Mass Plywood Panel production line up and running at Freres in Oregon

24 April 2020


US-based Freres Lumber Co has announced that its Mass Plywood Panel (MPP) beam and column production line is now up and running.

The company, which operates at Lyons in Oregon, said it was able to provide customers with a cost-competitive MPP solution for all structural elements of large-scale wood buildings, providing competition for steel, concrete and cross-laminated timber (CLT) and being the only structural composite panel mass wood build system in North America.

Freres’ column and beam line is currently APA certified and has the ability to cut product up to 24in thick.

The line is capable of running product up to 60ft in length, but the current press is limited to 48ft. Freres will be seeking certification for products in those larger widths and depths in the coming months.

The facility was kitted out with a new 5ft bandmill and 60ft carriage from USNR. It is the first traditional carriage cutting MPP, LVL, or any veneer-based product. CTC provided materials handling technology.

The patented MPP process allows for large timber dimensions to be produced from small diameter timber. The panel thicknesses are produced from 1in thick Douglas fir plywood, laminated together to form a larger section, starting at 2in thick and available up to 24in thick.

Depending on the orientation of the beam, the 1in increments in thickness will occur in either the width or the depth of the product.

“We are excited to round out our MPP offering with these beams and columns,” said Kyle Freres, vice president of operations for Freres Lumber.

“Most manufacturers produce either panels or glulam beams, but not necessarily both. Now, Freres is positioned to be a one-stop- shop for all the structural elements of large-scale wood buildings at a cost-competitive price.”

Freres says studies show that using veneer as a raw material for a mass timber panel can potentially achieve the same structural attributes of a CLT panel with 20% less wood.

This, it says, leads to decreased assembly times and a more economical building solution. The solution is also being promoted as strong and fire-resistant for projects up to 18 storeys high.