A model to predict productivity of different chipping operations

  • Mohammad R Ghaffariyan
  • Raffaele Spinelli
  • Mark Brown


The chipping operation is an important component of harvesting systems producing biomass and pulp chips. This paper aimed to develop a valid model to predict the productivity of chipping as part of these operations. Over a number of years more than 200 different time studies were conducted on chipping operations in Italy and Australia. Multiple regressions and backward stepwise data analysis methods were applied to develop a productivity prediction equation, considering the following variables: machine power (kW), piece size (m3), crew size, harvesting method, species, tree part, wood condition, wood lay-out, chipping type, propulsion, feeding method, point of chipping, season, location of chip discharge, country (Italy or Australia) and type of operation (biomass chip operation or pulp chip operation). The final productivity model included machine power, average piece size, location of chip discharge and type of operation as significant variables. The internal validation test was conducted using five witness samples from Italy and Australia, which confirmed the validity at α 0.05. Additional international case studies from North America, South America, and central and northern Europe were used to test the accuracy of the model, in which 15 studies confirmed the model’s validity and two failed to pass the test.

Keywords: average piece size, chipper, power, sensitivity analysis, type of operation, unit cost

Southern Forests 2013, 75(3): 129–136

Author Biographies

Mohammad R Ghaffariyan
University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore, Queensland 4558, Australia
Raffaele Spinelli
CNR IVALSA, Via Madonna del Piano 10, Sesto Fiorentino 50019 , Italy
Mark Brown
University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore, Queensland 4558, Australia

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2070-2639
print ISSN: 2070-2620