Center of Excellence Forest and Wood 4.0

  Stress analysis with motion capture while person is planting a young tree Copyright: © Andreas Böhm


Project logo Kompetenzzentrum Wald und Holz 4.0  

Human Factors in Smart Forests


Key Info

Basic Information

15.04.2018 to 30.09.2021
Research Area:
Integrated Research for Work Innovations

Further Information



Christopher Brandl

Chief Engineer


+49 241 80-99474




The aim of the project is to create the conditions for the initial establishment of a center of excellence and its establishment in the forest and wood cluster. The main tasks of the center of excellence are the propagation of the vision of Forest and Wood 4.0 and the provision of the training measures necessary for its practical use, as well as advisory and consulting services. Within the framework of this project, the necessary organizational and infrastructures are to be created, the necessary critical mass of knowledge is to be collected and built up, and tangible forest and wood 4.0 issues are to be prepared for new Smart Forest Labs.


At first glance, the forest and wood cluster differs fundamentally from the classic manufacturing industries. It supplies diverse "products", which are usually created as co-products (wood, game/hunting, CO² storage, protection, recreation and other ecosystem services and forest functions, etc.). It therefore has diverse "production processes" (e.g. biological and technical production as well as social and ecosystem services) with typically longer supply chains. On the biological side, the production process is largely subject to the forces of nature. All production steps are locational and span large areas and diverse groups of actors with varying degrees of organization, objectives, interests, and business models. In addition, a reliable communications infrastructure – elementary for the Internet of Things and Services – is likely to remain problematic in the forest for years to come.


Various studies exist on individual aspects of Industry 4.0 (intelligent sensors, decentralized data acquisition, standardization, etc.), but a comprehensive approach and concerted action, as can currently be observed with Industry 4.0 activities in the manufacturing industry, is missing. What is needed is an overarching concept, which considers the complexity and heterogeneity as well as the special requirements of the forest and wood cluster. It is precisely this gap that is to be closed with a Center of Excellence Forest and Wood 4.0.
This vision is to transfer the approaches developed within the framework of Industry 4.0 to the conditions in the forest and wood cluster. We will further develop the framework to overcome its structural disadvantages through a new internet of things and services consisting of intelligent and decentralized components and services. The future change of work and the effect of those changes on humans will be considered.


As a basis for the project, a long-term "Implementation Strategy Forest and Wood 4.0" will be developed and updated in cooperation with key stakeholders of the Forest and Wood Cluster and the KWF – the Kuratorium für Waldarbeit und Forsttechnik (Board of Trustees for Forest Work and Technology). All the components developed in the project (technologies, standards, orchestration of processes, etc.) will be combined with the highly complex value creation network forest and wood and incorporated into real and simulated/virtual Smart Forest Labs. These will provide test fields in which Forest and Wood 4.0 can be practically tested and experienced, in which the synergies resulting from cross-sector collaboration can be evaluated and used as a basis for new business models, and in which stakeholders can help shape the development of Forest and Wood 4.0 and the standardization required for this.


The concepts and standards developed by the center of excellence – as with Industry 4.0 – will be documented in the implementation strategy Forest and Wood 4.0. Similar to a guideline, the implementation strategy provides information for the practical implementation of Forest and Wood 4.0. It contains topic-specific Forest and Wood 4.0 points of view. With reference scenarios, sector-specific standards and a reference architecture, it forms the foundation of the Center of Excellence Forest and Wood 4.0 and all related projects.

KWH 4.0 – Standpoints

Architektur zur technischen Umsetzung von Wald und Holz 4.0 (Language: German)

Datenstandards in Wald und Holz 4.0 (Language: German)

ForestGML zur Waldbeschreibung (Language: German)

Forest Modeling Language 4.0 (Language: German)

Smart Systems Service Infrastrucutre (S³I) (Language: German)

Kommunikationsinfrastruktur für den Cluster Wald und Holz (Language: German)

Grundlagentechnologien für Wald und Holz 4.0 (Language: German)

Rechtlicher Rahmen zur Datenverarbeitung (Language: German)

Referenzarchitektur für Wald und Holz 4.0 (Language: German)

Der Digitale Zwilling in Wald und Holz 4.0 (Kurzversion) (Language: German)

Der Digitale Zwilling in Wald und Holz 4.0 (Language: German)


The infrastructure project KWH 4.0 is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ANBest-EFRE) in the funding measure “Investitionen in Wachstum und Beschäftigung” (Investments in Growth and Employment - reference number EFRE-0200459) and is supervised by the Projektträger Jülich (PTJ) and the Arnsberg district government.

Project Partners

RIF Institut für Forschung und Transfer e.V., Dortmund

Institute for Man-Machine Interaction (MMI), RWTH Aachen

Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University

Logo European Union European Regional Development Fund