Factory of the Future

Collaborative design
of an industrial 4.0 site


    Matra Électronique is a French manufacturer specialising in the production of electronic systems integrated into sophisticated equipment for demanding environments. Historically intended for the manufacture of televisions, its production site has been established in the Hauts-de-France region since 1949. To meet its development goals, the company adopts a long-term, ambitious and collaborative strategy by building a factory 4.0.

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      Matra Électronique is recognised as an essential partner for challenges of the trategic electronics market. Preferred supplier of complex and robust solutions, the electronic equipment manufacturer is also an incubator of innovative concepts, turning ideas into technological products.
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      In order to meet all the needs of its customers, Matra Électronique offers a complete and flexible range of services from integrating studies, industrialization, supply, production, after-sales service, metrology to training.
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      The teams work to accomplish the company’s project whose pillars of performance are development and innovation. For more than ten years, the deployment of an active continuous improvement approach has provided a permanent technological lead.
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      The passion for the profession, the continuous search for excellence and the expertise of Matra Électronique staff materialize through ideation and sharing. Industrial innovation projects development follows a design thinking approach and actions are driven by an internal network of employees trained for in continuous improvement and innovation.
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      The HSE policy protects the health and ensures the safety of employees with respect for the environment. In this domain, Matra Électronique sets itself the same level of requirements as for the quality of its products and its competitiveness. Preventive, awareness actions are regularly done to bring this approach to life on a daily basis.
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      Based on our quality and environmental certifications, the new system of integrated management has been in place since 2019. It focuses on customer satisfaction and keeping commitments in terms of quality, safety, environment, costs and deadlines.

Horizon project presentation video

Discover the presentation of the Horizon project by Julien Marie, Managing Director of Matra Électronique


    After 12 years as Production Manager and then another 5 years as Managing Director, Frédéric Wilmot, CEO of Matra Électronique, describes his vision for the future of the company, its unique model and its strategy.

    Anything is possible, provided that you believe in it and give yourself the means. The strength of conviction is essential for success.
    Frédéric WILMOT, CEO Matra Électronique
    Frédéric WILMOT Frédéric WILMOT
    • Interview

      What is Matra Électronique's core business?

      Through its unique model, and by supporting customers from the design of technical solutions to Maintenance in Operational Conditions, Matra Électronique has become a national flagship in the field of manufacturing
      electronic equipment. We respond to atypical needs or constrained environments at a technical or normative level.
    • Interview

      Being "the strength of a group, the flexibility of an SME", is that the matrix of the company?

      Our unique model is due to the fact that the company is a subsidiary of MBDA group, thus benefiting from technological and advanced technical competence, while developing our external business portfolio in a fair balance between technology, expertise, competitiveness and openness to various issues. This subtle alchemy takes shape due to the trust of our group and the 420 employees, to their know-how, their love of the profession and their adherence to the values carried by Matra Électronique: Passion, Excellence and Competence.
    • Interview

      Does the business strategy change with the new factory project?

      Matra Électronique's ambition is to continue, in this autonomous economic and social model, its sustainable growth strategy. Our new infrastructure, adapted and evolving, is one of the levers to achieve our strategic challenges. By developing our production site, we offer ourselves the necessary agility to become a technological flagship, improving the well-being of our employees and our impact on the environment. With this new factory, we integrate into a more technological neighbourhood in synergy with major players in the industrial and regional fields. Horizon project is in line with the strategic orientations of MBDA group and responds to common national sovereignty issues in advanced electronics. Conditions of evolution and success are thus united to write the rest of Matra Électronique’s history.

    The realization of the project to build a plant 4.0 called "HORIZON" began at the end of summer 2019, and is scheduled to start operating in 2023.

    In order to carry out this large-scale project, Matra Électronique is working hand in hand with a network of trusted partners in industrial engineering, architecture, project management and transfer engineering :
    / Architecture : BODREAU ARCHITECTURE
    / General contractor : SIRETEC INGENIERIE
    / Envelope and architectural interior works : DEMATHIEU BARD
    / HVAC and plumbing : CEGELEC
    / Special fluids : FLUIDES CONCEPT FC
    / Organization Scheduling Coordination of the industrial transfer : TETRIS

    The eight-hectare site is located in the Bois de Plaisance Business Park, Venette, close to the A1 motorway. This fast-growing area is already home to companies such as Bostik, Plastic Omnium and Stokomani, as well as training and research partners such as Proméo Formation.

    As a historic local employer, Matra Électronique has chosen to establish itself in the new major heart of economic activity of Compiègne and its region. By pursuing its long-term development, the company is therefore a sustainable part of the region's dynamism.

On video

Discover the Horizon project in 3D


Project timeline


    As the historic site at Lacroix Saint Ouen dates back to 1945, Matra Électronique has taken into consideration the directions to be taken in order to establish a sustainable strategy for the development of its industrial tool and to continue to meet all the needs of its current and future customers.

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      In 2016, Matra Électronique noted that the ageing of its infrastructures was also accompanied by a lack of surface area linked to the company's development and the rigidity of its production tools. The analysis to solve this threefold problem was carried out using three scenarios: maintaining the plant in its current state, renovating and extending the current site or building a new one.
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      A sustainable business dynamic

      In keeping with the company's dynamics and with a view to sustainability, the shareholders and the management committee of Matra Électronique opted for the third solution: to build, in a different location from the historic site, a new production tool that is innovative, agile, evolving and adapted to the needs of its customers and employees. As an authorised industrialist in the field of Defence, this new site must meet the requirements in terms of security, industrial defence and data.
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      The future factory also corresponds to a strong social evolution and an innovative working organisation. If until now the structuring of the site has been highly industrial, the perspective now is to focus the working environment on the quality of life at work. Therefore, the definition of the industrial flow was based on a consensus between all the teams. The reflection process was based on seven objectives, by confronting professionals with the reality on the ground.

    Jean-Jacques Picarda, Managing Director of Matra Électronique, explains the management's vision of this innovative project, promoting quality of life at work and the social dimension.

    At Matra Électronique, we all rely on each other's skills.
    Jean-Jacques Picarda, Managing Director Matra Électronique
    Jean-Jacques Picarda Jean-Jacques Picarda
    • Interview

      What is the management's position on this new factory project?

      Upstream, the management committee reworked the company's vision and strategy. Seven key criteria emerged. The new industrial tool accompanies the redefined strategy by bringing them together in a geographical unit.
    • Interview

      How is the balance of the company's ecosystem preserved?

      This stage required several months of work. Starting from our objectives, we built the global model to find the balance. This was done in conjunction with the project management and our Greenbelts, employees trained in continuous improvement. Our shareholders have testified great confidence, driven by our vision of the future to sustain and develop Matra Électronique's activity over several decades.
    • Interview

      How does the HORIZON project innovate from an architectural point of view?

      Innovation lies in the agility of our industrial site, achieved by designing open working areas and intelligent production facilities. The entire factory meets a homogeneous level of hygrometry and temperature. It's an architectural feat creating a collaborative and modular space with the added advantage of a maximum contribution of natural light! Should the need arise in the future, the plot has a land reserve that can be expanded in a short period of time.
    • Interview

      Is this new plant a result of growth in activity?

      We are taking advantage of our strong development potential to increase our productivity while maintaining our level of quality. The flexibility of the spaces will allow more reactivity to accompany our customers' projects. HORIZON corresponds to our identity as “solutions provider” in constant innovation.
    • Interview

      What innovations does HORIZON bring on a social level?

      The social and family culture of our company is strong. Above all, we did not want to break it, but rather to transfer it, while incorporating areas for improvement. We want to preserve our values. At our level, we continue to promote social innovation: right from the preliminary project, employees have had their say through the ambassadors. They have done a remarkable, concrete and well-argued job.
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      From an environmental point of view, what are the focus points?

      By innovating, we are getting closer to a positive energy plant and reducing our footprint.
    • Interview

      How will Matra Électronique fit into the local community?

      By leaving the enclave of our historic site, we want to create a real local dynamic with neighbouring companies. As of today we are organising this synergy in order to shine.

    Matra Électronique places innovation at the heart of its industrial strategy. Roadmap 4.0, connectivity, innovation, flow optimisation and production automation, these multiple levers guide deployment in the digital age. As people and their know-how remain at the centre of the company's project, this approach reinforces our identity as a luminary of hardened electronics.

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      The concept of the future factory tends to give the company the means to go further in its ambition. Within Matra Électronique, this strategic subject is the subject of a roadmap 4.0 developed and maintained since 2016. The collaborative aspect is a key element in the success of digitalisation. The teams dedicated to improvement and innovation are experimenting with digital applications at the current site to arrive at an operational and optimised programme for 2023.
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      THE ROADMAP 4.0

      To reinforce the deployment of 4.0, seven areas of progress have been defined around the flexibility of the supply chain, the automation of production functions, information feedback, customer knowledge, real-time analysis, the skills management project and the mobilisation of digital solutions. This choice was made on the basis of the diagnostic scan industry of the future, carried out by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
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      Innovation and connectivity are drivers of development and competitive advantage in a complex environment on the move. Through its connected plant project, Matra Électronique intends to become a technological reference in the advanced electronic equipment market.
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      By reducing the burden of certain production tasks, automation is a gain for the quality of life at work. It is a lever for enhancing the know-how of the teams and increasing the skills of the employees. It leads to investment in numerous production tools and the modernisation of internal storage and distribution facilities.

Designing the electronics industry of tomorrow

For its factory of the future, Matra Électronique will roll out industrial innovations that promote digitization and the performance of its production tool.
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    Keystone of industrial connectivity, the cyber secure supervision tool enables us to manage resources, processes and industrial infrastructures and paves the way for predictive maintenance.

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    The development of our Manufacturing Engineering System, M.E.S, reinforces the digital continuity of our industrial process.

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    The Connected Prototyping Island project is a workshop for the interactive and collaborative linking of production with customer engineering. It facilitates human activity while ensuring product quality.

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    Our production workshops will be supplied by a fleet of mobile and collaborative robots (Automated Intelligent Vehicle) whose navigation technology combines mapping and environmental recognition.

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    The Building Information Modeling method models the design and use of buildings, industrial and tertiary flows and provides an immersive experience for employees to accompany change.


    The HORIZON project profiles the company over the next 50 years. It's a real challenge that all the employees of Matra Électronique are getting ready to take up.

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      Listening to employees and to the ideas that emerge from this feature prominently in Matra Électronique's corporate culture. Beyond social dialogue, it is a lever for innovation and continuous improvement. Many communication tools have already been developed internally. For the HORIZON project, it was a question of integrating all the staff using a collaborative design method.
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      Upstream of the preliminary project, the hierarchies were consulted in particular for the definition of current and future needs. After presentation and validation by the HORIZON project team, these elements were transmitted to the engineering and architecture partners. Progress on architectural and technical plans has therefore followed collaborative updates.
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      The first direct involvement of employees concerned the request for proposals of names for the project. After a staff vote, HORIZON and its graphic identity were selected. 57 people responded to a call for applications to take part in the reflection process on the development of company living spaces as ambassadors. A draw designated one representative per department, i.e. 15 ambassadors in total.
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      Their role is to collect proposals from their departments, to share them during workshops on specific themes and then to provide feedback to employees on the progress and arbitrages made. By favouring human connection, the HORIZON project team relies on the strength of direct dialogue by promoting fluid communication. The task force of the 15 ambassadors is driven by the values of continuous improvement and innovation.
  • Interview with Patrick Blom

    Patrick Blom, employee at Matra Électronique for 30 years, was one of the 15 ambassadors drawn at random from the list of volunteer candidates.

    We were given free rein and therefore free ideas.
    Patrick Blom, HORIZON ambassador
    Patrick Blom Patrick Blom
    • Interview

      Why did you apply for this role?

      The construction of the new factory is a major project. This is Matra Électronique's first move in its 45 years of existence! For this key stage, my experience in the company could make a contribution.
    • Interview

      What is your role alongside the employees?

      During the task force meetings, we draw up lists of targeted questions. The next step is to contact our colleagues and collect their ideas. We ensure the fluidity of communication by informing employees about the work and the selected proposals.
    • Interview

      How does the task force work proceed?

      Each sub-group of five to six people discusses design ideas, flows and office furniture from different sectors. Our work is presented to all the ambassadors, giving rise to rewarding sharing, before being synthesised.
    • Interview

      What is the outcome of the work carried out?

      Very concrete proposals are presented to the HORIZON project team. Some requests cannot be accepted for financial or technical reasons but most of the suggestions are integrated into the project.
    • Interview

      How is this perceived by the staff?

      Many ideas arise from these workshops. Employees appreciate direct dialogue, feedback and this involvement. Everyone feels that they are making their contribution to the construction of the future Matra Électronique.
    • Interview

      What does this approach mean to you?

      On some projects, staff are used to being solicited, but never on such a scale. This reinforces my view of a company which open to new ideas and where there is a real interest in employees' opinions.

    In addition to the provisions linked to the construction of its new site, Matra Électronique considers the quality of life at work as part of its human resources policy. HORIZON focuses on improving working conditions, professional development and the living environment.

    Social dialogue is constant. The organisation of the working hours is done by company agreements. Flexible hours are the basis of the quality of life at work in order to find the balance between personal and professional life.

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      Matra Électronique is carefully developing its health, safety and environment (HSE) culture with an emphasis on prevention. HORIZON fits into this perspective through several points of action. The new working organisation is designed to facilitate logistics while maintaining the core business. The burden of the work is reduced by automating tasks with low added value. This is combined with training and increasing the teams’ skills on managing and using the new work tools. Architecturally, the 850 m2 of glass surfaces, including 500 m2 in the production workshops, offer beneficial exposure to natural light; while the acoustic coatings, ergonomic furniture and design scenarios contribute to the prevention of physical, health and psychosocial risks.
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      Social dialogue is a key element of Matra Électronique's human resources policy. We are constantly listening, whether to our social partners or through tools for employees to express their ideas and opinions. Internal communication is rich in this sense with a variety of communication media and internal contributors. HORIZON's collaborative construction integrates this notion of dialogue. By encouraging employees to express themselves, their needs and expectations are taken into account when designing the company's living spaces. Similarly, company welfare charters are drawn up collectively. In order to help staff to balance their professional and private lives, consideration is being given to a shared concierge service with the other companies based at Le Bois de Plaisance.
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      The collaborative construction of the HORIZON project leads to proposing a qualitative and pleasant living environment for all Matra Électronique's staff. Outdoors, this desire is concretised by a green path and a terrace with a pergola and pétanque areas. Within the buildings, it is reflected in the presence of rest areas throughout the site, and above all in the creation of a relaxation room with a quiet area and games areas. Finally, the establishment of exchange areas in collaborative spaces helps to reduce noise pollution while maintaining communication between teams.

    Beyond the new industrial tool, Matra Électronique underlines the importance which it attaches to integrate the HORIZON project in an environmental dimension in line with the company values and its ambition to perpetuate a sustainable development.

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      Matra Électronique has a particular interest in the use of smart and sustainable solutions. Indeed, the electronics industry which is energy-consuming creates a lot of heat. In order to minimize its impact, the industrial site will capture and exploit these emanations. The heat-insulating transformation will be valued by supplying part of the building and domestic hot water. In a similar vein, 3,500 m2 of solar panels will be placed in the car parks. Energy collected will be entirely used to supply the production site.
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      Involved in its environmental responsibility, Matra Électronique invests in equipment that tends to decrease his impact. Two main actions are integrated to the design of the new site. On the one hand, the emissions atmospheres (VOCs) are reduced through the use of carbon filters meeting the standards. On the other hand, a 4.0 infrastructure connection system will make it possible to cut the energy supplies at night and during shutdowns,
      in order to limit and control energy consumption.
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      Build a new industrial tool in a wasteland also represents a challenge to reconstitute a natural ecosystem. Aware of the importance of this environmental and societal aspect, the management chosed to be
      accompanied by a landscaper to re-vegetate the exteriors of the site. The 150 trees that will be planted are all from exclusively local species. Regarding storm water, it will be collected in a vegetated infiltration basin. Thus, the future production site of Matra Électronique will be able to treat its storm water independently, without discharge into the public supply.

    The choice to locate the new industrial site of Matra Électronique in activities area of the Bois de Plaisance in Venette, based less than 10 kilometers from the current site and less than 10 minutes from the A1 highway, reflects the willingness of the company to preserve living conditions of its employees while maintaining relationships established with manufacturers, schools and local institutions.

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      Le Grand Compiègnois*, labeled "Territoires d’insutrie" in November 2018, offers to Matra Électronique a common workspace meeting the major challenges of its development. In addition to the benefit of business synergy, locating in this aera, with a clearly identified industrial challenge, makes it possible to mobilize State’s support, its agencies and local authorities, in a coordinated manner.

      * The Grand Compiègnois is made up of the Agglomeration of the Region
      de Compiègne (ARC), the Communauté de Communes des Lisières de l’Oise (CCLO), la Communauté de Communes des 2 vallées (CC2V) and the Communauté de Communes de la Plaine d’Estrées (CCPE).
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      The cohesion of the industrial basin participates in the evolution strategy of territory. Its structuring results from the inherent interlinking of the SMEs, the presence of key infrastructures, research and training partners. Thus, Matra Électronique will be able to continue its growth in a sustainable sense.
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      The area dedicated to service and industrial companies is in full expansion, and materializes a strong employment catchment with the presence of Bostick, Plastic Omnium and Stokomani. The road network is redeployed in order to meet all needs, both for employee mobility and for flow of goods. Next to a shopping area, the future site offers Matra Électronique employees a lifestyle with attractive services and shops. The development and structuring of the activity area is also achieve through targeted actions, such as solidarity concierge project for companies.

Key figures


monitored infrastructure

  • 18700

    of buildings total surface

  • 1250

    of natural lighting

  • 63970

    of outer space

  • 30%

    of extension surface

  • 2023

    move of the present site

  • 3500

    of photovoltaic panels

  • 40 M€

    global project costs

  • 20%

    of renewable energies production

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