Elmia – The Big One
By Bill Tice
Billed as the largest forestry trade fair in the world, Elmia Wood brings forest industry professionals from around the globe to southern Sweden every four years for four days of live product demonstrations, new product releases, and networking opportunities. Held from June 3 to 6 in a managed forest near the lakeside city of Jonköping, this year’s event attracted over 46,000 individual visitors.
By Bill Tice
Despite the current global economic crisis and reduced demand for forest products, the mood at the fair was cautious, but one of optimism and hope. Organizers were concerned that the economic situation may have put a damper on the event, but they were pleased with the industry’s response.
“Our biggest worry prior to Elmia Wood 2009 was whether the international visitors would come to the extent that both we and our exhibitors are used to,” says Per Jonsson, project manager for this year’s fair. “The economic situation has been almost equally terrible in all the world’s forestry nations. Now we can see that our big inter-
national markets campaign has paid off, and it feels terrific.”
The site for this year’s Elmia Wood covered 150 hectares and included a 68,000-square-metre stand area and a 200,000-square-metre demonstration area. Frequent shuttle buses moved attendees between a “large-scale trail” and a “small-scale trail.” In total, almost 500 exhibitors from leading global manufacturers of forest machinery to innovate newcomers to the industry were represented at the fair.
Compared with previous fairs, bioenergy had a greater presence this time around, with everything from machines for slash handling and stump grinding to chippers and wood boilers being presented. Fair organizers said that above all, this year’s “Elmia Wood was an important meeting place for the entire forest industry at a time when the economy could be turning around.”
In addition to presenting the fair, organizers held a Slash Conference the day prior to the opening of the event. The one-day conference provided a Swedish perspective on bioenergy and attracted approximately 130 people from almost 30 countries. Look for more coverage on the slash conference in an upcoming issue of our sister publication – Canadian Biomass.
Many of the exhibitors at the fair used the venue to present new equipment, prototypes, or improved models. Here’s a brief wrapup of what some manufactures had on display. Due to the large volume of new and interesting products, we will cover some products in this issue and will continue our coverage of Elmia Wood in our next issue – August/September.
Caterpillar Forest Products
Cat introduced a pair of new forwarders at Elmia that are designed to withstand the demanding requirements of transporting large payloads over long distances and in difficult terrain. The Cat 584 offers an 18-tonne capacity, while the 584HD can handle up to 20 tonnes. The 18-tonne model was matched up with a Cat rubber tired harvester and harvesting head for a live demonstration at the show.
During the design process for the new forwarders, Caterpillar engineers went to the end customer for feedback, interviewing current forwarder owners to learn what features they wanted in the new generation of machines. Logging contractors and prototype operators who previewed the 584 and 584HD said they liked the sturdiness, the strength of the centre oscillation joint, and the styling, features and roominess of the cab.
Both forwarders are available in an eight-wheel-drive configuration, while the smaller 584 is also available with six-wheel-drive. The machines are equipped with a field-proven hydrostatic propel system for maximum power on grade through a wide engine r.p.m. and ground speed range, which Caterpillar says results in “infinitely variable speeds at peak power and dynamic braking on steep terrain.”
In the cab, operators will enjoy a totally new design that offers a comfortable and spacious environment featuring automatic temperature controls on the heater/AC, low effort ergonomic joystick controls, easy entry and exit, and excellent visibility.
The Cat C7 Tier III-compliant engine powers both forwarders with ACERT Technology that delivers 204 kilowatts of gross power at 1,800 r.p.m. A large diameter cooling fan with its own hydraulic pump provides increased fuel efficiency and allows the forwarders to perform well in cold climate conditions by allowing system temperatures to increase to the desired operating levels quickly.
One product that caught the attention of many attendees was from Swedish manufacturer, Gremo AB. The company demonstrated its Besten 106RH, which is a driverless final felling system. The 106RH works with two forwarders, harvesting timber for one while the second one delivers a load to the roadside.
The 106RH is directed with a Dasa5 control system that is equipped with digital and analog safety functions, preventing communication problems and interference from other units with the same control system.
Powered by a John Deere 6.8-litre, 6-cylinder engine with turbo and water-cooled intercooler, the harvester can produce 257 horsepower (181 kilowatts) at 2,000 r.p.m. The harvester head is a SP 661 LF with loghold and quick cut, and features a Hultdins automatic chain stretcher. Heads for thinning, lighter felling, and heavier felling are also available.
Gremo had the driverless harvester coupled with a 1350 VT forwarder, which features a continuously working and variable speed hydrostatic transmission called Gre-VT. This unique transmission cuts the working cycles, increasing performance and profitability. The driver does not have to shift gears, but can select one of two speed ranges – 0-11.8 kilometres per hour or 0-25 kilometres per hour. Engaging and disengaging are controlled by GreControl, a software program developed by Gremo.www.gremo.com
It wasn’t just the big equipment that was on display at Elmia. Honda showed how getting out to the block could be a lot more fun with its new Honda TRX420FE. In Canada, the ATV is currently on special for $7,349. It is equipped with a liquid-cooled 420cc engine that is fuel-injected for consistent operation in the toughest conditions and features an engine and chassis design that contribute to superior balance and a light weight. It also features ESP push-button shifting, front disc brakes with long-life pads, and a special scraper system to prevent damage. It is available in red and black, and there is an option of NaturalGear camo bodywork.
Attachment manufacturer Hultdins had a number of its products on display at Elmia, including the new SuperGrip II cut to length grapple. The Swedish manufacturer is well known in Canada and has a sales office in Brantford, Ont.
The company says the SuperGrip II features unique arm geometry that improves the selection and handling of individual logs, an asymmetric grapple arm design to improve the rolling of the logs into the grapple during the loading process, a new tip design to minimize picking up unwanted debris, and the ability to handle multiple applications from round wood to biomass.
It was quite the performance at the Komatsu Forest stand as they used a choreographed show complete with rock music, flames and flag waving Valmet machines to showcase the world premiere of six new pieces of forestry equipment.
The lineup included the new Valmet 931 harvester, a pair of machines designed to excel at thinning including the Valmet 901TX harvester and the Valmet 840TX forwarder, and three new heads – the Valmet 365, the Valmet 378 and the Valmet 370E continuous rotating head.
The 931 harvester offers the optimal combination of strength and flexibility, partly provided through the powerful lifting force of the new CRH22 boom and the machine’s new engine that delivers more power and improved fuel economy.
Komatsu Forest describes the new 901TX harvester as a “true thinning expert” that is part of a new concept for optimizing thinning work. The TX designation stands for Thinning Xpert and the machine features a unique balanced bogie concept and larger size tires. Together, they lower the ground pressure and environmental impact of the machine, which is an important consideration in thinning applications.
The 901TX is well suited to the 840TX forwarder that is equipped with a short rear frame that helps the machine follow curves well, while a short nose provides excellent manoeuvrability in difficult terrain.
When it comes to heads, the new Valmet 365 is a highly productive and reliable all-round harvesting head that offers the optimal combination of strength, flexibility, and reliability. The new 378 two-wheel feed harvesting head is designed for tracked machines and excavators weighing more than 20 tons, while the 370E is the world’s first head with a continuous rotation function. This enables the head to rotate fully without risking hose breakage.
Finnish equipment manufacturer Logset had a number of pieces of equipment on display at Elmia, with many of them promoting the company’s mandate of producing machines with low running costs and minimal fuel consumption. Calling their stand “Fuel Economy Corner,” Logset promoted its TOC control system and demonstrated how it works together with Agco Sisu Power engines and custom software to produce optimized power and torque, while keeping fuel consumption low.
The Logset harvester range, which includes the 5H, 8H and 10H, can handle everything from thinning to clear cutting. In addition to promoting its harvesters at Elmia, the company also presented a wide range of harvester heads, including the launch of the 5L head with an additional package specially designed for energy wood harvesting. For Elmia, the 5L was fitted to a Kaiser excavator. Logset has gained extensive experience in excavator conversions since the mid 1990s.
The company’s Titan forwarders were also on display, including Logset’s largest model, the 18-tonne 10F. The large cabs in the Titan line provide the operator with a high degree of comfort and excellent ergonomics. In addition, the cabs are quiet, offer fully automatic climate control, and a low window line for improved operator visibility.
At the stand for Finnish tire manufacturer, Nokian, a new tire pressure monitoring system featuring an LED warning was on display. The LED flashes when tire pressure changes and an adjustment is needed. The company says the LED runs on battery power, but the battery is only used when the tire pressure drops and the LED is activated.
The LED is easy to use and operate and is installed with an anti-theft tool that is included with the kit. Before installing the LED, the tire needs to be inflated to the recommended value. Once installed, the Tire Pressure LED is calibrated and constantly monitors the tire pressure. If the LED starts to flash, you simply remove the LED with the anti-theft tool, adjust the tire pressure, and then reinstall the LED.
Nokian says the LED system eliminates the need for regular pressure checks, increases tire and tube lifespan and prevents tire damage due to under inflation.
A number of chipper/grinder manufacturers were on hand at the show, including Rotochopper Inc. from St. Martin, Minn. The company demonstrated its B66 mobile Rotochopper, which is larger than previous models and offers a bigger throat opening at 66 inches wide and 32 inches deep. The B66 is capable of processing a whole 32-inch-diameter tree: limb, leaf, branch and trunk. The B66 is also equipped with a larger engine with power up to 750 horsepower and features the “StopWatch” metal alert and diagnostic system, which will stop the grinder before it inhales large pieces of steel. The B66 also features baffled screens for fine-tuning product quality and texture, while the grind and colour system provides “Perfect In One Pass” mulch.
German materials handling equipment company Sennebogen had a full range of products on display at Elmia, including the 730M HD, which is ideally suited for the wood industry. For loading trucks or working in the mill yard, the 730M HD has a reach of 11 metres, and as part of the company’s “Green Line” it is designed for maximum productivity and performance.
There was a lot of interest at the Volvo stand as the company demonstrated the EI-forest F15 pre-series hybrid forwarder. EI-forest AB developed this machine with assistance from the Volvo Technology Transfer venture-capital company. Sveaskog, a publicly owned Swedish forest company, has been using a similar machine, labelled the F14, since March of this year. These machines are the world’s first forwarders to utilize electric-hybrid technology, which offers the possibility of reducing fuel consumption by 20-50%. This reduction in fuel consumption can also sharply reduce carbon-dioxide emissions.
The hybrid forwarders are lighter than a conventional forwarder of the same size, but can handle the same load. There is less impact on the forest environment due to a patented frame structure that enables all electric-driven wheels to follow the same track with adapted speed.
Volvo demonstrated a full range of products at Elmia, including equipment for road building, harvesting, transportation, material handling and biomass harvesting. An EC210C fitted with a stump harvesting attachment that can be used for biomass applications demonstrated the versatility of Volvo excavators in both construction and forestry applications.
More to Come
There’s just too much to cover from Elmia in this issue, so our coverage of the fair will continue in the next issue of Canadian Forest Industries. We will have more updates on what’s new from some of the large international companies to smaller manufacturers that offer everything from chipping equipment to processing heads. There’s a lot more news to come from John Deere, Tigercat, Rottne, Ponsse, Bracke Forest, Keto, LogMax and many more.