Major investment to maintain competitive edge
HYNE TIMBER,.Australia’s largest private timber producer, is about to spend several million dollars on new scanning technology at its Tumbarumba mill in south-west New South Wales in.a bid to capitalise on a resurgence in building activity.
Over the next three months approximately $2.3 million will be spent on log and board optimisation – scanning technologies that help the mill make better decisions about how the timber is cut.
Over the next three to six months an additional $1.2 million will be spent on process improvement and upgrades – technology that makes the mill more efficient. Hyne Timber has also invested over $1.5 million in training for all its employees. “This investment is part of a program called Business Excellence. All employees at Tumbarumba are undertaking training for either Certificate III or IV in Competitive Systems and Practices qualifications and Certificate III in Forests and Forest Products,” said Manufacturing Manager Chris Skeels-Piggins.
“There are also a number of apprenticeships in engineering and electrical fields. We recognise as an organisation that we need to invest in our staff to secure our future, and consequently the future of the mill and Tumbarumba. When you are such a large employer in a small community, this comes with a responsibility to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep young, local people in the community by providing diverse career opportunities for them,” he said.
“Over the past 10 years the timber industry has undergone a great deal of rationalisation, with many mill closures across Australia, it is important that Australian mills are competitive on a global stage, and the current investment in the Tumbarumba mill is testament to this.
“As we are a framing mill, any increase in housing markets has a direct impact on the profitability and the volumes we can put through the mill,” Skeels-Piggins told ABC Rural.
“Even our capital focus, over the next six to twelve months, is all about making sure we can put more volumes through, more efficiently, to enable us to better optimise the timber and make better sawing decisions.”
Aerial view of.Tumbarumba Hyne Mill.