A Good Quote Is Easy To Find

A Good Quote Is Easy To Find

A Good Quote Is Easy To Find

Article by Rich Donnell, Editor-in-Chief, Panel World November 2019

As the year winds down, already, a quick glance back through the pages of Panel World reveals several articles on wood products plants that found new life, and some memorable comments from key players in the industry.

• “I was probably the last guy they called about acquiring the plant. I didn’t know anything about particleboard.”—Todd Brinkmeyer, owner, Plummer Forest Products, who grew up in sawmills and forestry, on when Potlatch called him about acquiring the particleboard plant in Post Falls, Idaho, which he subsequently did.

• “We’re constantly trying to make a better workplace for our employees and they’re involved in that process. We want people to slow down, think, and do it safely.”—Jedd Smith, environmental and safety manager, Plummer Forest Products, Post Falls, Idaho

• “That’s one of the joys of working for a private company—we can be reasonably agile. This is one of those cases where we were reasonably agile.”—Greg Johnston, general manager of Strand Board Business, Tolko Industries, on re-starting the OSB plant in High Prairie, Alberta

• “I’d say there’s no doubt Hardel is the largest specialty plywood mill in the U.S. We do 8, 9, 10 ft., sanded one or two sides, hardwood, marine, sheathing, you name it—and now customers can get units of MDO and HDO. Where else could a customer get that?”—Emmanouel Pilaris, general manager of Hardel Mutual Plywood, Chehalis, Wash.

• “Every company has principles and visions up on their walls, but the thing with Koch is we do live by them. It becomes a way of life, a way of doing business. It’s not all that difficult. A lot of it is basically how your parents tried to raise you.”—Clarence Young, vice president and general manager of OSB, Georgia-Pacific, on GP’s parent company Koch Industries

• “The challenge process, earning decision rights, the principle of entrepreneurship—I had never been given the leeway to think about business that way. But they’re also going to hold you accountable. At the same time you can go out and do some unique things, take some risks. We did a lot of that when we started up this facility.”—Tobey Elgin, director of OSB operations, GP, on re-starting the OSB mill in Clarendon County, South Carolina

• “It’s not just something we say. We live it. Our entire management team here lives it and I know upper management lives it as well.”—Robert Willett, technical manager, Martco Chopin plywood mill, on regularly receiving APA’s safety and health award

• “It was depressing to come by this plant every day for the local people. Once we announced it was coming back, there was lots of excitement, and lots and lots of applicants to go through. We’ve given them the confidence that we’re here to stay.”—Bryan Little, plant manager, Huber OSB, on re-starting the OSB plant in Spring City, Tenn. following more than six years of downtime

• “We will miss him, but I know that his legacy will live on in the hundreds of lives he has touched so deeply and will endure through the family business that is approaching its 100th anniversary. A tall tree has fallen in our forest products industry.”—Roy O. Martin III, president and CEO of RoyOMartin, on the death of his cousin Jonathan E. Martin, chairman of Martin Sustainable Resources

 

 

Latest News

APA Names New Director Of Quality Services

Charles Hartke has joined APA—The Engineered Wood Assn. as director of the Quality Services Division. Hartke will oversee APA’s accredited certification programs, auditing and inspection of member products, and the staff who convey standards…

Andy O’Hare Named New CPA President

The Composite Panel Assn. (CPA) has announced the hiring of Andy O’Hare as the new President beginning August 3, 2020. Andy has over 25 years of diverse association management experience and comes to CPA from The Fertilizer Institute (TFI)…

SmartLam Teams With RedBuilt

SmartLam North America and RedBuilt announced a partnership to supply cross-laminated timber (CLT) products and solutions to architects, engineers and contractors for projects using the mass timber building technology…

Idaho Veneer Closes Doors

Longtime independent veneer producer Idaho Veneer Co. in Post Falls, Id. has closed its doors, as the family ownership decided to sell the mill property, which has slowly “moved” from outside of town to the middle of town as the area has grown…

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U.S. Court Says China At Fault

U.S. Court Says China At Fault

U.S. Court of International Trade in June upheld a U.S. International Trade Commission determination that the People’s Republic of China is injuring the U.S. hardwood plywood industry by exporting hardwood plywood supported by unfair subsidies and selling it at below market value (otherwise known as dumping) in the U.S.

The decision stems from a petition filed by the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood with the U.S. Dept. of Commerce and ITC in November 2016. In its preliminary determination, Commerce found that hardwood plywood from the PRC was being sold at less than fair value and that the PRC industry was receiving countervailable subsidies.

Concurrent with Commerce’s proceedings, the ITC investigated whether the domestic industry was materially injured or threatened with material injury by the imports. ITC issued a preliminary determination find that there was reasonable indication of injury to the U.S. industry, and subsequently in a final determination concluded that the U.S. hardwood plywood industry is materially injured by the PRC imports because they’re subsidized and sold in the U.S. at less than fair value.

The Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood includes Columbia Forest Products, Commonwealth Plywood, Murphy Company, Roseburg Forest Products, States Industries and Timber Products Co., all domestic producers of hardwood plywood.

American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood and related companies subsequently challenged aspects of the ITC final determination of injury. These companies include Far East American, Inc., Northwest Hardwoods, American Pacific Plywood, Canusa Wood Products, Concannon Lumber and Plywood, Fabuwood Cabinetry Corp., Hardwoods Specialty Products, Holland Southwest International, Liberty Wood International, McCorry & Co., MJB Wood Group, Patrioit Tmber Products, Richmond International Forest Products, Taraca Pacific, USPly Trade Co. and Wood Brokerage International. A separate complaint against the ITC ruling was filed by Zhejiang Dehua TB Import & Export Co. and affiliated plaintiffs.

The complaints against the ITC injury determination challenged the ITC’s findings that imports from PRC are substitutable with domestic hardwood plywood; that the volume of imports from PRC are significant; that imports from PRC undersold domestic hardwood plywood and resulted in price suppression; that imports from PRC significantly impacted the domestic industry.

U.S. Court of International Trade denounced these challenges and upheld the ITC determination of injury. On the specific challenge as to the degree of volume of imports from PRC, the Court pointed to the ITC finding that between 2014 and 2016 the market share of imports from PRC increased from 37.9% to 40.1%, while the domestic industry decreased from 21% to 17.3%. And specifically in the cabenetry end use segment, hardwood plywood imports from China increased from 224MMSF to 301MMSF, increasing its market share by 6.9%, while the domestic market share decreased by 5.1%.

The Court emphasized that ITC overall noted that the domestic industry’s production, capacity utilization, end-of-period inventories, shipments and market share all declined during the investigation period, as did net sales revenues, cost of goods sold, ratio of operating incomes to net sales, gross profit, operating income and net income.

A Good Quote Is Easy To Find

Nothing Like Going Back

Nothing Like Going Back

Article by Rich Donnell, Editor-in-Chief, Panel World September 2020

Through the course of time, as we editors travel to wood products mills around the world, we begin to view some mills as more than just a mill, but rather as a member of our editorial family.

Take this issue’s cover story for instance—the RoyOMartin southern pine plywood mill in Chopin, La. Panel World editors have visited this mill and written articles on it four times since it started running in 1996.

I went there almost exactly 23 years ago, several months after it peeled its first block in February 1996. After considering the construction of a southern pine sawmill, Martco (Jonathan Martin and Jerry Buckner in particular) realized a plywood mill would better address its wood utilization situation. Martco officially announced the project in 1994 at a cost of $50 million and with a stated production capacity of 250MMSF (3⁄8 in.).

It was very special to be able to visit with these gentlemen and tour the mill for the article. Martco had gone with Durand-Raute for most of the machinery, having come away impressed with some similar equipment it had seen in action at Plum Creek Timber’s plywood mills in Montana.

The next time Panel World went back to Chopin was in 2007. Our senior editor Dan Shell made that journey, mainly because the mill had started up a second plywood line—heavier to USNR (Coe) and SparTek this time (including a seven ply foam glue layup line—and had increased annual production capacity to 470MMSF, going after smaller logs in longer lengths.

It was my turn again in 2011, and while the mill had made some equipment improvements, boosting production to nearly 490MMSF, the brunt of the article was on the company’s Living With Wellness Program, which emphasized the idea that a healthier employee is also a safer worker. Looking back on it, I think I went back mainly because I just wanted to see how the mill had evolved since my initial visit.

A few things caught our attention for this latest visit for the article in this issue. The trip to the mill had brought in some dryers since our previous visit, and had recently undergone considerable upgrade to its automation systems and controls throughout the mill. Production had hiked again to 510MMSF, more than double the original output. But what really caught our eye was that a couple of years ago the mill had implemented a timbers sawmill line, utilizing the non-plywood stems from the optimized multi-saw bucking line.

The editor who visited the mill and wrote the story in this issue, Jessica Johnson, was all of eight years old when I visited the new mill in 1996. Maybe now you can begin to see how a mill can traverse our editorial landscape.

 

 

Latest News

APA Names New Director Of Quality Services

Charles Hartke has joined APA—The Engineered Wood Assn. as director of the Quality Services Division. Hartke will oversee APA’s accredited certification programs, auditing and inspection of member products, and the staff who convey standards…

Andy O’Hare Named New CPA President

The Composite Panel Assn. (CPA) has announced the hiring of Andy O’Hare as the new President beginning August 3, 2020. Andy has over 25 years of diverse association management experience and comes to CPA from The Fertilizer Institute (TFI)…

SmartLam Teams With RedBuilt

SmartLam North America and RedBuilt announced a partnership to supply cross-laminated timber (CLT) products and solutions to architects, engineers and contractors for projects using the mass timber building technology…

Idaho Veneer Closes Doors

Longtime independent veneer producer Idaho Veneer Co. in Post Falls, Id. has closed its doors, as the family ownership decided to sell the mill property, which has slowly “moved” from outside of town to the middle of town as the area has grown…

Find Us On Social

Newsletter

The monthly Panel World Industry Newsletter reaches over 3,000 who represent primary panel production operations.

Subscribe/Renew

Panel World is delivered six times per year to North American and international professionals, who represent primary panel production operations. Subscriptions are FREE to qualified individuals.

Advertise

Complete the online form so we can direct you to the appropriate Sales Representative. Contact us today!

Latest News

APA Names New Director Of Quality Services

Charles Hartke has joined APA—The Engineered Wood Assn. as director of the Quality Services Division. Hartke will oversee APA’s accredited certification programs, auditing and inspection of member products, and the staff who convey standards…

Andy O’Hare Named New CPA President

The Composite Panel Assn. (CPA) has announced the hiring of Andy O’Hare as the new President beginning August 3, 2020. Andy has over 25 years of diverse association management experience and comes to CPA from The Fertilizer Institute (TFI)…

SmartLam Teams With RedBuilt

SmartLam North America and RedBuilt announced a partnership to supply cross-laminated timber (CLT) products and solutions to architects, engineers and contractors for projects using the mass timber building technology…

Idaho Veneer Closes Doors

Longtime independent veneer producer Idaho Veneer Co. in Post Falls, Id. has closed its doors, as the family ownership decided to sell the mill property, which has slowly “moved” from outside of town to the middle of town as the area has grown…

Find Us On Social

Newsletter

The monthly Panel World Industry Newsletter reaches over 3,000 who represent primary panel production operations.

Subscribe/Renew

Panel World is delivered six times per year to North American and international professionals, who represent primary panel production operations. Subscriptions are FREE to qualified individuals.

Advertise

Complete the online form so we can direct you to the appropriate Sales Representative. Contact us today!

Arauco Gets Graying PB Mill Going

Arauco Gets Graying PB Mill Going

ARAUCO held a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 16 at its new particleboard and lamination facility in Grayling, Mich. Executives from ARAUCO, ARAUCO North America, as well as customers and public officials from Chile and the state of Michigan attended the ceremony, which also included a plant tour. The Grayling mill represents a $450 million investment toward supporting ARAUCO’s North American customer base and increasing the company’s ability to meet the furniture manufacturing industry in the U.S. Midwest market area and beyond.

The 820,000 sq. ft. operation is the company’s first greenfield facility in the U.S., its 11th North America manufacturing site and the largest of its kind globally. The operation is designed to be one of the most productive in the world and houses North America’s highest-capacity, single-line particleboard press, two thermally infused laminating (TFL) lines and a large stocking warehouse for just-in-time service delivery. The plant currently staffs more than 200 full-time employees and has generated 700 additional jobs in related supplier and logistics industries since construction commenced in spring 2017.

“This is a historic day and milestone for our company,” said Matías Domeyko, CEO, ARAUCO. “The official start of production at Grayling exemplifies the outstanding innovation and sustained growth ARAUCO is known for globally, and what has been central to propelling our positive business results. The Grayling mill achievement also is the culmination of unwavering commitment from our valued investor who shared our vision for capturing significant market opportunity in North America.”

Kelly Shotbolt, President of ARAUCO North America, acknowledged the
significant contributions of the Grayling project managers, and praised state of Michigan officials and local Crawford County representatives for creating an environment conducive to undertaking such a large-scale business endeavor.

“We are grateful for the incredible support received both from Grayling
community leaders and the state of Michigan. It has been vital to enabling ARAUCO to renew our industry in North America through what is arguably the most advanced, automated and large-scale facility of its kind anywhere
in the world,” Shotbolt said. “While known for automobile manufacturing, Michigan also is the office furniture capital of the world. We are pleased to substantially expand our production capacity to assure a strong, sustainable supply of quality, raw and finished product for
this growing region.”

With an annual production capacity of 452MMSF, the Grayling plant will soon produce the full breadth of the company’s high-quality raw particleboard in a variety of thicknesses, as well as ARAUCO’s PRISM TFL collection.

A Good Quote Is Easy To Find

When Grant Led The Way

When Grant Led The Way

Article by Rich Donnell, Editor-in-Chief, Panel World July 2019

The story in this issue on Georgia-Pacific’s OSB plant in Clarendon County, South Carolina brings back memories. Not memories of Georgia-Pacific, but rather of Grant Forest Products, the Ontario-based company that built an OSB plant in Allendale, SC, then immediately started construction of the one at Clarendon, before undergoing financial pains during the recession and ultimately selling both OSB plants to GP (owned by Koch Industries) in 2010.

My memories go back to September 1989 when I visited Grant Forest Products’ new OSB line in Englehart, Ontario. The Grant connection to the GP story prompted me to look into my old files. I have thinned them out through the years, but some I’ve kept because the subject matter left an impression. Sure enough, the Grant file on the Englehart startup was there, fully intact, perhaps untouched in, could it really be, 30 years?

It’s a thick file. Much of the material is the literature that Grant produced for the grand opening of the OSB line, such as the layout of the plant, the history and current makeup of the company, and most impressively a colorful magazine that delves into the development of the project and its successful realization.

Another item in the file is a printout of an article, written by my predecessor Griff Griffin, that appeared in the February 1983 issue of Panel World on Grant’s new waferboard mill that had started up in 1982, one of several waferboard mills coming on line about that time. That article refers to 38-year-old Peter Grant as a “gutsy entrepreneurial.” He was the oldest of eight sons born to the late Morgan Grant, and most of them were involved in managing the various businesses founded by their father, including farming, trucking, construction and sawmilling.

Another reason the Grant file was so thick was that 30 years ago people still used typewriters, and so there are pages of my typed up interview with Peter Grant from when we sat in his office for a good hour before I toured the new OSB line.

Grant, educated in civil engineering at Michigan Tech, had worked in construction in the U.S. before returning to the family business. He became general manager of Grant Lumber’s planing mill at Elk Lake, before venturing into waferboard.

Grant told me the new OSB line cost about $75 million. It was located adjacent the waferboard line, each with their own dryers, blenders, forming line, multiple-opening press, and trim saw lines.

Peter Grant was known for his innovations and I recall the new OSB line using a combination of liquid and powdered resins, longer (6 in.) strands in the board, fines put back in the board. “We do things much much differently than anybody else does. I can assure you that,” Grant told me.

I had interviewed another waferboard/OSB pioneer, LP’s Harry Merlo, four years earlier. About the time I interviewed Grant, LP seemed to be building an OSB mill every year. I wondered then if Grant would follow such an accelerated path. He didn’t go that route, seemingly content on what he had built at Englehart, until his 2005 announcement to build two OSB plants in South Carolina.

Those didn’t pan out for Grant, but his legacy is all over them today. Meanwhile I hear that Grant has recovered nicely in the farming industry.

 

 

Latest News

APA Names New Director Of Quality Services

Charles Hartke has joined APA—The Engineered Wood Assn. as director of the Quality Services Division. Hartke will oversee APA’s accredited certification programs, auditing and inspection of member products, and the staff who convey standards…

Andy O’Hare Named New CPA President

The Composite Panel Assn. (CPA) has announced the hiring of Andy O’Hare as the new President beginning August 3, 2020. Andy has over 25 years of diverse association management experience and comes to CPA from The Fertilizer Institute (TFI)…

SmartLam Teams With RedBuilt

SmartLam North America and RedBuilt announced a partnership to supply cross-laminated timber (CLT) products and solutions to architects, engineers and contractors for projects using the mass timber building technology…

Idaho Veneer Closes Doors

Longtime independent veneer producer Idaho Veneer Co. in Post Falls, Id. has closed its doors, as the family ownership decided to sell the mill property, which has slowly “moved” from outside of town to the middle of town as the area has grown…

Find Us On Social

Newsletter

The monthly Panel World Industry Newsletter reaches over 3,000 who represent primary panel production operations.

Subscribe/Renew

Panel World is delivered six times per year to North American and international professionals, who represent primary panel production operations. Subscriptions are FREE to qualified individuals.

Advertise

Complete the online form so we can direct you to the appropriate Sales Representative. Contact us today!