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Caio Eduardo Zanardo e Gabriel Renault

President Director of Veracel and Director of Data and AI at EloGroup, respectively


A utopia for 2035?

Recently, we did a lot of work together analyzing the opportunities that Veracel he has. It was not a look at the now, but a structured vision for opportunities, considering our culture, our strategies, our organization, our people and our process. We cross-reference these characteristics with everything we have lived, debated and dreamed of.

Thus, we developed a vision, a place that we don't know for sure if we will reach, but that was worth prospecting. This is our dream; This is our vision:

It is a global vision and integrated optimization of the process as a whole, via Digital Twin of the complete production system from the most fragile eucalyptus seedling to the delivery of cellulose to our customers. It is a complete view of the forest-industry cycle that, with the same installed capacity (planted area and nominal factory capacity) as today, will produce at least 25% more efficiently due to more detailed knowledge of our resources.

The integrated optimization system considers the advancement of cloning of genetic material, with maximum forest productivity, and the prediction of climate change. It involves optimizing high-precision forestry planted by robots and monitoring the planted forest by drones and LiDAR, using microsatellites that act when necessary to guarantee the quality of the forest.

We see an optimized harvest, which pays attention to the individual characteristics of each tree through sensors with low energy consumption and great resistance to bad weather. A harvest oriented to the mix of density, extractives and 10 other optimal factors for production. We know in advance the entire flow of the roads, as the vehicles, cars and buses, are within a national platform, in order to reduce travel time. Our dirt roads are mapped remotely using sensors present in our fleet's trucks that signal where we must intervene to ensure soil stability.

In the dark factory, where sensors recognize the incoming wood by Radio Frequency Identification, the automated cranes assemble the piles of wood in an optimized way with selection of the optimal blend of wood characteristics for the day's liquor balance conditions, aiming to minimize chemical costs. Our measuring thread rhythm is managed by our Artificial Intelligence, which guarantees the highest possible Kappa, preserving our fibers and delivering the necessary quality of our product. The overall result of the factory is looked at as a whole, where the factory balance and definition of the machines' rhythm are managed by the factory optimizer module in the Digital Twin, integrating process, asset and input quality variables in an automated way.

Individual sensing of each critical part of the assets allows alarming the need for Preventive Maintenance on demand. Our corrective maintenance has been drastically reduced, as predictive maintenance is highly reliable and has contributed significantly to reducing our costs, since we have full control of the needs of our stock.

After cutting and automatic baling, each batch of cellulose has radio frequency identification including all traces of the wood, plot, growing conditions and origin in order to ensure a market that is increasingly attentive to the suitability of its suppliers. Our sale of tokenized carbon credits on blockchain with a seal of excellence has achieved a premium value, as the company's environmental and social practices have been duly controlled.

Veracel's operations team exists to act only on exceptions to the optimized process and to evaluate improvements to the technology park, in addition to operationalizing maintenance. The company's largest contingent is focused on relations with local society and the development of social programs that generate positive impacts and transform reality, going beyond the current concept of environmental, social and corporate governance.

Our people are proud of their work and the company's purpose, making it a safe and even more admired company to work for. The competitive differentiator that adds value is no longer seeking efficiency, as this is driven by digital transformation and Artificial Intelligence. The differences become:
• The integration of the planted forest with layers of original forest that guarantees biodiversity and differentiation for the purchase of cellulose originating from the concept of environmental, social and corporate governance valued in the world.
• Integration with local communities for social development in the region, being a regenerative company, which adopts practices and business models that restore, renew and revitalize its energy and material sources, and which contributes to the health and well-being of the planet and people.
• The satisfaction of employees with the company's care and the way it operates, which means Veracel has the best talents to continue optimizing its factory and is a top-of-mind option when searching for and retaining talent.
• To be an open laboratory for local startups and entrepreneurs to exercise their theses. Veracel will now have a minority percentage of these businesses to be aligned with potential disruptors in its own market.
• The Digital Twin system (integrated with its integrated sensing system) with its optimization, prediction and prescription algorithms that run end-to-end production (from clone to baled pulp).
• Historical data on soil, clones, local climate conditions, logistics and production data

Does this vision seem like a utopia to you? For us, it is an inspiration for change. We realized that this path is not that far away. It is, in fact, much closer than we initially imagined. However, none of this will materialize if we don't have the right people, removing obstacles from the path, making decisions and learning from mistakes so that we can continue with focus, discipline and simplicity.