The Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute recently benifited from a Federal grant of over $600 thousand dollars.

The investment came through Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) and the Western Diversification Program.

PrairiesCan says the funding will help Prairies agricultural machinery makers become more competitive by improving product designs and performance opportunities for manufacturers, while reducing product failures.

PAMI's President and CEO Leah Olson says she's pleased with the equipment upgrades and what it will mean for clients.

"The grants and the dollars that were provided to us by PrairiesCan, the Federal Government, went to upgrading our machine testing system in Portage.

She says the new digital equipment provides new electronic and control capabilities and expands PAMI's capabilities to give and expand data for the various projects.

"For clients, what that means is it'll decrease the time for tuning and setup for specific types of tests or projects. It also increases our mechanical setup efficiency for specific tests like the rollover tests that we've done, or there might be, seed acreage tests that we'll do."

The digital testing equipment ensures manufacturers can confirm product performance against global regulatory standards in multiple sectors.

Olson says this makes PAMI the only organization in Western Canada that has this system, and they've had already had global manufacturers express an interest in having some work done there.

The new digital equipment was set up last fall at the Portage location, some clients have already used the equipment and have given positive feedback about the quality of the data and the time it took to do the testing.

Eric Hosie, Planning Manager, BASF Canada says they worked with PAMI on some agricultural testing.

"They were easy to work with, responsive to any change requests we had, and completed our time-sensitive project in quick fashion. We hope to use PAMI again for our future needs and would highly recommend them to anyone looking for support when it comes to agricultural testing."

Olson says it's about being able to more efficiently serve clients on an ongoing basis.

"We are looking at what's happening in autonomous farming, autonomous driving in mines and transportation. So, looking at what sort of test equipment and pilot projects are required to help those industries grow."

PAMI has locations in Humboldt and Portage and is involved with product development, testing and validation for clients in the agriculture, mining and transportation industries.