Wood treatment and innovations focus for May Tech series
TECHNOLOGIES TO treat timber with the aim of increasing its durability, reducing its environmental impact and improving its appearance and performance have been the principal focus of two-yearly technology updates for Australasian wood producers.
Providing options for better integrating treated wood products with other building materials has also increasingly been a focus as new building and construction systems are being rolled out. The biennial programmes have been designed by this regions specialists in wood products technology transfer, the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA). The programme in question is the very popular Wood Innovations series.
By definition, an innovation is something new - a new product, a new service or a new way of doing things. An innovative company tends to be an early adopter of new concepts, products and technologies. It tends to focus on the future and positions itself to adapt to an ever changing environment. “As the name of this year’s technology series suggests, innovation, particularly in timber treatment and wood modification, is the principal focus for Wood Innovations 2016 scheduled for both Australia and New Zealand,” says FIEA Director Brent Apthorp. [Rotorua 24-25 May, Melbourne 31May-1 June]
Two years ago the Wood Innovations series provided a timely insight into new and emerging timber preservative formulations, innovative wood treatment processes, changing standards, international developments and issues impacting on local operations along with opportunities for growth. “This year, keynote presentations on new wood preservatives and antisapstain systems are being given by Konrad Tittler, President, Diacon Technologies, Canada, Hans Ward, President, Protection Products/Dr Ron Clawson, Global Technology Director, Kop-Coat, USA, Trevor Innes, Technical & Environment, Timberlink Australia/New Zealand and Peter Carruthers, Marketing Manager, Arch Wood Protection” says Mr Apthorp.
Alternate wood products to timber treated with wood preservatives are also increasingly making themselves known in the marketplace. Wood plastic composites and modified wood products are a commercial reality, are already being produced in commercial quantities locally and can offer a genuine alternative to more traditional treated timber products.
Wood Innovations 2016 will be providing local companies with an update on this rapidly growing market. The scope for expansion for existing wood producers or new businesses is considerable. The global wood plastic composites market for example is expected to reach US$5.4 billion in 2019, expanding at a compounded annual growth rate of around 11% over the next four years. The greatest growth for these products is being projected to be in the Asia Pacific region.
Duncan Mayes, VP R&D & Technology, Stora Enso, Finland, Bror Moldrup, CEO, IWT Moldrup, Denmark, Jeremy Warnes, Business Development Manager, Scion, New Zealand, Ben Campbell, Technical Director, Abodo, New Zealand and Ron Eddy, Managing Director, TimTechChem International, New Zealand will be presenting on opportunities around wood modification and composites for local wood producers.
Rather than being seen as a threat, there are real opportunities for local companies to diversify their current operations from the outset. Early adoption of new technology – formulations, treatment processes and new timber products – will provide companies with both product and market diversification. In most instances it will complement existing operations and provide the company with an early competitive advantage.
Full details on the event including programmes for both events can be found on the event website, www.woodinnovations.events. To build on the expected turnout of timber treatment companies and suppliers in Melbourne, the Timber Preservers’ Association of Australia (TPAA) will be running both their technical and Council meetings the day before the conference, on Monday 30 May.
Brent Apthorp, FIEA Director.