Friday Offcuts 10 August 2018
This week we cover efforts being made by our industry to connect to the wider community. It’s an issue we've highlighted in the past where the industry really does need to pick up its game. Forest and Wood Products Australia has just launched its inaugural podcast series, WoodChat. It’s a series of podcasts where in-depth conversations with industry experts on a range of news stories, discoveries and innovations are being shared. It’s a new way, complimenting other mediums currently being used, to reach out to a much wider audience, to profile the industry and just as importantly, the people who work in forestry and wood products. Check out the first episode by clicking on the link in the story featured in this week’s issue.
Also, this week, a series of 30-minute episodes profiling NZ forestry was launched. Through a new video platform, the episodes are able to be broadcast nationally on Sky TV, online and on social media platforms. It’s called ForestCall. The first in the 10-part series aired on Wednesday and can be viewed below. Congratulations go out to both teams that have been working on these two projects. The power of social media and the ripple effect of communicating to a much wider audience is also highlighted in a short story from Canada Wood. Their “Live with Wood” social media campaign went viral and reached a staggering 15 million people from 12 April through to 17 July 2018. There has to be a message there for all of us as we look to improving our communications efforts.
Last week, details of the regions annual technology gathering for forest resource managers, remote sensing, GIS & mapping specialists and inventory foresters were posted onto the event website. ForestTECH 2018 runs again in both countries in November 2018. This time, as well as two days of presentations, TechTalks and exhibitions, we’ve been able to build in a series of short pre-conference workshops (free to conference delegates) at each event. You can check out the content and the presenters lined up for these on the website. Spaces are expected to go very quickly so if wishing to secure spaces for you or your team, best look into shortly to avoid disappointment. And finally, if registering yourself or your team for the Wood Manufacturing September series, WoodTECH 2018 remember, today is the LAST Day for discounted Early-bird registrations. That’s it for this week. Enjoy this week’s read.
This week we have for you:
New podcast WoodChat launchedForest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) is excited to announce the launch of its inaugural podcast series, WoodChat. Each episode in the six-part pilot series will include an in-depth conversation with experts on a different industry-related news story, discovery or innovation. Topics include biophilia, climate impact, genomics, drones and much more.
During the first episode of the series the hosts spoke to Associate Professor Jacki Schirmer of the University of Canberra about biophilia – the principle that exposure to nature increases human wellbeing and the positive effects of wood indoors. It comes off the back of world-first research (the report can be downloaded from the WoodSolutions website) that demonstrates a strong association between wood in the workplace and increased worker satisfaction and wellbeing.
Eileen Newbury, National Marketing and Communications Manager, said the organisation is always looking to explore new ways of communicating industry news and information. “There is so much great work happening right here in Australia which is not only of significance to people working in the forest and wood products industry, but also to the wider public,” said Ms. Newbury.
“Podcasting is a growing medium, which we have been keen to embrace. There are some fascinating topics, which we’re looking forward to presenting to our audience in an exciting and engaging new way.”
You can listen to WoodChat on SoundCloud.
Stay tuned… the second episode will feature CSIRO Research Scientist, Dr Patrick Mitchell, discussing a new tool which aims to predict forestry climate impacts with the click of a mouse. The tool is designed to increase the industry’s awareness of climate and, ultimately, to manage risk and improve productivity.
Trees for steep erosion prone land report releasedA report on alternative plantation forest species is now available on the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association website detailing the characteristics of a wide variety of tree species that are suited to steep erosion prone land and which have root structures that may better resist land sliding after harvest.
The report was written by Dean Satchell, of Sustainable Forest Solutions, and contributes to present industry considerations of how to lessen the vulnerability of trees now being planted for harvesting decades in the future. Farm Forestry Association President, Neil Cullen says that land and forest managers are lacking in this sort of information for steep, erosion prone, terrain.
"This report identifies the considerable amount of research still required, but does go a long way to provide guidance on the options for land owners preparing resource consent applications to plant or replant land now zoned Red under the new National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF),” Neil Cullen says.
Dean Satchell says that owners of red zoned land who wish to clear-fell need to provide regional councils with evidence that significant adverse environmental effects can be minimised. Those land owners should consider an erosion-mitigating forest cover on replant.
“This report provides information on best practice, identifies the gaps in knowledge and sets the scope for the future to improve environmental outcomes from plantation forestry on steep lands,” he says. "We need more forests on steep hill country to mitigate erosion where pastoral cover isn't enough" says Neil Cullen.
"However, we need the right species, the right rotation lengths and the right harvesting strategies for the best environmental outcomes. Forestry is the best land use for erodible hill country, but best practice changes over time to meet the expectations of society and increasing severity of storms. An intense downpour that hit recently harvested and replanted sites in Tolaga Bay resulted in slash mobilisation which made news headlines and has impacted very negatively on the forest industry’s social licence to operate.”
“This report lists a variety of alternative species available that could drive different harvest practices and improve environmental outcomes. It’s up to industry to be proactive and adjust their practices to reflect what society requires," Neil Cullen says. "This report suggests that alternative regimes and or species will be required now, which will accumulate evidence over time that significant adverse environmental effects can be minimised with best practice."
Forest Owners Association President, Peter Weir, says the report is timely, since industry experts are engaging in finding effective ways through forest management and research priorities to build more resilient forests and more resilient communities.
The report can be found here.
Source: NZFFA, FOA
ForestTECH 2018 workshops announcedFeedback on the programmes announced last week has already been extremely positive. This year a raft of new disruptive technologies already been trialled in the forestry industry – and allied industries – are going to be showcased for the first time in this region. Another key feature of the series this year are the pre-conference workshops that have been set up for ForestTECH 2018 delegates.
As we’ve done in the past, ForestTECH 2018 conference delegates have the opportunity of registering for a series of pre-conference workshops in both countries. This provides those attending the technology series some additional time with some of the key presenters in smaller groups. The workshops are free to ForestTECH 2018 conference delegates and will run on the afternoon before the main conference runs at each venue.
Workshops this year include: Developments in Forest Management & Wood Procurement Software, ArcGIS, Mixed-Reality Applications for Forestry (this workshop is being taken by two leading companies in this space right now, Microsoft and Taqtile Inc who are based in Seattle and have developed some innovative uses around HoloMaps and their own Manifest mixed-reality solutions) and VR Assessments for Forest Inventories.
Because off space available at each venue, the workshops are limited to a maximum of 40 delegates in Rotorua, New Zealand and 35 delegates in Melbourne, Australia. Places, as they have done in the past, are usually snapped up. They will be filled on a “first in – first served” basis so if wanting to secure a space, best to get onto it shortly.
Full details on the programmes and further information relating to the conference or workshop programmes can be found on the event website, www.foresttech.events.
Television air time to tell NZ forestry’s storyTelling our story on television is long overdue. Don Carson from the Forest Owners Association in New Zealand has 10 episodes, each of 30 minutes duration planned for Face TV – Sky Channel 083. The first in the series played this Wednesday. In this week’s issue of Forest Call, Don Carson talked to Forestry Minister Shane Jones and advancing technology in steep land harvesting is showcased.
Face on the Sky Network and On Demand is a national broadcaster and video production facility. It’s a niche, targeted video platform enabling video to be broadcast nationally on Sky TV, online and on social media platforms.
Future issues planned include;
Ep 2: biodiversity in plantation forests, falcon and kea, and the Scion fire fighting research tools
Ep 3: is devoted to careers and training
Ep 4: modern engineered wood products and showing off construction of the Beatrice Tinsely wooden building at Uni of Canterbury, and
Ep 5: looks at the Dryland Eucalypt programme and indigenous tree species and commercial potential.
Capturing colour board scans for value recoveryIn the upcoming WoodTECH 2018 series being run for local wood manufacturing companies in September, wood scanning and optimisation technologies will be a key theme for the series. Major tech providers from Sweden, Italy and the US will be outlining new innovations and discussing recent installations. This week, in the lead up to the technology series we’ve included an in-depth review of 3D scanning technology for saw and planer mills written by Terry Arden, CEO, LMI Technologies.
Both Peter Wiklund, LMI’s Business Development Manager and Mikael Jacobsson, Business Development Manager for another leading Swedish company supplying specialised wood processing measurement, monitoring and machine control systems, RemaSawco AB will be involved in the WoodTECH 2018 series in both Australia and New Zealand.
The use of 3D scanning technology in the wood industry has evolved significantly since first introduced into saw and planer mills. Initially, 3D scanners were used to measure the shape of logs and boards in order to extract the greatest amount of lumber from the wood (i.e., volume recovery).
Today, complementary technologies are used to extract the highest quality from the wood (i.e., value recovery). Color imaging systems are essential in generating the high-resolution images required for surface defect detection, which leads to grade-based cutting decisions.
Building a Color Scanning System
Building a color scanning system requires a color camera, a lens, and lighting. The color camera can use either linear or area scan camera technology. The choice of which of these two technologies to use affects the overall design of the color system. Understanding linear vs. area camera operation is the key to picking a lighting solution that offers long lifetimes.
Generating a 2D Color Image of the Board Surface with Linear Cameras
A linear camera chip consists of one row of pixels. A lens is chosen to map this row of pixels to a suitable resolution across the board length––for example 0.5mm/pixel. To scan a board moving on a conveyor along the board width (transverse scanner), an encoder is used to track motion and trigger the camera one row at a time, at a suitable resolution across the board width––for example 0.5mm (Fig. 1). This is how a 2D color image is created of the board surface with 0.5mm x 0.5mm pixel resolution.
Pixels are mapped from the board surface to a linear camera, with transverse board motion.
The full article can be viewed here. Full details on the WoodTECH 2018 series can be found on the event website.
REMEMBER, if looking to access discounted registrations to this event, these FINISH today.
Source: LMI Technologies
Australian & NZ firefighters deployedA contingent of almost 200 firefighting personnel from Australia and New Zealand have headed to the US, to be deployed in California and its neighbouring states Oregon and Washington. The team of 188 personnel includes fire management specialists and helicopter support.
Australia, as well as a number of other countries, has offered ongoing support to US firefighting authorities; the Australian deployment is a response to a specific request from the US based on the range of skills offered. It includes firefighters also from Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.
The request was made to Australia by the National Multi-Agency Coordination Group in the US, which is co-ordinating the efforts of several emergency response agencies, including the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire).
The current US fire season has been exacerbated by excessively dry and hot weather conditions, resulting in intense fire fronts and dangerously low percentages of fire containment. More than 100 large fires were burning across 14 states and almost 582,000 hectares of ground has been lost, according to the National Interagency Fire Centre.
In addition to California, there are currently major fires burning in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
CalFire's public information officer Jonathan Cox said the blazes were larger in scale and burning at speeds previously unseen. "What we're seeing in California right now is more destructive, larger fires burning at rates that we have historically never seen," Mr Cox said.
California Governor Jerry Brown said the wildfire season was the "new normal" for the state. To illustrate his point, Brown told US media the state had already spent more than a quarter of the budget allocated for resources across the entire annual fire season in the month of July alone.
"We're going to have more fire, more destructive fire, [and] more billions that will have to be spent on it," Brown said. "All that is the new normal that we will have to face." Weather agencies report that the current burst of fires came off the back of record-setting July temperatures; in northern California, for example, July temperatures were as much as 10 degree Fahrenheit higher than normal.
The hotter, dryer season means that when fires start they are burning longer, burning at higher temperatures because of an excessive surface fuel supply and are more difficult to approach and contain.
For further information on the deployment of local fire-fighters click here and here.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
New Growing our Safety Culture initiative launchedFiona Ewing, National Safety Director with the Forest Industry Safety Council in New Zealand says she is very pleased to be launching Safetree's new Growing our Safety Culture programme. This programme helps businesses build a workplace culture that supports successful work and good health and safety outcomes.
The programme can be used with crews to improve attitudes and practices. It helps build stronger relationships within the crew by improving things like communication, engagement and reporting. These are all areas that have been identified by crews as crucial to having a good day at work.
Importantly, this programme can also be used by forest owners and managers to help them understand how their behaviour might be supporting or hindering safety onsite.
The Growing our Safety Culture programme builds on the Safety Culture tree initiative created some years ago by a partnership of government and industry. The original concepts have been updated and packaged into a programme that provides support to put them into practice.
The programme has also been tested with several forestry operators to ensure it is fit for purpose. I'm pleased to say that feedback from this testing has been very positive. In fact, one company, Timberlands, found the programme so effective it has decided to run it with all its teams - including the board of directors.
I would encourage everyone working in forestry to think about how they can improve the culture in their teams and supply chains. Take a look at some of the resources from the programme and use them to ‘take a pulse check’ of your safety culture. If you find them useful, you can get in touch with us to find out more about doing the programme.
A large number of forest contractors and forestry managers from across the country learnt more about the programme from one of the people who helped create it, safety culture expert Dr Hillary Bennett. She spoke at the free workshops Safetree ran in Rotorua on Thursday of this week as part of the larger Forest Industry Safety & Technology 2018 event run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association.
See the Growing our Safety Culture programme resources.
See more about the programme.
New insights on koalas in hinterland forestsA major new study that records forest sounds has found evidence for up to 10 times the rate of koala occupancy in NSW’s north-east forests than previously estimated. The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) project, which focused on the iconic marsupial’s response to timber harvesting, involved more than 14,500 hours of audio recorded over three years to measure the bellows of male koalas.
DPI Principal Research Scientist Dr Brad Law said the new technique saw SongMeter devices installed at 171 sites in the north-east, in many State forests, National Parks and reserves.
“Koalas are surprisingly difficult to detect – they are cryptic animals especially in tall forests, yet their bellows echo through the forest at night during the spring mating season, making this new survey method particularly effective,” he said.
The study region spanned more than 1.7 million hectares of mapped koala habitat – from the ranges and tablelands of north-east NSW, to the Hunter River in the south and the Queensland border in the north. Sites were located in the public forests of the coast and ranges, but avoided previously cleared valleys and private land surrounding towns where koalas are known to be declining due to urbanisation.
Over three breeding seasons, researchers found that 65 per cent of survey sites (the small zone surrounding each Song Meter) on average were occupied by at least one male koala.
“We found that occupancy was influenced by elevation, cover of important browse trees, site productivity and extent of wildfire in the last 10 years,” Dr Law said. “Interestingly, past timber harvesting did not influence koala occupancy. There was no difference in results between heavily harvested, lightly harvested and old growth sites.
“Time since harvesting and the amount of harvesting in the local area did not influence occupancy. There was also no difference between National Park and State forest sites.”
Dr Law said for many years, specific environmental protections have been in place in State forests, and the results of this project are an important step in assessing the effectiveness of past forestry management practices. “Our results also support proposed improvements like broader protection triggered by mapping koala habitat,” he said.
For more information on Dr Law’s project, visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au.
Photo: Dr Brad Law with the SongMeter audio recording technology on a koala food tree
Replacing oil with wood in tyresWooden tyres don't have the best ring to them, but Michelin firmly believes they'll be a reality in 2020. The French tire maker told Motoring in a report published this month of its plans to introduce wood into tyres, and it's all about moving away from oil.
Cyrille Roget, Michelin's worldwide director of scientific and innovation communication, said the plan is to create more sustainable tyres in the future, and experiments with wood waste have provided a solution. The tyre maker will incorporate elastomers from wood chips to replace a tire's oil content. Today, 80 percent of materials found in tyres come from oil. In the future, that percentage will drop to 20 percent by 2048, Michelin believes. And rubber will also be included, which Roget said is also sustainable.
"Trees grow everywhere. So, you re-distribute the opportunity for everyone to have local sourcing. And they are renewable," Roget added. Much further into the future, Michelin not only foresees tyres made from wood, but also a single set of tyres for a car's lifetime.
The company believes one day that 3D printing will revolutionize the tyre process. Where today drivers must physically change tyres after the tread wears down, 3D printers could conceivably "recharge" tread. In layman terms, a 3D printer would print new tread when the tread eroded to an unsafe level. Roget even pictured a day when an electric car charging station also includes a 3D printer to "recharge" tyre tread.
3D-printed tyres are further down the line, perhaps 15 years at minimum, Roget said, but Michelin hopes to show its first tyre made from wood in less than two years.
RISI to acquire Random LengthsRISI, Inc., a leading information provider for the global forest products industry, has announced that its parent company, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, has acquired Random Lengths, a leading price reporting agency ("PRA") for the wood products industry.
Founded in 1944, Random Lengths provides unbiased and consistent price assessments and market reporting for the global wood products industry, with a core focus on the North American lumber and panels markets, publishing over 1,500 prices each week. Random Lengths will compliment and expand RISI's existing wood products price reporting.
"Random Lengths is a leading source for prices in the lumber and panel markets, with a rich history of delivering trusted, unbiased insights," said Daniel Klein, CEO of RISI. "We are excited for customers and the market to receive the most comprehensive offering of pricing data and information across the entire forest products supply chain, through the combination of RISI and Random Lengths, and as a core part of Euromoney's cross-commodity PRA division."
More information about the acquisition can be found here.
Tariffs of up to 25% on US hardwoods will hurtChina's proposed tariffs of up to 25% on US hardwood shipments delivers 'painful blow' to US exporters, says AHEC chief, who notes exports to China in 2017 included hardwood lumber worth some US$1.6B, US$800M in hardwood logs and US$260M in veneer.
China’s plan to slap tariffs of as much as 25 percent on U.S. shipments of hardwood means a “very, very painful” blow from the top customer, the American Hardwood Export Council said.
Everything from oak wood to veneered panels of laminated wood has been ensnared in China’s $60 billion escalation of the trade battle with the U.S. Half of U.S. hardwood production is exported, and the bulk goes to China, Michael Snow, executive director of the Sterling, Virginia-based council, said Friday in a telephone interview.
“This could be, I don’t want to say ‘catastrophic,’ but very, very painful for the industry,” Snow said. Last year, shipments to China included US$1.6 billion in hardwood lumber, US$800 million for hardwood logs and US$260 million for veneer, Snow said. Almost all U.S. hardwood-manufacturing companies are small family owned firms, and the top producers probably account for only about 5 percent of output, leaving the market fragmented, he said.
“It’s going to be a bumpy road, there’s no question about it,” he said. Kudlow Says Trump Won’t Back Off as China Expands Trade War. Some traditional Chinese furniture manufacturers that rely on U.S. products have shut amid new environmental regulations. “We were looking at some pretty strong headwinds in China” before the latest salvo Friday in the trade battle, Snow said.
Source: Bloomberg L.P.
Largest investment in Arauco’s history signed offArauco’s Board of Directors approved the modernization and extension of the Arauco Mill, an initiative that involves a US$2,350 million investment, the largest investment in the company’s history.
At the production level, the project includes the termination of line 1, the modernization of current production line 2 and the construction of a new production line (Line 3), with an annual capacity of 1,560,000 tons, increasing annual pulp production at the complex by an estimated 2,100,000 tons.
In addition, project MAPA (Spanish acronym for Modernization and Extension of Arauco Mill project) will allow the company to continue to generate clean and renewable energy from forest biomass, due to the construction of a new cogeneration boiler. In addition to supplying clean energy to the mill, an energy surplus of 166 MW will be delivered to the National Electrical Grid, through a power line whose construction is part of the project.
Also included in the project is the implementation of a training and education program to support the creation of about 4,000 to 5,000 jobs during construction work, with a maximum of 8,000. Once construction is over, an estimated 1,000 job positions will be created, mainly in services and forestry activities. The purpose is to contribute to employment and invigorate local economy and development.
Additionally, the project includes a new wastewater treatment system that started construction in 2015, with an additional investment of US$120 million. This system is 99% completed and will provide service to the current facilities and future line 3.
Charles Kimber, Arauco’s Senior Vice-President of Commercial & Corporate Affairs said, “we’re very proud of this project’s materialization, because it accounts for the extensive and positive work that we’ve developed with the community and authorities”.
“This is an enormously relevant project for the country and the Biobío Region, which will modernize and increase the production efficiency of our facilities. It will also strengthen the competitiveness and leadership of Arauco and Chile in global markets”.
In addition, he said, “this project involves the largest investment program in the history of ARAUCO and we’ll develop it precisely in a commune where we maintain a very strong and long-lasting relationship, because this is where this company started”. This US$2,350 million investment is estimated to be operational in late March 2021.
Source: Celulosa Arauco y Constitucion SA
China’s ‘Live with Wood’ goes viral onlineOh, the power of social media. It is probably every marketing director’s dream to see their promotional content going viral on social media platforms or creating a ripple effect with the contents reaching a selected audience and their immediate circle of influence. Continuous efforts to engage this audience with follow-up messages rolled out across multiple media channels will follow reports Lance Tao, Director of Communications, Canada Wood Shanghai.
The “Live with Wood” social media campaign was exactly the one we had hoped for. The campaign has created the ripple effect resulting in multi-million media impressions. According to Meltwater, a third-party media monitoring agency, the original post featuring Dongyang resort project was picked up and retweeted by over 65 KOL (Key Opinion Leaders) on their social media accounts and reached out to nearly 15 million people from April 12 to July 17, 2018.
There are clear signs that consumer attitudes towards timber as building materials in resort applications is positive. The positive feedback from consumers will encourage resort developers to consider wood when they are planning resort projects.
Buy and Sell
... and one to end the week on ... A Scottish Love Story
This was sent in by a reader so taken by last week's Scottish Wedding story.
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