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CIRTEM-ABOARD ENGINEERING merge : The successful Connection of Power and Controls

End 2018, CIRTEM went a stage further in its merge with the company Aboard Engineering, of which CIRTEM owns the shares from now on.
The two teams combine their skills :
• Development of control systems and real time embedded software.
Power electronics design and manufacturing
The new joint entity brings expertise and trust, for system engineering, electronics development and small series manufacturing, incl. built-to-print, on the following products: electrical / hybrid powertrain, DC / DC converters, BMS,
supervisors, power test benches, battery chargers.

For more information on Aboard Engineering.

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CIRTEM is 30 years old : Christian Saubion interview

This year, CIRTEM is 30 years old. The opportunity for its founder, Christian Saubion, to take stock of this pivotal era for power electronics technologies.

What was the motivation to create Cirtem ?

At the creation of Cirtem, I was 33 years old and only a few years of experience. My motivation was to lead my engineering profession according to my vision independently. I had practiced it in a few companies, but there was indeed this taste of independence. Beside that, the entrepreneurial side, the desire to create employment but initially it was good to do my job as an engineer as I want and enjoy myself doing this job.

You have been at the forefront of technological innovation in power electronics for 30 years. Which evolutions of the field have been the most striking in your opinion ?

This is a period that has been very important for the evolution of our power electronics business. We can say that initially it was quite confidential or little known and whose applications, especially high-performance applications, were contained in niche markets rather narrow. And in the last 30 years, the evolution of knowledge and components as well as the strong demand for energy efficiency have made it penetrate new high-end markets such as the electric automobile, aeronautics with the more electric aircraft, but also on stationary applications such as the smart grid. These elements have allowed the development of technology and make this discipline become more and more recognized.

In 30 years, we have moved from a national context with large monopolistic companies to a European context with liberalized markets. What is your view of the changing business environment and public policies supporting innovation ?

So it’s a little contradictory maybe …
On the one hand, there is a very strong evolution of the innovation support policy and the very significant amounts that have been allocated through the regional, national and European plans to raise the level of national R & D. was a stated goal. The structuring of venture capitalists too. The number of key actors has evolved very significantly. This is something that innovative SMEs have benefited from.
On the other hand, there is also this loss of close relationship with the major contractors who financed R & D. We lost a bit of this close relationship with his companies there.
Overall, there has been a sharp increase in the number of works on the same topic. There is a global enrichment of the actors who came from different horizons, the pot began to boil more strongly, the volume made it possible to train many young people, one gained on the volume of innovation even if we have perhaps lost a little efficiency locally but for a collective good.

Let’s go back to Cirtem. What were the most important projects and events for you ?

If I want to keep only a few highlights for me, it is the projects that have helped to change the world, without wanting to be haughty. In particular, everything that has made it possible to develop a technology and succeed in the market.
I will mention the LHEC particle accelerator for CERN, which demonstrated our ability to manage large projects over a period of 10 years, and our ability to move towards an OEM logic. There is also the TCFM project with the SCLE company which has been the first topic from conception to manufacture and I thank SCLE for trusting us at that time. Finally, our work on the electric vehicle since 1991 and the industrial realization on the Autolib and Bluecar project that has allowed to produce up to 9000 products. It is necessarily restrictive because many other projects have marked us but they are the key elements of the life of society.

Cirtem is a company with strong values ​​of pleasure at work, elegant innovation, agility and respect for people. As a manager, how did you adapt these values ​​in the life of the company ?

It’s hard to answer the question. I can summarize by saying that it is keeping a lot of fun to lead. Because you have to apply it to yourself, be agile and have the pleasure of leading and I think it’s communicative. So I have tried to stay on these fundamentals, to transmit that as much as possible to the teams, and to take it into account in recruiting and team management.
In terms of human resources we have tried to remain faithful to human values ​​and faithful to people as much as possible, in a very close proximity.

Cirtem is a company with strong values ​​of pleasure at work, elegant innovation, agility and respect for people. As a manager, how did you decline these values ​​in the life of the company ?

It’s hard to answer the question. I can summarize by saying that it is keeping a lot of fun to lead. Because you have to apply it to yourself, be agile and have the pleasure of leading and I think it’s communicative. So I have tried to stay on these fundamentals, to transmit that as much as possible to the teams, and to take it into account in recruiting and team management.
In terms of human resources we have tried to remain faithful to human values ​​and faithful to people as much as possible, in a very close proximity.

This anniversary is also for Cirtem a change in continuity, since you now entrust the management of the company to Stéphane de La Fournière, and that the positioning evolves to that of industrial equipment manufacturer. What do you want in Cirtem for the future ?

First, this choice of industrial equipment manufacturer is consecutive to the evolution of the current world, which pushed us to make this choice there 3 or 4 years ago and CIRTEM has all the capacities to develop it. Then, the appointment of Stéphane to the management of the company has been prepared for a long time, we have worked together since 1996 and we know each other since 1991. Even if we are very different, we share the same values. Stéphane has all the skills to develop the company and ensure the sustainability of the company, its jobs, and its values.

And you, personally, what are your plans ?

I did not retire, but I abandoned the directly operational activities. I stay in a logic of support and advice to give local industrial companies the benefit of my experience in business management, R & D and innovation. However, I wish to reserve a lot more time for my family as well as for personal projects of navigation on the oceans ….

Thank you !

Le 20 septembre 2018 a eu lieu la célébration des 30 ans du CIRTEM et la présentation des nouveaux locaux.

A cette occasion, le personnel de CIRTEM et ABOARD Engineering, les actionnaires récents et historiques, les clients, les partenaires, les fournisseurs, sans oublier la Mairie, ont assisté à une soirée professionnelle et festive, imprégnée des valeurs de la société. .

Plus de 150 personnes ont pu participer aux visites organisées dans les locaux de Sainte Foy d’Aigrefeuille, passer du temps sur un stand d’animation vidéo-ludique basé sur des vélos et enfin profiter du concert intense donné par le groupe 5K7, dont le guitariste est un membre de Cirtem.

Ce fut également l’occasion d’écouter les discours émouvants et optimistes de Christian Saubion et de Stéphane de La Fournière, qui ont officialisé le passage du flambeau entre le fondateur et l’actuel directeur général.

Les invités ont évidemment apprécié la chaleur de cet événement. Rendez-vous est pris pour 2028 !

 

 

CIRTEM a 30 ans : soirée d’anniversaire !

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