Following the great success of the previous Wood Based Panel Symposia, the European Panel Federation (EPF) is organising the 12th edition of this technical conference again this year following the regretful cancellation of the 2020 edition due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions that made such a large gathering impossible.

The symposium is again intended to serve as a forum for the wood-based panels industry, supplying industries, technology providers, consultancies, research, education and training institutes from Europe and beyond.

This event will again be organised in co-operation with WKI-Fraunhofer Institut für Holzforschung and with the support of iVTH and Hywax (formerly Sasol Wax). The event will take place in the Grand Elysée Hotel in the centre of Hamburg, Germany, on October 12-14.

A welcome party will take place at the hotel at the invitation of EPF, IVTH and companies from the industry at 7.30pm on October 12.

The symposium itself will be opened by plenary presentations by Martin Brettenhaler, EPF chairman and SWISS KRONO Group chief executive officer, who will speak on the highly topical subject of the global development of the wood-based panels industry, particularly in regard to the conflict in Ukraine.

This will be followed by Edi Snaidero, chairman of the European Furniture Industries Confederation (EFIC), who will highlight current and future developments in the furniture industry and collaboration with wood-based panels suppliers.

Jori Ringman, managing director of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) will present next and will suggest three ways in which we can mitigate climate change and the role forest-based industries can play in this.

Other presenters on day one of the symposium include Martin Langen, from B+L Marktdaten, in Bonn, on changes in Europe’s construction industry and the outlook for new construction and renovation until 2024. Matthias Dieter, from the Thünen-Institut für Waldwirtschaft in Hamburg will provide an analysis of the wood market; while Goran Schmidt, from AFRAY Management Consulting, will discuss how the panels industry can cope with changing sourcing conditions and new regulations – becoming more sustainable while using fewer raw materials.

In the afternoon session, David Türp from BASF will describe the contribution his company has made to sustainability in the wood-based panels industry; and Alessandro Guercio, from Turboden, will talk about the application of organic rankine cycle (ORC) and industrial heat pump for energy efficiency and CO2 reduction in the wood-based panels industry.

The first day will conclude with an evening reception at 7.30pm at the invitation of Hywax GmbH.

On the second day of the conference, Prof Dr Tunga Salthammer from Fraunhofer WKI will present a critical review on the TVOC value. He will be followed by Manuel Fleisch, from Fagus-GreCon, who will explain how laser spectrometry can make an innovative contribution to optimising HCHO emission testing according to DIN EN ISO 12460-3.

Other presentations on day two will include Bettina Meyer, from Fraunhofer WKI, on formaldehyde emissions of particleboards; and Rainer Marutzky, from Internationaler Verein für technische Holzfragen on national and European requirements for VOC emissions from construction products.