Estonia is famous for its e-solutions and digitalisation. Following the supply chain from the forest to the final product, one can find many examples of the digital revolution in the Estonian forestry and wood industry.
Estonian forest management companies use forestry software to conveniently manage forests, manage forest resources and plan various types of forest operations. Systems are often interfaced and synchronized with national databases to ensure fast data exchange. Example of “Metsahaldus” software can be see in the Picture 1.
When logging work is completed in the forest, the transportation of the forest material to wood industries begins. The load of logs loaded onto a lorry, however, must first be measured before the lorry sets off. This can be done on-site using a smart phone application – Timbeter (Picture 2). The lorry driver takes a photograph of the load using a smart phone and the app calculates the load’s measurement data on the basis of the picture. The data can then be easily shared with other parties.
Before driving off, the lorry driver draws up a paperless e-waybill document in his smart device that is accessible to all parties connected to the transport after its verification. The e-waybill is an important electronic document that is accessible and needed by the owner of the forest material, the customer and the transportation company. Estonia’s supervisory officials can electronically check the e-waybill at any time. Successful systems for managing road transport documents are ELVIS and MobiCarnet.
When the load arrives at its destination, it is necessary to precisely measure the load once again. Upon arrival at the factory of Europe’s largest pellet producer – Graanul Invest – each load passes through fully automated precision measurement. In order to obtain the results of the measurement, the lorry drives with the load through gates equipped with sensors that scan a 3D model of the load into a computer. LoadMon (Picture 3) measures log pack height, width, length, diameter and it also detects large cavities and errors in a load. The volume of the load is then calculated on this basis. The measurement system is capable of precisely calculating the volume of both log material and bulk loads.
E-solutions are also being applied ever more actively in production processes in Estonia. For instance, in one of Europe’s most modern sawmills – Toftan – innovative e-solutions are used in sorting logs, finding the most optimal angle for sawing a log, and elsewhere. On the extremely fast log sorting line (up to 50 logs per minute), every log is scanned and measured separately in a 3D log scanner with an accuracy of 1 mm. Proceeding to the sawing line, the best sawing position is found using a 3D scanner, thus maximising the outcome of each separate shaped log. This all makes it possible to follow and direct the route of each log by computer through to the final product. A glimpse of the Toftans fast log sorting line can be seen in the Picture 4.
These are few examples of how successfully digital solutions have been applied in the Estonian wood industry. The described systems can be used in an integrated manner which means that data and documents move between different parties (provider, carrier and client) digitally. Because people do not need to enter data repeatedly and manually, they save a lot of time and avoid potential errors.
Picture 1 – The forest survey software “Metsahaldus” is meant for forest surveyors to create the forest survey plans
Picture 2 – Timbeter is a smart-device tool for timber measurement
Picture 3 – LoadMon measuring system used in Graanul Invest is a fully automatic, fast and accurate load measurement solution
Picture 4 – On Toftans fast log sorting line every log is scanned and measured separately in a 3D log scanner with an accuracy of 1 mm