Beatriz Aguilar
General Manager
Axon’ Interconex
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View from the Top

Mars Mission Supplier to Produce for Oneweb Project from Mexico

Tue, 02/19/2019 - 18:13

Q: How are Axon’ Interconex’s components adding value to space missions?
A: Axon’ Interconex has collaborated on all missions to Mars through its products. Our components are mounted on ESA’s ExoMars probe and on NASA’s InSight and Curiosity rovers. Curiosity uses Axon’ Interconex harnesses in its chemical chamber. All images that are relayed back to Earth go through a piece of our equipment. InSight’s seismograph also uses an Axon’ Interconex harness and we are working on a new rover that ESA will launch. Our Queretaro manufacturing facility will soon start producing harnesses that will be used in a massive space project called OneWeb, which is placing hundreds of satellites in low orbit to boost global communications and internet coverage. Axon’ produces harnesses for that project in Latvia but production will be shifted to Mexico between 2022 and 2024 once our processes are validated.
Q: How important are Mexico’s advanced-manufacturing capabilities for Axon’ Interconex’s operations?
A: Thanks to our IATF and AS9100 quality certifications, automotive remains the most important sector for our Mexico operations, followed by aerospace. Axon’ Interconex is a key supplier of mechatronic connectors and electric motors for window elevators used in FCA Group cars, for instance. We also supply flat cables for airbags to several Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, including Kostal, Valeo and Continental.
Q: How is Axon’ Interconex promoting stricter regulations for aerospace parts?
A: Axon’ Interconex is a member of the COTENNE committee, where it collaborates with other aerospace entities to develop new NOMs for the sector. For instance, we are collaborating with the Mexican Space Agency (AEM) to develop a new regulation related to the quality of harnesses and other space components. This NOM has been validated and is in the process of being enforced. As a global leader in the production of space components, Axon’ Interconex works with ESA, NASA and other space agencies on several projects to validate its products. Aerospace harnesses must withstand extremely high and low temperatures, pressures and radiation. Our cables have been validated by these partners and we are validating the connectors that these cables require.
Q: How is Axon’ Interconex’s aerospace production divided between the domestic and foreign markets?
A: Up to 99 percent of the aerospace components that we produce in Mexico are exported. We only supply for a Mexican UAV OEM based in Guadalajara but we have looked for opportunities with other aerospace OEMs in Mexico, including Queretaro’s manufacturers. In 2019, Axon’ Interconex will start supplying components directly to Bombardier’s plant in El Marques from our factory in Queretaro. We are also working to be validated as an aeronautics supplier for other Tier 1s. When USMCA becomes a reality, it may push aerospace companies to procure more components locally. This could empower Axon’ Interconex’s Mexico operations and enable it to invoice directly to Mexico-based customers as a Mexican company, which will help us increase sales.
Q: How is Axon’ Interconex changing its product offering for aerospace applications?
A: Most of these products are imported. For instance, Axon’ Interconex supplies cables and other accessories to Safran’s Chihuahua plant that are used for several Airbus programs. These cables, however, are not supplied from the Queretaro plant but from another facility in France.
Q: What are Axon’ Interconex’s main growth projections and expansion plans for 2019?
A: Axon’ Interconex needs to further position its brand so new customers are aware of its capabilities. We will achieve this by offering more technical seminars at academic institutions that specialize in electronics, as well as working together with AEM to raise awareness of new challenges in interconnection. We are members of several associations in the automotive and aerospace sectors, including INA, the Queretaro Aerocluster and FEMIA, which has resulted in sound business opportunities. We are part of FEMIA’s Supply Chain Program, which helps us to find good opportunities with OEMs.

 

Axon’ Interconex is a French-based manufacturer of specialty interconnection solutions, including cables, connectors and other components. In Mexico, it supports aerospace and automotive companies with high-tech wiring applications