Newtec’s Manufacturing Competence Center (MCC) has achieved great things in a very short timeframe. The center, which is based in Erpe-Mere, Belgium, supports mechatronic design companies providing flexible manufacturing and repair services and specializing in delivering electronic assembly, testing and repair services according to the highest quality standards.
Since 2001, Newtec’s MCC has supported the Newtec Group with electronic manufacturing services, serving as its main production facility for its professional product range. Initially, the plant operated as an independent company responsible for its own profit and loss, with its shareholders the only thing it had in common with Newtec. The benefits of ‘close to home manufacturing’ were clear from the start. However, the real challenges at that time were how to become cost-efficient and secure the manufacturing know-how against other competitors that could offer low-cost manufacturing services across the world, especially in Asia.
Acting on and broadening the ‘close to home manufacturing’ philosophy towards lean manufacturing, knowledge expansion and continuous quality improvements has attracted an impressive client portfolio over the years, and the plant has evolved from a ‘me too’ supplier towards a beacon of industry.
A Factory of the Future
Factories of the Future 4.0 are forward-looking manufacturers which systematically take up the challenges of the ‘fourth industrial revolution’. They supply products with high-value added and are flexible enough to respond to swiftly changing market demands. This also enables them to continue playing a major role in a dynamic worldwide manufacturing network. At the same time, Factories of the Future fully embrace digitalized production processes, paying special attention to handling energy and materials and exploiting the potential of modern production technologies. Besides technological innovation, social innovation is also high on the agenda, with special attention paid to staff involvement, creativity and autonomy in a human-oriented approach.
The MCC continuously monitors and improves its processes to stay future-proof and agile, whilst further investing in knowledge building and state of the art production assets. Today, it serves a wide variety of customers in the industrial, defense, aeronautics and space segments, and has tripled its turnover since 2015.
For fabless customers, Newtec’s MCC seamlessly fills the gap between product development and sales, providing design feedback for product improvement and balanced supply chain solutions that can cope with volatile market demands. Furthermore, each customer benefits from the quality promise and the experience Newtec has in the various market segments.
QinetiQ Deal: A Step Towards ESA Certification
Earlier this year, QinetiQ selected Newtec’s MCC to provide the soldering of on-board electronics for two projects. The work will contribute towards Newtec’s European Space Agency (ESA) certification which the company hopes to complete by 2020.
Under the agreement, Newtec will work on two initiatives – the International Berthing and Docking Mechanism (IBDM) and the development of onboard computers for the next generation of satellites QinetiQ is planning to build. The IBDM, which is being developed together with ESA, will enable vehicles carrying cargo or passengers to dock softly at any space station with less force.
Based in Kruibeke, Belgium, QinetiQ selected Newtec’s MCC due to the advantages that working with a partner in close proximity brings, including cost-effectiveness and convenience. “Our partnership with Newtec has brought a number of benefits, including maximum cost-effectiveness and convenience due to the location being near our Space Centre, which will prove particularly useful should any problems arise,” said Frank Preud’homme, Commercial Director at QinetiQ. “Over the years, Newtec’s MCC has proved itself to be more than competent in providing services to a number of different industries and we are sure it will also see success in the space segment as it continues to expand.”
“The fulfilment of the pending ECSS (ESA) assembly certification will again confirm the leading position of the MCC in high reliability assemblies as we also expect serious growth in that market segment,” said Danny De Smet, responsible for Business Development at Newtec MCC. “We therefore see this certification as a first step in legacy building with the space community and to become an important player in the ecosystem.”