Operational excellence, the spearhead of SOURIAU’s strategy, has proven its validity time and again and emphasizes the company’s ability to optimize interconnect solutions that can be adapted flexibly to customers’ needs. Distinctions such as the Safran Best Supplier award, six Best Supplier awards from Airbus alone in the last eight years and Silver Supplier Status granted by Boeing confirm the prominent role SOURIAU has gained as a supplier of outstanding products and services.
“We have been renowned for operational excellence for a long time, especially in the aviation sector, with its steadily accelerating development cycles,” says Jean-Luc Gavelle, president of Esterline Connection Technologies. “In 2013 we were able to underline our position as a reliable partner to the civil aviation sector and other industries with demanding expectations regarding quality, reliability and technical safety. The awards and distinctions received in recent years acknowledge the excellent results based on continuous improvement processes and the newly implemented Quick Response Quality Control process.”
SOURIAU’s tradition of excellence dates back to 1917 when Mr. Souriau started a small business employing about 20 members of staff. At the time he hardly anticipated the continuous and successful development that was going to turn this company into a major international business. The development and production of electrical connector lines started in 1935 and paved the way for expansion, both in terms of business as well as advanced products and processes. Various acquisitions accelerated this development. In 1989 SOURIAU was taken over by FCI, along with Jupiter & Burndy Corp. Following various changes of ownership and the integration of PA&E in 2007, SOURIAU was acquired by US-based Esterline and therefore founded its Connection Technologies platform. Two years later Esterline acquired SUNBANK, a leader in backshells, conduits and connector accessories, in order to strengthen its domestic presence as well as its global value proposition.
“By combining the sales forces and leveraging the specialities of both SOURIAU and SUNBANK, we have significantly reinforced Esterline Connection Technologies as the interconnectivity platform of Esterline Group,” comments Mr. Gavelle. “SUNBANK complements the SOURIAU range perfectly and allows for the creation of a fully comprehensive product portfolio. The integration of SUNBANK within Esterline Connection Technologies has created solid strategic synergies.”
Today Esterline Connection Technologies presents itself as a global supplier of interconnect solutions, offering advanced technologies to customers in four strategic markets worldwide. In all, the group operates 13 production plants: three in the USA, four in France, one in Japan and one each in Mexico, Morocco, India and the Dominican Republic. A total of 3,100 employees contribute to the group’s annual revenues, backed by a global sales network with 14 direct sales offices, 35 franchized distributors and representatives in more than 80 countries ensuring product availability worldwide.
“At present our most important markets are in Europe: France, Germany, Great Britain and Switzerland,” adds Esterline Connection Technologies’ president. “Worldwide, the EMEA region is our largest market, followed by the Americas and the BRIC countries.” Having banked on innovative interconnect solutions right from the start, Esterline Connection Technologies continues to stake on the development of new products and processes and dedicates a high percentage of its revenues to research and development. As many as 200 specialists contribute their knowhow to the development of advanced technologies such as signal and power transmission, shielding, crosstalk, simulation software for mechanics and moulding, hermeticity, network protocols and physical layers, standardization, radiation, high-pressure technology, hightemperature applications, fiber optics, composite raw materials, corrosion, and RoHS plating.
The laboratory and test center accommodate a unique range of tools to reproduce the harshest environmental conditions and provide a key facility to validate and certify all of the company’s products. “Our integrated independent leadingedge laboratory is certified for the qualification of products regarding clearly defined standards,” emphasizes Mr. Gavelle. “We hold approvals by the US Defense Logistic Agency (DLA), the US Naval Air System Command (NAVAIR), the British Standard Institution (BSI) and the Bundesamt für Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung (BWB). Our research operations in the USA and France complement and fertilize each other.”
The wide range of Esterline Connection Technologies products reflects the company’s dedication to operational excellence and continuous improvement. Focusing on interconnect solutions for harsh environments and critical applications, it encompasses a very comprehensive range of interconnection products. With applications in aerospace and defence, industrial and instrumentation, motor sport, nuclear and railway, Esterline Connection Technologies focuses on internationally approved connector products and applies leading-edge technologies to bring strong and safe technical solutions to sensitive areas.
Developments such as the new UTL series are fully in line with the company’s desire to innovate constantly. For the first time, a connector designed for LED lighting applications combines North American UL certification and international IEC approval for industrial use. For the A350 Airbus, SOURIAU supplies high-reliability, highsecurity connectors, accounting for reduced cable diameters combined with higher voltages. The company’s ELIO® connector and F/O system is an example of successful technology transfer from aviation to railway applications. First used in the Airbus, the integrated passenger information system is now installed in advanced passenger trains. True to the motto “Reliable People, Reliable Solutions,” Esterline Connection Technologies will continue to pursue its policy of operational excellence.
“We will develop customer and market- oriented products in future, too,” confirms Mr. Gavelle. “At the same time, we will follow our acquisition strategy regarding products and technologies, complementing our offer with regard to the applications and markets we serve while making our own products available to other platforms of Esterline for use in their systems.” Major trade fairs present an opportunity to introduce new developments, establish new customer contacts and reinforce existing ones. Esterline Connection Technologies welcomes this opportunity and creates the interest of visitors and experts from all over the world at fairs such as the Electronica, Paris Airshow and others.