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Focus on forest ownership at SkogsElmia 2019

International Forest Industries - Tue, 23/10/2018 - 13:19

The new-generation forest owners are increasingly managing their own forests. At least as important as the yield is to manage the forests in a long-term and environmentally sound way. This approach will be in focus at SkogsElmia, which will be held next summer on 6–8 June 2019 in the forest south of Jönköping.

If Elmia Wood is the whole world’s forestry fair with a focus on technology and innovations, then SkogsElmia can be described as the whole Nordic region’s forestry fair. The overall theme of the fair will be forest ownership, a topic that affects everyone in the forest in different ways – from forest owners to machinery contractors to forestry officials.

The fair’s theme will encompass everything from ownership transfer and forest management to technology and logistics that minimise ground damage. As forest owners are making new demands, forestry fairs are becoming increasingly important meeting places for the forest industry’s various actors as well as platforms for the development of new products and services. Smart digital technology is being used more and more in forestry too, and so visitors to the fair can look forward to many innovations and much new thinking among the exhibitors.

SkogsElmia is held every fourth year and attracts about 30,000 visitors and 300 exhibitors. The new fair manager for SkogsElmia is Mattias Pontén, a certified forester with great expertise and solid experience of the forest industry. He takes up his post now in June.

“It will be a terrific experience to be part of the forest industry’s development,” he says. “Forest ownership is a broad topic with many different issues, which I care greatly about as a forest owner myself. One key focus right now is sustainable forest management with an eye to the future – a future that will be strongly characterised by digitalisation and the links between services and products. We will fill SkogsElmia with many relevant activities to complement the exhibitors’ many new products and services, and we anticipate a fair that will benefit everyone involved.”

For more information about SkogsElmia, contact

Mattias Pontén, tel +46 (0)36-15 20 84, email: mattias.ponten@elmia.se, or

Veronika Albert, communicator for Elmia’s forestry fairs, tel: +46 (0)36-15 22 34, email: veronika.albert@elmia.se

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Komatsu Forest buys land

International Forest Industries - Mon, 22/10/2018 - 12:17

Komatsu Forest has an intention to invest in land at Klockarbäcken in Umeå, Sweden, to further expand their operations. The land area is in an existing industrial and commercial area.

Komatsu Forest manufactures forest machines that are sold worldwide. The company, which is wholly owned by the Japanese company Komatsu LTD, has its manufacturing and head office in Umeå.

There are many signs of growth in forestry and Komatsu Forest sees a strong demand globally. The company also says that forestry is an industry for the future, where it is likely to see a variety of new, innovative and climate-smart materials made from wood.

“The investment we make here is primarily about ensuring long-term growth here in Umeå”, Martin Ärlestig, Factory Manager, Komatsu Forest concludes.

Contact:
Annelie Persson
General Manager Marketing & Information
+46 90 70 97 32
annelie.persson@komatsuforest.com

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Norway – Against record year for harvest and prices

International Forest Industries - Mon, 22/10/2018 - 12:06

If the good operating conditions remain the rest of the year, 2018 can be a record year in terms of total impact and timber prices reports Gina Aakre –
Norwegian Forest Owners Association. It shows figures from the Agriculture Directorate.

The average timber price was NOK 426 per cubic meter, which is 18 percent higher than the same time last year. The impact is so far this year at the same level as in 2017, despite lower activity during the drought this summer. In total, 8.2 million m3 of timber has been decommissioned until 2018, of which 2.4 mill m3 timber has been decommissioned in the third quarter. It reports the Agriculture Directorate.

High demand for domestic and export timber demand has led to a rise in timber prices from an already high price level, and the increase in mass has been particularly pronounced.

“In the skating industry, we are accustomed to prices varying with the business cycle, but we have rarely experienced such a significant rise in prices as the one we now see in the massacre,” says Per Guldbrand Solli, section head of the Danish Agricultural Directorate.

The price of pomegranate from pine and pine increases by 42 and 48 per cent respectively compared with the same period last year. By comparison, the average price of wood and pinewoodwoods increased by 7.5 and 3.4 per cent.

In July, the activity in the forest is usually low due to holiday vacations, this year the summer harvest is also affected by the extreme drought.

The figures show that this turn in September, and that the harvest increases relative to last year. If the good operating conditions remain the rest of the year, 2018 will be a record year both in terms of total impact and timber price.

“The forest represents a contribution to the economy for those affected by the drought in agriculture this summer,” comments Solli.

Traditional forest fences in the inland have been the main source of increased impact, following the same pattern as previous years.

Photo: Timber prices are still rising, and in the autumn there has been a lot of activity in the forest. (Photo: Åsmund Lang)

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John Deere included among the best global brands

International Forest Industries - Mon, 22/10/2018 - 11:47

John Deere has again earned a spot among the world’s most valuable brands in an annual ranking completed by Interbrand, a leading brand consulting firm. John Deere is ranked 88th in the Best Global Brands research announced today, moving up 4 spots from a year ago. Interbrand estimates the John Deere brand to now be worth approximately $5.4 billion.

“A decade after the global financial crisis, the brands that are growing fastest are those that intuitively understand their customers and make brave iconic moves that delight and deliver in new ways,” said Charles Trevail, Global Chief Executive Officer of Interbrand.

Interbrand said its brand valuation is based on three key areas – financial performance of the brand; the brand’s influence on purchase decisions; and the brand’s strength to create loyalty and sustainable customer demand.

“This recognition emphasizes the success of our 70,000 employees worldwide who work each day to deliver on the company’s core values of integrity, quality, commitment and innovation,” said Samuel R. Allen, Deere & Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

John Deere has been included in the Best Global Brand ranking since 2011 when Interbrand estimated the value of the John Deere brand to be $3.65 billion. The Interbrand methodology was the first of its kind to be certified by International Organization for Standardization requirements for monetary brand valuation.

Deere & Company (www.JohnDeere.com) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services for customers whose work is linked to the land – those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world’s dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure.

For further information call:

Ken Golden
Director, Global Public Relations
Deere & Company
309-765-5678

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New John Deere mulching head

International Forest Industries - Mon, 22/10/2018 - 11:27
John Deere continues to provide best-in-class vegetation management with the addition of the MH60D mulching head to its Worksite Pro™ lineup. Designed to remove 8-inch (203-mm) trees and 12-inch (305-mm) stumps with ease, the MH60D model shreds underbrush and woody materials into beneficial mulch in minutes. Like all Worksite Pro attachments, this mulching head is optimized to work with John Deere skid steer loaders and compact track loaders, as well as most competitive models.

“With 30 double-carbide tipped teeth, our new mulching head attachment is a job site beast that easily takes big bites out of trees and stumps,” said Jessica Hill, global program manager, attachments. “It’s an invaluable tool for customers who need a powerful mulching solution, no matter the tree type or location.”

Delivering superior large-material knockdown, the MH60D also works well below soil level for chewing out difficult stumps. A two-speed hydraulic system efficiently uses available horsepower. When the preset pressure level is attained, the motor automatically shifts to a higher displacement, increasing torque for reduced stalling and faster rotor-speed recovery time. A prominently positioned pressure gauge allows operators to easily monitor hydraulic operating pressure.

The mulching head was developed to deliver exceptional job site performance. A 1,524-mm (60-inch) high-capacity, smooth rotor design reduces material drag and horsepower requirements. The rotor is balanced for smooth operation, and oversized 64-mm (2.5-inch) sealed rotor bearings deliver long-term durability. A redesigned mulching chamber enables more efficient material flow and reduces wear points for optimized shredding performance. Internal counter-combs help shatter incoming material, creating finer mulch. Optional knife tools allow smoother cutting and finer chip size.

For added durability, the attachment’s three-position heavy-duty push bar helps protect the carrier while toppling tree or brush. The door cylinder inside the frame body is better protected, while the enhanced frame construction and bolt-on skid shoes reduce debris buildup, extending wear life.

 

For further information, the news media should contact:

Worldwide Construction & Forestry Division
P.O. Box 8806
Moline, IL 61266-8806

Kyle Rubeling, imre
Phone: 410-821-8220
E-mail: kyler@imre.com

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Hyne grows production capacity

International Forest Industries - Fri, 19/10/2018 - 14:58

Hyne Timber has just announced a significant expansion to its Glue Laminated Timber (GLT) manufacturing capability in Maryborough, Queensland.

Already a significant manufacturer of GLT in addition to softwood timber products, this expansion investment with the support of a Queensland Government Jobs and Regional Growth Fund will launch the company into a globally competitive product offer.

The new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant will accompany the existing plant in Maryborough’s Industrial Estate which is now in its 40th year of production.

This announcement comes as engineered timber manufactured from plantation softwood is increasingly preferred for larger scale commercial and residential construction projects due to its superior sustainability and environmental credentials.

Hyne Timber CEO, Jon Kleinschmidt said investment to increase manufacturing capability has never been more timely.

“GLT is the talk of the design and construction industry, but a lack of competitive Australian supply options has prevented many projects from using it. “Increased capability here in Australia will be a game changer for the construction sector and a very positive area of growth for Maryborough.” Mr Kleinschmidt said. Construction of the new plant is expected to commence within a matter of weeks.

Company website here.

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Komatsu Forest plans new factory

International Forest Industries - Fri, 19/10/2018 - 13:22

Komatsu Forest wants to create a factory for the future – Recently, Komatsu Forest announced their intention to acquire land in Klockarbacken, Umea, Sweden. Now Komatsu Forest have revealed that they have the ambition to build a completely new factory in the area.

The ambition is to build a factory that is optimised with human possibilities in mind. The company already has high demands on work environment, safety and product quality, which is also something that characterises the vision of a new factory.

“We want a factory that is based on human capabilities, where technology, good ergonomics and safety are prioritized and help to enable good quality in our manufacturing. We want to build an attractive and efficient workplace where our employees thrive and grow and where we can deliver product quality at the forefront “, says Factory Manager Martin Arlestig

Another important part of the vision is to take great environmental responsibility. “We have high environmental targets for our production already today, but when a new factory is built from scratch, we can seek environmentally friendly solutions all the way. Our target is to become CO2 neutral in our production, “says Arlestig.

“We see this as a major investment in the region, which will contribute to additional job opportunities throughout the construction project. We also see the factory as part of a larger whole, where the establishment of the new plant helps to strengthen the attraction of the region as a forest technical centre in Sweden.

The region already has a strong forestry technical position, but a new factory would contribute to strengthening the position even further for the future”, concludes Arlestig.

For a decision to invest in a new plant to be realised, support is required to assist the company’s venture; such as a sustainable infrastructure solution that meets the company’s future transport needs on road and railroad and regional support is needed to complement the large investment made by the company.

“This is one of the major investments in the company’s history and as we understand it, one of the major industrial investments that is to be started in Sweden right now. We look forward to get all items settled so that we can carry out our plans and start the procurement process for the project”, concludes Mitsuru Ueno, CEO Komatsu Forest.

Photo: Komatsu Factory Manager Martin Arlestig

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China: Wood processing consolidations

International Forest Industries - Fri, 19/10/2018 - 13:05

In China, a massive restructuring effort to eliminate outdated and polluting wood processing mills, many of them being plymills had, by the end of 2017, resulted in around 3,000 plywood mills across the country being closed.

A total of 621 fibreboard production lines were dismantled or shut down eliminating over 20 million cubic metres of production capacity. However, within a year fibreboard output had recovered.

In addition, more than 900 particleboard production lines were either relocated or closed reducing the installed production capacity by around 17 million cubic metres. Overall in 2017 there was a 15% decline in the number of wood-based panel enterprises.

These changes affected mainly the smaller companies such that by the end of 2017 production capacity had consolidated in fewer but large and medium-sized enterprises. This restructuring has resulted in an increase in cross-industry mergers and acquisitions within the industry.

By the end of 2017 there were 117 continuous flat pressure fibreboard production lines throughout the country with an annual production capacity of 19.4 million cubic metres accounting for 41% of the national total production capacity of fibreboard. There were also 40 continuous flat pressure particleboard production lines in operation.

Source: ITTO MIS Report

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Setra reports 3Q operating profit of SEK 54 million ($6 million)

International Forest Industries - Fri, 19/10/2018 - 11:42

Wood products company Setra is reporting an operating profit of SEK 287 million ($31.9 million) for the period January–September 2018. Net sales totalled SEK 3,325 million ($369.4 million). Operating profit for the 3Q amounted to SEK 54 million ($6 million), with net sales of SEK 966 million ($107.3 million).

“We’re reporting an operating profit for the first three quarters of SEK 287 million ($31.9 million), which is an improvement of SEK 180 million ($20 million) on the previous year. USA and Europe have been extremely strong markets.

The building trade in Sweden has been subdued because of the hot summer, although industrial construction remains strong. We have seen some uncertainty in some markets during the third quarter, with the Chinese market in particular afflicted by a drop in deliveries and falling prices. This is seen as a temporary setback, however, as consumption is fundamentally strong. Deliveries to Egypt have also fallen, primarily due to a shortage of USD. However, other markets have been able to compensate,” explains Hannele Arvonen, President and CEO at Setra.

Cash flow from operating activities for the period January–September amounted to SEK 318 million ($35.3 million). The Group’s financial position is strong. The Group’s financial net debt amounted to SEK -120 million ($13.3 million) at the end of the period, which corresponds to a net debt/equity ratio of -8%.

Setra is one of Sweden’s largest wood products companies.

Photo: Hannele Arvonen, President and CEO at Setra.

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Renowned Machine Manufacturing Companies To Enter Into A Close Partnership

International Forest Industries - Thu, 11/10/2018 - 10:55

JARTEK, Finland, is acquiring a significant shareholding in ROSÉNS MASKIN, Sweden, with a view to ensuring both companies can continue offering the market a broad product range for sawmills and the timber industry and meet the most diverse range of requirements for capacity as well as design.

The companies’ joint product range will continue to consist of log sorting lines, wood-drying kilns, board sorting lines, planing mill equipment and Thermowood kilns.

This partnership is a strategic move based on the fact that the companies complement each other in the best possible way in terms of ensuring maximum exposure to a growing market.
“With 40 years of industry experience, we consider ourselves one of the most well-rounded manufacturers of material-handling equipment with a focus on mid-sized sawmills and planing mills where complete building structures have been and remain important elements.

Our partnership with JARTEK means that we now span the whole field and can accordingly become an important actor also in relation to large sawmills, as well as a broader market,” said Peter Davidsson, General Manager of ROSÉNS MASKIN.

“JARTEK is one of the leading suppliers of sawmill technology with 60 years’ experience in this sector. Like ROSÉNS MASKIN, we are a family-owned business, and we share the same values in terms of business ethics and customer service.

Through this partnership with ROSÉNS MASKIN, we will now have the opportunity to serve our customers even better, for instance by being able to offer them more comprehensive board handling systems. We are eager to embark on this partnership, which will allow us to meet the needs of sawmills at every capacity level,” said Teemu Uimonen, General Manager of JARTEK. Both companies will be attending the trade fair “Wood Products & Technology” from 28-31 August in Gothenburg, Sweden. Booths:  B05:34.  The present management teams and companies in each country will remain unaltered.

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John Deere: New technology solutions at your fingertips

International Forest Industries - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 11:26

John Deere’s Forestry Division has released new streamlined software solutions for loggers designed to enhance machine connectivity and communication. Available for John Deere wheeled-cut-to-length equipment, the revolutionary TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager software is another way John Deere is continuing to help customers optimize machines, increasing productivity.
“Understanding that our customers need access to real-time data to help increase production and accurately manage their business, we developed a streamlined, integrated solution: TimberMatic Maps for operations on-board the machines and TimberManager as an Off-Board, management solution,” said Matt Flood ForestSight product manager, John Deere. “In today’s challenging applications and environments, loggers need the right tools to maximize their visibility to machines, jobsites and their businesses to increase profitability.”

The TimberMatic Maps system is used in G-Series Harvesters and Forwarders, utilizing a mobile network to share real-time production information between harvester and the forwarder, as well back to managers in the office. Managers can access the data using TimberManager, a web-based solution for a PC, tablet or mobile phone, allowing loggers to follow progress of the work site. Combined, the software provides complete visibility to the operation from land harvested to the machines at work, streamlining communication and increasing efficiency when shift planning.

The data shared is collected by the sensors on the harvester, while the location of the production is collected through the GPS technology. Information is automatically transmitted to the TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager systems, providing real- time updates to operators and managers both on and off the jobsite.

One of the key benefits of TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager is the ability to plan work that needs to get done in a day. The map provides the precise location, volume and species of timber with the network of logging routes, allowing operators to efficiently work. As timber is transported, the operator can mark the map to indicate it has occurred, providing an exact volume count of the timber taken to the storage area. This helps the manager track the volume of timber at the storage area, simplifying planning for trailer transports and the onward transportation of timber.

Additionally, the map allows all operators to add markings, pointing out other challenging terrain factors such as an area with soft ground, making it easier to plan routes. The real-time updates provide on demand visibility to the entire crew.

To learn more about the John Deere #TimberManager and #TimberMatic Maps software solution, please visit www.JohnDeere.com.

 

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China: Wood products trade update

International Forest Industries - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 10:58

China’s first half 2018 wood products trade

Data from China Customs shows that in the first half of 2018 the value of China’s wood products trade totalled US$80.97 billion, up 9% from the same period of 2017 but this was a slower growth than in the first half of 2017.

Of the total, the value of exports in the first half rose 6% to US$39.1 billion. China’s traders accelerated their wood product exports to beat the introduction of tariffs by the US.

The value of imports of wood products rose 13% to US$41.9 billion in the first half of 2017, down 9% year on year. Overall the pace of China’s wood products imports was slower in the first half of 2018.

China: Main Wood Product Imports

Logs: In the first half of 2018 the volume of China’s log imports totalled 30.32 million cubic metres valued at US$5.8 billion, a year on year increase of 17% and 28% respectively.

Sawnwood: In the first half of 2018 the volume of China’s sawnwood imports totalled 18.15 million cubic metres valued at US$5.2 billion, a year on year increase of 0.1% and 9% respectively.

Wood pulp: In the first half of 2018 the volume of China’s wood pulp imports totalled 12.35 million tonnes valued at US$9.8 billion, a year on year increase of 2% and 33% respectively.

Source: ITTO TTM Report

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Global timber and wood products market update

International Forest Industries - Tue, 09/10/2018 - 14:11

GLobal Timber – Exports of softwood lumber from Russia, Germany and the Nordic countries have increased due to high demand for wood in Asia and Europe in early 2018, while Canadian exports fell to the lowest levels in five years, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly.

Global Softwood Lumber Trade
Worldwide trade of lumber inched up again in early 2018, hinting that this may be another record year. Six of the ten largest lumber-exporting countries in the world have increased their shipments in 2018, with exports from Russia, Germany, Ukraine and Austria increasing the most year-over-year.

The biggest decline in exports y-o-y has been from Canada, with shipments in 2018 on pace to be the lowest in five years. Canadian shipments to China and the US during the 1H/18 were down 19% and 6% respectively, as compared to the same period in 2017.

Lumber markets – North America
Lumber prices in the US have been on a roller coaster ride the past year, with sharp increases during the 2H/17 and early 2018 followed by plunging prices during the summer months of 2018. The dramatic price fluctuations are mostly a reflection of changes in the strength of the US housing market.

US lumber production was up 5.5% in the first four months of 2018 as compared to the same period in 2017. The biggest increase came in the US West (+10%), while the rise in the US South was more modest (+2.1%). Canadian lumber production was down 1.2% for the first four months, with British Columbia’s sawmills running 4.3% below last year’s production levels.

Lumber markets – Northern Europe
From 2016 to 2017, lumber exports from Finland increased 8.7%. However, export volumes were 3.5% lower in the first four months of 2018 than in the same period in 2017. So far this year, Saudi Arabia (-49%), China (-25%) and the United Kingdom (-6.7%) have seen the biggest declines in volumes shipped.

The annual export volume of softwood lumber from Sweden in 2017 was 13 million m3, practically unchanged from 2016, and the pattern held true in early 2018 (year-over-year). The biggest changes in exports from 2017 and 2018 have been declines in shipments to Egypt and Japan and increased exports to European customers.

Lumber markets – China
Russia supplied China with record volumes of softwood lumber in the 2Q/18, while imports from the US and Europe were down from the 1Q/18. Lumber producers in Siberia and Russia Far East have continuously increased their market share of total lumber imports to China over the past few years, increasing from about 36% in 2011 to 56% in 2018. The rise in shipments of softwood lumber from Russia to China in the past seven years has come at the expense of log exports. Import prices for lumber plateaued in the 2Q/18 after steadily increasing since early 2016.

Lumber market – Japan
Softwood lumber import volumes to Japan were up 6.7% q-o-q, reaching almost 1.6 million m3 in the 2Q/18. This was the second highest quarterly import volume in four years. During the 1H/18 there have been only minor changes in the sourcing of lumber. Prices (in Yen terms) for both domestic and imported softwood lumber have remained practically unchanged in Japan in 2018, but with the weakening domestic currency, costs for lumber in US dollar terms have fallen.

This is a brief excerpt from the newly released market report Wood Resource Quarterly. To read the full 56-page quarterly report, please visit www.WoodPrices.com to initiate an annual subscription. 

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Poland pushing forest agenda as climate host

International Forest Industries - Tue, 09/10/2018 - 13:55

Poland will ask all nations to agree on forests’ central role in the fight to curb climate change when they host UN talks later this year, a leaked document has revealed.
In a draft statement intended to be adopted by all governments at this year’s major climate conference, host country Poland emphasised the “essential role of carbon sinks in mitigating climate change” and called on states to ensure “that global forest carbon stocks are maintained and further enhanced by 2050”.

The draft has been circulated to governments ahead of the meeting in Katowice in December. It calls on scientists from the UN climate science panel to “explore and quantify” the role of forests in storing carbon in “achieving a balance” with greenhouse gas pollution.

The declaration ends with the statement: “Finally [we] affirm that there is no future without tackling climate change, but there is no future without forests either.” Scientists and NGOs interviewed by Climate Home News welcomed the declaration, but warned against using forests as a get-out-of-jail-free card for continued pollution.

“I could only support bringing forests in the picture,” director of the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research Michael Tausz said. “However, in the context of COP24, managing forests to take up CO2 does not release [governments] from the duty of curbing emissions, particularly from land-use change, of course.”

In particular, environmentalists are nervous Poland will focus on offsetting carbon emissions through forests, rather than curbing its polluting coal sector. In 2015, nearly 81% of the country’s electricity came from coal.

“Yes the climate is important and forests are important – but to tackle climate change we both need to keep trees standing and reduce fossil-fuel emissions,” said Hannah Mowat, a campaigner specialising in the relationship between climate change and forests from the Dutch NGO Fern.

Poland has some of the largest forest expanses in Europe and has lobbied the EU to give greater prominence to forest carbon in its climate policies. But the country was recently found to have violated EU law by logging the Unesco-protected Białowieża forest.

In 2014, the New York Declaration on Forests committed to globally halve forest loss by 2020. That goal is still far out of reach, however. By comparison to the period between 2001 and 2013, the pace at which trees disappeared between 2014 and 2017 rose by 42%.

Source: Climate Home News

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Volvo’s self-driving Vera concept

International Forest Industries - Tue, 09/10/2018 - 13:17

Much is said about the emergence of autonomous cars on our streets, but enclosed areas like ports, factories and corporate campuses may well be where they are put to work first. With this in mind, Volvo has just announced a new electric vehicle concept built to tow loads around these kinds of environments all on their lonesome, so much so it hasn’t even bothered with a cabin.
“We can see a boom in e-commerce, as well as overall global consumption and it shows no signs of slowing down,” says Mikael Karlsson, Volvo’s Vice President Autonomous Solutions. “The industry needs to find new ways to meet the increased demand on transport in an efficient and sustainable way. Therefore, new solutions need to be developed to complement what’s available today.”

The Volvo Vera concept is designed to lighten the load around ports, factories, logistics centres and anywhere else where goods are moved on the regular. The vehicle is more electric sled than electric car, removing the driver’s cabin altogether (similar to Einride’s T-log), while retaining the ability to latch standard load carriers and trailers onto the back.

Powered by the same drivetrain and battery packs as Volvo’s electric trucks, the Vera is built to carry out repetitive, short-distance trips with large, heavy loads.

The idea is that fleets of Veras would work together by connecting to a control centre over the cloud, which would optimize traffic flow to keep things operating smoothly and waits to a minimum. To that end, this central node would monitor the battery levels of the vehicles, along with their position, the content of their loads and service requirements.

Volvo doesn’t outline any production plans for the Vera, but does say that in the “near future” it will work with selected customers to develop the concept further and the potential for the concept to expand into other types of applications in the future.

You can see the Vera at work in the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Gc1zz5bl8I

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Russian forestry industry on the move

International Forest Industries - Tue, 09/10/2018 - 12:59

Russia is one of the world’s dominant log and lumber producers and exporters. Due to its immense land mass, roughly half of which is forested, Russia accounts for nearly 20% of the world’s standing forest resource — nearly 82 billion m3 out of a global standing stock of roughly 434 billion m3. With this tremendous resource, Russia ranks as one of the world’s major players in the global trade of timber and wood products. Specifically:

  • Russia harvested 157.6 million m3 in 2017, representing a 14.4% share of global softwood timber (log) production after having passed Canada in 2014 as the second-leading producer (behind the U.S.); – Russia is the third-largest softwood lumber producer (37.8 million m3), representing 11.1% of worldwide production; – Russia ranks second in log exports at 11.9 million m3 (14% global market share, ranking behind New Zealand); and – Russia is the second-largest lumber exporter with 28 million m3 (22% global market share, ranking behind Canada).
  • The Russian forestry and sawmilling industry has become a much greater competitive force in log and lumber export markets since the late-2014 devaluation of the ruble. In recent times, the country’s industry has undergone a rapid change and is now seen to be remaking itself into an influential worldwide competitor. Today, with global markets becoming increasingly competitive, it’s more important than ever to truly understand the changing competitiveness and strategy of the Russian industry and its exporters — particularly given its expanding role in the ever-significant Chinese market.
  • The cost-competitiveness of the Russian industry was once considered bleak. This was back in 2012–14, when high costs, constrained road and rail infrastructure, and prevailing poor forest logistics were responsible for an inability to access economic timber. With many Russian forests comprising a mixture of hardwood and softwood (particularly in Siberia), the lack of markets for low-grade hardwoods (particularly aspen/poplar) hampered the economics of processing mixed stands and led to escalating logging and road costs. The outlook was also dimmed by the lack of new investments in sawmilling during the early 2010s.

In late 2014, however, the weakening of Russia’s currency significantly brightened the picture for investing in the forest products sector, ultimately leading to peak earnings in 2015 and early 2016 when the ruble’s devaluation was most extreme. The subsequent strengthening of the ruble, however, worked in combination with increased log prices to create a state of inflation in 2016 and 2017 that eroded Russian exporters’ competitiveness. Nevertheless, the considerable investments made by many companies to lower logging and sawmilling costs were able to improve the sector’s overall financial and export market position. The good news for Russian producers today is that the ruble began to weaken again early this year; in mid-September, as we write this report, it is approaching 68–69 to the U.S. dollar.

Its improved competitive position in international markets has enabled Russia’s wood products industry to expand, as evidenced by 11% growth in the index of industrial activity for woodworking in the second quarter of 2018; in June alone, it grew by 15% (more than any other processing industry in the country). The importance of export markets cannot be overstated, and is especially evident when one considers that this strong growth is in sharp contrast to a decline in the rate of housing construction within Russia in 2017 (down 0.7%, according to the Ministry of Construction, and down 2.1%, according to Rosstat) and a reduction in furniture output.

In other good news for the Russian industry, prices for commodities and exchange goods on world markets recently reached their highest peak of the last ten years, with the price of Russian spruce sawn timber from the Northwest achieving a level of $285/m3 (#1–4 SF 30×125/150, Shanghai port) at the end of 2017. By comparison, prices for Finnish spruce sawn timber (#1–5 sawfalling grade) in China reached $295/m3.

Source: Russ Taylor, Managing Director, FEA Holdings – Canada Inc, Excerpted and summarized from China’s Import Demand for Softwood Logs and Lumber to 2023 • The Changing Supply Chain in China with a Focus on Russia’s Industry/Export Potential

 

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NZ / Australia – Continuous forest monitoring using daily satellite imagery

International Forest Industries - Tue, 09/10/2018 - 12:26

In the recent years there has been a marked uptake of remote sensing technologies. Drones and LiDAR have acquired a high profile. These indisputably have a place provided they are cost-effective, deliver consistent results, and add value. Not to go unnoticed, though is the increased availability of satellite imagery and technological advances that allow repeat assessment of forests at low cost. The main catalysts have been the launching of more satellites and the development of cloud-based processing engines. Between them, they can provide near real-time monitoring.

New satellites with the capacity to record and monitor vegetation change are now launched monthly. The so-called temporal resolution has progressed to daily revisits. By monitoring a given location repeatedly, it is then possible to detect subtle changes in vegetation vigour and identify underlying trends.

Any such initiatives do, though come to involve massive data sets. Downloading and storing these for local processing can lead to unworkable delays. A dramatic step forward has come with the availability of cloud computing systems. These allow the petabytes of historical and recently acquired images to remain in the cloud. If the data remains lodged there, it overcomes any need to individually review, download, or process and analyse satellite imagery as was the norm until recently.

Indufor’s resource monitoring team has developed a Continuous Plantation Monitoring System (CPMS). This can access both free and commercial satellites (such as Planet) to provide timely and accurate information. It has a ready capacity to assess large areas. CPMS assists forest planners in more efficiently deploying field activities, whether their purpose is to grow, harvest or quantify tree crops.

Dr Pete Watt is Head of Indufor’s resource monitoring team. He observes that within the company’s activities the CPMS outputs save time and resources by allowing targeted field inspections. These are designed to quickly validate harvest areas and pinpoint areas of un-mapped change, disease or crop failure.

“For example, before going to the field, we run our Canopy Index (CI) model over the satellite image to check for any unusual deviations from expected benchmark values.” Examples might include areas affected by foliar diseases, or, as shown in the illustration, pockets of wind damage.

Algorithms have been developed to provide automated monitoring of such planned operations as harvesting, roading and plantation thinning. These events can be tracked by comparing images acquired at different points in time. The detection algorithm identifies the change and groups all similar pixels to produce a change layer that can be loaded into a GIS. The outputs include a summary of the area harvested to date.

The inclusion of daily imagery such as from Planet’s constellation of around 200 satellites makes the process of month-end area reconciliations a much less onerous task. The advances in the capture and processing of satellite imagery have removed barriers that have previously discouraged its operational use. CPMS captures the dynamic attributes of forests – the very characteristics that make them so valuable to us.

Indufor Asia Pacific (Pete Watt and Chaplin Chan) will be presenting at the upcoming ForestTECH 2018 series being run for forest resource managers, remote sensing specialists and inventory foresters in November. It runs in Rotorua on 14-15 November and then again in Melbourne, Australia on 20-21 November.

In addition to the technology update from Indufor, presentations from the Interpine Group, Swift Geospatial and Pan Pac Forest Products are being given on the collection, processing and the practical operational use by forestry companies of data being collected from satellites as part of the November series. Full details on the programmes and technology series can be found on the event website, www.foresttech.events.

Source: Indufor

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Logmax Log Mate 510

International Forest Industries - Fri, 05/10/2018 - 13:43

The latest release of Logmax Log Mate control system is now available.

The Log Mate 510 offers full control over all Log Max harvester head functions and detailed production reporting compliant with the latest StanForD 2010 v.2 and v.3.

The post Logmax Log Mate 510 appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Komatsu Forest buys land

International Forest Industries - Fri, 05/10/2018 - 13:01

Komatsu Forest has an intention to invest in land at Klockarbäcken in Umeå, Sweden, to further expand their operations. The land area is in an existing industrial and commercial area.

Komatsu Forest manufactures forest machines that are sold worldwide. The company, which is wholly owned by the Japanese company Komatsu LTD, has its manufacturing and head office in Umeå.

There are many signs of growth in forestry and Komatsu Forest sees a strong demand globally. The company also says that forestry is an industry for the future, where it is likely to see a variety of new, innovative and climate-smart materials made from wood.

“The investment we make here is primarily about ensuring long-term growth here in Umeå”, Martin Ärlestig, Factory Manager, Komatsu Forest concludes.

Contact
Annelie Persson
General Manager Marketing & Information
+46 90 70 97 32
annelie.persson@komatsuforest.com

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New more user-friendly interface when you sign in to Komatsu MaxiFleet

International Forest Industries - Fri, 05/10/2018 - 12:43

The new design in the Komatsu MaxiFleet now provides a better overview of the machines and how they perform. In the machine overview you can choose what information you want to see, and you can more clearly see the machine’s position, key figures and warnings directly in the machine´s detail page.

The administration is simplified, and you can easily create and follow up on a harvesting area, all in the same place. Additionally, the mobile customization provides you with a better experience on all devices.

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by Dr. Radut