Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Smart technology to better manage forest supply chains

The long-term sustainability of European forest-based industries and rural development depends on further improvements in technology to integrate and automate procedures. An EU initiative introduced a technological platform to enhance decisions about running processes over the forest-based supply chains.
Smart technology to better manage forest supply chains
With EU funding, the FOCUS (Advances in forestry control and automation systems in Europe) project developed a technological platform to improve the sustainability, productivity and product marketability of forest-based value chains.

The platform for integrated planning and control of entire tree-to-product operations can be used by all chain stakeholders, from forest producers to industry players. It makes use of large amounts of data from a broad range of sources across such supply chains.

The platform combines sensors and similar technologies with efficient communication mechanisms and innovative software components to support managers in better monitoring, planning and controlling the entire process chain. There are multiple configurations of the platform, combining the best sensors and software specific to forest planning, harvesting, distribution, transportation and industrial processing.

Specifically, the FOCUS team introduced sensor technologies for monitoring environmental conditions, raw materials for traceability and machinery/operations productivity, and in harvesting machinery and wood trucks. New software were developed for integrated planning and control of operations across forest-based supply chains. It also created an open-source core interoperability component and business models enabling key supply chain players to collaborate.

Project partners implemented and tested prototypes in case studies in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Portugal and Switzerland. The cases covered the four main forest-based value chains in Europe: lumber, pulpwood, biomass and cork. They also involved the whole range of operations from forest planning and growth, harvesting and wood transportation to downstream industrial processing.

FOCUS solutions will make forest supply chain processes more productive and sustainable. They will also increase the quality and marketability of timber and bioenergy products and biomaterials, while boosting the competitiveness of the European forestry machinery industry.

Related information


Forest supply chains, FOCUS, forestry control, automation systems
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