WoodTECH provides an essential platform for showcasing a wide array of exciting new wood scanning, sawing and mill optimisation technologies best suited to local operations.

FIEA is well known for its regular world class technology programmes for the forestry and wood processing industries. FIEA’s key series include WoodTECH, ForestTECH, HarvestTECH, ForestSAFETY and Wood Innovations.

The Next WoodTECH will be held in 2017!

16-17 September 2015
Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
22-23 September 2015

2015 Post Event Summary

Over two weeks in mid-September 2015, FIEA’s WoodTECH conference series achieved a record turnout of sawmillers from Australia and New Zealand. Over 350 delegates from sawmilling companies and leading technology providers from throughout Australasia, North America and Europe converged on Melbourne, Australia and again in Rotorua, New Zealand.

To remain internationally competitive, local sawmills increasingly have been looking at tools and technologies that can be used to increase lumber yields, improve grade recoveries and get higher production speeds out of their saw-lines. Lowering the service or maintenance requirements of equipment and reducing the sawing costs for their operation are also high on the list of “must haves”.

Sawmillers in the last few years, with consolidation amongst both producers and equipment suppliers, increasingly have been working much more closely with their technology providers. The last couple of years has seen the development of some of the most sophisticated sawing technologies and saw designs seen in recent times. WoodTECH 2015 provided a rare insight into some of these new developments for local mills.

As well as new innovations around sawing and wood scanning systems, case studies of companies investing and bedding in some of this new equipment was a key focus for the FIEA event. There was also a much greater emphasis on the practical issues around selecting, installing, commissioning and running saws. Renowned sawmilling experts from around the world led sessions on how saws within the mill are best aligned, maintained and operated to improve both sawing performance and a mill’s productivity.

Some of the trends being projected for future sawmilling were; simpler, high production mills with reduced manufacturing cost replacing complex mills, single pass sawmills becoming more commonplace, high speed 4 sided canters with multiple profilers and vertical arbor gangs were expected to process the majority of the wood under 400mm in diameter and high speed edgers were increasingly expected to be be replaced by high speed board profiling.

Technology wasn’t the only emphasis for this year’s WoodTECH. As well as new equipment, the environment in which the production team is working and interacting is a critical part of working smarter. From reconfiguring production lines in the mill through to finding faster ways to identify and reject unacceptable products, the returns through the power of the “team” are significant.

For the first time at a sawing event, teamwork – harnessing the collective power of saw-doctors, maintenance teams and production personnel on site was explored in depth. For the final session on both days the FIEA team turned the emphasis onto the most important resource – people working in the mill or within the company. On hand to look deep inside the subject of peoples’ performance was a keynote speaker from British Columbia, Steven Falk.

Across BC, Steven uses his ‘Switchback’ system with people from all walks of life to help build better teams. He and his team of facilitators have gained a reputation for listening to people and helping them to change. Their techniques have helped people go from non-communicative into top-performing team members. As a result they’ve been making huge improvements among teams working in mills and forests throughout western Canada.

As well as record attendances by sawmilling companies throughout Australasia, support and involvement from leading technology and equipment providers at WoodTECH 2015 was outstanding.

Key companies exhibiting in WoodTECH 2015 included;

Comact, Canada, USNR,USA/Canada, HewSaw, Finland, MiCROTEC, Italy, ScanMeg, Canada, Brunson Instrument Company, USA/UK, AriVislanda, Sweden, CalSaw, USA, JoeScan, USA, Checkmate Precision Cutting Tools, NZ, Andritz Pulp & Paper, NZ, Metriguard, USA, HOLTEC Timber Technology, NZ, Keyknife/Braford Industries, Australia

WoodEye, Sweden, Thode Knife & Saw, Australia/NZ, Southern Cross Engineering, Australia/NZ, Signode, Australia/NZ, Automation & Electronics, NZ, Calibre Equipment, NZ, Lewis Controls/Corley Manufacturing, USA, Lucidyne Technologies, USA, Acora, Australia, Supply Services, NZ, Worksafe NZ, NZ, SEW Eurodrive, NZ, Packaging House, NZ, Brevini NZ, NZ, Competenz, NZ, Autolog, Canada, Soderhamn, Sweden, Skookum Technology, NZ, CarboTech International, Canada, EWD, Germany, DO2, Canada, Gilbert, Canada, SPRINGER, Germany, Finlease, Australia.

Who Attends?

  • Sawmill site managers
  • Sawmill green-mill, production and engineering managers
  • Mill supervisors, maintenance and production staff
  • Saw-doctors
  • Equipment, product and service suppliers to Australasia’s sawmilling industry

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Sponsorship Opportunities

WoodTECH 2015 offered a tremendous opportunity for companies involved in wood scanning, sawing and mill optimisation technologies to maximize their exposure to New Zealand and Australia’s wood processing and manufacturing companies.

Record numbers of key suppliers – as can be seen from the images above and companies represented with logos in the Sponsorship section of the website – from throughout Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, Sweden, Finland, the UK and Italy were involved in WoodTECH 2015.

Feedback from all those participating has been overwhelmingly positive with a significant amount of business being done over the two weeks that the WoodTECH 2015 series ran. It was the largest ever gathering yet seen of sawmilling companies and suppliers at one place in both Australia and New Zealand. Exhibition spaces for this event were at a premium. The next WoodTECH event being planned by the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) is scheduled for this region in September 2017.

A full calendar of other technology related events for forestry and wood products companies in both countries has been planned for 2015-2017. Further details can be found on www.fiea.org.nz Updates will also be provided regularly through the region’s most widely read e-newsletters, www.fridayoffcuts.com and www.woodweek.com.

FIEA has a well-deserved reputation of providing both sponsors and exhibitors with a unique platform for promoting their products and services to the industry in BOTH New Zealand and Australia. For a full range of event sponsorship options, partnership arrangements and advertising opportunities, please complete the web form or contact;

Gordon Thomson, Sponsorship Manager, (+64) 7 921 1384 or (+64) 27 275 8022, gordon.thomson@fiea.org.nz

2015 Event Sponsors

FIEA Event Partners

Event Supporters

Media Partners



Since 1998 the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA), a division of Innovatek Ltd, has run an extensive series of technology related events for Australasian forest products companies. Over 200 conferences, trade shows and exhibitions have been run for local companies.

FIEA’s objective is to improve the performance and productive capability of forestry and wood products companies in the region. It is now recognized as one of the most effective information providers for the Australasian forestry & wood products industries.

FIEA Contact Details

  (+64) 7 921 1383
  1800 126 398 (from Australia)

Rotorua Office

Forest Industry Engineering Association
Building X91, Sala Street,
Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

PO Box 1230,
Rotorua 3040, New Zealand

Ph (+64) 7 921 1383

Dunedin Office

Forest Industry Engineering Association
c/o Distinction Dunedin Hotel,
6 Liverpool Street,
Dunedin 9016, New Zealand

PO Box 904,
Dunedin 9054, New Zealand

Ph (+64) 3 470 1902

Forest Industry Engineering Association: A division of Innovatek Ltd

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