Ponsse and Sitowise partner to research AI in forestry equipment

A ponsse machine in a forested area

Ponsse has partnered with Sitowise to explore the potential opportunities of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for smarter planning and optimization of logging.

The partnership aims to explore the use of AI and remote sensing data to produce intelligent map data and services to increase the understanding of potential customer needs. 

The main target groups are organizations involved in logging and timber harvesting.

“The project will explore possible ways to produce intelligent map layers to facilitate harvesting planning, such as data describing terrain conditions, harvestability and wood quality,” said Sanna Härkönen, Product Business Lead at Sitowise.

Through the project, the research will identify and formulate tools that could help facilitate the most important work steps for customers.

“We have already developed an easily scalable, cloud-based computing platform that we can use for AI-based data production. This will also allow for the convenient distribution of global map data. On top of this technology, we can explore and develop new services and products,” Härkönen said.

The research will also explore potential benefits of map layers and tools along the entire logging value chain. 

“The tools could, for example, help machinery companies to better optimize the use of their equipment and improve the preservation of environmental and natural values during harvesting,” Härkönen said.

The benefits are expected to reach down to the operator level, as intelligent data can reduce the cognitive load on operators and improve the quality of their work.

The project will further explore different optimization methods to help plan harvesting and identify ways to consider different forest use objectives. As well, smart data will be tested in practice with test users, so solutions can be tailored to the needs of customers and users.

Ponsse has existing international networks and activities across a wide range of regions in Europe, North America and South America, which are also the focus of this project.

The total budget of the Sitowise project is about €1.2 million and will run for about two years.

Ponsse Manager 2.0

Ponsse also recently introduced Manager 2.0, a next-generation digital service platform and forest machine management system. Manager 2.0 provides customers with location, productivity figures and fuel consumption. 

“With the quick tempo of the modern world and the huge amount of data we see every day, finding the correct piece of information is often like trying to find a needle in the haystack. New Ponsse Manager is a completely new approach to more sustainable and more digitalized forestry,” said Petteri Tuomisto, Manager of Digital Solutions Sales for Ponsse. 

As well, Ponsse Manager 2.0 monitors the progress of stands, plans, manages machine transportation, keeps track of machine output according to assortment and prints measuring certificates.

“We want to support our customers so that they can run their business successfully,” said Miika Soininen, Chief Digital Officer of Ponsse. “This has been the guiding principle, how we have designed new Ponsse Manager. All the development has been based on customer feedback and customer needs from all over the world.”

In Ponsse Manager 2.0, the user can create a personal home page focusing on important data. All information is visible immediately, while variations can be discovered quickly, and corrective action can be taken directly. 

With the single sign-on, all digital solutions required to improve operational efficiency and productivity are at the user’s disposal in one website. Manager also keeps customers up to date on data that affects their machines’ profitability and helps improve operations’ efficiency. 

One of the new key features is the possibility to download all reports and combine them in a spreadsheet with other data to create new views of your operations. Mobile applications will be available to download for free from the app store. 

“The mobile app is easy to use on site, with all required functionalities available for professionals working in different roles” said Jenni Pulkkinen, Ponsse’s Product Owner Digital Solutions.

Ponsse is developing its digital solutions together with its customers. 

The digital innovations address the right issues and provide relevant support for both professionals working on-site and those responsible for smooth and efficient fleet management.

Smart factory

This year, Finnish technology company Epec, a subsidiary of Ponsse, opened a new smart factory. 

The factory produces control units, displays, sensors, power distribution units and telematics units for the needs of various mobile work machines and commercial vehicles. In addition, Epec designs and develops systems and software for machine manufacturer needs.

“We are really excited about Epec’s new factory. The rapid development of technology and increasing sustainability demands provide Epec with an excellent opportunity to contribute to technology aimed at zero emissions,” said Juho Nummela, Ponsse President and CEO.

“Ponsse’s vision is to be the preferred partner in responsible forestry, obliging us to conduct bold development work from an environmental perspective as well.”