The Siempelkamp Group enjoyed marking a significant milestone last year when it reached its 140-year anniversary.

It was an important moment for the company and coincided at a time of reorganisation efforts, R&D programmes, improving efficiencies and bolstering customer service in its worldwide business.

Its competencies, of course, are wideranging but in the wood-based panels industries Siempelkamp is a supplier of complete production plants for MDF, particleboard, OSB, LVL and woodfibre insulation boards, with notable subsidiaries including Büttner, CMC Texpan, Pallmann, Sicoplan and the service unit Siempelkamp Logistics and Service (SLS).

In 2023, a realigning took place to increase the Siempelkamp Management Board to seven members to bundle market-oriented core competencies together and integrate a modern management concept.

Companies were grouped together in the Business Units so that they can co-operate much more closely with each other and together address their focus markets in an even more targeted manner.

More recently, the Siempelkamp Advisory Board made a digitalisation appointment with digital technologies expert Dr Melanie Bockemühl joining in a further move by the company to push its digitalization strategy forward.

WBPI caught up with Siempelkamp management board member Samiron Mondal, CEO of Business Unit Capital, to update us on Siempelkamp developments and its view on current market dynamics.

Mr Mondal, whose responsibility includes heading up the woodworking business unit, has been with Siempelkamp for over 20 years with extensive experience in the Indian and Chinese markets, in both the metal and woodworking sectors, as well as overseeing Group production units.


Mr Mondal said that Siempelkamp, of course, had enjoyed an exceptional year in 2022 due to the Covid “bounce”, when the important building and furniture industries saw unprecedented demand, boosting sales of wood-based panels and leading manufacturers to invest in new capacity.

Mr Mondal said while it was too early yet for the Group’s 2023 financial results to be published, he referenced several good orders that were received in the first two quarters of 2023.

“When in 2022 we did our planning for 2023 we expected a bit more [business] out of 2023,” he said. “The market was doing well in the first two quarters and then it reduced down.”

While he confirmed order entry levels in 2023 would be reduced from 2022, he pointed out that the 2022 boom period was not a realist comparative year.

“But on a financial results basis due to the different measures we have taken in the Group, then 2023 is still a good year.

“I am quite confident we will achieve our numbers and plans for 2024. There are potential projects and we are still confident there are orders to come. In the first quarter of 2025 the market will pick up.”

Mr Mondal said inflation and interest rates were currently weighing on the German / European construction industry, which in turn affected demand for wood-based panels.

“We see the [wood-based panels] markets are not currently doing very well. There are a lot of new lines from what I call a supercycle in 2022 that are now being installed and will go into operation. We will see a certain amount of consolidation in European and Western hemisphere markets generally. It will also be interesting to see what happens in the US after the elections.”

Production wise, Mr Mondal said the Group had flexibility measures in place because not all manufacturing units were being equally utilised.

“We see now a shift in new line orders from the European/Western hemisphere to the Southeast Asian hemisphere. Chinese project activity is a bit down, but it is stable and there are still a couple of projects there.

“India is on a strong footing as the country has a good economic performance. They are consolidating their industry and 4 or 5 bigger players are now trying to dominate the market.

“Of course, there will be projects in the US and also maybe in Europe, but mainly we see activity in the Asiatic hemisphere.”

Mr Mondal said Siempelkamp’s investments in overseas operations meant it now had facilities, personnel and service teams in India and as well as the ability China to produce a complete line from dryer to cooling and stacking systems within China.


2023 saw a number of notable project wins for Siempelkamp in the wood-based panels industries.

US door manufacturer Steves & Sons Inc placed an order for two forming and press lines to produce door skins made from thin MDF and HDF. The project also saw an order placed with Siempelkamp subsidiary Büttner for two fibre dryers and an energy plant.

Commissioning and start-up are scheduled for 2024.

The Arauco Group placed an order for a complete plant to produce MDF in Mexico. The order, also including a short-cycle press line, is being fulfilled in Zitácuaro in the state of Michoacán, where Arauco already produces particleboard.

It features a press line with ContiRoll in the 8ft x 33.8m format.

Siempelkamp’s solutions for “Production Intelligence” are also integrated in the plant concept for Arauco, with the digital control system Prod-IQ contributing to the optimization of the production processes.

Installation is scheduled for 2024/2025.

US panel producer Roseburg Forest Products placed an order with Siempelkamp to support a new MDF plant in southern Oregon. The project is part of a US$700m total planned investment in the state.

A 10ft x 42.1m ContiRoll press line will be supplied at the Dillard complex.

A special feature in the production process is the use a high content of sawdust as input material to produce MDF instead of the usual wood chips, especially for thin MDF.

The Metro Ply Group produced the first board on its new Siempelkamp particleboard plant at the Surat Thani site, Thailand in 2023. The new plant is the fifth Siempelkamp plant the company is now operating.

The ContiRoll press line is in 8ft x 40.4m format, using rubberwood plantation material as feedstock raw material. Subsidiaries Büttner, Pallmann and Sicoplan were all involved.

In October 2023, Siempelkamp achieved a hat-trick of commissionings with Kastamonu Entegre in the past three years – two Particleboard plants and one MDF.

The latest plant to go live was the particleboard plant at Kastamonu City site featuring a ContiRoll press line in a 7ft x 37.1m format.

Moving into 2024, a new 8ft x 78.6m MDF press was ordered by Australian Panels. It will be the longest ever press of its kind developed by Siempelkamp.

The Australian wood-based panel producer ordered the plant, with an annual capacity of over 650,000m3, for its location in Mount Gambier.

The new MDF plant will be the sixth Siempelkamp plant for Australian Panels and is scheduled to be delivered in May 2025, with production to start by 2026.

Other projects include the startup of an MDF line at Indian panels producer CenturyPly’s Punjab site, while the Greenply MDF facility in Vadodara, Gujarat, India has also started.

The latter was a role model in terms of project delivery – the whole scheme took about 17 months from contact signing to first board produced.

“In India they have now brilliant technicians and a European project timeframe there,” explained Mr Mondal

In China, Siempelkamp recorded an order in Q1, 2024 from a customer who plans to produce hybrid panels consisting of an OSB core and PB surfaces.

“This product is quite common in the Chinese market now in the last 3-4 years.”


Anyone who was a Ligna would have seen the multi-sensual “Experience Walk” in Siempelkamp’s pavilion. The topic of “intelligent production” was a focal point in a digital experience room, with Siempelkamp presenting the new digital platform “IQ” to the public for the first time – a digital, holistic overall approach for the plant operator.

Together with the Israel-based tech company SMARTECH, the Group says the AI-based solution Prod-IQ · SmartPress, now provides wood-based panel manufacturers with an autonomous process control.

SmartPress uses machine learning algorithms as well as AI methods to increase press performance, ensure board quality and reduce production costs at the same time. It combines real-time production parameters with operator’s actions to generate higher levels of performance.

The concept synchronizes the performance of machines, processes and operators in real time.

The capabilities of Prod-IQ · SmartPress have already been validated in real life with several “smartpresses” running so far leading to a reported 10-15% boost in efficiency.

“When we are talking about digitalisation, adaptive forming or Product IQ systems, we are developing these kinds of products in order to make life for our customers easier,” explained Mr Mondal.

“Basically, it is helping to bring the four big cost factors under control – wood, glue, energy and human resources.”

Mr Mondal said the digitalisation presentation at Ligna resulted in a good customer response.

“It starts when you plan your project with Sicoplan and see our abilities in terms of 3D modelling, where you can virtually walk through your plant design.”

The digital planning can keep costs lower as all project facets – down to cables, conveyors and steel structure – are planned and modelled.

“The line can be commissioned virtually ahead of time instead of at site and we can make some pre-defined adjustments at site which keeps the cost low for supervision and commissioning.”

Digitalisation also assists producers to be flexible in their production, regarding changing of products and shifts to ensure that line adjustments are done in the most efficient way.

Siempelkamp’s digitalisation offering is modular in that customers can choose the level they want.

“If someone has their own resources for planning the whole layout of the line then that is OK, but if they want, we can do it for them through a digitalised process.

“Now everyone is talking about AI. Of course, we are developing solutions in order to make the plant more independent from the human factor. We are trying to optimise things so customers have a stable, constant high-efficient production.”

The latest version of the continuous press ContiRoll – ContiRoll Generation 9i – is designed to optimize reliability, performance and the accessibility of the press.

It represents improvements made since the ContiRoll Generation 9 was introduced to the market in 2107. The “i” stands for “intelligent” and “innovative”.

In combination with the adaptive forming system developed by Siempelkamp, the offering provides a closed control loop for forming accuracy without human intervention, where the system automatically optimizes the spreading distribution for MDF and particle board.


Another area of real focus in the global wood-based panel manufacturing industries is raw material supply.

Visitors to the Siempelkamp pavilion at Ligna would have seen a “sustainability” zone where new products and approaches to resource efficiency and recycling could be viewed. This included a huge range of alternative raw material feedstock which can be used to make panel products, whether it is flax, bamboo, bagasse, jute, recycled wool or recycled cotton.

“If you have a fast-growing low-cost infeed material that you either mix with traditional wood or use it 100%, then this is an advantage for our customers and we have to look at the technical implications for production,” Mr Mondal said.

But it takes evaluation, as other materials have different properties to woodfibre.

“Bamboo has a lot of wax and other contents. If you look at bagasse you have also certain problems to do with the harvesting season.”

The other issue with bamboo is its hollow profile can mean larger transport costs, unless some processing of the raw material is done before transport.

However the material is cheap and the boards have very good properties.

“We can give customers the plant configuration which allows them to use it. But of course, we cannot tell them if that is the most efficient thing to do.”

The recycling area is also something Siempelkamp has identified as a business model as the pilot engineering company and uses the Group competencies with Pallmann and CMC Texpan – both of which have process machines for the recycling process. The subsidiaries work together to offer a holistic recycling solution.

The Group is currently assembling machines for a PB recycling project. Siempelkamp is also working strongly on the concept of MDF recycling.

“MDF recycling is a little bit more complicated, but there is a project which we hope to bring successfully to the order stage. There is so much waste MDF on the market. The machinery solution [to recycle waste MDF] has to be developed and we are doing this together with joint co-operation partners.”


Looking forward, where does the Siempelkamp Group see itself in five years’ time in the woodworking industry?

“We aim to be a top digitalised organisation with good processes and having a strong base in China and India in order to serve the market,” said Mr Mondal.

“Externally, we want our solutions to be creating an excellent quality of product for our customers, providing them with digitalised solutions and good service and spare parts management.

“We want to further develop sustainable raw materials technology as well as the digitalisation production process.

“It never stops, we have to stay on track and we can always get better. We’re still transforming and we’re getting better every day.”

It is that message Siempelkamp is bringing to the market globally at exhibitions and events.

In 2024, Siempelkamp has a busy calendar. It recently exhibited at India Wood, Bangalore, with many other events to come including the European Panel Federation AGM in Latvia, Formobile in Sao Paolo, CIFF / WMF in Shanghai, IWF in Atlanta, Intermob in Istanbul and the Thailand Woodworking Fair in Bangkok.