Newtec is working with QinetiQ on two key projects, heralding a move into the Belgian space market. QinetiQ – a leading science and engineering company operating primarily in the defense, security, space and air markets – has chosen Newtec’s Manufacturing Competence Center (MCC), in Erpe-Mere, Belgium, 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.
“Our work with QinetiQ is the beginning of a strong legacy we hope to create in the space industry in Belgium,” said Danny De Smet, who is responsible for Business Development at Newtec’s MCC. “We are delighted that QinetiQ has entrusted us with this project which will showcase the skills we have honed throughout our work in other industries, including the industrial, avionics and military sectors. Our ability to deliver this work for QinetiQ is the result of company ambition and investment that has further enhanced our manufacturing capabilities.”
From its site 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.
Newtec’s MCC has Factory of the Future status, the highest possible recognition for the manufacturing industry in Belgium, and works with a range of customers including Thales and Panasonic.
“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.”