Australasia’s plantation forestry sector is proof that remote work sites are no impediment to use of cutting-edge, data-heavy management tools.
Representatives of Tait Communications and several of its New Zealand dealers attended the Forest Industry Engineering Association’s technology conference, ForestTECH 17 in Rotorua on 15-16 November (a sister conference followed in Melbourne 21-22 November). The FIEA’s objective is to improve the performance and productive capability of forestry and wood product companies in the region.
Coverage (whether via cellular, analog, or digital mobile radio) is patchy and inconsistent across New Zealand’s substantial areas of plantation, and in many places non-existent. Tait presented the result of successful trials conducted with a national forestry services company, using the Tait UnifyVehicle mobile multi-bearer communications platform to trigger safety alerts from a worker’s Tait digital portable radio to their vehicle’s Unify platform and then to satellite. These trials were done in a variety of forestry work sites where neither mobile radio nor cellular coverage is available.
From other presentations at the conference, it is clear that mobile radio remains a valued communications tool for these mobile workers, and that Tait’s reputation for delivering rugged, reliable equipment remains strong with the industry. UnifyVehicle’s open-source ability to serve applications, gathering and processing field data from surrounding mobile equipment such as PDAs, smartphones and static monitoring stations, is clearly of interest to the silviculture services sector.
The results of fundamental and applied research by personnel from Scion and the Universities of Tasmania and Sydney showed the degree to which modern forest management is using data collected and processed from remote sensing and aerial and satellite photography to improve forest management, yields and environmental performance. Also apparent was the attendees’ very strong commitment to, and understanding of the need for continual focus by all personnel on workplace health and safety.
Tait Communications and its exclusive New Zealand distributor, Logic Wireless, are pleased to have sponsored ForestTECH 17 in New Zealand and thank the FIEA for the opportunity to meet its members and learn more about how their industry is developing.