Fletcher Orders Fine OSB Plant

New Zealand’s Fletcher Building Ltd. has ordered a complete plant for the production of Fine OSB from German machine manufacturer Dieffenbacher. The plant will be built at Fletcher Building’s Laminex site in Taupo, in the center of the country’s North Island. The new plant will include Dieffenbacher new belt dryer.

The belt dryer is one example of how Dieffenbacher technology will support the sustainability of the new plant. Along with digitalization, advanced plant engineering and operational excellence, sustainability is one of the four pillars of Dieffenbacher smart plant concept, CEBRO. The belt dryer has a low thermal energy consumption.

Fletcher Building’s new CEBRO plant will have the flexibility to produce fine OSB and conventional OSB. Fine OSB is a special type of board consisting of an OSB core layer covered top and bottom by layers of particleboard. It combines OSB’s excellent mechanical properties with the surface quality of particleboard.

Besides the new belt dryer, Dieffenbacher will supply an energy plant, a debarking line, purchased material infeed, strand production, a Maier impact mill, the screening and air grading, material recovery, glue preparation, glue dosing and gluing systems, the forming station and forming line, a CPS+ continuous press with press emission control system, raw board handling, pneumatic systems, electrics and automation, the digitalization solution EVORIS and the digital service platform MyDIEFFENBACHER. Dieffenbacher subsidiary B. Maier Zerkleinerungstechnik is responsible for engineering the entire wood yard up to the strander.

Hamish McBeath, Chief Executive Building Products at Fletcher Building, left, and Dieffenbacher CEO Christian Dieffenbacher

The new plant will replace a particleboard production line featuring an almost 50-year-old single-opening press supplied by Dieffenbacher to Fletcher Building in 1974. “It’s remarkable that our old press served us so well and for so long. With the right maintenance, we believe our new Dieffenbacher plant will last at least as long,” says Paul Thorn, Fletcher Wood Products Capital Works Manager.

Construction in Taupo will begin in early 2024. Startup is scheduled for the fourth quarter of the same year, with full-scale production by mid-2025.

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