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May 2016
Sawmilling South Africa News
May has been a busy month for us here at the association, we have had another two workshops on the curriculum development for the Saw Doctor trade and the Kiln Operator occupation. These two important skills in any sawmill are developing into substantial contributions. We are hoping to include an up-date from Mrs Dianne Randal on the developments a little further down in this report.
  We have also been active in traveling to sawmills this month and so can report that all seems to be going well in the industry. However, this is only as far as KZN and the Eastern Cape goes as we have yet to get up to Limpopo and Mpumalanga, this comes next month. However it would seem by all reports that the industry is still experiencing better trading conditions than this time last year.
On the 29th and 30th April the broader forest industry, including us sawmillers attended a “bosberaad” with the deputy Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, General Beki Cele. This was a most worth while and productive meeting attended by the DG’s of all the effected departments who hold sway over the Forest Industry. Whilst the majority of the discussions took place around the critical issues facing the growing sector and the development and expansion of the resource, we did get the opportunity to engage with the DM on the matter of expansion of the sawmilling sector and its potential for job creation. The biggest obstacle in the way of expansion for us remains the shortage of resource and I am pleased to inform you that government is taking the expansion of the forest resource extremely seriously. This bodes well for the next generation of sawmillers but there is no quick fix for us I’m afraid, trees take 25 odd years to produce saw logs.
The potential of Eucalyptus to fill the gap in the resource cycle is gathering ground with more and more millers taking an interest in developments with Structural lumber from this resource.
News from the SABS and the “Mill specific” grading  is that the process has moved on from the committee stage to the next phase and the specs should be out for public comment soon.

We have also had some sad news this month with the  passing of  André van der Merwe of (Bateleur fame) from Sabie. Andre was well known in Sawmilling circles especially in Mpumalanga and will be sorely missed.
Feature article

Wood-Mizer LT70 Remote sawmill boosts search for improved efficiency

A sawmill in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province harnesses the strengths of Wood-Mizer’s semi-industrial LT70 Remote band sawmill to continue its drive for improved mill efficiencies.

South Africa’s Mpumalanga province near neighbouring Mozambique is known for its vast timber resources.  South Africa has about 1.3 million hectares (ha) of commercial timber plantations. Roughly 520 146 ha or 41% of those plantations are found in Mpumalanga.  As an important timber supply area, competition is rife between foresters and sawmillers to grow timber better and produce sawn timber more efficiently.  This is very often the factor that decides which grower or sawmiller remains standing for the next day’s trading.
Capio Lumber’s entry into the marketplace in late 2012 was set against this tough and competitive backdrop.  Despite knowing that it was entering a keenly contested playing field, Capio Lumber had a few cards up its sleeve that it knew it could use to make it competitive going into the future.
The first factor that smoothed its entry into the market was knowing into which markets it could sell its products. An association with a hardware store that it had ties with provided a ready market for most of the structural timber that it produced. Furniture and pallet manufacturers who liked Capio Lumber’s quality and pricing gave further momentum to its start-off.  The experience of the Capio Lumber business partner team also gave the outfit a running start.  In addition to being family-in-law, Ross Scorgie and Bruce Moxham both come with formidable
track records in the timber production arena.
Ross Scorgie had grown the hardware enterprise with which Capio Lumber had ties with to a point where it could now sustain a sawmill. Better pricing and more product variety resulting from opening of the sawmill added momentum to the hardware sales, which also benefited the sawmill.
Bruce Moxham’s exploits in the timber industry is legendary, having overseen a family owned timber enterprise of considerable size that was eventually sold to a listed company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.  The shared experience of Capio Lumber’s management team also made it easy to decide which equipment it needed to start and effectively compete in a tight market space.
Productivity was high on the priority list.
Capio Lumber needed reliable equipment that was easy to afford and could give them the output they needed to pay for the machines and grow the business. The affordability requirement also meant opting for equipment that was modular and could slot into the existing mill infrastructure as and when finances became available.  Choosing equipment that was easy to maintain and that could reduce the amount of manual labour needed to produce the output Capio Lumber expected was also a priority.
Equipment with low energy costs and high recovery numbers which meant that less timber was wasted and more timber was available to sell, were also important factors to consider.  So too cutting quality.  The Capio Lumber management team needed equipment that could consistently produce precisely sized sawn material with the best surface quality that required less secondary processing and that the market was prepared to pay a premium for.  Wood-Mizer’s equipment range provided for all these requirements.

Wood-Mizer first choice
Capio Lumber’s first investment from Wood-Mizer included an LT20B electric sawmill and SHR-F Resaw.  Although the LT20 can cut logs into ready to sell timber, Capio Lumber easily doubled their output by investing in the
resaw.  Costing less than having to buy a second sawmill, the resaw allowed the LT20B to only cut blocks with the resaw cutting the blocks into sawn boards and recovering waste that exited the sawmill.  This consistent search for increasing output in the most inexpensive way possible has remained a recurring theme in Capio Lumber’s growth to date.
The mill’s equipment checklist included until recently two Wood-Mizer LT20’s (Electric and Diesel), an LT70 Electric with hydraulic log handling capacity, an HR500 two-head resaw line, two SHR-F resaws and an EG300 board edger.  The never ending search for increased efficiency also paved the way for the January 2016 commissioning of a Wood-Mizer LT70 Remote at Capio Lumber.
Powered by Wood-Mizer LT70 Remote
Capio Lumber’s focus on efficiencies that includes productivity, affordability, low labour and energy costs and maximum recovery convinced them that the LT70 Remote is the right machine to buy to grow the business further. The LT70 Remote together with LT70 Electric and the two LT20’s now serve as Capio Lumber’s primary breakdown mills. The LT70 Remote was developed as a semi industrial sawmilling solution for sawmillers that have outgrown the capacity of the non-remote LT70 sawmill range but do not want to commit to the required capital investment to buy a fully industrial sawmill like Wood-Mizer’s WM3500.

The LT70-Remote sawmill was actually unveiled in 2001. It resulted from Wood-Mizer’s successful strategy to extend its narrow blade technology to its industrial range with the WM3500 and WM4000 key examples of the models in this range. In terms of overall operation the LT70-Remote sawmill duplicates the operation of the WM3500 sawmill yet it costs 40% less. On the productivity front the LT70 Remote is only 30% less productive than the WM3500. As business improves it is easy to add another LT70-Remote sawmill (or even an LT300 sawmill) and expand by the addition of equipment as opposed to buying one large scale piece of equipment.

The main 18, 5 kW motor permits cutting large diameter logs – and this power requirement is low compared with the power requirements of rival mills. The LT70-Remote band sawmill productivity increase is mostly due to its integrated design that allows for a log to be processed into finished boards more profitably with minimal expense and labour.
The Remote configuration pushes the production capacity of the LT70 to the absolute maximum with a Remote Operator Stand and adds a full range of conveyors and tables for moving logs to the sawmill and boards further down the line. All sawmill controls are centrally located and the operator has every control within easy reach at all times.
Each component’s function in the line is also synchronised to avoid ‘bottlenecks’.
The line can be configured to match the needs of individual businesses, and typically includes: 
  • Log Deck - for staging and loading logs 
  • Incline Conveyor - for transporting slabs and boards 
  • Transfer Table - quickly directs waste, finished boards, and slabs for edging in three different directions. 
  • Edger Multirip - for edging boards 
  • Roller Tables - where needed 
The LT70-Remote sawmill is also simple to maintain and operate. The electric and electronic designs are the same as on the LT70 Series and the new mill can be slotted into an existing line at minimal cost and disruption to the rest of the line.  The LT70 Remote sawmilling systems deliver maximum production using Wood-Mizer’s orange line of sawmills. The productivity, higher log yields, affordability and low operating costs make these systems viable solutions.
The LT70 Remote is the latest Wood-Mizer sawmill that has been commissioned at Capio Lumber
A two-head HR500 resaw operating at Capio Lumber
Final take
Capio Lumber’s focus on efficiency has allowed the mill to grow despite challenging market conditions.  Upgrading its mill for increased output while remaining price competitive and generating the profits it needed to run the mill while also expanding has meant that it had to be exceptionally vigilant about efficiencies.  A large part of their success can be attributed to their equipment selection strategy that has given them the ability to run a streamlined operation that is geared for long term growth.

Contact: Wood-Mizer
National News
Sawmilling SA : Progress Report - 19 May 2016
Management of trade and qualifications development for FP&M Seta and QCTO within the sector read more
Manufacturers hard hit by business slump but significant positive contributions were made by the wood, wood products and paper industry...
Companies that buy goods from manufacturers are facing cash-flow problems to such an extent that they have to postpone payment by up to three months, the National Industrial Chamber revealed. read more
DEMARO - Fusing vision and precision for premium tools
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Last chance to book for WoodEX for Africa 2016
With WoodEX for Africa 2016 fast approaching, excitement is growing and industry members who would still like to exhibit at this event have to secure their space now. read more
ITC-SA set to attend WoodEX for Africa 2016
The Institute for Timber Construction (ITC-SA), South Africa’s professional body and regulator of the engineered timber structure industry, is set to attend the 4th WoodEX for Africa, taking place at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand from 9-11 June 2016.
read more
Biogas industry could contribute to job creation in South Africa
The SA biogas industry is in it's infancy & its true potential has not yet been realised, South African Biogas Industry Association (Sabia) VP Eddie Cooke said at a conference held in association with the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. read more
Roofing category added to ITC-SA Timber Engineered Product Awards
The Institute for Timber Construction (ITC-SA) will be hosting it's Annual Timber Engineered Product Awards on 19 August 2016. The event celebrates & honours exceptional work in the structural timber industry, including roofing, decking & timber frame construction, by Institute for Timber Construction members. read more
The Wood Foundation 
The members present felt that although the initial aims of the Foundation had been admirable and had been supported by Industry Associations and their respective members, the Foundation had not enough financial resources to undertake its objective of promoting the benefits of timber in a meaningful way. read more
International News
Logging irradiated wood in Chornobyl
Urban explorers from Ukraine say they have discovered logging operations inside the Chornobyl exclusion zone and warn that irradiated wood is being sold to unsuspecting consumers. “I wouldn’t want to live in such a house,” Artur Kalmykov said. read more
Logsize – new mobile app to measure logs
Fordaq launches Logsize, a new Android mobile application to measure log stacks. Users download the app on a mobile or tablet, take a picture of the log stack and the app then identifies the GPS position of the stack, counts the number of logs, measures the diameter of the logs and the volume of the log stack. read more
Global forest, paper and packing industry update
Mixed prices & demand for commodities, as well as currency volatility continues to affect the performance of the global forest, paper and packaging industry. However, the building product sector fundamentals remain optimistic, with steadily improving US housing starts up 6% in the 4th quarter of 2015 compared with the annualized starts in Dec 2014. read more
Wood pellets market, by application (power plants & heating) - global industry analysis 2015/2016 – 2023
Wood pellets production has increased substantially in the past few years, owing to the implementation of stringent emission norms in Europe & North America. High energy density & easy availability are some of the advantages that facilitate international trade of wood pellets. read more
Thor's timber brickworks
Surrounded by crumbling brickworks, timber recycler, Thor Diesendorf has set a fire of innovation under decades of uncertainty, to create a flourishing business. At the old Yarralumla brickworks, which once turned out Canberra’s classic red brick, he is manufacturing another red-hot product with waste sawdust. read more
Invisible Studio uses only waste timber for arboretum buildings in Gloucestershire
Piers Taylor's firm Invisible Studio has added a pair of woodland maintenance buildings to the National Arboretum in Gloucestershire, using only trees felled in the routine maintenance of the estate. read more
London’s Skyline Could Soon Host Towers Made of Timber
The UK capital could soon add timber high-rises to its skyline courtesy of an architectural concept produced by researchers from Cambridge University for submission to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson. read more
How to maintain timber
There are many misconceptions around the best ways to maintain a timber deck. Tim Orbell from Sikkens Australia identifies common questions and provides solutions to ensure outdoor timber finishes and decks are in top condition for guests and outdoor entertaining all year. read more
On-line Sawmill Directory
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SSA · Forest Lodge, Sedgefield · Knysna, Western Cape 6573 · South Africa

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