WoodWeek – 29 June 2016

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Greetings from your WoodWeek news team. Today’s issue comes from a grey and wet Rotorua, sympathising with most of the North Island. Southlanders – enjoy those crisp clear skies while you can!

On to this weeks news - New Zealand export log prices slid to a five-month low in June as returns were hurt by a stronger local currency and an increase in shipping costs. Shipping costs to China rose this month, following an increase in oil prices.

In Australia, HVP Plantations (HVP) have recently adopted a new system from ForestWorks called FOLS (we don't know what it's short for either ...), as their required standard for the recording of training and skills verification for high risk forestry activities. More on this in today’s newsletter.

Coming up on the event front, FIEA’s Woodflow Optimisation conference is scheduled for September, in both Rotorua and Melbourne. This conference will have a focus on innovative new technologies such as 3-D printing, autonomous trucking, vehicle platooning, remote controlled felling, new loading and distribution operations, robotics, UAV’s and sensors. For more information and to register, visit www.woodflow.events.

Also on the event calendar, FICA’s most popular workshop series is coming to Whangarei. The FICA Health & Safety Legislation Workshop series has proven to be a major hit with contractors nationwide, so if you are based up north, make sure you contact the FICA office to register now!

Finally, Komatsu Forest has released a brand new forwarder - the Komatsu 875. This new model is designed to deliver a higher load capacity in its primary application – final logging. This, and more, in today’s WoodWeek.

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Export log prices slip

NZ export log prices fall in June on stronger currency and higher shipping costs - New Zealand export log prices slid to a five-month low in June as returns were hurt by a stronger local currency and an increase in shipping costs.

The average wharf gate price for New Zealand A-grade logs dropped to $116 in June, from $120 a tonne in May, according to AgriHQ's monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and saw millers. That's the lowest level since January's $115 a tonne.

Shipping costs to China, the country's largest log export market, rose this month to US$16.20/JAS, from US$14.70/JAS last month, following an increase in oil prices and a decline in ship visits as demand waned for fertiliser and palm kernel. The New Zealand dollar also strengthened 4 percent over the month after the Reserve Bank refrained from cutting interest rates, making the nation's log exports less competitive.

The in-market price of A-grade logs in China advanced to US$120/JAS from US$113/JAS last month even as inventory levels on Chinese ports increased to 3.8 million cubic metres from 3.6 million cubic metres last month. Some 50,000 cubic metres per day is currently being taken from ports although AgriHQ expects demand to decline in coming months.

"Cracks are slowly emerging in the Chinese log market, with the impressive market prices that have been present over the past few months likely to subside as we progress towards the middle months of the year," AgriHQ analysts Reece Brick and Shaye Lee said in their report. "Demand typically slows through the summer months in China, and the feeling among the market is that this trend will remain apparent this year, leading to a fall in in-market pricing through until September.

"Reports indicate demand out of the industrial sector has fallen away over the past month. Activity in the Chinese economy was given a boost following the Chinese New Year period after the government introduced stimulus packages to keep the economy running. However these packages are now being tightened, taking some of the edge out of demand for logs," the report said.

Meanwhile, in the New Zealand domestic market, demand continued to underpin prices for both pruned and structural logs, AgriHQ said.

In the pruned market, P1 logs rose to $184 a tonne from $181 a tonne last month, with mills absorbing the higher prices as end users of products made using pruned logs resisted the increase, AgriHQ said.

In the structural market, S1 logs held unchanged at $114 a tonne with mills unable to build up inventories as supply meets demand, AgriHQ said.

Source: BusinessDesk via Scoop

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HVP adopts FOLS Skills Verification Program

This week HVP Plantations (HVP) adopted FOLS as their required standard for the recording of training and skills verification for high risk forestry activities.

FOLS is a national industry-led program, managed by ForestWorks. FOLS supports the professionalism and safety of industry through an online system of recording and verifying the currency of operator skills.

John Dodson, Human Resources Manager at HVP, said the decision to adopt FOLS aligns with their strong commitment to workplace health and safety.

“HVP have adopted FOLS for its own employees. We have endorsed FOLS as HVP’s preferred tool to manage operator’s high risk competencies.”

“FOLS helps to ensure workers are adequately trained, competent and safe to undertake their work activities.”

“HVP’s initial emphasis will be in harvesting but in time will review the application of FOLS for silviculture, road construction and haulage activities.”

“The decision to endorse FOLS follows a number of contractor information sessions that we conducted in conjunction with ForestWorks, across the state,” said John.

Lesia Clark, Skills Advisory Manager at ForestWorks, will be seconded to HVP from July 4 to support HVP and their harvesting contractors’ transition to FOLS.

FOLS is the national skills verification program for Forest Managers, Contractors and Operators.

FOLS helps to ensure workers have undertaken the required nationally recognised training and have kept their skills current through regular practice. It includes an online database which authenticates and lists a workers skills – particularly in high risk activities. Operators also receive a FOLS Card to demonstrate their skills.

Diana Lloyd, Contracts and Projects Manager at ForestWorks, said HVP is the first private plantation company in Victoria to adopt FOLS as their preferred tool to manage operators’ high risk competencies.

“FOLS has been successfully used for several years, particularly in native forests, to manage the skills of employees and improve safety in the workplace. We look forward to supporting HVP’s work health and safety efforts through the FOLS program.”

“We are committed to further developing FOLS so that all forestry businesses may one day benefit from FOLS,” said Diana.

For more information about the FOLS Skills Verification Program, visit fols.forestworks.com.au.

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Woodflow conference programme released

Innovative new technologies such as 3-D printing, autonomous trucking, vehicle platooning, remote controlled felling, new loading and distribution operations, robotics, UAV’s and sensors have all successfully been trialled. They’re already changing planning and logistics in supply chains and increasingly are going to play a significant role in reshaping how the forest products industry supply chain operates.

Recent research has found that 65% of supply chain professionals are using or will invest in 3D printing over the next 2 years. Companies are recognising its ability to produce product and augment manufacturing operations. Gartner Research expects 3D printer sales for example to reach US$13.4 billion by 2018 with a staggering 2.3 million units shipped. Globally, Gartner is predicting shipments to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 106.6% with revenue climbing at a CAGR of 87.7% through to 2018.

Augmented reality has already touched the forestry industry with Hiab recently introducing a system which the company claims is unique in the industry. They’ve used virtual reality (VR) goggles, cameras, and connectivity to develop a new system that improves the safety of the operator and allows them operate the crane remotely – away from the truck. Cameras are mounted on top of the forestry crane, which enables the operator to see the working area and operate the crane remotely using the VR goggles. This and other robotic and automation technologies will form part of the September programme that’s planned.

Self-driving vehicles and drones (or UAVs) are using a variety of technologies including cameras and advanced driver assistance systems to handle some or all functions of operating a vehicle. "By 2017, 20% of logistics organizations will be exploiting drones as part of their monitoring, searching and event management activities”, according to Gartner. Trials for “on demand delivery” using drones have already been undertaken in both New Zealand and Australia.

For driverless vehicles, by 2030, vehicles capable of driving autonomously are expected to represent approximately 25% of the passenger vehicle population in mature markets. Daimler plans to have the truck on the road within a decade. In addition to Europe, the first license for an autonomous commercial truck to operate on a public highway in the US has been granted to Daimler and trials are well underway.

A group of Dutch logistics and technology companies has a much shorter timetable and they are looking to employ driverless trucks to deliver goods from the Port of Rotterdam to other cities in the Netherlands. Volvo Trucks have also been testing vehicle platooning where a convoy of electronically-linked trucks is driven by just the one driver using automated systems in each vehicle that can adjust for following distances and speed. The CEO of one of North America’s leading automated truck driving technology companies, Peloton, will present at Wood Flow Optimisation 2016.

“The September Wood Flow Optimisation 2016 series is going to open the eyes of local companies to technologies that are going to change current supply chain models and operations. As well as new tools and technologies, case studies, trials and systems that have been developed and are being implemented by local forestry companies and their technology partners will be highlighted as part of this latest series” says Brent Apthorp.

Full details on both Wood Flow Optimisation 2016 programmes can be found now on the event website, www.woodflow.events.

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Contracting in WHANGAREI? - Register TODAY

Attention: ALL NORTHLAND Forestry Contractors

FICA invites all forestry contractors (including non-members) to register for the next Health & Safety Legislation Workshop is at the Distinction Hotel & Conference Centre in WHANGAREI on 16th July - REGISTER NOW!

If you and your spouse or crew manager have not yet registered – DO IT NOW – or you WILL miss out.

PLACE: Distinction Hotel & Conference Centre, Whangarei
DATE: Thursday, 14th July 2016
TIMES: Start @ 8:30 am >>> Finish @ 2:00pm
1) Martin Wouters, Manage ACC – Saving yourself time and money on ACC Levies
2) Lawyer from Minter Ellison Rudd Watts – Update on H&S Legislation
3) Garth Beker, BFA (Accountants) – Managing other Risks in Forest Contracting Businesses

AGENDA: Outline: Managing Health and Safety and Other Risks in Your Business

See the flyer attached for more details.

DON'T DELAY - Over half the seats are booked already!

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Komatsu's New 875 Forwarder

Komatsu Forest’s new Komatsu 875 is a brand new forwarder model and is unique in the 16-ton load capacity class. From its chassis and powertrain to its crane and bunk, this new model is designed to deliver a higher load capacity in its primary application – final logging – and when there are particularly high demands in terms of productivity.

The increase in productivity is due in part to a larger bunk, FlexBunk, the height and width of which can be adjusted from the cab. Other contributing factors are the new, sturdier powertrain, with its higher engine power/torque and traction, fantastic terrain mobility provided by the Komatsu Comfort Bogie with portals, a boat-shaped chassis with high-tensile steel underneath, and a front blade that can be raised higher than ever. The intelligent transmission, which optimizes power and speed based on terrain, load, the engine’s power output and whether you are also using the crane, has been supplemented with a larger hydrostatic pump and hydrostatic motor for even better handling.

Komatsu 875 comes with the option of a newly-developed crane with a gross lifting torque of 145 kNm and a gross slewing torque of 38 kNm. The combination of an improved hydraulic system and, among other features, a larger crane valve and hydraulic pump ensures superior productivity and outstanding crane operation. The crane with a single extender reaches a full 8.5 meters and has plenty of net lifting power thanks to the weight-optimized boom system.

The machine has been designed throughout to ensure excellent reliability in tough conditions, and the new axles and a new articulated joint and frame system are all built to last. This saves money in the long term by reducing downtime and maintenance. The articulated joint and drive shaft are fitted with a new type of bearing seat seal for a long service life and lower service costs.

More >>

Source: Komatsu Forest

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Ideal 'NZ' tree species on the cards

University seeking sustainable solutions for NZ forestry at UC - An innovative team at the University of Canterbury’s (UC) School of Forestry is working to find a solution to a key challenge facing New Zealand’s forestry industry.

A new tree breeding programme could determine which durable sustainable eucalyptus varieties are best for producing high quality wood, according to Dr Clemens Altaner.

“Wood is a biodegradable material and therefore central to a sustainable and environmentally friendly economy,” Dr Altaner says.

“However, it can decay, or rot, prematurely. To make it longer lasting, wood can be impregnated with chemicals, but these are toxic and some still used in New Zealand are restricted in other countries.”

Importing naturally durable wood from tropical countries is also problematic because these forests are often not harvested sustainably.

Dr Altaner says some eucalyptus trees are highly durable and therefore provide another option. Crucially for foresters they grow fast and straight, which makes them easier to process.

What Dr Altaner and his colleagues are seeking now, through creating a breeding programme, is to find which variety is the best option for New Zealand’s climate.

“We want to identify not only the trees which are the fastest growing, most frost-resistant and most insect-resistant but also those which produce the best quality timber.”

“Selecting trees for wood quality is rarely done due to the amount of time it takes to make difficult measurements, however we have developed new, quick wood-quality assessments.

“Another unique feature of the programme is the assessment of the trees at a young age, drastically reducing the time to deploy improved trees from decades to years.”

Hopefully within five years superior trees identified from the breeding programme will be mass propagated and planted.

Its all being done with the goal of creating high quality wood which can also be used to produce engineered wood products such as laminated veneer lumber, both here in New Zealand and to open up additional export opportunities for the forestry industry.

Dr Altaner’s research was awarded a $500,000 grant last year from the Government’s Sustainable Farming Fund, and other funding sources have come from every level of the forestry industry – from seed producers to tree nurseries to forest growers and wood processors.

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Christchurch - Forest proposition for Red Zone

Red zone forest could help solve Christchurch’s winter air pollution - Environment Canterbury (ECan) and Regenerate Christchurch should seriously investigate how a red zone forest could help to solve Christchurch’s winter air pollution problem, says community group Greening the Red Zone.

With a study recently finding that 5% of strokes in New Zealand are caused by smog, Greening the Red Zone co-chair Ashley Campbell says it is time to look seriously at how a large native forest can be part of the solution.

“Government-set standards say Christchurch can have no more than three high-pollution days in the year starting September 2016,” Ms Campbell says. “By 2020, we can have no more than one.

“We have already had three high air pollution days this winter.

“If we’re going to meet those standards, we must look at every possibility for improving our air- quality, while also improving people’s lives,” she says.

“Local and international research suggests very strongly that an evergreen native forest in the red zone could play a real part in helping us to meet those standards.”

A 2008 study of winter air pollution found that the air inside Riccarton Bush was significantly cleaner than outside, thought to be a result of the bush taking pollution out of the air.

It concluded: “This provides evidence for the mitigation potential of New Zealand evergreen species that could be used by urban planners to help improve air quality in key areas.”

And in its report Our Forest Future, Pure Advantage has this year valued the existing benefits of trees removing pollution at $19.2 million a year for Christchurch.

Ms Campbell says international research makes the case for a red zone forest even stronger, showing that bigger forests and evergreens are best at removing air pollution.

“While it’s removing air pollution, a red zone forest will also provide many other benefits to Christchurch, including flood protection, improved physical and mental health, stormwater cleansing, and increased biodiversity,” says Ms Campbell. “All these issues need serious investigation if we are going to make the best decision for all of Christchurch.”

You can read more HERE about how a red zone forest would help to clean up our air on Greening the Red Zone’s website.

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Timber high-rise plans revealed for London

Moves by internationally-recognised leaders in property development have sparked interest from a growing number of architects to look to the use of wood for its many benefits for tall commercial buildings. Now places not normally associated with wood cultures are seeing more wood-based skyscraper plans appearing.

Architects are recognizing the versatility of wood by building innovative timber-framed structures that offer an alternative to traditional steel and concrete construction, reports the website Inhabitat.

Over the last few decades, the trend of building with timber has expanded to include such challenging buildings as high-rises. Now, PLP Architecture and researchers from the University of Cambridge have teamed up to design London’s first timber tower and, if realized, the city’s second tallest building, after The Shard.

Located in central London, the sculptural one-million-square-foot mixed-use skyscraper and mid-rise terraces would create over 1,000 new residential units. Architects and researchers are interested in the use of timber in tall building due to wood’s renewable advantages as well as possible reduced construction costs, improved timescales, and increased fire resistance as compared to traditional concrete and steel buildings. Studies have also suggested that timber construction can have a wide positive impact on urban environments and occupant health.


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Dreamer with a drone wants to plant trees

Ex-Nasa man to plant one billion trees a year using drones - Without dreamers we might never be inspired to make progress beyond our everyday models.

This guy is clearly thinking OUTSIDE of the BOX with his drones-planting-trees ideas! Have a look be inspired - if this isn't possible or practical - perhaps it leads us to think about what is ...

A drone start-up is going to counter industrial scale deforestation using industrial scale reforestation.

BioCarbon Engineering wants to use drones for good, using the technology to seed up to one billion trees a year, all without having to set foot on the ground.

26 billion trees are currently being burned down every year while only 15 billion are replanted. If successful, the initiative could help address this shortfall in a big way.

Drones should streamline reforestation considerably, with hand-planting being slow and expensive.

"The only way we're going to take on these age-old problems is with techniques that weren't available to us before," CEO and former Nasa-engineer Lauren Fletcher said. "By using this approach we can meet the scale of the problem out there."

More >>

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... and finally ... Misunderstood

Before we get to the main jokes section we thought the Brexit story deserved a bit of a humorous thrashing.

1. #Brexit in one picture

2. Here is a meme doing the rounds: "EU have noted Brexit could be followed by Grexit, Departugal, Italeave, Fruckoff, Czechout, Oustria, Finish, Slovakout, Netherun, Luxembuggeroff and Byegium. Only Germaining."


A little boy gets home from school and says "Dad, I've got a part in the school play as a man who's been married for 25 years."
His Dad replies "Never mind Son. Maybe next time you'll get a speaking part!!"


A dwarf goes to a very good but very busy doctor and asks "I know you are busy but do you treat dwarves?"
The doctor replies "Yes, but you will have to be a little patient".


Paddy decides to take up boxing and goes for the required medical. A few days later the doctor 'phones and says "Paddy, you realise you've got sugar diabetes."
Paddy says, "Nice one, when do I fight him?"


A Yorkshire man takes his cat to the vet.
Yorkshireman: "Ayup, lad, I need to talk to thee about me cat."
Vet: "Is it a tom?"
Yorkshireman: "Nay, I've browt it with us."


A Yorkshireman's dog dies and as it was a favourite pet he decides to have a gold statue made by a jeweller to remember the dog by.
Yorkshireman: "Can tha mek us a gold statue of yon dog?"
Jeweller: "Do you want it 18 carat?"
Yorkshireman: "No I want it chewin' a bone yer daft bugger!"

That's all for our mid-week wood news roundup.

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John Stulen
PO Box 1230
Building X91, Scion Campus, 99 Sala Street
Rotorua, New Zealand
Tel: +64 27 275 8011
Web: www.woodweek.com

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