Read on for other news including Complete Titus Tekform Product catalogue now available; China outlook; Timber-based prefab apartments built in Adelaide; Which tradies get paid the most in Australia?; Declining apprentice numbers; Wallenberg Prize presented by King Gustav; Trump and Canada’s Timber Exports; Mexican Industry reshoring; Hettich wins another design award; Alaska Airlines flies on wood.

Complete Titus Tekform Product catalogue now available

The much anticipated and long-awaited Titus Tekform complete product catalogue is here! It’s packed full with 12 sections and 600 pages of product covering your hardware and decorative requirements. To ensure that Titus Tekform continues to be the supplier of choice to the kitchen and cabinet making industries in Australia, Titus Tekform continue to bring new branded innovations to market and provide technical expertise through detailed product information in their marketing materials. View and download the catalogue on the Titus Tekform website.

China outlook

Wages are increasing, the middle class is expanding and the demand for skilled labour is growing. The years of mega growth are over yet China remains ambitious. Compared to 2010 the average income as well as overall economic performance should double by 2020. China is on the road to Industry 4.0 where automation, innovation, sustainability, and environmental protection are priorities. “The country has a new self-confidence and is no longer satisfied being the West’s workbench. The economic power wants to become a leader in quality” says Krister Sandvoss, project director at Deutsche Messe. “China remains an important market for manufacturers and providers of industrial technologies and services.”

Timber-based prefab apartments built in Adelaide

Timber-based prefabricated apartments being built in Adelaide could give momentum to the South Australian Government’s push for more inner city development, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) says. Source: ABC News. South Australia’s first wooden apartments are being built on King William Street in Kent Town by the Verde venture. The building technique has been used in Europe for 30 years, but the project is just the second in Australia. It is expected that the prefabricated building technique could be seen in Sydney and Melbourne on the eastern seaboard within four or five years.

Which tradies get paid the most in Australia?

The “2016 Tradie Rich List”, complied by has found plumbers in Western Australia ($87.67 an hour) make the most money out of any tradie in the country on the back of a cooling mining boom. Electricians ($87.33) come in second. The average per hour rate for builders in New South Wales has jumped by 27.5 per cent since last year, with those tradies now earning $77.85 an hour. The news isn’t as good for those working in Victoria and Queensland. Tradies in those two states make the least amount of money with Victorian electricians making $68.68 an hour and Queensland plumbers making about $68.58 an hour. Source: 9 News Australia.

Declining apprentice numbers

Apprenticeship data released in June by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) shows that traineeship and apprenticeship numbers fell by more than 45% over the past four years and the number of apprentices declined by more than 10% in just 12 months. Housing Industry Association Graham Wolfe said “Our declining traineeship and apprenticeship numbers seem to go unnoticed. The drop in apprenticeship positions places pressure on our unemployment numbers, our future workforce capacity and adds unnecessary risk to our national economic performance. We can’t continue to overlook the deterioration in apprenticeship numbers. Each and every vocational training spot that disappears represents a missed opportunity for another young Australian.”

Wallenberg Prize presented by King Gustav

The Marcus Wallenberg Prize for outstanding scientific achievement in the wood processing industry has been presented to Microtec CEO Federico Giudiceandrea by King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden. CT scanning of whole tree logs to identify knots, cracks and rot can increase the value of the sawn products by at least 10%. Marcus Wallenberg said “The introduction of this new technology marks the beginning of a new era for the sawmill industry. The ground-breaking research and implementation have opened new horizons, facilitating further optimization of the sawing process.” Scanners have been installed in Chile; USA; France and Belgium.

Trump and Canada’s Timber Exports

A Trump administration, combined with a Republican-controlled Senate and House of Representatives could have repercussions that will be felt by the Canadian economy for years. One of the first trade irritants that could test US-Canadian relations is softwood timber. A 10-year-old agreement that removed U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber expired last month. That paved the way for the possibility of steep taxes, which could result in layoffs throughout Canada’s forestry sector. Trump can expect to face pressure from the US lumber lobby to implement such duties. In an era of rising protectionism, he may be encouraged to oblige. Source: CTV News.

Mexican Industry “reshoring”

Magna ExpoMueblera is just around the corner, running at the Centro Banamex exhibition centre in Mexico City from 18 to 21 January 2017. The show has been a staple of the Mexican trade fair market for 22 years. The show includes woodworking machinery for the Mexican and Central American furniture industry, forestry technology, living room, kitchen and office furniture, fabrics, upholstery materials and supplies. The Mexican market is highly dynamic and offers excellent prospects for growth. This is partly because a number of furniture manufacturers are moving their production facilities for the North American market from Asia to Mexico in order to take advantage of logistical and quality benefits. Known as reshoring, this trend is supported by the North American Free Trade Agreement (will be under review by the incoming US Administration) and can also be observed in other industries.

Hettich wins German Design Award – Special Mention 2017

The German Design Council has awarded the German Design Award – Special Mention 2017 in the “Furniture” category to Hettich for the Sensys thin door hinge. The German Design Award goes to outstanding products that point the way in the German and international design landscape. Hettich has already received the iF Design Award 2016 for the thin door hinge. With an extremely shallow cup, it gives furniture makers maximum design flexibility for further options in making a mark of distinction. It permits the use of thin core board panels in a thickness from just 8 mm with a design defining surface application layer such as glass.

Alaska Airlines flies on wood

The first commercial flight to use jet fuel with a 20% blend of forest residuals has flown from Seattle to Washington. Alaska Airlines said the blend was “Chemically indistinguishable from regular jet fuel. Tree branches and limbs were collected after harvesting managed forests in the Pacific Northwest and produced by Washington State University’s Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance. The flight used 1080 gallons of the biofuel, according to the airline. The flight carried 163 passengers, including three members of Washington State’s congressional delegation on a Boeing 737. As of early October, 66 nations representing more than 85% of international aviation activity had pledged to take part in a global market-based measure to reduce aviation emissions.