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Headlines Published on 20 December 2006

Title EU-funded project tracks wood from forest floor to showroom floor

Europe’s forests are an invaluable resource vital to European economic success, not to mention a sustained high quality of living for European citizens. Wood products derived from forests are an important link in the production chain for many European firms, and given the importance of forests in general, proper and efficient management of European cut wood is of the utmost importance. The EU-funded project Indisputable Key will develop ICT management systems to optimise forest production throughout the value chain minimising waste of such a precious natural resource and the environmental impact of harvesting wood.

EU research is minimising the environmental impact of wood-based industries. © Eleassar
EU research is minimising the environmental impact of wood-based industries.
© Eleassar
Indisputable Key, funded under FP6, will develop methodologies to ensure the traceability of wood resources from the time they are cut to the moment they are sanded as a finished product.

Richard Uusijärvi, Indisputable Key project coordinator, is confident that the project will help protect Europe’s forests while helping to maintain the competitiveness of wood-based industries.

“The forestry and wood sector is one of the most important sectors in the European Union. This project will enable this sector to improve the efficiency of the value chain and to be more competitive. With optimal project results, we hope to see increased production efficiency, improved logistics, and minimised environmental impacts in sawmills and other wood manufacturing companies. These solutions will have many beneficial outcomes on wood product life-cycles as well as the environment.”

The project participants estimate that the mismanagement of wood accounts for up to 25 million m3 of wasted resources worth up to €5 billion. To address the problem, the consortium will develop systems based on the Individual Associated Data (IAD) concept, which facilitates automatic tracking of data along the forest-wood chain. This tracking system records the specifications of wood that have significant bearing on the quality of the wood produced, e.g. breast height diameter class, log number in the stem and cutting date.

Indisputable Key will improve upon established methods securing the delivery of such vital statistics throughout the supply chain. Indisputable Key will integrate ICT tools into a seamless system to facilitate the transfer of cut wood from the forest to the end users. Frontline mechatronics, software, nano mechanics and electronics R&D partners will pool their respective resources and expertise to develop these systems.

Determining the environmental effects of Indisputable Key systems will be implemented at different nodes of the forest-wood production chain by consortium specialists and tested by industry leaders and fore-runner SMEs at various hardwood and softwood forest sites in France, Norway, Finland and Sweden.

More information:

  • Indisputable Key on CORDIS
  • EU-Agrinet

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