Welcome to part 4 of our 5 part series about how population and market forces will affect the timber sales industry in Brisbane and Australia over the next 20-30 years. This installment will cover how new or “transformative technologies” will affect how we use timber.
Transformative Technologies: Making Timber Products and Transport Better
Transformative technology already had wide-ranging and major effects on the timber industry. In sawmills, processes have been helped immensely by improvements such as X-rays, 3-D scanning, new information and planning systems, robotics and CNC-based tools.
These advances have allowed improvement in engineered timber products and helped to create nanocomposites and timber-plastic composites. Biomaterial advancements include nanofibres, biopolymers, vehicles, appliances, building, packaging and converting technologies. Bioethanol is easier to make and new chemicals are being formed from timber with increasing regularity.
The construction industry has already benefited from engineered timber products such as cross laminated timber (CLT), construction materials and timber-plastic composites.
On one hand, technology is rendering some timber products obsolete. On the other hand, there are increasing opportunities for new products.
In forestry, biotechnology is allowing for the cloning of plants, making them biologically identical. When this is combined with solid principles from genetics, trees with the most desirable traits can be duplicated on a large scale. We could easily see plantations of identical “supertrees” to maximise timber quality and output.
The paper and packaging sector has taken a huge hit from the popularity of the Internet. 19.9% of Australians used the newspaper as their news source in 2010, compared to 15.9% in 2014. We can expect this number to keep going down. Luckily for the timber industry, packaging products are stepping in to fill the gap left by declining print media.
Technology is increasing the use of timber in construction due to the improvement of engineered timber and timber bio-products. Timber is being used for more residential buildings, especially mid-rise apartment buildings.
Call Our Timber Sales Staff Today
One thing for sure: we will continue to find the best timber products at the lowest prices. When superior products are created, we will bring them to you. To learn more or to speak to customer service, call us today: (07) 3888 1293.