Advance digitalization in the forest!

Information management and telecommunications play an increasingly important role in modern forestry. Cutting-edge technologies and digital tools make numerous procedures easier. These include forest planning, forest inventories and wood stock estimation, measuring procedures such as soil analysis, terrestrial surveys and log measurement, documentation and performance assessment and even navigation and location sharing. The range of applications is already very wide and will continue to grow as digitalization progresses.

At INTERFORST 2022, you can find out what innovations cater for the needs of the modern forestry industry, what trends are emerging and what tools are the right ones for you. What are the specific requirements as regards information management and telecommunications in forests? The event will focus on applications and feature numerous live demonstrations regarding the following topics:

Equipment and systems for analysis and measurement

With the help of innovative technology and intelligent systems, analysis and measurement processes in forestry can be made significantly easier. For example:

  • Terrestrial surveys and forest mapping
  • Aerial photogrammetry
  • Site surveys and soil analysis
  • Forest planning and wood stock estimation
  • Log measurement, volume and weight calculation
  • Work evaluations and performance assessments

The following providers shared their expertise at the last event:

  • TAMA Group GmbH
  • Quantum-Systems GmbH
  • Tamtron Group
  • Dralle A/S
  • Intermercato AB

Terrestrial surveys and forest mapping

The cadastral authorities’ tasks include forest mapping and terrestrial surveys. The aim of these is to document boundaries and determine the properties of specific site areas. One common method is terrestrial 3D laser scanning (TLS) where objects are scanned contactlessly within a set grid. The unstructured cloud of dots which results provides a three-dimensional image of the measured object. GPS measurement, laser and 3D measurement, reflectorless measurements and automatic target identification and tracking will also be topics at INTERFORST.

In 2018, the specialists included:

  • IFER - Monitoring and Mapping Solutions Ltd.
  • Laser Technology Inc.

GPS/GIS and navigation

In the forestry sector, spatial data are mainly collected via GIS (geographical information system). It makes many tasks easier, for example forest inventories or

forest planning, by collecting data on location and preparing these data digitally later on. This results in accurate maps and precision navigation solutions.

In 2018, exhibitors included the following companies:

  • Giftthaler Geoinformation
  • ili gis services
  • Gottlieb Nestle GmbH Vermessungsgeräte
  • ppm GmbH

Wood labeling, wood numbering, marking aids and marking paints

Wood can be labeled using weather-resistant paints in the forest

or during further processing after trees are felled. A wide range of techniques are used – techniques which can be integrated into the production line.

The following providers were present at INTERFORST 2018:

  • Grube KG Forstgerätestelle
  • Martens Forsttechnik GmbH
  • Technima Central GmbH
  • WALDSTEIN Forstmarkierfarben

Log measurement, volume and weight calculation

A three-dimensional image of a log which is as accurate as possible helps to maximize quantity and quality when the bark is stripped. In the process, a log profile is measured using high-performance 3D scanners in order to detect irregularities and contour defects and thus classify the logs. This can be done manually or digitally, although the later saves significant amounts of time. Logs lying on vehicles are photographed from all angles using a digital camera – this is possible even under difficult lighting conditions or if the logs are stacked irregularly. The data collected are used to produce a 3D view and a measurement report.

In 2018, the following companies shared their detailed knowledge:

  • Dieterich + Gräber GmbH & Co. KG
  • Dralle A/S
  • GDD-IT GmbH
  • Laser Technology Inc.
  • Dralle A/S
  • Intermercato AB

Communications technology and telecommunications in forests

The following communications specialists were present in 2018:

  • Bareither + Raisch Funktechnik
  • Blickle & Scherer Kommunikationstechnik GmbH & Co. KG
  • Inforst UG (limited liability)
  • INTEND Geoinformatik GmbH
  • Sensor-Technik Wiedemann GmbH (STW)

Digitalization in forestry and Forest 4.0

The forestry community is keen to see greater and more comprehensive digitalization of the forestry industry. The problem – an excessively high workload which makes carrying out digital projects difficult. As the leading international trade fair for the forestry industry and forestry technology, INTERFORST believes it has a responsibility to make digitalization in forests as accessible and practical as possible – ideally along the entire value creation chain. The aim is to identify the advantages and potential offered by digitalization and to provide valuable guidance as a result.

Forest 4.0: Through the use of artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning, processes in the forestry industry can be sped up and fully automated. Undeniably, switching to digital products will help to cut costs and increase yields.

Interforst 2022 will offer new ideas and provide insights into how digitalization in forests and Forest 4.0 can be refined and further developed.

Electronic data processing systems and digital forest inventories

A number of firms already offer a complete, comprehensive digital forest inventory service including soil analysis and terrestrial surveys. Multifunctional area management tools for foresters based on AI are used to measure every individual tree in the forest and to collect accurate information about the entire stock. On the basis of this information, individual management strategies can be developed and significant increases in value can be achieved.

The complete digitalization of the forestry industry begins for example with monitoring the saplingsby comprehensively observing their survival rate and then continues until plans are finally made for harvesting. The algorithms process aerial image data from various sources, e.g. from aircraft, drones and satellites, in order to produce detailed maps showing the number of trees as well as the height and volume of tree stocks. On the basis of this, parameters for weed control, replanting and thinning can be calculated. In short, it is possible to establish a comprehensive forest management system. The benefits? Significant increases in growth, permanent cost savings and a reduction in the differences between planned and actual amounts harvested which helps to avoid contractual penalties owing to short or excess deliveries.

The following providers shared their know-how in 2018:

  • Abies ITS GmbH
  • Forstware Informationssysteme GmbH
  • GISCON Systems GmbH
  • RWTH Aachen University
  • OGF Ostdeutsche Gesellschaft für Forstplanung mbH
  • PWA Electronic Service- und Vertriebs GmbH

Equipment and systems for forest planning and wood stock estimation

The following companies exhibited in 2018:

  • Breithaupt & Sohn GmbH & Co. KG
  • Forstware Informationssysteme GmbH
  • Grube KG Forstgerätestelle
  • Haglöf Sweden AB
  • Laser Technology Inc.
  • Umweltdata GmbH

Equipment and systems for work evaluations and performance assessments

At the last INTERFORST, the following companies exhibited:

  • Sensor-Technik Wiedemann GmbH (STW)
  • TTControl GmbH

It will be interesting to see which companies offer detailed insights and new ideas in 2022!