Go back

All geared up for Elmia Wood 2017

As the Swedish National Day draws to a close and with the stand preparations for Elmia Wood completed, all that remains is to get some shut-eye before the onslaught of four days on adrenalin that begins in a few short hours.

View from the Bioenergy International, Tidningen Bioenergi and SVEBIO stand on the eve of Elmia Wood 2017.

View from the Bioenergy International, Tidningen Bioenergi and SVEBIO stand on the eve of Elmia Wood 2017.

On reflection, it is a bit of an anniversary, bang on two decades since my first Elmia Wood experience in 1997. Since then much has happened though three reoccurring themes spring to mind; lighter footprint, residue extraction and combination machines.

Lighter footprint

The most spectacular machine in 1997 was the Plustech/Timberjack (now John Deere) walking harvester – it had six legs each with a saucer-like foot instead of wheels and looked a bit like a green beetle, whatever happened to it I wonder?

Back on track – In 1997, both Bell and Caterpillar had tracked skidders for tree-length – now it seems tracked carriers are back in vogue for forwarders, harvesters as well as chippers and grinders.

Vibration test being performed at the Skogsforsk test site in Sweden (photo courtesy Skogforsk).

Vibration test being performed at the Skogsforsk test site in Sweden (photo courtesy Skogforsk).

Incidentally in 1997 Caterpillar had just entered the cut-to-length (CTL) market by acquiring Skogsjan from Swedish innovator Jan Eriksson, best known for the “Spindeln” (Spider) four-wheeled harvester whereby each wheel could be individually manoeuvred. Jan Eriksson started TimBear in 2008 that produced “Lightlogg” compact tracked machines launched at Elmia Wood 2009 though the company went bust 2014.

Residue-bundling

Bala Press (now Flexus Balasystem) had an agri-style residue baler whereas both Valmet (now Komatsu Forest) and Timberjack (now John Deere) had bundlers, the idea being to produce logs or cigars of residue that fit into the existing logistics system ie forwarders and timber trucks.

Increased use of forest biomass is likely to drive innovation in the harvesting and logistics chain, such as this Fixteri biomass bundler for utilising pre-commercial thinnings.

Increased use of forest biomass is likely to drive innovation in the harvesting and logistics chain, such as this Fixteri biomass bundler for utilising pre-commercial thinnings.

The latter was sold just earlier this year to Dutch Dragon that has been spotted on site earlier today. Founded in 2003, Fixteri Oy has since taken small wood harvesting and residue bundling to a new level in Finland whereas Flexus work with stationary systems for the waste and recycling industry.

Combination machines

The Pinomäki “harwarder”, a combined harvester/forwarder developed by the late Sakari Pinomäki, the Finnish innovator widely credited with being the first to develop the CTL two machine system when he introduced the PIKA model 75 in 1974 and called it a harvester. The novelty then being a purpose built machine that felled, delimbed and CTL.

What new machine Komatsu Forest will reveal at Elmia Wood remains to been, perhaps an updated X19 Drivaren?

What new machine Komatsu Forest will reveal at Elmia Wood remains to been, perhaps an updated X19 Drivaren?

The “harwarder” or combination concept launched by Pinomäki in 1997 has since been developed by others including Komatsu Forest with its X19 “Drivaren” but also more recently by companies like Malwa Forest.

Undoubtedly there are plenty of other developments – heli-logging for instance. Not a big thing in this part of the world, though in 1997 Elmia Wood had a civilian helicopter turn-up. This edition has a drone zone instead.

First test of the BioLite II camp stove arguably the world's smallest portable biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) unit.

First test of the BioLite II camp stove arguably the world’s smallest portable biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) unit.

Why not drop by stand 196 and share your forest and biomass news and views. And check out the nano biomass-fired combined heat and power plant that will keep the coffee water hot, the phone charged and the clothes dry if the heavens should open.

We're using cookies. Read more