ROCS Woodyard management solution: Practical return on investment

The GPS-based ROCS (Roaming Object Coordinating System) is Tieto’s Wood Yard Management system which improves information management in the wood yard. It uses mobile computers in log stackers, making it an important link between business and operations. ROCS is a solution used in the wood yard for all round wood and chip consumers, e.g. pulp mills, sawmills, plywood mills and wood terminals and it is compatible with Tieto’s solutions for wood supply operations and pulp, paper and sawmill MES. The purpose of the application is to achieve an increasing level of effectiveness. ROCS tracks the wood from delivery to consumption. The system is primarily designed for work in an outdoor environment. The tool provides a detailed image over the inventory of the lumber yard and an automatised update of statistics and overview images of the production capacity.

ROCS contains a considerable number of functionalities and provides important business benefits. Truck drivers get immediate online information about where to pick up logs and where to put them. The positions of the logs in the wood yard are marked on a digital map and are secured via GPS and a wireless network. The log stacker drivers also get immediate information about the incoming trucks and specifications of their loads from mill reception.

Each unloaded bundle is stored in the wood yard referenced by their specific characteristics and geographical position with a high accuracy (0.2-0.5 m). The system is highly automated and requires only very few user interactions.

All information from harvesting, transport and measurement is available for each bundle. An overview over the wood yard can be shown and configured using user-specific settings, for example the colours for chip/log sorts, origin, age.

The overview of the wood yard is shown as sorted by age and origin, therefore it is possible to gather precise information where the oldest wood is stored and more advanced recipes and wood yard instructions can be processed. The business benefits are:

  • more effective turnover in wood yard due to less quality losses
  • better manageable and more balanced proportion of old wood in the process
  • improved control of density
  • check of metal content, documented in a certificate of origin (FSC)

Whenever the content of the wood yard changes, the information is updated online. This continuous information dismisses the need for regular inventories and paves the way for an improved transfer process of information between the individual working shifts. The benefits for the business are the reduction of efforts caused by manual inventory as well as a reduced risk for mistakes at shift change.

Recipes and other instructions can be given to log ­stacker drivers directly via the system. Information about the actual log or chip mix is always available for all users of the system.

All detailed level transactions are stored in the database for statistics and analysis purposes, flexible standard reports based on MS-reporting are included, such as reports about received wood, chipped wood and current wood balance. In addition, it is possible to apply web cameras for improved surveillance.

The reports enable analyses of correlations between wood characteristics and the pulp process and the needed properties. In addition, they allow tracing actions. Further benefits lie in an extended claim handling and the possibility of fine-tuning of recipes. Product development and processing can be improved continuously.

ROCS offers business benefits for wood yard management systems and for the related pulp production. It provides the ability for the maintenance of a consistent raw material mix and helps to meet increased quality demands on raw material. ROCS makes possible a more reliable and continuous measurement process and the follow-up of raw material that is fed to the pulp production process.

Tieto has been commissioned to deliver ROCS to Billerud Karlsborg AB. Assar Strömbäck, responsible for the wood yard at Billerud Karlsborg AB, said: "As raw material costs have increased significantly over the last years it is important to optimize the material turnover. We must secure that we use the right quality of material in production and at the same time reduce the amount of unnecessary transportation of timber. We do this by keeping full control of our wood yard. The ROCS system supports our wood yard operators with relevant information at the time it is needed."

Hans Hallin, Head of Tieto Forest Sweden, said: "The Forest industry is facing big challenges by increased raw material and energy costs. Our customers prefer ROCS because it has a unique and proven functionality and help them increase profitability. The application reduces the driving distance with the log stacker by limiting the number of incorrect movements. Of course this also lessens the environmental impact".

ROCS Woodyard management solution: Practical return on investment
ROCS Woodyard management solution: Practical return on investment
ROCS Woodyard management solution: Practical return on investment