Timber Processing’s March issue features Willamette Industries in Oregon for their new merchandising system outside and a major green end overhaul inside, including curve-sawing technology. Hampton Tree Farms refines timber mapping with 5-meter panchromatic imagery from the latest remote sensing satellite. Also, Pallet Business Journal reports on Townley Lumber Co. as it tries to keep its two scragg mills busy.
Louisiana-Pacific Corp. is purchasing ABT Building Products Corp. for $225 million. L-P Chairman and CEO Mark Suwyn says the acquisition accelerates L-P’s strategy of complementing its low cost, efficiently produced commodity building products with a variety of specialty product offerings. Headquartered in Neenah, Wis., ABT Building Products produces specialty building products manufactured from engineered wood and plastics, including prefab decorative paneling, exterior hardboard and vinyl sidings, extruded moldings, plastic window shutters, doorskins and other products.
The challenge: to more efficiently and accurately process a huge volume of small logs at a mill that was operating 10-year-old technology as recently as 1996. The cure: a new small-log processing line using the latest technology, installed in a no-frills, no complications design, to make the facility more competitive and productive. Thanks to a whirlwind of changes in the Northwest forest products industry, not much remains of the sawmill Willamette Industries acquired in 1991 when it purchased the lion’s share of Bohemia’s assets.
Canadian competition has been a thorn in Charles Lumbert’s side since construction of the Moose River Lumber Co. sawmill just a few miles shy of the Canadian border in 1976. But the spruce/fir mill has always prospered through an aggressive program of expansion and continual upgrading to take advantage of new technologies. The latest $8 million upgrade, completed in May 1998, is no exception.
A former Olympic athlete, who in 1990 left his big-city success for an entrepreneurial dream in the woods of Vermont, is finding positive results from bringing in a consulting firm that showed him how to better manage his family’s hardwood sawmill in a time when others were feeling the crunch of a dwindling economy. Walter Malmquist II had worked at Malmquist Wood Products here through junior high and high school, while skiing in his spare time.
Fostered by an extensive sawmilling background, Clinch River Hardwoods, Inc., started up its hardwood facility here more than two years ago in an effort to further strengthen the Elliott family’s footing as one of the area’s top hardwood lumber and furniture stock producers. Starting up in January 1997, Clinch River Hardwoods, owned and operated by Jamie Elliott and family, came on-line without major problems, reaching its full capacity within three months.
Hampton Tree Farms Inc. is among the first to put high-resolution satellite imagery to the test in an operational timber mapping project, and the forest management company based here is impressed with the results. “It’s accurate and current, and that’s what we need,” says Dennis Creel, Timber Manager for Hampton. “We need to have an up-to date base map with accurate acreage of timber types in order to better manage our properties."
Faced with strict property limitations and human resource headaches, Don Overmyer, President of Linden Lumber Co., installed an impressive Morris Industrial Corp. (MIC) 78 bin drop sorter system for his hardwood lumber manufacturing facility based here since 1955. A respected industry leader, Overmyer, 61, was Timber Processing’s 1997 Man of the Year due to his outstanding operation and influence through the years in the hardwood industry.
Don’t look now, but WB Co.’s Maxi Mill overhead end-dogging carriage system is processing hardwood lumber. The West Coast-originated and softwood-oriented technology started up in a hardwood application first last year at Jerry Williams & Sons Inc. in Smithfield, NC, which manufactures hardwood and softwood lumber, and then started up last August at Anthony Timberlands, Inc.’s purely hardwood lumber sawmill in Beirne.
Sometimes cliches become cliches because they’re based on reality. Townley Lumber Co., for example, is proof that pallet mills are bigger in Texas. This family mill was started by W.D. Townley as a pine sawmill in the 1940s and moved to cutting hardwood by the 1960s as larger corporations began to dominate the pine market. As many hardwood mills have, Townley began making pallets as a way to utilize the low grade material no one wanted to buy.