Woodworking Trends & Challenges

By using agri-fibre, a substitute raw material for the production of various wood-based panels, together with the utilisation of specific manufacturing plants, a type of green particleboard is created with the aim to alleviating the problem of timber shortage, achieving sustainability. By Corinna Weidner, marketing, Binos


The woodworking industry is facing difficult challenges nowadays. Due to the increasingly shortage of timber and the climate change a stronger focus on research and development is necessary. Sustainable but also durable panels, which can be produced and consumed with lower emissions, need to be further developed and optimised. The challenge is to meet the current as well as the future needs and creating panels with the same strong characteristics. At this point plant manufacturers are in great demand to design and make products which will correspond to future needs and which will meet the new requirements of the marketers. 


Consequently, it is more difficult for plant manufacturers to cope with these diverse challenges and changes as they should also take into consideration the end-user's needs and development of processes and technologies which can be implemented into panel plants. Increase in capacity is another important factor for panel producers. At the same time an efficient process needs to be enabled which would include also advanced control technology during production.


Therefore, in order to meet future requirements of the woodworking industry, we are working on solutions for current and future markets to face the emerging challenges and support panel producers to get on the future track.


Green Production Materials

At our research centre, we have demonstrated solutions regarding efficient use of wood wastes, agrifibre and timber. Agrifibre is on its rise due to the timber shortage problem. Thisfibre variety can be used as substitute raw material for the production of particleboards, oriented strand board (OSB) and medium density fibreboard(MDF). 


Putting high emphasis on producing valuable products with same characteristics as produced with usual timber is essential. Consequently, the challenge here is to enable strong and durable products for same application areas with agrifibre. Depending on the agrifibre product, special preparation needs to be done beforehand to assure best quality and properties achieved for the product.


The advantage of agrifibre solutions is that the production processes are close to usual particleboard, OSB or MDF production processes.The research for substitute raw material and implementation of panel plants with agrifibreincreases significantly. Especially in regions with rare standard timber resources and where deforestation is not an unknown word anymore. In Dubai a panel producer has started the establishment of an OSB/OPB and particleboard combination plant on the basis of palm fronds. 


The usage of such substitutes is essential to decrease transportation costs as well as imports of timber and to rebuild forest areas. Consequently these efforts of the marketers mean first steps to work against climate change and more sustainability. To push the trends, the company is testing raw material regarding achievable panel properties on request.


Key Components 

Green products are in high demand. However, the end user demands green products but without any compromises. Therefore, cement bonded particleboards are in. These particleboards can be processed with a unique wind forming system. The system can be integrated into cement bonded particleboard plants to further increase value. Meanwhile, it is also suitable for a standard particleboard production process. The solution for particleboard plants is even enhanced by a patented roller bed component. 


Aiming at revolutionising cement bonded particleboards and production processes higher standards and varieties have been set. Due to its high stability and long lasting resistance against weather and moisture, the cement bonded particleboard is often used for facades, pre-fabricated houses and wet roomsin especially humid regions. Cement bonded particleboards have great attributes for a more efficient insulation which is becoming more relevant even in Asian regions.


The boards can be easily handled as wood and does not require any special tools. The boards produced by these specialised plants support modern fast-construction systems which meet perfectly the current effort made in the building sector. Furthermore these boards meet even exceptional design demands of architects and constructors, consequently make them suitable for the interior design.


The production process for cement bonded particleboards is as follows: It starts with the conditioning of timber and cement. The peeled logs are fed into the cutter wherein chips are cut for further usage. Cement is mixed with wood chips and the material is taken into the pre-dosing bin. After that, the material is fed into the forming station.Metal sheets need to be loaded for the press. 


Afterwards, the sheets need to be transported to the tempered hardener chamber and are later unloaded. The production ends with the storage wherein the board can achieve its final strength and the hardening process continues. The flexibility in producing various board thicknesses also during production process is guaranteed.


The production process was perfected with respect to reproducibility of the boards to increase constant high quality. Whether structured boards from three and up to five mm in depth (other fibre cement products have standard 1.2 mm depth) or lacquered with all kind of patterns can be produced and are adaptable to the desired target market.


In relation to standard particleboards there is a main difference to cement bonded particleboards: the proportion of wood as a raw material is lower than in particleboards and the cement replaces the resin.


We are offering the modern cement bonded particleboard plants and solutions with low energy consumption due to its cold pressing system. New plants and upgrades of existing plants are also supplied. In designing and producing plants for board manufacturing, one of the critical point is the development of future-oriented technologies and the most beneficial solutions for more added value. 


For the next trend—the steady increase of capacity, as more and more panel manufacturers have already come to their production capacity limits and end users are demanding higher value, forming solutions would again become the focal point.

Especially in Asia and Middle East, such trends can be recognised due to current and upcoming projects.


High quality forming lines enable the increase of quality and simultaneously increase of production capacity. More homogenised products can be achieved which lead to a more efficient material usage while accelerating the production speed.


An ultra former combines the benefits of a spike roll and vacuum forming system and is well accepted by the market. It allows an excellent distribution over width and creates a homogenous surface weight which follows a more evenly density and thickness of the produced boards. This solution is a well-established technique with a high accuracy—much better than other mechanical distribution systems. The advantages speak for themselves: best density distribution, reduction of glue spots, minimal thickness tolerances and full automatic operation with online measurement systems.


Another special machine is a fibre rurbine which can be used as a standalone or integrated system. The machine is dissolving agglomerated fibres to a homogenised flow of single fibres to improve the quality of further processes. It can also be used to mix different kind of fibres to a homogeneous fibre mat. The machine series are available from 0.5 tons per hour to 60 tons per hour.


Controlling the production process and prevent longer and unpredicted downtimes, saving raw materials for a more efficient production is more important than ever. Leading manufacturesare constantly developing and supplying advanced control systems which prevent deviations within the production process as usage of raw materials/ target and current status of material consumption, plant capacity and speed.


It is all about to meet future demand with specialising on the specific demand of panel manufacturers. As investments are risky, a well-established customer service is also predominant. 


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