Panel Briefs July/August 2003

Panel/Modular Tour A Success
Based in Fishkill, NY, this year’s BSC Panel and Modular tour was regarded as success, with attendees visiting PDJ Components, Signature Building Systems, Simplex Industries, Chelsea Modular Homes, Northeast Panel & Trust, and Superior Walls.

BCMC Oct. 8-10 In Phoenix
Mark your calendars for Oct. 8-10th. That’s when The Building Component Manufacturers Conference (BCMC) will be held at the Phoenix Civic Plaza in Phoenix, AZ.

BCMC is the premier tradeshow for the structural building component manufacturing industry and provides the venue for the largest gathering of component manufacturers in the world. This year’s show, “Navigating Your Future – New Frontiers,â€? promises to expand attendees’ knowledge about this rapidly growing and changing industry.

BCMC will feature a number of educational programs including breakout sessions divided into three tracks. These tracks, led by knowledgeable industry representatives, will share ideas and information on personnel, insurance, safety, business growth opportunities, wall panels and much more.

The presentations will kick-off with Brad Sherwood, a regular performer on ABC’s Whose Line Is It Anyway and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and other television programs including The Drew Carey Show and LA Law. Gary Garcynski, the 2002 President for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) will be the keynote speaker. This year’s economic forecast will be given by NAHB’s Assistant Staff Vice President and Director of Forecasting, Stanley Duobinis.

Show organizers are anticipating over 2,200 attendees and more than 120 exhibitors at this year’s event. Attendees at the 2003 show will be eligible for a number of prizes including $500 cash, which will be raffled-off during open exhibit hours. This year’s grand prize give-away is courtesy of Lakeside Trailer Company. The winner will receive an entire year’s use of a 2004 model, 42’-60’ x 8’6â€? J.D.H. Trussmaster Stretch Roll-Off trailer with sliding tandems, a hydraulic front-end and controllable rollers with remote floor. In addition to these scheduled events, the Carbeck Structural Component Institute (CSCI) will sponsor live and silent auctions at the show. Anyone wishing to donate auction items may contact Kelli Gabel at 608/268-1161 (x128).

Details on the show please visit the BCMC website at or call BCMC at 608/268-1161 (x9).

OSB Makers Eye Industrial Market
The industrial market, which only accounts for around 2% of North American oriented strand board (OSB) production, has never been targeted as a potentially larger market for OSB. Until now, that is. Made up of wood strands aligned lengthwise and crosswise in different layers for structural strength and rigidity, OSB has captured about 75% of the North American home construction market for floor, wall and ceiling panels. Most OSB production, about three-fourths of the total of 23 billion square feet – 3/8-inch basis, continues to be driven by new housing starts.

OSB makers will continue to supply the residential market with large quantities of sheathing. Specialty products, such as heavy-duty flooring panels, radiant panels, structural insulated panels, rimboards and I-joist webs, will also play a larger role to maintain and increase residential market share. But there is a limit to how much more OSB can be supplied for new home construction, which is why manufacturers are looking to new markets.

The next two largest markets for OSB are remodeling and renovation, which account for just under 15% of production, and non-residential (panels for factories, office buildings, hospitals, government buildings, and military bases), which makes up close to 10%. The industrial market is the smallest North American structural panel market for OSB. Conversely, it is the largest for plywood, accounting for more than one third of total plywood production.

“The industrial market will be a larger target market for OSB because it is the least-penetrated,â€? says Mark Angelini, president and CEO of the Structural Board Association, an industry association representing major structural panel manufacturers. “Although a relatively small market now for OSB, it is likely to have the largest upside potential down the road.â€?

It won’t be easy. “The low-hanging fruit has already been taken,â€? says Al Schuler, a research economist at the United States Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, referring to the commodity-sheathing market that OSB has captured. “OSB will be going after much tougher areas to capture in the industrial market.â€?

Schuler points out that unlike the residential market where panels are graded according to industry-recognized performance standards, the industrial market has no such grading system. “Each company ordering industrial panels will seek specific performance requirements of its own that will be more difficult to satisfy than industry-recognized certified standards.â€?

However, Schuler points out that the quality of OSB panels will continue to improve with mills using continuous press technology, resulting “in a more consistent panel with a higher density profile needed for industrial applications.â€?

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