Equipment and Services Providers Accept The Challenges That The Market Brings

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Across the forest products industry, equipment and services providers that accommodate the Softwood industry came to a general consensus that while budgets have begun to tighten, there is a growing need for advances in AI and automation technologies to meet the demand that sawmills have with the changing work force. One company leader noted, “The current trend in the sawmill industry both in hardwood and Softwood mills is to be as efficient as possible.”

Another company leader spoke to the concerns of the supply chain and the time frame in which his company is able to deliver equipment. “Lead times for delivery of support parts have shot out to three months or more. This obviously affects the uptime of a manufacturing operation. So, we have added stock and advanced orders to accommodate the problem,” he stated.

Equipment and Services Providers Accept The Challenges That The Market Brings 1
Casey Miller

Casey Miller
A.W. Stiles Contractors Inc.
McMinnville, TN

At A.W. Stiles we work with both the hardwood and Softwood industries.
We have noticed that the hardwood industry has slowed down some as far as needing repairs, while the Softwood industry seemed to still need repairs and new builds on a regular basis.

I anticipate that in 2024 both industries will be tightening their budgets even more.
We offer new kilns for both hardwood and Softwood, as well as kiln reskins, kiln repair, kiln parts and chief prefabbed metal buildings.
We haven’t had any real issues with parts, or any issues with transportation or labor. A lot of our customers are struggling with labor.

In my opinion I believe that technology is making up for very little of the shortage of labor in the sawmills. I believe it will be hard pressed to replace the human eye and still supply a good quality product.

Equipment and Services Providers Accept The Challenges That The Market Brings 2
Kirk Forbes

Kirk Forbes
Brunette Machinery Co. Inc.
Surrey, BC

We work with both hardwood and Softwood lumber companies. Our wood processing machines can be configured to handle various materials, including hardwood, Softwood and wastewood.

We saw an increase in capital sales in 2023. The first half of 2024 looks likely to continue this trend. We expect to see positive growth in the demand for size-reduction machinery as the bioenergy/biomass sector advances.

While supply chain issues, transportation costs and a diminishing labor force was challenging in 2023, the impact of those concerns was lessened by diversifying our transportation providers, widening our vendor pool, increasing inventory and securing long term purchase agreements.

With the global biomass power market continuing to gain momentum, we expect to see a heightened interest in products such as our Brunette BioSizer, SmartVIBE and Whole Log Chipper as demand for wood pellets and other biomass materials see an increase worldwide.

Products such as our Volumetric Optical Belt Scale with Bluetooth handsets have given mills the power of accurate data. This scanner has a 99.8 percent accuracy reading, so mills will be able to definitively measure chips and hog fuel for improved returns.

Advanced computer programming, software applications and the increasing development of AI processes that are aimed at automating and streamlining wood processing plants are becoming more important in the industry for maximizing profits and improving the execution of maintenance work as well as minimizing the effects of labor shortages.

We are exploring new ways of implementing modern technology to complement our machinery such as AR (augmented reality) software to provide real-time 3D assistance in performing maintenance tasks and training. Other innovative trends that are making inroads in the industry in both hardwood and Softwood sectors are advances in wireless PLC controls that remotely attach to systems for remote monitoring, troubleshooting and upgrades.

Brunette Machinery specializes in wood processing and material handling systems for the sawmill and biomass industries. Our machines can be configured for either hardwood or Softwood. Our experienced technicians provide on-site service for our machines, and we offer machine repairs in our facilities in Surrey, BC and Prince George, BC.

As automation technology advances, the need for some people onsite in sawmills and machine shops will be reduced. With the implementation of AI and automated systems, the industries’ labor requirements will see a shift to workers who can complement this automation including remote operators, IT personnel, as well as machinists, advanced welders and other technicians who can maintain facility machines.

Equipment and Services Providers Accept The Challenges That The Market Brings 3
Eric Michaud

Eric Michaud
Carbotech Group
Plessisville, QC

We do business in both industries, Softwood and hardwood.

We have seen a decrease in requests from both industries mainly due to the poor lumber prices over the past several months now. If the prices don’t go up, 2024 may become a difficult year for some equipment manufacturers. The situation that the supply chain was in and the ability to get parts has improved over the last 12 months. It can be complicated sometimes with some electronic components still, but it is not as bad as it was during COVID. Transportation and labor is acceptable at this point.

Discussions with customers about artificial intelligence and robotics are still hot these days. I’m convinced that we will see new developments and new offers to the market in those areas in 2024. There is so much potential for sawmills.

Autolog, part of the Carbotech Group, is presently working on transverse scanners with visions, using artificial intelligence, for hardwood and Softwood sawmills. We started offering this product for Softwood at the end of 2023 while the one for hardwood should be ready at the end of 2024. These products will have the power to grade Softwood and hardwood lumber on edger and trimmer lines.

Carbotech manufactures material handling equipment for Softwood and hardwood mills that has a focus mainly on log and lumber handling for sawmills and planer mills. Autolog provides automation and optimization solutions for both wood types, logs, cants and lumber. We also provide installation services when our customers don’t have the resources or time to take care of the whole project. Of course, all of our equipment is installed and started up by our technicians in order to help you run the equipment at its maximum capacity, as soon as possible.

We can see the elimination of at least 50 percent of workplaces in many projects as most of these workplaces are ones in which it is hard to find employees that enjoy these jobs, as they’re physically demanding and are less attractive to young people.

Equipment and Services Providers Accept The Challenges That The Market Brings 4
Paul Cleereman

Paul Cleereman
Cleereman Industries and Cleereman Controls
Newald, WI

Most equipment purchases in 2023 have been for improving yield at each machine center and/or improving the workers work area itself. If you can reduce some of the mental and physical aspects of each work area, it may help keep employees and may make it work for less qualified workers. I think this trend is going to continue for years to come as the hardwood and Softwood industries struggle to hang on to their workforce.

Cleereman Industries will be coming out with an optimized 8-inch semi-combination Edger for both hardwood and Softwood sawmills. This will be a fixed-box unit with overhead scanning capability.

Cleereman Controls offers optimization and controls packages for many different lines of equipment. Our controls company also builds custom controls packages to fit customers’ individual needs. By using different types of automization we have been able to eliminate employees and save labor costs.

Cleereman Industries offers complete sawmill solutions for both grade hardwood and Softwood sawmills. Whether it is a completely new sawmill or an addition to an existing sawmill, Cleereman can offer to sit down and work closely with customers to determine which equipment will be the best solution for their production goals.

Cleereman can also offer controls packages for existing carriages, resaws and edgers, not to mention that we work with a wide spectrum of other equipment manufacturers like Nicholson Debarkers.

The current trend in the sawmill industry both in hardwood and Softwood mills is to be as efficient as possible. In the last few years, we see more optimization packages being put on our equipment. Mills are having equipment manufacturers and controls companies automate different lines to replace employees. Cleereman Industries and Cleereman Controls have been focused on reducing labor costs and increases yield for their customers.

Equipment and Services Providers Accept The Challenges That The Market Brings 5
Frances Cooper

Frances Cooper
Cooper Machine Company Inc.
Wadley, GA

We work with both hardwood and Softwood companies.

The industry is still struggling to get people to come to work and we are selling more sorters/stacking systems to prove it. We expect the trend of mills automating to continue into 2024. We are also seeing labor has had inflationary pressures, especially for skilled personnel.

Parts have stabilized a bit in being able to get them in a more timely fashion, but prices remain high. Electrical parts, specifically Allen-Bradley still have long lead times. Importing/Exporting is getting a little better and we are not seeing the delays due to lack of trucks and drivers, like we were, but prices have remained more costly than previous years.

Cooper Machine has been busy doing a good bit of work with the post and pole industry to set up new merchandising and sorting mills to get the posts and poles ready to go into a perfect peeler or through the mill with Morbark peelers. We are now offering a five saw chop saw option with or without optimization for our customers. We are also offering a pole grading system.

For the pallet industry, we are offering an optimized Tandem with a special second saw to get the most out of each log. This system works well with our inline splitter. Adding a VSA and pallet trimmer to process the slabs adds the cherry on top. We’ve teamed up with Brewer and Precision Husky on a project here recently to provide a complete pallet mill.

Cooper Machine has been teaming up with Automation & Electronics for a lot of our PLC controls, and it’s been a great partnership. We have found more customers wanting to optimize their equipment to get the best yield. We have an updated ultrasonic board that we are starting to roll out to our customers. We will announce when we are finished developing the updated controls system to be rolled out to our existing customers. We are also offering a simple PLC on some of our smaller machines that we are doing in house.

Cooper Machine is best known for our long lasting Scraggs. These are good for both hardwood and Softwood customers and have different options to assist in making pallet boards, chips, lumber, cants, mats and crossties.

Whether it be for small or large logs, we have options. We also build merchandising and debarking systems as well as sorting systems for both the hardwood and Softwood industries. We have a new version of our pole/post merchandiser/sorter system for Softwood mills that is more high production, which merchandises up to six tree length logs per minute and sorts 24 posts/poles a minute. We are also adding a classifying line option to our offerings.

We are seeing that even smaller mills are wanting to do more optimizing to help reduce the amount of labor needed. This is why we continue to develop and offer options for our customers to make this a reality. Merchandising and sorting lines continue to be a popular buy these days.

Equipment and Services Providers Accept The Challenges That The Market Brings 6
Henry German

Henry German
DMSi
Omaha, NE

DMSi offers a range of software products to support the building products industry, from timber to consumer. This includes a full ERP solution with an integrated CRM, log and lumber inventory products, AI hardwood end tally system and a grading system.

Developed specifically for hardwoods and Softwoods, our log and lumber solutions allow you to do more with less. Workers can save time searching for material or pallets when an automated system is presenting the information right away. Full ERP systems make inventory data considerably easier to track. Costing, inside sales, and other administrative tasks can be automated to eliminate manual efforts for your team. This means hours of manual work can be cut down to the click of a button.

The DMSi product team is working towards incorporating AI technology to provide information that will support even faster and easier decision making to support your day-to-day operations. There’s no question that technology can ease the strain of labor shortages. For instance, our computer vision grading system uses industrial cameras and artificial intelligence to identify defects and automatically assign grades to lumber. You would no longer depend on someone to visually inspect the grade. Your work will keep flowing through a staffing crisis.

At DMSi, we partner with customers to provide on-site, customized utilization reviews. Our team improves the efficiency of customers’ businesses and makes their lives easier.

Equipment and Services Providers Accept The Challenges That The Market Brings 7
Arianna Giudiceandrea

Arianna Giudiceandrea and Norvin Laudon
MiCROTEC
Corvallis, OR and Vancouver, Canada

We service both hardwood and Softwood companies.

For hardwood we observed high interest in value-based log optimization with the CT Log and expect this interest to increase in 2024.

For Softwood we developed our own hardware and production (e.g. cameras and critical parts.) For the next 10 years, we guarantee spare parts without any major difficulties expected.

In the coming year we will offer the Goldeneye lumber scanner for green, dry and planer mills, and Lucidyne scanner upgrades to Softwood companies, and for hardwood companies we will offer value-based log optimization with CT Log.

Equipment and Services Providers Accept The Challenges That The Market Brings 8
Norvin Laudon

A new technology that we have introduced to the hardwood and Softwood industries is MiCROTEC Connect, a fingerprint system based on CT-scanned logs. Through the integrated scanner and software solutions and MiCROTEC Ai platform, logs can be traced from virtual to real boards. We also have our MiCROTEC Customer Care Center, a customer support service that we are working to put into place in 2024.

MiCROTEC offers scanning and optimization solutions for the complete wood processing industry, from logyard to secondary processing, for hardwood and Softwood – always committed to providing our customers with the most economical and sustainable wood utilization.

We see technology making up for the shortage of labor through automation, digitization and optimization.

Equipment and Services Providers Accept The Challenges That The Market Brings 9

Jerry Johnson
Paw-Taw-John Services, Inc.
Rathdrum, ID

Paw-Taw-John Services (PTJ) is fortunate to work with both the hardwood and Softwood industries providing effective machine control systems for manufacturing equipment and distribution of high-tech measuring devices for positioning machine components. We’ve seen a continued movement toward more machine automation and technology upgrades for existing and new equipment in present manufacturing operations.

Many key forces are at play right now that put pressure on mill operations capabilities. One is the challenge with work force. As many know, it’s been difficult to find qualified or motivated personnel to work in manufacturing positions and support companies. We really don’t see this changing in 2024 except for certain regions in the country. PTJ has secured qualified personnel that negates this.

Two is the supply chain problem of parts and materials for maintaining machine centers and new machine design opportunities. Lead times for delivery of support parts have shot out to three months or more. This obviously affects the uptime of a manufacturing operation. PTJ has added stock and advanced orders to accommodate the problem. While procurement is better since 2022, it still remains a factor in development and delivery of equipment and parts.

We encourage our customers to add operation essential spares or materials.

Third is the pressure on housing starts. With inflation and interest rates at highs and going higher, the demand for services and products will probably decline. Since the industry is so big and tied to other industries, some sections of wood products will do well.

PTJ continues to add capabilities to primary and secondary log breakdown systems that enable wood products manufacturers to meet their goals. Examples are saw guide control, vertical edger closed-loop control and saw deviation monitoring. We continue to specialize in retrofitting existing equipment. Customers are surprised to see the benefits of increased fiber yield, product quality, and production by adding a more effective motion control system to their present machine. We expect this side of the business to continue to be robust.

PTJ wants customers to be comfortable using the technology, so these systems are designed and manufactured with the idea of simple use and maintainability. Systems from PTJ can be accessed through the Internet per user request.

By using an interface to a cloud-based station, PTJ can set up, change operational parameters, calibrate scanning systems, provide program upgrades and changes, and troubleshoot remotely via smart phones or computers. This provides the user with an effective umbrella of support and service. Old sawmill machinery and equipment, if mechanically sound, can be improved to enhance performance. PTJ systems are used on many OEM manufactured trimmers, sorters, carriages, edgers, horizontal and vertical resaws, and other special equipment in the wood products industry. They range from vision optimizing systems on head-rigs and edgers to simple setworks for line shaft carriages and single-axis controls.

PTJ also has a variety of other products offered for both hardwood and Softwood forest products industry. PTJ has the largest stock of Temposonics™ in the U.S. as well as other PTJ systems parts. PTJ also is the largest distributor of Temposonics™ sensors in the U.S. with its territory in the Pacific Northwest. PTJ distributes robust encoders from Encoder Products, laser line generators for manual vision from CONNEXUS and it also offers hydraulic valve repair, all at affordable prices. PTJ is the only authorized repair center for Temposonics™ in the U.S. and will repair Temposonics™ legacy products as parts inventory allows.

For troubleshooting a hydraulic valve problem on a machine, the PVT-02 (proportional valve tester) from PTJ is very popular, too. The user can test and troubleshoot a proportional valve in the field. This eliminates the need to swap units around in order to isolate problems. Although servo valves are less used in the industry, PTJ still provides a servo valve tester; these were commonly referred to as Diddle Boxes.

PTJ gives the user a great advantage when upgrading existing machines that have old motion control setworks.

Provided the machine is capable, new controls will change setting accuracies to 0.005-inch or better. Old school sawmill recovery analysis consistently shows that improving board size by 1/32-inch will yield 1.5 percent in fiber recovery, which equates to recovering dollars of the chipper and quicker return on investment. PTJ systems are affordable by today’s standards and give users an added edge in supplying quality product to their customers and establishing new clients.

Some of the key features of these control systems are:

  • The systems have a very low electrical power requirement.
  • The user can purchase most system hardware directly online from product suppliers.
  • A cloud-based Internet access to all major sub-assemblies allows PTJ to calibrate scanning systems remotely when the user needs support. Cloud access give PTJ the ability to calibrate the position of the knees to the saw, edger saws, or resaws remotely. This gives the user a high degree of technical support.
    Ease of use, weekend installation, reliable operation, cost-effectiveness, and cloud-based Internet support give sawmill operators the advantages and support they need to operate in an increasingly competitive environment.
    Paw-Taw-John Services continues to design new systems with mill owners in mind. Feedback from customers shows that its systems continue to prove their worth to the wood products industry.
    For more information about Paw-Taw-John Services, visit www.PawTaw.com, email info@pawtaw.com or call (208) 687-1478.
Equipment and Services Providers Accept The Challenges That The Market Brings 10
Dan Mathews

Dan Mathews
SII Dry Kilns
Lexington, NC

We provide equipment for hardwood and Softwood companies, as well as many industrial wood sectors, pallets, poles, firewood, ties, etc.

As we noticed last year, hardwood companies in the southern states, we have seen hardwood mills purchasing equipment for drying Yellow Pine and/or utilizing hardwood kilns for drying Pine. In northern states, where that option doesn’t exist, we have seen projects that are replacements of antiquated kilns with modern energy efficient kilns. As the cost of energy rises in the future, many companies are finding that running older equipment with poor energy efficiency will become too costly to operate. With the volatile market this year, more and more customers are needing kilns that have extra airflow, heat and venting to have more flexibility for drying all species to take advantage of changes in the market.

For Softwood companies we are continuing to see strong sales in Softwood kilns, Dual Path Kilns, adding Extensions to existing kilns to modify them to Dual Path from Batch Kilns. Additionally, we have seen a larger interest in Pole and “after (pressure) treatment” kilns as well.

Pallet kiln sales in 2023 were strong because of the ever-increasing demand for dried pallets versus green.
In 2024, we expect to see the number of new hardwood kilns reduce due to market demand and the availability of used kilns on the market. It would be surprising to see capital equipment purchases continue at the same rate as 2022 and 2023.

We are fortunate to have gotten through most of 2023 without major material or labor shortages however various electrical, gas fired burners and steam components are beginning to impact our ability to complete some new kiln orders and our parts sales are being affected as well.

For kiln operations using gas or oil boilers, we offer our SII-HX heat exchanger for new or retrofit projects.

According to our supplier’s data, these units can save up to 70 percent of the latent heat that is exhausted while moving all the moist air out of the kiln. SII is conducting tests to validate those efficiency numbers by utilizing these heat exchangers on actual hardwood kilns. In conjunction with RAM Forest Products, in Shinglehouse, PA, we are testing actual steam usage in two identical kilns. The SII-HX heat exchangers are designed specifically for hardwood kilns and are compatible with other dry kiln manufacturer’s controls.

For walnut producers, we have a new line of “fully welded” stainless steel steamers available in both track and package loaded models. The major benefits to the customer are the following: 1) ability to steam without using steam “spray” versus a closed loop steam system that boils a pool of water contained in a “vat” and returns all condensate to the boiler and 2) the fully welded interior keeps the “walnut juice” inside the unit and avoids leaking out into the ground or storm water sewer.

The SII Computerized Control System provides our customers with the tools for real-time kiln management utilizing in-kiln moisture measurement with “Sample Watch” our integrated weight-based platforms and/or moisture probes. “Utility Watch” as a part of the control system is a powerful tool to help manage energy loads when approaching “peak load” thereby reducing electrical costs. Operating in the background, the SII “Steam Management” system prioritizes the steam load for kilns which in turn allows for maximized drying operations when available steam drops below normal operating range.

These systems combined with the support offered by SII Dry Kilns provides customers with the tools they need to improve their profitability and maximize product quality. For over 53 years we have put our experience to work for our customers while building long-term relationships. SII is a full-service dry kiln manufacturer offering custom designed kilns for all North American species.

For our hardwood customers we offer package kilns track kilns, large capacity center fan wall package kilns, cross flow and down-draft pre-dryers, fan sheds, walnut steamers, pallet, and firewood kilns.

For our Softwood customers we offer Dual Path kilns and Batch track kilns. Our controls department is second to none period. The design of our control systems is based on the idea that our customers know what is best for their operation rather than assuming that we know your lumber better than you do. We utilize Wonderware software to create the “KILN DRY” system that is recognized throughout the industry. From manual to semi-automatic to fully automatic control options, we provide them all.

Thermally modified wood is finally beginning to take hold in the U.S. and Canada. SII Dry Kilns have been involved with Thermal Modification since 2008 and have been representing WDE Maspell’s Thermal Vacuum kilns since 2015. WDE Maspell is the world’s most respected name in vacuum drying. Through a unique technology that combines attributes of vacuum drying with accelerated heating for thermal modification, WDE Maspell has developed a superior system to any other on the market. Not only does the vacuum allow the remaining moisture in the wood to be removed very quickly but also removes the odor causing “by-products” from the wood during modification and produces an odor free product. As thermally modified wood becomes more popular, the opportunities for many of our customers to produce these products for a fraction of the cost that custom treaters charge becomes a considerable improvement in their bottom line.

We are selling more of our Sample Watch & Moisture Probe control systems primarily because of the automation that it provides for the kiln operators. By providing real time monitoring based either by samples or probes it allows the kiln operators a much quicker glimpse at kiln charge moisture content percentage vs. selecting and weighing a large volume of samples.

Equipment and Services Providers Accept The Challenges That The Market Brings 11
Neill Gibson

Neill Gibson
USNR
Woodland, WA

USNR caters to all aspects of the wood processing industry; hardwood, Softwood, engineered wood, mass timber, as well as the pellet industry. USNR has manufacturing facilities located in: Eugene, OR, Hot Springs, AR, Baxley, GA, Jacksonville, FL, Plessisville and Levis, QC, Painesville, OH, Parksville & Salmon Arm, BC, as well as Soderhamn, Sweden.

From hardwood mills, we are seeing a need to automate. Because of the smaller nature of many of these mills, investments in automation have been hard to justify. The post-pandemic situation has changed the economics and the need to automate has become a priority. In terms of Softwood mills, the cost of round wood is still high from price increases during the pandemic and high mortgage rates are impacting the profitability of commodity lumber.

This is negatively impacting capacity to invest. Mills have long lists of investments needed and those lists are being prioritized quarterly as mill management waits for indicators to show some market positivity before moving forward.

After recent acquisitions, USNR is focused on integrating new product lines. We have added a complete line of heavy-duty woodyard equipment including log cranes and drum debarkers, as well as merchandizing systems previously identified as Timber Automation, Baxley and LogPro. Working closely with our customers, we have also developed solutions for some specific needs. We recently launched a hybrid lineal optimizer acquired from VAB that is designed to grade both Softwood and hardwood. The first of its kind has been installed in Virginia and the results are very promising. We are also working on automated round table management for block recovery and our engineers are working to deliver this solution to the market in 2024.

For hardwood mills with the goal of increasing quality and productivity at sites equipped with band saws, USNR has launched a USNR SawAdd solution along with our BMS (Bandsaw Monitoring System). Our team is continuously developing expertise in fine-tuned grading with USNR optimization specifically for the hardwood industry, as well as the addition of new service team members and support staff. Softwood mills benefit from USNR’s MillGenius, the next level of optimization software that brings together all the data from sensors and optimizers throughout the mill with the goal of (a) producing the highest quality material as efficiently as is possible and, in time (b) using the data accumulated to identify trends and upstream events that impact production. This has the potential to guide maintenance teams in the pursuit of issues as they happen, not after catastrophic failure.

USNR is an integral part of a much bigger picture: Wood Technologies International (WTI). WTI is the No. 1 source for all products and services needed in both the hardwood and Softwood manufacturing industry. WTI is comprised of four related divisions: Mid-South Engineering, with offices located throughout North America providing engineering services to new and existing mills. USNR, the largest global supplier of all machines associated with sawmills, from log yards through debarking and primary breakdown, to lumber handling, kiln drying and planer mills.

This includes industry-leading scanning and optimization technology for every stage of the process. USNR also supplies machinery to the Engineered Wood Products industries, including lathes lines, dryers, presses, RF generators, continuous lumber edge gluers, crowders, proof loaders and all aspects of controls associated with OSB and plywood manufacturing as well as glulam beams and cross laminated timber (CLT). Burton Mill Solutions and Global Tooling & Supply are components No. 3 and 4 in the WTI portfolio and here the focus is on cutting tools and the filing room.

Burton supplies saw blades, knives, sharpening services and filing room equipment to sawmills in both hardwood and Softwood and Global Tooling & Supply is a leading millwork tooling provider creating knives, cutter heads and grinding room supplies. These four groups bring together the widest variety of products and services for the wood manufacturing industry.

At USNR, we are constantly being reminded of the growing need to automate the process of manufacturing lumber. In the world of commodities, ie. high volume, this is justifiable, and investments are made accordingly. The challenge going forward is being able to bring automation and optimization to production facilities in both the Softwood and hardwood industry where volume is not the primary goal. We focus on ways that increases quality and work with customers to develop niche processes for the years to come. In other words, technologies such as robotics will absolutely help in the manufacturing process as human resources are evolving away from manual labor towards highly technical positions.

Equipment and Services Providers Accept The Challenges That The Market Brings 12
Claus Staalner

Claus Staalner
American Wood Technology LLC
Jefferson, GA

MOLDRUP
Lerbaek Moellevej 2
DK 7100 Vejle

We work with both the hardwood and Softwood industries by the importing and selling wood protection equipment exclusively from IWT-MOLDRUP in Denmark and Singapore. We have seen that on the Softwood side there have been strong investment trends, while we are seeing the opposite on the hardwood side, with them investing very little. I believe that this trend will continue throughout 2024 with strong investments from the Softwood industry and cautious attitudes from the hardwood industry.

Our strengths for the hardwood industry are thermal modification equipment and creosote impregnation plants for railroad ties. We also offer thermal modification equipment to the Softwood industry; although our heaviest business in 2023 and in 2024 are CCA and CA-C vacuum/pressure impregnation plants developed and manufactured by IWT-MOLDRUP based in Denmark and Singapore. CCA and CA-C are liquid wood preservatives that are pressed into the wood to make it last longer and are used in certain quantities and measurements, adhering to U.S. standards.

IWT-MOLDRUP has developed some turnkey operations that are very low labor intensive treating plants, often able to be run by one man only, for pressure treating up to more than 40 million board feet annually, which allows us to deliver fully automatic treating plants to the industry as it is today.

By Miller Wood Trade Publications

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

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