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Research program

Overview of the main research themes of the FORAC consortium.

The research program is made of six major initiatives covering three major research themes:

  1. Data management and decision-making for more efficient procurement
  2. Collaborative approaches adapted to the Quebec industrial network
  3. Fiber processing centers integrating 4.0 manufacturing concepts

Diagram illustrating the State, Network and Business Unit dimensions.

Each theme is led by an expert of the field. These experts work closely with a multidisciplinary research team made of professors and research professionals with expertise in various disciplines such as business administration, industrial engineering, forest sciences, computer science, robotics and operational research.

Data management and decision making for more efficient procurement

This forest supply theme is supported by three initiatives. Professor Luc LeBel (FORAC Director), holder of the “NSERC Industrial Chair on Intelligent Forest Supply Systems – SAFI”, adopts a systems analysis approach to improve the overall performance of networks. Professor Daniel Beaudoin leads the initiative “Improving the forest supply system for a more efficient industry”. The projects of this initiative aim to improve the productivity of equipment and workers directly in the field. For his part, Professor Philippe Giguère is responsible for an initiative entitled “Towards the automation of forest operations”. With his collaborators, he aims to take up the challenge of developing navigation and operating systems in the complex environment of the forests of Eastern Canada.

Illustration of human and material resources connected in the forest.

Collaborative approaches adapted to the Quebec industrial network

This theme deals with networks and collaboration and is supported by two initiatives. Professor Mikael Rönnqvist is interested in “Decision-making in the forest value chain” in particular on the conception and design of networks while Professor Nadia Lehoux focuses on the “Design of models to aid coordination and management of the forest value chain for efficient execution of its activities” to pilot an existing network. The two research initiatives are highly complementary.

Diagram of a forestry value chain

Fiber transformation centers integrating 4.0 manufacturing concepts

This transformation focused theme is supported by an initiative with two responsible teachers. Jonathan Gaudreault and Michael Morin will share the leadership of the "Configuration and management of an intelligent sawmill" in close collaboration with the SM2 team of FPInnovations. For sawmills, the projects of this initiative aim to develop evaluation tools as well as the configuration and control of production networks adapted to the reality of 4.0 and integrating the stages of finishing and second processing of wood at different decision-making levels (eg operational, tactical, strategic). Mainly, they are interested in the planning, operations and management of sawmills using the latest generation equipment.

Image of a scan showing the boards that can be sawn in a given log