The Talk of Town, Perambavoor, Kerala

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#TheTalkofTown, Perumbavoor, Kerala

#TheTalkOfTown – a forum to channelize meaningful conversations and talks recently reached Kerala. The forum’s latest seminar was held in Perumbavoor, a small town known as plywood manufacturing hub in Asia, in collaboration with Ply Reporter Magazine, India’s leading magazine on wood panel industry and trade on May 11, 2018 at the Whispering Waters Resort, Ernakulam located in lap of nature beauty.

The key theme for the seminar remained as:“Market Acceptance of New Face Veneer & Future of Plywood Industry”. The distinguished speakers were Dr. S.K. Nath, Retd. Jt. Director, IPIRTI, Mr. Sanidhya Mittal, Executive Director, Greenply Industries Ltd, Mr Jose Chako, Senior Vice President, AIPMA and Managing Director of Delta Plywood, Mr. M.M. Mujeeb, President, AKPBMA & SOPMA and Mr. Pragath Dvivedi, Founder, Ply Reporter Magazine. The entire event was moderated by Mr. Rajiv Parashar, Managing Editor, Ply Reporter magazine.

Technical experts from Greenply such as Mr. Girish Sharma, Mr. Praveen Choudhary along with Mr Ashok Kumar Singhi presented the latest innovation and R&D of dipping technology for using Okume Face Veneers for Plywood manufacturing. This dipping technique assured the change of finished plywood color same alike Gurjan face without affecting quality, bonding and other strength properties.

More than 250 ply-boards manufacturers from Perumbavoor, Aluva, Calicut, Kannur, Mangalore, Bangalore etc attended the event. They all appreciated the effort of Ply Reporter for organizing such a knowledge based seminar.

The event acted as a great industry update as well as a learning experience for the experts and the aspirants of the industry, alike. The seminar was held in association with All Kerala Ply Board Manufacturers Association (AKPBMA), Sawmill Owners & Plywood Manufacturers Association (SOPMA) and Greenply Ind. Ltd.

Mr. Jose Chako delivered welcome speech and also briefed about the agenda of this seminar. He said, “the input cost is going up hence we should adopt new face veneer to control the cost and Okume Face Veneer is suitable choice in present time”.

In his inaugural speech Mr. MM Mujeeb thanked The Ply Reporter and Greenply Industries for organizing such knowledge based seminar in Kerala, and hope that it would help the industry in future. He also sought for sustainable pricing of Okume Face Veneer in future once the entire industry switched over their production on this veneer.

Mr. Sanidhya Mittal, Executive Director, Greenply Industries attended the event all the way from Kolkata. While speaking on stage he said: “All of you know that Gabon has over 80% of forest cover and has sustainable forest management policies and the availability of Okume logs is abundant. The availability and the practices at the Gabon are such that the prices of timber will always be in control. Thus, we promise you that we will never increase the prices. We are here to do fair business and we always do fair business. At Greenply, to control our costs, to be competitive in the market we switched over to entire plywood production on Okume Face Veneer”, said Mittal.

“Through this seminar (3rd Seminar after Yamunanagar and Bareilly) partnered with Ply Reporter Magazine, we share our technical R & D and knowledge with everyone. Now since we are sitting here in Kerala, if we look at raw material prices along with chemical prices – everything is going up in this region. So plywood manufactured in Kerala should be competitive – and this Okume Face Veneer is the best option”, he added.

“Hence I would invite all of you to visit our factory and see the process of dipping technology developed by us and samples of finished products. We have our technical team available who will be happy to assist you”, concluded Mittal.

“Dr. S K Nath, Rtrd Joint Director, IPIRTI, was also there at the event and said” You can not hope for the future that wood prices, chemical, electricity, manpower and fuel cost will come down, so who will survive? Definitely this is the technological innovation, by which you can make,”.

“I have worked with some good industries, they invited me to work, and I can tell you with full guarantee that you can convert upto 98% from the A grade material given any sort of product – any kind of plywood, if you properly utilize the technology” Dr. Nath added.

“My suggestion is when you run a factory, make the system that it has PROCESS ORIENTED NOT HUMAN ORIENTED. You just go with a system, whoever comes to work just show him the system. Machine will not cheat you. Everybody cannot build up that infrastructure. But in a small way this is, definitely possible”, he suggested.

“Now, come to the subject of the seminar that how to overcome the challenges to reduce the face veneer cost for plywood making. With technological development, the time has come when we should shift from the conventional face veneer (Gurjan) to Okume face veneer. Today GreenPly has come to accept it, tomorrow any of you can be go to accept. Okume face veneer is suitable option without harming the bonding and quality of plywood” he concluded.

Founder of Ply Reporter Magazine Mr.Pragath Dvivedi shared his experience in the industry and said: “When I understood how the wood is needed to contribute to save the environment. I learned during my study in IPIRTI that how plywood saves forest and that made me very thoughtful about taking plywood industry as a career”.

“In last 6 years, I’ve seen in Kerala, advancement, development, people have started manufacturing quality plywood with mix of timber, with treatment. Perambavoor is famous among market for manufacturing affordable plywood” he said.

“Now come to the agenda of this seminar about Market Acceptance of New Face Veneer and Future of Plywood Industry, as you know that with increasing prices of Gurjan Face Veneer, now the input cost of Face veneer is contributing 21%, which was earlier 7-8 % means increase of three times during last 2 years. The Ply Reporter thought of spreading this awareness among industry that how to reduce the cost of face veneer without affecting the strength and quality of plywood” expressed Dvivedi.

“I have seen in market that Okume face plywood is 2% cheaper than Gurjan. But if you calculate the price of face veneer wrt to plywood price, you are still safe if you use Okume face veneer. In face veneer, the imported face from any place is high but when we use Okume, we calculate the cost after this process, I saw in Greenply after treatment, the costing reduces. The color is same. In many places we did survey and we found that if you are dipping and treating it well, they are not able to really identify the difference. When I visited Greenply, I was impressed that the entire range in Plywood was being manufactured by Okume face,” he added.

“In last 25 days many people have tried to change the color with new technology introduced by Greenply. Many of the people are calling and telling us that with Okume face, our plywood rates would come down, but once it is accepted, we can save huge money. Okume face costs 7 to 8 % but with Gurjan it costs 21 %, so we would improve our margin if we pass some part of cost to market as well. From that calculation, they have tried and adopted there, and we believe it will be good here also. For that reason the seminar was called” said Mr. Dvivedi finishing his speech.

The Panel discussion was very much interesting during the seminar, during this manufacturers and technical persons asked many queries of their doubts related to Okume Face Veneer such as bonding, strength, lamination, looks of finished product, dipping technique, grading, pricing, delivery time, sustainable availability of logs etc. Mr. Sanidhya Mittal, Mr. Jasveer Singh, CEO, GSEZ, Mr. MM Mujeeb and Mr. Jose Chako participated in Panel Discussion, which was well hosted by Mr. Pragath Dvivedi. Mr. Mittal assured the consistence price level, where as Mr. Jasveer Singh confirmed that Gabon can supply 17000 containers face veneer per annum, and having abundant availability of certified logs to fulfill India’s plywood industry demand. Mr. MM Mujeeb and Mr. Jose Chako queried about the technical aspect and sustainable supply of Okume face veneer. They also asked many questions on behalf of Kerala Plywood manufacturers.

Mr. Babu, Treasurer of Association Thanks all participants, Greenply, Ply Reporter magazine for organizing such a interactive seminar for the benefit of plywood industry and trade. The meeting was followed by dinner.