Kurzfassungen der Vorträge

Overview of the situation of the European wood-based panel industry

Philipp Sprockhoff, European Panel Federation managing board

Wood based panel industry structure - what are the trends?

Thomas Walther, Afry Management Consulting GmbH

How IKEA sees the future demands on wood-based panels, both from a commercial and sustainability aspect

David Svensson, IKEA Supply Services (Sweden) AB

Wishes of the timber trade to the wood-based material industry

Max Roggemann, Enno Roggemann GmbH & Co. KG

Of ice and wood: a climate change perspective

Dirk Notz, Universität Hamburg

It might occur as a strange combination: The polar ice sheets and wood as a building material. But the flow of carbon in our planet’s atmosphere brings them together. Ice sheets are melting at an accelerating rate because of the carbon-dioxide induced global warming, while trees are storing carbon in their wood, thus slowing down the rise in global temperature.

In this presentation, I will shed some light on the connection between the wood-panel industry and climate change, with a focus on the polar regions. I will outline why the building industry, more than many other industry sectors, has a major leverage to tackle global climate change, and how these potential actions today can affect future generations for centuries to come.

Carbon stocks of particleboard and fiberboard over the past 70 years in Japan

Chihiro Kayo, Tokyo University of Agriculture

Wood products continue to store carbon even after they are harvested from forests. Therefore, they affect the global carbon budget and are attracting attention as climate change countermeasures. Particleboard (PB) and fiberboard (FB) usage has increased globally in recent years. PB and FB prolong the carbon stock of wood products through recycling, as many of these PBs and FBs are made from waste wood after use. We estimated carbon stocks of PB and FB and their annual changes over the past 70 years in Japan using three methods of the IPCC guidelines: Tiers 1–3. The latest carbon stock in early 2022 and the annual change in carbon stock in 2021 was 21.83 million t-C and 0.42 million t-C/year, respectively for Tier 3. Tier 3 has the highest estimation accuracy by using decay functions and half-lives that match the actual conditions of building PB and FB, whereas Tiers 1 and 2 were underestimates. Approximately 40% of the carbon stock in early 2022 is derived from waste wood, which extends its utilization, making it an important carbon pool. Further effective use of PB and FB promotes carbon removal from wood products.

Solid wood waste and post-consumer fibreboards as raw material alternatives for the MDF production

Marco Mäbert, IHD Dresden gGmbH

In order to maintain competitiveness, the wood-based panel industry needs continuously an optimisation of the costs. One way of reducing costs is to reduce the amount of virgin wood. Nevertheless, waste wood is currently mainly used in the production of particleboards. A reason for the low utilisation of waste wood in MDF production, in addition to the impurities in the waste wood, is its low moisture content. Wood chips with a low moisture content have increased brittleness and stiffness resulting in the production of pulp with a high proportion of broken fibres and dust.

IHD research included work on waste wood processing and the production of woodchips from pre-shredded waste wood, category A I and MDF waste. In particular, the IHD TMP laboratory plant was modified at various points. The aim of these modifications was to produce high-quality fibre pulp from waste wood and waste MDF chips (with moisture content below the fibre saturation) at standard industrial throughput times.

AI is transforming the wood-based panel industry: Illuminating opportunities, challenges and perspectives

Daniel Schwartze und Jürgen Woll, Dieffenbacher GmbH

Application of Industrial Artificial Intelligence for Real-Time Predictive Intelligence in Wood Panel Manufacturing: Improvements in Process Engineering and Material Usage in PB, MDF and OSB

Haidin Rashid Amin und Adrien Hitz, AHX.ai LTD

AHX.ai, a London-based manufacturing intelligence company founded by AI scientists from Oxford University and Imperial College London. Specialising in industrial AI for real-time predictive intelligence in PB, MDF, Insulation, and OSB plants, AHX.ai aims to improve process efficiency and material usage.

Proven in multiple factories in the EU, where real-time machine and laboratory data is leveraged for accurate predictions and adjustments, improving material efficiency and product quality.

Our mission at AHX.ai is to enable all wood panel manufacturers to adopt AI seamlessly, ensuring data security and delivering actionable recommendations for cost and quality optimisation.

Join us as we discuss our mission at AHX.ai, the platform, our use cases, and practical evaluation of AI models in wood panel manufacturing.

Autonomous wood-based panel lines based on AI and ML methods – from vision to reality

Gregor Bernardy, Siempelkamp Maschinen- und Anlagenbau GmbH
Oren Yahav, Smartech ManewfacturingTM Technologies

Can AI, ML, LLMs or other methods help to solve today's problems when it comes to countering the shortage of skilled workers, enabling knowledge transfer or ensuring optimal plant operation?

The range of answers is certainly to diverse to be answered in one lecture alone. However, the authors report on how the appropriate use of AI and ML can make the vision of a self-optimizing, autonomous plant a reality today. They show that these methods are not a self-running process that only need to be given the data and they learn everything themselves. The reality requires a process-appropriate preparation of the data, the recognition of incorrect data (anomalies) and, in particular, the correct understanding of the process in order to be able to evaluate the dependencies and correlations found.

According to the authors' experience, only the inclusion of humans and their experiences and decisions enables AI and ML models to make optimized decisions to run the process autonomously.

Building a flexible MDF-plant in a constantly changing world

Clemens Seidl, Andritz AG

The main focus of the MDF manufacturing process aims to achieve consistent and controllable board quality while remaining cost-competitive. This clear goal faces conflicts due to changing raw materials, increased recycling demands, personnel turnover, customized machinery, smaller batch sizes, and ever shifting customer demands.

In this dynamic manufacturing environment, an effective control system must address fluctuations. The presentation will explore a control system built on three pillars:

  1. Identifying Changes: By monitoring raw materials, consumables and intermediate products in quality and quantity to help supervising the whole production process.
  2. Flexible Equipment: Capable of racting or readjusting according to the identified changes.
  3. Quality Monitoring: Allowing continuous monitoring and optimization according to the final product quality.

The presentation will show these components, their potential, and their role in an efficient, increasingly autonomous plant.

MDF Recycling – the commercial reality

Luca Ballarin, PAL S.r.l.

MDF entered the market more than sixty years ago, with a view to replacing the use of solid timber in domestic, office and retail environments. With global annual sales now exceeding 100 million m3, it has been a resounding success.
There have been many improvements made to MDF over time and to the process used to manufacture it, the industry constantly adapting to meet the needs of the supply chain and end user. Faster production speeds, lower or zero formaldehyde glues, enhanced energy efficiency and the use of regionally significant raw material sources have all been addressed. However, the elephant in the room has always been MDF’s lack of recyclability.
A conflux of economic (higher virgin timber prices), regulatory (including Extended Producer Responsibility) and societal drivers now mean that the majority of MDF manufacturers are busy deciding when and how they will integrate recycled MDF fibres rather than ‘if’.
The demand for circularity is high and many end users will no longer tolerate the specification of non-recyclable materials in their projects. Major users such as IKEA have made public their targets of incorporating at least 15% of recycled fibres within MDF by 2030. The panelboard sector has recognised that change is needed to ensure that MDF manufacturing thrives for another sixty years.
MDF recycling is still problematic due to the presence of 2 main criticalities: the cleanliness of the fibre, which must be completely similar to virgin fibre, and the disaggregation process, i.e. the transition from MDF to fibre, which must not alter the quality of the fibre.
With the partnership between PAL and MDFR, these 2 critical issues are addressed in an innovative and synergic way by the 2 companies.
PAL is a global leader in terms of equipment supply for the panelboard sector and will use its experience and expertise to create a complete ‘end to end’ recycling solution for the MDF manufacturing sector, incorporating the MDFR fibre disaggregation technology.
With regard to the fibre cleaning process, PAL, leader in recycled fibre cleaning, has developed a specific system that starts with the selection of wood chips and continues with the cleaning of the recycled fibre. In this process, PAL uses specific machines, some of which are patented.
With regard to the MDF disaggregation process, PAL studied the usable solutions currently on the market. It identified MDFR's as a solution ready to be industrialised. MDFR holds the patent for MDF disintegration and has a working prototype plant.
MDFR’s technology is now well proven and ready for scaling. It is an energy efficient solution offered to the market and can produce recycled fibre at less than half the cost of refining virgin fibre in many scenarios. Reclaiming high quality wood fibre from waste MDF is a significant piece of the puzzle but a perfect industrial solution needs also to address the specific site requirements of each operational plant.
PAL is thus able to provide turnkey plants optimised to the specific needs of individual customers and designed to be perfectly integrated into existing MDF installations.
After 1 year of analysis and testing PAL presents the results.
Panels with increasing amounts of recycled fibre have been produced at the PAL laboratory. Starting from 15 % up to panels produced with 100 % recycled fibre.
Panels were then produced without the addition of glue in the recycled fibre part. All the panels produced were evaluated in terms of both performance and aesthetics.
Also different types of waste MDF materials has been compared: single source factory scrap with surface finish and multi-source manufacturing scrap e.g. from furniture factory with both finished and unfinished material and finally waste MDF sourced from waste management company.
With regard to the energy balance of the process, a comparative evaluation was carried out with respect to the production of virgin fibre.
The industrialisation of the MDFR disaggragation prototype is now complete and customer demand is well advanced. With PAL rolling out its MDF recycling system from 2024, we can at last say that MDF recycling has become a commercial reality.

A study to presence of fiberboard in recovered wood in France

Mark Irle, École Supérieure du Bois

Fire retardants in wood based panels - compatibility of materials

Andreja Kutnar, InnoRenew CoE | University of Primorska

Fire retardants in wooden products may produce unwanted effects (LeVan and Winandy, 1990). Most traditional fire retardants used in fire retardant–treated medium density fibre (MDF) board are acidic organic or inorganic compounds. When these fire retardants are in direct contact with wood fibers, they catalyze and degrade the fibers, especially in regions with hot and humid climates. Such environment may significantly impact strength of fire retardant–treated MDF (Wang et al., 2010). Reactions can also be seen as discolourations and can occur when the fire retardant is leached from the composite or when a wooden product impregnated with fire retardant is exposed to humid or hot environments (LeVan and Winandy, 1990). Because of solubility and molecular size, the inorganic salts are susceptible to moisture movement and migrate with the movement of water in wood-based composite. The fire retardant may react with surface coatings and finishes, glues, contaminates, the chemical systems used to manufacture products, moisture, or other.

Manufacturers of fire retardant wood panels should examine and communicate in their technical data sheets regarding the compatibility of their products with adhesesives, veneers, coatings to prevent any discolourations of surfaces when in use.

References:

LeVan, S.L.; Winandy, J.E. 1990. Effects of fire retardant treatment on wood strength: A review. Wood and Fiber Science, 22(3): 113-131

Wang, F., Wang, Q., Wang, X. 2010 Progress in research on fire retardant-treated wood and wood-based composite: A Chinese perspective. Forest Products Journal, 60 (7/8): 668-678

Hydrophobic agents for the production of particle boards with
bio-based binder

Fabian Meinker, Hywax GmbH

A new way of MDF gluing – an internal resin injection system using the concentric flow principle

Kenth Eklund, Sunds Fibertech AB

Today’s blowline blending systems typically require steam injection and are quite maintenance intense.

Sunds Fibertech decided to rethink blowline blending from scratch. Instead of adding another gimmick that is increasing complexity we took another approach – the concentric flow principle.

A central nozzle is placed in the blowline. The fiber flow is guided around the nozzle. At the tip of the nozzle the fiber flow is guided towards the center of the blowline while the resin expands into the fiber flow. This creates extremely high turbulence and a strong mixing effect that reduces the required resin amount.

The Internal Resin Injection System can be operated:

  • without steam for atomizing,
  • without resin dilution water,
  • with a medium pressure pump.

Industrial applications proved a resin saving potential of 5 to 15 % depending on local preconditions and resin type (UF-based or MDI-based).

The concentric flow principle can be considered a disruptive technology – not only in theory but also in real plant life.

Bio-based, switchable adhesives for reshapable woodwood
composites

Christin Koch, University of Kassel
Steven Eschig, Fraunhofer-Institut für Holzforschung WKI

Together with research and industry partners, we are developing a bio-based, switchable polyurethane surface adhesive. The aim is to use this adhesive to produce reshapable wood-wood composites. The switchability of the adhesive is based on a reversible cross-linking mechanism. For this purpose, special reversible cross-linking units are introduced into the backbone of the adhesive resin. The crosslinks can be cleaved by adding temperature. The adhesive effect is switched OFF. When cooled again, the crosslinks will build up again and the adhesive effect is switched ON. The process can be repeated several times.

The switchable adhesives are used to produce multilayer composites made of wood. Ideal joining parameters, e.g. pressure, duration and temperature are identified. Moreover, forming and reshaping plays an important role in various sectors, therefore, it is demonstrated that a reshaping of 2D to 3D wood structures is possible by selectively switching the adhesive on and off.

A contribution to sustainability in wood-based panels

Ralph Lunkwitz, 

Various process analysis methods for quality monitoring and process optimization exist along the production process for the manufacture of wood-based materials and for monitoring the manufacture of floors, furniture panels, wall panels or worktops. In addition to established systems such as continuous water content measurement to control a drying process or online nitrogen determination to optimize the gluing process, 3 new applications have been recently developed. It is now possible to analyze the glue directly (GlueNIR - measurement of molar ratio, solids content, viscosity) and monitoring of important process parameters for the production of floors (TABERonline - measurement of abrasion resistance) and furniture panels (CureKT - measurement of degree of curing).

The three new applications and the potential for process optimization and cost savings are presented. The measuring systems are based on the principle of optical spectroscopy.

10 important facts you should know about the new European formaldehyde requirements ("REACH")

Bettina Meyer, Fraunhofer-Institut für Holzforschung WKI
Sandro Ciroi, CATAS SPA

Online measurement of formaldehyde emission utilizing in situ-laser spectroscopy

Manuel Fleisch, Fagus GreCon Greten GmbH & Co. KG

Precise process control in wood-based panel manufacturing is often hampered by the limited amount of laboratory test data available. Especially for formaldehyde emission, this lack of data leaves significant potential for process and cost optimization untapped. This presentation introduces a new measuring method that directly assesses the emission of manufactured panels during the production process, by offering a real-time prediction of the product emission.

The heart of this method is an in-situ infrared laser analyser installed in the diagonal saw's extraction system of the production line. The analyser measures the formaldehyde concentration by detecting the light attenuation proportional to the formaldehyde gas present in the extracted air. The concentration measured in the process, is then correlated to the panel emission, determined in the laboratory. Due to influencing factors like board thickness, density and others, statistical analysis is performed to refine the obtained raw data.

Once validated, this technique will enable a real-time measurement of formaldehyde emission in an operating production line, enhancing process control, reducing the risk of limit violations, and enabling the potential for optimizing energy, material, and reagent consumption.

Impregnation and bonding of hybrid wood-based materials in automotive body shell

Moira Burnett, Fraunhofer-Institut für Holzforschung WKI

Since conventional wood-based composites are not designed for use in the automotive industry, it must be investigated to what extent a wooden substrate would change by cathodic dip coating process. The compatibility between wood, adhesive and immersion baths has to be guaranteed, this means the process should not affect the composite properties and simultaneously the composite should not contaminate the baths by detached wood fibre parts.

The idea of this study is that hybrid aluminium-wood composites are suitable for automotive applications, but in order to pass the CP – without negative effects on the mechanical properties – the wooden parts should be treated with wood preservatives. Wood protection or surface sealing is necessary because the porous surface absorbs the liquids from the immersion baths. Therefore, a preservative is used that protects the wood structure against external influences and at the same time improves mechanical properties as well as making the composite more attractive for automotive application.