Advances in FOrestry Control and aUtomation System.. (FOCUS)
Advances in FOrestry Control and aUtomation Systems in Europe
Start date: Jan 1, 2014,
End date: Jun 30, 2016
The forest-based value chains are one of the dominant contributors to the GDP in the rural regions of Europe. Besides the traditional value chains, novel ones are in the horizon, with significant impacts on the requirements for the raw material supply chains. A major roadblock for improving forest-based value chains is the lack of integrated control and planning mechanism. FOCUS will demonstrate how innovative sensor technologies and control methods can solve this problem, with case studies in Finland, Belgium, Switzerland,Germany,Austria, Portugal covering the main forest-based production processes in Europe – biomass for bioenergy, timber and pulp wood, and cork transformation.The goal of FOCUS is to improve the individual value chain processes, and to remove the barriers for integrated planning and control for the whole value chain. The project brings together leading SMEs and organisations in the fields of environment and machine sensors, production machinery and control automation software development. The expertise is needed to address the key challenges: novel sensor development for environment, raw material and production machinery monitoring; new process specific control processes; plug-and-play composition of value chain wide control processes.The productivity and sustainability of the value chains will be enhanced by enabling the best use of the production resources, and by reducing harmful impacts like soil compaction by forest machines, and carbon footprint of the operations. Product marketability will be increased by traceability of raw material origin, and by controlling the quality of the raw material during the production process. The open source FOCUS platform will foster new business models by enabling several SMEs to jointly offer solutions. The project will be a paradigm for support of efficient and sustainable exploitation of existing and new forest-based value chains alike, and will enhance the economic development of European rural areas.
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