Panels & Furniture Asia Mar/Apr 2018

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA 6 NEWS DYNAMIC CHANGES IN AUSTRALIA’S PB SECTOR—IS THIS THE BEGINNINGOFANEWERA? By Mihai Daian, Margules Groome AUSTRALIA’S wood-based panel sector has continued on its dynamic changes that began in 2016. First, Borg Panels announced its intention to invest in new particleboard (PB) capacity in Oberon, NewSouthWales; OneFortyOne Plantations unveiled plans to establish new PB capacity in the Green Triangle region. Fig. 1: Australian domestic PB market dynamics Other major announcements in 2017 include Thai manufacturer MetroPly’s acquisition of Alphine MDF from Sumitomo Corporation, as well as Borg Panels’ intention to acquire CHH’s PB plants in Mt. Gambier and Oberon. The PB market outlook remains positive. However, the newly-planned capacities and change in ownership for some plants will alter the Australian PB sector structure and market dynamics. With an average demand growth of 1.9 per cent for the next 2 – 3 years, incremental production capacity planned to come online in 2018 – 2019, assuming both investments proceed, will create a 20 – 30 per cent production surplus (see Fig. 1). Consequently, local producers will have to find new export markets. This will achieve the right balance between product specifications versus production cost in order to be regionally competitive. The above scenario does not take potential capacity consolidation or rationalisation into account. The latter may occur if Borg Panels’ proposed acquisition of CHH’s Mt. Gambier and Oberon facilities materialises. How the current players will respond to change, and how new market entrants will compete against itsmoreestablished regional counterparts remains to be seen. We may see a “survival-of-the-fittest” situation or perhaps a continuation of the status quo. ℗ ELECTRONIC WOOD SYSTEMS ROLLS OUT NEW INTEGRATED X-RAY SYSTEMS FOR PANEL PRODUCTION ELECTRONIC WOOD SYSTEMS ΈEWSΉ from Germany offers a complete range of quality inspection systems featuring high precision, system integration and low maintenance. The measuring tasks in panel production are versatile and challenging, and reliable inline measuring and control systems are a key factor for Industry 4.0 in panel production. Process control devices must take into account environmental, material and process conditions. EWS has developed individual X-ray scanners suited toparticular tasks inpanel production. MultiEnergy Technology – a core feature of the latest EWS X-ray devices – enables variable measuring parameters. Electronic Wood Systems’ new EcoScan NEO for mat inspection in the forming line was developed in cooperation with Siempelkamp and offers one systemwith independent X-ray devices for individual tasks. These comprise: - H i gh - p re c i s i on a rea we i ght measurement by self-adjusting high- speed flying measuring heads and - Intelligent foreign body detection across the board by self-learning algorithm. The plant of the future will be fully- automated, with minimal operator interaction. Hence EWS’ X-raymeasuring systems are self-adjusting, based on recipe information, to provide consistently high measuring precision over a wide production range. The new systems have been proven already. They have been installed in OSB and particleboard lines in Germany and theUSA. Because the newsystemattracts attention in the market, Siempelkamp recently ordered additional systems for integration into their new production lines to keep them up-to-date. ℗ Mass measurement and foreign body detection located after forming and before the hot press. Product Highlight