The International Panel Products Symposium (IPPS), organised by the BioComposites Centre in Wales, held a master class aimed at UK panel manufacturers in Bangor in late September. More than 30 delegates from all the major UK and Ireland mills attended.

Researchers, consultants and industry leaders also joined the delegates for a Gala Dinner to celebrate the Centre’s 21st anniversary.

The aim of the master class was to provide a more practical approach by focusing on topics to help in the day-to-day running of panel mills.

Subjects presented and discussed included: cleaning of recycled wood (Dr Mark Irle); hands-on experience of a virtual hot press simulation computer model, with a team contest for the lowest press factor (Dr Heiko Thoemen); overview of the variables in adhesive performance (Dr José Gomez Bueso); formaldehyde emission test methods (Dr Martin Ohlmeyer); and a global overview of market outlook and the key challenges and opportunities facing the industry (Dr George Goroyias).

“The new format proved very popular. Delegates felt they had benefited from the longer  workshop sessions and practical insights of the speakers,” said Dr Rob Elias, director of the BioComposites Centre and acting co-director of the Welsh Institute for Natural Resources.