Features Archive

Archive of features from the global wood industry

Features By Date

December 2017


The poplar choice
29 December 2017 Spanish poplar plywood producer Garnica has an ambitious growth and product innovation programme. Stephen Powney visited its mills in northern Spain

IPPS Meeting: VOCS and new panels
26 December 2017 The International Panel Products Symposium was held from October 4-6 at its now-traditional venue of Llandudno, north Wales, UK. It again brought together delegates from academia and industry to explore developments in wood technology to mutual gain. Julian Champkin was there

Richard Franklin: Cool about Hot Oil
26 December 2017 Thermal oil is essential to the pressing process. Specialist company Thermal Oil Solutions is opening a new subsidiary in North America. Increased demand for its services from US panel makers has prompted the move. Richard Franklin, MD of the company, spoke to Julian Champkin

Oil Palm Wood – An Untapped Resource
26 December 2017 The much-maligned oil palm plantations in Asia may provide a major source of wood raw material in the years to come if the PalmwoodNet project succeeds in its mission to make the species a commercially usable timber. Stephen Powney reports

Focus on Europe
26 December 2017 WBPI makes an annual tour to present our Focus on Germany report. This year we also visited Germany's neighbouring countries of Belgium, Austria and Switzerland to bring news of the major companies there that serve the panel industry. We begin, though, as ever, with Germany.

Particleboard Growth goes Global
26 December 2017 In Part two of our survey of particleboard capacity worldwide we report on mills and capacities in the world outside Europe and North America; and on plans for expansion and development.

October 2017


Plywood at the V & A
13 October 2017 London’s Victoria & Albert museum is staging an exhibition about plywood and the contribution that it has made to design and modern living. Julian Champkin visited

Greeks with Gifts: 40 Years of Chimar
13 October 2017 More than 10% of panels worldwide are produced using resin technology from Chimar Hellas; but offering services and intangible products often poses a greater challenge than selling a tangible product. Chimar claims to give reassurance to plant and R&D managers, as well as to shareholders. This year the company celebrates its 40th anniversary. WBPI looks at the past, the present and the future of the

It’s not heavy
13 October 2017 A new design of lightweight panel offers the advantages of continuous production with applications that could make it a substitute for OSB. Julian Champkin looks at panel which seems to weigh in just right.

Achim Hübener: Down the Line to Success
13 October 2017 Down-line processing is ever more important. Kleiberit are World leaders in the surfacing and finishing processes that add value to boards. We spoke to Dr Achim Hübener, CEO of Kleiberit, about the technology that produces hard yet decorative and easily installable panels

The ideal choice for both architects and homeowners
13 October 2017 The iconic Formica brand is over 100 years old. From selling Formica laminate as a substitute to replace mica in electrical insulations, the Formica Group is, today, a leading provider of branded, designed surfacing solutions for commercial and residential customers worldwide

Today, South America. Tomorrow the world?
12 October 2017 Chile-based industrial giant Masisa is disposing of its panel factories in Latin America. Austria-based company Egger is buying Masisa’s Argentine plant. Egger is a newcomer to production in Latin America - indeed, to production outside Europe at all. We spoke to Ulrich Bühler, CSO of the Egger Group about the strategy behind the acquisition.

IBA unites Brazil’s forest industries
12 October 2017 Brazil is the largest as well as the most forested country in Latin America. The Brazilian Industry of Planted Trees (IBA) is the association in charge of representing institutionally the plantation forest industry. Formed only in 2014, as the Brazilian equivalent of the EPF in Europe or the CPA in North America, 55 industries and 9 state entities are members. Here Elizabete Carvalhaes, CEO of IBA, outlines the work and achievements of the association, with statistics showing the scale of the Brazilian forest industry.

New entrant Asperbras aims high
12 October 2017 A new MDF mill in Mato Grosso marks the beginning of an aspiring Brazilian producer. Our Latin America correspondent Paulo Cesar Amanthéa reports

Latin America leaps forward
12 October 2017 New mills, new entrants, new associations… The panels industry in South America is forging ahead with a vibrancy that leaves its northern neighbour behind. In this special Focus on Latin America we look at the mills being constructed, the changes of ownership, and the organisations that have sprung up in the region. Our grateful thanks are due to our Latin America correspondent Paulo Cesar Amanthéa for preparing these reports

Two new mills break stagnation
12 October 2017 This is the first edition of our two-part survey in which we list all the particleboard mills operating in Europe and North America as at the end of 2016. Part 2, listing mills in the rest of the world, will appear in the next issue.

August 2017


EPF meeting pushes circular economy
29 August 2017 The European Panel Federation’s Annual General Meeting emphasised the role of wood in thecircular economy, and that subsdising the burning of biomass for energy is a costly mistake bothenvironmentally and in terms of distortion of markets. Julian Champkin was there

Squaring the circle: samiron mondal
29 August 2017 Siempelkamp, the German manufacturer, has set up two plants in China. It can produce machinery cheaply there – but can it maintain its good name for quality? Samiron Mondal is Siempelkamp’s man in China. WBPI spoke to him. Can he really produce German quality at Chinese prices?

Imeas, Special Sanding Solutions
29 August 2017 Sander manufacturer Imeas of Villa Cortese, 30km west of Milan, has just celebrated its 50thanniversary and is looking forward to introducing new models and expanding its presence intoniche segments

CMC texpan presents itself
29 August 2017 In an Alpine valley, an engineering company has been quietly transforming its image. CMC TEXPAN has been co-operating with Siempelkamp since the 1980s. Now wholly owned by that group, it sells both to Siempelkamp and independently to others. And it feels that it is time to start telling the world

Instalmec's Fibre Cleaner Improves Mdf
29 August 2017 Instalmec is another of those North Italian companies whose passion for engineering and whose genius for design help shape the machinery of the panels industry. A new cleaner for wood Fibre is their latest innovation, as Julian Champkin discovered