Atlanta Hardwood Corporation Announces Sale of Crystal Spring Hardwoods
Atlanta Hardwood Corporation, located in Atlanta, GA, which goes to market as AHC Hardwood Group, specializes in providing premium domestic and exotic hardwoods to customers throughout the U.S. and around the world.
Strategically, AHC Hardwood Group has focused on value-added manufacturing.
Atlanta Hardwood Corporation has announced the sale of Crystal Spring Hardwoods, LLC to Eby Sawmill based in Clearville, PA.
The long-term tenure and excellent workforce in place at Crystal Spring were very important to Eby. The deal closed in January 2024. This transaction offers growth opportunities for both parties.
According to Atlanta Hardwood Corporation CEO, Jim Howard, “Eby Sawmill has been a long-term valued supplier to our drying yard in Pennsylvania and AHC Hardwood Group will continue to buy lumber from their production.”
Howard added, “Our ability to change and adapt to meet the needs of our customers and the evolving landscape of our industry has allowed us to grow from a single drying yard to a world-class, value-added manufacturer.”
Atlanta Hardwood Corporation has been producing premium Appalachian hardwoods since 1952.
Over the past two decades, the company has diversified from kiln drying yards to value-added manufacturing, offering a diverse mix of hardwood lumber and finished products, including more than 1,000 moulding profiles, VikingWood® thermally modified hardwoods and imported Lunawood siding and decking. Atlanta Hardwood Corporation imports and exports lumber all around the world.
For more information about AHC Hardwood Group, visit www.hardwoodweb.com.
Clark Hardwoods LLC Makes Capital Improvements
Clark Hardwoods LLC, located in Erin, TN, recently put in a Cleereman combination optimized edger.
The mill is undergoing some other capital improvements regarding material handling that should be complete late spring/early summer 2024, according to Brandon Clark, Vice-President of Clark Lumber Company.
The mill’s annual production is 10 million board feet, producing Red and White Oak, Hard Maple, Poplar, Ash, Cherry, Hickory and Walnut, which they export.
The operation provides planing services and has 125,000 board feet of drying capacity. The company, headquartered in Red Boiling Springs, TN, produces 50 million board feet of Appalachian hardwoods in thicknesses ranging from 4/4-8/4.
For more information, visit www.clarklumbercompany.com.
Merrick Hardwoods Welcomes Chad Hinton
Merrick Hardwoods located in Somerset, KY, is pleased to introduce Chad Hinton as the Hardwood Flooring Sales Manager. Hinton is replacing Diana Gurley who recently retired after 35 years with the company.
In his new role Hinton will oversee all of Merrick’s unfinished hardwood flooring sales. Merrick produces and exports unfinished solid flooring in both Red and White Oak, Hard Maple and Hickory.
Hinton graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Upon graduation Hinton entered the United States Air Force where he served his country for six years as an Airborne Systems Engineer.
He returned to Somerset, KY and worked for four years with a convenience store distribution company as the Equipment Service and Sales Manager.
Hinton and his wife Sarah have one son. He is an avid golfer and plays as much as possible.
For more information visit www.merrickgroup.com or call 606-561-4146.
MiCROTEC Appoints Ofer Heyman As New Corvallis CEO
MiCROTEC, a global leader in innovative scanning solutions for the wood products industry, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ofer Heyman as its new Chief Executive Officer in Corvallis, OR.
Heyman brings a wealth of experience and a background in the industry, making him a valuable addition to the MiCROTEC team.
Prior to returning to MiCROTEC, Heyman served an impressive 17-year tenure at Lucidyne Technologies, acquired by MiCROTEC in 2020.
Beginning as an image processing engineer in 1999, Heyman assumed roles like senior product and project manager, director of business development, and ultimately, director of operations from 2014 to 2016.
Frank Jöst, MiCROTEC Group CEO, expressed his enthusiasm about Ofer’s return, “We are happy that we convinced Ofer to come back to Corvallis and support us as we continue the MiCROTEC vision for the North American Market.”
MiCROTEC looks forward to leveraging Heyman’s leadership and industry experience to further strengthen its position as a pioneer in wood scanning solutions.
MiCROTEC is a global technology partner for the wood processing industry, constantly developing new approaches and solutions to add value to the sawmilling and wood processing industry.
For more information, visit www.microtec.us.
IWT-MOLDRUP Seeks To Bring Thermal Wood Modification To The Forefront Of The Industry
Thermal wood modification is moving to the next stage in the U.S. with the MOLDRUP process. “The MOLDRUP plants, which is in a closed process, as opposed to the Finnish and Italian plants on the market, is a controlable process.
This means that you do not have the same problems with the final piece of wood, such as brittleness etc. This is also better for the environment, as the energy consumption is half of that of other plants and is very easy to operate,” said Lone Moldrup, CEO of IWT-MOLDRUP.
Thermal wood modification as a supplement and sometimes an alternative to boicide based chemical wood impregnation has been available for almost 30 years around the globe. The demand and production of thermally modified wood has increased rapidly in Europe and Oceania over the past few years.
The price of thermally modified timber is substantially higher than that of treatment with CCA and MCA, but with a new series of plants from IWT-MOLDRUP, the production costs have been reduced to be similar to those for biocide wood impregnation.
According to a company representative, thermal modification is still being done by specialist companies, but with the development of IWT-MOLDRUP’s new series of plants, it is moving towards being integrated into sawmill operations.
More production capacity in the U.S. with these plants that have a potential annual capacity of 2 – 2.5 million board feet, is a natural development as many American wood species are very suitable for thermal modification.
It is important to understand the benefits and limitations of thermal modification. The major advantage is the drastically improved dimensional stability (50-80 percent improvement), the uniform brown color even through the heartwood and enhanced durability against rot and fungi use area occasionally wetted like cladding, whereas thermally modified wood for frequently wetted applications like decking will require an extra layer of protection against fungi and insects.
SFPA Visits Thailand For A Wood Seminar And Trade Opportunities
According to the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA), with the loss of tens of millions dollars in export sales to China, the U.S. wood industry is looking for alternative markets.
That’s why Eric Gee, executive director of SFPA and Jerry Hingle, SFPA international consultant, traveled to Thailand recently for a wood seminar and trade opportunities mission.
Thailand is an attractive emerging market for Southern Pine as furniture manufacturers operating in China shift production to Thailand and elsewhere in Asia.
Furniture production presents the best prospect for U.S. softwoods in Thailand, as much of the production there is exported to the U.S., Europe and Japan, where buyers prefer softwood furniture compared to tropical hardwoods that appear “heavy” and dark.
However, the sustainability and legality of tropical woods in Thailand can be dubious, so using U.S. softwoods makes it considerably easier to prove sustainability and legal origin as the U.S. and Europe tighten regulations on wood components used in imported furniture.
Other end-use opportunities, include wood pallets, doors and flooring. While more homebuilders are embracing imported softwoods for wood-frame homes, this is still considered a niche, as builders rely almost exclusively on concrete and steel.
Manufacturers typically source logs for processing at their facilities rather than lumber, as low average wages provide little incentive for large, well-financed operations to outsource finished lumber.
Lumber imports are growing, and what little softwood lumber they source is primarily supplied by New Zealand, Canada and the U.S. Thailand imported $622,000 of softwood lumber from the U.S. in 2022 but exports, including treated lumber, are up by 172 percent through September 2023 over the previous year.
This trip allowed Gee and Hingle to meet with prominent importers/traders for valuable insight into the current landscape of the wood industry, including learning about existing challenges and uncovering potential avenues for collaboration with SFPA.
They had productive and informative meetings with key lumber traders and specifiers at Interwood and CPD sawmill, BP Group Timber Processing Plant and numerous furniture purveyors. Numerous questions centered on lumber prices and the desire to procure logs instead of sawn lumber.
Gee and Hingle also hosted a seminar in Bangkok for 42 participants, which included lumber traders, architects and furniture manufacturers.
Gee spoke on Southern Pine lumber grades, sustainable forestry practices and why wood is a smart climate choice.
Hingle presented on Southern Pine lumber characteristics, design considerations for areas prone to high wind and earthquakes, pressure-treated wood and termite prevention.
SFPA considers the seminar and one-on-one meetings to have been productive and informative.
Going forward, SFPA will consider a more focused look at wood used in furniture manufacturing and less emphasis on wood-frame construction.
For more information visit www.sfpa.org.