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Jonsson, Johan, 2009. Automation of pulp wood measuring : an economical analysis. Second cycle, A1E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Forest Products

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Abstract

The pulp industry in Sweden has played an important role in the country’s economy and still does. It is an energy and raw material-consuming industry with a high degree of industrialization and automation. Much work has been done to reduce labor costs by replacing manual work with technology. In this context, it is remarkable that no precise instrument has been created to help the measurement personnel in their time-consuming work on determining the volume and value of pulpwood delivered to the mills. The delivery to and measuring of raw material at the mills plays an important role in the logistics from the forests to the industry. Measurements have to be performed accurately in order to work as a basis of payment. The way the measurement procedure works today is that one truck has to stand still blocking other trucks when its load is being measured. In the future, it might be possible to speed up this procedure and reduce the manual work with automated measurement. However, transforming an acknowledged method is no easy task, it costs money and patients. For this reason it would be of interest to see whether it would be worth making the effort and whether it would be in the interest of the industry to adopt the new technique.

The aim of this thesis is to determine what benefits that exist when it comes to automation of pulp wood measurement and to determine the possibility of gaining these benefits when installing the equipment. Investigations were made at seven mills. The collection of data for the calculations was made by means of interviews with a standardized questionnaire mailed in advance to the respondents. The respondents were personnel at the pulp mills and in the wood measurement organizations. These data were then processed in order to make net present value calculations and sensitivity analysis possible.

The calculations show that the investment is beneficial even with hard constraints in investment horizon and cost of capital. According to most respondents the benefits discussed are possible to realize. The laser measurement can be installed and adapted to Swedish conditions with benefit for most plants. The risks that can have an impact on the outcome of an investment are much due to the new and in Sweden almost untested technology. Because of this there is a risk in the start up phase and how easy the technology fits in to the measurement regulations that exists today. The forecast for the implementation of this new technology however looks good. To get leverage to the investment it is of importance not only to try to adapt the new technology to the circumstances today but also be willing to adapt parts of the measuring to gain extra effect of the new technique.

Main title:Automation of pulp wood measuring
Subtitle:an economical analysis
Authors:Jonsson, Johan
Supervisor:Lönnstedt, Lars
Examiner:Elowson, Torbjörn
Series:Examensarbeten (SLU, Institutionen för skogens produkter)
Volume/Sequential designation:36
Year of Publication:2009
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A1E
Student's programme affiliation:SY001 Forest Science - Master's Programme 300 HEC
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Products
Keywords:laser measurement, net present value, sensitivity analysis, Swedish pulp industry
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-2-91
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-2-91
Subjects:Processing of forest products
Organization, administration and management of agricultural enterprises or farms
Language:English
Deposited On:18 Aug 2009 06:39
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:09

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