Panel Industry Checks Into TP&EE

While traditionally known as a sawmill show, the recent Timber Processing & Energy Expo experienced a healthy turnout from producer companies that also participate in the structural panel and engineered wood products sector, including the likes of ATCO Wood Products, Boise Cascade, Coastland Wood Industries, Columbia Forest Products, Freres Engineered Wood Products, Georgia-Pacific, Hood Industries, Hunt Forest Products, Murphy Company, Pacific Veneer, Pacific Wood Laminates, PotlatchDeltic, Rainier Veneer, Rosboro, Roseburg Forest Products, SmartLam North America, and Weyerhaeuser, to name a few.

The event, held September 28-30 at the Portland Expo Center in Portland, Ore., featured 170 exhibitors, 1,225 (non-exhibitor) registered attendees and another 900 exhibitor personnel. Produced by Hatton-Brown Expositions, an affiliate of Panel World magazine, the every-other-year event was last held in 2018, due to the pandemic canceling the show in 2020. It marked the fifth TP&EE since its inception in 2012.

“It has been the million-dollar question for the Portland show as long as I can remember: Should the structural panel industry receive equal billing as the sawmill industry?” comments Rich Donnell, Show Director and Editor-in-Chief of Panel World. “We have never promoted it that way, and certainly there was far more sawmill influence at this TP&EE, but given some of the comments we’ve received since the show, we’ll definitely need to look at it moving forward.”

More than 110 wood producer companies sent representatives to the event. Several TP&EE exhibitors, such Altec, Westmill, MDI, Samuel, Signode, Taihei Machinery and USNR, do considerable business in panel and EWP.

In addition to the exhibits on the show floor, one feature of the event that both panel and lumber segments enjoyed was the conference, From Forest to Frame: Mass Timber Developments, which featured 10 speakers, and which was followed the next day by a Mass Timber Tour of Freres Engineered Woods in Lyons, Ore. and TallWood Institute in Corvallis, Ore.

The conference included a panel discussion on Tracking and Transparency in the Forestry Supply Chain, moderated by Evan Schmidt, outreach and education manager, TallWood Design Institute. Also, Iain Macdonald, director of Tallwood, spoke on The Oregon Mass Timber Coalition—Connecting Oregon’s Forests to Mass Timber Manufacturing; Jeanelle Leafblad, senior director, WoodWorks, addressed Growing Market Demand for Wood Products; Allan Czinger senior account manager, USNR, spoke on Optimizing Sawmills for Mass Timber Production; Russ Vaagen, founder and CEO, Vaagen Timbers, talked about Mass Timber: From Early Adopter to Mainstream Buildings; and Derek Ratchford, CEO, SmartLam, addressed U.S. South Mass Timber Growth.

The next TP&EE is scheduled for September 25-27, 2024.

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