The Electric/Electronic industry (EE) and its global influence

  • By Sirena Baudin
    • Dec 15, 2022
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EE article

Emerging in the 20th century, the electronics industry is one of the largest industries in Canada; The electronics industry is divided into sectors: communications and components, computers and office machines, and consumer electronics. Semiconductor represents a significant subsector of electronics, particularly in telecommunications market. In Canada, this industry represents about 4% of the total manufacturing output. With almost 2000 electronics firms, mostly located in Ontario and Quebec, Canada presents as a competitive country in the electronics sector; In fact, in 2022 the market size for electronic stores in Canada represented $14.8 billion.

Electronics is one of the world’s fastest growing industries. It also has a big influence on other industries because the products can increase productivity and make new products and services.

Because the world is fast moving and electronics always need to adapt, an emphasis on R&D is necessary. Electronics can be used in products design and engineering systems that helps manufacture complex products in a cheaper and faster way. This can reduce life cycles of some products (for example, computers) that will be replaced by a new model with new components. Product life cycles for consumers equals to about a year.

Even if Canada is a net importer of electronics, a few Canadian companies are significant in the industry worldwide especially in the telecommunications sector because of its developed communications infrastructures.

Growth of hybrid electronics

Regarding the computer electronics sector, it is subject to rapid innovation and a strong competitive market. Toronto is the strongest computer electronic market in Canada. This is part of the reason for a significant import flow from the Asian market. A solution would be the growth of hybrid electronics and a bigger adaptation from electronic companies into their products composition.

There’s an improvement in Ontario regarding computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing sector. The products are getting smaller and smarter, meaning the performance of electronics has increased. The strategy is now to focus on cloud-based solutions. There’s also an increase in opportunities for workers in the computer and engineering fields as demand grows for semiconductor inputs.

Radio and television broadcasting are a big contributor in communication equipment manufacturing, but we can find strong representation in transportation, military, and health as well. Smaller representation would be products such as alarm systems and equipment, remote control units, fire detection alarm, …etc.

In the semiconductor field, most employees are located in Ontario. They produce mostly high-value components, and IoT should help boosting demande in the sector.

As for the aerospace industry, it represents one of the main markets that uses navigational and guidance instrument manufacturer. Because of the increase in commercial aircraft needs, this market should continue to grow and electronics should benefit from it. Most global companies have a local presence in Ontario.

Finally, we can mention the defense sector which is another key market mainly because of the navigational instruments as well.

EE industry

Because it’s such a vast industry, recycling became a real challenge over the years and led to a lot of problems with electronic waste, especially in China and the United States. Humans are generating 50 million tons of electrical and electronic waste every year. This can consist of hazardous, valuable, scarce materials…etc. A particular concern is chlorofluocarbons (CFCs) in circuit boards manufacture because it represents a danger for the planet’s ozone layer. We are also estimated to use 1.75 planets worth of resources, and deforestation and mining operations are worsening this issue. Alongside resource use, there are problems associated with increased energy use, higher greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and a lack of effective recycling.

To prevent this from worsening, an internal regulation has been developed, as well as changes in electronics design that can help minimize the use of toxic materials and energy consumption. In the case of CFCs, Canadian companies are trying to limit the use of this component in their products. Consumers are also more and more conscious about sustainability and are influencing the companies in their way of production.

How to reduce the use of new resources?

Recycling is another way to reduce the use of new resources and is mostly used in computer and engineering sector. By reducing the obsolescence and increasing the ability to repair the products, we can also try to delay the recycling. A study showed that 77% of the European population would prefer to repair rather than replace their electronic products.

Consumer electronic product manufacturers have made great advances in reducing energy use and GHG emissions. Examples from leading electronics companies include 70% greater efficiency in products compared with ten years ago, use of only renewable energy at facilities and a 466,000-ton reduction in GHG.

We can tell that the EE (electric/electronic) industry is a very complex sector, with lots of subsectors in various markets, and therefore it’s difficult to quantify its impact. This industry is intrinsically related to others because of their dependence on electronic production and components availability. This can cause inflation, and bigger production issues.

The EE industry is also generating a lot of waste, especially due to the constant renewal of products and their rapid obsolescence, but also because of the materials themselves. For these reasons, regulations are becoming very important, and various sustainable actions like recycling are becoming vital.

Your company has a project in electric/electronic ? Contact one of our experts now.

Sources :


Sirena Baudin
Sirena Baudin

Marketing executive/ Office manager

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