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 email@example.com