FPInnovations and HiTech Communications have signed a distribution agreement that authorizes the Newfoundland-based company to serve as the sales agent and technical support for the FPDat™ and FPTrak™ product line in Newfoundland and Labrador as well as in Nova Scotia. FPDat is a rugged, on-board computer developed by FPInnovations at the request of the forest industry. The system was developed through research projects supported financially by the Transformative Technologies Program (TTP) of National Resources Canada (NRCan).
FPDat collects and analyzes data directly from forest equipment such as feller-bunchers, harvesters, skidders, and forwarders, as well as other mobile heavy machinery in the energy and construction sector. It informs operators and managers in real-time on various parameters such as utilization, treated areas, GPS track logs, productivity and the causes of downtime.
“Competition in the forest products industry is driven, in part, by fibre costs. By creating opportunities to reduce fibre costs through optimized operations, FPDat holds the potential to increase the competitiveness of traditional industries,” explained Peter Lister, vice-president, forest operations and wood products, for FPInnovations.
More than 300 FPDat units are already in use across Canada with additional specialized features continuously being developed, such as the Transport and the Grader modules. The FPTrak web-based service provides data hosting and a reporting interface for information generated by the FPDat.
Distribution agreements with service providers located in the other provinces are also being explored to extend FPDat’s deployment in other regions of Canada.
FPInnovations is a not-for-profit organization that specializes in the creation of scientific solutions in support of the Canadian forest sector.