At daybreak, a contractor pulls up a map on his smartphone to see how his fleet of harvester machines are doing in the forest in real time. He can schedule maintenance, send size orders for logs, and view efficiency and production reports at the touch of a button. On the heavy equipment, an on-board computer relays size orders to sensors that guide the machine on how to cut the trees. Such seamless communication between man and machine has been the focus of leading technology specialist Epec. By customising embedded control systems and information logistics for mobile machines, the company helps original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) create some of the world's best harvesters, excavators, buses and fire trucks. "If you're in a rough environment and want sophisticated control systems and information gathering for your mobile machine, you should come to Epec," says Dr Juho Nummela, president and CEO of Epec's parent company, Ponsse, a global supplier of forest heavy equipment. "Our technology helps OEMs build machines with exceptional productivity, recording and controllability." Epec's control systems are enclosed in zinc or aluminium, have high vibration endurance and operate across a wide temperature range. Such rigid features make the company the partner of choice of industry leaders such as Metso, Sandvik, Agrifac Machinery, Tana, Kabus and Avant Tecno. In China, Epec works with companies such as Shanghai Pal-Fin Automatic Control Technology, providing advanced solutions for the largest machine manufacturers on the mainland. Epec would like to share its technology with more Chinese OEMs as it works on incorporating "internet of things" technology into its devices. This will allow machines to automatically harness industrial data to guide their operations. "We're big believers of rapid technology improvements in this environment, and we're proving to clients every day that we're worth their trust," Nummela says.