WDE Maspell is an Italian Company established in 1962 and owned by the Pagnozzi family, now at its third generation. WDE Maspell is well known worldwide and is considered as the ‘’inventor” of wood drying under vacuum. Over the years, the Company has registered 91 patents worldwide. In 2018 and 2019 WDE Maspell has been rewarded by the European Commission with two ’’Seal of Excellence’’ for TV4Newood, a project of Research and Development co-financed by the European Union for the study and realization of the ’’Thermo Vacuum System’’ (TVS), an innovative equipment for the thermal modification of the wood in vacuum environment.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

WDE MASPELL: The main business of WDE Maspell is the construction of equipment for the wood drying and the wood thermal modification, in vacuum environment. We take care of design, construction, sales, after-sale service. But what more distinguishes us, we are experts in drying and heat-treatment: it means that our customers can rely on us not only for the equipment, but also for the final, specific results they want to obtain.

E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about new products?

WDE MASPELL: We have recently presented a R&D project about an Energy Saving System to be applied to our vacuum dryers; if accepted, the project will be partially financed by a local Region Government Authority.

The objective of the Project is, starting from the company’s current know-how, to design, build, experiment and finally put into production a new type of vacuum dryer able to carry out:

  1. Energy recovery of the vaporization heat of the wood through the study and the realization of an innovative system that will allow to self-sustain without the need for an external source of thermal energy.
  2. Reduce emissions of water vapour emitted from wood during drying, by means of a suitable device also used for energy recovery.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

WDE MASPELL: PRESS (heating plates) – In this type of dryer, the heat is applied to the wood through heated aluminium plates.

AIR VENTILATION – In this type of dryer, the heat is applied to the wood through ventilation of air; the air is heated by heat exchangers (water or electricity) or by a double jacket system (water).

TVS – Thermo-Vacuum System – The system uses air ventilation technology to modify the characteristics of the wood, so increasing Durability and Dimensional Stability, changing colour, all odourless.

ETVS – Steamers for wood reconditioning, used to add some humidity to the wood when requested by the production needs.

PHYTO SANITAIRE treatment – Equipment for phytosanitary purposes.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

WDE MASPELL: The European Commission long-term strategic vision for a climate neutral economy by 2050 provides, among other topics, large investments in realistic technical solutions to reach this fundamental goal: one of the seven strategic building blocks is to fully utilize the benefits of the bioeconomy: inside bioeconomy, of course, wood usage has and will have a quite relevant role. Moreover, the Thermo-treated wood, more and more requested for external and internal purposes, will show a significant increase in the construction industry, gradually but inevitably replacing other materials. So, even if we can define our industry ‘’mature’’, we can also affirm that the market is still growing (it has even not been so much affected by the pandemic) and that the outlook for the next 5/7 years looks encouraging, even from the investment stand point.

The following few data (source: EOS – European Organisation of Sawmill Industry) will help to understand the vastness of the world of wood, which relates to the relative economic and social contribution of the sawmill industry alone in Europe:

  • 112 Million m3 of sawn timber per year (80% coniferous – 20% broad-leaved);
  • EUR 36 billion turnover;
  • 1 Euro of sawn wood induces 2,1 Euro of final products;
  • 250,000 persons employed in sawmills only;
  • 100 m3 of sawn wood induces 1 workplace (of which 24% direct, 76% induced).

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

WDE MASPELL: Again, market trends look to be oriented more and more on thermo treated wood equipment, rather than dryers: on the other hand, the market of thermo treated wood is relatively young, compared to the wood-drying one. The need of drying the wood was almost born together with the usage of the wood itself, while the thermo-treated wood has been used only over the last 20 years.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

WDE MASPELL: TVS – Thermo Vacuum System. Still today, even after 10 years from the first sale, TVS can be easily considered as an innovative product, because:

  • the market is pretty large and we expect to be only at the beginning of an enthusiastic period of sales;
  • most of sawmills, joineries, engineering companies are still discovering the advantages of this 100% green and economic product, together with the equipment able to produce it.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021?

WDE MASPELL: This is an easy answer: for 2021, we have already sold equipment equivalent to the 115% of our budget. It means that we need to furtherly increase our production capacity, so to be able to answer ‘’yes’’ to additional orders for 2021 delivery.