Foreign trade mission to Alberta visits Lacombe
Updated: May 3, 2021
This partnership is a prime example of how entrepreneurs and municipal, provincial and federal governments can work together to advance innovation and technology on the world stage.
On March 8, 2016, the City of Lacombe was honoured to welcome ambassadors, high commissioners and consular staff from the various countries represented in the Heads of Mission delegation from the first foreign trade mission to Alberta since 2006.
The delegation made a quick stop in Lacombe to check out an innovative project developed by local heavy equipment manufacturer TKS Industries Ltd. to help advance the field of light-duty hydrovac excavators.
TKS has taken trenching technology typically used in big industrial operations and shrunk it into a unit designed for use with municipalities and in urban areas. Mayor Steve Christie was delighted to highlight the City of Lacombe’s partnership with TKS in field-testing its Smartvac prototype excavator. Municipal staff field-tested the vacuum truck over the summer and fall of 2015: flushing sewers, locating utility lines, and digging in tight spaces to make sure the unit was able to meet real-world performance objectives. Operators were impressed with how powerful the prototype truck is for its size and were pleased with its performance, and provided TKS with valuable feedback so that engineers could tailor the design and operational processes of this piece of equipment to be high-functioning and better suit the end-user. By assessing the actual performance of the machinery in 'real world' conditions, the manufacturer was able to address issues uncovered with the Smartvac prototype in the development of a production model. "We are fortunate to have this kind of innovation occurring right here in Lacombe," said Mayor Christie. "Alberta is a world-leading hub for technology and innovation for the responsible development of fossil fuel energy." This partnership is a prime example of how entrepreneurs and municipal, provincial and federal governments can work together to advance innovation and technology on the world stage.