2016 was synonymous with growth at SEGULA Technologies, through acquisitions and takeovers of activities in the automotive, petrochemical and aeronautic sectors; therefore enabling the Group to strengthen its know-how and geographical footprint with its customers.
A year that was also marked by the strengthening of its relations with engineering schools through partnerships, competitions and multiple recruitment operations. Around 3,600 talents joined the Group in 2016, which now has 10,000 employees worldwide.
Finally, SEGULA Technologies had the opportunity to show the extent of its expertise regarding innovation at major events such as the Paris Motor Show, which was a real success with the general public and industry professionals, and Euronaval, during which three Research & Innovation projects were presented.
Innovation was also the focal point this year through the launch of its Inngenius campaign, which highlighted its ingenious employees as well as their passionate projects carried out on daily basis.
Challenges and trends in the transport sector
Today, the transport sector faces three major challenges: the strengthening of regulations to reduce CO2 emissions and other pollutants, the risk of oil shortages and the consequent price fluctuations.
In France and around the world, transportation is identified as one of the main causes of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
According to a note issued in August 2016 by the General Commissariat for Sustainable Development, transport greenhouse gas emissions increased by 0.9% in France in 2015. This trend is mainly due to a 1.3% increase in French road fuel consumption.
The evolution of oil prices and the 2008 economic crisis have strengthened the will of authorities to promote electric transport as the new vector of growth of the industrial and economic activity. The electrification of vehicles has therefore been deemed to be a major challenge for all industrial players.
Therefore, at a time when it is essential to find alternative solutions and where environmental protection is at the heart of the debate, the transport sector, which is an essential link to economic development, must meet many challenges.
As such, SEGULA Technologies has carried out several electrification and hybridisation works, another strong trend in recent years, namely in the automotive and shipbuilding sectors.
By using several distinct energy sources, this technology is an excellent alternative to fossil fuel consumption and enables a cleaner use of transport.
On the other hand, electric and hybrid means of transport are also recognised for the low noise they generate, thus promoting the reduction of city noise pollution.
Electrification and hybridisation in the automotive sector
In the automotive sector, SEGULA Technologies has nearly 30 years' expertise in the field of electric vehicles, which has been enriched by numerous projects developed through the transport sector and collaborations on innovative industrial projects. The Group has therefore demonstrated its competence in many areas that are essential to the development of electric vehicles: architecture, inter-system simulation, structure/calculation etc., making it a pioneer in its field.
Thanks to the expertise acquired during all these years, SEGULA Technologies is able to carry out complete vehicle and turnkey projects. The Group has recognised expertise in the field of hybrid and electric powertrains.
The Bron SEGULA agency teams are currently working on a modular simulation device so as to perform consumption and dimensioning calculations of electric and hybrid vehicles. The idea is to have a tool to accelerate the work and centralise the knowledge acquired. In this context, the Group has recently developed two bus models: an electric one and a second one with an architecture similar to a hybrid series.
Skills at the service of the shipbuilding industry
SEGULA Technologies transposes the skills acquired in the automotive industry to its other sectors of activity. In the shipbuilding industry, the Group carries out several works on hybrid propulsion.
At present, two major projects are under development :
The Seine-Maritime Departmental Council should soon launch calls for projects in order to renew the ferries that cross the Seine. This will involve various naval architecture studies, including hydrodynamics, structure, propulsion and even ship outfitting.
Therefore, by demonstrating its skills in terms of ship hybridisation, SEGULA Technologies wishes to position itself as a partner of choice on this type of project.
The explosion of e-commerce has greatly developed logistical needs in terms of package deliveries. The idea is therefore to propose an alternative and ecological solution to deliver goods by river to city centres.
Could you explain what this activity is?
Laser scanning involves the use of a survey instrument that scans the space vertically and measures millions of points (up to 1,000,000/second) with a laser beam. At the end of the operation, an exhaustive scatter plot is obtained and then processed by means of CAD software.
This technology is mainly used in the industrial, building and construction fields. In particular, it is used to make precise measurements of the environment, façades or interior volumes. It is also used in documentation preparation, deformation analysis of civil engineering works or metal structures and for monitoring construction progress.
How can this process be of interest to SEGULA Technologies customers ?
Our employees are able to intervene at the different stages of project realisation, both in the field to perform surveys and also in the design office to process information on CAD software.
Furthermore, the quality and reliability of the scanned information are guarantees for the planned budget and schedule. On-site hazardous operation phases are minimised and the means and logistics required for traditional surveys are divided by a factor of 4 to 5. In short, this technology implies lower financial costs for an optimum level of precision and security.
The Mulhouse Segula agency used laser scanning for the first time in 2011, in order to meet the needs of its customer SOLVAY, who operates in the field of petrochemicals. Since then, many installation projects have been carried out using this technology.
The experience acquired in recent years will now gradually transpose the use of laser scanning to other sectors of activity carried out by the Group, such as shipbuilding and aeronautics.
In your opinion, what are the future prospects for this technology ?
They are numerous. Indeed, this technology offers a signification potential of activities that are already in correlation with our fields of expertise. The analysis of structural deformations, the measurement of site and structure erosion, the stability of structures and quarries as well as the volumetry of complex buildings, the archiving of complex 3D volumes, the monitoring of reinforced walls or earthworks etc., are all new services of that we could subsequently offer to our customers.
After more than 20 years of experience in the Space and Defense sectors, SEGULA Technologies has recently been referenced by the CNES to carry out activities of new concepts, mechanical and thermal design, for structural and propelling components of space launchers.
The Toulouse agency will be responsible for monitoring the project, thereby highlighting a wide range of skills in project management, design studies, technical expertise, tests etc.
SEGULA Technologies is working closely with the CNES for several years, particularly on the development of ground tools at Kourou base, in Guyana.
On the other hand, R&I developments in titanium 3D printing on helium tanks of space launchers have allowed the Group to demonstrate its ability to support the CNES on complex systems.
Several dates to note for the beginning of the new year
SEGULA Technologies has begun the conquest of its future Inngenius
At SEGULA Technologies, employees have the opportunity to work on more than 180 Research and Innovation projects per year, in partnership with competitiveness clusters, grandes écoles or research centres.
Researchers, technicians, engineers or managers : they all think about innovation on a daily basis!
In 2017, SEGULA Technologies plans to recruit 4,300 engineering employees worldwide, including 2,000 in France.
SEGULA Technologies is challenging engineering schools during the Challeng'Ynn Etudiants
At the end of 2016, SEGULA TECHNOLOGIES launched the Challeng’Ynn Etudiants "Autonomous Container" in collaboration with the CCI Versailles-Yvelines as part of the Open’Ynnov framework, the community animation scheme for innovation actors in the CCI 78's Yvelines territory. This competition is open to all engineering students from three partner schools involved in the operation: ESTACA, EPF and ISTY.
The participants must propose technical solutions in response to the needs expressed by SEGULA TECHNOLOGIES, in connection with its "Autonomous Container" industrial project, which was presented at COP21 as an integral part of Green Deliriver, the ecological logistics vessel.
The students will be assessed on both their creativity, feasibility of the solution, its technical quality, presentation supports as well as the defence of the project.
At the award ceremony in May 2017, the winning team will win a weekend in Amsterdam for two.
SEGULA Technologies is contributing to the Geely, Lynk & Co connected car
Last October, the Chinese group Geely, owner of Volvo Cars, launched Lynk & Co, its new 100% high tech and connected automobile brand.
During the last three years, the project has mobilised 1,500 people including 25 SEGULA Technologies engineers based in Göteborg, Switzerland.
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