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Safran Engineering Services: supporting the Group's digital transformation


Safran Engineering Services provides a wide range of skills to major manufacturers to help them design, manufacture, enter into service and maintain their products until the end of their life cycle. But it is also an entity whose powerful capacity for innovation means that is providing key support for Safran's digital transformation.

Safran Engineering Services Innovation - Augmented reality
Picture of Thibaud Chong, Safran Engineering Services engineer, using augmented reality technology in 2021

Digital transformation is a priority at Safran, where the objective is to incorporate new technologies into all Group activities in order to boost operational excellence. The accompanying road map is divided into four mutually reinforcing areas: Engineering 4.0, Manufacturing 4.0, Services 4.0 and Employee Workplace 4.0. In the case of the first three, each industrial phase has been identified: product development, manufacturing and entry into service. All of them are involved in targeted innovation projects based on the latest technologies.

4.0: Engineering, Manufacturing and Services

"Safran Engineering Services is capable of taking action in these first three areas, and of supporting Safran's digital transformation," says Yves Bley, the company's Chief Technical Officer. Firstly, Safran Engineering Services is focused on activities related to Engineering 4.0. "Engineering 4.0 is an approach that involves the use of new digital tools ahead of the manufacturing phase in order to shorten design cycles and improve reliability," says Yves Bley. At Safran, these activities are broken down into three distinct areas: Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Model Based Engineering (MBE), and collaborative practices and agile work methods.

"As far as Engineering 4.0 is concerned, we have high expectations for Safran Engineering Services: both in terms of internal skills development within the company (e.g. agile methods); but also in terms of the support provided by the Group to companies in the areas of training and the implementation of methods and tools."

Safran Engineering Services also intends to be involved in manufacturing and 4.0 services, for example, through the development and implementation of digital production support solutions intended to ensure digital continuity and connect plants, as well as through the design of innovative after-sales services for customers.

Key skills and projects

In order to meet the full range of Safran's needs in this digital transformation strategy, Safran Engineering Services has set up dedicated teams in a number of areas, with plans to enhance skills and promote innovation.

Thanks to its pool of experienced project management professionals, Safran Engineering Services will be supporting the group as it implements its dedicated project approach. "Rather than Project Manager Officers (PMO) who merely enter and update data, we need PMOs with solid experience and strong skills in terms of methods and tools, both when it comes to project deployment and the operational side of things," says Gildas Garnier.

As for MBE, the company has invested heavily in the development of XATIS, which has been chosen as one of the two tools for the design of complex systems throughout the Group. The company has made this tool available across the Group and provides support for it.

A team specialized in virtual and augmented reality has also been set up within the company. Together with Diota (in which Safran Corporate Ventures, the Group's investment fund for innovative start-ups, has invested), the team's aim is to implement proven projects based on these new technologies across all Group companies. "Our team of virtual and augmented reality specialists is also involved in Manufacturing 4.0 and Services 4.0, in the implementation of new tools to support the manufacture and repair of Safran products," adds Yves Bley.

Lastly, Safran Engineering Services is setting up a dedicated RPA (robotic process automation) offering. "We are leading the Group's research efforts in this area. We have already implemented projects in Group companies enabling the generation of data reports at high speed and the automation of technical publication management." RPA can be used for a wide range of purposes, including the digitization of corporate support functions.

Safran Engineering Services is thus capable of supporting the digital transformation of a large industrial company like Safran, not only throughout the life cycle of a given product, but also in a number of key sectors, all over the world. Wherever our teams are based and wherever the need arises — be it in France, Morocco, Mexico, the United States, India, Spain, Germany or England — we can offer digital transformation support.