Innovation in the forest
BraSatt 01, the planting machine developed by Södra for optimal plant survival, has shown positive results during its latest testing phase, offering the chance of major improvements in forestry. Improved seedling survival will create the conditions for higher profitability for family forestry and also contribute to more sustainable forestry.
There have been no major technological breakthroughs in regeneration since the planting tube arrived. BraSatt 01 represents a significant step forward, as Anna Wallner, project manager, explains:
“We started the BraSatt project in 2020 with the aim of developing a new method for soil preparation and planting of forest seedlings to ensure seedling survival. The seedling survival rate is a problem for all forest companies: ours is 70–75 percent, which means that one in four seedlings does not see its 3rd birthday.
"We have developed a concept and tested a new method for soil preparation, as well as a self-propelled machine for planting in the forest environment. BraSatt has included the entire chain from planning to the seedling being planted in the ground," Wallner continuous. “Our hope is that the machine will follow an overall route, find a passable path in the terrain, choose good planting spots, feed the seedlings, scarify the soil and plant well.”
The project has involved collaboration with numerous companies in other sectors to find new solutions, including Axelent Engineering, Bit Addict, Boid, Chalmers, CIT, DB MakerLab, Ebeaver, LUE Engineering and the Forestry Research Institute of Sweden.
"We have brought in a lot of technology that is not common in forestry, such as industrial robots which are normally found indoors on a concrete floor,” Wallner says. “With BraSatt 01, the plants are automatically handled by a robot and we’ve developed a new soil preparation technique which is optimal for the plant, energy-efficiency and leaves a relatively even clear-cut area behind, affecting significantly less of the surface area than today's planting methods. Test results so far look promising. The next step will be to decide which development areas we at Södra should prioritise, and which can be channeled through collaborations and technology development elsewhere.
Although this video is in Swedish, you can see BraSatt in action here.
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