The Siempelkamp Group is a globally active technology supplier for machinery and engineering plant, foundry technology, engineering and services with a long-lasting history dating back to 1883, when the company was founded by Mr. Gerhard Siempelkamp. Siempelkamp’s machine and plant engineering division is a major systems supplier of press lines and complete plants for the wood-based panel industry, the metal forming industry as well as the composite and rubber industry. Well-known subsidiaries include Büttner, CMC Texpan, Pallmann, Strothmann and Sicoplan. Siempelkamp Giesserei is one of the world’s largest hand-molding foundries producing castings with a weight of up to 320 t (353 US tons). Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? SIEMPELKAMP: The planning, developing and commissioning of complete wood-based panel production plants is one of our core competencies. This makes us basically the “one-stop-shop” supplier in the wood-based panel production. We develop an individual plant concept for each customer and make use of modern tools and processes in order to guarantee our customers an on-time production start-up. Depending on the development level of our customers – some of them try to enter the market and establish themselves from scratch – we also develop completely new processes with them. The United States is the twelfth largest rice producer in the world – ideal for using rice straw for board production. E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about new products? SIEMPELKAMP: The use of alternative raw materials to manufacture panel products is a big focus and can be seen in several of Siempelkamp’s projects. The raw material source – wood – is becoming scarcer and we have to think about recycling wood and focus on alternative materials like rice-straw and others. E.E: What are the ranges of products? SIEMPELKAMP: Siempelkamp supplies wood-based panel plants for chipboard, MDF, OSB or wood fibre insulation panels according to the principle “Everything from one source”. Our unique selling point is the mapping of the entire production process for wood-based panels, starting with wood preparation and size reduction, storage, classification by gravimetric separation or screening technology, pneumatic and mechanical conveying technology, drying technology, a variety of gluing systems, forming and press lines and coating. E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? SIEMPELKAMP: When we talk about our focus market, the wood-based materials industry, we are experiencing some tendencies: Digital solutions for more efficiency, transparency, safety and profit are becoming increasingly important. 3D Planning and Engineering – virtual works are an important part in our planning process of a plant. Remote commissioning is another innovation: This concept is particularly relevant in the current times when travel activities are restricted due to Corona. Certain phases of commissioning can thus be supported remotely. In this way, we can support plant operators quickly and safely – and the plant supervisor can track all activities that take place during a remote maintenance session at any time. We are thus meeting a major need in the market. Of course, the shortage of raw materials and the consequences of climate change in many parts of the world are also important aspects that we address with our research and development – and our machines and technologies. Wood-based panel plant made by Siempelkamp: forming and press line E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? SIEMPELKAMP: We have recently launched our future-oriented digital platform – explore.siempelkamp.com – that highlights the most important trends in the wood-based panel industry: alternative raw materials, digitalization, one-stop-shop. Visitors can pre-register for the upcoming content. The platform will present the first exciting content elements from July 1st. Focusing on the topics of sustainability, digitalization and our core competence of planning, developing and commissioning complete plants – thus making us the “one-stop-shop” supplier in the wood-based panel production. We consider exploreSiempelkamp as an invitation to customers and other stakeholders to explore our company in a completely new way. Various, interactive forms of content such as expert talks on exciting topics like alternative raw materials, or inspiring guest features from leading players on digitalization trends in video format are just two examples of what you can expect to find on the platform. We will visualize our products and technologies in virtual reality. To do this, we use design data from engineering and transfer them to a platform that enables us to display our machines and systems in an interactive 3D format – even in life-size. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? SIEMPELKAMP: Our innovative concepts for processing annual plants meet the needs of our customers. Siempelkamp planned, designed and supplied the entire machine technology for the CalAg, LLC/CalPlant 1 in Willows, California, which utilizes rice straw to make fibreboard of 2-30mm thickness. In February, 2020, Wood Technology Co (WOTECH) placed a milestone project in Egypt. The order for an MDF plant with an annual production capacity of 205,000m3 will process rice straw as raw material for board production. Siempelkamp Headquarters, Krefeld / Germany E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021? SIEMPELKAMP: Especially for the wood-based panel industry we see some challenges. We have recognized the incredible potential of annual plants early on and focus on conducting research in close collaboration with ambitious producers of wood-based materials. Service is also becoming increasingly important. Siempelkamp Logistics & Service, a company of the Siempelkamp Group, provides support for machinery and plants throughout their entire life cycle. For our customers this means: solutions that optimize process runs, raise efficiency, lower operating costs and safeguard future viability.