SCA was a part of the three year project Remote Timber, that was concluded in August 2022. The aim of the research project was to examine how new technology such as 5G could could enable the hundreds of timber terminals across Sweden to be manned with remote-controlled timber loaders in the future.
The global premier of a remote-controlled High-lift wheel loader over 5G in SCA's wood terminal at Torsboda, Timrå in November 2021, is an important step towards remote-controlled machines and safer timber handling. Safer work environment is also an important part of the project and SCA’s sustainability work as well. Behind the research project is Mid Sweden University, SCA, Volvo CE, Telia, Biometria and Skogforsk.
The aim of the research project was to examine how new technology such as 5G could enable the hundreds of timber terminals across Sweden to be manned with remote-controlled timber loaders in the future.
In November 2021, the loader was tested at SCA's wood terminal at Torsboda, Timrå. Volvo CE had remodeled and equipped an L180 High-lift wheel loader with connected cameras and sensors that make it possible to remotely control the machine. All data is sent without delay using Telia’s 5G technology, which means that the operator has the same experience as if they were in the machine. This is entirely critical for being able to carry out remote control with precision and in a safe manner.
The results of the testing week have been successful and demonstrated that the new technology can enable remote-controlled terminals, and in doing so, make timber loading more efficient and provide operators with a safer and more conducive work environment, eliminating vibrations from machines, noise and lone working.
“This is an excellent project where we can assess how we can use 5G technology for remote control and the possibility of working remotely while connected. The project is entirely in line with SCA’s ambition to drive the trend toward more autonomous vehicles and improved operator support. This is also a key component of making forestry even more sustainable. Remote-controlled terminals can improve the work environment for operators, increase accessibility at the terminals and ensure efficient utilization of our machines,” says Magnus Bergman, head of staff, technology and digitalization at SCA Skog.
The Remote Timber research project is supported by Biometria, Mid Sweden University, Volvo Construction Equipment, SCA, Telia and Skogforsk. The research project is financed by the participating parties and by VINNOVA’s vehicle strategic research and innovation (FFI) program. The project also maps s current legislation and regulations in order to shed light on the legal preconditions for commercialization.