The Fétis Group is announcing the establishment of a new facility in Ontario, Canada, which will be starting production of wiring harnesses for off-highway and specialised machines this month.
The group will be focusing on four areas of technology to help OEMs bring machines to life. Firstly, there is the supply and integration of power sources themselves. In many cases these will be batteries, but hydrogen fuel cell or hydrogen combustion engines are also in demand due to faster refuelling and ability to operate in areas without grid connection.
Secondly, there is electrical integration. Power, often at high voltage, needs to be efficiently and safely managed. We have developed in-house capabilities for power distribution hardware, power management software and wiring production.
Thirdly, it is expanding its software and controls activities. In the last two years the firm has doubled the number of software developers. As the industry moves from proof-of-concept projects to series production, concepts such as functional safety are driving a demand for rigour in software and hardware design.
Fourthly, the group integrates the electric and hydraulic traction and actuation components to turn power into motion and useful work. Hydraulics will continue to be important in future machines, particularly for linear actuation, but the next generation of ultra-efficient hydraulics will need a much tighter integration with the electrical power systems and the electronic control architecture.
“We have been developing our North America strategy following positive discussions with potential partners and customers”, explains Damien Fétis, president, The Fétis Group. “Our first facility in North America meets an immediate need in our industry. Wiring harnesses are becoming more complex with increasing numbers of sensors to support automation, and the addition of high voltage circuits to support the move to vehicle electrification.
“Our customers tell us that it is difficult to find partners who can produce these systems to the required quality and in the volumes that are typical in our market. We have existing expertise both in the local Canada team and in our established facilities in Europe which have been experiencing high growth. This will be a great way for us to build presence in North America with a service that we know well and where we are highly competitive”