Friday Offcuts 25 October 2019
And getting planters out there to get those trees into the ground over winter isn’t only an issue in this part of the world. Because of the need to replant areas ravaged by the record breaking wild fires of 2018 and 2017, B.C. alone needs to plant an estimated 48 million more trees in 2020. They’re estimating that the increase may be the largest leap in planting volume in the industry's 50-year history. This is going to require an additional 500 to 1,000 more planters next year – and they’re already hard to find.
Continuing with our robotics and automation theme from recent issues, Oregon State University has been able to demonstrate recently one of their US$300,000 German-built Kuka industrial robots. It was at the grand opening of their new 14,000-square-foot Advanced Wood Products Laboratory. This time though it wasn’t being employed to process wood but instead, it was used to cut a cake at the official opening. The lab is part of a new Oregon Forest Science Complex intended to nurture and showcase the state’s growing expertise in engineered wood products and mass timber construction.
Last week we covered the opening of North America’s largest CLT operation. It included the largest CLT press currently in operation globally. This week, with a video, you’ll be able to take a look inside the plant. In the humanoid robot space, we've already covered a story about a major NZ retailer bringing in the first human-like interface backed by artificial intelligence. Christchurch Airport we hear is also unveiling their own robot, Pepper. It builds on work they’re currently undertaking on disruptive technologies, including the Autonomous Smart Shuttle and VR training for their fire service. The first of their three new robotic units is about to be tested with airport visitors.
In another report out this week, we see that a NZ electronics manufacturer, Nautech, has already got a series of cobots (collaborative robots) working alongside their 72 staff at their East Tamaki manufacturing centre. The technology is advancing rapidly and it’s really going to be much more visible, in both service and manufacturing industries, over the next 6-12 months. That’s it for this week. Enjoy the read.
This week we have for you:
Call for Speakers: Forest Safety Conference SeriesThe first FIEA Conference series for 2020 will be the Forest Industry Safety & Technology 2020 Conference planned for 20 -21 May in Rotorua, New Zealand & 27 – 28 May in Melbourne, Australia. This event is firmly focussed on the needs of forestry contractors, managers, owners, health & safety leaders, harvest supervisors, transport operators, safety technology innovators and safety regulation inspectors and senior managers.
We're working closely with a wide range of international specialists, service suppliers, researchers and government bodies to develop a strong and innovative programme for the industry in this region. Feedback from previous events is a key driver as well. A focus group will be formed to guide our speaker choices.
If you are keen to be a speaker at this conference and you are an early adopter, developer, innovator, technology supplier, service provider or researcher within the forestry sector specifically around safety, our conference team would like to hear from you. Also make contact if you are keen to be part of our focus group deciding where the emphasis of this May 2020 program should be.
The 2020 Forest Industry Safety & Technology conference will include sessions based around:
- Cultural factors delivering results in improved safety outcomes
- Achieving the best practice safety in forest operations: what's working best?
- What areas have the greatest need for safety awareness right now?
- Technology developments: what’s new and working well?
If you are interested in being considered as a speaker, or would like to recommend an early adopter, case study or international expert, please contact John Stulen in our Rotorua office.
A sea of pines will be neededWith a frown, Canterbury University forestry professor Dr Euan Mason clicks away, looking for the graph he presented at the August conference of the Institute of Forestry. Sure, the NZ Government is promising its One Billion Trees programme is going to be all about "the right tree in the right place".
But is anyone really looking at how much new carbon forest New Zealand is going to need to meet its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and Zero Carbon commitments, Mason asks?
Forget the talk about pretty native bush projects – all tui and tōtara. That will be the fringe stuff, he says. Bush is too expensive to plant and too slow-growing. It can't fulfil the looming 2030 and 2050 carbon targets.
The reality is New Zealand is giving itself little other choice than to plunge into a mass planting of commercial tree crops – the conversion of perhaps a couple of million hectares of open farmland into wall-to-wall Pinus radiata.
Big blocks of carbon sink that will not only lock up productive land, stopping it earning export dollars, but which in many cases will be remitting their carbon earnings – effectively a tax on New Zealand emissions – to a foreign pension fund or some other off-shore investor.
C3 secures five-year contract with FCNSWC3, part of LINX Cargo Care Group, has commenced operations under a five-year softwood clearfell harvest contract with Forestry Corporation NSW (FCNSW) in the Walcha Management Region in NSW.
This is the first contract that C3 has secured with the company and C3 is looking forward to delivering on its promise to FCNSW in Walcha and furthering the new relationship should the opportunity arise in the future.
In Australia, C3 is one of the country’s largest forest products logistics providers offering both in-field chipping and cut to length harvest and haulage solutions along with bulk and containerised export log marshalling and stevedoring services.
“We are excited and privileged to be awarded this inaugural contract with FCNSW and look forward to delivering and growing employment opportunities with them now and into the future” said Anthony Jones, Group CEO LINX Cargo Care Group.
C3’s harvesting operations have predominately focused on hardwood but the company is now moving into softwood. All operations employ sustainable plantation forestry and harvesting practises, ensuring efficient supply chains for domestic and exported products.
Source: LINX Cargo Care Group
CFMEU campaign for high temperaturesThe policy has been taken up by 140 commercial contractors and subcontractors across southeast Queensland after a campaign by the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union, according to The Australian, including the $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf project in Brisbane.
The paper notes Bureau of Meteorology data shows there were 13 days over the past year when these weather conditions applied. Under the guidelines, employees will be alerted to possible “extreme hot weather” the day before a shift, and work will be modified including by rescheduling “hot tasks” and potentially limiting days to eight hours.
Where the temperature is 28C and humidity 75 per cent or more “after three hours from the commencement of a shift there will be an orderly cessation of work and preparations for safe completions of critical tasks currently underway … or modifications to the workload”.
The policy also calls for work to stop if the temperature hits 35C, irrespective of humidity, which is consistent with guidelines in other states.
The heat stress policies were introduced at the recommendation of the coroner as part of an inquest into the 2013 death Glenn Newport, who collapsed while working in extremely hot conditions on a coal seam gas pipeline construction site near Roma in Queensland’s southern inland.
CFMEU assistant secretary Jade Ingham said in a statement, “This is not new policy, and we are now coming into the third summer it has been in place, during which time I have no doubt it has saved many workers from serious injury or worse”.
“Our policy has been grossly misrepresented. The policy does not mean workers automatically walk off the job when the temperature rises. It means there is a requirement to better manage a job site so heat impacts are managed and minimised. This can be achieved through measures such as rotating workers, more regular rest and hydration breaks, rescheduling things like concrete pours to earlier hours, or perhaps adjusting work during extreme heat to areas of a site that are less exposed”.
Source: news.com.au, CFMEU
InSAR remote sensing for forest inventoriesRemote sensing is a great way to learn more about our forests and manage them accordingly. Scion is exploring new methods to capture information, such as SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar).
Remote sensing involves recording data about an object, without making contact with the object. Interferometric SAR (InSAR) satellite technology is one method that has been used to perform forest inventory overseas, but this study is the first time it has been used on the challenging, dense canopies of radiata pine in New Zealand’s mountainous terrain.
The study found that while lidar is still much more precise for predicting forest attributes, InSAR has several other benefits to consider. InSAR uses radar to sense data and as such, data capture isn’t affected by cloud cover and can take place day or night. InSAR is also very cost effective at $0.16 per hectare to gather data, whereas lidar is between $3-16 per hectare.
Results shows that InSAR could fill a niche for forest managers for whom very high precision is not a primary concern or for large-scale assessment of areas where other data sources are unavailable or too expensive. There is also room for the models to improve with future optimisations that the team are working on.
To understand the possibilities of using InSAR data as a cost-effective alternative to lidar, researchers used models to predict standard inventory information (e.g. tree height, basal area, stand density, stem volume). This information can be used to monitor crop health, optimise silvicultural treatments, and estimate stand volume and value, for example.
Digital models of the terrain and canopy surface can also be produced from InSAR data. This information can then be used to derive canopy height models that are used in inventory methods to increase accuracy, which is useful for height, basal area and total stem volume.
The mountainous terrain did present some challenges as the accuracy of canopy height modelling decreased in slopes between 40-50 degrees, but it was found to be a consistent error rate.
Scion’s Geomatics Team evaluated the use of lidar, InSAR, UAV and satellite photogrammetry for predicting forest inventory attributes. Among these three data sources, InSAR is the least expensive data source. Despite satellite photogrammetry being more precise than InSAR, it cannot create a basic terrain model for forests.
InSAR has this advantage and can be acquired despite cloudy conditions. These benefits will form important considerations when deciding which remote sensing approach is most suitable for each forest plantation.
Major reforms to the ETS announcedNew Zealand’s Minister for Climate Change, introduced the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill to the House yesterday. This Bill will reform the architecture of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and make the scheme more accessible for forestry participants.
The Bill includes all decisions to improve the NZ ETS that have been publicly announced from December 2018 to July 2019, as set out on the Ministry for the Environment’s website. It also includes provisions to put a price on agricultural emissions from 2025 as part of a broader package of policies to reduce agricultural emissions.
You can read the press release on the Beehive website. The Bill is expected to be referred to Select Committee after the first reading. After that, submissions can be made via the parliamentary website
Source: Ministry for the Environment
B.C. forestry sector scrambles to recruit tree plantersIt takes the stamina of an athlete to run up the side of a steep mountain the way Lann Dickson does. "Nothing about it is easy," said Dickson. "A lot of people quit in the first week or two, it definitely breaks a lot of people."
The veteran tree planter zig-zags across the mountainside in Fraser Canyon near Boston Bar, B.C., dodging stumps and branches, with 300 seedlings tucked into pouches strapped around his waist. Without losing a beat, Dickson pierces the ground with his shovel and slings a seedling into the ground. Then he's off to the next spot he eyes several metres away.
Dickson has been tree planting in B.C. for 24 years, and skilled workers like him are in extremely high demand right now. And that's before the ambitious campaign promises by federal parties to plant billions more trees across Canada are even factored in (Sound familiar?).
B.C. alone needs to plant an estimated 48 million more trees in 2020 than it did last year in an effort to restore massive areas burned in the province after two record-breaking wildfires, and to promote carbon sequestration.
The Western Forestry Contractors' Association estimates the increase may be the largest leap in planting volume in the industry's 50-year history, going from 270 million seedlings this year to as many as 318 million seedlings next year. The industry estimates it employs roughly 4,500 workers. It will require 500 to 1,000 more planters to sow all those extra seedlings next year.
"It's going to be a challenge for sure, [with] a lot more trees coming to market this year than past years," said Timo Scheiber, CEO of Brinkman Reforestation.
Source & Photo: ca.news.yahoo.com
OneFortyOne supporting local teenagersOneFortyOne, in partnership with The LifeChanger Foundation will further boost the mental health of teenagers living in Mount Gambier. The LifeChanger Foundation identifies and develops inspiring mentors within communities and delivers holistic self-development workshops for teens, creating and sustaining safe and resilient communities.
On Wednesday 9 October 2019, at the Lifechanger TR1BE event in Melbourne, OneFortyOne announced it would fund the delivery of the LifeChanger community program to up to 250 students at Grant High School, Mount Gambier.
Linda Cotterill from OneFortyOne said “being involved with LifeChanger made sense, we get to grow an existing relationship with Grant High School in a meaningful way and at the same time do something that really resonates with our people, their families and the Mount Gambier community.”
The support includes the capacity building of over 20 OneFortyOne mentors and AU$25,000 for the rollout of the program which encourages positive, self-identity development. The program unites and builds sustainable, safe and resilient communities through a combination of face-to-face Mentor Development Workshops, Awaken the Hero workshops for teens (11-15yrs) and a supportive, digital interaction.
Linda said, “suicide is the leading cause of death among Australian children and teens and Mount Gambier is no exception. We look forward to being part of the LifeChanger movement and helping our youth feel more supported by their community.” The LifeChanger program will be delivered at Grant High School from early 2020.
Richard Stanton Award for Sydney Metro projectThe sustainability team behind Australia’s largest infrastructure project in recent years, the Sydney Metro Northwest project, has won the coveted Richard Stanton Memorial Prize for Excellence in Sustainable Forest Management for 2019.
Announced during the Responsible Wood annual general meeting (AGM) in Mount Gambier on Wednesday – the first to be staged in the Australian Green Triangle – the award and prize recognises the life of a man who was devoted to the forest industry, both in Australia and internationally.
Awarded for the first time to joint winners, the award was won by Nick Clarke and Thirukumaran Jallendran, both formerly sustainability managers for the Sydney Metro Northwest project proponent Northwest Rapid Transit (NRT). The prize recognises the significant contribution of both men in achieving what is the largest complex infrastructure project successfully achieving PEFC and Responsible Wood project certification.
Speaking from the sidelines having announcing the joint winners, Responsible Wood CEO Simon Dorries said their achievements represents a high watermark for the application of forest certification in building projects. “When it comes to achieving forest certification, and demonstrating that timber used on building projects are sourced from sustainable and responsible forests, project certification is the ‘’ultimate” he said.
“In order to achieve project certification, timber sourced from a multitude of different suppliers in the supply chain must meet all requirements for sustainable forest management and chain of custody for forest products.” Mr Dorries said not only was the Sydney Metro Northwest project the first complex infrastructure project to achieve Responsible Wood project certification, it was also, to date, one of the largest PEFC project certification’s ever undertaken in the southern hemisphere.
“That’s a substantial achievement,” he said. The dual award winners worked tirelessly with suppliers far and wide to deliver Responsible Wood and PEFC project certification across seven of eight Sydney Metro stations and four commuter car parks accommodating 4000 car spaces.
As Stage 1 of the multi-stage project, the Sydney Metro will eventually include 66 km of rail system, with 31 new Sydney Metro stations servicing Sydneysiders over a wide area. Reflecting on the legacy of the project, Mr Dorries stressed its “power for lasting good”.
“We know of ‘chain-of-custody’ certificate holders that have sought Responsible Wood and PEFC chain-of-custody certification for this project and have indicated that they wish to maintain chain-of-custody for future projects. A formal presentation to Mr Clarke and Mr Jallendran will be announced at a later date.
Source: Responsible Wood
Advanced wood products lab openedNormally, German-built Kuka industrial robots are used for precision machining, high-speed assembly or other automated manufacturing tasks. However, Oregon State University has employed one of the US$300,000 machines for a more mundane purpose: cutting the cake at the grand opening of the new A.A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory.
It was a crowd-pleasing way to demonstrate some of the technical capabilities of the 14,000-square-foot lab. Along with the 80,000-square foot George W. Peavy Forest Science Center under construction nearby, the lab is part of a new Oregon Forest Science Complex that’s intended to nurture and showcase the state’s growing expertise in engineered wood products and mass timber construction.
The first piece of cake went to Anthony Davis, interim dean of the OSU College of Forestry and one of several speakers at the grand opening ceremony. “Wood is the only primary building material we can grow, and its effective use has to be a cornerstone in mounting an aggressive front in challenging our sustainability and climate crises,” he told the 150 or so people on hand for the event.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, said the state has an opportunity to take a leading role in the emerging mass timber construction industry, creating markets for Oregon timber and jobs for Oregon workers. Innovative products such as mass plywood panels manufactured by Freres Lumber of Lyons and cross-laminated timber panels made by D.R. Johnson of Riddle are already being used in the Oregon Forest Science Complex, he pointed out.
The A.A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory is home to the TallWood Design Institute, a partnership between OSU’s Colleges of Forestry and Engineering and the University of Oregon’s College of Design. The building is named for the co-founder of California timber company Sierra Pacific Industries, which donated US$6 million toward construction of the Oregon Forest Science Complex.
Hundegger Australasia appoints NZ ManagerHundegger Australasia are pleased to announce the appointment of Benedikt (Ben) Buerschgens to the position Regional Manager – New Zealand. The expansion of Hundegger machinery in Australia and New Zealand over the past 18 months, including the frame and truss segment, prefabrication, glulam and other mass timber applications has led Hundegger to make this strategic decision to support their valued New Zealand client base.
Sam Rowe, General Manager of Hundegger Australia said “the New Zealand market continues to grow in importance to Hundegger and it has only been a matter of time and finding the right person to fulfil this critical role. With Ben, we believe we have an excellent fit and are confident he will add further value to our existing and new Hundegger customers in this significant market.”
Ben has extensive experience working with German made timber processing machines and other European manufacturers in both Germany and New Zealand through his previous roles. His background in multi-axis CNC machines, location in the Auckland area and enjoyment of all things timber and travel, make Ben an ideal choice for Hundegger in New Zealand. Ben is also a native German language speaker and will be working closely with the local Service Team, as well as their colleagues in Germany.
Bens role will involve installation, servicing, training and troubleshooting with existing Hundegger machinery. He will also provide a local pre-sales contact, in exploring opportunities for the growing demand for new Hundegger machines in the region.
Inside North America’s largest CLT operationLast week we supplied details of the largest cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glulam plant in North America that had just been opened. Katerra's new US$150 million, 270,000 sq. ft. manufacturing plant will produce up to 13 million board feet of timber per year and it features the largest CLT press currently in operation globally.
Other facts: Twenty truckloads of lumber being delivered daily will provide the raw materials for the 60' long panels. With 1,800 lineal feet/minute of lumber fed into the line, the pieces are scanned and tracked throughout the process at a rate of 140 boards per minute. The annual output is equivalent to 50 x 250,000 sq. ft. commercial office buildings per year.
- Finger jointing 450 linear feet/minute
- 60' board storage and pre-layup
- Applying 320' of adhesive/minute
- 12' x 60' long panels on North America's largest press
- Producing 185,000 m3 CLT annually
UC professor wins Forestry Science awardThe University of Canterbury’s Head of the School of Forestry, Professor Bruce Manley, has won a NZ Forestry Science Award for his dedication to, and leadership within, forestry research, and his innovative work on carbon forestry.
Professor Manley has led research groups responsible for the initial research on carbon capture by planted forests and analysis of commercial forest resource quality. Instrumental in the wider adoption of estate-modelling techniques for forest planning, he regularly advises government on policy related to his research interests.
Forestry Minister Shane Jones presented the award to Professor Manley at Parliament at an event marking the State Forest Service’s centenary. “It was a very special moment for me,” Professor Manley says. “It was great to be recognised in a room full of people I have worked with over many years.”
After completing a Bachelor of Forestry Science with Honours, Professor Manley joined the New Zealand Forest Service in 1976 at the Forest Research Institute in Rotorua where he became a highly respected senior manager. He has also completed a PhD in Forest Management and a Bachelor of Business Studies.
He joined UC’s School of Forestry in 1999 and was appointed Head of School in 2006. Professor Manley is internationally recognised for his research in modelling both quantity and quality of forest resources, and says he enjoys seeing the ongoing developments in the forestry sector.
“The New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) was a world first and provides opportunities and risks for forest growers. I have enjoyed doing analysis and modelling to quantify these opportunities and risks,” he says.
“My research has looked at the potential impact of the ETS on afforestation, silviculture and harvest age, and on the decision of whether to even harvest or grow a stand on for carbon. This work has led to research on ways to improve the ETS.”
A career highlight has been research on the lifecycle of harvested wood products, Professor Manley says. “In a project for Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and Ministry for the Environment (MfE), Associate Professor David Evison and I visited the major markets for New Zealand logs – China, South Korea and India. We tracked what New Zealand logs are being used to produce, and the end-use and life of these products. The results of our work are being use by MfE for Kyoto Protocol carbon accounting and UNFCCC carbon reporting.”
Buy and Sell
... and one to end the week on ... must be semi-finals time
Snow White was walking back from town to the cottage where she lived with the 7 dwarves.
And on that note, enjoy your weekend and for those still in the game, the Rugby World cup. Cheers.
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