WoodWeek – 9 May 2018

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Greetings from your WoodWeek news team. First to the markets where the growth continues strongly. Our graphics this week from the good folks at Champion Freight show total log export values to China are up over 33 percent year-on-year, contributing to overall log exports growing 26 percent. Month-on-month to the end of March also shows China shipments up 31 percent and overall log exports up 28 percent.

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway plans to expand the focus of what constitutes significant harm on the job in a draft health and safety strategy to lift the well-being of workers and in turn the productivity of the labour force. The government is seeking feedback on the draft plan with a view to finalising a health and safety strategy in September or October of this year. The Minister will be speaking at the upcoming FIEA Forest Industry Safety & Technology Conference in Rotorua on 8 August.

As Komatsu celebrates 10 years and 100 autonomous trucks it's a sign of the future for logging equipment. Based on the now tested record of safety, productivity, environmental resistance and system flexibility in an array of mining environments, Komatsu plans to accelerate the pace of AHS deployment for these types of vehicles. Technologies like these will be able to transform machine operation in logging operations before long. See more about these types of developments at our FIEA Forest Safety & Technology Conference series in August in Rotorua and Melbourne. See www.forestsafety.events for more information.

Finally, it seems to have taken ages but Fonterra has finally made the move to use wood fuel at its Brightwater dairy factory. Brian Cox of the Bioenergy Association congratulates Fonterra on its move to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25 per cent at its Brightwater site by converting the site boiler to co-fire on wood biomass. He says the Brightwater boiler conversion is evidence Fonterra is serious about its commitment to reduce absolute emissions by 30% by 2030.

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Workplace Safety Minister signals new targets

Lees-Galloway signals broader health & safety targets in draft strategy - Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway plans to expand the focus of what constitutes significant harm on the job in a draft health and safety strategy to lift the well-being of workers and in turn the productivity of the labour force.

The government is seeking feedback on the draft plan with a view to finalising a health and safety strategy in September or October of this year. The draft strategy has two key planks: designing a system focused on achieving the biggest impact, such as ensuring businesses have proportionate and effective risk management, and supporting small firms, high-risk sectors and the most vulnerable workers; and raising the capability throughout the system, from staff to management.

The paper outlines four priorities, the first being a broader set of measures and targets that will replace an injury focus with a health focus when the targets expire in 2021. Other priorities include creating a durable and proportionate regulatory framework, which will include a review of the legislation in 2020, putting workers at the centre of the system, and ensuring strong sector leadership with industry, unions and government working together to improve health and safety.

"New Zealand has made good progress in recent years in reducing the rate of acute harm. However, urgent work still remains," Lees-Galloway said in a statement. "I want to ensure that we are reducing all types of significant harm at work - this includes broadening the focus from acute harm to make sure we're managing wider health risks, including mental health."

The previous administration softened planned health and safety law reforms in 2015 to ease the burden on small business, having initially supported the early legislation as an opportunity to address New Zealand's rate of death and injury in the workplace, attracting criticism from the Labour Party when it was in opposition.

The draft strategy was developed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and WorkSafe, with stakeholders including BusinessNZ and the Council of Trade Unions.

The new government has an overarching vision for work-related harm to significantly drop in the coming decade to world class levels, and that workplace safety and health "is fundamental to the strength and productivity of New Zealand's economy" by avoiding the economic cost of deaths, injuries and general poor health.

A BusinessNZ and Southern Cross Health Society-sponsored survey last year showed an average absence of 4.4 days per employee in 2016 with non-work related illness the main cause, followed by caring for an ill family member or dependent. The survey put the direct cost of employee absence to the broader economy at $1.51 billion

The draft strategy paper said the level of work-related harm has improved from a low base and was still high by international standards, with more than 250 people killed and almost 2,000 seriously injured on the job over the past five years. If that's broadened to work-related ill health, the paper estimates between 600 and 900 people die a year in New Zealand.

"A key priority highlighted in the strategy is ensuring better outcomes for Maori and other workers at greater risk who are over-represented in injury statistics and high- risk sectors, such as forestry and construction, or more likely to be engaged in temporary, geographically remote or precarious employment," Lees-Galloway said. "Once finalised it will also outline more meaningful measures and targets for monitoring our performance as a country."

The paper said official data on work-related deaths and serious injuries are currently available, and that future health surveys on exposure to work-related health risks are expected to be available next year. However, the risk of major events with potential to cause significant acute or chronic harm are yet to be confirmed.

Submissions are open until June 8.

Source: BusinessDesk

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Safety high priority at Pan Pac Forest Products

Pan Pac Forest Products managing director Doug Ducker has been on the timber processing workface for more than 40 years and one thing he has always been conscious of is the key workplace ingredient of safety.

He was busy with meetings and management agendas this week but happily agreed to make time for a catch-up on the subject.

"There is always time to talk about the importance of safety," he said.

He has seen the continual evolution of both the processing side of the industry through the decades and the consequent directional changes and strategies for safety.

Ducker has a simple but sincere philosophy on the issue.

"It is a matter of ensuring all are on board with the safety message.

"When people come to work they have to switch on the safety head — think safety first."

While there had been some changes to the way that message was delivered, and accordingly adopted, it came down to what he said were the absolute core principles.

"To ensure people stay safe — the assessment of risks and the elimination of risk — those core principals remain."

There are around 400 permanent staff based at the Whirinaki site as well as about 450 contracted to Pan Pac to assist in forestry, harvesting and transport.

So it is absolutely essential to keep the safety factor well up on the overall scale of the business.

As well as a continuing series of safety meetings and forums, involving all sectors of the business, there are five staff charged solely with carrying out full safety processes.

Accordingly, Pan Pac has a strong safety record.

More >>

Source: NZHerald

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Champion Freight Reports

Thanks to the great team at Champion Freight we've got the latest export market activity update for you in a series of really self-explanatory charts. They have some easy-to- read labels on the charts so they are readily identifiable even when printed in black & white.

To download the full report, click here.

Source: Champion Freight

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Stora Enso: CLT building for CLT plant

New CLT mill taking shape in Gruvon - Stora Enso’s investment in production unit for CLT in Sweden, is proceeding according to investment schedule.

The construction of the new CLT mill located alongside the Gruvön sawmill started with groundworks in October 2017. “We want to be role models in using wood in construction. Other than the groundwork and reinforced concrete columns, we are building the whole new mill out of CLT by Stora Enso,” says mill manager Pär Larsson.

“I think this is a unique opportunity we have here to build our premises sustainably,” he continues. The production is scheduled to begin during the first quarter of 2019.

Stora Enso announced in July 2017 that it will invest EUR 45 million in a new production unit for cross laminated timber (CLT) in connection with its Gruvön Mill in Sweden. The investment will further enhance Stora Enso’s position as a global provider of high quality engineered wooden elements and as a market leader in CLT.

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Scion Business Outlook Invitation

In February, 61 people who operate in the forestry industry were asked whether they see a more prosperous or a more challenging 12 months ahead. These individuals represent a fairly large component of the forestry sector.

It was noted that North Island based businesses were less optimistic compared to the South Island. Consulting and other support services foresee improved business opportunities over the next 12 months.

Transport, Shipping and Ports were generally lower and may start feeling the impacts of higher fuel price outlooks. Higher future interest rates have also become a new norm among recent outlooks.

Scion would like to repeat (and hopefully expand) this outlook in May. If you operate a business anywhere along the forestry products supply chain then please consider casting your vote.

All information is treated as confidential and results are reported anonymously and at an aggregated scale only. The Outlook will be shared exclusively with participants in June and will only become available publicly in July.

Please participate before Sunday 27 May by clicking here.

For more information contact Carel Bezuidenhout at [email protected].

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Komatsu celebrates autonomous milestone

Komatsu celebrate 10 years and 100 autonomous trucks it is a sign of the future for logging equipment. More than 100 autonomous haulage system (AHS) trucks operate in mines Australia, North and South America. Based on the now tested record of safety, productivity, environmental resistance and system flexibility in an array of mining environments, Komatsu plans to accelerate the pace of AHS deployment.

In 2005, Komatsu began the AHS trial at CODELCO’s copper mine in Chile and succeeded in achieving the world’s first commercial AHS deployment with Codelco in January 2008. A second successful deployment followed in late 2008 at Rio Tinto’s iron ore mine in Australia and Rio Tinto currently operates AHS trucks in four mines in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The entire AHS operation is controlled remotely and efficiently from Rio Tinto’s operations center in Perth, roughly 1,500 km (930 mi) from the mines. Following those successes of AHS deployments, Komatsu supported Suncor’s pilot of AHS in a section of their oil sands mine in Canada in 2013.

Today, the AHS operates around the clock, hauling three different commodities, in six mines across three continents. By the end of 2017, the AHS recorded a world- leading, cumulative total of 1.5 billion tons of hauled materials. In the area of safety, AHS is significantly safer than in conventional mining environments where even a small truck driving error could cause a serious accident. AHS enabled customer productivity has improved, reducing load and haul unit costs by more than 15%, compared to conventional haulage methods. In addition, the optimized automatic controls of the AHS reduce sudden acceleration and abrupt steering resulting in 40% improvement in tire life compared to conventional operations.

To extend the proven AHS benefits to operations with manned haul fleets, Komatsu conducted and successfully completed trials of its AHS retrofit kit at Rio Tinto’s existing mine in September 2017. The retrofit kit, mounted on a Komatsu electric drive standard truck 830E (nominal payload: 220 tons), enabled the truck to operate in autonomous mode. As a result, Komatsu recently received an order from Rio Tinto for 29 AHS retrofit kits, to be installed on 830E standard trucks currently operating at Rio Tinto’s Brockman 4 mine.

In addition to expanding the AHS retrofit kit to include other main models of Komatsu electric drive standard trucks, Komatsu is planning to enhance the AHS’s mixed- operation functions. The planned enhancements will enable manned haul trucks of any make to safely interoperate with Komatsu AHS trucks in a blended fleet operation. Under this initiative, Komatsu has committed to provide mining customers with AHS solutions that meet the growing demand for gradual transition from existing to fully automated mine.

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Timber Design Awards going strong

Entries confirm wood’s exciting future - The 2018 NZ Wood-Resene Timber Design Awards are in “fantastic” heart given the high quality and numbers of entries received, says Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association’s (WPMA)’s promotion manager Debbie Fergie.

Entries are proving that projects from one end of the country to the other, for private citizens to government departments are all using timber in innovative and interesting ways, she says. “This goes to show just how well architects, engineers and their clients are embracing the possibilities presented by timber, especially engineered timber. It’s an industry whose time has really come!”

The varied entries prove the structural challenges of building in engineered wood are being solved in interesting and novel ways.

“Timber’s light weight and structural integrity have been ideal for use in the Christchurch rebuild and previous awards have reflected this. But now, designers have increasing confidence and are working with other industry partners to produce beautiful structures across the country that can withstand extreme winds or seismic events, says WPMA’s Technical Manager Jeff Parker.

“Our new or revised categories this year have delivered lots of interesting entries, with a higher demonstrated level of sophistication,” Debbie says. The ten categories include residential and commercial architectural and engineering innovation as well as a new multi-storey category and a revised wood and fibre creativity award.

The student design category has delivered more exciting proposals than ever and the future “must be in good heart,” she believes. “It’s going to be an especially hard job for our judges this year!”

Timber’s natural look and feel is being specified more and more. As one 2017 winner said, “Our experience has provided so many good design and financial arguments for using timber in new and exciting ways, that it’s front of mind for almost every project of ours now.”

Stage Two entries (finalists) will be announced in late May.

For more information call Debbie on 021-807 002, or email her at [email protected]

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ANZ Commodity Price Index

The ANZ Commodity Price Index rose 1.0% m/m in April, notching up its fourth consecutive lift. Of the 17 commodities seven rose, five were unchanged and four declined.

The main thrust was provided by the dairy complex, while aluminium provided a supporting act as trade tensions and geopolitics boosted prices. The meat and fibre group provided a drag as beef and skin prices fell.

The NZD moved higher against major trading partners except the USD and GBP. This helped boost NZD returns 1.2% m/m, lifting annual growth to 5.8%.

Source: ANZ

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Calling all professional drivers

Teletrac Navman asks driver for tips during Road Safety Week - No one plans to have a road accident, but how do you plan not to have one? This week is New Zealand’s annual Road Safety Week (running from 7th May to 13th May), and Teletrac Navman wants to highlight the importance of safe driving around heavy vehicles.

Whether it’s sitting in blind spots or rapidly changing speeds on the motorway, many smaller vehicle drivers don’t realise their habits adversely affect truck drivers — who can’t easily brake or swerve out of harm’s way. Heavy vehicle operators are involved in more serious accidents than other vehicles, despite often not being at fault. Truck drivers have primary responsibility for only one fifth (20 per cent) of the fatal crashes involving another road user1.

“If we want to get serious about reducing the road toll, then we need to talk about trucks; specifically, sharing the road safety with them,” says Andrew Rossington, Vice President of Transport at Teletrac Navman, which specialises in GPS fleet tracking and fleet management systems.

Teletrac Navman’s Road Safety Week initiative #TipsFromSafeDrivers invites truck drivers to share their best tips and tricks on how other road users can safely share the road with them. Throughout May, their insights and advice will be showcased on the Teletrac Navman contest website. At the end of the month, the driver with the best tip will receive a $100 Visa prepaid giftcard.

Trucks transport 91 per cent of New Zealand’s total freight by weight, according to the Government’s 2014 National Freight Demands Study2. The study forecasts that up to 2042 there will be little change in modal share, indicating that over 90 per cent of freight tonnage will continue to be transported by truck.

“Aotearoa relies and will continue to rely on heavy vehicle road transport. That’s why it’s so important to keep the safety and wellbeing of drivers top of mind. With first-hand accounts from those behind the wheel, we can gain insights that will make our roads safer for everyone,” says Rossington.

Drivers can submit their safety tip, along with a photo, at http://safedriver.teletracnavman.co.nz/enter-to-win/

Teletrac Navman is excited to see what the experts have to offer when it comes to heavy vehicle safety. Representatives from Teletrac Navman are available for comment all throughout Road Safety Week.

For more information please visit www.teletracnavman.co.nz/blog/truckers-speak- up-for-road-safety-week-2018

1 Source - Ministry of Transport. (2017) Truck Crash Facts 2017.
2 Source - Ministry of Transport. (2014) National Freight Demand Study.

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New Forests announce tech partnership

Collaboration announced to deploy genetic technology in tropical eucalyptus plantations – An innovative partnership has been announced between Australian genetics technology firm Gondwana Genomics and timberland investment manager New Forests, seeking to deploy genetic technology to boost productivity in tropical eucalyptus plantations. Following successful demonstrations, the two companies are collaborating on the world’s first large-scale investment in tropical eucalyptus Marker Assisted Selection (MAS), aiming to deliver significant gains in tree plantation productivity and resilience at two New Forests’ investments in Southeast Asia.

The joint initiative will deploy MAS technology at two of New Forests’ investments from its Tropical Asia Forest Fund. Acacia Forest Industries of Sabah, Malaysia and Mekong Timber Plantations of central Laos will work together with Gondwana Genomics to execute a multi-year program of MAS tree breeding. The program targets improvements in growth, yield, and wood fibre characteristics while also seeking to enhance resilience to pests and disease. The collaboration aims to bring forward targeted growth improvements, resulting in faster growing plantations that achieve higher levels of performance in as little as three to five years, as compared to original targets of five to eight years.

“We are proud that New Forests has encouraged the adoption of our MAS technology at its Southeast Asian timber plantations,” said Robert Southerton, Managing Director at Gondwana Genomics. “As an environmentally responsible and proven technology, MAS is attractive to companies like New Forests who are seeking to enhance commercial returns from plantations but who also consider environmental factors and want healthy, genetically diverse plantations. Our MAS technology helps these plantations break through traditionally long breeding cycles and instead find ways to rapidly maximise yield and plantation quality.”

MAS technology is also known as smart breeding as it enables tree breeders to select for desirable traits and accurately predict the performance of a tree using a DNA test. This MAS approach does not require genetic modification but rather uses genetic sequencing to more accurately and rapidly identify traits in a structured breeding program. MAS technology enables highly targeted cross-breeding, with further tests able to determine whether offspring are inheriting the right genes from each parent, thereby speeding up the development of the next generation of elite trees. In commercial application, this can result in rapidly improving plantation quality to meet market and operational demands.

“By coordinating a collaboration among Mekong Timber Plantations, Acacia Forest Industries, and Gondwana Genomics, New Forests can leverage the genetic information of our two tropical eucalyptus plantations to accelerate their breeding programs and get better results faster,” said James Bullen, Director of Investments and Operations for New Forests. “This not only saves time and brings forward cash flows, but it also will help make our plantation investments more resilient, diverse, and adaptable to a combination of market preferences and environmental conditions.”

More details: New Forests is an Australia-headquartered investment manager responsible for more than AUD 4.5 billion in assets under management across 915,000 hectares of forests and land in Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and the United States. New Forests’ Singapore office manages the company’s tropical forestry investments and operations in Southeast Asia. Gondwana Genomics is a privately held Australian company using pioneering genetic methods to make next generation tree breeding tools commercially available. The company holds an exclusive license to its MAS technology, which uses targeted DNA sequencing to identify specific genetic traits, such as disease resistance, strength, density, higher pulp yield, and faster growth.

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Tigercat offers turbocharger service tip

Turbochargers have been around for many years and have become an industry standard on most forestry machines. The amount of exhaust on the hot side of the engine controls the speed of the turbo exhaust turbine. As the speed increases, a greater amount of air is forced into the engine and more horsepower is produced. A steel shaft mechanically links the turbine to the compressor wheel and effectively controls the volume of air going into the cool side of the engine. Turbocharger speeds can reach well over 100,000 rpm. With faster rotational speeds, there is little room for error. Proper maintenance and operating practices can prevent damage or premature wear.

Air Filtration and Restriction
Just as it is difficult to breathe when wearing a plugged dust mask, a turbocharger also relies on the cleanliness of the air intake system to work efficiently. Air filtration is the first line of defence for the turbo from dirty atmospheric air, as it prevents contaminants from coming into direct contact with the compressor inlet. The outside air enters the pre-cleaner then circulates through the primary (outer) filter element. Then it passes through the safety (inner) filter and finally toward the turbo inlet. To keep this system working efficiently, any debris accumulation around the pre-cleaner such as branches, snow, dirt, mud or leaves must be removed at least every eight hours and more often if working in challenging conditions. This will help keep the turbo vacuum pressure within limits and lower the longitudinal strain on the shaft at high speeds, preserving the life of the seals and internal parts of the turbo. A plugged filter will cause the turbo speeds to increase because there is no load on the compressor and this in turn can cause the turbo to fail.

Cooling and Lubrication
A warm up is important before exercising and it would only make sense to seek shade with a nice cold glass of water after running in hot weather. The same goes for your machine. The oil must be warmed before working the machine and the turbo must be allowed to cool before shutdown. Proper lubrication is essential to cool the turbo. Remember, it can spin over 100,000 rpm. Turning off the engine right after working the machine hard means the lubricating oil flow by the pump will be turned off while the turbo is still spinning at high rpms for several minutes. With no oil, there is no way to quickly remove the heat. This can cause premature wear to the shaft, bearings and seals and shorten the life of the turbo. The same can happen by not allowing enough time for the oil to warm on startup. Cold oil moves more slowly, delivering inadequate lubrication to the bearing.

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Canadian-built CLT house wins Korea awards

The CLT House, which was certified as the second official Super-E® House in Korea, received the grand prize in the Completed Work Category of the 2017 Korea Wood Design Awards.

The second Super-E® House was the first in Korea to apply CLT and since winning the grand prize at the Korea Wood Design Awards, more attention has been focused on the Super-E® House and CLT through articles and issues covered by a number of media outlets.

Mr. Gap-bong Kim, CEO of Stuga Wood Construction, who constructed Korea’s first CLT house participated in the first Advanced Technology Construction Training in Canada conducted in 2005 hosted by Canada Wood and became the leader of KWCA’s Super-E® Task Force Team.

KWCA made a MOU with Super-E® Office last year to act as an official service provider of Super-E® certification program in Korea and is currently working on combining their 5-Star QA Inspection program with Super-E® Certification program with support from Canada Wood Korea.

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Source: Canada Wood Today

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Wood biomass move for Fonterra

Fonterra shows that biomass can replace coal for process heat - Bioenergy Association congratulates Fonterra on its move to use wood fuel at its Brightwater dairy factory.

“The Bioenergy Association congratulates Fonterra on its move to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25 per cent at its Brightwater site by converting the site boiler to co-fire on wood biomass.”

Brian Cox, Executive Officer, says the Brightwater boiler conversion is evidence Fonterra is serious about its commitment to reduce absolute emissions by 30% by 2030, and transition towards net zero emissions by 2050.

“Fonterra is ahead of its 2019 target to demonstrate wood biomass co-firing at scale, and is another step further in its phased approach toward renewable energy sources.”

“The move to wood biomass as an energy source signals a confidence in the bioenergy sector and is good news for the wood fuel supply market.”

“Co-firing wood with coal is a good transition strategy and assists the wood fuel supply sector to increase capacity in an orderly fashion. This is critical for encouraging wood fuel suppliers to take on more staff and expand their ability to deliver specified grades of wood fuel.”

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Buy and Sell

... and finally some nonsense for a laugh

An Irishman went to the doctor because he was overweight.

The doctor said "I want you to eat regularly for 2 days, then skip a day, then eat regularly again for 2 days then skip a day. And repeat this procedure for 2 weeks. The next time I see you, you should have lost at least 5 pounds."

When the Irishman returned, he shocked the doctor by having lost nearly 60 lbs!

"Why, that's amazing!" the doctor said. "Did you follow my instructions?"

The Irishman nodded ... "I'll tell you though, be jaesuz, I t'aut I were going to drop dead on dat 'tird day."

"From the hunger, you mean?" asked the doctor.

"No, from the fookin' skippin for a whole day each time!"


One day, a young boy was asked by his teacher to tell him what the chemical formula for water was.

The boy replied with, "H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O".

The Teacher was stunned. "That's not right, how did you come up with that?"

The boy said, "Last week you said it was H2O!"


Two men are stranded on a deserted island. One despairs, but the other one claps him assuredly on the back and says, "Don't worry, they will definitely find us, and soon."

"Really? Why do you think so?"

"I owe the Tax Department five years' worth of taxes."

Thanks for keeping up with the latest wood news with us!
Have a safe and productive week.

John Stulen

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