Guangdong Weihua Holding Co Ltd is a privately-owned company, founded in 1992 and today has 12 member companies engaged in various businesses, including civil engineering, estate development, agricultural research, urban water supply, and copper foil panels, as well as the manufacture of MDF and HDF panels and furniture manufacture and wholesaling. The group employs some 3,500 people in total.
Weihua has three MDF lines currently running and another two well on the way, as well as laminating facilities and some furniture production.
The company’s first panel mill was an MDF line which produced its first board in 1997 in Meizhou City, Guangdong province. The factory is equipped with machinery from Shanghai Wood Based Panel Machinery Co Ltd (SWPM) and has an annual capacity of around 70,000m3. The press is a nine-daylight unit with a platen size of 4ft x 16ft.
Line two was built in Guangzhou city in 2001 and was another multi-opening press line from SWPM. This press was bigger than the first, having 15 daylights but still the same 4ft x 16ft platen size. It has the capacity to produce 120,000m3 of MDF.
With its third line,Weihua took a different approach and went for an imported line for the first time.With the exception of raw material preparation, the contract was awarded to Dieffenbacher as a turnkey project. The continuous CPS press is 28.5m long and has a maximum width of 9ft, giving the line a capacity of 200,000m3. Chipping and refining is by Andritz.
Located in Qingyuan, a city famous for its connections with the building and construction and the ceramics industries, it is the latest line to come on stream for the company, producing its first board in June 2004. Construction of the factory had begun in February 2003. It produces MDF and HDF for the southern China market, for furniture, flooring and decoration.
Line four is currently under construction in Taishan City in the west of Guangdong province. This will again employ a Dieffenbacher CPS continuous press, but will have a smaller capacity of 120,000m3, reflecting the lower availability of wood supply in that area. It is planned to produce the first board from this line in early 2006.
The fifth line will be in Yanchung City, near Maoming, again in Guangdong, with foundations planned for October this year and first board in April 2006. Maoming is also home to one of Dare Global’s four MDF lines. 
For this line,Weihua is reverting to discontinuous pressing technology and has awarded the contract to SWPM for a 12- daylight press with a capacity of 150,000m3. Refining will be by Andritz.
Mr Xie Yue Wei, vice general manager for all the company’s MDF lines and a man with considerable experience in the industry, cited two reasons for this.
Firstly he perceives a market for thicker board – particularly 20mm – in the Guangdong furniture industry and feels that a multi-opening press is better suited to this than a continuous press would be.
Secondly, he felt it was time to support the Chinese manufacturers after such a long run of success for the European ones.
Returning to the latest situation, our visit this time was to the Qingyuan factory, which is impressive, located on a site covering 630mu (42ha), together with a furniture factory which has a Chinese-made shortcycle press capable of turning out a million m2 of laminated board, for its own use and for sale to the general market. The furniture line can produce half a million pieces of panel-based cabinet furniture per year.
Another area of the site is set aside for the construction of a painting line for MDF which is due to be built in the future.
“Our intention is to have the biggest market in Guangdong because we have the  confidence and because we have the [raw] materials and the technology and we have built good relationships with our customers,said Mr Xie, who added that there is a market for 20 million panels a year in that province.
“Our company is an important one for the government of Guangdong province to help, because we have brought industry and employment here.”
The wood supply for the new Qingyuan plant and for all the company’s other factories, comes from its own plantations and, currently, from local farmers, although Mr Xie said that in future maybe it would all come from Weihua’s own plantations.
“Each factory has its own forestry company. If you want to build an MDF line, you must first plant the trees and this company already began planting trees 14 years ago in Guangdong province.We have a total of 1.2 million mu (80,000ha) of plantations.”
Unusually, the Qingyuan factory uses some bamboo in its raw material for MDF/HDF and finds it to be a suitable component of the furnish.
The impressive office building has an enormous marble-floored open atrium set with chairs and tables for customers to sit in comfort. The offices are arranged on three floors around this atrium, with balconies running around three sides.
Behind the offices is the company ‘hotel’ in several blocks offering accommodation for customers and suppliers who wish to stay overnight. Beyond this is accommodation for some of the staff, of which 310 are employed in the production of MDF.
Weilibang is the brand name for all the company’s products, including Weilibang Fancy Veneer.
The bamboo and eucalyptus are chipped by Andritz machinery and there is a 54in Andritz refiner.
The Vyncke energy plant is fired by bark, dust and waste from production, supplemented with rice husk from this strong ricegrowing province.
Gluing and the whole forming and press line were supplied by Dieffenbacher. Thickness measurement and blister detection is by GreCon and panel handling is by Kontra. The factory has its own resin manufacturing plant on site. Finishing of the panels is done by a Steinemann six-head sander and Anthon sawing system.