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Articles by Natascia Magagnotti

Category: Research article

article id 7003, category Research article
Poje Anton, Raffaele Spinelli, Natascia Magagnotti, Matevz Mihelic. (2018). The effect of feedstock, knife wear and work station on the exposure to noise and vibrations in wood chipping operations. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 1 article id 7003. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.7003
Highlights: Exposure to noise and vibration is higher when chipping branches rather than logs; Noise levels are higher in the separate cab, especially at some frequencies; Vibration is higher for the Z axis in the separate cab, for the X axis in the truck; Noise is higher when working with blunt knives, rather than new knives; Knife wear has no significant effect on exposure to whole-body vibration.

Industrial chipping is becoming increasingly popular, as the result of a growing demand for woody biomass. Industrial chippers are large, powerful machines that generate much noise and vibration. This study explored some factors that may affect exposure to noise and vibration, namely: feedstock type (branches vs. logs), work station characteristics (truck cab vs. separate cab) and knife wear (new knives vs. blunt knives). Exposure to noise was significantly affected by all three factors, and it was higher for branch feedstock, separate cabs and blunt knives. The higher exposure levels recorded for the separate cab were especially insidious, because they were below and above the hearing threshold and would elude immediate perception. Exposure to whole-body vibration (WBV) was significantly higher for branch feedstock and for the separate cab. Knife wear seemed to determine an increase in WBV, but this effect had no statistical significance and the result could not be taken as conclusive. Among the three factors studied, work station characteristics had the strongest effect. Further studies may extend the comparison to a wider range of options, as well as explore the use of exposure variation for machine diagnostics.

  • Anton, University of Ljubljana, Dept. of Forestry and Renewable Resources, Večna pot 83, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia ORCID ID:E-mail: anton.poje@bf.uni-lj.si
  • Spinelli, CNR IVALSA, Via Madonna del Piano 10, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy; AFORA, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore DC, Queensland, 4558 Australia ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9545-1004 E-mail: spinelli@ivalsa.cnr.it (email)
  • Magagnotti, CNR IVALSA, Via Madonna del Piano 10, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy; AFORA, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore DC, Queensland, 4558 Australia ORCID ID:E-mail: magagnotti@ivalsa.cnr.it
  • Mihelic, University of Ljubljana, Dept. of Forestry and Renewable Resources, Večna pot 83, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia ORCID ID:E-mail: matevz.mihelic@bf.uni-lj.si
article id 1448, category Research article
Andrew McEwan, Natascia Magagnotti, Raffaele Spinelli. (2016). The effects of number of stems per stool on cutting productivity in coppiced Eucalyptus plantations. Silva Fennica vol. 50 no. 2 article id 1448. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1448
Highlights: Double- and single stem coppice stools were harvested mechanically; Stem size had the strongest impact on productivity; An experienced operator performed equally well with both stool treatments; Cost was ~10% higher with double stems for the less experienced operator; Operator experience may play a major role when cutting coppice stands.

A time study was conducted to determine whether stem crowding had any impact on harvester productivity in Eucalyptus grandis stands. This represents an important element when trying to balance the advantages and disadvantages of coppice management in fast growing plantations designated for mechanized harvesting (i.e. machine felling, delimbing, debarking and cross-cutting). The study material consisted of 446 coppice stems, half of which grew as single stems per stool and half as double stems per stool as a result of different coppice reduction strategies. The dataset was balanced and randomized, with both subsets replicating exactly the same stem size distribution and the single and double stems alternating randomly. Harvester productivity ranged between 6 and 50 m3 under bark per productive machine hour, following the variation of tree diameter from 10 to 40 cm at breast height (1.37 m according to South African standards). Regression analysis indicated that both tree size and stem crowding (e.g. one or two stems per stool) had a significant effect on harvester productivity, which increased with stem size and decreased with stem crowding. However, operator experience may overcome the effect of stem crowding, which was not significant when the harvester was manned by a highly experienced operator. In any case, the effect of stem size was much greater than that of stem crowding, which resulted in a cost difference of less than 10%. However, this figure excludes the possible effects of stem crowding on volume recovery and stem development, which should be addressed in the future.

  • McEwan, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University – George Campus, Saasveld, 6529, George, South Africa ORCID ID:E-mail: Andrew.McEwan@nmmu.ac.za
  • Magagnotti, CNR IVALSA, Via Madonna del Piano 10, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy ORCID ID:E-mail: magagnotti@ivalsa.cnr.it
  • Spinelli, CNR IVALSA, Via Madonna del Piano 10, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy ORCID ID:E-mail: spinelli@ivalsa.cnr.it (email)
article id 1003, category Research article
Raffaele Spinelli, Carolina Lombardini, Natascia Magagnotti. (2014). The effect of mechanization level and harvesting system on the thinning cost of Mediterranean softwood plantations. Silva Fennica vol. 48 no. 1 article id 1003. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1003
Highlights: Whole-tree harvesting is 40–50% cheaper than cut-to-length harvesting; Mechanization reduced thinning cost by a factor 4; Between 1.5 and 6% of the residual trees were damaged; Mechanized cut-to-length harvesting allows controlled biomass release; Mechanized whole-tree harvesting is the cheapest option for energy chip production.
The study compared motor-manual cut-to-length (CTL) harvesting, motor-manual whole-tree (WT) harvesting, mechanized CTL harvesting and mechanized WT harvesting as applied to the production of energy chips from the second thinning of Mediterranean pine plantations in flat terrain. Mechanization increased productivity between 6 and 20 times, depending on process step. It also allowed reducing thinning cost by a factor 4. Shifting from CTL to WT harvesting resulted in a reduction of harvesting cost between 40 and 50%. Fuel consumption was between 40 and 100% higher for CTL harvesting than for WT harvesting. Mechanization entailed a reduction of fuel consumption between 10 and 40%. Stand damage was generally low, between 1.5 and 6%. Mechanized CTL harvesting resulted in the lowest incidence of wounding, and the difference between mechanized CTL and manual WT harvesting was statistically significant. Soil compaction was absent or very small, depending on treatment. Mechanized thinning may produce larger increases of soil bulk density, compared to motor-manual thinning, but the difference is small, although significant. CTL harvesting leaves a larger amount of biomass on the soil, which relieves possible concerns about soil nutrient depletion. On the other hand, heavy residue loads may increase fire risk especially in sensitive Mediterranean environments.
  • Spinelli, CNR IVALSA,Via Madonna del Piano 10, Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy ORCID ID:E-mail: spinelli@ivalsa.cnr.it (email)
  • Lombardini, CNR IVALSA,Via Madonna del Piano 10, Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy ORCID ID:E-mail: lombardini@ivalsa.cnr.it
  • Magagnotti, CNR IVALSA,Via Biasi 75, S. Michele all’Adige (TN), Italy ORCID ID:E-mail: magagnotti@ivalsa.cnr.it
article id 33, category Research article
Raffaele Spinelli, Natascia Magagnotti, Giuseppe Paletto, Christian Preti. (2011). Determining the impact of some wood characteristics on the performance of a mobile chipper. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 1 article id 33. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.33
A study was conducted to determine the effect of some wood characteristics such as species, moisture content and tree part on the performance and product quality offered by a mobile industrial chipper, of the type commonly used for roadside chipping. Two main species, two tree parts and two moisture content levels were combined in a factorial design yielding 8 treatments, each replicated 5 or 6 times. A flow meter was installed on the chipper engine, and all chips produced were weighed and sampled for moisture content and particle size distribution. The results indicated that some wood characteristics such as species and moisture content have a secondary effect on chipper productivity and fuel consumption, which are primarily controlled by piece size. In particular, fuel consumption per unit dry mass seem to be rather constant and in the range of 3.2 l per oven dry ton. Moisture content and tree part may have a significant effect on the particle size distribution of chips. Of course, these results were only verified for the species used in the test and for industrial chippers, and may change if substantially different species or machines are used.
  • Spinelli, CNR IVALSA, Via Madonna del Piano 10, Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy ORCID ID:E-mail: spinelli@ivalsa.cnr.it (email)
  • Magagnotti, CNR IVALSA, Via Biasi 75, S. Michele all’Adige (TN), Italy ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Paletto, CNR IMAMOTER, Strada delle Cacce 73, Torino, Italy ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Preti, CNR IMAMOTER, Strada delle Cacce 73, Torino, Italy ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 365, category Research article
Raffaele Spinelli, Carla Nati, Natascia Magagnotti. (2005). Harvesting and transport of root biomass from fast-growing poplar plantations. Silva Fennica vol. 39 no. 4 article id 365. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.365
Recovery of tree root biomass can be attractive, since the stump-root system represents a substantial portion of the tree mass and its removal may prove instrumental to re-cultivation. Most available studies concern Nordic technologies, particularly suited to mature conifer stands. Unlike spruce, plantation poplar develops a deep taproot, whose extraction requires completely different methods. The aim of the study was to investigate poplar root recovery operations in plantations with time studies, and to determine the productivity and delivery costs of the operations. Seven operation systems developed to work with poplar plantations in Italian conditions were studied. Extraction and cleaning units were based on general-purpose prime movers. Under favourable conditions extraction and cleaning units achieved a very high productivity: 150 stumps per hour for the extraction unit and 170 for the cleaning unit. Delivered cost varied widely, ranging from 28 to 66 Euros Mg–1. Transportation was the most expensive single work task. It accounted for about 40% of the total recovery cost. Extraction and cleaning contributed approximately 25% each to the total cost, and loading 9%. Guidelines to recovery system improvement and efficient operation are provided.
  • Spinelli, CNR/IVALSA, Via Madonna del Piano - Palazzo F, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy ORCID ID:E-mail: spinelli@ivalsa.cnr.it (email)
  • Nati, CNR/IVALSA, Via Madonna del Piano - Palazzo F, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Magagnotti, CNR/IVALSA, Via Madonna del Piano - Palazzo F, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy ORCID ID:E-mail:

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