HIPHAR – High Precision Harvesting

In order to meet the current requirements of legislators [1], certificates (PEFC, FSC) as well as many NGOs (Greenpeace, NABU…) for highly mechanized timber harvesting and to be able to work more ecologically than before, new harvesting technologies are required. The reduction of damage to superficial roots and the contact surface pressure harmful to the forest soil is focused on in order to reduce negative massive and long-term structural changes in the topsoil (e.g. coarse and fine pore destruction). Conventional forestry technology disproportionately reduces the coarse pore space by driving over it, which leads, among other things, to increased oxygen depletion. The development of a new type of tape drive thus serves to protect the soil.

[1] Soil Protection Act, Federal Forest Act, Federal Nature Conservation Act, various state laws, information sheet of the Lower Saxony State Forests

The investigation of the latest location/orientation systems allows for a long-term protection of the soil, as existing backroads are recorded and located as re-accessible lanes. Based on this, an integration of the individual data will be used as additional information. It is planned to connect the telematics unit with the existing onboard systems and sensors of the timber harvesters. A further project content is the fully automated beech harvesting. Beech differs from softwood in weight, shape and diameter, which is why the harvesting nodules for softwood cannot be adopted without further adaptation and require new developments.

The Fraunhofer IML has worked with the companies FHS-Forsttechnik, Tyroller-Hydraulik, Pfahl, MK Systemtechnik, HS Rosenheim as well as TU Dresden on the implementation of the above mentioned goals. FHS-Forsttechnik was responsible for the planning, constructive implementation and prototype construction of the forwarder and the drive. FHS integrated the new component groups on a correspondingly modified standard forwarder. Support in the development of the electronic control and production was provided by Pfahl. The main focus of HS Rosenheim was on data collection in the field, which was to demonstrate the ecological advantage of the new tape drive to be developed. The conception and design of the hardwood harvester unit was carried out by the TU Dresden in cooperation with Tyroller-Hydraulik and Pfahl. The production of the aggregate was realized by the company Tyroller. The Fraunhofer IML coordinated the project and built on many years of experience in positioning and orientation technologies.