Category Archives: Technology

MASITEK Instruments Inc. welcomes tech leader Pablo Asiron as EVP of Global Business Development

Pablo Asiron new Executive Vice-President of Global Business Development of Moncton-based MASITEK Instruments Inc. and Tracy Clinch, President and CEO. MASITEK is the #1 global leader in virtual remote sensing technology.)
Pablo Asiron new Executive Vice-President of Global Business Development of Moncton-based MASITEK Instruments Inc. and Tracy Clinch, President and CEO. MASITEK is the #1 global leader in virtual remote sensing technology. Click on the photo for a larger version.)

NEWS RELEASE

February 4, 2016
For immediate release

MASITEK Instruments Inc. welcomes tech leader Pablo Asiron as EVP of Global Business Development

MONCTOMMAAZZ logoN, NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA – Tracy Clinch, President and CEO of MASITEK Instruments Inc., the global leader in virtual remote sensing technology, announced today that renowned technology sales and corporate development professional Pablo Asiron has joined the company as its Executive Vice-President of Global Business Development.

Headquartered in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, MASITEK offers state-of-the-art, real-time wireless detection and reporting technologies designed to immediately identify and quantify damage to fragile goods in production, packaging and distribution systems for handlers and manufacturers around the world in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. MASITEK’s innovative sensor technology helps reduce downtime, enhance product integrity and increase global scalability, productivity and profits.

With an increasing cost of goods and universal pressure to improve profitability, driving efficiencies in manufacturing facilities is a high growth market poised to explode. Large multinational organizations will invest millions of dollars to ensure they are maximizing efficiencies while reducing waste and damage to containers and fragile goods.

“Our global customer base has increased tremendously over the last several months,” says MASITEK President and CEO Tracy Clinch. “We have been very fortunate to partner with category leaders – such as Nestlé, Carlsberg, AB Inbev, Unilever and Diageo – providing the tools and support necessary to achieve their production and project objectives. MASITEK will continue to invest in new technology and key personnel to strengthen our position as the global leader in virtual remote sensing technology.”

“Due to our rapid expansion, we are very excited to have Pablo Asiron join our team as Executive Vice-President of Global Business Development to further drive our growth strategy,” she says. “His deep understanding of technology, customer-facing business approach and proven track record in development and leadership will be tremendous assets to MASITEK and our customers. Additionally, Pablo’s strategic vision aligns with our overall goal of continued growth through innovation, partnership and vertical expansion.”

Mr. Asiron joins MASITEK after a very successful term with RtTech Software, where he was responsible for more than 90 per cent of all company sales and helped the company earn a number of awards, including a BDC Innovation Award, regional and national Startup Canada Awards for Innovation, and Greater Moncton Excellence Awards in the Emerging Business and Technology categories, as well as earning the company a place on Deloitte’s prestigious Fast 50 Companies to Watch list.

“I have known of MASITEK for a few years now,” Mr. Asiron says. “After a discussion with President and CEO Tracy Clinch in August 2015, I was very impressed with how far the technology and the company had gone. So when I started looking for a new challenge, she was one of the first people I contacted. Right away, I fell in love with their patented technology and the challenge she offered me. It is a dream for a sales executive when you have a great and proven product already installed in many Fortune 500 companies, and a great leadership and technical team. As well, it is a big boost to be backed by a venture group such as Technology Venture Corporation who understands what it takes to grow a company with world-class clients from an Atlantic Canadian base. I look forward to being a part of MASITEK’s growing global reach and helping the company to scale new heights.”

Mr. Asiron has 20 years of experience in the areas of executive management, consulting, process control, information systems, business development and sales. To his new position, he brings experience in multiple industries such as mineral processing, pulp and paper, power generation, food processing and discrete manufacturing. In 2015, he was a finalist for the 2015 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Atlantic Canada for emerging business. He has an extensive positive record of attracting capital and increasing sales.

Technology Venture Corporation, based in Moncton, is one of MASITEK’s primary investors. “We are always on the lookout for exceptional, high-quality talent,” says Susan Hicks, President and CEO of Technology Venture Corporation. “We search locally and across the world for just the right people for leadership positions in our Atlantic Canada-based companies. I’m delighted that one of our high-growth companies, MASITEK Instruments Inc., has attracted Pablo Asiron to fill a critical executive position within their organization. Mr. Asiron’s impressive track record in building and expanding companies, his relationship-building skills and his history of successful business development are a tremendous addition to the MASITEK executive team.”

About MASITEK Instruments Inc.

Founded five years ago and headquartered in new facilities in downtown Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, MASITEK Instruments Inc. (www.masitek.com) has grown to become the global leader in virtual remote sensing technology. Its advanced quality control sensing for industrial packaging, bottling and agricultural applications – sold under its MMAAZZ and aaggrrii brands – is now installed with major companies around the world. The company is one of a number of leading tech startups in which Technology Venture Corporation of Moncton has invested.

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Media contacts:

Tracy Clinch
President and CEO
MASITEK Instruments Inc.
North America: 1-800-971-7085 ext. 501
International: 1-905-233-2117 ext. 501
tracy@masitek.com

Pablo Asiron
Executive Vice-President of Global Sales MASITEK Instruments Inc.
North America: 1-800-971-7085 ext. 511
International: 1-905-233-2117 ext. 511
pablo@masitek.com

Hump Day: E-readers: perfect gift for tree-hugging gadget-lovers

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

My maternal grandfather, Michael Pineau, would have been 120 years old on September 29. A former teacher, I know he would have been fascinated by all the electronic gadgets out today.

I remember sitting in the kitchen with him as he played with this new-fangled thing called a calculator in the mid-1970s. I believe I got it for Christmas. Always a lover of technology, I couldn’t put it down. Calculators are a dime a dozen these days, but they weren’t so common back then. He would invent a math problem, enter it in the calculator and then challenge me to come up with the same answer using a pencil and paper. I was usually right, since math was one of my stronger subjects.

He would have also been fascinated by the Confederation Bridge. Born and raised on Prince Edward Island, even the modern ferries of the 1970s likely seemed high tech to him. Building a bridge across the Northumberland Strait, though? He would have loved to see that. It was just too big to even imagine in his world back then.

I always love seeing people embracing technology. That’s why I was happy to hear my mother agree to try out an e-reader. This will be her Christmas present this year. (I’m not spoiling a surprise. She knows she’s getting it.)

Like my grandfather, she’s a voracious reader and will pretty much read anything. The problem with the love of reading, though, is what to do with all those books. Sure, you can give them away, donate them to the library or to yard sales or charity drives, but most of the time – at least in my case – they just pile up. My bed table has two stacks of books balanced precariously. One mistake and they will come tumbling down.

Yup! This is my nightstand with upwards of 50 books stacked up.
Yup! This is my nightstand with upwards of 50 books stacked up.

Lest you think I’m exaggerating, I will go count them now. Hold on a minute. Tick tock. Tick tock. There! I counted them and there are 39 books in one stack and 11 in another, interspersed with magazines, too. The bigger stack is leaning against the wall in order to stabilize it. The smaller stack is the one closest to me and contains the books I’m currently leafing through. And then there are the books on my dresser, too.

My house is full of books, mostly unread. That’s why I’m going the e-reader route, too. They’re cheaper, first of all, and I don’t have to drive to buy them or have them shipped to my home. While I love the feel of a book in my hand, this switch will end up saving me a ton of space.

My grandfather had shelves full of books. He didn’t care what they were about. He’d pretty much read anything. My mother followed in his footsteps. As long as they’re romances or mysteries, she’s willing to give anything a try. I’m much fussier and lose my patience with novels or other books pretty quickly. I’m so used now to reading short and snappy articles online that I lose interest fast.

With that said, there are many books that I’ve read from start to finish that I’ve enjoyed immensely. And despite the fact that I’ve slowed down my book buying considerably, the piles keep growing little by little. Like the kitchen gadgets I buy, each book is going to dramatically change my life. The skies will open, choirs will descend from heaven and the hand of God will come down to pat me gently on the head with wordless approval and eternal love, all because I bought that spiral slicer that makes noodles out of a zucchini or because of that book I bought on time management that I never got around to reading. (Oh the irony!)

The trees can breathe easier today. There are two more readers moving to e-reader technology and giving the trees a chance to live for another purpose such as creating oxygen, being used to build a home or simply standing there to be admired while housing a nest of singing robins or happy squirrels. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that.

My two ever-growing combined stacks of 50 books next to my bed and the large number of books on shelves and in piles around the house will eventually dwindle down to a few keepsakes. I’ll gain room and there’ll be fewer things gathering dust.

When I take delivery of my mother’s e-reader, I’ll load it with a number of free and low-priced books for her, including a few newer titles. Once she gets used to it, she’ll likely never want to go back to searching stores for used books. I’ll expect a few troubleshooting telephone calls if she gets stuck, though.

I currently use an application on my table as an e-reader, but it’s a bit big to read in bed. So I’ll probably end up buying the same e-reader that I’m buying for my mother and use it solely for that; reading. It’s smaller and more manageable in bed and it’s built exactly for that purpose, with proper screen resolution to reduce eye strain, etc., because the only thing you really do with it is read.

I usually buy myself a Christmas present each year, so it looks like I have this year’s gift picked out a few months in advance. Hey, it doesn’t take much to twist my rubber arm to buy a new gadget since, you know, it will change my life and the hand of God will come down from heaven, etc. If you don’t love buying new technology, then you don’t want God to come visit and pat you on the head, do you? Heathen!

Admittedly, I’m late to moving to e-books from printed books, but the extra room in the house, saved trees and saved money (e-books are cheaper) will all be beneficial in the long term. And I get a new gadget! Time get ready for that heavenly head pat!

FoodTender.com startup connects food service suppliers and establishments

FoodTender logoIf you’re a food service supplier or a food establishment, FoodTender.com can help save you time and connect with new clients and suppliers. The online service goes live this Wednesday, August 21, after being in beta testing.

FoodTender.com is an innovative concept created by André Pellerin and André LeBlanc, two food-service industry experts with combined experience of more than 40 years both directly in the restaurant industry as well as in food distribution. Pellerin and LeBlanc saw a need and joined forces to make FoodTender.com a one-stop shop for food establishments, retailers and suppliers who want to make negotiating simple.

Their powerful combination of knowledge and expertise sparked an idea that there must be a better way for customers to find and negotiate with suppliers – and for suppliers a more efficient way of finding new customers and growing market share.

Their idea – FoodTender.com – goes live on Wednesday, August 21, and is growing its customer base daily. For $24.99 per month, clients can issue tenders or have access to tenders locally, regionally or nationally.

FoodTender.com will help food establishments connect with suppliers and suppliers connect with food establishments. Pellerin and LeBlanc knew they could change the way the industry works with this web-based application. Registered food establishments of any size can create tenders and request a quote from registered suppliers.

“It’s the first service of its kind in Canada,” says Pellerin, the company’s president. “Many suppliers can only visit 6-8 customers per day and are limited by their clients’ availability. They may have to visit a client 4-5 times before gaining access to the right person who can make decisions. Clients who sign up for FoodTender.com get access to the decision-makers immediately and can communicate with them around the clock through our messaging system.”

“Now, a sales rep can easily interact with 25-30 clients per day instead of only 6-8. And smaller niche market suppliers now have access to many more potential clients for their products and services. The first month is free and there is no contract or cancellation fee after you sign up. $24.99 is within everyone’s budget – especially when it give you access to so many potential clients,” Pellerin says.

FoodTender.com also got high praise from Ottawa-based technology business advisor Rob Rose who met Pellerin and LeBlanc at a recent Montreal Startup Festival. Rose sent this testimonial to Pellerin: “Hi André. I thought that FoodTender was one of the more well-thought-out opportunities at the festival. You guys have a clear understanding of your space. I’d love to hear how your guys are doing as time goes by. I think that this can be a major revenue stream for you guys once you amass a large member base.”

FoodTender.com was also recently chosen as one of Canada’s Top 1000 startups by Startup Canada.

Pellerin says he hopes to grow the company and hire on new staff soon to take on administration and marketing tasks.

Hump Day: Cell phone use while driving: a dangerous form of narcissism

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

If we’re going to have rules and regulations about certain things in society, then great! I’m all for them when they make sense. Unfortunately, there are some highly touted laws that are being made a public mockery by those who break them and by those who implement them but don’t provide the resources to enforce them.

Case in point: distracted driving laws. I don’t know about you, but this has got to be the most ignored law in the entire province. Every day, I see several drivers chatting away on their cellphones while negotiating through traffic, stopped at lights, etc. I’ve even called out a few by beeping my horn and pointing to my ear to let them know they’ve been caught talking on the telephone while driving.

The narcissists usually give me the middle-finger salute or just scream unheard obscenities from behind their closed vehicle windows. I haven’t done this very often, but it never went well when I did. Finally, I just gave up. Let them get into an accident and kill someone. What am I supposed to do about it? I can’t save the world.

Why the term “narcissists”? Because they somehow believe that their telephone conversation is so important that putting the lives of others at risk is worth it. I beg to differ. There are very affordable devices that use Bluetooth technology and that fit into your ear to allow you to answer a cellphone without having to be distracted. Often, it’s just the touch of a button in the earpiece and you’re connected. There are other hands-free devices available that attach to your visor. They work perfectly well.

Many new vehicles even have Bluetooth technology built in to their dashboards. I recently bought a new vehicle and it was the first thing I looked for! Now, whenever my cellphone rings while I’m in the car, I answer with the touch of a button on the steering wheel. No hassle and no more distracting than changing the station on your radio or talking to a passenger.

From my own unscientific research (translation: using my own eyes) I’ve come to the conclusion that the distracted driving law is being almost universally ignored to the extent where it might as well not even be on the books.

If enforcement resources aren’t available, I understand. We have budgets within which we must live. I get it. In that case, you have to make the fines dramatically larger in order to make it very scary if you’re caught. Currently in New Brunswick, the fine is $172.50 and you lose three points (out of 10) on your driver’s licence. In Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island, a first offence can cost you up to $400.

Here’s my idea. New Brunswick’s provincial budget is in the tank. We have a huge deficit. Budget cuts are the norm. And since very few (in my completely unscientific but I believe completely accurate survey) are following the distracted driving law, it’s time to put a dent in our deficit. It’s time to make people pay through the nose. We need to get tough on these fines.

If you’re caught talking on your hand-held cellphone while you’re driving in New Brunswick, the fine should be $1,000 and you lose half the points on your licence right then and there. Not only that, you must attend a mandatory day-long awareness session within 14 days of your fine or your licence is suspended. Going away on vacation or a business trip and can’t make it? Tough. Lose your licence. Awww heck — and why not publish the names of perpetrators in the newspaper at the same time?

Insurance companies should also take note of these offences and hike the insurance rates of offenders. You want more profits? This is a way to do it in a way that may even be quite popular with the public. Besides, it’s only a matter of time before Chatty Cheryl and Talking Tommy get into an accident that will cost you big bucks.

Drivers who deliberately and shamelessly talk on their handheld devices or text message while operating a vehicle aren’t much different than someone who’s had too many drinks. At least if you’re drunk, you’re probably watching the road. It’s impossible to text message someone or compose and send an email while you’re driving while keeping your eyes on the road. A convicted distracted driver should pay significantly higher insurance rates if their risk level increases because they can’t stop texting while driving or talking to their friend about the latest episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

Not only would we raise more money as a province, but we’d also take care of that enforcement problem. The fact is, the pain isn’t big enough for people to stop. They’re willing to take the chance. The punishment isn’t harsh enough. You’ll take the risk for $172.50 and three points. But will you take the risk for $1,000 (minimum), five points off your licence and a day’s lost wages (sorry, no weekend sessions!) to attend an awareness session? (And yes, there’ll be a test. And yes, you need to pass.)

The current punishments aren’t working. They’re too low. We aren’t scaring enough people into putting down their hand-held cellphones in favour of much safer Bluetooth technology.

It’s time to get serious about this folks. Drivers are ignoring this law en masse. It’s ridiculous and it’s time to bring the hammer down by making offenders pay big time through huge fines, more points off their licence and a mandatory awareness session that will inconvenience them and annoy them – and hopefully teach them a lesson.

Social Media Matters: Website helps you find the best airplane seat

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Sept. 28, 2012
Metro section

Website helps you find the best airplane seat

Do you travel often? If so, you may have figured out how and why to choose certain airplane seats. If you don’t travel that often, though, or are a frequent flyer travelling on an unfamiliar plane or airline, SeatGuru could save you a lot of discomfort.

SeatGuru goes through each plane in the fleets of most of the world’s major airlines and analyzes the best and worst seating options. Graphs of each plane’s seating are shown using colour codes denoting the best, average and bad seats. Scrolling over each seat gives you a rundown of its benefits or downfalls, including the reasons why it’s a good or bad choice.

The moral of the story: if you’re able to choose the seat on your flight, get the model of aircraft on which you’ll be travelling and look it up on SeatGuru! This gives you a leg up on the getting best seat possible and can mean the difference between a comfortable or miserable flight experience.

Need some self-imposed nagging?

HassleMe is a British website that allows users to set up alerts to remind themselves to do certain things, such as going to the gym, visiting their mother, feeding the fish or practising the piano.

When you arrive on the website’s home page, you find a message that says, “Hassle me roughly every (fill in the blank with a number) days, reminding me to (fill in the blank with what you want to be reminded about).” You can also add co-workers or children to the “hassle” to remind them of things, too .

For extra motivation, you can even make the hassles public. To read what kind of alerts users are setting up for themselves and others, click here. The service is free.

Looking for specialty kitchen tools?

If you’re like me and love shopping for kitchen gadgets, you’ve surely spent just as much time as I have driving all over town looking for specialty items that are nearly impossible to find. Often the Internet isn’t an option because the need is too urgent, for a recipe that is being made right then and there, so buying something locally is the preferred option.

If you have time to wait for items to be shipped to you, though, I’ve used a couple of Canadian specialty kitchen products websites and can vouch for them – at least in my experience: Golda’s Kitchen – Kitchenware for Canadians and Williams Food Equipment. Both websites are based in Canada and offer prices in Canadian dollars. Shipping is extra. You can also contact them toll-free by telephone.

Bad translations

There’s a hilarious Facebook page in French called Traductions de merde, which – roughly translated – means “really bad translations.” If you’re bilingual and are familiar enough with both English and French to know a bad translation when you see it, do yourself a favour and visit the page for a good laugh.

Basically, these are gut-bustingly funny (and sometimes scary!) examples of people who have obviously used an online translation service such as Google, which is OK for giving you the basic gist of what something means, but is certainly not meant to be professional and certainly not meant to be printed on packaging or anything official.

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Every week, I feature three YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current to Sept. 25.

1) TechCrunch (14,236 subscribers): According to its channel description, “TechCrunch is a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.” This popular channel just hit the 10-million view mark this week. You can also check out their official website. (Most popular video: Swype Versus iPhone – 998,030 views.)

2) Samsung Mobile (95,727 subscribers): While a lot has been said in the past week about Apple’s release of its new iPhone 5, the new Samsung S III is nothing to sneeze at either. (This is the smartphone I use.) You may have seen the viral Samsung video commercial making the rounds online poking fun at Apple users who are standing in line to buy the new iPhone. It’s pretty funny, actually.Samsung’s official mobile channel is where “you can find the latest videos about our company and products,” according to its channel description. The channel features a number of playlists that feature product commercials and tutorials with a total of nearly 120 million views. (Most popular video: [GALAXY Note] Introducing Samsung GALAXY Note – 12,505,285 views.)

3) WIGS (88,036 subscribers): According to its channel description, WIGS’ is “the #1 channel for scripted drama on YouTube, brings you high-end, original series, short films, and documentaries, all starring female leads. Catch new episodes of WIGS series every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6 a.m. PT / 9 a.m. ET!” There doesn’t seem to be much professionally produced drama developed solely for YouTube, but someone’s certainly watching WIGS since it has more than 16.4 million total views! (Most popular video: WIGS ’90s Commercial V1 | Feat. Stephen Moyer, Jennifer Garner & Virginia Madsen | WIGS- 1,456,350 views.)