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Paulo Daniel Mancinelli

Suzano's Forestry Operational Excellence Manager


Operational quality: a major concern of the forestry activity

Operational quality is one of the main concerns in any economic activity, including forest activities. Operational quality refers to the efficiency and effectiveness in carrying out tasks and operations, aiming to guarantee the production of quality products, worker safety, environmental sustainability and the maximization of financial results.

Forestry activities involve several operations, such as planting, harvesting, transport, storage and transformation of forestry raw materials into finished products, such as sawn wood, pulp and paper. The operational quality in each of these stages is fundamental to guarantee the sustainability of the activity and the obtaining of quality products, and this is no different in Suzano's pulp.

One of the main challenges of forestry activities is to ensure the safety of workers, who are exposed to the risk of accidents with machines, falling trees, forest fires and occupational diseases. Operational quality is one of the main factors that contribute to minimizing these risks, through the adoption of good safety practices at work, the use of individual and collective protection equipment and training of workers.

In addition to safety, operational quality is also fundamental for the environmental sustainability of forestry activities. The proper management of natural resources, such as water and soil, the preservation of biodiversity and the reduction of environmental impacts are aspects that depend on the operational quality of forestry activities. The use of sustainable forest management techniques, the reduction of raw material waste and the minimization of environmental impacts in the production chain are examples of practices that contribute to operational quality in this regard.

In addition to social and environmental aspects, operational quality is also important for maximizing the financial results of forestry activities. Efficiency in the execution of forestry operations, such as planting, harvesting and transport, contributes to reducing costs and increasing productivity, which is reflected in greater profitability of the activity. Finally, operational quality is a fundamental aspect for the competitiveness of forestry activities in the global market.

Consumers of forest products are increasingly demanding in terms of product quality and the environmental sustainability of the production chain, and companies that do not adopt good operational quality practices run the risk of losing market share to competitors that offer quality products. higher. Considering all these important aspects, it is urgent to evolve and transform our quality measures through a digital revolution.

Over the past decade, little has changed in measurement processes. Of course, we left paper notes and used cell phones and tablets . We've gone from complex reports to online checklists . We are, today, capturing images to support the evaluations. But more is needed. And, for that, we are investing in evolving measurements with technologies that already exist in other businesses and applications. A good example is the use of image recognition to evaluate the wood, its dimensions, existence of bark and dirt such as sand. Computers are already able to recognize people, faces, fingerprints. And our challenge is to accelerate its adoption in our measurements.

Recently, we have had advances in the use of common cameras for detecting loose bark, but, in our strategy, we have the evolution with multispectral cameras, which are devices capable of capturing images in several spectral ranges or wavelengths, including visible, near infrared and thermal, which allows these cameras to provide additional information that is not visible to the naked eye.

Another important point of advancement and research is the guarantee of quality during the execution of operations. We need to evolve our industry so that we have real-time feedback to our teams on the quality of what they are doing. In this sense, the focus of our work is the use of cameras and alarms built into the equipment for this purpose. There is no reason for the harvesters themselves to be able to monitor log lengths and debarking effectiveness, to stick with simple and possible implementation examples. In cases like this, the robustness of such equipment is key.

These online measurements open up new management perspectives: they allow for self-correction of deviations before they become perpetual, they show our employees how important components of their quality score are doing during the month and encourage them to monitor and compete, not only in terms of productivity but also of quality.

In summary, operational quality is a critical factor for the success of forestry activities, contributing to worker safety, environmental sustainability, maximization of financial results and competitiveness in the global market. Forestry companies must invest in good operational quality practices, such as training workers, using state-of-the-art technologies and adopting sustainable management techniques, in order to guarantee the continuity of the activity and obtain certifications.