Following a pandemic-induced cancellation in 2020, the biennial Timber Processing & Energy Expo returns September 28-30 to the Portland Exposition Center in Portland, Ore. Hatton-Brown Expositions, an affiliate of Timber Processing magazine, has hosted the event since 2010.
“It’s hard to believe it has been four years since TP&EE was held, and what a strange trip it has been,” comments Rich Donnell, TP&EE Show Director and Editor-in-Chief of Timber Processing. “The important thing is that we’re back face-to-face. ‘Virtual’ is okay, but it’s not like being there.”
About 170 equipment and technology exhibitors will be located in Hall E at the Expo Center. The event caters primarily to the primary lumber manufacturing industry, but also has a significant engineered wood products and primary panel manufacturing participation.
“We’re seeing some new and enhanced technologies from the exhibitors according to their promotions,” Donnell comments. “I think the timing is right for the mills to be placing orders. They’ve been running hard for the past two years, since not long after the pandemic, as lumber and panel prices set historical records and housing starts shot up. Prices and the housing markets have calmed down some, and this is a good time for the mills to replenish their machinery. They have the capital resources to do so. And there’s also a new wave of data and optimization intelligence technology that has come on, and it’s a good time to implement or update those in the mill operations.”
Timber Processing conducted a capital expenditure survey in the spring that showed more than half of the softwood lumber companies responding to the survey plan to spend at least $1 million in 2022-2023 at each of their mills, including 6% planning to spend more than $20 million and 15% spending $10-20 million. The survey asked lumbermen to select which equipment they’re buying and lumber handling forklifts, dry kilns, sorters, stackers, log scanning/optimization, downstream sawing, fire prevention, downstream scanning/optimization, log merchandising, and filing room equipment all scored high, along with expenditure for maintenance-related items.
The survey also revealed that 14% of the responding companies plan to build a new sawmill in the near future, and 14% are giving it consideration.
“Those are impressive numbers that should impact the activity at the Portland show,” Donnell says.
PERSON OF THE YEAR
During the first afternoon at 3 p.m., Wednesday, September 28, Timber Processing will host its Person of the Year ceremony, and present the magazine’s 34th annual Person of the Year plaque to Eric Schooler, CEO of Collins and longtime Northwest lumberman who worked many years at Hampton Lumber and Collins.
“Eric is the classic Northwest lumberman,” Donnell says. “His career has spanned from traditional lumber manufacturing to today’s modern version. Everybody I have ever heard talk about Eric’s leadership and innovation can’t say enough good things about him.”
During TP&EE, two day-long conferences will be held. On Wednesday, September 28, “From Forest to Frame: Mass Timber Developments” will feature multiple speakers on the exciting developments in this sector, which continues to have growing impact and potential on lumber producer markets.
On Thursday, September 29, “Sawmill Productivity & Efficiency” will feature 10 speakers divided into two sessions, one entitled “Sawmill of the Future: The Future Is Now,” and the other “Project Planning and Implementation: Bring It On.”
Registration to walk the show is free prior to September 28; cost for each conference is $115. Go to: www.timberprocessingandenergyexpo.com
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