SMEsuccess: STG Aerospace – Research Driven Innovation

STG Aerospace, based in Norfolk, with offices in Florida USA and Shanghai China, develops innovative and cost-effective aircraft cabin lighting solutions which transform the flying experience. With products installed on over 10,000 aircraft worldwide, representing one third of the world’s passenger fleet, STG Aerospace has a global customer base ranging from the largest aircraft original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to airlines, maintenance, repair and overhaul providers (MROs) and aircraft lessors.

STG Aerospace demonstrates the agile capabilities that SMEs possess and the potential for accelerated innovation leading to growth within the markets they operate in.

An award winning company driven by research, STG Aerospace believes that innovation and R&D is the best strategy to differentiate itself from its competitors. STG Aerospace works collaboratively with universities, undertaking research into new technology applications and supporting research into the physiological and emotional responses that light can have on passengers and their flight experience.

In 2016 STG Aerospace was awarded Best Cabin Innovation at the APEX Awards ceremony, as well as being a finalist in the Best Passenger Comfort Innovation category. Best Cabin Innovation was awarded for the company’s saf-Tglo blu® technology – the world’s first blue-glowing photoluminescent floor path marking system. For the first time ever, airlines can introduce an alternative glowing colour within the cabin interior. Based on scientific findings of human perception analysis, blue wavelengths of emitted light enable enhanced passenger perception of the emergency track with a dark adapted human eye.

The company has invested heavily in a dedicated R&D facility in South Wales that opened in 2015. Committed to creating the next generation of lighting solutions, STG Aerospace has a team of specialised research scientists and highly sophisticated development and testing facilities. These include an Integrating Sphere to study various aspects of light quality, as well as full size Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft cabin mock-ups, providing a state-of-the-art customer demonstration centre as well as a real-world environment for product research, development and testing.

These world-class facilities, along with its EASA DOA/POA and FAA PMA status and AS9100, ISO 9001 quality approvals mean the company can design, develop, test and certify all of its products in-house. This significantly extends the company’s capabilities, reducing the timescales, streamlining the product development process, and bringing products to the market more quickly, meeting and exceeding customer expectations.

Nigel Duncan, Chief Executive of STG Aerospace, said:

“We believe passionately in research-driven innovation. Our commitment to constant innovation gives us a competitive edge and keeps us at the forefront of the industry. Many of our customers have been with STG Aerospace for a number of years and they continue to upgrade their cabin lighting systems when we introduce new products. Also, as an SME, we are able to make decisions quickly and move fast to take advantage of new marketing opportunities. Innovation generates interest which in turn can lead to new customer contacts.”