Forestry has long benefited from digital tools, but now new technology is expected to increase productivity, improve the working environment and reduce the business’s environmental impact. Digitization must have appeared as a threat to the forest industry as printed products began to be replaced by digital publications. But now it looks different; wood raw material is interesting for everything from new fuel and clothing to replacement material for plastic. In addition, more and more digital solutions are appearing that can be used to improve processes in forestry.
Digital aids are certainly nothing new in forestry, among other things GPS and digital maps have been used for quite some time. But those tools have so far not been fully used. For example, it is possible to do much more regarding production follow-up – such as getting clear information about how much has been felled in practice, and then compare it with the advance planning.
The information comes from sensor measurements on the harvester unit and on the driver’s cab, so that the activities are automatically logged at a detailed level. By having accurate information about the felling, you of course also get a good picture of how much is left. It is very valuable as a decision-making basis for future activities in the area. Even greater potential with GPS support in the future, as the accuracy of positioning increases. One example is to provide support for drivers who always need to make sure to avoid nature reserves or things that have been classified as natural monuments. In today’s situation, markings are used in the forest, but it would be much more efficient and user-friendly to enter that information in the digital maps that the driver uses.
Inserting own markers
The driver could also insert his own GPS markers into a digital map, for example when he has temporarily placed a pile of timber or pulpwood in the forest. If a thick layer of snow has settled down before it’s time to pick it up, an accurate map marker will make things a lot easier. He goes on to talk about the possibilities of GPS information, namely to register things that are deliberately not felled, for example so-called consideration trees. When the next machine enters the area, it is immediately visible on the map why the tree is still standing. This is also information that is handled in a format that is an international standard, so it becomes available to all major players.