Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region Embraces the Surge in Aircraft Electronic Components

The global aviation industry is witnessing a relentless increase in the use of electronic components, with the market for electric components in aircraft applications projected to reach an impressive $10.9 billion in 2021, up from $7.7 billion in 2016 (Markets and Markets). Within the aerospace parts market, electronic components are expected to experience the highest growth between 2018 and 2023 (Stratview Research). Recognizing this trend, companies in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region are striving to secure a share in the booming market, driven by the rising demand for aircraft production worldwide and the significant proportion of manufacturing costs attributed to electronics.

With its convenient access to research and development facilities and a rich pool of experienced companies in the electronic component field, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region is poised to excel in the aircraft electronics market. The region provides a conducive environment for companies looking to develop advanced electrical components for aerospace applications. Xavier Benoit, VP of Technique, Innovation, and Quality at Centum Adeneo, highlights the opportunities created by the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0: the increasing interconnectedness of processes necessitates advanced electronics to facilitate seamless communication within computer systems and networks.

Driven by the goal of creating technologically superior and lightweight components capable of intelligent data collection, utilization, and communication, companies in the region are focusing their efforts on developing high-end solutions for the aircraft electronics market. Ingénierie @ Lyon, an educational and research institute, emphasizes the significance of smart materials and machinery, envisioning a future where intelligence is integrated directly into the systems themselves. This shift requires a departure from the previous approach of building add-on components and instead integrating systems directly into the materials used.

Companies already established in the electronic aircraft component sector are prioritizing the incremental innovation of their existing product lines to maintain a competitive edge. Meggitt Sensorex, for example, aims to replace its current product range with more sophisticated offerings, leveraging micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors to enhance sensing capabilities. Additionally, the company is working on developing sensors capable of withstanding higher temperatures, expanding their potential applications to new frontiers.

The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes aerospace cluster excels in serving specific niches within the electronic aircraft parts market, such as electronic actuators. This segment is experiencing remarkable growth, with a projected compound annual growth rate of 9.5% for the global aircraft actuator market between 2018 and 2022 (Markets and Markets). As the aerospace industry shifts towards electric aircraft, there is a demand for the replacement of hydraulic systems with a combination of hydraulic and electric, or fully electric actuators. MDP Maxon Motors France, a key player in this niche, is at the forefront of providing innovative solutions to meet these evolving requirements.

The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region is capitalizing on the surging demand for electronic components in the aircraft industry. With its favorable ecosystem of research facilities, experienced companies, and a focus on technological advancements, the region is well-positioned to thrive in the market. By leveraging incremental innovation, developing advanced solutions, and catering to niche demands, companies in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes are driving the electrification of the skies and shaping the future of aircraft electronics.

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