This Amazing Industry and Its Amazing Future
–Al E. Bavry, President Emeritus, Kimal Lumber
So, we’re about to experience trucks and cars going by us with no driver! Hamburgers with no “meat” but cook them up medium rare…and they “bleed” a little just like the real thing! They taste good and are “healthy!” Want a quick 6-pound delivery from your local office supply store?… Forty-five minutes later a drone drops it at your office front door. Just a few of the futuristic things that are here or almost here…
Now that the “future” in many ways is here…When was the last time you took the real “pulse” of our industry? I was reading the other day about an engineered “twisted” wood tower built in Germany. Seems they were able to figure out, starting with an exact beginning moisture content, and the direction/structure of the grain of the wood, just how that wood would turn…as it dried. They were able to put this tower together to “twist” exactly a certain way. And continuing with wood, and engineered wood…Seems the high rises they’re building around the world are getting taller and taller…Some with a unique marriage of steel, concrete, and composites–but still substantially wood! And I read about an engineered wood product the other day that will always stay eleven degrees cooler in use than other related products…Just the way they’ve rearranged grain, adhesives, coating, cellular structure, etc. And we’re all aware of some of the “Heat Modified” wood products that are just about totally stable, and “bugs” won’t eat it!! A last example: A couple of years ago, I was shown a type of engineered cambered bamboo beam, that literally had more strength than a like piece of steel! Just keeps getting better…
I’ve always loved to learn about futuristic marvels, but I think we’re now in an era that is unlike any we’ve seen. The things I’m describing above are not vague dreams or ideas…Many are here today and becoming cost-effective and practical to use! And here’s the really good news. Those darn trees. They just keep growing and we keep replanting our plantation forests…Talk about aiding and helping the “GREEN” revolution! All over the world! Wow! Talk about sustainability at its finest! And last year a “stat” showed that we are still re-planting plantation forests at around seventy percent over what we would harvest. No, we can’t take every new product or “almost here” product and run with it…But attempting to keep up with at least a fair share of what’s going on is very exciting.
My parting shot on our industry: It’s sort of like going into this fresh snowfield… With no tracks…Which we’ll now be making…Our way. Great time to be alive in this business.