Australian Solar Timbers, a proud and successful member of the North Coast Hardwood Industry

medium_Image AST for FOCUS July 2014.jpg Australian Solar Timbers, located at West Kempsey at the centre of the the north coast hardwood industry, is just a few years away from celebrating its 100th year anniversary, joining other industry stalwarts such as Machins Sawmill at Wingham and AE Gibson at Kendall.

Innovation and a commitment to greener processing methods have assisted AST to be recognised as one of the leading hardwood manufacturers throughout Australia.

The AST mill was first established in 1919 by two Anzac soldiers, Stan Ball and Douglas Oakley who set about establishing a succession of small NSW North Coast sawmills concentrating on the harvesting of brushwood timbers.

Over the years significant innovation has occurred, guided by Managing Director Douglas Head, particularly with the introduction of greenhouse friendly solar drying kilns. Roy Head, Sales Manager at AST believes AST is now the largest user of solar kilns in the world.

"Effectively", said Roy Head, "the use of solar kilns reduces our reliance on non-renewable energy sources. It also produces a superior product as the drying process is slower".

In recent years AST has also pioneered the use of more efficient processing , diamond tooling and computerised log scanning (the subject of an earlier News article in this column).

Today AST is one of the top floor manufacturers in Australia and maintains a national distribution system for its products. "New growth is anticipated in what has been a very challenging operating environment over the last 10 years and we are looking forward to the future with great confidence" said Mr Head. AST's impressive website can be found at the following link:AST