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November 2017
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Sawmilling South Africa News
Well the end of the year has arrived and its time for annual shuts and Christmas parties, however I doubt that many sawmills will be celebrating a fruitful 2017.

The past year has been a very tough one for our sector with not much to celebrate, but we do feel that there is potential and light at the end of the tunnel for 2018.

One thing that seems certain is that we will see some significant change of ownership in our sector and with that will come renewed energy and enthusiasm.
For the past two or three years many sawmills have been preoccupied with the idea and feasibility of converting biomass into electricity with not much emerging from this direction, this may have something to do with the fact that the national power grid seems to have stabilised and so many sawmillers are now starting to cast their eyes back towards mill modernisation, productivity improvement and mechanisation. With the government intent on introducing a National Minimum Wage (NMW) in 2018 this could make good sense.

In so far as the NMW goes the latest is that a proposed “draft bill” dealing with the issue has been finally tabled by the DoL following a lengthy NEDLAC session headed by the deputy President Mr Cyril Ramaphosa This draft bill was published in the Government Gazette of 17th November and called for public comment by the 30th November. SSA as well as all other constituencies have raised objection to this 13 day period as it is certainly not constitutional and we have been informed that the DoL will open the bill for further comment in 2018. In the meantime SSA has made a provisional submission to the DoL through AgriSA and we will certainly follow this up in the New Year.

If any member would like a copy of the submission please just drop us a line here at SSA and we will send you one.

News on the SSA submission to the DEA on the NEMA AQA and its implications on kiln emissions, is that the team within the DEA that are dealing with the matter, may make the recommendation that the section dealing with minimum emissions be amended to exclude indirect heated timber drying kilns. Which will be to the advantage of the majority of sawmillers. This will amount to a significant saving for most sawmills as they will not be required to measure and record their kiln emissions, a great step forward.

We have some exciting developments around the promotion of the use of timber in the built environment and will be starting a program in the New Year but more of that next year, watch this space.

All that is left for us here at SSA is to say, please have a peaceful Christmas and a happy new year and come back refreshed and re-enthused in 2018 ready to concentrate on cutting straight and drying flat.
Until next year

Roy Southey
Executive Director: Sawmilling South Africa
Feature Article

Wood-Mizer's TITAN Hybrid range – Versatile, Affordable, Tough

Rocklands Sawmills’ TITAN Hybrid TH-TB Twin breaking Eucalyptus logs down into two-sided cants and sideboards.

Both narrow and wide bandsaw blades have specific benefits. A sawmilling solution that can fill the gap between the two blade types, opens the door to the versatility needed to build profitable sawmilling businesses. Wood-Mizer’s TITAN Hybrid range is this solution.

The TITAN Hybrid range resulted from the idea to bridge the gap between narrow band and wide band technologies in the small to medium sized sawmilling sector.

This allows for a sawmilling solution that gives sawmillers the flexibility to either run wider blades for more performance or narrower band profiles for those looking for a simpler saw doctoring process.

The versatility that this solution offers, has a number of secondary benefits that adds to the utility of the TITAN Hybrid range.

A general overview

The Hybrid range consists of primary and secondary breakdown solutions with both designed to run narrower or wider bandsaws.

  • From a price point and compared to other offerings, the range offers heavy duty sawmilling capacity at very affordable price. This makes it accessible to small and medium sized sawmills
  • The affordability of the range, the customisation possibilities that it offers and the productivity that it gives, empower sawmillers to widen margins and extend efficiencies
  • The ability to run blade widths that vary in size from 32 to 80 mm can be customised further with the choice to run spring set, swage set and Stellite tipped (65 to 80mm wide) saws on one head rig
  • If clients want to run narrower (38 or 50mm) wide saws, this can also be done
  • Heavy duty feed mechanics is standard for the entire range
  • The range is simple to maintain and operate and can easily slot into existing lines with minimal disruption
  • The Hybrid range also slots in neatly between Wood-Mizer’s narrow bandsaw portable and industrial ranges and the TITAN 4 & 6-inch wide bandsaw range with sawmillers benefitting from the wider choice.
The range unpacked - TVS

The Wood-Mizer TITAN Hybrid TVS range is an efficient and affordable twin vertical solution to break the log into a two-sided cant. The range offer two models, the TH-TB and TH-TBLT. Both are suitable for log diameters of between 120 – 400 mm and up to 4 m in length.

Features that can be highlighted are feed speeds of up to 40 m/min, pressurised feed rollers to ensure a stable cut, heavy duty construction for high strain sawing and electronic cut size control.

With the automated cut size control, the operator simply selects a cut size and the machine will automatically adjust to that size. This removes the need to sort the logs before sawing.

Through-put and processing capacity can be improved further with heavy-duty mechanized log loading and log turning options on the TH-TB Twin and sharp chain options on the TH-TBLT Twin.

Additional options are also available.

The range unpacked – Resaw

Wood-Mizer’s TITAN Hybrid TH-R Resaw is a high-performance, industrial capacity resaw that is available in a single or back-to-back twin-head configuration.

It is suitable for processing sideboards and cants or blocks measuring up to 350 mm wide and 290 mm high.

Factors that contribute to its productivity and efficiency Include:
  • Feed speeds of up to 40 m/min
  • A heavy-duty head rig construction for high strain, high speed accurate sawmilling
  • Pneumatically assisted powered hold-down rollers
  • Heavy-duty in and outfeed slat-chain bed with variable speed.

The unit can easily integrate into existing lines. Low power consumption adds to the utility of the product.
Rocklands Sawmill

Peak Forest Products trading as Rocklands Mill is a mining timber mill located in Swaziland.
It was established in mid-2010 in conjunction with local partners to provide a higher value take-off for burnt and fresh timber at Peak Timbers after the devastating fires of 2007 and to produce high quality products for local and exports markets to the benefit of Swaziland.

The mill’s key output is mining timber with a wet-off-saw line also kicking into gear in 2013 to supply pallet components to manufacturers in Swaziland and South Africa.

The wet-off-saw line is built entirely around Wood-Mizer TITAN’s Hybrid and 4 & 6-inch range.
Primary breakdown is done with a TITAN Hybrid Twin. Sideboards from there are fed to two resaws, a TITAN Hybrid resaw and a TITAN 4 Twin resaw.

The sideboards and two-sided cant exiting the TVS are edged and ripped with four TITAN edgers.
Current input into the mill of mainly 2,5 and 3,1 m Eucalyptus logs stand at 500-600 logs per day. Although daily and monthly output was undisclosed by management, recovery figures are estimated at between 48 and 50%.

Speaking to Rocklands Mill Manager Jaco Fourie, he said the line’s compact design and flexibility makes it possible to achieve the output that they’re achieving from it currently.

Jaco concludes that he is confident that the line has not reached its limit yet and that it can be improved significantly into the future.

Wood-Mizer’s TITAN Hybrid TH-R Resaw is a high-performance, industrial capacity resaw that is available in a single or back-to-back twin-head configuration.
A Wood-Mizer TITAN 4 Twin resaw taking care of part of the sideboards that exit the TVS.

The sideboards and two-sided cant exiting the TVS are edged and ripped with four TITAN edgers.

Product from the mill awaiting distribution to diverse destinations in Swaziland and beyond.
The dynamic management team of Rocklands Sawmill. From ltr is Ncamiso Bhembe – Yard Foreman, Jaco Fourie – Sawmill Manager, X-Mas Musenzo –WOS Manager, Bonke Dlamini – Pack Mill Manager and Elijah Bera – Senior Production Manager.
Contact: Woodmizer
National News
‘Extended’ suite of Bystronic automation solutions on for ultra-fast sheet steel processing
Lowering the total cost-per-cut and therefore customers’ overall production costs – and increasing their return-on-investment (ROI) - is the driving imperative of the Swiss sheet metal processing original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Bystronic. read more
South African renewable energy developer gains AfDB support
eThala Management Services has secured $990,000 from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to implement a 10MW biomass power plant in Harding, KwaZulu Natal Province. The project's source of biomass is agricultural, forestry & timber processing waste, which coupled with the gasification technology, presents significant CO2 emission reduction.
read more
Insight into the copper price.
The price of CCA is driven by the exchange rate & cost of the commodities it contains. Copper is a key element in the manufacturing of CCA, & its price has risen by up to 22% this year, augmenting a long-term trend. What is causing the rise in the copper price, & can we forecast the future? The Dolphin Bay Brief consulted an expert to find out. read more
Unpacking the implications of the new waste regulations
New regulations governing the disposal of hazardous waste are being implemented with tolerance of much lower concentrations than were previously accepted. The regulations were published in 2013 & came into effect August this year. They require timber treaters & all other producers of hazardous waste to submit samples to Vissershok. read more
Spectroscopy can help solve your waste disposal nightmare
We recently bought an atomic absorbent spectroscopy to help optimise our own production levels. In a stroke of serendipity, the machine has arrived at a time when many of our clients need to analyse their waste – another function the spectroscopy can fulfil. Analysing your waste would allow it to be treated sufficiently for it to reach a rating that is acceptable. read more
Enrolment open for ITC-SA roof estimator/designer courses 2018
With the intention to provide fundamental training for estimators & designers in the nail-plated timber roof truss industry, the Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA) will again be hosting its Level 1 & 2 Estimator/Designer Courses in 2018. read more
‘You never achieve more than what you aim for,’ says entrepreneur of the year
South African entrepreneur Willem van der Merwe was 10 years old when he started his first business venture, a tuck shop on his father’s farm. Years later, he went on to found Africa Biomass Company (ABC), a land-clearing & wood-chipping business that specialises more
SEFA to Support the Development of a Biomass-to-Power Plant in South Africa
The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has approved US$990,000 to eThala Management Services, to support the development of a 10-MW Biomass-to-Power plant to be located in Harding, 200 km south of Durban in the KwaZulu Natal Province of South Africa. read more
First Cut and Julia’s new Iron Lady circular saw blade – a ‘steely’ cutting-edge solution for the lowest cost-per-cut
At First Cut, customer service excellence is the underpinning operational ethos. As part of this, the company’s consumables division recently hosted a technical visit by Luca Dreossi, Sales and Technical Support: Julia Utensili S.p.A., one of First Cut’s European principals. read more
South Africa’s path to dry kiln success
Henco Viljoen, co-owner of Timbersoft in South Africa, is passionate about timber drying. He inherited this passion from his father, mentor, and co-partner, Johan Viljoen. Together they have developed customized drying systems for fine tuning, improving, and upgrading kilns. 
read more
International News
Ghana: New Timber Legality Law Good for Ghana-EU Vpa
The enactment of a new legislation that addresses entrenched forest governance challenges in Ghana has been touted as a critical milestone on the way to full implementation of the country's Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union. The Timber Resources Management and Legality Licensing Regulation more
Russian wood processors short on wood
There continue to be ongoing developments in global markets, with some regions appearing to be more dynamic than others. While the U.S. is becoming the key worldwide driver due to its constrained supplies and rising demand, a look at other markets is useful to better understand how the various pieces of the puzzle fit together. read more
Midway among companies experiencing resurgence
Australia’s battered forestry sector and timber industry is finally starting to emerge from the financial wilderness it was cast into nearly a decade ago following the spectacular collapse of managed investment scheme timber plantation companies such as Gunns, Timbercorp & Great Southern.
read more
Experimental Swiss apartment wants to bring timber into the 21st century
The Wood Materials Science department at ETH Zurich in Switzerland is pioneering new ways of utilizing timber and wood construction by imbuing the traditional material with extraordinary properties using its new Vision Wood apartment prototype. read more
Southwood Fibre's woodchip export proposal 'missing link' for Tasmania's southern forests
A proposed $42 million export facility for woodchips in southern Tasmania is the missing link in the rebuilding of the sector, the forest industry has said. Southwood Fibre has lodged a development application with the Huon Valley Council for the facility at Strathblane. read more
How mass timber could transform our cities (really)
Mass timber is having its Maison Dom-Ino moment. At the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, a curious structure sat on the grass near the international pavilion in the Giardini. It was an engineered timber version of Le Corbusier’s Maison Dom-Ino, the seminal, prototypical reinforced concrete project, which was celebrating its 100th birthday. read more
The rise of eco-friendly wooden skyscrapers
Wooden structures that don't use any concrete or steel are popping up all over the world, says CityLab contributor Amanda Kolson Hurley. For a long time the country moved away from building with wood because of issues like fire, but wooden towers have seen a resurgence as worries rise regarding the negative environmental more
Value of Brazil's pine sawn-wood exports up 19%
In September 2017, Brazilian exports of wood-based products (except pulp and paper) increased 25.0% in value compared to September 2016, from US$201.2 million to US$251.5 million. Pine sawn-wood exports in value increased 19% from September 2016 (US$ 35.3 million) and September 2017 (US$ 41.9 million). read more
Record prices seen in US lumber market
The U.S. market has been red-hot in 2017 on a combination of supply, demand, trade and climate factors that have combined to create a “one-of-a-kind” year. And it isn’t over yet! We have been predicting a timber supply crunch in Canada since 2007, when we first analyzed the impact of a diminishing timber base in the B.C. Interior. read more
Final softwood lumber duties set for Canada
The U.S. Commerce Department last week set the final countervailing and anti-dumping duties against Canadian softwood lumber exports. Canadian companies exporting lumber to the U.S. will pay combined duties of about 20% on all lumber exports to the U.S., once they go into effect sometime in December. read more
Record log harvest for Australian forestry industry
Record log harvest for Australian forestry industry Australia’s forest product industries had a record log harvest in 2016-17, increasing in both value and volume, according to statistics and forecasts published this week by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES). read more
Timberland Is Poised for Resurgence
Returns from U.S. timberland investments have been depressed since the housing market collapse. A decade later, the asset class may finally be poised for a comeback. When the U.S. housing market crashed in 2007, demand for lumber plunged along with it. With fewer houses being built, fewer building materials were needed. read more
Six Asian countries regulating timber imports
In the past 12 months, Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia have all taken steps to develop import regulations designed to keep illegally logged timber out of their markets. In most cases, timber import regulations give governments the power to penalize companies that trade in illegal timber. read more
Australia may water down illegal timber
A 2017 study by the Global Financial Integrity ranked illegal logging as the third largest global crime in value. Australia imports roughly $8.1 billion worth of timber products a year, and according to estimates from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, up to $800 million comes from sources with some risk of being illegally logged. read more
Small port supplying world’s biggest timber importer
Pine trees moving across Gisborne’s port meet an astonishing 6% of China’s total international demand for soft wood, says Eastland Port General Manager Andrew Gaddum. The January to June 2017 figures extracted from online industry newsletter WoodWeek reiterate what a significant player this region is in a global business. read more
Lucrative log markets in China have resulted in a tripling of softwood log export volumes from Australia the past four years, reports WRQ
 Timberland owners in Australia are increasingly exploring opportunities for the exportation of logs as an alternative to selling logs in the domestic market. read more
Charter for Wood 2.0
Wood has shaped human development since the dawn of time. Fire, the wheel, the construction of villages and towns – none of these things would have been conceivable without wood. And even today, in the digital age, wood is our most important renewable resource and is still opening up new perspectives. read more
Production cost margins for sawmills
Wood costs are by far the largest and most important cost component when manufacturing softwood lumber. The Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ) has tracked quarterly sawlog prices worldwide since 1995 and is now also reporting the quarterly sawmill cost margins for key lumber-regions around the world. read more
contact us to list your equipment
To list your vacant positions here, e-mail

Daughter to Father:
Dad, there is something my boyfriend said to me that I do not understand
He said that I have a beautiful chassis, lovely airbags and a fantastic bumper.
Father’s response:
My darling, tell your boyfriend that if he opens your bonnet and try’s to check your oil with his dipstick, I will tighten his nuts so hard that his headlights will pop out and he will start leaking from his exhaust pipe.
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SSA · Forest Lodge, Sedgefield · Knysna, Western Cape 6573 · South Africa

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