The spaceflight industry planted a new flag in Belgium as ST Engineering iDirect announced that the company will be manufacturing components used in flight systems for spacecraft to European Cooperation for Space Standardization (ECSS) standards at their Manufacturing Competence Center (MCC) in Erpe-Mere, Belgium.
Following the stringent certification process by the European Space Agency (ESA), ST Engineering iDirect will help to make components for QinetiQ, the British, multi-national defense and space technology company. This makes ST Engineering iDirect the sole subcontracting company offering these services in Belgium.
ST Engineering iDirect’s MCC will provide their specialist manual and automated soldering services to QinetiQ for its ADPMS-3 satellite board computer systems and for the International Berthing and Docking Mechanism (IBDM) currently in development with ESA, enabling vehicles carrying cargo or passengers to dock softly, with less force. Furthermore, it will also assist in building components for payload projects.
ST Engineering iDirect’s MCC has Factory of the Future status, the highest possible recognition for the manufacturing industry in Belgium. It provides manufacturing and repair services and specializes in electronic assembly, testing and repair for a range of customers in the satellite and aerospace sectors including OHB and Panasonic.
“The process of becoming ESA-certified has been incredibly thorough in assuring the quality, the education and capabilities of the MCC and its workforce. This accreditation and the additional commencement of our automated soldering activity will open doors for our company to broaden our footprint in the industry, as well as strengthen the Belgian spaceflight ecosystem,” said ST Engineering iDirect’s MCC Sales and Marketing Manager, Danny De Smet. “We’re very appreciative of the support from QinetiQ and their recognition of our capabilities in providing larger scale component soldering.”
Erik Masure, QinetiQ’s Managing Director in Belgium, said, “We’ve been consistently impressed by ST Engineering iDirect’s – and specifically the MCC team – ability to rise to the challenge of becoming ESA-accredited over the past few years. Working with a partner in close proximity to our space facilities in Kruibeke, Belgium, is incredibly beneficial for the success of our relationship. We look forward to deepening our partnership and working together in the future.”