European project Forwarder2020

Smart Forwarder for sustainable and efficient forest operation and management

Forwarders are of special interest for sustainable forestry because they have the largest wheel load and the least impact on soil compaction. Moreover, these machines have to overcome long hauling distances between the felling site and the forest road. In order to protect the forest soil and to improve energy-efficient operations, the Hohenlohe Spezial Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. (HSM) from Neukupfer together with 12 partners developed a forwarder with a rear triple-bogie axle and a hybrid hydraulic system for the crane, supported by the Innovation Action Forwarder2020, co-financed by the European Commission.

Focus of this new technology is the sustainability of wood production and wood transport as well as the improvement of forest management and planning processes. The intelligent crane return train exhibits several innovations such as a hydrostatic-mechanic power split transmission, a hydro pneumatic suspension, a hybrid hydraulic system to power the loading crane with energy recovery, a rear triple-bogie axle and an innovative monitoring system for the documentation of the process data. In case of the rear triple-bogie axle, all six wheels are powered. The three wheels on each side are flexible, meaning that they can adapt to any kind of ground, which is quite innovative. Moreover, the rear triple-bogie axle can be replaced by a tandem axle at any time. The intelligent crane control promises energy savings of 30% through reversal and recuperation of energy as well as improved hydraulics.

The machine has been tested in forests in Germany (Saxony), Scotland and Lithuania with the aim to reduce the fuel consumption by 30 % and to decrease the ground pressure by 30 %. Beyond that, the forwarder is prepared for the digital future: sensors collect all data during operation and save them in a cloud in order to use them for further optimisation and planning.

Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum helped conceptualise the EU proposal and, as a project partner, supported research, development, communication and knowledge transfer.

Forwarder2020 has been funded by H2020, Grant Agreement Nr. 727883.

Project duration: 10/2016 - 09/2019

Countries: Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, Scotland, Switzerland

Portrait Anthony Salingre
Dr. Anthony Salingre
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