NATEP Supports SMI’s Development of New Aerospace Cable Harness
Aircraft cabling is critical to the operation of the related system at the same time as being embedded in a very hostile environment. This dual challenge is the same as that faced by SMI’s marine customers and is what our ‘fit and forget’ manufacturing business was established to address. Our value in aerospace is increasingly recognised, not least thanks to our work with the UK’s National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP).
NATEP is a £10m programme to develop 60 aerospace technologies in the UK aerospace supply chain. SMI enrolled on the programme with partner, Safran Landing Systems. We designed a new ‘fit-and-forget’ connector harness solution for aircraft landing gear. This innovative product, highly valuable for its initial design purpose, has applications that go beyond landing gear into other areas of the airframe.
NATEP has published the story of our work on its website. We’d recommend taking a look, as it paints an exciting picture of the technical innovation that continues to take place within the aerospace industry, despite the Covid pandemic curtailing the number of flights being taken.
There is one aspect of our established approach to cabling systems that we’d like to highlight, because it’s so fundamental to the value we deliver to aerospace customers. Electrical harnesses are a fraction of the weight of traditional hydraulic actuation but have been traditionally been avoided due to reliability concerns. SMI design and produce electrical cable systems that are sealed against moisture for the life of the platform. This technology, successfully applied to submarines for decades, greatly reduces the likelihood of system failure as well as through-life costs of the airframe.