This first issue of October is packed with forest engineering information. Biomass harvesting is still receiving much attention. We examine a COFORD publication that investigated residue harvesting equipment. Bandit has released many new and updated models of chippers and grinders for wood processing. One of the most interesting new developments by Bandit is hybrid processing machines. Finally, we examine computer software that assists managers to make decisions regarding the use of different fuels for bioenergy production.

Roads are also on the agenda, with an excavator mounted crusher bucket to reduce oversize material used in road construction. We examine research results released by the CRC for Forestry, where a MultiDat onboard computer was used to determine equipment utilisation levels. To conclude, John Deere has produced a new felling head (FR21B) to be used with their 700J-Series tracked feller bunchers.

Now to the newsletter!

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Interesting products – Computer programmes to simplify bioenergy calculations

Two programmes are available that compare different fuels for bioenergy production, including the delivered costs of wood.

The programmes were developed by Pieter Kofman (Denmark) and Glen Murphy (USA). There are two different software programmes that have slightly different applications.

The first programme compares different fuel sources to produce bioenergy, and determines if cost savings can be achieved. The fuel currently being used to fuel a boiler is entered, along with the annual consumption, price per unit and the boiler efficiency. This information is used to standardise the units of energy consumption and calculate the annual cost of the fuel. A future potential fuel is then selected and its information captured. The costs of converting the boiler to use the new fuel also need to be known. The programme then calculates the costs of the new fuel plus the number of years it would take to pay back the investment. One of the main advantages of this programme is that one does not have to find all the conversion factors to compare fuels; they are all stored in the computer programme. These can be adapted by the user, if required.

The second programme calculates the delivered cost of wood chips and determines whether a profit or loss can be expected. Unit conversion is also catered for, and one can investigate the effect of fuel moisture content changes. This is very important when the harvesting rate is per m3, but the delivered chips are paid for per tonne. This programme also includes a truck transport section which allows the user to enter the cost per hour of the truck, the transport distances, the volume transported and how the material is offloaded. The programme then calculates the cost of delivery.

For more information, please contact Pieter Kofman at pdkofman@gmail.com  




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Forest roads – Crusher buckets from MB make onsite material processing easier

Eliminate the problems associated with over-size material with this excavator mounted crusher.

An excessive amount of over-size material in road surfacing aggregate is a problem in many forestry areas. This results in sub-optimal compaction, difficult maintenance and poor ride quality. Using specialised crushing equipment in remote forestry areas to reduce the oversize percentage is often not an option, or is too expensive. MB has helped overcome this problem with their range of crusher buckets.

On-site processing of material can take place at the borrow pit, quarry or on the road. The crusher bucket is mounted onto a standard construction excavator and is powered by the hydraulic system of the excavator. This eliminates the need for additional crushing equipment and the associated transport and labour costs. The crusher bucket has been designed for ease of use and is simple to operate. Installation is quick, resulting in instant use of the bucket. The four available models are suited to different excavator sizes as well as small and large worksites. The key information for each model is supplied in the table below.

Model BF 60.1 BF 70.1 BF 90.3 BF 120.4
Excavator size (ton) > 8 (> 17,600 lb) > 14 (> 30,900 lb) >20 (> 44,000 lb)  >28 (> 61,700 lb)
Load capacity (m3) 0.50 0.60 0.80 1.00
Bucket opening (mm) L 600, H 450 L 700 H 550 L 900 H 510 L 1200 H 510
Bucket weight (ton) 1.5 (3,300 lb) 2.25 (5,000 lb) 3.5 (7,700 lb) 4.9 (10,800 lb)
Source: www.mbcrusher.com  




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Logging research – Use of MultiDat onboard computers for management of harvesting operations

Australia’s CRC for forestry has released a new bulletin revealing interesting information regarding the application of the MultiDat onboard computer.

The publication (Bulletin 20, August 2011) is authored by Martin Strandgard and is titled “Application of MultiDat onboard computers for management of native forest harvest operations”. This bulletin forms part of ongoing research into different onboard computers applied under different conditions. Future bulletins will present further findings. The primary function of the MultiDat computer (developed by FPInnovations of Canada) is to measure machine utilisation using a vibration sensor. Additional functions such as recording delays, monitoring certain machine activities and using a GPS to monitor machine travel, are also available.

The objective of this study was to identify areas where machine utilisation could be improved in a native logging operation. The study took place in native eucalypt stands in Victoria, Australia, with a harvesting system consisting of a Tigercat L870C feller-buncher with a Satco 630 directional felling head, a Tigercat 630C grapple skidder and two excavators with log grabs and cut-off saws on a landing. MultiDat computers were installed in all machines, with the exception of one excavator, for a period of eight months.

The study results showed utilisation rates of 46% for the feller-buncher, 55% for the skidder and 70% for the excavator, with a study average of 65%. The study identified the excavator as the bottleneck causing the low utilisation of the feller-buncher and skidder. Based on the results, two new work techniques were successfully tested which involved improving the efficiency of the excavators. The research showed that the use of the MultiDat computer added much value to the operation. Please contact Mark Brown at mwbrown@unimelb.edu.au for a copy of the bulletin. More information regarding the work of the CRC for forestry can be accessed at www.crcforestry.com.au  




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Interesting publications – Harvesting of forest residues

This COFORD publication investigated the harvesting, storage and fuel value of forest residues.

The authors of the publication, titled “Forest Residues: Heating, storage and fuel value”, were Seamus Hoyne and Adrian Thomas. It was published by COFORD in 2001, but the information remains very interesting and valuable. The objectives of the project were to:

  • Develop and test a mobile bundling machine
  • Analyse the effects of bundle size and density
  • Study the behaviour of forest residues when bundled and left to dry naturally
  • Analyse the optimum drying period, time of year of production and drying position
  • Analyse variation in moisture content, calorific value and dry matter losses in bundles
  • Utilise the results in the design of a mobile forest residue bundling machine

The project focussed on residue bundling technology. Some of the interesting parts of the project were as follows:

  • Development of the design specification for bundling. This included shape, length, diameter, mass, dimensional stability, loading method, orientation, compaction force required, strapping, mounting, gross weight, overall height, automation, safety and durability.
  • Machine design. This considered the location of the bundler on the forwarder, compaction ratios, hydraulic systems, end trimming and strapping.
  • Machine operation. This covered the bundle manufacturing procedure, with varying bundle sizes and compaction ratios being considered.

The project then proceeded with infield trials and data analysis. The project results covered machine operation, bundling productivity, the bundle manufacturing process, trimming of bundles, needle loss from bundles, handling and haulage of bundles, bundle drying, residue size distribution and its effects on conversion, bundle appearance and the calorific value of bundled residues. The following link allow you to download the document http://www.coford.ie/media/coford/content/publications/projectreports/residues.pdf  




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New biomass equipment – Bandit releases a range of new products

Bandit is focussed on equipment for the hand-fed wood chipper and stump grinder markets.

One new product, four product updates and two products that will be released in the near future were unveiled recently:

  • New: 75XP hand-fed disc chipper – This seven inch (18 cm) chipper has larger knives and chipper bearings than the 65XP model. The bearings are located on the back side of the disc, allowing the feed wheel to operate closer to the disc for more efficient chipping. Engine options up to 44 hp (33 kW) are offered. The chipper is capable of handling brush and small trees.
  • Update: 1590XP hand-fed drum chipper – This now comes with the option of wider horizontal feed wheels (25 versus 20 in / 64 versus 51 cm). This allows the chipper to crush and compress branchy material. The updated model offers engines up to 180 hp (134 kW).
  • Update: 490XP drop-feed drum chipper – This small four inch (10 cm) chipper is now available as a self-propelled machine.
  • Update: Grapple options for loader-equipped hand-fed chippers – improved brush grapples are now available on larger hand-fed chippers with built-in loader options. The grapple is designed to grab and crush branchy material.
  • Update: Stump grinder cutting wheels – Sandvik stump grinder wheels and teeth are now available as options with Bandits handlebar, self-propelled and tracked stump grinders.
  • Coming soon: Bandit SVC (Screen Vacuum Chipper) – This drum chipper has been designed to produce chips of a more consistent size. To achieve this, a screen is used in the drum housing that allows material to exit only once it has reached the correct size.
  • Coming soon: Hybrid technology for chipper and horizontal grinders – Energy from the chipper and grinder is captured and stored while the machine is running, but not processing material. This energy is then returned to the head to supplement engine horsepower (kW). This is achieved without using an excessive amount of batteries or complex electrical components associated with many hybrid systems. This system can potentially double the available processing power, allowing the user to operate smaller engines. The system can be used with petrol (gasoline), diesel or electric motors. Bandit is currently field testing the prototypes.
Source: www.banditchippers.com  




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Felling heads – New FR21B high rotation felling head from John Deere

The head is available on John Deere’s 700J-Series tracked feller bunchers.

The head promises faster cutting speeds to improve productivity. The head can be fitted on both the 753J and the 759J Series machines. The head makes use of a high-rotation wrist that enables good accumulation capacity for a medium sized disc-saw felling head. Loggers can fell more trees at once which reduced machine movement. Both tree holding and tree alignment is much improved. The head features easy access for servicing, which can reduces maintenance related downtime.

John Deere’s J-Series feller bunchers and the new FR21B felling head are designed to handle steep slopes and confined areas due to their larger cutting swaths, hydraulic systems and superior cabs. Source: www.JohnDeere.com  




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Newsflash – What’s happening in Forest Engineering?

Waratah builds their 1,500th 622B harvester head.
The milestone was reached in New Zealand during September (Ed – we thought everyone was watching rugby?). The 622B is Waratah’s most popular head. The head was shipped to a customer in Canada. Source: www.waratah.net

Bell Equipment founder passes on.
The founder of Bell Equipment, Mr Irvine Bell, passed away at his home in South Africa at the age of 91. Bell machines, especially the iconic three-wheeled loader, are found in logging operations across the globe.
Source: www.bellequipment.com

Tub grinder operation and safety video from Vermeer.
The 30 minute video includes sections on how to position the tub grinder at the work area, preparing the grinder for operation, how to operate the grinder effectively, preparing the grinder for transport and setting up the loader. Source: http://www2.vermeer.com/vermeer/NA/en/N/newsroom

Interactive map to provide a global overview of biofuel development.
The interactive map, called the Global Biofuel Information Tool (GBIT) and produced by CIFOR, provides a geographical overview of biofuel production, consumption and investment around the world.
Source: http://www.cifor.org/bioenergy/maps/

Cargotec to build a Euro 35 million Technology and Competence Centre in Tampere, Finland.
The centre will take three years to construct (2011 to 2013) and will focus on energy efficiency technologies and the intelligent use of machine. There will also be an extensive test and simulation area where automated equipment, navigation systems and remote steering and control will be tested. Source: www.cargotec.com

Precision Forestry in Advance Symposium – South Australia - 27 to 28 March 2012.
The symposium will take place at Mount Gambier during AusTimber 2012. The symposium has a strong forest engineering flavour, with sessions that include log transport planning, modelling harvester productivity, cost comparisons between infield chipping and cut-to-length operations, and planning and monitoring systems to control wood supply chains. Source: www.austimber2012.com.au  




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Equipment manufacturer and dealer movements

Finnish news – New Managing Director of Eco Log Oy.
Mikko Laurila has been appointed the new Managing Director of Eco Log. He has much global experience in the marketing and sales of forestry machines. The position will commence on 01 December 2012. Source: www.eco-log.se

USA news – New Territory Manager for FAE.
Brian Sellers is the new Territory Manager for the Midwest Region. Source: www.faeusa.com  




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16-19 November 2011 - EXPOCORMA - Concepcion, Chile. http://www.expocorma.cl  

17-18 November 2011 - FICA BIG DAY OUT 2011 (practical field day) - Masterton, New Zealand www.fica.org.nz  

22-24 March 2012 - WoodEX for Africa - Johannesburg, South Africa. http://www.woodexforafrica.com  

29-31 March 2012 - AusTimber (and conference) - Mount Gambier, South Australia. http://www.austimber2012.com.au/  

29 May-2 June 2012 - CONEXPO - Moscow, Russia. http://www.aem.org 

6-8 June 2012 - Forexpo 2012 - Mimizan, France. http://forexpo.mediaforest.net/     NEW!

13-16 June 2012 - KWF Expo 2012 - Bopfingen, Germany.  http://www.kwf-tagung.org/en/kwf-tagung/kwf-expo.html   

30 August-1 September 2012 - FinnMetko 2012 - Jämsänkoski, Finland. http://www.finnmetko.fi    NEW!
20-22 September 2012 - Demo International - Saint-Raymond, Quebec. http://www.demointernational.com  

5-8 June 2013 - ElmiaWood - Jonkoping, Sweden. http://www.elmia.se/en/wood/  





Andrew McEwan & Michal Brink




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