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KYOCERA at Space Tech Expo 2019 in Bremen

Dr. Thomas Werninghaus, Senior Business Development Manager, talks about the opportunities KYOCERA offers the aerospace industry.

Please provide a short bio detailing experience:
In my role I am focusing on the implementation of Kyocera fineceramics material solutions in growth markets, including the aerospace industry. I joined the European team in 2018 with 20+ years of experience supporting the development of materials solutions applications for industries such as aerospace, semiconductor processing, and automotive.

Which markets does Kyocera address and what are your expectations for the development of the European space market?
Kyocera is a multinational company with a diverse portfolio of products. We supply our products to high tech markets like automotive, semiconductors, etc. as well traditional industrial markets like oil and gas, foundry, etc. We do not have any favoured market or dependency on one, which enables us to be more sustainable as a company.
As we see that the European space market is moving away from the traditional niche sector to a more commercial zone (esp. with the advent of “new space”), we see that a veteran company like Kyocera can create value to the players in this market, with our balance of niche as well as commercial experiences.

Which customer or market demands were the biggest drivers of your company’s growth during the past three years?
In recent years, high tech markets like those related to the semiconductor industry have brought growth, but our presence in industrial applications, automotive industry and medical equipment has also been growing steadily. The global trend of these industries has been positive and therefore Kyocera can invest in its production and R&D to maintain its state-of-the-art processes and technologies. These capabilities are being utilized for a multitude of applications, including those for space and astronomy.

What are your key opportunities at the moment, and what challenges do you have to face in 2019/20?
Kyocera has developed strong relationships with space agencies in Asia and America and is now looking forward and supporting the European space industry as well. Kyocera’s ceramic materials can bring various technical benefits to European players. The main challenge for Kyocera will be to introduce our expertise to partners and companies in this industry. In terms of experience, Kyocera knows what it means and requires running the qualification in Europe. The feedback from the market is very positive and several companies are already willing to start applying Kyocera’s ceramics in their projects.

Can you tell us about any technical developments that you are working on at the moment, or what can we expect from Kyocera in the foreseeable future?
With the introduction of two new manufacturing facilities in Germany (Kyocera Fineceramics Precision GmbH and Kyocera Fineceramics Solutions GmbH) an even broader and more diversified materials and product portfolio can be offered to customers in the space industry. Kyocera Fineceramics Precision GmbH is investing heavily in increasing the scale of its SiSiC production in the near future, and this will allow the manufacturing of even bigger monolithic precision components.
Kyocera Fineceramics Solutions GmbH has advanced capabilities in the field of alumina and zirconia, e.g. for ion thrusters, specialized in ceramic to metal assemblies for ultra-high vacuum applications. The latest rapid prototyping technologies enable fast development cycles with ceramics in serial-production quality.

What products will you be featuring at the show this year and what response are you expecting?
Kyocera will showcase parts and components specifically developed for space and astronomy applications. This includes a miniature version of a Newtonian telescope with the optical system and structural components all made from Cordierite. You can also see our SiSiC products, which showcase the capabilities of our internal manufacturing channels, and our complex shaped alumina camera housing, which are made possible by our unique 5 axis CNC capabilities.

What are you most looking forward to about Space Tech Expo Europe 2019?
Meetings and discussions with existing and new customers regarding interesting projects and opportunities. Showing customers the benefits or our superior materials and giving them an idea of how Kyocera ceramic components can contribute to the aerospace industry.

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