Trackunit, a specialist in fleet management solutions for connecting machines and operators, and the International Powered Access Training Federation (IPAF) have announced the co-development of a digital Powered Access License, designated ePAL.
Replacing the established credit-card-style physical PAL Cards, ePAL credentials will be delivered and stored on operators’ mobile devices in a secure digital wallet, in the same way that people store loyalty cards, boarding cards, and tickets on their phones.
Since inception, IPAF has issued over 2 million licenses and today there are 800,000+ active PAL Cards worldwide. Introducing ePAL creates a digital platform to manage current data and operator’s training qualifications, as well as preventing license misuse which is an ongoing challenge for rental companies and contractors.
In addition to enabling evidence of correct and in-date training associated with powered access equipment use, future updates to ePAL will also support users to conveniently maintain and update a machine use log. Trackunit and IPAF are considering ways in which this process could be automated to create vendor-neutral capabilities in later versions of ePAL.
Soeren Brogaard, CEO of Trackunit, stated, “Working with IPAF, we have created ePAL as an easy to use and updated mobile app, which fits better with the lifestyles of today’s tech savvy license holders. The platform developed to support ePAL offers the capability for open, industry-wide collaboration and data sharing — over time we expect to see benefits from enriching machine data with human data added by operators and other users.”
“Our number one priority is to increase the effectiveness of our operator safety training capabilities — ePAL is a major step forward. Importantly, IPAF members include manufacturers of around 85 percent of powered access equipment on the market," Peter Douglas, CEO and managing director of IPAF, commented. "By working with Trackunit, we have met the need for the new development to be vendor-neutral from the ground up, giving access to industry organizations to expand its capabilities as the system grows.”
Defining Project ePAL
During the nine-month initial stage, IPAF and Trackunit undertook intensive development work across the ecosystem. The outcome is the ePAL mobile app, which was then submitted to early-adopter scrutiny to ensure all contributors iterations were made and processes were aligned to achieve industry compliance.
Training is shifting towards increased digitalization. The expansion of the system will be driven by the engagement needs of the members and operators at a time where mobile apps are becoming more widely used in all areas of business.
Digitalization will transform IPAF’s service generation and delivery through a phased launch and planned system roll-out. Once fully operational, the mobile app will be globally available and the service platform will provide real-time updates to machine specifications and IPAF’s systems. This will hold license-holders’ machine logs, manufacturer machine data, and feedback capabilities. Future upgrades to its capabilities will ensure that IPAF can continue to develop its services using the most effective processes and deliver consistently high service levels to its members.
Release 1.0 of ePAL will be introduced in April 2021, after a soft launch at the IPAF Summit in March 2021. The second iteration is planned for release towards the end of the year, which will include increased functionality.