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Forest Products Industry

Treevia designs a SmartForest for Brazil

Australian timber industry news - 20 hours 28 min ago
A remote monitoring system rolled out in Brazil is taking over the exhausting and risky task of keeping an eye on commercial forests. The system allows researchers and technicians to track forest growth rates in real time, in order to estimate if they are developing properly and detect early infections or pest attacks on plantations. Source: SciDevNet This type of monitoring currently requires 150 to 160 staff each year. It’s exhausting work, and accidents such as attacks by venomous animals are frequent. Using the new technology, called SmartForest, a single visit to set up the sensors is enough to collect data on forest growth on a daily basis. The technology was devised by Brazilian start-up Treevia. It is based on a set of wireless sensors fixed around trees, much like belts that widen as the trunks grow. These sensors capture changes in tree diameter at regular intervals, and send the data to an online system designed for each client. “Our system is already being used in nine Brazilian states by several companies,” Esthevan Gasparoto, CEO of Treevia said. This information is then combined with images gathered by satellites, and analysed by algorithms that use machine-learning techniques to produce reliable reports on how well the forest is growing. By linking this data with climate information from each region, companies are then able to estimate how much a certain area will yield in terms of timber in upcoming years. The technology was designed to help companies ensure their forest business is economically and environmentally sustainable. But the system can also be used by public authorities to ensure companies are complying with environmental rules for restoring and maintaining the forests where they operate. That would require authorities having access to the data generated from sensors set up in landowners’ forests. “It [the system] also might be used to check if there is a source of infections or attacks by pests,” Ramon Bicudo da Silva, a biologist at the Centre for Environmental Studies and Research at the University of Campinas said. He says the remote monitoring system can make it easier to manage such risks through a one-off installation that can stretch across hundreds of hectares. “In anticipating these problems, a manager may act before they [become] widespread, which would lead to a lower use of pesticides,” Mr da Silva said.

Biggest carbon sinks are in young forests

Australian timber industry news - 20 hours 30 min ago
More than half of the carbon sink in the world’s forests is in areas where the trees are relatively young – under 140 years old – rather than in tropical rainforests, research at the University of Birmingham shows. Source: Timberbiz These trees have typically ‘regrown’ on land previously used for agriculture, or cleared by fire or harvest and it is their young age that is one of the main drivers of this carbon uptake. Forests are widely recognised as important carbon sinks – ecosystems capable of capturing and storing large amounts of carbon dioxide – but dense tropical forests, close to the equator have been assumed to be working the hardest to soak up these gases. Researchers at the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) have carried out fresh analysis of the global biosphere using a new combination of data and computer modelling in a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United State of America (PNAS). Drawing on data sets of forest age, they were able to show the amount of carbon uptake between 2001 and 2010 by old, established areas of forest. They compared this with younger expanses of forest which are re-growing across areas that have formerly experienced human activities such as agriculture or logging or natural disturbances such as fire. Previously it had been thought that the carbon uptake by forests was overwhelmingly due to fertilisation of tree growth by increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, the researchers found that areas where forests were re-growing sucked up large amounts of carbon not only due to these fertilisation effects, but also as a result of their younger age. The age effect accounted for around 25% of the total carbon dioxide absorbed by forests. Furthermore, this age-driven carbon uptake was primarily situated not in the tropics, but in the middle and high latitude forests. These forests include, for example, areas of land in America’s eastern states, where settlers established farmlands but then abandoned them to move west towards the end of the 19th century. The abandoned land became part of the US National Forest, along with further tracts abandoned during the Great Depression in the 1930s. Other significant areas of forest re-growth include boreal forests of Canada, Russia and Europe, which have experienced substantial harvest activity and forest fires. Largescale reforestation programmes in China are also making a major contribution to this carbon sink. “It’s important to get a clear sense of where and why this carbon uptake is happening, because this helps us to make targeted and informed decisions about forest management,” Dr Tom Pugh, of the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research said. The research highlights the importance of forests in the world’s temperate zone for climate change mitigation, but also shows more clearly how much carbon these re-growing forests can be expected to take up in the future. This is particularly important because of the transient nature of re-growth forest: once the current pulse of forest re-growth works its way through the system this important part of the carbon sink will disappear, unless further reforestation occurs. “The amount of CO2 that can be taken up by forests is a finite amount: ultimately reforestation programs will only be effective if we simultaneously work to reduce our emissions,” Dr Pugh said. The research was funded by the European Commission.

Smart Thumper app to test wood strength

Australian timber industry news - 20 hours 31 min ago
Determining the stiffest piece of lumber is now easier with a new smartphone app created by scientists in Mississippi State University’s Forest and Wildlife Research Center. Called “Smart Thumper,” the app uses soundwaves or vibrations to determine stiffness, a quality that relates to strength, for individual pieces of lumber. Source: Timberbiz Developer Dan Seale, professor in MSU’s Department of Sustainable Bioproducts, said it will help carpenters, contractors, architects, engineers, lumber mill personnel and consumers. He pointed out that it can be particularly beneficial for the do-it-yourself market. “All lumber is not the same, even though it may be graded the same. The grade is based on a range of values and characteristics,” Mr Seale said. “Perhaps a consumer has a pack of lumber which meets the specification for No. 2 grade, but they need a couple of pieces for a header, something that might span the opening for a window or door. “This app helps select the stiffest pieces that are least likely to sag over time.” Frederico Franca, the app’s co-developer and an assistant research professor in sustainable bioproducts, first envisioned the app when he discovered that the equipment designed to test lumber costs around US$84,000. “The goal was to make something cheaper and more readily available to give consumers and stakeholders broader access to non-destructive testing equipment,” Mr Franca said. “Now anyone with a smartphone can download the app to help pick out the stiffest pieces for whatever they are building.” His love of physics, along with the desire to create something less expensive, fuelled his idea for a smartphone app that would render lumber values through the use of sound and vibration. “With this app, I can show you which lumber pieces are stiffer and therefore stronger,” he said. “This can’t always be done through visual inspection. You need vibration or you need sound.” Lumber mills use both visual and mechanical means to grade all types of dimensional lumber. Pieces can be tested for strength and stiffness, and the numbers are crunched through an algorithm to determine grade. “This app can help further evaluate lumber within established grades, potentially optimizing the longevity and cost efficiency of wood structures by selecting stiffer pieces for situations that demand higher performance,” Mr Franca said. The app is available for download in the Apple Store. Visit https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/smart-thumber/id1436858557? mt=8 (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/smartthumber/ id1436858557?mt=8).

Tigercat new product support rep for NZ

Australian timber industry news - 20 hours 33 min ago
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, Mr Nolan is joining Tigercat with more than 30 years of experience in the forestry industry. Source: Timberbiz Mr Nolan started his career working for his father’s 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,” Glen Marley, Tigercat district manager for Australia and New Zealand said. Mr Nolan 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. He 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,” Mr Nolan said. Mr Nolan will be primarily involved with product support for Tigercat’s growing customer base on the North Island of New Zealand.

Merrett Logging trials a shock, but in a good way

Australian timber industry news - 20 hours 36 min ago
South Australian logging transportation company, Merrett Logging runs a total of 30 company owned B-Double configurations in their fleet and another 10 sub-contractor owned configurations. Over the past four years the company has trialled new shock absorbers for their logging fleet. Source: Timberbiz Merrett Logging has a 12-month total maintenance schedule that includes the replacement of all truck and trailer shock absorbers in their fleet. After four years of using Monroe Magnum Heavy Duty shock absorbers, maintenance supervisor and company director John Merrett was impressed. “We were always replacing our shock absorbers with the OE products, but we found during our maintenance checks that oil seal failures were common even at low kilometres and we also encountered this problem with other aftermarket brands,” Mr Merrett said. “Once we tried the Monroe Magnum range we experienced none of these issues with both our truck and trailer shocks and upon each inspection they looked as though they could last well beyond our 12-month replacement cycle. “The Monroe Magnum truck and trailer shock absorbers enable us to save costs by outperforming the OE and other aftermarket products that we have used in the past. “Up to 15% of our heavy transporting work is on unsealed gravel roads with long bitumen stretches of approximately 100 kilometres per trip.” The Merrett Logging trailer fleet includes Plunkett and Elphinstone trailers running BPW, ROR and Fuwa K-Hitch Axles.

Tasman Pine Forests to regrow lost Nelson fire plantations

Australian timber industry news - 20 hours 38 min ago
The forestry company that owns 60% of the plantations lost in the Nelson fire is hopeful it can start regrowing the area this winter. Tasman Pine Forests – owned by Sumitomo Forestry NZ – manages 36,200 hectares of forest in the Nelson Marlborough region. The Pigeon valley fire started outside of Tasman Pine Forests estate, but soon spread to an area of 2300ha. About 1400ha – or 60% of the total area burnt – was owned by the company. Source: Stuff NZ With the fire now contained, the company was taking stock and planning for the future. Tasman Pine Forests chief operating officer Steve Chandler said the forestry losses were serious and the supply of logs to customers had been affected. But he said the fire was not expected to have a short or long term impact on Tasman Pine’s business in the region. “Due to the variety of tree age classes that have been burnt with the fire containment area and the presence of areas of partially and unburnt trees which are planned to be salvaged, an estimate of financial loss will not be known until salvage operations are completed,” he said. Tasman Pine was planning to replant parts of the burnt area this winter and further replanting would happen in subsequent years as areas are harvested or cleared of burnt material. “Once the state of emergency is lifted we are planning to resume harvesting and log delivery operations while at the same time increasing precautionary measures to manage the risk of any further fire outbreaks,” Mr Chandler said. “We still need to remain vigilant as operations begin to return to normal as the fire risk will remain very high until significant rain occurs.” The initial challenges for the company would be to extract as many of the burnt trees as possible before they started to deteriorate. Additional manpower and machinery resources would be required and additional resources would also be required for clearing and replanting the areas burnt. Tokyo based Sumitomo Forestry director Shigeru Sasabe spent two days this week inspecting the fire damage as well as meeting with staff and fire fighting personnel. Fire mop up and patrol work would continue in the fire area and the rest of our forests until significant rain is received. With a number of forestry crews in the Nelson region stood down in the wake of the fire, affecting an estimated 210-240 contract workers, it was expected Tasman Pine’s silvicultural crews who have had their normal work curtailed by the fire risk would be fully employed with fire control and patrol work. Mr Chandler said while the Civil Defence emergency had meant an number of their contractors had been unable to carry out normal operational activities, some had also assisted with firefighting activities.

ANWE to have Forestry Corp contract for Eden

Australian timber industry news - 20 hours 39 min ago
The 20-year contract for timber supply to Blue Ridge Hardwoods came to an end last year. Now negotiations are almost final that will see Allied Natural Wood Exports (ANWE) take on the contract with Forestry Corporation in New South Wales. Source: Timberbiz According to Forestry Corporation, at the end of the contract with Blue Ridge Hardwoods a new approach to processing the timber resource was needed as the timber available from the Eden forests in the future would be very different to that supplied in the past. The changing timber resource was largely due to the effects of substantial wildfires in the 1980s. The forests that regenerated following the fires have smaller more uniform diameter trees than the large mixed size trees harvested from the forests over the last 20 years. New equipment is needed to process this new resource. In 2017, Blue Ridge Hardwoods was provided an exclusive opportunity to submit a processing proposal to the Forestry Corporation for the future regrowth sawlog resource. However, a suitable processing and business proposal was not put forward, so Forestry Corporation undertook an open commercial process to seek interest from industry in processing the Eden resource into the future. During the commercial process, of which Blue Ridge Hardwoods were a part, Allied Natural Wood Exports (ANWE) presented an option which was judged to have better outcomes for the timber resource and commercial return to the State of NSW, as well as continued employment of local labour. Negotiations to finalise this new contract with ANWE are nearing completion and will see significant new investment in processing in the Eden region and new local employment opportunities. Blue Ridge Hardwoods has agreed to a 12-month supply agreement as part of a transition for the local industry and the NSW Government has committed significant support for any Blue Ridge Hardwoods’ workers affected by the change.

Timber Queensland welcomes new timber hubs

Australian timber industry news - 20 hours 42 min ago
The Queensland timber industry has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement of funding for new forest industry hubs, including one in South East Queensland and another in North Queensland. The Prime Minister announced $12.5 million in funding to kick-start new forest industry hubs, with the Queensland hubs to be implemented from 2020. Source: Timberbiz Timber Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Mr Mick Stephens said this was clear recognition of the industry’s growth potential and the importance of taking a regional approach to solving development blockages. “The Queensland forest and timber industry generates more than $3 billion in value each year and supports 25,000 direct and indirect jobs. A focus on regional policies is a positive step forward as the opportunities for growth usually revolve around basic needs such as infrastructure, training and investment facilitation,” Mr Stephens said. “There is already a well-established industry in South-East Queensland with a diversity of softwood and hardwood processing and value adding operations. Key regional issues include roading access for B-doubles to improve supply chains, manufacturing costs such as energy and resource security from state-owned land and private forestry,” he said. Mr Stephens said that In the Far North, there is an equal opportunity to develop and grow a sizeable timber industry. New tree plantings to support existing softwood processing operations, and further development of crown leasehold and private hardwood forests including indigenous forestry are exciting opportunities. “Timber Queensland is already working closely with the Queensland Government on a regional training initiative in the South-East and Maryborough region, to identity and develop a long-term training capacity for future high-skilled timber workers,” he said. “Some of the levers the Federal Government can bring to the table to create more jobs and growth in the Queensland timber industry include roading, training and private forestry development initiatives. “While macroeconomic settings such as national energy policy have a significant impact on input costs, there are options for local initiatives around promotion of bioenergy and waste to energy in the region. “It is important that all sides of politics support the positive growth prospects for the timber industry which has a strong regional footprint. The global demand for timber products remains unabated and the industry ticks all the boxes when it comes to delivering renewability, carbon friendly outcomes and regional jobs.”

Key Facts from ABARES State of the Forests Report

Australian timber industry news - 20 hours 43 min ago
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has released Australia State of the Forests Report 2018 (SOFR 2018). Acting ABARES Executive Director, Peter Gooday, said the five-yearly report covered all areas of Australia’s forests—public and private forests, forests managed for production and forests managed for conservation—and the full range of social, economic and environmental values. Source: Timberbiz Key Facts: Forest area Australia has approximately 3% of the world’s forests, covering 17% of Australia’s land area, and the seventh largest national forest area globally. Australia’s forests can be divided into three categories: Native forest (132 million hectares); Commercial plantations (1.95 million hectares); and Other forest, which is mostly non-commercial plantations and planted forests of various types (0.47 million hectares). The area of commercial plantation was 1.95 million hectares in 2014–15. This area increased from 1990 to 2010, but reduced by 44 thousand hectares (2%) between 2010–11 and 2014–15. The area proportion of commercial plantations where the trees are privately owned increased to 79% in 2014–15. Economics  In 2015–16, the value of logs harvested from native forests and commercial plantations was $2.3 billion. In 2015–16, the value of production of wood products industries (total industry turnover, or sales and service income) was $23.7 billion. In 2015–16, the value added by the forest and wood products industries (sales and service income minus costs) was $8.6 billion, representing a contribution to Australia’s gross domestic product of 0.52%. Social and community In 2016, 11.0 million hectares of forest was on non‑Indigenous heritage-listed sites. In addition, in 2016 there were an estimated 126 thousand registered Indigenous heritage sites within forest. In 2016, the forest and wood products industries directly employed 1,099 Indigenous people, while an estimated 337 Indigenous people were employed in conservation or park operation roles in areas with forested conservation reserves. An annual average of 4.2 million visitors visited major forested tourism regions for bushwalking in the period 2011–12 to 2015–16. Biodiversity A total of 46 million hectares (35%) of Australia’s native forest is on land protected for biodiversity conservation, or where biodiversity conservation is a specified management intent. Australia’s national lists of forest-dwelling species (species that use forests for part of their lifecycle) include 2486 forest-dwelling native vertebrate fauna species (animals), and 16,836 forest-dwelling native vascular flora species (plants). A total of 1420 forest-dwelling fauna and flora species are listed as threatened species under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The most common threats to nationally listed forest-dwelling fauna and flora include forest loss from clearing for agriculture, grazing, and urban and industrial development; impacts of predators; small population sizes; and unsuitable fire regimes. Forest Condition Australia’s native forests comprise stands at regeneration, regrowth, mature and senescent growth stages, as well as stands of uneven-aged forest. The total area of forest in Australia burnt one or more times during the period 2011–12 to 2015–16 was 55 million hectares (41% of Australia’s total forest area). Of the cumulative area of fire in forests during this period, 69% was unplanned fire. A total of 27% of Australia’s forests are managed primarily for protective functions, including protection of soil and water values. Carbon stocks in Australia’s forests increased by 0.6%, to 21,949 million tonnes, during the period 2011–16. In addition, in 2015-16, 94 million tonnes of carbon was present in wood and wood products in use in 2016, and 50 million tonnes of carbon in wood and wood products in landfill. Employment and Education Two different surveys show that expenditure on research and development in forestry and forest products has declined over time, as has associated capacity. The number of people involved in research and development in forestry and forest products has also continue to decline. Total national direct employment in the forest sector was 51,983 persons in 2016, a 24% decrease from 2011. A total of 30 Local Government Areas are rated as dependent on forest and wood products industries through having 2% or more of their working population employed in the sector and containing more than 20 workers employed in these industries. Levels of community adaptive capacity varied considerably across the 30 Local Government Areas rated as dependent on forest and wood products industries. Nationally, 54% of forestry workers had non-school qualifications in 2016, compared with 65% in the total workforce. Read the full Australia’s State of the Forests Report 2018 report to fully appreciate the scope of this national resource here:www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/forestsaustralia/sofr/sofr-2018

What is the State of the Forests Australia?

Australian timber industry news - 20 hours 48 min ago
About 150 million tonnes of carbon are stored in Australian wood products, clear felling only makes up 9% of native forest harvesting, and forest activities pose relatively little danger to threatened species. Those are some of the conclusions of Australia’s State of the Forests 2018 report released this week. The five-yearly report, the most up-to-date and accurate yet, says Australia’s forest area has progressively increased since 2018, despite some forestry loss. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz Australia now has 134 million hectares of forest, a net increase of 3.9 million ha between 2011-2016. Native forest makes up 132 million ha (98%), commercial plantations 1.95 million ha (1.5%) and ‘Other forest’ 0.47 million ha (0.4%). The latter comprises mainly non-commercial plantations and planted forests of various types. The report says the increased forest area is due to the net effect of forest clearing or re-clearing for agriculture use; regrowth of forest previously cleared for agriculture; expansion of forest where there was not previously forest; environmental plantings; and changes in the commercial planting sector. Other key features of the report include: Carbon stocks in Australia’s forests rose by 0.6% to 21,949 million tonnes from 2011-2016. Of this, 85% was stored in non-production native forests, 14% in production native forests and 1.2% in plantations. “In addition, 94 million tonnes of carbon was present in wood and wood products in use in 2016, and 50 million tonnes of carbon in wood products in landfill,” the report says. Carbon dioxide sequestered by forests contributed to the land sector offsetting 3.5% of Australia’s human-induced greenhouse gas emissions over the period. Clear felling, including fire-salvage clear felling and silviculture with retention, accounted for only 7000 hectares, or 9%, of the public native forest harvested in 2015-16. This was down from 17,000 ha in 2005-06 and 12,000 ha in 2011-12. A total of 86% was selectively harvested, including commercial thinning; 5% by shelter wood systems; and 0.2% by variable retention systems. The public native forest harvested in 2015-16 was 73,000ha – 1.5% of the net harvestable area of public native forest, and 0.75% of the total area of multiple-use public native forest. The most common threats to endangered forest-dwelling fauna and flora are forest loss from clearing for agriculture and urban and industrial development; the impacts of predators such as cats, foxes, rabbits, pigs, cane toads and deer; small population sizes; and unsuitable fire regimes. “Forestry operations pose a less significant threat …. compared with other categories,” the report says. The 1.95 million ha of commercial plantation fell by 44,000ha, or 2%, between 2010-11, with hardwood plantations down by 5%. This was due to the land not being commercially productive and being converted to agriculture or other uses. A total of 79% of commercial plantations are now privately owned. Australia’s log harvest in 2015-16 was 30.1 million cubic metres, a rise of 13% from 2010-11. Of this, 86% was from commercial plantations. From 2010-11 to 2015-16, the volume of logs harvested from native forests declined by 37% from 6.5cm to 4.1cm, having progressively fallen over the past 20 years. Sawlogs from private native forests have also declined. “The reasons for this decline differ between states, and are not always clear,” the report says. “Native forests remain the main source of hardwood sawlogs, because most hardwood plantation cannot be managed to produce sawlogs of comparable quality, although there is on-going research on this topic. Native forest sawlogs are primarily used to make feature-grade sawn timber products.” The annual sustainable yield of high-quality sawlogs from public native forests in the states has declined by 53% from 1991-93 to 2015-16. The reasons include more conservation reserves, increased restrictions on harvesting, revised estimates of growth and yield, and bushfires, especially in Victoria. In 2015-16, the value of wood products industries was $23.7 billion. According to the Australian Forests Products Association (AFPA) the report mapping the state of Australia’s forests has shown a serious reduction in the area of forest plantations in Australia and that this was an alarming decline of 44,000 hectares over the previous five yearly reporting period. AFPA CEO, Mr Ross Hampton said: “This is exactly what we have been warning that the State of the Forests 2018 would reveal. There is no evidence that this downward trend has reversed in the three years since 2015 and it is my expectation that the next report will paint an even bleaker picture.” He said that there has been no policy to increase, or indeed even maintain the area of plantation trees in Australia for production purposes. The only current available policy which might act as a brake on this trend would be for plantations to be able to fully participate in carbon storage policy but, as yet, the Government has not removed the barriers which stand in the way. “State and Federal Governments over the last decade have continued to lock away vast areas of natural forest and have reduced the area and volume of timber which our industries can access,” he said. “Industry can only access timber from a modest 5 million hectares of the total 132 million hectares of native forest across Australia and of that total only a tiny half a percent a year is harvested. Every area cleared, is regrown. Over the 20-year life of the last Regional Forest Agreements the natural estate available for forestry decreased by more than three million hectares. “Whilst this has occurred, governments have not put into place mechanisms which will deliver offsetting growth in the plantation estate and it is showing in the statistics. Australia has a trade deficit in timber products of more than $2 billion and we have reached the ridiculous situation in which we are importing more than a quarter of the timber we need for our house frames. It is time for this to change and it must happen urgently. “The Government has just announced four pilot ‘forest industry hubs’ and five more prospective hubs around Australia and a goal of a billion more trees. “Both the planting goal and the focus on hubs are very welcome, however without changes to allow tree planting to gain carbon […]

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

The post Why LEAN? Lessons from a NZ logging contractor appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Logset’s new test track for forest machinery

Australian timber industry news - Tue, 19/02/2019 - 01:42
At the end of 2018, Logset built a 500-meter test drive track next to the company’s forest machine factory in Koivulahti, Finland. The conditions on the track simulate the forest conditions. Every forest machine leaving the factory is evaluated on the new track. Source: Timberbiz The track is divided into sections that allow testing of the machines in different conditions. The track has significantly improved the quality and efficiency of Logset’s machine testing process. “The new test drive track is a brilliant solution. Our final inspection Eengineers and the product development department are all very excited. Now we can better test and adjust the machines before they are delivered to our customers,” Technical Director Jukka Kivipelto said. The test drive track consists of six different sections: a straight part for acceleration, speed and deceleration, slopes for traction and changes in load conditions, a calibration and sawing area for harvesters where the harvester head is calibrated by feeding and sawing logs, a loading area for testing and adjusting the crane, and a bounce track for cabin suspension and levelling. In the past, Logset test drivers used a shorter test drive track, after which the machines had to be taken to the forest for further field tests. “Now we have our own closed test drive track, where we can do all the necessary tests. We can even train our customers to drive on the track or use it to showcase different machine features,” Mr  Kivipelto said.

Forest of Fabrication demonstrates modern timber construction

Australian timber industry news - Tue, 19/02/2019 - 01:41
The UK Timber Trade Federation is sponsoring a new exhibition ‘Forest of Fabrication – dRMM: pioneers of timber architecture’ hosted by the Building Centre in London from 8 February until 17 May 2019. Source: Timberbiz Forest of Fabrication demonstrates the possibilities of modern timber construction through the lens of Stirling Prize-winning architectural practice dRMM. The exhibition features 24 critically acclaimed projects that have pushed design boundaries through their exploration of the opportunities and challenges of timber structures. Forest of Fabrication celebrates the capabilities of engineered timber; from concept to construction. Featuring international projects and designers, the associated event program will showcase the technologies enabling quicker off-site fabrication methods, analyse the commercial argument for cross laminated timber and celebrate the craft and beauty of exposed timber in contemporary architecture.

Metsä Group to showcase sustainable forest management

Australian timber industry news - Tue, 19/02/2019 - 01:40
Metsä Group is establishing a new demonstration site, called Nemus Futurum, to showcase sustainable forest and nature management in Finland in a way that provides visitors with a unique experience. The guided experience, taking place in the forests surrounding Kirkniemi Manor, combines nature, science and cutting-edge technology. Source: Timberbiz At Nemus Futurum, visitors are given extensive information on best practices in managing different kinds of forests. Relying partly on augmented reality technology, the different forest environments are linked to globally topical sustainability themes, from climate change to biodiversity. “Our stakeholders are broadly interested in the origin of the wood we use and forest management practices. The different forest environments of Nemus Futurum and the modern technology we use there demonstrate why responsible forestry benefits the whole of society,” Juha Laine, SVP, Communications at Metsä Group said. Nemus Futurum will open in the European summer 2019. Its main target groups consist of decision-makers and customers invited by Metsä Group. Metsä Group will also arrange annual public events at Nemus Futurum.


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by Dr. Radut