Galileo – optimized Timber Supply Chain

Anton Mayer

Forests in Germany cover 30% of the surface and are highly  important for recreation, protection of soil, cleaning  of air and water and maintaining a balanced climate.How can Galileo Satellite Navigation System (GSNS) help  to protect this sensible environmental balance and deliver  an economical profit on the other hand?

With this question in mind we started developing the concept  for the “Galileo Optimized Timber Supply Chain”.

Satellite Navigation and Radio Frequency, a comprehensive combination
Wood is, on a global basis, to be considered as the most important natural basic resource beside agricultural products. Worldwide harvesting of wood is in the range of 3.5 billion m3. In Germany per year approx. 50 million m3 are harvested, 50% fully machine-operated. The process we are considering starts at cutting the trees in the forest and ends in the sawmill. The concept is based on environment- friendly identifiers (chip-less transponder) to tag and identify each single piece of cut wood directly at the point of origin in the forest. By applying the GSNS each piece of wood, each pile of logs can be found easily and delivered directly with minimum possible lead time to the sawing mill. GSNS linked with the GigaTag™ system can help to provide better future management plans and to implement more environment- friendly harvesting methods. The implementation can be effected phase by phase and very smoothly. Tests according to the implementation plan can start with the existing GPS hardware and software. With the availability of GSNS, the Galileo System will be used for the full roll out.

The ideal Win/Win Situation
The GigaTag™ – GSNS combination allows an ideal win/win situation for every participant in the Timber Supply Chain. This includes the forest owner who benefits with app. 8¤/m3, the sawing mill with 5¤/m3 and, of course, the operators of the GSNS and the identification equipment providers (GigaTag™ Label, Sensor Hardware and Software). The primary advantage for tagging each log with an individual ID is the total control of the supply chain. At the point of origin all logs can be tracked and traced through the supply chain until the log is processed at the sawmill. Unnecessary double handling, e.g. double counting is dropped as the whole process is transparent and controllable. The benefit from the GSNS is the reduction of search time in the process, e.g. the forwarder knows in advance where to find the logs. The sawing mill knows where the piles are. Optimization systems can calculate the optimized routes for the transportation tracks. And the truck driver can easily find his way through the forest to the piles. According to a recently done survey the trucks need 31% of all the transportation, loading and unloading time from the point where they enter a forest to the point where they can start loading the piles.
The way from the loading point out of the forest only takes 9%, though they carry the heavy load. With GSNS these 31% can be remarkably shortened helping to protect the environment and saving money.

A glance into the future
A ten-step approach will bring the concept into life. In a roughly two-year timeframe, through feasibility tests and smooth implementation, the project will deliver the expected results. When GSNS is commercially available, customers are already waiting to switch gears.

Mr. Anton Mayer
Postfach 1444
82199 Gilching
phone: +49 (0) 8105 27 61 32