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Tigercat releases largest machine in forestry line-up, the 890 logger

International Forest Industries - Wed, 20/02/2019 - 11:01

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 announces purchase of forestry machine manufacturer TimberPro

International Forest Industries - Wed, 20/02/2019 - 10:31

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)

International Forest Industries - Tue, 19/02/2019 - 12:32

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.

Payload management
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.

Advansys GET
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.

Additional updates
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.

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John Deere appoints AFGRI in Western Australia

International Forest Industries - Tue, 19/02/2019 - 12:06

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

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Canadian investment in A&E

International Forest Industries - Tue, 19/02/2019 - 11:34

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.

Source: A&E

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Hikurangi Forest Farms acquired by New Forests

International Forest Industries - Tue, 19/02/2019 - 11:14

New Forests has announced that it has agreed to acquire Hikurangi Forest Farms (HFF), based in Gisborne, New Zealand, on behalf of its investment clients.

New Forests anticipates that the purchase, from current owner Samling Group, will be complete by mid-2019, subject to consent from the Overseas Investment Office, with the intention to launch a rebranded business at that time.

HFF is one of the largest forestry estates in the Gisborne region and includes around 25,000 hectares of radiata pine plantation on 35,000 hectares of freehold, forest rights, and leasehold land. Significant investment has been carried out since the assets were acquired in 1997, building a high yielding and sustainable forest estate that is a significant contributor to the regional economy.

New Forests is currently working through an ownership transition plan incorporating continuity of operations and New Forests’ forward-looking management plans, and undertaking engagement with key stakeholders, including local businesses, Tangata Whenua representatives, councils, and community groups.

New Forests’ objective is to manage investments to ensure long-term sustainability. “New Forests looks forward to engaging with stakeholders during the ownership transition to chart the future for this business and ensure the long-term sustainability of this regionally significant forestry asset,” New Forests’ CEO David Brand said.

Brand continued, “The HFF acquisition secures a cornerstone asset for New Forests’ Australia New Zealand Forest Fund 3, complementing the fund’s existing New Zealand forestry portfolio in the North and South Island”.

Mark Rogers, Managing Director for New Forests’ Australia-New Zealand business said, “We are proud of our track record and commitment to sustainable forest management, and this estate has significant potential to be a preferred provider of sustainable wood products.”

“New Forests and our clients represent long-term, stable, institutional ownership that we believe will be a key enabler for the future growth of New Zealand’s forest industry,” said Rogers.

About New Forests
New Forests is an Australian-based international sustainable forestry investment manager that has been operating in New Zealand since 2005. New Forests has a New Zealand office in Tauranga and manages investments on the North and South Island, including the Timberlink sawmill business in Blenheim.

Globally, New Forests Pty Ltd and its subsidiaries manage investments in around 550,000 net hectares of forests and timberlands across a global portfolio of nearly 1 million hectares of forestry and conservation investments. The firm is committed to investment strategies at the leading edge of forestry, land management, and conservation. New Forests has international reach, with offices and assets in Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and the US.

Source: New Forests

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Why LEAN? Lessons from a NZ logging contractor

International Forest Industries - Tue, 19/02/2019 - 10:38

If you have a business that is experiencing the following ‘symptoms’ read on……

  • Are your costs rising?
  • Are mistakes on the increase?
  • Are your efficiency levels unsatisfactory?
  • Are your profits evaporating?
  • Could the morale and culture of your people be better?

The good news is that it’s all reversible, but the first step is to recognize that change is hard, you need to have the patience and provide the resources to support change. “Success comes from knowing what to do and when to do it!”

People often ask – “What is LEAN?” and it is difficult to define Lean in just a few sentences as Lean encompasses so much. Lean is about creating value, it is about customer service, it is about revolution and evolution of your systems and processes, it is about development and encouragement of people to better understand how they add value, it is about analyzing everything you do and why you do it, it is about leadership, it is about having a plan, it is a never ending journey towards perfection leading to sustainable success.

We find ourselves saying “If you want your company to thrive not just struggle to survive in this global economy then Lean techniques need to be at the core of how your business operates”. In short – Lean is about ‘Doing more with Less, taking out the Waste and adding Value to what your customer actually wants’

It’s no secret that one of the most important aspects of Lean is the involvement of everyone in the business from the CEO down to the newest crew member. Everyone has a voice and everyone is expected to make a contribution within Lean, it is often this involvement of the workforce where companies fall down, while they may say that they value and involve their employees, many fail to actually demonstrate it. Recognizing and celebrating success is an important factor when trying to encourage improvement.

In years gone by businesses (Toyota being one of many) have invested significantly over many decades to develop improvement systems for business, but in today’s fast moving global market, businesses cannot afford to spend that long improving so they need a proven, robust and effective system to improve. That system is called LEAN. In addition to a raft of new technology, operating practices and clever tools being used in wood harvesting operations, the concept of lean and how it has successfully turned around a local harvesting contractor’s business is being built into the HarvestTECH 2019 event in Rotorua on 26-27 June 2019.

Stubbs Contracting Ltd, a Gisborne based Logging Operation with four crews decided to adopt Lean philosophy’s and haven’t looked back. Coached by The Lean Hub they find themselves experiencing improvements in productivity while being one of the leaders in the Industry for safety. Responsibilities are being shifted from Senior Management to Supervisors and Front-Line staff which is enabling Management to focus on driving the business forward while the Supervisors focus on ‘getting the job done’.

Staff accountability is improving due to staff being empowered to make positive changes without fear of being pulled into the boss’s office for a ‘please explain’. Leaders and front-line staff not only know now what successful performance looks like but know how to influence and improve performance. Not only are managers using data but they are allowing staff to see the data in very simple formats so that they can help improve the operation. Companies are also realising the undisputable benefits of having the entire operation ‘singing off one song sheet’.

In summary: LEAN shouldn’t be looked upon as a short-term diet for business but more as a long-term sustainable health programme. Trevor Hall, Director of the Lean Hub and Robert Stubbs, MD of Stubbs Contracting will be outlining the concept and just how it has made such a positive impact to a local harvesting business as part of the HarvestTECH 2019 event.

Full details on the programme and registrations can be found on the event website, www.harvesttech.events

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Tigercat – Additional Factory Support for New Zealand

International Forest Industries - Mon, 18/02/2019 - 11:31

Tigercat has announced that Warren Nolan has been appointed to the position of product support representative for New Zealand.

Based in Papamoa Beach on the North Island, Warren is joining Tigercat with over thirty years of experience in the forestry industry. Warren started his career working for his fathers logging business then continued his career as a harvester owner-operator for 18 years.

“Along with Aaron Gregan, I am excited to add Warren to the support team for New Zealand. We continue to have many new and exciting opportunities for Tigercat machines in this area. As the field population continues to grow so does the importance of a top-notch support team,” explains Glen Marley, Tigercat District Manager for Australia and New Zealand.

Warren has experience in all aspects of logging, previously working for Satco Logging Attachments for six years as an operator trainer, applications specialist and product support representative. Warren has strong technical knowledge of Dasa 5 control systems based on his extensive work experience with these programs.

“Tigercat is one of the superior brands in the forestry world. If changes need to be made on a product Tigercat acts on it and always takes customer feedback to the highest standard. That is why I am excited to work for Tigercat,” Warren states.

Warren will be primarily involved with product support for Tigercat’s growing customer base on the North Island of New Zealand.

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BC loggers pleased market test to be dropped

International Forest Industries - Thu, 14/02/2019 - 11:15
At their annual winter convention in January, the Truck Loggers Association in British Columbia invited their forests government ministers to share details for implementing the recommendations from the Contractor Sustainability Review recently completed in BC. This included the elimination of the fair market rate test from the timber harvesting contractor and sub-contractor regulations (known in BC as Bill 13).

The following details expand on Premier Horgan’s announcement yesterday. The Minister announced the details during his address to a full room of 350 timber harvesting contractors at the Truck Logger Association’s 76th annual Convention & Trade Show.

The fair market rate test is a forestry-industry method used to settle rate disputes between contractors and licensees, which have caused lengthy delays in reaching a settlement, contributing to the inability to operate sustainably their businesses. Following extensive consultation in an effort to ensure the forest industry continues operating, the government’s decision to eliminate the method in favour of models and experts will streamline the process that used to take months and years, which should now take up to a maximum of 14 days.

“Elimination of the fair market rate test is a monumental change for our industry, allowing contractors to more equitably share in the value of the timber resource,” says David Elstone, executive director of the Truck Loggers Association.

“It will result in a fundamental shift in the relationships between contractors and their employers across the province.”

Today, Minister Donaldson explained that a six-month process to make the legislative changes will involve continued industry stakeholder consultations, leading to implementation in the fall.

“As a contractor who operates under the Timber Harvesting Contractor and Sub Contractor regulation, these changes should have a direct impact on my business’ ability to be more sustainable,” says Rob Wood, President of Holbrook Dyson Logging in Campbell River. “While a small percentage of the industry operates under this regulation, I believe these changes will influence all non-Bill 13 contractors across the province as well.”

Source: TLA news release

Photo: David Elstone, executive director of the Truck Loggers Association.

Following the completion of the long-awaited Contractor Sustainability Review and its resulting recommendations, Premier Horgan announced a significant change to the Timber Harvesting Contractor and Sub-contractor regulation, which was the elimination of the fair market rate test. The Premier made his announcement during his address to a full room of 350 timber harvesting contractors at the Truck Logger Association’s 76th annual Convention & Trade Show.

“Today’s announcement is what we were hoping for and will result in a fundamental shift in the relationship between contractors and their employers across the province,” said David Elstone, executive director of the Truck Loggers Association. “Elimination of the fair market rate test is a monumental change for our industry, allowing contractors to more equitably share in the value of the timber resource.”

The Premier also made a commitment today to exploring solutions that the TLA has put forward to address the industry’s acute skilled labour shortage.

“After advocating for a training tax credit over the past three years, we are thrilled to hear this announcement,” said Elstone. “We are facing unprecedented retirement in the forest and logging industry, and even today there are far too many logging trucks and heavy equipment sitting idle due to the lack of experienced and competent operators. This may open up substantial opportunity for contractors’ needs for on-the-job training province- wide.”

Source: Wood Business

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NZ – OneFortyOne acquires more forestlands in Manuka Island

International Forest Industries - Wed, 13/02/2019 - 14:24

Nelson Forests’ acquisition of Manuka Island estate confirmed by Overseas Investment Office – OneFortyOne (OFO) has received confirmation that the Overseas Investment Office has approved Nelson Forests’ acquisition of Manuka Island estate in New Zealand. The completion date for the purchase will be mid-late February.

The Manuka Island estate, currently owned by Merrill and Ring, is approximately 2000 hectares of forest in the Wairau Valley near Blenheim.

“The Manuka Island acquisition reflects our intention to continue to invest in the regions where we have an established presence. The acquisition complements our recent purchase of Nelson Forests and is a great fit for their estate,” says OFO’s Chief Executive Officer, Linda Sewell.

“Manuka Island will be a natural extension of our existing operation,” says Lees Seymour, Managing Director of Nelson Forests. “We are excited about the employment and regional economic development opportunities that the purchase will provide for Marlborough, in addition to our strong presence at Kaituna sawmill and through our forest activities in the region.”

Photo: Lees Seymour, Managing Director of Nelson Forests

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Intelligent Boom Control Now Available For The John Deere 1470g Harvester

International Forest Industries - Wed, 13/02/2019 - 12:06

Intelligent boom control (IBC) is the unique boom control system developed by John Deere. It’s an intelligent control system with sensors that detect the positioning of the harvester head and algorithms that adjust the boom’s trajectory in one continuous motion. IBC also functions as a platform for the eventual and easy introduction of new features that facilitate the customer’s work.

“IBC brings significant advantages also in final fellings. Thanks to IBC, controlling the big and robust CH9 boom is just as easy and precise as in the smaller harvesters, and the boom can be operated at the same speed as the booms in the smaller harvester models. IBC facilitates the operator’s work and makes working more pleasant. There are fewer movements to make – and that helps with the operator’s working capacity. It’s a feature of the modern era,” says Marketing Manager Tommi Ekman.

Work is precise and smooth with intelligent boom control
In harvester work, the IBC’s operation has been designed to suit the machine’s work cycle. The boom’s trajectories and operation automatically adjust as the boom is taken to a tree and the load is in the harvester head. The operator doesn’t have to move the different sections of the boom individually. The boom is easy to use and precise at all boom reaches. Thanks to the electronic end damping, the boom operates softly. The blow-like loads at maximum reaches are eliminated, making the operator’s work more pleasant and decreasing the stress on the boom’s structures and hydraulic cylinders. IBC improves work ergonomics and guides the operator in the correct use of the boom, which is directly reflected in the increased productivity.

Intelligent Boom Control was introduced for John Deere forwarders in 2013. In 2017, John Deere introduced IBC first for the 1270G harvester and later the same year also for 1170G harvester. Now IBC will be available also for the 1470G harvester’s 11- and 10-meter CH9 booms used in final fellings.

The operator maneuvers the harvester head to a desired position and the system automatically adjusts the trajectories of the 1) lift, 2) slew, 3) extension and boom rotation for the optimal solution.

Photo: Marketing Manager Tommi Ekman.

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Sampo-Rosenlew appoints new CEO

International Forest Industries - Wed, 13/02/2019 - 11:46

Finnish agriculture and forest machine manufacturer Sampo-Rosenlew has announced that Jussi Malmi will take over as new CEO of the company from 1st of February.

Jussi recently came from a position as CEO of the forest machine manufacturer Logset but he has also spent many years in Timberjack and JohnDeere among other companies reports Forestry.com.

For those who until now have seen Sampo-Rosenlew more as a combine manufacturer than as a forest machine company, there is enough reason to rethink. Especially after last year’s product launches at the forestry show FinnMetko in Finland with a new larger harvester HR 68 and two new larger forwarders: the 15-tonne forwarder Sampo FR68  and the 12-tonne forwarder FR 46.

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The 14,000th Ponsse Machine Built In Vieremä

International Forest Industries - Tue, 12/02/2019 - 15:05

The 14,000th forest machine manufactured in Vieremä was handed over to the customer at Ponsse Jan 30 2019. The completion of the machine that will be delivered to Uruguay also offered the opportunity to celebrate Ponsse’s successful factory extension.

The PONSSE Elephant King machine at the centre of the celebration was manufactured on Ponsse’s new production line, which was introduced last autumn. The last stage of the factory extension was completed at the beginning of this year when a new assembly line for cranes was commissioned at the Vieremä factory.

The completion of the machine also offered the opportunity to celebrate Ponsse’s successful factory extension. At the beginning of last year, the 13,000th PONSSE forest machine was completed at the factory, and a topping-out ceremony for the factory extension was celebrated at the same time. This large investment increased the factory’s area to four hectares and completely renewed the factory’s assembly and warehouse operations. The change involved a major effort in terms of scope and impact from all production workers. The change has now been brought to a conclusion, and Ponsse’s factory is in excellent shape with respect to safety, productivity and flexibility.

Ponsse’s operations in Uruguay
The 14,000th PONSSE machine is the largest model in Ponsse’s forwarder range. PONSSE Elephant King equipped with the new PONSSE K121 crane, designed for the most demanding conditions. This week, the machine will start its journey from the freezing weather of Northern Savonia to the summer heat of Uruguay. The machine will harvest timber at UPM Uruguay’s plantations for local pulp production needs. UPM Uruguay has been Ponsse´s full service customer since 2014.

Ponsse has been operating in Uruguay since 2007 and opened new service centre in 2017. Local customer support is handled by Ponsse’s subsidiary Ponsse Uruguay. The subsidiary employs 96 people, and its managing director is Martin Toledo. In Uruguay, timber is harvested almost entirely with modern and environmentally friendly cut-to-length harvesting equipment.

“In Uruguay, the work of our local staff in customer relations, commitment and company development is outstanding. In a field requiring perseverance, Ponsse Uruguay has succeeded in establishing operations in a relatively short time which our customers can trust,” says Jarmo Vidgrén, Sales and Marketing Director of Ponsse Plc.

Vieremä, January 30, 2019

FURTHER INFORMATION:
Jarmo Vidgrén, Ponssel Plc, Sales and Marketing Director, tel. +358 40 519 1486
Martin Toledo, Ponsse Uruguay, Managing Director, tel. +598 995 59130

Ponsse is a world leading manufacturer of cut-to-length forest machines. The company focuses exclusively on the environmentally friendly cut-to-length method, whereby timber is harvested using rubber-wheeled forest machines, and the raw material is utilized precisely by already cutting the timber to the desired length in the forest. The company was established by forest machine entrepreneur Einari Vidgrén in 1970, and it is headquartered in Vieremä, Finland.

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Switzerland: Rising demand for fresh wood

International Forest Industries - Thu, 31/01/2019 - 14:06

The Swiss Wood Market Commission (HMK) met on January 16, this year for the first time with representatives from the Swiss Industrial Wood and Wood Energy sector. The Swiss wood market is still under the influence of beetle wood, according to the commission. The Swiss wood industry is still prepared to process beetle wood, but at the same time reports an increasing demand for fresh softwood. Depending on the weather, much additional beetle wood is expected starting this spring. Hardwood is in good demand. Both parties continue to rely on price stability.

Current economic situation

The Swiss sawmill industry was able to benefit from the good construction activity in Europe and Switzerland in 2018 and was working at full capacity or virtually full capacity throughout the year. Thanks to the extraordinarily high demand for sawn timber, a corresponding amount of beetle wood was cut, which brought the sawmills to their capacity limits. The Swiss forest owners, however, had to accept some significant yield losses due to the high percentage of damaged wood. To make matters worse, the limited export opportunities resulting from oversupply have also affected neighboring countries.

Market assessment for 2019

The market forecasts for 2019 are still positive, if not quite as rosy as in the previous year. The demand of the Swiss construction industry for wood products is estimated to be similarly solid for 2019 as in previous years. Beetle wood can only be taken up to a limited extent by the wood industry due to the still full warehouses and tends to fall in prices. On the other hand, many sawmills now report an increasing demand for fresh softwood. The demand for hardwood remains high, both for sawable roundwood (especially oak and ash) as well as for industrial and energy wood.

Recommendations

The demand of the Swiss wood industry for fresh wood in good qualities should be considered as far as possible, however only clearly agreed quantities on concrete orders, recommends the HMK. Forest owners should reduce the old forest camps as far as possible and use fresh wood until spring. Thus, from spring, fresh, high-quality beetle wood can be delivered directly to the sawmills. In order to contain the expected bark beetle calamity, the standing softwood in the forest must continue to be well monitored. Infested trees have to be removed from the stock for reasons of forest protection.

No new price agreements

Both parties agree that given the regionally different starting point and the uncertain beetle development, it makes no sense to issue new price recommendations. For fresh wood, price stability is still recommended, coupled with concrete quantity agreements, so that only the quantities and assortments that are effectively needed come onto the market.

The Wood Market Commission meets again on 25 June 2019 to reassess the situation.

The post Switzerland: Rising demand for fresh wood appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Large scale reforestation planned for Sabah and Sarawak

International Forest Industries - Thu, 31/01/2019 - 13:18

Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal has announced that the State Government will undertake large scale reforestation to ensure wood supplies for industries in Sabah.

The aim is to create a resource base that will attract investors especially furniture makers in Peninsular Malaysia. Plans are being drawn up for planting a mixture of valuable hardwoods such as red seraya, meranti as well as fast growing timbers such as eucalyptus and acacia.

Shafie said the State Government would play a role in supplying wood for furniture manufacturing and priority would be given to furniture factories in order to encourage more high quality furniture manufacturers to Sabah.

In related news, the Sarawak Forest Department has announced they will begin a large-scale forest landscape restoration (FLR) programme this year. Director Hamden Mohammad said the priority is to plant indigenous species such as belian, meranti, keruing, selangan batu, engkabang, kapor and other local species on degraded areas within licensed harvesting areas. The state government has RM10 million for this initiative.

Photo: Sarawak Forest Department Director Hamden

The post Large scale reforestation planned for Sabah and Sarawak appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Best year ever for Logset – Turnover up by 30%

International Forest Industries - Thu, 31/01/2019 - 12:52

In 2018, Logset Oy’s turnover grew to a record level of 40.128 million euros (2017: 30.922 million euros) and the operating profit to 1,671 million euros (2017: 0,935 million euros).

During the past year, the demand for Logset products remained high in Europe. The strongest growth, however, came from the Russian and South American markets. The demand for harvester heads exceeded all expectations, and the interest towards the hybrid harvester continued to grow. Forwarders remained the foundation of the sales. In 2018, Logset launched the first service products that increased the service turnover. At the end of 2018, the value of the order book reached a record 19,8 million euros (2017: 7,3 million euros).

In 2018, Logset not only focused on growth, but also on developing its operational activity. Purchasing was streamlined, which lowered the share of material costs of total turnover compared to the previous financial year. The stock turnover rate of materials, spare parts and second-hand machines was improved significantly, and the stock value in euro decreased from the previous year, despite the strong growth of financial turnover. A write-down was made in the material stock, and the stock value of second-hand machines was adjusted to correspond to a fair market price with a new valuation method.

Warranty costs and campaign overall costs were reduced due to better quality control in the production, and improved quality of the products. The share of direct labour costs of the total turnover developed in an unfavourable way, even though the number of sick leaves and occupational accidents was diminished. The whole forest machine industry suffered from poor availability of components, and it also affected Logset. Despite the strong growth and problems with parts availability, the company managed to deliver the machines within a reasonable timetable.

In 2018, Logset product development focused on the new Stage 5 products that meet the tightened emission regulations, the Smooth Ride cabin suspension, on improving the quality, and on developing new products to be launched in 2019.

At the end of 2018, Logset established a subsidiary named Logset Inc. in Canada. The new office will offer sales and technical support to Logset dealers and customers based in North and South America.

In 2018, Logset’s credit rating was raised to class A.

– Logset had a fantastic year. We advanced as planned in nearly all areas, and the results are plain to see. Thanks to the enhanced operational activity, a record order intake, and the continued high demand at the beginning of this year, the company is in a great shape for 2019, says Managing Director Jussi Malmi.

Actions to improve financial and operational performance will continue in 2019. In addition, the capacity of the factory will be increased. The new products and service solutions to be launched in 2019 are expected to further strengthen Logset’s market position.

The post Best year ever for Logset – Turnover up by 30% appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Finland: 2018 roundwood trade results

International Forest Industries - Thu, 31/01/2019 - 12:36

In 2018, the Finnish forest industry enterprises procured 51.4 million m3 of roundwood from non-industrial private forests. The roundwood trade volumes increased by a fifth compared with 2017. Standing timber sales volume came up to 44.7 million m3 (+23% over the previous year), reports Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

Roundwood trade was also very active in December 2018, when the Finnish forest industry enterprises harvested 5.2  million m3 roundwood from non-industrial, private forests.

In December 2018, the stumpage prices of roundwood started to decline. The stumpage price level was a little less than 0,5% lower than a month earlier. The stumpage price for pine logs came up to EUR 62.0 per cubic metre, the spruce log price was EUR 65.8 per cubic metre. The stumpage price for pine pulpwood was EUR 18.3 per cubic metre, while the price for spruce pulpwood was EUR 19.4 per cubic metre.

The harvesting method affects the stumpage price paid for roundwood. In December 2018, the price of logs harvested from regeneration fellings was 3% higher than the average stumpage price paid for logs (thinnings 14% below the average price).

In case of pulpwood, the stumpage price differences from the average by felling method were as follows: pulpwood from regeneration fellings +11%, from thinnings –7%, and from first thinnings –28%.

The roadside price for pine pulpwood was  EUR 31.8 per cubic metre. The price for spruce pulpwood was EUR 34.7 per cubic metre and for birch pulpwood 32.3 EUR per cubic metre. The roadside price level fell 1% from the previous month.

The post Finland: 2018 roundwood trade results appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Austria: Pellets more expensive in January

International Forest Industries - Thu, 31/01/2019 - 12:26

In January, the consumer prices for wood pellets of quality ENplus A1 in Austria rose relatively sharply. The average price for pellets (delivery quantity 6t) is currently 24.90 cents / kg. This is 1.6% more than in December and 3.3% more than in January 2018.

The highest pellet prices were reported as usual in western Austria, where the average price is 26.77 C / kg . The cheapest are pellets in the north with an average of 24.47 C / kg cents / kg. In the south they cost an average of 24.89 C / kg .

Sack pellets cost on average € 4.18 per 15 kg bag (when ordering by pallet) or 27.88 cents / kg . Their price rose 1.3% from December and 2.7% from January 2018.

The post Austria: Pellets more expensive in January appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Peru: Improving forest management with new software

International Forest Industries - Thu, 31/01/2019 - 12:03

After more than three years of work supported by the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) Peru’s National Forestry and Wildlife Service (SERFOR) was handed DataBOSQUE software which will facilitate reliable timber tracking. DataBOSQUE was developed in close cooperation with the private sector and public forestry institutions at the national and regional levels.

Distribution of this software will be free and a series of training events have been arranged jointly by SERFOR and GIZ aimed at training trainers in the different Amazonian regions (Loreto, Ucayali, Madre de Dios, San Martín and Junín).

Most deforestation occurs in plots under 5 hectares

Peru’s Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, together with the Ministry of Environment, reported in December last year that deforestation in 2017 in the Peruvian Amazon was 155,914 hectares. Compared to a year earlier this represented a 5.3% decline.

It was reported that the majority of the forest loss occurred in plots under five hectares and 60% of the deforestation was concentrated in the Departments of Ucayali, Madre de Dios, Huánuco and Loreto. The area of Peru’s Amazonian forest in 2017 was reported as 68,577,351 hectares.

Wikipedia writes “Most Peruvian territory is covered by dense forests on the east side of the Andes, yet only 5% of Peruvians live in this area. More than 60% of Peruvian territory is covered by the Amazon rainforest, more than in any other country.”

Chilean officials share experiences in forest management

In order to share and exchange successful experiences in the forestry sector of Peru and Chile, officials of the National Forestry Corporation and the National Forestry Institute of Chile, visited officials and producers in the forestry sector in Cajamarca the capital and largest city of the Cajamarca Region as well as an important cultural and commercial centre in the northern Andes.

During their stay in Cajamarca, Chilean officials presented the history of their country’s forestry development, from the depredation of their forests to the installation of forest plantations, as a resource to improve the environment, generate ecosystem services and contribute to improving the quality of life of the Chilean producers.

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Setra reports FY 2018 operating profit of SEK 310 million ($34.4 million)

International Forest Industries - Thu, 31/01/2019 - 11:34

Wood products company Setra is reporting an operating profit of SEK 310 million ($34.4 million) for 2018. This figure includes non-recurring items of SEK -45 million ($34.4 million). Net sales totalled SEK 4,480 million ($498 million).

“We’re reporting an operating profit, adjusted for non-recurring items, of SEK 355 million ($39.4 million) for 2018, which is an improvement of SEK 176 million ($19.6 million) on the previous year.

The favourable market conditions of 2017 continued in 2018, despite a decline in consumption during the final months of the year, primarily in China and on the North African markets. We envisage continued good demand among our customers in Europe as well as recovery in China and Egypt above all,” said Hannele Arvonen, President and CEO at Setra.

Cash flow from operating activities for 2018 amounted to SEK 426 million ($47.3 million). The Group’s financial position is strong, with net financial debt amounting to SEK -121 million ($13.4 million) at the end of the period, which corresponds to a net debt/equity ratio of -8%.

Setra is one of Sweden’s largest wood products companies.

Photo: Hannele Arvonen, President and CEO at Setra.

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by Dr. Radut