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Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: BBI-RIA | Phase: BBI.VC2.R5-2015 | Award Amount: 4.20M | Year: 2016

EFFORTE draws a red line through critical, cost/benefit driving processes, and environmentally concerns of todays forestry. Starting with efficient fulfilment of various customer demands the red line goes along efficient utilization of Big Data sources, present knowledge and critical new knowledge foreseen as outcomes from this project. Technical development and mechanization has been a winning concept for high productivity now emphasizing more gentle methods and just in time deliveries to different industry customers. This is possible to reach if new knowledge, improved methods and technical development are combined with better transfer of information and data from different sources (e.g processes, geo data from LiDAR scanning, other conditions such as weather data etc).These Big Data sources have been available for some years, but it is not until recently that hardware, data communication and merging possibilities enable full potential for a revolution of new applications. In the EFFORTE proposal we have identified three main subjects that have specific importance for efficiency, productivity and environmental concern in forest practice. Two of these implies to increasing crucial knowledge and the third, Big Data applications, combines the new knowledge with high resolution information sources into practice increasing efficiency in forest management and the connected value chains. The main objectives of EFFORTE are: i) To develop scientifically firm and techno-economically feasible methodology to predict trafficability prior to forest operations. ii) To increase forest growth and productivity of tree planting and young stand management iii) To develop, customize and pilot modern Big data solutions that will increase productivity and decrease negative environmental impact (e.g. soil, water and reduced fuel consumption). By EFFORTE we expect to make difference in efficiency, productivity and sustainability for a growing Bio-based economy in Europe.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: BB-04-2016 | Award Amount: 2.03M | Year: 2016

The OnTrack proposal is built around two concepts; (1) The development of a rubber tracked timber forwarder, based on proven technology, with low ground pressure, reduced environmental impacts, high travel speed and appropriate ergonomics, providing increased access to forest resources on soft soils the OnTrack Forwarder, and (2) The development of an automatic sensor system that monitors and records geo-referenced ground disturbance from forest machines and enables measures to reduce negative environmental impacts the OnTrack Monitor. At the end of the project, both of these OnTrack innovations will be ready for fully operational testing and limited serial production. It is expected that the innovations will be marketed within three years from the project start. OnTrack will have positive economic and environmental impacts on the European forest sector. The OnTrack Forwarder will increase machine utilization rates for contractors and contribute to a more consistent wood supply with economic benefits the forest-based value chains. OnTrack will also strengthen the current marked position and open new markets for the involved enterprises. The OnTrack Forwarder reduces the amount of wheel rutting and soil disturbance between 40 and 70%, compared to a conventional forwarder under given conditions. The OnTrack Monitor will be the first operational system that monitors wheel rutting and damage to the soil during forest operations, and will allow forest owners, certification bodies, and policy makers to set thresholds for damages, for adopting improved operation practices, and for efficient amelioration of ruts that have exceeded these thresholds. Overall, OnTrack will lead to significant improvement in the procurement of ecosystem services such as wood supply, carbon, water and nutrient regulation, biodiversity conservation, and recreation. Hence, the project provides intelligent tools for forest production while keeping the multifunctional role of forest in focus.

Petty A.,Metsateho Oy | Karha K.,Metsateho Oy
Forest Policy and Economics | Year: 2011

To increase the production of wood chips for energy from small-diameter (d 1.3<10cm) stems in thinnings from young forest stands, Finland's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry provides financial incentives for the production of wood chips through the Sustainable Silviculture Foundation Law (Kemera). As of Autumn 2010, the Kemera incentive system provides subsidies for wood chips derived from small-sized stems of young stands, 16-19€/m 3 (8.0-9.5€/MWh) maximum in typical harvesting conditions (average stem size of removal 30-60dm 3, and whole-tree chip removal 40-70m 3/ha).Total production costs of small-diameter thinning of wood chips with and without the Kemera subsidies were researched. The effects of the Kemera incentives on the profitability of whole-tree chip production were presented and discussed. Results gave a clear indication that wood chips from small-diameter stems cannot currently be produced without the Kemera subsidies from young stands with typical harvesting conditions at the current price level of small-diameter wood chips (17-18€/MWh). If operating without the Kemera subsidies at a higher price level of small-diameter wood chips, such as 20€/MWh, the average stem size of whole trees harvested must be greater than 60-70dm 3 with short road transportation distances between 20 and 40km to be economically profitable in Finland. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Karha K.,Metsateho Oy | Jylha P.,Finnish Forest Research Institute | Laitila J.,Finnish Forest Research Institute
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2011

To increase the volume of energy wood and pulpwood harvested from early thinnings, their procurement costs will have to be significantly reduced. This can be done through the integration of pulpwood and energy wood procurement applying a newly-developed supply chain based on whole-tree bundling. In 2007, the first prototype of the bundle harvester capable of incorporating compaction into the cutting phase was launched. Cost savings, especially in primary and secondary transportation, can be achieved by increasing the load sizes by replacing undelimbed whole trees with bundles. The bundles can be hauled by a standard forwarder to the roadside storage area, from where they are transported by a standard timber truck to the pulp mill. Batches of bundles are then fed into a wood flow consisting of conventional delimbed pulpwood. Separation of the bundles into pulpwood and energy wood fractions does not take place until the wood reaches the debarking drum.In this feasibility study, the required productivity level of bundle harvesting (i.e., cutting and bundling) in Scots pine-dominated stands was assessed by comparing the total supply chain costs based on whole-tree bundling with those of the other pulpwood and energy wood supply chains by means of system analysis. The cost calculations indicated that whole-tree bundling enables the procurement costs to be reduced to below the current cost level of separate pulpwood and energy wood procurement in early thinnings. The greatest cost-saving potential lies in small-diameter (d1.3=7-10cm) first-thinning stands, which are currently unprofitable for conventional pulpwood procurement. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

In order to increase the harvesting volumes of energy wood and pulpwood from first thinnings, harvesting costs have to be reduced significantly. Metsäteho Oy studied the integrated harvesting of pulpwood and energy wood based on a two-pile method, where industrial roundwood (pulpwood) and energy wood fractions are stacked into two separate piles when cutting a first-thinning stand. The productivity and cost levels of the integrated, two-pile cutting method were determined, and the harvesting costs of the two-pile method were compared with those of conventional separate wood harvesting methods.In the time studies, when the size of removal was 50 dm3, the productivity in conventional whole-tree cutting was 6% higher than in integrated cutting. With a stem size of 100 dm3, the productivity of whole-tree cutting was 7% higher than in integrated cutting. The results indicated, however, that integrated harvesting based on the two-pile cutting method enables harvesting costs to be decreased to below the current cost level of separate pulpwood harvesting in first-thinning stands. The greatest cost-saving potential lies in small-sized (d1.3 = 7-11 cm) first thinnings. The costs of forest haulage after integrated pulpwood and energy wood cutting were higher than those of separate wood harvesting because of lower removals in integrated harvesting. The results showed that when integrated wood harvesting is based on the two-pile cutting method, the removals of both energy wood and pulpwood should be more than 20-25 m3 ha-1 at the integrated harvesting sites in order to achieve economically viable integrated procurement. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Karha K.,Metsateho Oy
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2011

Metsäteho Oy surveyed the industrial supply chains used in the production of forest chips in 2006 in Finland. The Metsäteho study also conducted a survey of the production machinery of forest chips used by energy plants in 2007, and provided an estimate of industrial supply chains and future machinery requirements for forest chip production in Finland.The majority of the logging residue chips and chips from small-sized thinning wood were produced using the roadside chipping supply chain in 2006. The chipping at plant supply chain was also significant in the production of logging residue chips. The majority of all stump wood chips consumed were comminuted at the plant, and with only around one fifth comminuted at terminals. The role of the terminal chipping supply chain was also significant in the production of chips from logging residues and small-sized wood chips. It was predicted that the roles of both terminal chipping of logging residues and chipping at the plant will increase by the year 2010. Regarding the production of chips from small-diameter wood, it was estimated that the role of chipping at the plant will also increase in coming years. The proportion of roadside chipping in the production of small-sized wood chips and logging residue chips is expected to decrease.The study estimated that a total of 1100 machine and truck units were employed in the production of forest chips for energy plants in 2007. Increasing forest chip consumption will create considerable demand for additional forest chip production resources in the future. © 2010.

Jylha P.,Finnish Forest Research Institute | Dahl O.,Aalto University | Laitila J.,Finnish Forest Research Institute | Karha K.,Metsateho Oy
Silva Fennica | Year: 2010

The efficiencies of wood supply systems based on cut-to-length (CTL) harvesting, the harvesting of loose whole trees, and whole-tree bundling were compared using the relative wood paying capabilities (WPC) of a kraft pulp mill as decisive criteria. The WPCs from mill to stump were calculated for three first-thinning stands of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) with mean breast-height diameter of the removal of 6, 8, and 12 cm. Pulp price had a strong effect on the WPC, and the CTL system resulted in the highest WPC per m3 at stump. The savings in procurement costs and gains in energy generation from additional raw material acquired with the harvesting of loose whole trees did not compensate the losses in pulp production. Considering removal per hectare, loose whole trees gave the highest WPCs at stump in the two stands with the smallest trees and the highest proportion of additional raw material. Decrease in pulp price and increase in energy price improved the competitiveness of the whole-tree systems. In the case of whole-tree bundling, savings in transportation costs did not balance the high cutting and compaction costs, and the bundling system was the least competitive alternative.

Oikari M.,Karelwood | Karha K.,Metsateho Oy | Palander T.,University of Eastern Finland | Pajuoja H.,Metsateho Oy | Ovaskainen H.,University of Eastern Finland
Silva Fennica | Year: 2010

A lot of viable guidelines are currently available for more cost-effective harvesting of energy wood and industrial roundwood (i.e. pulpwood) from young stands. The study ranked the proposed potential approaches for increasing the cost-efficiency of small-diameter (d1.3<10 cm) energy wood and industrial roundwood harvesting from early thinnings. Research data, based on a total of 40 personal interviews, was collected in early 2008. The interviewees were divided into four wood harvesting professional groups: 1) anagers in wood procurement organizations, 2) Forest machine contractors, 3) Forest machine manufacturers and vendors, and 4) Wood harvesting researchers. In the opinion of the respondents, there is great potential to increase the cost-efficiency of wood harvesting through improving harvesting conditions (i.e. effective tending of seedling stands, delaying harvesting operations, and pre-clearance of dense undergrowth). The interviewees also underlined that harvesting methods can be rationalized, e.g. multiple-tree handling in industrial roundwood cuttings, crane scale measurement, integrated wood harvesting, and careful selection of stands for harvesting. The strong message given by the interviewees was that the education of forest machine operators must be made more effective in the future. There would be significant possibilities for cost savings in young stands, if methods and techniques with the most potential were utilized completely in wood harvesting.

Palander T.,University of Eastern Finland | Punttila T.,University of Eastern Finland | Kariniemi A.,Metsateho Oy
Suo | Year: 2012

In this experimental study, effects of the forwarder loading and boom moving on wheels' weight distributions were investigated by measuring forwarders' wheel weights on the ground scales before and after the experiments. We calculated the potential effects of boom's grapple weight on forwarder's wheels from the measurements, which describe wheels' weight change distribution of a forwarder while different grapple weights are moved by boom beside forwarder's front side to backside direction. The potential effect of booms' grapple weight on the wheels was the largest on the front wheels of 6-wheels Valmet 840S-2 forwarder (2-24%). According to the gained results, to decrease the weight of front wheels is possible by using forwarder's boom, if the boom is in backward direction at 45° angle. In this position, the boom and grapple weight (lightening of weight by boom moving) decreased front wheels' weight by 0-8% at the boom's opposite site. The boom moving decreased rear wheels' weight by 19-38%. The boom moving of 8-wheels Valmet 840S-2 forwarder increased front wheels' weight by 6-9% and decreased rear wheels' weight by 13-32%. According to a generally held view the forwarder should be loaded to balance logs' bottoms both to forward and backward directions for the successful transportation of the forwarder's load. However, the results of this study suggest that if operators' goal is to decrease deep tracks caused by the front wheels in peatlands, forwarder must be loaded by setting logs' bottoms to the backward direction. To conclude, operators can use the forwarder's boom to affect machine's mass distributions for wheels. When forwarding timber in peatland stands during summer, forwarder operator's advance measures and fast reactions to occurring situations may decrease potential wheels' deep tracks and soil damages. © Suoseura - Finnish Peatland Society.

Nuutinen Y.,Finnish Forest Research Institute | Karha K.,Metsateho Oy | Laitila J.,Finnish Forest Research Institute | Jylha P.,Finnish Forest Research Institute | Keskinen S.,Metsateho Oy
Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research | Year: 2011

First thinnings have been neglected to great extent in Finland because of high harvesting costs. The whole-tree bundler (Fixteri) was developed in order to rationalize the integrated harvesting of small-diameter energy wood and pulpwood and to reduce transportation costs through load compaction. The operation of the whole-tree bundler is composed of cutting and compaction processes. In the present study, the productivity level and the performance characteristics of the second version of the whole-tree bundler (Fixteri II) in integrated energy wood and pulpwood harvesting from first thinnings were defined on the basis of a time study. When the mean volume of removed whole trees averaged 20 dm3 at the stand, the productivity of Fixteri II per effective working (E0 excluding delays) hour was 3.4 m3/(E0) and with an average removal of 75 dm3, it was 6.1 m3/(E0). When compared with the first prototype of the whole-tree bundler (Fixteri I), the productivity of Fixteri II was 38-77% higher, depending on the stand density and mean tree volume of the removal. The higher performance level of Fixteri II stemmed mainly from the increase in multi-tree cutting and from the introduction of grapple feeding of the bunches. Furthermore, the better hydraulic capacity of the base machine enabled a higher level of simultaneous working processes. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

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