Panel Production, Housing Up

Panel Production, Housing Up

North America structural panel production increased 5% and consumption was up 5.8% in 2016, according to APA—The Engineered Wood Assn.

Structural panel production was 32.595 billion SF, continuing several consecutive years of increase. Production was 27.785 billion SF in 2012.

U.S. companies produced 22.731 billion SF, and Canadian producers recorded 9.864 billion SF, both amounts up slightly over 2015.

U.S. OSB production was 13.922 billion SF and Canada was 7.913 billion SF. U.S. plywood output was 8.809 billion SF, while was Canada was at 1.951 billion SF.

U.S. plywood imports from offshore totaled 1.077 billion SF, up 54.5% from 2015.

North American Glulam production was up 2.7%, while I-joist and LVL output were up 6.3% and 6.8%.

Glulam production for the year was 280MMBF. I-joist production was 730.1 million linear feet. LVL production was 71 million cubic feet.

APA also reported that housing starts totaled 1.166 million units in 2016, up 4.9% from 2015. Single-family starts were up 9.3% to 780,900, while multi-family starts were down 3% to 385,500.

APA forecasts total starts to increase to 1.285 million in 2017 (850,000 single family, 435,000 multi-family, and to 1.360 million in 2018 (890,000 single family, 470,000 multi-family).

APA notes that Fannie Mae offers the most optimistic forecast, expecting 1.308 million starts in 2017 and 1.461 million in 2018.

APA also reported that U.S. construction employment rose by 102,000 in 2016, considerably down from 296,000 in 2015, partially reflecting an increased scarcity of skilled construction labor.

Overall U.S. unemployment was 4.9%, down from 5.3% in 2015, marking the lowest annual average since 2007.

Canadian housing starts, including gains in both single family and multi-family, were 197,900, virtually unchanged from 2015. Single family detached starts were 74,090, up 8.8%.

New OSB Mill Still On Schedule

New OSB Mill Still On Schedule

New OSB Mill Still On Schedule

 

Work continues in Corrigan, Texas on a new oriented strandboard (OSB) manufacturing plant, the first such facility in the Lone Star State for RoyOMartin. Due to open in fall 2017, the plant represents a $280 million investment, is situated on 158 acres, and adds 165 direct jobs.

Corrigan OSB, L.L.C. is the only greenfield OSB plant under construction in the country and, upon its completion, will ship its products throughout the U.S.

In September, company officials and the East Texas community celebrated the grand opening of the plant’s administration building, which marked the beginning of the transition from a construction site to a fully operational facility. Construction began in July 2015 and is nearly halfway complete. About 30 employees have been hired to date.

“We believe East Texans share our passion for excellence and experience,” says Roy O. Martin III, president, CEO and CFO of RoyOMartin. “We have sold into the Texas market for a long time, and now we look forward to becoming a proactive partner in the community.”

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In a significant step toward modernizing their production line, Hunt Forest Products in Pollock, La. is receiving new lathe controls and BlockLogix optimization from USNR, as well as a Bosch valve upgrade to the lathe spindles and replacing the lower portion of the core drive.

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Arauco To Complete New Plant In 2018

Arauco To Complete New Plant In 2018

Arauco To Complete New Plant In 2018

 

The $325 million particleboard plant Arauco is constructing in Grayling, Mich. will not only be the largest single-line capacity particleboard plant in North America, but it also represents the first greenfield particleboard plant constructed on this continent since 2001, according to Arauco North America President Kelly Shotbolt.

“When completed in late 2018, it will bolster our commitment to servicing customers, especially those in the Midwest and Eastern Canada,” Shotbolt says. “We’re currently laying the groundwork needed to proceed with construction: clearing the site, securing environmental permits and hiring a management team. At the same time, we’re enjoying getting to know our Grayling neighbors. The city has been a fantastic partner and we look forward to being a member of the community and providing career opportunities for many local residents.”

Jake Elston, Vice President of Operations for Arauco North America, adds,  “This is definitely one of the most exciting things many of us have ever been involved with in our careers. This mill will utilize the newest technology available in the industry. It will truly be a state-of-the-art composite panel mill.”

The entire operation will be situated on one square mile located in north central Michigan. The plant will occupy approximately 750,000 sq. ft. under roof. A 170-foot long by 10-foot wide Dieffenbacher continuous press line housed in it will have an annual production capacity of 424MMSF of particleboard on a ¾ in. basis.

Plans for the operation also include installation of a decorative paper impregnation system and a pair of thermally fused laminate lines sold under the company’s new Prism TFL brand.

Elston says a project milestone was recently observed when the company hired Charles Mason as a site drafter. Mason became the first of many area residents who will be hired to operate the plant.

“We’ve had our internal design team of Tex Giddens, Goran Oscarsson, Manfred Timmerman and Mike Battisti working nearly full time with our strategic planning and engineering teams in South America for over a year. As the first local employee, Charles is working with this group to come up to speed on vendor contracts and also starting to support local issues in the Grayling community,” Elston says. “We will start hiring select plant leadership and construction management personnel by the end of the year.”

Elston adds that Arauco North America will be leasing temporary office space in downtown Grayling to support employees during construction planning and building phases. The facility is expected to eventually employ 250.

Arauco has applied for environmental permits with state and local agencies. Elston says approval is expected in mid-August.

In the meantime, work has begun to remove trees and underbrush from the building site, prerequisite preparations to add roads and utilities to service the plant. If all goes according to plan, groundbreaking for the plant will commence this fall after permits are issued.

“It’s a very aggressive timetable to have the plant start up by the end of 2018. When you take into account Michigan winters, that’s really only 18 to 20 months to bring a mill of this size and capacity up to fully functional.”

Elston notes that the Grayling location is ideal for the new particleboard plant for a variety of reasons. “The upper Midwest region—with the office furniture industry, RTA industry, cabinets and others—is the largest panel consuming region in North America. Michigan is a good fit to serve this market because it has available wood fiber, including residual wood from some nearby sawmills, and is logistically closer to many significant customers that are currently being served from suppliers much farther away.”

Elston emphasizes that the use of low value fiber that is currently underutilized in the area should be a win-win for Arauco, Grayling area landowners, and the community as a whole.

The commitment to build the Grayling facility comes on the heels of an important $30 million investment to upgrade and expand the Arauco particleboard plant in Bennettsville, SC, where the company added a new drying area that increases the plant’s annual capacity by 50MMSF of raw particleboard, and also added a fast-cycle press to double the plant’s output of thermally-fused laminate panels.

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Hasslacher Enters North America

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Endowment Welcomes New Board Members

U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities announces that Fritz Mason, Paul Hossain and Anna Torma were elected as new directors at the organization’s fall board meeting. “Drawing upon diverse backgrounds, they each bring a distinctive perspective and unique vision. We look forward to collaborating with them to further the mission of the Endowment,” comments Pete Madden, President and CEO of the Endowment.

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Third Portland TP&EE Gears Up

Third Portland TP&EE Gears Up

Organizers of the third Timber Processing & Energy Expo (TP&EE) announce that attendee registration on-line is open.

TP&EE will be held September 28-30 at the Portland Exposition Center in Portland, Ore. It is hosted by Timber Processing and Panel World magazines, produced by Hatton-Brown Expositions LLC, and caters to primary producers of lumber, plywood and engineered wood products.

The 2014 event attracted 1,700 industry producer personnel, representing 140 wood products companies and hundreds of lumber, veneer/plywood and engineered wood products mill operations. The event also attracts an international audience, with 22 countries represented in 2014. In addition, 1,000 exhibitor personnel were on hand.

Registration options remain the same as they were in 2014, meaning the event is free for those who register on-line. Registration at the show will be $20. The other on-line options include registration along with a beer & brat ticket for $15; registration for the Lumber Manufacturing Workshop on Thursday September 29 for $75 (which includes the exhibit floor pass and a beer and brat ticket); and registration for the Veneer-Based Manufacturing Workshop on Wednesday September 28 for $75 (again including the exhibit floor pass and a beer and brat ticket).

The event is moving into Hall E, which is a third larger than Hall D, where the event was held in 2014 on the Expo Grounds. The additional space has allowed the show to increase the size of its Beer Garden to allow for more seated area. Also, the event has added German and Italian pavilions featuring machinery manufacturers from those countries.

Nearly 190 exhibitors have purchased all of the available space, 56,000 sq. ft., inside Hall E. Show organizers have added a tent with booth space to be placed in front of Hall E to relieve a growing waiting list.

“That’s about all we could do this time,” comments Show Director Rich Donnell. “Maybe in 2018 we’ll add a second hall. For now though we’ve turned our attention to attendee registration.”

To register, visit: www.timberprocessingandenergyexpo.com.

Sellers Was Tenacious In Research

Sellers Was Tenacious In Research

Sellers Was Tenacious In Research

 

Dr. Terry Sellers, Jr., whose specialty was adhesives for bonding wood products during his professional career, and who also wrote two ex­quisitely detailed genealogy books on his Alabama families, died suddenly and peacefully at his home in Oneonta, Ala. on June 9, 2016. He was 77.

Sellers wrote and had published in 1985, “Plywood and Adhesive Technology,” probably the most respected and referenced book ever written on plywood adhesives.

For many years, Sellers wrote the “Board Talk” column in Panel World magazine, often describing his worldwide travels to research institutes, universities and panel operations, where he consulted on adhesives development.

Sellers was born in Quinton, Walker County, Alabama, and grew up in nearby Cordova, graduating from Cordova High School. He graduated from Auburn University in 1960 with a B.S. in Forestry and received a M.S. the following year also from Auburn. He obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Tokyo in Japan.

He worked in industry for 20 years (Unit Structures-Koppers Co. and Reichhold Chemicals, Inc.), before being appointed in 1980 as Full Professor and Research Scientist of Forest Products at Mississippi State University’s Forest Products Utilization Laboratory in Starkville, Miss. In 1980 he also began a private consulting career, which eventually expanded over five continents. He authored more than 170 publications in scientific and trade journals. He retired from Mississippi State University in 2004 and was designated Professor Emeritus of Forest Products. In 2006 he was named Outstanding Alumnus by Auburn University’s Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Alumni Assn. He served as president of the International Forest Products Research Society, and received commendations and awards from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce for international trade standards, The Shell Oil Company for research and development, and the Forest Products Research Society (now Forest Products Society) for outstanding service.

Sellers donated his professional papers to the Forest History Society Library in Durham, NC.

As far back as the 1960s, Sellers began researching his father’s and mother’s families (Sellers and Gilchrist) histories, a complex and enduring hobby that reached fruition with the publication in 2008 of a 290-page book, “Iron Butterfly,” which provided a history of the Scots race of people and genealogy of 14 related families.

Sellers followed it up with “The Stars Are Friendly” in 2014, a genealogy of his wife’s families (Estill and Perrin).

“I have always been interested in world geography, history, religion and people, and how they relate to one another,” he said. “The world is my home and the people in it are my family.”

Sellers was preceded in death by his grandparents, Randolph and Delonia Ann Shipp Sellers, John Oscar and Stella Catherine Dunn Gilchrist and parents, Terry (Sr.) and Lillian Nora Gilchrist Sellers.

He is survived by his wife, Esther Joan Estill Sellers; children, Kathryn Jill Sellers and Lee Anna Makhloufi (Abel); grandchildren, Lea Joan Makh­loufi, Annie Perrin Grisham and Alexander Terry Makhloufi; sister, Elizabeth Ann Sellers Felton (Gene Felton, deceased); and numerous cherished siblings-in-law, nieces, nephews and cousins.

In lieu of memorial flowers, send contributions to the Wilburn Hudson Memorial Scholarship Fund, Cordova High School, 183 School Road, Cordova, AL 35550.

A memorial service was held June 13 and the funeral service held June 15 at Long Memorial United Methodist Church in Cordova.

 

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Hunt Modernizes Lathe Operations

In a significant step toward modernizing their production line, Hunt Forest Products in Pollock, La. is receiving new lathe controls and BlockLogix optimization from USNR, as well as a Bosch valve upgrade to the lathe spindles and replacing the lower portion of the core drive.

Find Us On Social

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Proteak Starts Up MDF Operation

Proteak Starts Up MDF Operation

Proteak Starts Up MDF Operation

 

In February 2016 Proteak announced the startup of its MDF plant in Huimanguillo, Tabasco, Mexico, under the brand Tecnotabla. “With state-of-the-art technology, this plant is the first of its kind in Mexico and will use certified wood from the company’s own 100% sustainable plantations,” the company states.

Panel production will increase gradually to reach the plant’s annual capacity of 280 thousand m3. MDF will be sold in the domestic and international markets.

“This plant represents the most important forestry industrial project in the country’s history and evidences that the forestry sector can be sustainable and profitable at the same time, to the benefit of many Mexican families,” comments Héctor Bonilla, founder of Proteak and President of the Board. “Mexico has everything to become an international forestry industrial powerhouse and we are proud to be the first ones to prove it.”

This project diversifies the economy of Tabasco and is the source of more than 1,500 direct and indirect jobs in the state’s rural areas.

Proteak is the largest forestry industrial company in Mexico and Central America. With more than 20,000 hectares of forestry plantations, it exports to more than 15 destinations in America, Europe and Asia.

 

Latest News

Boise Announces New Investments

Boise Cascade has announced new investments in Alabama and Louisiana in support of its engineered wood products (EWP) growth strategy.

Hunt Modernizes Lathe Operations

In a significant step toward modernizing their production line, Hunt Forest Products in Pollock, La. is receiving new lathe controls and BlockLogix optimization from USNR, as well as a Bosch valve upgrade to the lathe spindles and replacing the lower portion of the core drive.

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!