A Preview Of Forest Products EXPO 2023

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A Preview Of Forest Products EXPO 2023 1
Eric Gee

Do you want to be at the center of the forest products community? Are you ready to see how adaptive technology is influencing manufacturing decisions? Is your company part of the new manufacturing age at this critical moment for the industry?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, don’t second-guess attending the 37th Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition. It’s the place to network with leading equipment manufacturing companies and industry professionals as they develop and share technologies, which adapt to new markets, adjust quickly to increased demand, and bolster operations for the future.

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EXPO 2023, set for August 23-25, 2023, in Nashville will provide you with solutions for nearly every stage of manufacturing. From raw material handling to crane operations; metal detection and scanning technologies; log optimization, drying, grading, sorting, packaging, and distribution, there’s an exhibiting company representative on site to explore these solutions with you face to face.

Make no mistake, this new era of work has arrived. An era of connected systems, responsive manufacturing, and innovative technologies – it will all be under a single roof at EXPO 2023.

A Connected Community

The Southern Forest Products Association established EXPO to help advance the southern pine and greater lumber industry and provide a forum for the exchange of ideas contributing to improved sawmill efficiency. As the industry has become more efficient, typical EXPO attendees have evolved to include:

•key decision makers who control major purchasing budgets,

•mill supervisors looking to improve efficiency,

•marketing experts seeking promotional vision, and

•young professionals making tomorrow’s decisions.

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The three-day show provides a place to connect and reconnect with colleagues, discover new trends, and explore opportunities. Both first-time and returning attendees alike play a vital role in the continued progress of the lumber industry. Each exhibiting company has contributed to the industry’s success throughout the years, and attendees will find the EXPO 2023 halls decked out with dynamic displays showcasing the latest in wood processing technology.

More importantly, EXPO provides a place where in-person meetings are valued over emails and phone calls; where a handshake and a smile between colleagues communicate genuine respect; and where sharing ideas is best accomplished face-to-face.

EXPO: A History of Innovation

On April 19, 1950, leaders from across the southern lumber manufacturing region gathered in New Orleans to open the first North American equipment trade event dedicated to improving lumber manufacturing.

More than 500 lumbermen attended and witnessed $1 million of equipment on display at the inaugural Logging and Sawmill Machinery Exposition (EXPO) held at the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans.

After a devastating fire in 1939 destroyed the Southern Lumber sawmill in Warren, Arkansas, General Manager W. R. Warner set out to build a state-of-the-art sawmill that would stand as the new model of sawmilling for the southern pine lumber industry.

On February 26, 1952, almost two years after viewing debarking technology at EXPO, Southern Lumber installed the first stationary pneumatic debarker. The Andersson Log Barker proved to be a valuable investment at $28,700 and could debark logs up to 30 inches in diameter.
Two weeks after the installation, Southern Lumber hosted Southern Pine Association members so other lumbermen could study the machinery. By 1962, 16 Andersson debarkers had been installed in southern sawmill operations, ushering in a widespread investment in sawmill operational efficiency.

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A Place for Softwoods and Hardwoods

While the sawmill machinery show originated from leaders looking for a way to improve softwood lumber production, today’s EXPO showcases machinery and equipment for Hardwood and softwood sawmills.

“Without a doubt, the Hardwood lumber industry has long been represented at this show,” said SFPA Executive Director Eric Gee. “People come to EXPO with an exploration mindset, looking for opportunities to invest in their operations.”

A long list of manufacturers serving the Hardwood industry have had a stalwart presence in EXPO for many years, including, but not limited to, companies like Corley Manufacturing, Oleson Saw, SII Dry Kilns, McDonough Manufacturing, TS Manufacturing, and Wood-Mizer.

Why Nashville in 2023?

It had been more than 10 years since EXPO had visited a city other than Atlanta, and EXPO attendee and exhibitor surveys showed it was time for a change. With that information in hand, more than 17 cities were examined as the next host city. In the end, Nashville was selected for several factors, but, most importantly, Nashville is positioned smack in the middle of the forest action.

The surrounding areas, including the Eastern U.S. Hardwood community, represent 42% of all lumber manufactured in the United States. And in case you’re curious, Nashville is within easy driving distance for 35% of southern pine sawmills and 73% of Hardwood sawmills. That’s just a four-hour drive from more than half of Southern sawmills!

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The Southern Forest Products Association team includes: Rachel Elton, accountant; Linda Patch, administrative assistant and program coordinator; Eric Gee, executive director; Alaina Hanson, director of administration; and Christian Moises, communications manager.

With 766 million acres, forests comprise more than one-third of the entire U.S. landscape. Annually producing more than $100 billion in forest products, the South’s variety of tree species and year-long harvesting make the region a first choice for mills that rely on an available, affordable supply of sustainable wood products – and Nashville is right in the center of it all.

EXPO 2023 will be held at the Music City Center in downtown Nashville. Located in the middle of all the action, the MCC is the perfect home base for a fun-filled visit to Nashville. You’ll experience a modern business atmosphere in the new state-of-the-art facility surrounded by a thriving culinary, music, sports, and cultural scene, including the Country Music Hall of Fame, the historic Ryman Auditorium, and the always fun and famous honky tonks – all within walking distance!

It’s Time to Get Down to Business; Face-To-Face is Back

The forest products manufacturing community knows EXPO is the place to get up close to the materials, resources, equipment, and technology they need now. With more than 50,000 square feet of displays, you’ll connect with the best professionals in the business. EXPO is THE place to:

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•CONNECT: Build lasting relationships with the leading equipment providers in the industry. These companies aren’t attending to sell; they want to invest in a lasting connection.

•EXPLORE: Learn from the finest machinery and technology companies on best practices and operational efficiencies. The companies at EXPO continually look for innovative methods to improve yields and ROI.

•DISCOVER: A variety of new opportunities that can improve safety and decrease bottlenecks while enriching relationships with trusted partners.

For nearly 70 years, this association-sponsored trade event has successfully connected the lumber manufacturing community. EXPO has a longstanding reputation as the place where connections are formed, relationships are strengthened, and deals are closed.

What are you waiting for? Plan your experience today at sfpaexpo.com!

By Miller Wood Trade Publications

The premier online information source for the forest products industry since 1927.

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