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.
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.
|EU research is minimising the environmental impact of wood-based industries.|
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
“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.