Timber Processing’s January/February issue spotlights Mike Flynn, president and CEO of Midwest Hardwood Corporation, as Timber Processing’s 21st annual Man of the Year. A special report unearths the reason behind the failure of the economy. The issue also discusses quality control workshops and, as in each issue, new products are featured in the Product Scanner section. The Newsfeed section announces the SFPA Conference, which will focus on sawmill efficiencies, cutting tools and wood bioenergy.
Daniel Stewart Rowley, long-time principal in Rowley Engineering, Portland, Ore., died January 23 in Portland following a bout with respiratory illness. He was 73. Rowley consulted in the sawmill industry his entire career and wrote columns for Timber Processing magazine. His last column appeared as recently as in the December 2008 issue, and was entitled “Still Preoccupied With Sawmills,” in which Rowley reviewed the evolution of sawmill technologies during the past 50 years.
Mike Flynn, President/CEO of Midwest Hardwood Corporation (MHC), knows something about recessionary markets. He started up his business in the middle of one back in 1981, working from his home in Duluth, Minn., selling building products. Since then, Midwest Hardwood Corp., through its affiliated, stand-alone companies, has grown to employ 450 and operate four divisions—sawmill, dry kiln, distribution and value-added.
When I set up my visit with our new Man of the Year, Michael D. Flynn, this past August, I hadn’t anticipated that he would become our man of the year. In fact the main purpose of my trip was to attend a nephew’s wedding in Milwaukee, but I also wanted to visit a few forest products operations to gather material for articles in our various magazines.
The financial crisis that started in August 2007 has been a long time coming. The government response so far has yet to fix the crisis. Currently, the banks are hoarding money in order to build their reserves against future losses, the Federal Reserve Bank has largely run out of firepower (near zero interest rate and a balance sheet full of questionable collateral), international trade is coming to a standstill as letters of credit dry up, and the deflationary pressures of falling real estate, energy and equity prices continue to have an effect on consumers.
After experiencing a quick return on their investment following the installation last August of an Exact Modus SMART Lumber Grading Solution on the sawmill’s lumber inspection line, Frank Miller Lumber Co., Inc., Union City, Ind., has installed another SMART system on the planer line. FML desired a grading line solution that automatically measured and tallied boards, provided unlimited sorting capabilities and offered detailed production information to help manage profitability.
Lumber Quality Insitute announced two February workshops to be held in Atlanta, Ga. at Learning Tree International. The 27th Annual Lumber Quality & Process Control Workshop will be held February 23-24. This workshop is a must for sawmills seeking to maximize board foot and grade recovery.
Wagner Electronics unveiled “Sweet Spot” technology. This patent pending technology is the result of a year-long study and investigation into lumber drying process variability conducted by the team composed of Dr. Michael Milota, Associate Professor, Oregon State University; Ed Wagner, CEO and Vice President of Engineering, Wagner Electronics; and Tim Duncan, Research and Development Engineering Manager, Wagner Electronics.