Safran Engineering Services: Airbus partner in the USA
In industry, proximity is one of the keys to success. This is a principle that has not escaped the attention of Safran Engineering Services (SEngS), the subsidiary of Labinal (Safran) specialized in engineering consultancy. "Already a partner for Airbus on the A350 XWB and the A380, we were the first of its service providers to open a facility near the new A320 assembly site in Alabama", points out Israel Perez, director of the SEngS site in Mobile. This choice of proximity is an attractive advantage for our clients."
Before relocating to Alabama, SEngS was already putting its expertise at the disposal of the local Airbus teams. In 2011, the European airframer decided to transfer the design of the electrical system on the long-haul A330-A340 family from Hamburg to Mobile. Five SEngS engineers dispatched on-site coordinated this complex operation between the teams while providing their expertise in electrical design.
When Airbus decided to build an A320 assembly line in the United States in July 2012, SEngS in turn took the decision to open a local office. The team, comprised of fifteen people, works primarily for the airframer's engineering office. "Before joining the Mobile office, our engineers are trained in electrical system design for long-haul aircraft at our Hamburg site", explains Israel Perez. "We also have an engineering office in Mexico that can help the Airbus teams in Mobile to absorb fluctuations in workloads, at a very competitive cost."
A strategic location
Beyond the partnership with Airbus, the presence of SEngS in this State proves to be highly strategic. Mobile is at the heart of the "Gulf Coast Corridor," an area where the aerospace business has been experiencing strong growth in recent years. "It happens that many potential customers are located near our office, says Israel Perez. This is notably the case of ST Aerospace Mobile, Continental Motors, Boeing, Northrop Grumman among other aerospace business in the area. Where those companies are concerned, as well as in the eyes of the local authorities, the fact we belong to Labinal and Safran opens up many doors."
* from left to rignt: Allan McArtor (Airbus Americas Chairman), Merceria Ludgood (Mobile County Commissioner), Bruno Bernard (SEngS President), Robert J. Bentley (Alabama Governor), Sam Jones (Mobile Mayor) and Richard Davis (MAA Chairman).