidates the company’s position. There is also opportunity for a Windsor and TS manufacturing combination and we already have one major project on in Alabama where both companies are suppliers to the same mill.