Xavier Benoit: VP Technique, Innovation and Quality
M. Nikhil Mallavarapu: VP Corporate Development
Can you give us an introduction to Centum Adeneo and its offering to the aerospace industry, both in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and globally?
Centum Adeneo was founded in 1990 in Lyon, today part of Centum Group settled in Bangalore, and since then has rapidly grown into a diversified electronics company with operations in North America, EMEA and Asia. We have a strong expertise in all forms of electronics, from digital electronics to power conversion storage, and we offer a wide range of products to multiple sectors, such as actuators, embedded computers, energy converters and storage equipment and innovations services. We also develop the software of our electronics. Aerospace represents around 45% of our global turnover.
What is the current R&D focus at Centum Adeneo?
We are currently working on an R&D road map to improve our skills and bring more added value to our customers. The main issues we are working on are: Electronics system architecture, especially safety architecture and design methodology, power supply, converters topology and regulation, miniaturization and light weight, for example, we’re implied in a European funded R&D “green taxiing” project, aiming to develop ways of recovering the energy wasted when an aircraft is queuing on a runway, using a specific storage technology already used in railway application. Through projects such as this, we are at the forefront of innovative developments in applying technologies from other industries to the commercial aerospace industry, - we are the leaders in industry cross-fertilization!
You offer some very customized solutions for your customers. Are there any case studies recently that have offered significant benefits for your customers?
We have recently been working with Ratier-Figeac to create an electrical Trimmable Horizontal Stabilization Actuator which will be one of the first fully electric actuators because of its fallback mode. In this project, we design all of the equipment, including the controller architecture (safety level DAL B), the power board (4KW peak), the communication interface µAFDX and wireless communication for the heath monitoring, the software pack and the box.
Unfortunately, we cannot speak about many of our most recent examples, because we are bound by non-disclosure agreements, but in general we are involved in creating the actuators for around the landing gear and wings on more electric airplanes, and for more embedded power management.
How do you see the global aerospace industry’s growth impacting demand for services in this region?
Increasingly, we are selling design and “Build to Spec” (from feasibility to after-market, prototyping, qualification and manufacturing) services to customers who have not traditionally used electronic parts in their product but have been driven to recently. Our business is definitely growing as a result of the widespread industry trend of increasing electronic processes within aircraft systems and interfaces. We recognize that this is a growing customer base, and we work particularly well with this type of customer, introducing them to more electrical processes and helping them to develop their own operations in this way.
The internet of things and Industry 4.0 is creating business opportunities for us because the level of hyper-connection between processes that is becoming increasingly common requires advanced electronics to relay information within computers and other networks. It is a very interesting time for us, and we are working on the developments in a number of ways, including safety issues, which we are very skilled in. We can offer very efficient security support to our customers who are working to incorporate more electronics into their products
What are some key objectives for the coming years?
It has been about 2 years since we have become the group we are today, in terms of marrying our engineering competencies with the manufacturing service, so we are now ready to make strategic decisions for future growth. We have determined some key objectives: firstly, we are strategically focused on becoming an equipment supplier, and secondly we are focused on providing more turnkey solutions for our customers.
In terms of geographical development, we are optimistic about potential opportunities that will be created by Airbus and Boeing’s aggressive plans to increase their sourcing in India. In India the maturity level of the industry is not as well-developed as France, so combination of expertise, experience, skills, and increasing capabilities in India really puts us in a sweet spot with these customers and we are really excited about that. We are seeing a lot of interest from these customers.
Final message for our readers in the international aerospace community?
Electronics are the way forward! Centum Adeneo is an emerging player in the industry, with some very unique capabilities, not just from a technical standpoint but also in terms of our business model and presence. We can bring a lot to the table and create some value for the industry, and we are currently hiring more high-skilled engineers in order to increase our capacity to serve the aerospace sector in France and abroad.