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11 April 2018
11. April 2018 Commercial Aircraft

Airbus and Altran win Crystal Cabin Award with printed electrics technology

Airbus, in cooperation with Altran, has won the 2018 Crystal Cabin Award in the Material & Components category for its work on printed electrics – a new digital technology that uses printed conductive inks that could replace current electrical harnesses in an aircraft, reducing both weight and manufacturing costs
Airbus-Altran Crystal Cabin Award    

AIX Expo 2018, Hamburg, 11 April 2018 – Airbus, in cooperation with Altran, has won the 2018 Crystal Cabin Award with printed electrics in the Material & Components category. Printed electrics is a new digital technology using conductive inks to print routes for data and power transmission to replace current harnesses.

Massively reducing the part count leads to a reduction of weight and manufacturing cost as well as a simplified architecture, while allowing for last-minute customisation. To make this future technology fly, a joint Airbus and Altran project team has developed a demonstrator for a first use-case on an A320 – the printed Info Panel. This cabin interior panel displays passenger-related safety and comfort information. The new concept could replace the current electrical harness with printed circuits on a flexible foil, making the first step to a harness-free aircraft.

Geoff Pinner, Head of Cabin & Cargo Programme Airbus, said: “Winning one of the aviation’s ‘Oscars’ together with Altran for printed electrics shows that we are continuously pushing the latest in innovative cabin design solutions and innovate for our customers and passengers worldwide. I congratulate the team on their fantastic job and on their well-deserved success.”

Sébastien Renouard, Group VP AeroSpace Defense & Railway Altran, said: "We are thrilled and delighted to have won the Crystal Cabin Award for the first time as it underlines our constant drive for innovation and cooperation spirit with our customers to develop the next generation technologies. Printed electrics is an outstanding example of applying disruptive technologies to revolutionise cabin design."

In the future, printed electrics technology could be introduced to the areas of cabling for air conditioning, data transmission and lighting.

The Crystal Cabin Award is the leading international award for excellence in aircraft interior innovation, sponsored by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. More than 90 concepts from 18 nations were entered in the competition across eight categories.

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