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105 S.E. 124th Avenue ~ Vancouver, WA 98684 ~ 360/449-3138 ~ 360/449-3953


July 2014 Issue


Our Mission Statement:
TP provides superior quality assurance programs and services to the forest products industry. This is accomplished by providing timely, cost effective services, thorough and accurate inspections, and exemplary customer service.
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    Stamp  Obliteration and Legibility


Both stamp obliteration and legibility should be considered "all or nothing" concepts.  


For obliteration, ALSC Wood Packaging Enforcement Regulation 5.6.11 states, "To obliterate means to render the approved mark or stamp unreadable or clearly inapplicable." ALSC has clarified this to mean that if any portion of the mark can be seen, it is not considered obliterated.  This can be an issue for facilities that spray out the mark only to have the paint soak into the wood and leave the original IPPC mark visible through the paint.  Another coat or two may need to be applied to make the mark completely unreadable and considered obliterated.  Even if using an "X" out stamp, if you can see any of the mark underneath it is not considered obliterated.  In the picture below most of the information can be seen through the X's and so this mark is not considered obliterated.  Additional work would need to be done for it to meet the criteria for being obliterated. 


x-out stamp


On mark legibility, ALSC Wood Packaging Material Enforcement Regulation 5.6.6 states, "Quality marks of accredited agencies shall be uniform in providing the required information, shall be legible when placed on wood packaging products and shall be in the format shown..."  This means all parts of the mark must be seen to be considered legible.  This includes the wheat mark, the box with all the information in it and the agency trademark.  If any portion of these elements are missing or unreadable the mark is considered illegible and another mark would need to be applied in the same general area of the WPM for it to be conforming.



HT Chamber



Probe Placement Related to Wood Thickness



To monitor temperatures throughout the heat treatment cycle, one of the options ALSC Wood Packaging Material Enforcement Regulations offers in section 8.b.iii states,

"direct measurement of wood core temperature in the thickest piece(s) by use of thermocouple(s) properly sealed with non-conductive material."


ALSC has clarified that if two deck boards or stringers are abutted to where no air flow can move between them, these pieces are combined and considered the thickest piece if their combined thickness is more than the thickness of any other wood in the heat chamber .  For example, if you make a pallet that has 3/4" deckboards attached to 5/4" stringers and these are stacked in the heat chamber, then the two 3/4" deckboards that are stacked equal 1-1/2" and this is considered the thickest piece of wood in the heat chamber.  Probes cannot be sandwiched between these two pieces so in this situation surrogate blocks should be used with the probes to measure the temperature in the heat chamber. These surrogate blocks should be of like or similar species to the wood used in the pallets, as thick as the thickest wood in the heat chamber (as described earlier) and once probed, located in the same location as where the probe would be in a pallet.  These blocks should also be in the same condition as the pallets before going into the chamber.  For example, if your pallets have been sitting in colder weather conditions your surrogate blocks should be in the same condition when placed in the heat chamber with the pallets.  According to ALSC, this will ensure that the pallets in the heat chamber reach the required temperature for conformance. Please let your inspector know if you have any questions regarding this.


 Upcoming Events

SLMA Annual Conference
July 16-19, 2014, San Antonio, TX
NHLA Convention
October 8-10, 2014, Las Vegas, NV
NWPCA Recyclers Conference
October 22-24, 2014, Dearborn, MI
For more information, Contact:
EST, CST:  Matt McGowan  (770) 922-8000 ext. 156
PST, MST:  Casey Dean      (360) 449-3138 ext. 12