Joint bulletin from Luke and TTS (Työtehoseura)
According to the results of a survey conducted by TTS, nearly a third of forest machine operators with operations in Finland do not consider the data collected by a forest machine important for their business. The survey is part of the FOBIA project coordinated by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). The project aims to develop the business competence of forest service companies operating in the peripheral regions of Finland, Sweden, Scotland and Ireland.
Machine data refers to the harvesting data generated by forest machines, which includes data describing time use, the volume and quality of the wood, as well as the conditions and location of the harvesting.
Machine data offers advantages both inside and outside the forest machine’s cab. Photo: TTS (Työtehoseura)
Use of machine data varies
According to the survey results, 70% of respondents considered machine data to some extent necessary for their business, whereas 30% did not consider it important in any way. A failure to take advantage of machine data may be an indication of a lack of time or skills, or of the unavailability of suitable tools to interpret the data.
“Machine data yields valuable information on harvesting costs, for example, which is beneficial in the pricing of work,” says Paula Jylhä, the project’s coordinator and a Senior Scientist at Luke.
According to the survey, on a monthly level, machine data is used most for negotiations concerning the pricing of harvesting and for pricing reviews. On a weekly basis, many of the respondents use data for the machine’s maintenance and the instructions they give to operators. On a daily level, data is used for harvesting plans. Entrepreneurs use machine data least in budgeting.
“Machine data is still used fairly little in the companies’ financial and resource management. There are a number of functional applications for this purpose, which will allow even small companies to pursue better profitability,” says Arto Kettunen, Specialised Expert of TTS.
Much ground to cover in the use of data in Ireland and Scotland
A corresponding survey was also conducted among forest machine and forest service entrepreneurs in Ireland and Scotland. The survey revealed data was available to only some of the entrepreneurs: 30–40% of respondents were under the impression that they did not even have access to machine data. This is also likely to influence the fact that the use of machine data in these countries is nowhere near that in Finland and Sweden. Respondents in Scotland and Ireland indeed wished not only for access to data but training in its use. This need will be responded to with an online training platform under development in the FOBIA project.
FOBIA is a three-year project with funding of EUR 1.9 million provided by the EU Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic programme. Project participants include, in addition to Luke and TTS, Riveria, Tietohippu Oy, Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet SLU, SE Skogsentreprenörerna, Inverness College-UHI and the Waterford Institute of Technology. The project also has 11 associated partners, including the biggest forest machine manufacturers Ponsse, Komatsu Forest and John Deere Forest, as well as, in terms of Finnish parties, Koneyrittäjien liitto and the Finnish Forest Centre.
Arto Kettunen, Specialised Expert, TTS (firstname.lastname@example.org, +358500454017)
Paula Jylhä, Coordinator, Senior Scientist, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) (email@example.com, +258295323432)