Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Jan 18, 2021

Dr. Michael WrinchBy Dr. Michael Wrinch

This year has been unlike any other in recent history. We witnessed a dramatic shift in the demand for electrified transportation faster than expected with the stock value of Tesla exceeding every major automotive company combined. We also experienced a global pandemic that forced many of us to stay home, overstock on toilet paper, and completely redefine our workplace operations. The stock market crashed and recovered in only 12 months. These were not the only changes, but they were certainly the catalyst for some major engineering trends that we can expect to continue into 2021. What is ahead for us? Here are some top trends that you can expect to see this year.

Augmented reality (AR)

For years, the consumer interest in virtual reality (VR) has introduced many new applications but it has been met with limited success. I have used VR technology on several occasions and my experience along with other users isdisorientation and confusion. However, augmented reality (AR), where the user has the image projected on a lens or smartphone camera, can provide fast and enhanced facial recognition, enhance features such as project-critical information as an overlay for industrial operators, and even augment instructions. Engineers can harness AR capabilities for remote support on project sites which are accessed through their smartphone or tablet. These innovations are paving the way for higher efficiency in the workforce with more environmentally friendly activities through a reduction in paper use.

In 2021, augmented reality is going to enhance the entertainment sector. We are seeing the first AR “dark ride” coming out in Universal Studios Japan, which touts a fully interactive and immersive ride experience while playing a video game. The use of AR has been infiltrating our day-to-day lives in ways that might not be fully recognized. For instance, the background removal feature in Zoom which adds a splash of fun to virtual meetings. AR now has wider applications and more significant benefits than ever before.

Smarter systems for industrial applications

As industrial and manufacturing companies are facing end-of-life for their computer and control machine assets, with increased pressure from competition, there is going to be a push for machine intelligence and capabilities to advance their competitiveness while improving machine safety. Upgrades are occurring throughout organizations to add new equipment with IoT and data intelligence systems, self-testing sensors, predictive algorithms, and advanced safety functionality. Higher processing power in computers combined with limitless memory and storage have grown over the past decade, resulting in a 100x gain in processing speed and data rates. More factories will be future proofing their systems through upgrading legacy equipment, which will result inlong-term support SAS contracts to keep their systems modern.

Battery technology for renewables

The renewable energy sector will see a significant increase in energy density, faster charging capacity, and further cost reductions per unit of energy storage. Renewable energy is limited by non-dispatchable output, but improved battery and other storage technology will allow more independence of standalone renewables such as solar energy during the nighttime.

In addition, with the explosion of electric vehicle demand, the need for improved energy density and faster charging times for long-range transportation is critical. Lithium and cobalt, the essential materials in high-capacity batteries, are relatively rare while other more plentiful materials such as silicon, carbon, and sodium ion are being developed as alternatives with higher energy density. These alternatives are not without their problems. Silicon batteries can store over four times the energy, but the battery’s capacity rapidly drops. A scientist at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology has used a technique called lithium pre-loading to improve the device’s longevity.

Another pressing issue with batteries is charging time. Take for example the Tesla Model 3 car, which needs about one hour on a supercharger for a full charge. There are technologies such as carbon nanotubes that may reduce charging times to less than five minutes. This is a high-demand solution as the transportation and logistics sector electrifies and requires more dispatchable power.

Smart cities with EV charging infrastructure

With the electrification of our transportation industry, there is a push for energy infrastructure upgrades to support the multitude of charging stations, intelligent cars, and transport trucks trying to achieve fully autonomous self-driving capabilities. The energy and communications infrastructures need to work in tandem to prevent system overloads and allow vehicles to negotiate accurate positioning and choose optimal charging times. As a result, advanced communication is required, which will push more investment in cities to meet the demand of EV infrastructure.

Increased intelligent big data services

Big data is a trend that started growing some time ago, but it has not yet fully blossomed. Initially, the collection of data was done primarily because it was cheap to implement. Now we can draw insight from those data and are starting to see newer applications from intelligent information dashboards and machine learning to support long-term and proactive decision-making. As a result of ubiquitous availability of machine control system data, personal phones, tablets, and cameras, data can be easily collected from targeted sources where large real-time analytics are required. The goal is to enhance efficiency and draw out insight for decision-making that can minimize system risk that could affect the safety, efficiency, or throughput of machines. 
These are the five trends that are expected to flourish in the coming year. As the pandemic continues to force everyone into reconsidering how to work smarter and safer, there will be new challenges to face while new opportunities arise.

Dr. Michael Wrinch is the founder and CEO of Hedgehog Technologies, an electrical engineering consulting firm with over 20 years of experience in engineering, risk management, and innovation.

Carolina GalloAmong the recipients of the 2021 Clean50 Awards announced last month is Carolina Gallo, Vice President Government and Institutional Relations Canada, for Hitachi ABB Power Grids Canada. CEW reached out to Gallo, about the experience. But first, a little about the Clean50 Awards.

These annual awards recognize Canadian leaders in sustainability for their contributions over the prior two years. Created by Delta Management, Canada’s leading sustainability, ESG and clean tech focused search firm, the awards recognize remarkable and inspiring leaders and try to connect these leaders in order to bridge those gaps...

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RittalIt is April 1, 1961, when an international success story begins in a small weaving mill in central Hesse — the standardization of enclosures. Rudolf Loh founds the Rittal company and changes the industry with one idea. The standard enclosure is used in millions of product solutions in over 90% of all industries worldwide. Rittal is the innovation and world market leader for enclosure technology and IT infrastructure.

10,000 employees worldwide work on new innovations, industry solutions and business models. A small steel manufacturing company has become a global digital enterprise. 

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David GordonBy David Gordon

Electrical distributors are at a unique moment in time where they have an opportunity to leverage technology to utilize the data it can unleash to accelerate profitability and sales cost-effectively.

Being in an information age is only beneficial if the information is utilized. Enhanced sales models, sales opportunities and servicing systems are combining to help differentiate distributors. Aside from a distribution divide being created by digital and supplier selection, analytics can either widen or tighten the divide.

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GDP - January 2021Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.7% in January, following 0.1% growth in December. This ninth consecutive monthly increase continued to offset the steepest drops on record in Canadian economic activity observed in March and April 2020. However, total economic activity was about 3% below the February level before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both goods-producing (+1.5%) and services-producing (+0.4%) industries were up in January as the 20 industrial sectors were nearly evenly split between expansions and contractions.



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Swati Vora-PatelBy Swati Vora-Patel

April has been a flagship month for new milestones: it has been one full year since many of us began working from home; Zoom and other such virtual platforms have been in play for a year to keep us connected – and the reliance on digital systems has heightened over the past year to populate the influx of online catalogues and eCommerce sites.

April also marks one year since I took over the reins of EFC’s Supply Chain Network to support the electrical industry’s digital transformation journey. 


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Changing Scene

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It is with great emotion that after 40 years of combined service and leadership of Ideal Supply, ...
Managing change requires a set of soft skills that enables you to harness a growth mindset and the ...
Liteline has announced they will be establishing a Western Canada Regional Office and Distribution ...
Ideal Supply is proud to announce that as of January 1, 2021 they have appointed a new Sales ...
Omni Cable located in Brampton, ON, is proud to announce it received IMARK’s 2020 Order of the ...
Introducing Eaton’s Pow-R-Line CS switchboard, the most compact, expandable, service entrance ...
OmniCable was recently honored as a recipient of a Belden Value Award (Americas - North America, ...
adorne® Furniture Power Centers are now available with USB Charging.      
Chief PAC526 Series Wall Boxes are now available through Wiremold. Contractors have been frequently ...
Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible ...


Wayne Long and Jim BenderIdeal Supply is proud to announce that as of January 1, 2021 they have appointed a new Sales Manager for both the Electrical and Industrial divisions.

Wayne Long (left) will serve as thier Electrical Division Sales Manager. Wayne spent 11 years with Ideal Supply in the early years of his career, and was with Benshaw Canada for 20 years in senior sales management roles in Canada and the USA before re-joining Ideal in 2017, as thier Industrial Division Sales Manager. Long is a seasoned executive and has a proven track record of building strong relationships with customers and suppliers, and as a coach to sales teams to grow businesses.


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OmnicableOmni Cable located in Brampton, ON, is proud to announce it received IMARK’s 2020 Order of the Golden Maple Leaf Award in its first year eligible for the award.

The Order of the Golden Maple Leaf Award is an annual award that is presented to all IMARK suppliers who meet the set requirements, including supporting members and participating in IMARK Canada’s marketing programs.




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POW-R-Line CS Switchboards by EatonThe Solution to Your Switchboard Needs Now and for the Future.

Introducing Eaton’s Pow-R-Line CS switchboard, the most compact, expandable, service entrance and distribution solution in Canada. This versatile design allows for top or bottom service entrance cables, and expansion sections to the main structure to suit any design requirement.

Eaton’s Pow-R-Line CS switchboard provides a space-saving design advantage with a smaller footprint than any comparable switchboard in the market.


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LitelineLiteline has announced they will be establishing a Western Canada Regional Office and Distribution Center. Currently under construction in Langley, British Columbia, the new facility will service British Columbia to Saskatchewan in Canada, as well as the Pacific Northwest and California in the United States.

"As we lightly refer to the facility as “BC/DC”, the new operation will relieve some load for our 160,000 sq ft HQ in Richmond Hill, Ontario, and our other distribution points in Montreal, QC, and Dallas, TX," said the company via press release. 



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Eaton AR AppAdd or remove switchboard structures according to your construction needs, such as the main incoming with or without Canadian metering requirements, distribution loads, and submain sections. Verify your assembly footprint with thermal magnetic devices such as breakers and fusible switches (with or without meter sockets). Check for clearances and cable landing locations.

No need to guess what configuration will best suit your needs or wonder how the Pow-R-Line CS switchboard will fit in your location.



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Peers & Profiles

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“The ongoing integration of Rexel Utility into our Canadian business platforms has underscored our ...
Marcos Simard was recently appointed Managing Director of WESCO and Anixter EES Montréal ...
As of February 2021, Martin Stephenson is the new President and CEO of Signify Canada. Given that ...
This past December Jennifer Green was honoured with Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award for ...
Rob Dewar is President of AD Canada as of this past January, when AD announced it had made the ...
Electrimat is an independent Quebec-owned company that has specialized for 40 years in the ...
In July, Eaton announced that Vice President, Channel – Electrical Sector, Matt Cleary would be ...
Mission Technical Solutions is a recently established sales agency founded by industry veteran ...
Omid Nadi, Trade Marketing Manager with Ledvance, is a Ryerson University grad coming out of their ...


Marcos SimardBy Line Goyette

Marcos Simard was recently appointed Managing Director of WESCO and Anixter EES Montréal (Electrical & Electronic Solutions). This young manager, a graduate of the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières with a degree in business administration and holder of a post-graduate degree from Laval University in Information Technology Management, does not seem destined for a career without unexpected shifts.

Marcos has been with WESCO since 2015. We remember that in 2020, WESCO proposed a merger with Anixter...

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