23, Feb 2024 -

Q & A with Andreas Maier of Nukor - Future-proofing the sawmilling and wood processing sector

Q & A with Andreas Maier of Nukor - Future-proofing the sawmilling and wood processing sector

December_2023_-_Q_A_with_Andreas_Maier_of_Nukor_1.jpgNukor's friendly sales and technical teams

 Nukor, like millions of forestry,  sawmilling and woodworking companies worldwide, is family-owned. Research by organisations like Deloitte, business schools and universities have found that common threads in these firms are family- and customer-centric values. WoodBiz Africa met with Andreas Maier, Nukor’s MD, to learn more.  

Andreas, Please tell us more About Nukor’s Values.
AM: I believe several factors contribute to the longevity of Nukor as a service company. Our family values of honesty, integrity, respect for everyone, listening and learning are woven into everything Nukor stands for. As a business, we include maintaining ethical business principles, institutional knowledge, knowledge of the local and international business environments, constant innovation, business continuity and absolute reliability.   Customer trust is built over time, and we value and are very proud of the relationships we have established with our customers. Rudeness, arrogance and dishonesty are not tolerated. Our customers know we understand their unique needs and rely on us to work with them and research and suggest cost-effective, practical and productive long-lasting solutions.  

When did you follow in your father’s footsteps?
AM: My father, Wolfgang, joined Nukor as a young technician from Linck in Germany in 1965. He decided to stay in South Africa. I completed my technical studies in Germany and gained vital factory and field experience at Linck and several European sawmilling and woodworking suppliers before joining the company in 1995. My father celebrated his 81st birthday in March this year; although “officially retired”, he is the chairman of the Nukor Group.  

How did it feel to join the company?
AM: It was a proud moment for me to join my father and Nukor's marketing and technical teams. It was also humbling to realise that for over 30 years, we supplied much of the technical infrastructure, boosting the competitiveness of South Africa's sawmills.  

Timber design competition how vital ss NuKor’s relationship with It principals?
AM: Our competitive edge is our expertise, backed by long-established international original equipment manufacturers. Sawmilling and woodworking machines are expensive investments; we choose our suppliers carefully. They must have a proven track record of manufacturing and supplying machines and equipment of unconditional quality. The relationship with our suppliers is one of mutual respect. Unreliable machines or a break in the supply chain negatively impact Nukor and our customers.  

What are NuKor’s solutions for sawmills?
AM: One of Nukor's core strengths is our impressive array of world-class machinery. Our design engineers and manufacturing teams specialise in identifying, designing, testing and standardising equipment that solves customer production problems.   We have solutions for every sawmill and chipping plant, from log yard, primary breakdown in the wetmill, stacking, kiln drying, and destacking to value-adding in the drymill. The solutions can be manually fed machines or state-of-the-art semi or fully automated and networked systems.   Several European suppliers have partnered with us for over 40 years, some even longer. I want to mention Linck, Valon Kone, Vollmer, the Weinig Group, Bruks Siwertell, EWD (Esterer), Weima, Lucas Mill, Z-Laser, Hildebrand, Mill Industria, Springer, TP Linddana and Merlin.   Our track record is impressive. For example, we have supplied over 220 new Linck framesaws since 1960, and over 50 turnkey project installations are still running. Vollmer and Z-Laser have been our technology partners for over 30 years, and we have worked with Weima for over 20 years.  

Are your customers following the worldwide shift to focus on their sustainability?
AM: Based on over 60 years of feedback and repeat business, I believe Nukor’s success is because our sales staff and technicians always try to help our customers get the maximum value from their resources as safely, profitably and with as little environmental impact as possible. It is the reason why we offer such an extensive range of equipment. Our customers rely on us to recommend and supply heavy-duty quality equipment that meets their market needs, the best returns on investment, and, yes, their sustainability.  

Can you describe how you do this?

AM: Over the years, we have, for example, installed new or used Dimter optimising saws and finger jointing systems at several medium and large sawmills and joinery manufacturers in South Africa. Finding one or more Weinig moulders at plants producing shelving, garden and lounge furniture, pallets, and mouldings is not unusual.   We have reliable suppliers of CNC machines, panel saws, beam saws, and edgebanders to large and small case goods and kitchen makers, shopfitters, and cut-and-edge companies. Of course, we also have a range of traditional cross-cut and rip saws, thicknessers, planers, routers, spindle moulders, and mortise and tenon machines.   We offer shredders, dust extractors and spark detectors for clean and safe working environments, laser machines for precision work, and laminating machines for enhancing product aesthetics.  

Do You have A message For new businesses and those that want to expand?

AM: Inflation and a struggling economy impact return on investment. We are committed to helping our customers find affordable solutions to get maximum value from their resources and markets. Whether you require machinery, technology, or expertise, Nukor is your go-to source for advice on tools to get you started, optimise your production, and become competitive.   We would like to thank our existing customers for their ongoing support and trust.

Source: WoodBiz Magazine

(Pages 39 - 40)

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