In addition to the Australian forestry industry getting up close and personal with the politician’s at Canberra’s Great Debate this week (see story and link below), the good news in Australia just keeps on coming. Last week Xlam announced that they’ll be investing AU$25 million to build Australia’s first CLT operation. This week AU$4 million of funding (and potentially up to AU$12 million) has been announced for the establishment of a National Institute for Forest Products Innovation that will be set up in two locations, Launceston, Tasmania and Mt Gambier, South Australia. More than AU$1.5 million funding has also been set aside by the Australian Research Council for tall timber buildings research. The new research hub adds to the recently established Centre for Future Timber Structures based at the University of Queensland. Details on both of these new announcements are contained in this week’s issue’s lead stories.
This week the Australian leg of the Wood Innovations 2016 event also finished in Melbourne. For the timber treatment and wood processing companies involved in this latest technology series, details on access to the speaker presentations will be sent out later next week. The array of new technologies being developed and discussed certainly opened the eyes of the many that attended the series to a raft of new processing and products technologies.
In this week’s issue we’ve built in stories on a number of innovations that potentially will play a major role in your future business and operations. RFID tags that have been looked at by the forestry industry for some time now but have tended to be parked off to one side because of the tag costs may just have an answer – a cheap but versatile paper sensor that’s expected to run at about 10 cents apiece.
3-D printing continues to be covered in this newsletter and at FIEA tech events. The technology has the potential to significantly impact on both the future manufacturing environment and supply chain. A new take on 3-D printers is being worked on by Siemens right now. Instead of a stationery printer they’ve created mobile robot spiders. These prototypes are able to manoeuver around one another and work on different parts of the same object to build 3-D copies. This could potentially take mobile manufacturing – from minute through to large objects such as sky-scrapers – to an all new level. Check out the story below.
We’ve already mentioned the technology event, Wood Flow Optimisation 2016 being worked on by forestry and wood products companies at the moment. It’s going to be showcasing an array of new tools being used to improve efficiencies in the wood supply chain in September. The technology series will be introducing innovations from around the globe that will dramatically change how our supply chains are currently operating.
One of these is UAV’s to deliver parts – or packages. This has already been trialled both in New Zealand and Australia – as well as Europe and North America. Over the first three months of this year, DHL Parcel have completed their own trials using their Parcelcopters for drone deliveries in Germany. They’re at this stage the only company in the world who is able to offer a “transport drone” to deliver packages to customers. Check out the story below and video link below. Enjoy this week’s read.