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Thais Maria Millani

Executive of Suzano's Forestry Business Unit


Investment in equipment and people

Harvesting plays some crucial roles in the management of the forest base, among which we can mention the renewal of the forest planted at the ideal time, minimization of waste of biomass and inputs, influence on the quality and competitiveness of subsequent operations, conservation and biodiversity and the contribution social with local communities.

Innovation and development are part of our business strategy, especially in activities of great importance such as harvesting. We have four main fronts structured as sources of innovation and development of harvest in São Paulo: One. New technologies in forestry equipment and machines; Two . Sensing, monitoring, optimization and control of fleets, processes and data; Three . Studies of new models and operating standards, and Quatro . Valuing the innovative intellectual capacity existing in the operation.

In the scope of new technologies in equipment and machines, we work today in a sophisticated way through georeferencing , digital systems for pointing and control of production, on-board computers with sensing, among others, which have enabled us to make a great evolution in operational efficiency. We currently collaborate with several suppliers of machinery and equipment for innovation on this front, informing the specific needs of the operation and investing in new products developed by the industry.

Recently in São Paulo, for forwarding operations in flat areas, we were the first to invest in the FW mammoth Put it in Brazil. The innovation of this machine stems from the greater production potential due to its high load capacity associated with low fuel consumption, thanks to a state-of-the-art transition system, which results in greater energy efficiency.

Another recent disruptive movement was the application of tire harvesters in harvesting operations in flat areas, where we normally operate with tracked machines. In this project, we invested in ten Cobra Ponsse equipment aiming at a 15% higher productivity when compared to conveyor equipment with lower fuel consumption. This can give us a sharp competitive advantage stemming from the energy efficiency of this operating model.

For harvesting highly complex eucalyptus sloping areas, we were inspired by a large company in the sector for sloping pine forests and have structured the project for a whole tree anchored with Feller multidirectional and Skidder Swing boom , through Assistance Winches. We also evaluated the harvester from Komatsu with a detachable winch that innovates in providing greater flexibility for complex mooring conditions.

Moving on to the second front that makes up our strategy (sensing, monitoring, optimization and control of fleets, processes and data) we have significant developments such as the control tower applied to all operations at the Maranhão Unit, providing information in real time on the activities of machines and vehicles used, allowing for more efficient management and agile decision-making based on concrete data (security, tracking and location, collection of operational data, analysis and reports, maintenance, among other data).

Addressing the third front of studies of new operating models and standards aimed at greater efficiency and productivity, we have a specific Operational Excellence sector that is responsible for promoting new methodologies and guaranteeing the standard within all forestry operations spread across different parts of the country . Operational Excellence periodically conducts multidisciplinary work groups with the participation of all the company's forestry units, taking care of test approvals and new practices, ensuring process safety and scalability of innovation initiatives. A promising example of this joint front with the operation is the development of a new guillotine head.

On the last front of innovation and development, we seek to value the innovative intellectual capacity of the operation. We know that the future craves autonomous machines, but we have a short-medium term perspective of a greater number of people in relation to machines in our operations. Operators and mechanics, who know the details of the operation in depth, are an important source of new ideas. Therefore, we have been working in our environment with strategic communication and strengthening channels and collaborative networks. As an example, we can mention two programs that aim to capture new ideas and also the recognition of their proponents, such as Colhendo Ideias and Programa I9 . The strategy goes beyond creating programs that increase productivity and hours worked.

We are committed to operational empowerment associated with strategic communication that encompasses understanding at all levels inserted in the context. We make a point of emphasizing the purpose of our work with everyone, the sense of pride and belonging for what we do. We take the visibility of indicators to the field and collect possible solutions when there are deviations. These actions promote a collaborative and creative environment through programs specially developed for the target audience and harvest needs, generating the long-awaited engagement.

As an example, in 2019, we started a machine baptism program for operators and mechanics, who started to compose a customized production unit. From then on, each set of machines, operators and mechanics started to have a kind of business plan, in which indicators related to production, quality and costs were considered. As a result of this movement, most operators and mechanics became “executives of production units”, developing their operations and careers, significantly contributing to the reduction of wood costs in São Paulo. Other examples brought us important adaptations in heads, the expressive reduction in the consumption of hydraulic oil, safer ways of acting, less time with heavy maintenance, significant reduction in diesel consumption maintaining the parameters of regulation and productivity, new potential for forwarding operation resulting in a change of level in productivity.

The collaborative network strategy plays a key role in promoting innovation by allowing individuals and organizations to share knowledge, experiences and resources to solve complex problems by creating new solutions. Operational innovation often requires a multidisciplinary approach, involving different perspectives and skill sets that equipment and technology providers cannot achieve on an individual basis.

We are in the construction phase of Colhendo Ideias 5.0, taking advantage of the present where we can use artificial intelligence and programming to play important roles in capturing relevant information from this audience. Data analysis with Artificial Intelligence, natural language processing, pattern recognition, modeling and simulation open doors for us to strengthen a new version of collaborative networks and reach sources that are still little explored in forestry operations.