Mill Panel B. V.

Business Activities:

The origins of Mill Panel go back to 1908 when the Van Hout wooden shoe factory was first established in Mill. By 1913 the factory had developed into a sawmill, and it then went on to become a leading world-wide supplier of peeled and high-grade veneer. This in turn was the basis for a panel manufacturing department set up in 1971, and thirty years later in 2001, that department became the independent company of today known as Mill Panel BV. With 36 employees and an annual turnover of €8.7M, Mill Panel plays a major role in new technological developments in the world of sheeting materials. Their product is a sheeting material made with peeled and high-grade veneer. Other materials such as insulation foam, aluminium and cork are also incorporated into the panels. The strength of MILL lies in the innovative interests of the organisation. Research on new products is hugely important for maintaining their distinctive competitive advantage in knowledge and expertise. Mill Panel is currently paying a special attention on the development of environmentally-friendly panels.

Role in the project:

They will support the RTDs in the process for production of wood panels. They will validate the industrial viability of using the new bio-based resin in the production of plywood panels with formaldehyde emissions at natural wood level. Furthermore, they will work in close collaboration with FHG for the production of OSB, MDF and particleboard panels. They will provide information about the parameters affecting the process for production of wood panels: curing temperatures, optimal pressures, processing times. Moreover, again in close collaboration with FHG, they will validate the formaldehyde emissions of the new wood panels, their mechanical properties and humidity resistance. They will contribute in the integration and validation of the wood panel production at pilot scale in WP6. They will also participate in the dissemination and exploitation plans. MILL´s contribution to the project will be especially important in RTD activities regarding the wood panel production and characterization (WP1, WP5), validation (WP6), and dissemination (WP7).

Benefits Expected:

They will receive licenses under a royalty-free scheme from the SME-IAGs so they will be able to manufacture plywood panels using the new free-formaldehyde resin. This will allow them to overcome the current threats they are facing due to the more restrictive EU legislation concerning the use of formaldehyde in wood products. These new wood panels will comply with the upcoming imminent EU legislation, which will ban the use of formaldehyde. Moreover, the use of a bio-based resin for plywood production will allow facing the competitive threat associated with increased oil prices, which is jeopardizing their operational profits, thus helping to increase profit margins.