Chihuahua: Capital of the World for Electrical WiringBy Sofía Hanna | Fri, 07/23/2021 - 10:50
Q: How does Safran Electrical & Power’s plant in Chihuahua support the company’s overall manufacturing strategy?
A: Safran Electrical & Power provides all electric systems for commercial and military aircraft and helicopters. Electric systems in aircraft are evolving, so we are working to innovate and develop the new components, systems and materials that will be used in the next five to 10 years. We are investing every year in new technologies and components to help our customers certify new, more electrically efficient systems.
Q: What opportunities have you identified to help your operations grow and evolve?
A: In electric systems, new opportunities can be found in using new materials. However, we are also investing with our customers to explore new areas, such as new electrical engines. All companies are trying to be more electric in terms of power generation. We are looking for opportunities to improve our supply chain management to deliver components that are more efficient and less expensive but that maintain a high quality.
Q: What collaborations and projects have you been able to develop together with the Chihuahua Aerospace Cluster?
A: During the pandemic, we worked to increase our performance in quality and delivery. Internally, the company needed to reduce costs to maintain our competitiveness and our development capabilities. During this period, we focused on surviving at the same time that we work on the future. We had to protect what we had, similar to many companies worldwide. In the short term, the sector is striving to maintain its capabilities and to protect its supply chain and skills, especially amid workforce reductions.
In the medium term, we will support the recovery of the aerospace industry. In the long term, we will start looking for new projects alongside OEMs and become more competitive.
Q: As the industry recovers, how are you working with clients and suppliers on both sides of the border to make operations more efficient?
A: We work with our customers to support the supply chain because the sector cannot stop production and affect small suppliers. We need to forecast the industry’s needs in the coming months and years. Forecasts from OEMs help to maintain production rates. Even if an aircraft is not sold, it is necessary to maintain production to avoid affecting the supply chain.
Q: What benefits has Chihuahua offered you as an investment destination in terms of talent and services?
A: Safran has been growing in Chihuahua thanks to our skilled and talented employees. The state also has a strong geographic advantage that allows us to have a direct relationship with the US. Finally, the government has supported the aerospace industry, which has helped us uncover opportunities to grow and to provide customers with good alternatives. we provide high-quality and efficient manufacturing capabilities.
Q: What are the company’s top priorities going forward?
A: Our main priority is to protect what we have while the industry’s recovery unfolds. We will then look for new opportunities in Mexico. The pandemic affected logistics worldwide, which can help Mexico develop stronger partnerships, fill gaps in its supply chain and attract more clients. Mexico needs to focus on protecting incoming and current investments. The government needs to do more to seize the opportunities that are emerging.
Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment and interiors), defense and space markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world, where air transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible. Safran has a global presence, with 79,000 employees and sales of 16.5 billion euros in 2020 and holds, alone or in partnership, world or regional leadership positions in its core markets.