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Environmental friendly forest machine technology

Objective


The various technology areas developed were verified by means of simulation models along with the design process. Wheel drive system was tested on test machine and the individual wheel suspension was tested on a test bench, both of which were purpose-built for the project. The key development areas defined in the project programme have been mostly implemented to the prototype machine, and also the remaining areas were covered at least on theoretical level. The future final evaluations on the working prototype will prove the feasibility of the technologies developed. Especially the wheel suspension system with integrated wheel drives is of big interest for forest machine application.

The individual wheel suspension with levelling function has good potential to improve the off road travelling speeds thus improve machine productivity. The individual steering as well as the anti-spin control of the wheel drives reduces significantly the slip of the wheels in terrain. In addition, the new machine layout has other features that will have a positive impact to the ground disturbances caused by the machine. The project had its main concentration in forwarder application. Same results are at least partially applicable for other rubber wheeled forest machines, harvesters and skidders, as well as for other off-road vehicle applications.
The forest industry of today is striving for striking a
balance between how to meet the increasing demand for
wood and wood based products, and how to preserve the
forest environment. The need is growing for technology
that is capable of not only efficiently producing high
quality raw material for the wood processing industry,
but also of looking after the well being of forests. What
is still utilized by the industry in a number of regions
is technology that is rapidly becoming obsolete and,
therefore, can be described as inefficient, frequently
hazardous to the health of those involved, and
insensitive when it comes to environmental issues. In
Europe, where the population density is high and forests
are extensively used for recreational purposes, the well
being of forests cannot be overemphasized.

There are two dominant logging methods employed today;
the full tree method (FT) and the cut tolength method
(CTL). In the FT method, trees are felled and then
skidded to the roadside where delimbing usually takes
place. As for the CTL method, on the other hand, trees
are cut, delimbed, and bucked at the stump and only after
that are they carried to the roadside by purpose built
machines. The FT method still accounts for three quarters
of the world's industrial cuttings, but CTL is gaining
ground rapidly. To a certain extent, this is because it
is environmentally more friendly.

The environmental impacts of logging operations have to
be significantly reduced, which calls for a new
technological approach. What is required to boost such a
development is multinational and multidisciplinary RTD,
undertaken in a large scale. Timberjack, the leading
manufacturer of forest machinery in the world, is capable
of accepting the challenge provided that a suitable
working environment is created. The primary objectives of
the research project are the following:

wood carrier technology with a machine/load ratio
clearly under 1
capability to operate in slopes steeper than 40
degrees
an approach that minimizes damage on trees and plants
left standing
reduced environmental load and minimal damage to the
ground
a safe and pleasant working environment for the
operators
as for the overall system, a reduction in the costs
per cubic meter of wood.

The following technical features are the key to these
issues:

mechatronic powertrain for individual wheel, equipped
with antislip functions and fuzzy control
intelligent man machine interfaces
new remote controlled closed loop control manipulator
for the tool
a machine layout of a new kind to utilize the benefits
of an "intelligent" and distributed power
transmission.

The consortium is comprised of a manufacturer of forest
machinery (TJ), a manufacturer of wood products (STORA)
as a first user of the system, a component manufacturer
specializing in power transmission components (SAS), a
research group on control technology (MLaP), and a
research organization for various markets (CEMAGREF).

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Timberjack Oy
Address
21,Lolomonkatu
33101 Tampere
Finland

Participants (4)

Centre National du Machinisme Agricole, du Génie Rural, des Eaux et des Forêts
France
Address
361,Rue J.f. Breton 361
34033 Montpellier
Sauer-Sundstrand GmbH & Co.
Germany
Address
35,Krokamp
24539 Neumünster
Stora Skog AB
Sweden
Address

791 80 Falun
Universität - Gesamthochschule Paderborn
Germany
Address
55,Pohlweg
33098 Paderborn