Multi-Year Collaboration Agreement between Astrium and ESI Group

A strategic step to expand Virtual Product Engineering in the space sector

PARIS — (BUSINESS WIRE) — December 17, 2012ESI Group, pioneer and world-leading solution provider in Virtual Prototyping for manufacturing industries, announces the signature of a protocol for a multi-year strategic collaboration agreement with Astrium, Europe’s leading space technology company. Officially signed in Paris on November 16, 2012 during the Astrium R&T days, this agreement aims at developing Virtual Prototyping technologies and promoting Virtual Engineering in the space domain, and addresses critical needs in the design and manufacture of next generation launchers.

Vincent Chaillou, COO, ESI Group; Herve Gilibert, CTO and CQO, Astrium Space Transportation; Eric Da ...

Vincent Chaillou, COO, ESI Group; Herve Gilibert, CTO and CQO, Astrium Space Transportation; Eric Daubourg, Chief Operating Officer, ESI France at the signing ceremony held in Paris on November 16, 2012. (Photo: ESI Group)

Astrium and ESI Group have implemented this long-term collaboration agreement with the intent to jointly ”co-create” new and innovative technologies, processes, and development methodologies for the space industry and its next generation launchers. The objective of this collaboration is to enable the space industry to rapidly build robust virtual prototypes of components, subsystems and systems of the new and improved launchers at various and early stages of the design and development cycle.

At the signing ceremony held in Paris on November 16, Hervé Gilibert, CTO and CQO of Astrium Space Transportation, described the collaborative intent of this agreement:

“For Astrium, today’s agreement with ESI Group sets a new standard in how we collaborate with our key industrial partners. Our intent is to align objectives and join forces to drive Astrium and its partners to the leading edge of global innovation, in order to maintain and reinforce the European leadership of Ariane in the global commercial launch services market.

The relationship of Astrium with ESI dates back to the 70’s before the creation of the EADS group, when ESI successfully accompanied the development of numerical simulation in the aerospace and aeronautical industry with the European Space Agency ESA/ESTEC. ESI has continued to pioneer Virtual Prototyping worldwide, primarily in the automotive industry where it has achieved most spectacular results.

Today both parties are convinced that a joint collaborative effort between Astrium and ESI is the best partnership solution to address the new global challenges of the space industry. We’re setting the scene for the next generation of space vehicles and technologies, while promoting Virtual Prototyping and Virtual Engineering.”

Eric Daubourg, COO of ESI France added: “Under this multi-year agreement, ESI is fully committed to supporting Astrium-ST in its quest for new methodologies in Virtual Prototyping that address the specific requirements of advanced space technologies. Our partnership with Astrium and the space community will enhance the national and international recognition of launcher and space technologies developed in Europe.”

Despite being at the forefront of technology, the European space industry must indeed face global challenges that are rising with the arrival of new international players. In this environment, the overall performance of launchers and their modularity and flexibility to accommodate customers’ needs must keep improving while manufacturing and operating costs must be drastically reduced. New designs, new manufacturing processes, and new multi material solutions have to be invented, tested, validated, and certified in record time.

Vincent Chaillou, COO, ESI Group concluded: “Such an evolution cannot be conducted using the traditional approach of trial and error on increasingly expensive ‘real’ physical prototypes. Virtual Prototyping enables the mandatory early evaluation of design and fabrication alternatives, and allows the rapid corrections of identified deficiencies.”

About ESI Group

ESI is a pioneer and world-leading provider in Virtual Prototyping that takes into account the physics of materials. ESI boasts a unique know-how in Virtual Product Engineering, based on an integrated suite of coherent, industry-oriented applications. Addressing manufacturing industries, Virtual Product Engineering aims to replace physical prototypes by realistically simulating a product’s behavior during testing, to fine-tune fabrication and assembly processes in accordance with desired product performance, and to evaluate the impact on product use under normal or accidental conditions. ESI’s solutions fit into a single collaborative and open environment for End-to-End Virtual Prototyping. These solutions are delivered using the latest technologies, including immersive Virtual Reality, to bring products to life in 3D; helping customers make the right decisions throughout product development. The company employs about 900 high-level specialists worldwide covering more than 30 countries. ESI Group is listed in compartment C of NYSE Euronext Paris.

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