GUEST COMMENTATOR Issue 91
We invited Eric Gee, executive director of the Southern Forest Products Association, to give the low down on USA’s biggest forest products machinery and manufacturing show this year: The Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition.
Do you want to be at the center of the forest products community? Are you ready to see how adaptive technology is influencing manufacturing decisions? Is your company part of the new manufacturing age at this critical moment for the industry?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, don’t second-guess attending the 37th Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition. It’s the place to network with leading equipment manufacturing companies and industry professionals as they develop and share technologies, which adapt to new markets, adjust quickly to increased demand, and bolster operations for the future.
EXPO 2023, set for August 23-25, 2023, in Nashville will provide you with solutions for nearly every stage of manufacturing. From raw material handling to crane operations; metal detection and scanning technologies; log optimization, drying, grading, sorting, packaging, and distribution, there’s an exhibiting company representative on site to explore these solutions with you face to face.
Make no mistake, this new era of work has arrived. An era of connected systems, responsive manufacturing, and innovative technologies – it will all be under a single roof at EXPO 2023.
A Connected Community
The Southern Forest Products Association established EXPO to help advance the southern pine and greater lumber industry and provide a forum for the exchange of ideas contributing to improved sawmill efficiency. As the industry has become more efficient, typical EXPO attendees have evolved to include:
- key decision makers who control major purchasing budgets,
- mill supervisors looking to improve efficiency,
- marketing experts seeking promotional vision,
- young professionals making tomorrow’s decisions.
The three-day show provides a place to connect and reconnect with colleagues, discover new trends, and explore opportunities. Both firsttime and returning attendees alike play a vital role in the continued progress of the lumber industry. Each exhibiting company has contributed to the industry’s success throughout the years, and attendees will find the EXPO 2023 halls decked out with dynamic displays showcasing the latest in wood processing technology.
More importantly, EXPO provides a place where in-person meetings are valued over emails and phone calls; where a handshake and a smile between colleagues communicate genuine respect; and where sharing ideas is best accomplished face-to-face.
EXPO: A History of Innovation
On April 19, 1950, leaders from across the southern lumber manufacturing region gathered in New Orleans to open the first North American equipment trade event dedicated to improving lumber manufacturing.
More than 500 lumbermen attended and witnessed $1 million of equipment on display at the inaugural Logging and Sawmill Machinery Exposition (EXPO) held at the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans.
A Place for Softwoods and Hardwoods
While the sawmill machinery show originated from leaders looking for a way to improve softwood lumber production, today’s EXPO showcases machinery and equipment for hardwood and softwood sawmills.
“Without a doubt, the hardwood lumber industry has long been represented at this show,” said SFPA Executive Director Eric Gee. “People come to EXPO with an exploration mindset, looking for opportunities to invest in their operations.”
A long list of manufacturers serving the hardwood industry have had a stalwart presence in EXPO for many years, including, but not limited to, companies like Corley Manufacturing, Oleson Saw, SII Dry Kilns, McDonough Manufacturing, TS Manufacturing, and Wood-Mizer.
Why Nashville in 2023?
It had been more than 10 years since EXPO had visited a city other than Atlanta, and EXPO attendee and exhibitor surveys showed it was time for a change. With that information in hand, more than 17 cities were examined as the next host city. In the end, Nashville was selected for several factors, but, most importantly, Nashville is positioned smack in the middle of the forest action.
The surrounding areas, including the Eastern U.S. hardwood community, represent 42% of all lumber manufactured in the United States. And in case you’re curious, Nashville is within easy driving distance for 35% of Southern Pine sawmills and 73% of hardwood sawmills. That’s just a four-hour drive from more than half of Southern sawmills!
With 766 million acres, forests comprise more than one-third of the entire U.S. landscape. Annually producing more than $100 billion in forest products, the South’s variety of tree species and yearlong harvesting make the region a first choice for mills that rely on an available, affordable supply of sustainable wood products – and Nashville is right in the center of it all.
EXPO 2023 will be held at the Music City Center in downtown Nashville. Located in the middle of all the action, the MCC is the perfect home base for a fun-filled visit to Nashville. You’ll experience a modern business atmosphere in the new state-ofthe-art facility surrounded by a thriving culinary, music, sports, and cultural scene, including the Country Music Hall of Fame, the historic Ryman Auditorium, and the always fun and famous honky tonks – all within walking distance!
It’s Time to Get Down to Business; Face-To-Face is Back
The forest products manufacturing community knows EXPO is the place to get up close to the materials, resources, equipment, and technology they need now. With more than 50,000 square feet of displays, you’ll connect with the best professionals in the business.
For nearly 70 years, this associationsponsored trade event has successfully connected the lumber manufacturing community. EXPO has a longstanding reputation as the place where connections are formed, relationships are strengthened, and deals are closed.
What are you waiting for? Plan your experience today at sfpaexpo.com!