Hyne Timber completed a major expansion which will see the Maryborough manufacturing giant meet increasing demand for its products amid Australia’s major construction boom.
The $14.5 million major mill expansion, of the 139-year-old company, includes a new Continuous Drying Kiln (CDK), which is expected to assist supply woes within the building industry.
The official ribbon cutting event was held on October 8, which coincided with the 35-year anniversary of the original installation of kilns at the Tuan Mill.
An extra 60 workers are already on board to assist with the mill’s scaling up, with production expected to increase by 20 per cent in the next few months.
The company was experiencing ‘significant demand’ for its products, according to Hyne Timber Chief Executive Officer Jon Kleinschmidt, who said in the report that the expansion was “timely and can bring the construction sector some comfort as we ramp up production over the next few months”.
“The CDK not only delivers efficiency for the Tuan Mill in addressing the timber drying bottleneck, but will also improve the consistency of drying quality and overall quality of our timber in addition to delivering energy efficiency. We have had dedicated teams working on this highly specialised project for months,” Mr Kleinschmidt said.
Those acknowledged for their involvement in the expansion included Tuan Mill team members led by David Spencer and Paul Ryan, supported by contractors including Civil Mining and Construction, Wolff Power, Brisbane Electrical, Platinum Fire, Windsor and representatives of The University of Queensland, Centre for Future Timber Structures and ARC Future Timber Hub.
“I hope they all feel very proud of this achievement as part of our history and for our future. Scaling up our expansion project is paralleled with us working collaboratively with our suppliers including HQ Plantations, Richers Transport and Log Management Solutions, creating more jobs for the region.”
“I would like to thank the Queensland Government, Bruce Saunders and the team at State Development and the Fraser Coast Regional Council for their ongoing support for growth, jobs and expansion in our region.” Mr Kleinschmidt said.
Now employing around 300 people, the Tuan Mill is one of Australia’s largest suppliers of softwood framing.
CDK’s point of difference
A CDK operates differently to the Tuan Mill’s existing batch kilns in that packs of wood are continually fed onto trolleys that are steadily pushed through the kiln without stopping.
Over the course of 37 hours the wood passes through three zones; a humid heating zone where the wood is gradually warmed up, a central low-humidity drying zone and a humid cooling zone. Heat is then transferred between the cooling and heating zones to increase thermal efficiency.
According to the report, CDK’s have rapidly been accepted as best practice for wood drying and have several advantages including, significantly higher thermal efficiency, automation and improved safety, less moisture variation, straighter product with less risk of discolouration, improving quality for customers and less maintenance.