The purpose of Resource Evaluation is to understand the driving forces affecting quality and value in the Foresty and Forest Products industries. This involves understanding the three key components of:
- Resource Characteristics;
- Process Constraints; and
- Market Needs
and how these relate to each other.
By applying resource evaluation techniques to quantify variation in the resources at estate or regional level, it is possible to determine the quality of the resource entering the processing plant. In parallel with the resource evaluation, ffp will also look at process optimisation and product specifications in terms of market needs. The impact of the process on the resource and its ability to manufacture is also a key part of developing understanding.
There are three key questions that will help determine the driving forces affecting quality and value; namely:
- What are the principles upon which value is based?
- What are the drivers affecting the variation of quality?
- What tools can be used or developed to assist in evaluating variation of quality?
What are the principles upon which value is based?
In the solid wood industry, these are elements such as: quality of pruning; percentage of recoverable log; value of knot-free timber versus lower value of knotty timber. In the pulp and paper industry, these are factors such as: pulp yield per ha; rate of delignification; chemical consumption and pulp properties (e.g. tear, burst, tensile strength, brightness and porosity).
All of these issues impact on the suitability of the resource for specific end-products and markets. This, in turn, determines the market value.
What are the drivers affecting the variation of quality?
In the solid wood industry, these are elements such as: timing of pruning; extent of pruning; species; age; and growth rate. In the pulp and paper industry, these are factors such as: growth rate; species; management regime and age.
The objective of Resource Evaluation studies is to qualify the relative impact of these different drivers on quality.
What tools can be used or developed to assist in evaluating variation of quality?
A number of tools and techniques have been (or are being) developed by ffp and these can be used to assist in evaluating variation of quality. These include:
- Near-Infrared Absorption (NIRA) to measure chemical constituents in wood
- Image Analysis and Densitometry to measure physical wood characteristics
In parallel with these tools, ffp also carries out conventional analysis of wood for the pulp and paper industry using digesters, handsheet production and pulp testing.
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