From CPES2015: What will it take to ‘turbo-charge’ Canada’s PE industry? 

By Leo Valiquette

Technology evolves in the context of how it is used.

This was a common theme at the 2015 Canadian Printable Electronics Symposium (CPES2015) in Montreal, April 21 to 22. 

CPES2015 was a sold out success, with more than 130 attendees and 30+ speakers, including keynote speakers from the U.S., Europe and Korea.

By any measure, the event was double in size and scope compared to the previous year. CPES has been repositioned from a small technical meeting into a truly international conference. For 2016, CPEIA’s goal is to continue to grow and build CPES into a major industry event that attracts participants from around the world wishing to network with the Canadian PE sector.

The event was an opportunity to showcase 'Made in Canada' products that are at the cutting edge of the industry, and spotlight the work of our leading developers and researchers in the field. But the recurring theme was invariably how and why all this does, can and should matter to the end user, and how their wants and needs must drive technology’s march forward.’

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CPEIA holds its first AGM, elects Board

During the Canadian Printable Electronics Symposium (CPES2015) last month, the CPEIA held its first AGM, where voting members elected its first Board of Directors. The Board’s first acts were to appoint our Board of Advisors and confer upon founding executive Peter Kallai the new title of President and CEO. If you missed the announcement, you can see it here.

Board Announcement

Join the Canadian delegation for Printed Electronics USA 2015

Last fall, “Team Canada PE” made a big splash at this conference with the standout Canadian Pavilion. This delegation of Canadian companies was led by the National Research Council of Canada and marked the official “coming out” of the CPEIA. For 2015, the plan is bigger and bolder, with spots for 11 co-exhibitors in a 1,600-square-foot pavilion positioned to have a lot of visibility. 

If you are involved in PE, this is not an event you want to miss. Hosted by market research firm IDTechEx, PE USA is the largest event in the world dedicated to Printable and Organic Electronics and the business of getting PE-enabled products and applications to market. More than 225 exhibitors and 3,000 attendees are expected from around the world for this year’s show, which takes place in Santa Clara, CA, Nov. 18-19.

Reservations are coming in and only a few spots remain. To secure your spot in the Canadian Pavilion, please contact Thomas Ducellier, Executive Director, PE Flagship Program, NRC, at 


Use the CPEIA discount to attend the Atlantic Venture Forum

The Atlantic Venture Forum returns to Halifax on June 10 and 11. It brings together the best, boldest, most innovative emerging and established IT, Cleantech, and Life Sciences companies in Atlantic Canada, for two full days of engaging and insightful presentations from entrepreneurs, panel sessions with investors from across Canada and the U.S., and compelling Keynote Speakers. You can learn more at 

CPEIA Members can attend with a 15 percent discount. If you are interested, please contact Leo Valiquette, Director of Marketing and Communications for the CPEIA, for the discount code.

Guest Article

Why PE matters to Quebec’s Varitron

By Fabio Ferrarini

Varitron Technologies is one of the biggest electronics manufacturing services (EMS) companies in Canada, headquartered south of Montreal. Michel Farley, who is still president and largest shareholder, founded the company in 1991. Operations are supported by a total of three plants, St-Hubert and Granby in Quebec, and Hudson, NH. We offer PCBA design and assembly, functional testing services, product integration and full box-build, BOM analysis and cost-reduction roadmaps. We also offer value-added processes such as conformal coating, overmolding and nanocoating.

Varitron operates with a customer base primarily in these market segments: Energy, Optics, Aerospace, Defence and Transportation. Even though most of the PCBAs we build for these customers are complex, their design approach is conservative. Technology has evolved in our business primarily in components size, board density and assembly speeds.

We are, however, approaching a threshold where higher density will actually start to increase PCBA costs because of higher quality fallout. This is where Printable Electronics become interesting for Varitron.

Varitron can not expect to be approached by a customer and get asked to quote a printed electronics device because the market segments cited above are just too conservative and do not have any guidance towards PE. From a strategic point of view, if an EMS such as ours can offer PE services, then these segments will likely adopt the technology faster.

Varitron is thus strongly motivated to move in this direction and lead the technology shift. Our goal is to partner with a few active customers and move forward with tangible PE concepts in which a major cost advantage would stand out. With the help of research centres in Canada, we aim to develop physical prototypes in 2015-2016.

Fabio Ferrarini is Business Development Manager for Varitron Technologies. He can be reached at


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