Princeton company looking to revolutionize firewood industry

RDOS agrees to partner with Princeton company on grant application for firewood technology

  • Dec. 12, 2017 11:30 a.m.

In a precedent setting decision, regional directors decided to partner with a private business in Princeton and a non-profit group to apply for $300,000 in grant funding that if successful could revolutionize the firewood business.

Paul Patton, general manager of SBC Firemaster Ltd., explained the longstanding firewood company is looking to become more efficient on the packaging side of the business and that includes creating innovative technology.

“Vision systems will be able to take a look at a piece of firewood at an angle and make the decision that it fits best here and the next one will fit better there. This will increase accuracy and efficiency,” he said.

He said this kind of technology is not being used by any other firewood companies and would need to be designed from scratch.

Firemaster partnered with FP Innovations to apply for a $300,000 grant in the last round of Rural Dividend Initiative funding. The application was not successful. If successful this round, Firemaster would put in $200,000 of its own money for the project along with the $300,000 grant money.

Bill Newell, CAO of the RDOS, said the board’s role would simply be to file the application.

Following the meeting, Patton said it’s unclear who would own the technology.

“That’s something to let the lawyers decide after,” he said.

He noted the goal of the technology is to grow the company and its share in the firewood market in North America.

“We’re definitely not looking to downsize employees. We’re looking to add to the number and employ people with very specialized skills,” he said.

FP Innovations is a non-profit organization that specializes in creating innovative technology for companies in the forrest sector.

Firemaster is considered North America’s largest producer of firewood and ships the bagged product all over the U.S. and western Canada.

Patton said at this point there are 50 full-time employees at Firemaster and those workers process 10,000 bundles of firewood every day.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kelowna Fire and Rescue gear up for annual ‘Fire in the Mountains’ initiative

WKPF is offering one individual the opportunity to spend up to 3 days with their firefighter hero’s hiking or paddling in one of BC’s pristine wilderness environments

Kelowna’s Sutherland Salvation Army thrift store closes permanently

The location has been facing challenges amid COVID-19

Local state of emergency declared at Penticton home

Slope failure cited as city issues notice at home in 600 block of Heather Road

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Therapeutic art for sale at Okanagan show

17th annual Awakening the Spirit Art Show and Sale presented by Vernon Canadian Mental Health Assoc.

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Tech mogul growing North Okanagan’s wine industry

The founder of online dating site Plenty of Fish is developing 900 acres in Vernon

Fentanyl-laced powder being sold as cocaine in Kamloops

Interior Health has released a warning about very strong fentanyl in Kamloops

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

North Okanagan ranch needs support to stay afloat

Founded in 1867, a fundraiser has been launched for the Historic O’Keefe Ranch

Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Shuswap restaurant

Video on Facebook shows the man hurling profanity at workers during the dinner rush on Aug. 7.

Most Read