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February 2017
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Sawmilling South Africa News
Here we are, a month into the new year and all seems well. Reports from sawmillers indicate that although current activity (January/February) was slower than would be liked, the prospects for the rest of the year look good. Lets hope that the economy lives up to expectations.
Lumber sales in North America and both India and China are reported to be at new highs and so if this is any indication of things to come here in SA, millers had better get down into the mill and start cutting.
News from the SSA Exco meeting held last month is that despite the tight financial times your association is still managing to keep its head above water with a small budget surplus. A levy increase of not more than 6% should be all that is required to balance the 2017/18 new budget.
On technical matters, it was reported that the new additional specification to 1783, that was initiated by SSA, is under final scrutiny by the SABS and is about to be released for public comment. Here we must thank Mr. George Dowse for his tireless efforts in driving the project. This is the specification that will allow for “mill specific” grading.
The “escapement project” that has been the subject of an in-depth study by the University of Stellenbosch, and which was initiated some two years ago by SSA has now entered into its final phase and funding of this important project has now been taken over by the growing sector. You may remember that this study focused on the benefits to wood quality of a wider tree planting regime. The study will hopefully describe a system of tree planting that will enhance the MOE of the derived lumber.
Another matter that attracted much discussion was the subject of Atmospheric Emission Licensing under the AQA and whether sawmills needed to comply for emissions from their drying kilns. The association together with an independent sawmilling Co are investigating this controversial issue. More of this in later updates.
By now most people in the Forestry sector will be aware that the CEO of the Forestry Charter Council Mr Simangaliso Nkhwanazi resigned his post late in 2016 and has been replaced by Mrs Makhosazana Mavimbela in an acting capacity and adverts for a new CEO have already appeared in national newspapers.
The 2014/15 STATUS OF B-BBEE TRANSFORMATION IN THE FORESTRY SECTOR report has been released by the council and if anyone would like a copy of the report please just drop us a mail here at SSA and we will send you same.
The B-BBEE status report is an annual assessment that gives the status of empowerment in the sector. The status report reveals the sectors performance based on the seven transformation elements, namely Ownership, Employment Equity, Management Control, Skills Development, Preferential Procurement, Enterprise Development as well as Socio-Economic Development. The status report also reveals areas that have shown improvements and those that require further interrogation. 
So until next month other than the above please remember to keep cutting straight and drying flat.
Roy Southey
Executive Director: Sawmilling South Africa
Feature Article
Wood-Mizer’s TITAN WB2000 wide band sawmill a global success

The WB2000 is Wood-Mizer’s first wide band sawmill, furthering their already well-known
narrowband industrial line.
Wood-Mizer’s TITAN WB2000 wide band sawmill combines the best in thin kerf, narrow bandsaw technology that Wood-Mizer has perfected over many decades, with the versatility and strength of wide band sawmilling technology, to deliver a sawmilling solution that is now used around the world.

The WB2000 sawmill was the first in a new wide band series that Wood-Mizer made available in 2014 to meet the needs of industrial timber producers around the world. The WB2000 is a high production sawmill that offers heavy-duty construction matched with low maintenance requirements, efficient operation and maximum flexibility.  

This makes the WB2000 an ideal sawmilling solution for small to large companies that want to invest in a sawmill that can saw small, once-off custom batches or large volume, back-to-back orders equally well over a range of log diameters and species.

The WB2000 can work as a standalone sawmill to process all required materials, or as an addition to an existing business to process oversized or irregular logs or to produce custom orders that the existing equipment is not suited to. Running a 100mm wide band blade, offering maximum log capacity of up to six tonnes, and able to cut a 900mm log in half, the WB2000 advances Wood-Mizer’s industrial sawmilling range into new territory.

The twin post sawmill head and large throat, make this an attractive solution for managing medium to large logs. A 22kW electric motor is standard, and a 30kW motor is optional. Computer setworks and a raised operator control station allow a single operator to manage all sawing and log handling functions while maintaining a clear view of his work. The WB2000 features a 19cm (17.5”) HMI touch-screen operating screen that displays board and cant sizes along with current head height, feed position, and blade power. Two joysticks provide the operator with precise control of all sawing and log handling functions, and feature proportional hydraulic speed control.

All hydraulic log handling functions - such as the log clamps, chain turners, and power rollers - are modular, and can also be moved to different positions as needed. Sawmills who already use wide bandsaw equipment from other suppliers, can easily maintain the 100 mm (3, 5") wide band bandsaw blades of the WB2000 on existing bandsaw blade maintenance equipment. This will reduce the running costs of the WB2000 even more and further prove the efficiencies of the WB2000.

WB2000 – Used throughout the world
The WB2000 sawmill, has since its launch in 2014, become a sawmill that is used around the world.
What are these global sawmillers saying about the WB2000?
Ryszard Weber, owner of a timber processing company in Poland who tested Wood-Mizer’s first WB2000 prototype, decided to purchase this mill after a few months of testing.
“The WB2000 is affordable for small to large companies, and provides flexibility other machines cannot,” shares Ryszard. “With this mill, I can cut anything – small logs, large logs, high quality logs, low quality logs. Adding the WB2000 to the business, I can now make profits from all my logs, instead of only logs that fit on my processing line. It is perfect for producing custom orders, and I can now handle smaller orders that were impractical before.”
Serafin Chan, [Operations Officer of La Union Quality Timber Manufacturing (Latimco), based in San Fernando, La Union in the( Philippines, also upgraded to the new WB2000 wide band sawmill to process Southeast Asian hardwoods into timber for export, and for their own door manufacturing plant in the country.

The company manages the entire timber supply chain, from importing of logs up to manufacturing of finished products.  Some of the products they produce are doors, door frames, mouldings, fascia boards and other wood architectural products for private clients and government projects and for export as well.

Logs are imported from Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Brazil.  Some are from New Zealand, Australia, and Uruguay.  Previously, Latimco only cut Meranti type of wood but now they also include Malaysian hardwoods as well.  
Because quality is important for their local and export customers, they decided to invest in the WB2000. The Japanese quality standards are very high - timber should be accurate and very precise. To fulfil the quality that their customers require, they invested sawmill machines which can deliver quality output.  Since they bought the Wood-Mizer WB2000 sawmill, their Japanese and local clients are happier with the quality of the products they produce.
The importance of upgrading sawmill machine technology.
“In the Philippines and other markets, a higher percentage of recovery is one of the major goals. Speed is now becoming a secondary priority. Before, speed was the primary objective and a recovery rate of 50% was acceptable.  Now it’s the other way around. So, if any saw millers wants to achieve maximum recovery – less sawdust, less waste – then they should think about investing in Wood-Mizer machines,” Serafin Chan says.
“Our company and products are unique in the sense that we have now upgraded to the latest technology.  New machines have new capabilities, new strengths, and new features that you can’t get from old machines.  This new Wood-Mizer machine (the WB2000) is a perfect example of a machine where you can use the saw to achieve better cutting for each board.
“I knew that this machine could give us modern sawing technology and safety, but most important, it gives a higher return during the cutting process – a better recovery percentage.  If we continue to cut logs for 8 hour shifts daily, our ROI for the WB2000 machine will be easily achieved.  This is not just a theory, we actually did the figures after we had been cutting for a few months. We could see the difference between the vertical saw and the Wood-Mizer bandsaw.
“On the other hand, savings on energy consumption is almost half.  The WB2000 now runs on a 44,7 kW motor as compared to the vertical saw which has a motor of around 89 kW. That’s a big difference. You can save a lot of electricity.
Useful features of the WB2000 sawmill
“With the Wood-Mizer wide band WB2000 sawmill, we have all the features we need – heavy duty construction, upgraded technology, higher recovery,” Serafin says.

“The controls and setworks makes it easy for the operator to get the best value out of the log and to not waste any timber, even on big logs.  The hydraulics of the WB2000 are very tough. They are designed for tough timber like tropical hardwoods. This has been tried and tested already. 
Importance of sourcing sustainably harvested logs
“At the present, we source our timber from a legitimate supplier, so we are making sure that they have the necessary permits to cut their trees, and they use a program of reforestation. If they fail this program, we don’t do business with them. The WB2000 improves our sustainability further because we don’t waste timber and less trees are cut down.

Advice for other sawmillers
“For wood producers, I recommend that they should upgrade their facilities, otherwise, they will be left behind.”

A single operator controls all sawmilling functions from a raised station with joysticks and advanced computer controls.

The WB2000 is an ideal sawmilling solution for small to large companies that want to invest in a sawmill that can saw small, once-off custom batches or large volume, back-to-back orders equally well over a range of log diameters and species.

The WB2000 features hydraulic log handling functions for clamping, turning, and offloading logs and cants.

Wood-Mizer's new wide band sawmill offers six tonne log capacity and a massive 900mm throat opening.

The WB2000 provides for the stability of cut and precision that wide bandsaw technology gives.
Contact: Wood-Mizer Africa
National News
Streamlining the complex residential roof
Every so often, a complex residential roof, of average scale and with relatively small truss spans, arrives for design and estimation at a timber roof truss fabricator. While it may not necessarily be of grand scale, even relatively small yet complex projects can cause frustrations to all along the supply chain – with mounting time and cost implications.
read more
From school desks to houses
The Free State has become a hub of innovation in timber use, with a state-owned initiative exploring better ways of using South Africa’s vast invasive biomass resources. At the heart of the operation is the clearing of invasive Poplar and other species within a 80km radius of a sawmill in Ficksburg which is producing boards for school desk production by a host of factories in the country.
read more
First Cut and Bystronic introduce the Xpert 40 compact press brake
First Cut and Bystronic introduce the Xpert 40 compact press brake. The production of small steel components is a key part of overall sheet steel production. Now Bystronic, a world-leading provider of cutting and bending solutions has released the Xpert 40, a compact, mobile press brake designed specifically for the high-speed production of smaller components.
read more
The tree house on the Paarman family estate is a floating architectural interpretation of a forest
The Paarman Family Estate in Constantia, Cape Town, has spectacular views of the surrounding valley and mountains. It’s arranged along the lines of a modern interpretation of a “Cape Dutch Werf” or traditional Cape farmyard, with a manor house and a number of other buildings scattered among the extensive landscaped gardens.
read more
Elquip Solutions & Hoffman offer a catalogue of tooling excellence unmatched for its range & quality
While all of SA's tool importers have catalogues of their products, none of these online or print publications contain nearly as wide a range of tools and ancillary products which are contained in the Hoffman Group catalogue, explains Elquip Solutions Managing Director Mike Cronin.
read more
Sappi celebrates 80 years on the JSE
Pulp and paper producer Sappi on Tuesday celebrated its eightieth year as a JSE-listed company, as well as the fact that it was, once again, part of the bourse's Top 40 Index, which includes the 40 largest companies by market capitalisation included in the FTSE/JSE All SharesIndex. read more
Elquip Solutions & CE Mobility: ‘welding’ a sound relationship to assist to the physically challenged
While November 2016 saw the commemoration of national disability rights awareness month in SA, many are still unaware that approximately 10% of the country’s entire population is actually in some way disabled.  
read more
International News
Trump inauguration worries B.C.’s forestry industry
The inauguration of a highly protectionist president of the United States has sparked trepidation among B.C.’s forest-dependent communities and prompted B.C. Premier Christy Clark to tout her government’s efforts to find new markets outside the United States for its softwood lumber.
read more
Hyne upgrades Maryborough facility
Hyne Timber Maryborough is preparing for a predicted mass timber construction boom by upgrading their facilities.A rare machine has been added to their glue laminating plant. Called a Hundegger K2i, the Maryborough manufacturer is the third in Australia to have one.
read more
B.C. announces first major commercial wood demonstration project in India 
Premier Christy Clark today announced that the largest shipment of mass timber from British Columbia to India is en route.The shipment also includes lumber and will be used in the first major commercial wood demonstration project to showcase B.C. forest products in India.
read more
Softwood lumber imports to China reach record high
Softwood lumber imports to China increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2016, reaching a new all-time high of 21 million m3, 21% higher than in 2015, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. Russian import volumes rose the most during 2016, while Finland and Sweden increased their market share more than the other major supplying regions.
read more
New & Used Equipment
Dry Mill Manager required in Mpumalanga 


  • Grade 12/ Matric
  • Saasveld Wood Technology or BSc. Wood Science qualification
  • 5 years' experience in Saw mill or Dry mill/VAP
  • Value Added Plant experience (Advantage)
  • Good Knowledge and experience of saw milling equipment
  • Ability to work overtime
  • Experience working in high pressure and the production environment
  • Great communication skills

Applicants must reside in Mpumalanga or surrounding area.
Please take note: if you have not been contacted within 14 days, please consider your application unsuccessful.
Interested? Please email your CV to, stating the reference number: FORESTRY/6504 in Subject Line

Last Laugh

Thought for the day...There is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra today than on Alzheimer's research.  This means that by 2025, there should be a large elderly population with perky boobs, huge erections and absolutely no recollection of what to do with them.
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SSA · Forest Lodge, Sedgefield · Knysna, Western Cape 6573 · South Africa

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