3D laser log load measurement first for Australasia

A key focus for this year’s WoodFlow 2018 event running in June is log measurement, scaling and tracking. Tasmania’s largest private forestry management company, Forico, has for a couple of years now been evaluating log measurement systems best suited to their operations. As well as managing 100,000 ha of timber plantations the company also operates two woodchip mills in NE Tasmania at Bell Bay and NW Tasmania at Hampshire.

Over the last 12 months, the viability of installing a 3D laser measurement system to get the solid volume of bulk hardwood logs has been top of their mind. In addition to cost and operational improvements, the company’s aim has been to shift from log measurement in green metric tonnes to cubic metres to enable log drying across the estate to improve freight outcomes for woodchip and the log transport task.

Forico have opted for a 3D laser measurement system which has been supplied by a Chilean technology development company, Woodtech Measurement Systems. It has already been installed and is being used by mills in Europe, the US and in Latin America. In addition to highly precise measurements (more than one million measurements per vehicle load) the measurement system reduces operational costs. Fewer operators are involved, quicker measurements can be taken and truck turn-around time is able to be reduced. Measurements are also taken on moving trucks. With 100% of the loads being measured, no sampling or conversion factors are required.

The system was commissioned by Forico in late March and trials are still underway at the company’s NW operation. It’s the first time the Logmeter system has been deployed at a mill in Australia, New Zealand or South East Asia. Darren Herd, Strategic Resource and Logistics Manager with Forico will be outlining the company’s investigations into suitable log load measurement systems and results from their recent trials. Woodtech, the Chilean supplier of the laser measurement systems will also be involved in the WoodFlow 2018 June series.

In addition to log measurement systems, an array of new international and local technologies and innovative operating practices around vehicle fleet operations, planning and safety as they apply to the wood transport businesses are being covered in this two-yearly tech update. Companies at the forefront of these innovations like Scania from Hong Kong, the LOTS Group based in Sweden, Chile’s Forestal Mininco, JRP Solutions from Canada and NZ’s Zero Emission Vehicles will be presenting as part of the series. Local forestry companies also play a major part in this event with Forestry Corporation NSW, Forico, Nelson Forests, HQPlantations and OneFortyOne Plantations all sharing their experiences.

Woodflow 2018 runs on 20-21 June 2018 in Melbourne, Australia and again on 26-27 June 2018, Rotorua, New Zealand. It’s run every two years for Australasia’s forestry managers, harvesting and wood haulage contractors and transport planners. In addition to the two days of tech updates, conference delegates also this year have the opportunity of registering for two pre-conference workshops, one on cloud-based operations management and the other on transport planning. Both are free to Woodflow 2018 conference delegates and will run on the afternoon before the conference in Melbourne and in Rotorua.

Full details on WoodFlow 2018 series can be found on the event website, www.woodflow.events

Photo: Courtesy of Forico

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