On 25 May the two Streams will combine for the remainder of the tour, which will be a mix of business operations – either joinery or processing, in keeping with the theme of the tour. A week in Hannover allows four and a half days at the world famous LIGNA Fair.
“Within Australia in particular there have been major shifts in the way we (as producers and end-users) regard timber,” says Sam Rowe, managing director of Weinig Australia.
“It seems that, suddenly, it cannot be taken for granted as a resource, but at the same time we are waking up to the realisation that we have taken for granted the massive benefits it delivers in the renewability and sustainability stakes. There is increasing pressure for timber to be FSC or PEFC certified, able to meet a broader range of applications, in an expanding field of design and is gaining wider favour with architects and specifiers due to the carbon capturing characteristics it provides as a further natural benefit,” he said.
“As a sawmill or timber processing operation, the opportunities to further utilise timber from fall down in existing processes or to direct raw material and convert it into engineered products such as beams, panels, scantlings etc are increasing – with the right technology. Other advances in process technology such as scanning, fingerjointing, optimising are also having a positive impact.
“Likewise with the window industry – the pressure from PVC, aluminium and composite/hybrid products is ever-present and with energy standards only likely to increase, focus WILL turn to windows and this tour provides the opportunity now to explore the future. The UK window market has progressed from a similar history and tradition to the Australian window – 20 years ago the UK window looked a lot like ours. Not any more,” said Sam.
“This tour provides an opportunity to see the emerging technology in real action – not just a showroom, and the following visit to the LIGNA Fair provides exposure and access to the relevant expertise – direct from the manufacturer. A unique experience,” he said.
Stream 1 – Joinery/Fenestration
Windows, doors and staircases will be seen in production during the UK leg of the tour. Arriving in London on Sunday the joinery tour will start with a relaxing afternoon in Oxford. Visits on Monday will be to two high quality joiners who are leaders in their field using a range of specialised and standard machinery, producing high quality windows in the English style, which has had strong past similarities to Australian windows. The day will include a scenic tour of Stonehenge. Staying overnight in Oxford, Tuesday will move north to Birmingham to visit another two joineries also utilising latest technology to produce high quality windows and doors. Machines to be viewed will include Dimter optimising saws, Powermat moulders, Conturex Window Centres, Uni-Control widow machines, and a UC-Matic window production line.
Stream 2 – Sawmill/Processing
Arriving in Gothenburg, Sweden on Sunday, the tour will transfer east to Jonkopping, with an opportunity to spend the afternoon unwinding after the flight. Monday will see a visit to a multi-purpose processing operation with two new 150 – 200m/min moulders, finger-jointers and optimising saws, before heading to a major new sawmill (currently still under construction) processing 700,000m3 annually on a LINCK log-line and a Waco 800m/min planer. Access to this advanced facility will be an early highlight of the tour. Tuesday will involve a full day excursion north to another brand new processing operation producing semi-finished goods for IKEA. Utilising a triple Optimising saw/Scanner line and high speed RF Press, it is a state-of-the-art facility and a great way to close the Swedish leg of the Tour.
Wednesday will see the two Tour Streams rejoin in Germany to visit a new high speed planing mill near Frankfurt before heading for lunch, factory tours and demonstrations in the latest solid timber processing technology at the Weinig headquarters in Tauberbischofsheim.
Thursday and Friday will consist of visits to a number of sites through the Netherlands producing engineered products as well as joinery/window operations using engineered wood products. The natural synergies of producing ‘raw’ feed stock material and their subsequent conversion to finished products will be the focus of these two days. Arriving in Hannover Zentrum on Friday evening the tour will have its final excursion on Saturday, with a BBQ lunch at the GreCon Finger-Jointing plant in nearby Alfeld, followed by a visit to the scenic ‚Pied Piper town of Hamelin. Sunday being a free day offers tour participants an optional opportunity to visit historic Cologne on the Rhine River or modern, vibrant Berlin and the refurbished Brandenburg Gate on a day tour. Monday (30 May) will see the opening of the LIGNA Fair 2011 and participants will be free to attend the fair until lunchtime on 3 June before transferring back to Frankfurt airport for the return flight, arriving home on 5 June.
Staff from Weinig Australia and WR Jacks (NZ) will be in attendance during both tours to assist and ensure a smooth program. This program is still subject to final confirmation. Weinig reserves the right to substitute site visits in keeping with the tour theme as required.
To register your interest in next year’s Weinig LIGNA Tour and to receive further details as they are available, please contact:
In Australia – Weinig Australia – Sam Rowe, [email protected]
In New Zealand – W & R Jack Ltd, – Peter Cook or Warrick Small, [email protected], [email protected]