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Innovate For Good: Celebrating Canadian Innovation Week 2023

This week, J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI) celebrates Canada’s 6th Annual Innovation Week, highlighting the spirit of investment and growth within the communities in which it operates.  

JDI is dedicated to recognizing and honouring Canada’s transformative innovators and finding new and improved ways to address today's challenges around climate change, economic development and social engagement.

The team at JDI is leading the way in technological and environmental advancements and as a team work to #InnovateforGood and inspire the next generation of innovators.

#InnovateForGood - Transportation and Logistics: 

NBM Railways is investing in future-forward technology to make work more safe, accurate, and efficient. The Engineering team has been using the Microsoft HoloLens 2 in their digital improvement plan to streamline their maintenance processes.

The HoloLens 2 is a mixed reality headset that uses cutting edge technology such as hand and eye tracking, voice recognition, spatial mapping and positional tracking to create an immersive and interactive environment. The opportunities with this technology are endless.

The NBM Railway team are actively integrating this augmented reality technology in two ways to train employees and troubleshoot locomotive electrical failures:

  • Dynamic Guides are holographic work instructions that can walk users through a process step by step with the aid of images, videos, and 3D models. 
  • Remote Assist allows users to call subject matter experts remotely through MS Teams using the headset. The expert can see from the point of view of the HoloLens user to collaboratively solve problems in real time.

In 2023, the Railway will look to further utilize the device in their optimization of SD-70 periodic inspections.


#InnovateForThePlanet - Woodlands:

The Irving Woodlands trucking team has taken the lead in the country’s transition to a greener and more sustainable future by making ground-breaking contributions. The new implementation of the A-Train Logger Pilot Program will be the first in North America. 

An A-train truck is configured with extra axles to safely haul larger amounts of logs, pulp and other forest products. These trucks can haul twice as much volume as a traditional truck on the highway, resulting in less fuel consumption, fewer trucks on the road (creating a safer environment) and more wood hauled per trip to the sawmills. 

This pilot trial is a valuable business asset for Irving Woodlands to stay competitive on the world stage, reduce JDI’s carbon footprint in accordance with Canada's 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan and to continually ensure that JDI is doing better every day for the environment and local economy.


#InnovateForCompetitiveness - Irving Pulp & Paper:

In August 2022, the Irving Pulp & Paper team successfully commissioned a new pulp dryer. This $300 million investment brings the mill to the forefront of modern technology, improving quality and reliability for the future. 

The commissioning of the pulp dryer is part of Irving Pulp & Paper's multi-phased mill modernization project, the largest mill modernization project in Canada since 1993. Despite the amount of construction at the mill, Irving Pulp & Paper continues to operate daily with over 360 employees producing pulp products for markets at home and abroad.


#InnovateForCompetitiveness - Construction and Equipment:

The Technical Services team at CFM brings innovation for competitiveness to new heights with drone services — touting more flying time than any other industrial drone services company in Atlantic Canada and adhering to all Transport Canada regulations.

CFM drones can complete interior, exterior and infrared inspections quickly and efficiently. They also keep people safe and out of potentially dangerous situations that traditionally require manual inspections.


#InnovateForThePlanet - Retail:

Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs) and digital signage are at the height of retail innovation. These are used in-store to create an efficient way to change prices and promote sales, events and notices.

For KENT, this also means no more printing costs and waste, improved price accuracy and a uniform look and feel across all operations.

Kelly McGrath and Scott Verge co-lead this initiative with the KENT team. Together, they have spent countless hours scoping product options, testing and measuring the effectiveness of ESLs and digital signage.

"The sale templates now mimic what the flyer looks like," says Verge.

This also means a better experience for staff and customers. Now, team members can focus on serving customers and providing a positive experience for all.

With around 1500 to 1600 price label changes happening weekly, this duo has seen great results for front-line staff and customers. The plan is to add this solution to another twelve out of forty-eight stores, totaling twenty stores. KENT aims to have all stores operating under this system in the future.