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Nordpan Pannelli in legno massiccio

Nordpan solid wood panels

Markus Prugger

Markus Prugger is President of the Board of Administration of Nordpan, a leading European firm in the production of solid wood panels.
Short Infos
Mono- and multi-layer panels
the marking standard CE EN 13986
- Single-ply panel
- Three-layer panel
- Five-layer panel
- Assembly panel
In this interview the chairman of this firm, based in the Puster Valley, explains the importance of research and development, of thinking “out of the box”, and of making good use of the knowledge and experience of committed and motivated employees.
Markus Prugger is President of the Board of Administration of Nordpan, a leading European firm in the production of solid wood panels.)
Mr. Prugger, Nordpan is a leading firm in the production of solid wood panels. How did this come about, and what were the decisive factors which allowed Nordpan to grow to its current size and fame?

The firm was founded by a group of timber entrepreneurs from the Puster Valley with the intention of making use of the residual materials from their production processes – wood chips, sawdust – to manufacture chipboard. However, in the 1990’s it no longer made sense, for a number of reasons, to continue to manufacture chipboard at our headquarters. We were thus obliged to come up with a completely new product, which presented us with quite a challenge. After a difficult start the business began to grow steadily, particularly because we were able to concentrate on our core brand values as part of the Rubner Group of companies. As quality leaders and timber specialists it is essential that we remain, passionate and confident, at the forefront of technology, breaking new ground. This is how we became the leading producer of natural wood panels in Europe. Above all it was our great good fortune that we were able to employ workers who wanted to undertake this frequently challenging but very successful journey with us

How important is research and innovation in your firm?

In South Tyrol, as in all mountainous regions, we have always had to “do things differently”, which has meant that we have had to “think differently” in our production processes. This is why we have now been running our own Engineering and Development Department for over 20 years, which deals exclusively with the construction of prototypes and product development. Needless to say we completely cover all tasks in mechanical as well as in electronic areas. It is only by adopting tailor-made solutions that we are able to manufacture more efficiently whilst conserving more raw materials than our competitors. Some of our solutions have even been patented, which is why our Research and Development Department is no mere innovation, but has been a natural concomitant of our business for years now.

What are the special features of Nordpan solid wood panels?

Twenty years ago as “newcomers” to the market we needed to make a mark for ourselves in particular in the quality of our surfaces and workmanship. Which is why we developed our so-called “wet cutting technique”. This allows us to process the raw material in a gentler manner whilst at the same time producing less waste. We have patented this process and so it remains unique in our sector. In addition we have established a completely different process for drying the raw wood in our production compared with traditional methods. This allows us to achieve a much higher degree of precision in stability and moisture content compared to other manufacturers.

You describe the Nordpan solid wood panels the “superior all-rounder”. What further application possibilities do you see in the future?

The current trend in timber construction is very much towards building more quickly using raw materials which are natural and which can be recycled at the end of their useful life. You will even find multi-storey buildings made of wood in large cities, as high density buildings made of lightweight yet stable and insulating materials such as wood are an increasingly attractive option in congested urban areas. Adding additional storeys, renovations, wooden floors – these are some of the many further possibilities. Solid wood panels find their use in all manner of production processes from furniture construction to infrared cabins. Of course there are some very “exotic” applications such as the one in this video. The looping racetrack was actually made of Nordpan solid wood panels.

Your company is now buying round timber for the first time. What are the reasons which led you to this, and how can South Tyrol forest owners benefit from this?

We have been working intensely on our future in recent years. Globalisation has caused commodity markets to become more open and thus more challenging. Which is why European sawn timber for example is now being shipped to the USA or China. So the availability of raw materials for producers of natural products is going to be decisive in the future. We as producers of solid wood panels have our own Development Department and Engineering Department, which gave us the opportunity to implement production lines which are able to process round timber into solid wood panels with a much higher yield than is possible using conventional methods. For the South Tyrol forest owner this means that he has a reliable partner in the immediate vicinity, leading to a significant advantage in transport costs, and who can accept all grades of round timber with sizes ranging from 12 cm to large logs. In addition, we can accept timber in 2 lengths (3 and 4 m) which gives him more choice when trimming, leading to a reduction in the amount of firewood accruing from the timber harvest than is the norm for the saw mills.

How do you see the South Tyrol wood sector? What are its strengths and what opportunities should be grasped?

The findings of the project “Holz Charta 2015-2020” tell us that primary processing (i.e. sawmills) have suffered greatly over the past decades. Round timber is increasingly exported and sawn timber and wood chips re-imported. A situation which is hardly positive for a country as rich in forests as South Tyrol. A study by Eurac Research showed that the local added value for our type of round timber processing is two and a half times higher than for round timber export. This is an opportunity which we have made use of. Through the know-how and expertise of our workers we have acquired a high level of competence in timber processing, the raw material in our area of the Puster Valley is characterised by its excellent quality and our solid wood panel products are in use internationally. So you can get MORE from our wood even whilst using LESS of it! This is just what South Tyrol needs.

"You can get ‘more’ from our wood even whilst using ‘less’ of it. This is just what South Tyrol needs."


Nordpan Rubner Massivholzplatten
Nordpan SPA
Zona Industriale 7
39030 Valdaora
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