The Franco-German group efa is a global supplier of electrical, electronic and electromechanical components for the mobility sector and industrial market. Established in 1999 in Berlin (Germany) and in 2004 in Tours (France), efa has specialized in 2 main activities over the years. 

The first activity of the group is the development of complete on-board solutions for industrial machines. The company assists vehicle manufacturers in various sectors (agriculture, construction, GSE, logistics, road construction, defense, industry, municipal, railways, etc.) with their projects for electrification and automation. 

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? 

EFA: Efa got 3 main business activities: Control, Detection & Navigation and Electrification. Each activity has its own target markets. 

Control business activity is mainly focusing on safety radio commands as well as joysticks and buttons. For each product family, efa works with worldwide renowned companies such as Autec, Sensata, Penny and Giles, Frei, Spohn & Burkhardt or Schneider. This business activity addresses all markets and customers where man shall control a machine whether it is through wired or wireless communication means. Applications range from tower cranes or tractors controlled by simple joysticks or more complex control stations down to overhead cranes controlled with wireless radio commands.

Detection & Navigation business activity is focusing on anti-collision systems applied to off-road as well as on-road vehicles. Today’s world where ecological transition implies that bicycles are more and more present in the streets, blind spot detection has become critical. With the support of its partner PRECO, efa France delivers these products. With regards to off-road vehicles, the implementation of blind spot cameras, radars or ultra sound detections reduces accidents and more importantly helps decreasing dramatically deadly human-machine accidents. Off road solutions mainly apply to backhoe, rail road excavators or dumpers. 

Electrification business activity aims at providing complete on-board solutions for industrial machines. The company assists vehicle manufacturers and end-users in various sectors (agriculture, construction, GSE, logistics, road construction, defense, industry, municipal, railways, etc.) with their projects for electrification and automation. efa can support customers on their projects from project definition to production: components sourcing, system design, prototyping production and production. 

E.E: What’s the news about new products? 

EFA: Our Control command latest product release is the Spohn & Burkhardt complete FSMMD control stations. The control station FSMMD has been developed especially for applications that impose the most rigorous requirements on ergonomics and adjustment possibilities. The extensive adjustment distances of seat and side consoles allow the operator to work either seated or standing. These products fit not only nuclear plants but also incineration centers. 

Our Detection & Navigation team recently developed in partnership with IFM and solution dedicated to rail road excavators. This solution, named „ODA Rail Route” (ODA rail road) uses Infrared sensors coupled with cameras in order to detect up to 50m, humans wearing reflective vests and secure the working area. In order to make it a plug and play solution, a GPS and an inertial central in order to adapt distance and zones detection depending on excavator position and speed. 

Our electrification team has just been awarded French national funding in order to develop solutions based on Hydrogen energy. This project will nicely complete our current battery partnership with companies such as Flash Battery or Vanguard. Both partners being leader in their own market segment. In terms of projects, efa has just been awarded a big project in France where our team will develop Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) for a big industrial plant. For these kinds of projects, the team will combine our safety and detection knowledge with our electrification expertise. 

E.E: What are the ranges of products? 

EFA: Control Command: buttons, connectors, junction boxes, fuses, cables, radio command, joysticks, control stations… 

Detection & Navigation, Accessories: working lights, signaling, lighting, alarms, horns, camera, radar, ultra sound systems, infra-red sensors, document boxes… 

Electrification: motor controller, batteries, variators, chargers, battery switches, motors, reducers… 

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? 

EFA: Electrification and anti-collision markets are booming right now. Control business activity is gaining market share but targets markets that are more mature. 

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? 

EFA: As noted in the response above, the electrification market continues to grow. This is why we have chosen to diversify our activities by developing our expertise in hydrogen. Our H2(efa) project has even been selected by the French government as part of the France Relance plan and its automobile modernization fund. 

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2022? 

EFA: Our company forecasts a continuous 2-digit growth for 2022 vs 2021.