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Photo: Katarina Karlsson
Pär Lärkeryd, President and CEO of Norra skogsägarna who recently became Honorary Doctor at Luleå University of Technology held a lecture at The Great Northern in Skellefteå together with Mats Ekevad, Professor of Wood Science and Engineering. Photo: Katarina Karlsson View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Inventing the future in the wood industry

Published: 27 November 2019

Norra Skogsäarna's CEO and CEO Pär Lärkeryd wants to be involved in inventing the future - and has already done so, among other things, by working closely with Luleå University of Technology. About this he told The Great Northerni a lecture with Mats Ekevad, professor of Wood Science and Engineering.

– Those who are not able to take the step of developing, do not bother themselves in the industry, Pär Lärkeryd, said, new Honorary Doctor at Luleå University of Technology.

Pär Lärkeryd, told during his lecture on how Norra Skogsägarna join forces with researchers at Luleå University of Technology, working to develop the sawmill of the future, as well as the importance of corporate culture and gender research to succeed. He said they invented what the industry needed, but did not know was possible. He took the development of the mobile phone as an example, first based on our basic need to call, then developed a need to belong to a social network.

– They invented the future, a social network, that fits in the back pocket of the mobile phone and that we didn't know we needed ten years ago, Pär Lärkeryd, said.

For Norra Skogsägarna, the development for the future together with Luleå University of Technology, among other things, was to install a so-called CT-Log in Sävar sawmill, as the first sawmill in the world. An industrial computer tomograph, directly in the saw line that scans logs and with a fully automatic system that rotates and handles the log based on what the X-ray scan shows, in order to optimally look out the log and get a higher value, and reduce the waste.

– I think we are about to change our industry. We have redefined how a sawmill should look, thanks to Luleå University of Technology in Skellefteå, Pär Lärkeryd said.

However, he added:

– And I'm not the inventor of the future, it's my colleagues in collaboration with researchers. I'm the spider in the web trying to keep it all together.

Mats Ekevad then told about the research that Luleå University of Technology conducts in the field of wood technology with 28 researchers, in a country consisting of enormous forest. Competition for research funding is stiff and the demands are fifty percent of industrial funding.

– We do a lot of research on sawmills and what the sawmills produce, Mats Ekevad, said.

He also described the trends that now exist in the sawmill industry in Sweden; with ever-increasing sawmills and increased production speed and digitalization. This, of course, affects the research and the direction of the projects. A completely new research project in collaboration with Norra Skogsägarna, USNR and LSAB, where Luleå University of Technology is the coordinating party, was recently recently granted funding by Vinnova.
The project is about inventing the future, when it comes to the new generation of sawmills in Sweden

Mats Ekevad

Mats Ekevad, Professor

Phone: +46 (0)910 585733
Organisation: Wood Science and Engineering, Wood Science and Engineering, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics