Sonaca: Increasing visibility in North America
The baseline of Sonaca is «Flying with leaders worldwide». This reflects the company’s leading role in developing, producing and testing aviation and aerospace structures and subsystems. It is currently in the process of consolidating its role in the North American market.
By Katherin BROWN
The aviation industry remains a very high-profile sector, showing strong growth over the past few years and with excellent previsions for the coming decade. Yet it is also a sector that requires very high levels of specialisation and close cooperation between the suppliers and clients.
Although Sonaca’s history goes back to Fairey, founded in the thirties, the aerospace company emerged as a world leader in its domain in the 90s. From its operational HQ in Gosselies, near Charleroi Airport, it researches, designs, develops and produces aerospace structures and their subsystems. After a couple of difficult years for the sector that followed 9/11, the company now employs some 2300 people and oversees companies in Brazil, the US and Canada.
Sonaca’s customers include the largest aircraft builders such as Airbus, Embraer, Dassault Aviation, Bombardier, IAI/Gulfstream and Grob. It also maintains a strong presence in both military and space programmes.
Sonaca is constantly seeking to develop new technologies and solutions to enable aircraft to meet the considerable challenges of the future. For this, Sonaca puts a lot of emphasis on research and the highest levels of workmanship in its production centres.
"Our position does not come on its own, says CEO Christian Jacqmain. It requires a good product, good design and the latest production technologies – in a word, an ability to innovate". One of its latest projects in the pipeline is PLM, a system that manages all the data needed for the design, digital models, technical documents and resource planning of projects.
It’s also necessary to keep up with their client’s pace of production. This is why the company recently invested $17 million in its Canadian facilities, enabling it to both increase production and also the size of the wing panels it supplies to Bombardier. This reinforces its presence in the highly important North American market. The company works in close partnership with its customers around the world, while also playing a key role in SkyWin, Wallonia’s aerospace cluster which itself has close ties with the sector in Canada.
© Dynamisme Wallon, 12/2007
Localisation : Gosselies
Founded in : 1931 (Fairey)
Activity : aerospace construction
Employees : 2.300
Revenue : € 259.3 million