When the world is grappling with the twin challenges of Forest degradation and looming climate change the crying need of sustainable wood-utilization holds great relevance in developing countries like India. This concern gets more accentuated as Wood is reiterated as the most carbon-neutral material with ever-growing demand for furniture, interiors, structures and constructions. The crux of the matter is to replace wood with wood without depleting the Natural Resources.
The Indian Plywood Industries Research & Training Institute (IPIRTI) is a premier institution in South Asia committed to research, training and global outreach on plywood and other panel products. Since the year 1962, IPIRTI has been closely associated with the development of wood panel industry in the country virtually from its infant stage. In the face of acute forest degradation, the Institute has shifted focus to the thrust area of conservation of natural forests through development and adoption of green technologies in the field of wood alternatives and panel products from plantation timbers and other non-traditional renewable bio-fibres such as bamboo, rubber wood and agro-wastes. An unique aspect of research and development work at the Institute is upscaling the lab findings to industrial level in order to facilitate quick adoption by the Industries. With the recent addition of a number of specialized equipments and facilities, the Institute has obtained the core competence and expertise to handle technological challenges in panel products. Besides its reputation evokes confidence in the Industries to sponsor regular flow of projects in areas of concern. The Institute is also open to reorient itself to the varying needs of Society and Country at large on Science & Technology, Environment & Forests.
Efficient utilization of the dwindling wood resources calls for an ever widening range of technical skills for manufacture of composites. The Institute meets the skilled manpower needs of the panel industry through tailor-made training programmes including holistic One Year Post-Graduate Diploma Course in Wood and Panel Products Technology. IPIRTI encourages academic exchange of the scientists with national and international institutes for mutual benefits and long term linkages.
The Institute is lauded for high quality facilities in Testing and Standardization of wood products and composites as recognized by Bureau of Indian Standards. The testing labs in the Institute have NABL accreditation for Testing and Evaluation of Wood Composites in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025:2005.
The real strength of IPIRTI lies in its strong bondings with the cluster of Panel Industries in the country which are bolstered by periodic IPIRTI-Industry meets in pan-Indian context. This makes the Institute entirely demand driven with sharp focus on the Industry at large.
Needless to say the crux of the technologies developed is sustainable i.e. environmentally benign, cost effective and socially acceptable. Some of the important thrust areas recently identified are:
i) Wood alternatives - from Bamboo, Agro and Forest residues.
ii) Utilization of plantation timber for higher grade Panels, Particle Board Medium Density Fiber Board (MDF) and Oriented Strand Board.
iii) Bio- adhesive and non-formaldehyde adhesives
iv) Wood products resistant to fire, weathering, soil contact, sea water, radiation etc.
v) Disaster resistant & luxury resort houses from naturally occurring, renewable material.
vi) High density lumber products from wood to replace metal beam.
vii) Capacity utilization of Bamboo for high end products especially in North-East India.
viii) Wood plastic composite for packaging including food items
We strongly believe in working as a team and our programmes & activities are guided by long term Vision and Core values. We always look forward to new opportunities and working hand in hand.
Dr. B. N. Mohanty, IFS