Akhurst Machinery is pleased to announce the addition of a new branch in Anaheim, California, which will support the growing customer base serviced by Akhurst and its subsidiary divisions of Cantek and Leadermac. This location will offer a fully operational demonstration showroom and a warehouse for machine inventory. The company is adding additional sales and service personnel to support their customer’s prompt and reliable local service needs.

Akhurst is one of the largest independent machinery importers and distributors in the wood industry. They are a fourth-generation, family-owned business with a proud history spanning over eight decades.

Akhurst Machinery – Building trust. Creating together.


Toppan, a global leader in communication, security, packaging, décor materials, and electronics solutions, has developed a thin, card-sized temperature logger label that enables temperature to be measured and recorded at regular intervals and data to be sent to a database via wireless networks.

When attached to freight, Toppan’s temperature logger label automatically records the surface temperature at an interval set by the shipper. Two frequency bands are available: UHF, which facilitates communication over relatively long distances of about five meters, and NFC, which is becoming increasingly incorporated into smartphones. Log data (record of date, time, temperature, etc.) from shipment to final destination or a given point on the route, which is read using a dedicated app, and traceability data from the reading location are sent to a cloud-based management system to facilitate chronological tracking and management of temperature changes during transportation.

Toppan’s temperature logger label is equipped with a single-use battery and adopts a simple structure without a terminal for data downloading or a display. Toppan therefore plans to supply it at less than one-tenth of the cost of existing temperature logger devices.

The label was used as a tool to measure and record the surface temperature of container boxes during a pilot test conducted between October 2021 and March 2022, which involved transporting Japanese sake from major breweries in Japan to cold storage facilities in China. Sales of the temperature logger label are scheduled to be launched in June this year.

In contrast to general logistics, long-distance transportation of food requires strict temperature management. Fresh products such as meat, fish, and vegetables as well as chilled items such as dairy products and prepared foods need to be transported at specific temperatures set for each product to maintain freshness and prevent quality deterioration.

Temperature logger devices that measure and record temperature at fixed intervals are widely available as tools to manage temperature during transportation. Prices ranging from tens to hundreds of dollars per unit, however, mean that attaching them to every container is costly, and the workload for their recovery after use has also presented an obstacle to their adoption. This has led to increased demand for low cost temperature loggers suitable for one-way use that do not need to be recovered in scenarios requiring temperature management over long-distances, such as international shipping.

Features of Toppan’s temperature logger label

Simple structure and functions allow for a price that is less than one tenth of existing products

The structure and functions of the label have been made simple. It features an IC chip with a temperature sensor and a single-use battery, and a smartphone app is used to adjust settings. As a result, the price is less than one tenth that of existing temperature logger devices that include a control panel and assume replacement of the battery. This enables the label to be used in new ways, such as recording individual temperature changes of every container and one-way usage in which labels are not recovered after shipment is complete.

Measurement interval between one second and 60 minutes and timer function for start of measurement

The interval for temperature measurement can be selected from 22 options, ranging from once a second to once every 60 minutes. If the interval is set at 60 minutes, history of temperature changes over six months can be recorded. A function to set a timer for the start of measurement helps to alleviate the human workload by reducing time spent performing tasks inside cold storage facilities.

Information recorded more than 38,000 times when measuring “temperature range”

Three temperature measurement modes are available. The “regular mode” records temperature and the date and time of the measurement on the IC chip. With “compressed mode,” only the information on temperature is recorded and the date and time is added on the management system after the data is read. Toppan has also introduced a “limited mode,” which only records the “temperature range classification,” such as “ambient temperature,” “chilled,” or “frozen.” The limited mode allows the number of times information is recorded to be eightfold that of the regular mode.

Dedicated app for data reading and cloud-based system for managing temperature records

Toppan has enabled an integrated solution by developing a dedicated app to read the data saved in temperature logger labels and a cloud-based management system that makes records of temperature visible. The system is equipped with a series of features essential for temperature management during long-distance transportation, including an authentication function that prevents unauthorized access to temperature logger labels and a traceability function for managing the status of items being shipped.

“This solution dramatically reduces the cost of managing and visualizing temperature during long-haul transportation,” said Takamitsu Nakabayashi, senior R&D manager in Toppan’s security business. “The lower price of individual temperature logger labels means that the number used can be increased to facilitate more detailed and accurate measurement. The solution is also easy to introduce because labels can be read with smartphones, expanding the scope of quality control to a wider array of settings. Going forward, we will also combine it with our existing ID authentication platform to deliver an end-to-end service for optimizing the entire supply chain, including elements such as product verification, traceability, and enhancement of customer touchpoints.”

A team of students and faculty at Virginia Tech has completed an innovative observation tower in rural Virginia. The design and delivery of the project saw the development and certification of a new custom timber product, off-site prefabrication, and the discovery of the ruins of a historic building, according to the School of Architecture + Design at Virginia Tech.

The New River Train Observation Tower project was delivered to the city of Radford, Virginia, according to the school’s Sustainable Biomaterials website.

In 2018, the city of Radford, Va., commissioned Virginia Tech to design and build a train observation tower that would create publicly accessible views over the city’s New River and a historically significant railroad bridge. With a budget of $100,000, the city requested that the tower use clean-tech, low-carbon building products to showcase the city’s transition away from its industrial past.

The student/faculty team initially sought to construct the tower from cross-laminated timber (CLT) due to its durability, aesthetic, and sustainable credentials relative to other structural materials such as concrete and steel. On further inspection, however, the team determined that the carbon cost to ship industrially-produced CLT panels to the site was too high, leading them to explore how the tower could be constructed of locally-sourced raw materials.

The team subsequently developed a custom hardwood cross-laminated timber (HCLT) product using Yellow Poplar lumber regionally sourced and upcycled from local, abundant, hardwood-dominant forests within a 200-mile radius of the site. Beginning from a lab sample, the team developed 5×10-foot high-strength panels for use on the project. In line with building codes, the team also secured performance-based certification for the new product, which saw the team collect and submit data relating to its structural and moisture-related performance, and its susceptibility to UV, fungal, and insect degradation.

According to Archinect.com, the resulting tower was designed as two modular 10×15-foot HCLT cubes bisected by a public walkway. Beginning at ground level, the walkway cantilevers over the steep, sloping site to a height of 20 feet. Due to the complex site conditions, including the ruins of a Civil-war era building discovered under the project’s foundations during construction, the two HCLT modules were entirely prefabricated before being craned into place on-site.

Measuring 75 feet long and 30 feet high, the tower is the first permanent building in the world to use modular HCLT construction, and the first permanent, HCLT building permitted in the United States, according to the team. The project is also a rare example of an exterior-exposed structure made from laminated hardwood. To ensure water tightness, each screw hole in the exterior was sealed with liquid wax, while the entire exterior envelope was coated in linseed oil and natural pine tar mix to protect it from UV, heat, and moisture damage.

ARAUCO, North America’s leading manufacturer of composite wood panels, announced today that it will invest $20 million to expand its Thermally Fused Lamination (TFL) operations at its state-of-the-art particleboard mill in Grayling, Michigan.

The new lamination line will be ARAUCO’s third TFL line at Grayling and will increase the mill’s lamination capacity more than 50% in support of the Prism TFL decorative surface product offering. The new line is expected to be commissioned and operational in late 2023.

“We are excited to continue investing in Crawford County and our Grayling Operations. This investment further highlights our commitment to better serve the needs of our North American customers through value-add products,” said Pablo Franzini, president of ARAUCO North America.

ARAUCO is a global manufacturer of forest products, including the industry’s most comprehensive selection of composite panels, millwork, premium plywood, lumber and wood pulp. With roots in sustainable forestry and innovative product development, ARAUCO brings more than a half-century of manufacturing and supply chain excellence to the North American market. The company delivers through 22 ports and ships to more than 3,500 destinations throughout North America.

The MJB leadership team is spending time in Golden, CO meeting with board members and owners from the Coors Family. This meeting allows our team to get together and converse about industry and company projections, technology, marketing, and future plans for MJB, as well as spend time connecting with VPs and Directors from other segments of the company, ensuring synergy through 2022 and beyond.

Our team visited the Coors Brewery and CoorsTek between meetings while in Colorado.

This annual meeting helps align all facets of MJB, by stating company-wide goals and providing information on each department’s status and projections.

The Composite Panel Association’s recent spring meeting received high marks from the roughly 300 attendees representing nearly 110 companies who traveled to Orange County, California, following two years of virtual sessions.

The event, held May 1-3 at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa in Dana Point, featured:

  • Regulatory, policy and climate change updates
  • Presentations by Brian Beaulieu, CEO and chief economist for ITR Economics, and John McDonald, CEO of cabinet manufacturer Semihandmade
  • Committee and board meetings
  • Table-top exhibits
  • Golf
  • And—most welcome of all—vast opportunities for in-person networking.

Among the more significant reveals, CPA shared that it has been involved in a study to assess the life cycle and carbon footprint of composite wood panels. Results show 50% of carbon is sequestered in the product for 50 years. In addition, CPA members have been recycling materials for over 60 years.

CPA also presented several awards at the meeting. Will Warberg, formerly with Weyerhaeuser/Plum Creek in Montana, received the annual Brock R. Landry Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the composite panel industry.

Other honorees included:

  • West Fraser WestPine MDF in Quesnel, British Columbia–Long-Term Safety and Annual Safety awards
  • Florida Plywoods in Greenville, Florida–Safety Improvement Award
  • Roseburg in El Dorado, Arkansas–Safety Achievement Award
  • Arauco in Malvern, Arkansas– Safety Achievement Award

CPA’s fall meeting is set for Sept. 11-13 at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in Montreal, Quebec. Visit www.compositepanel.org for more information.



Akhurst Machinery is pleased to announce the addition of a new branch in Anaheim, California, which will support the growing customer base serviced by Akhurst and its subsidiary divisions of Cantek and Leadermac.



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