Heating Up Industry
Like construction equipment, to provide a reasonable return on investment, Forestry/Timber Equipment must be continuously operated during daylight and sometimes nighttime hours. The Internet of Things has arrived on the new equipment to facilitate operations, but it still takes a workforce to operate the machinery.
These operations are not indoors, where they are often climate-controlled surroundings. The source of trees for logging is more likely to be in rural or remote areas where the equipment and operators are subject to adverse environmental conditions. Until robotics advance further, these operators must perform at top speed and efficiency for a long. periods
Modern equipment for the forest industry has enclosed cabs protecting operators from sun, rain, wind, cold, and heat. This equipment needs to be very dependable and have a long time between failures. It is hard to call an airconditioning maintenance specialist when the equipment is 3-4,000 feet up on the side of a mountain or in the remote bottomland.
Enclosed cabins, efficient controls, improve productivity.
Logging machines evolved to improve the capability for rough terrain and weather conditions. Simultaneously, the equipment no provides for more efficient operator controls, navigation, communications, and comfort.
Climate-controlled cabins are now the norm, along with digital controls, GPS, and communications. Operators can remain comfortable and in contact with the forestry teams in the most rugged terrain and hostile conditions.
The in-cabin devices must be as rugged as the engines, drive trains, and outside hydraulic attachments. Contributing to these devices are low voltage heaters and cooling modules. PTC element heaters or Peltier thermoelectric coolers are the right choices for their ruggedness and simplicity.
These heating and cooling systems have the unique ability to automatically adjust to temperatures inside the cabin, maintaining a comfortable environment for the occupants. More sophisticated environmental controls can include humidistats for increased comfort.