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Gearing up for Elmia Wood 2017

Held once every four years in the forest around Jönköping, Sweden, Elmia Wood is widely acknowledged as the world’s leading forestry fair. Decision makers from around the world converge at Elmia Wood to discover and experience firsthand the latest technology in use. To be held June 7-10, the organisers Elmia AB say that this edition will be "bigger and broader" than ever before with three new dedicated sections.

Small-scale harvesting and forwarding equipment are also showcased at Elmia Wood.

Small-scale harvesting and forwarding equipment are also showcased at Elmia Wood.

Held once every four years in the forest around Jönköping, Sweden, Elmia Wood has widely been acknowledged as the world’s leading forestry fair. To be held June 7-10, the organisers Elmia AB say that this edition will be “bigger and broader” than ever before.

For seasoned Elmia Wood participants, this means paying more attention to pre-event planning in order not to miss anything of importance. According to Jakob Hirsmark, Exhibition Manager for Elmia Wood, this edition will see three new dedicated sections that cater for forest logistics, wildlife/game management, and drone surveillance respectively.

A truck-mounted Erjo demonstrating chip'n'load.

A truck-mounted Erjo demonstrating chip’n’load.

The former is the biggest of these new sections, “Load & Transport” with its theme of forest roads, logistics, and timber handling. Big-name exhibitors planning major programmes in this section include MAN, Liebherr, Volvo and Tatra.

– It’s unusual to have such a strong and immediate response for a new section noted Hirsmark.

Wildlife and game management is an integral part of active forest management and game hunting is both a major recreational activity and a source of non-wood revenue stream for forest owners in Sweden and elsewhere. The new “Hunting” section brings together exhibitors, target practice ranges, food made from game and other activities.

Drone Zone

Another new section is the “Drone Zone” and as the name suggests, the theme is drones. Elmia is cooperating with UAS Forum, which organises the Nordic region’s leading conference on unmanned aerial vehicles.

– There will be presentations and shows several times each day. The exhibitors will be leading suppliers of applications and equipment, explained Urban Wahlberg of UAS Forum

The "Drone Zone" is a new dedicated section at the upcoming edition of Elmia Wood highlighting the maturity of the technology for forestry (photo courtesy Elmia).

The “Drone Zone” is a new dedicated section at the upcoming edition of Elmia Wood highlighting the maturity of the technology for forestry (photo courtesy Elmia).

However, drones are not an entirely new feature at Elmia’s forestry fairs. According to Hans Thunander, a certified forester already working with drones in the Swedish forest, drone technology was showcased at the previous edition of the fair to inspire the forest industry to think of new applications for the drones. Now they are a mature tool ready to be used.

– To me, a drone is like a pair of binoculars that can see around corners. It’s just as natural an aid as the other technology we’re already using. I hope that visitors to Elmia Wood will go home having realised that drones are not a futuristic vision but are mature technology ready to be used in the forest industry, remarked Thunander.

Survey larger areas

Drones are strongly associated with camera surveillance but that is not their purpose in the forest. Instead, they are used to gain an overview of larger areas. Using various types of sensors they can find windthrow, monitor stressed trees, count game and so on.

– Just imagine not having to walk and drive through large tracts of land after a storm. With a drone you can concentrate your efforts on where the damage is, highlights Thunander as an example.

As Elmia Wood is held out in the forest, the drones can be demonstrated in realistic conditions. The Drone Zone is located along Elmia Wood’s large-scale forest trail. Visitors can see with their own eyes the practical benefits of using drones.

– Drones are becoming an ever-more important part of forestry within the immediate future and that’s why they have a self-evident place at the world’s biggest forestry fair, remarked Hirsmark.

Acquiring new knowledge

The “Event Tent” with its seminar programme is another area where forestry decision-makers from around the world can gain high-quality knowledge. The seminars planned so far are entitled: Invasive species, Precision forestry, Careful logging, Remote sensing, and Technological leaps for future forestry. Germany’s KWF is also holding daily discussion forums for the German-speaking public.

– Brazil needs the latest expertise and technologies and they’re presented at Elmia Wood, commented Jorge R. Malinovski, General Director of Malinovski, a Brazilian forestry consulting company.

Close-up action and live demo's are a hallmark feature of Elmia Wood.

Close-up action and live demo’s are a hallmark feature of Elmia Wood.

The company organises Expoforest, South America’s leading forestry fair. But it is to Sweden that Brazilians come to find the very latest developments. Jorge Malinovski will be attending the next international forestry fair, Elmia Wood 2017, with some 40 decision-makers from some of the country’s major forestry companies.

– They are looking for technical innovations and international partnerships, he said.

Climate change behind drought

Much of Brazilian tree cultivation is done on plantations, with the biggest increases occurring in the southeast of the country. The most common tree species are eucalyptus and pine along with Paricá, Teca, Mogno Africano, Seringueira and Australian cedar.

Komatsu Forest Brazil has revealed a record order to supply a eucalyptus harvesting and forwarding fleet to Fibria (photo courtesy Komatsu Forest).

Komatsu Forest Brazil revealed a record order to supply a eucalyptus harvesting and forwarding fleet to Fibria (photo courtesy Komatsu Forest).

Tree growth rates are very high compared to traditional forestry nations in the northern hemisphere. In the right conditions, eucalyptus growth is about 50 cubic metres per ha and year, with final felling after 7 years for pulpwood and 16 years for sawlogs. Although it is not possible to make a totally fair comparison, trees on Brazilian plantations grow four to five times faster than conifers in the northern hemisphere.

Good conditions for forestry are the foundation for major investments, mainly in the production of paper pulp. From 2011 to 2019 pulp capacity is estimated to more than double, from 14 to 30 million tonnes per annum. Fibria’s pulp capacity expansion project at its Três Lagoas facility known as Horizonte 2 in Mato Grosso do Sul state is a case in point.

At the same time, ongoing climate change is suspected of causing drought in parts of Brazil, mainly in the west and northeast regions. The result can be less growth and lower felling productivity. Brazil’s forestry industry is aiming to balance this situation with the aid of the latest knowledge and technologies.

A must-attend

According to Malinovski, that is why a delegation from the country’s bigger forest companies is coming to Sweden and Elmia Wood 2017.

– It is at Elmia Wood that manufacturers launch their new harvesting machinery and other forestry equipment. It is simply a trade fair that all forestry professionals need to attend, said Jorge Malinovski.

Hirsmark points out that the fair as a whole is more clearly divided by theme to make it easier for visitors to find the exhibitors they want.

– This arrangement is necessary because Elmia Wood is growing and would otherwise be hard to navigate. We recommend a couple of days at the fair so you can have time to discover everything that’s happening in the forest industry, said Jakob Hirsmark.

The upcoming Elmia Wood June 7-10 is set to be a record-breaker.

The upcoming Elmia Wood June 7-10 is set to be a record-breaker.

It is sound advice, which along with appropriate footwear and outdoor clothing will have you geared up to make your participation at the world’s leading forestry fair a pleasurable and profitable experience. Bioenergy International along with our sister publication Tidningen Bioenergi will also be in attendance on site and you are welcome to drop by stand 196 and share your forest biomass news and views.

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