Final Call: Andreas Schwald, Aebi Schmidt
Posted: 16 February 2015 | International Airport Review
With its longstanding position in the airport operations industry as an innovator and provider of surface cleaning equipment, Aebi Schmidt Key Account Manager – Airport and Rail Andreas Schwald discusses how it is enhancing its ‘green’ product offering.
As an international manufacturer and system provider of innovative technical products, Aebi Schmidt takes pride in supporting customers and partnering with them to help them to achieve their goals. In addition, we are also aware of our social and ecological responsibility with regard to climate issues, one of the major challenges we are all facing.
To tackle these challenges we are constantly redesigning our machines to improve efficiency and meet even more stringent emissions requirements. Whenever we develop new products we always collaborate with our customers and specify machines tailor made to meet their requirements, and it is in this context that we have developed our latest snow clearing machines.
One such customer, the state owned company Swedavia, is aiming to make all 10 airports in Sweden carbon neutral by 2020. So, in partnership with the Volvo Group, Aebi Schmidt has developed the world’s first CO2 neutral ‘Green’ runway Towed Jet Sweeper (TJS). This new TJS is powered by Volvo engines fuelled by a mixture of biogas and biodiesel. Initially, Aebi Schmidt will deliver a total of 29 of the new carbon neutral machines to Swedavia.
Air traffic accounts for approximately 3% of all global CO2 emissions. However this does not just come from planes flying from one destination to another but the infrastructure that goes with it, the ground handling and the maintenance of the runways and taxiways of the airport, including snow removal. Our TJS machines are made for fast, effective, and intensive cleaning of runways, taxiways, aprons and supply roads, and the same goes for the Green TJS. High working speeds and manoeuvrability have always been key attributes of this product, but sustainability and economic wellbeing are now just as important.
Although the Green TJS is fuelled by a biogas and biodiesel mixture, there are no changes for airport operators or ground handlers. It does not differ in power from other TJS machines operating with a conventional Volvo engine and is equipped with an efficient plough for snow- and ice-free surfaces. The hydraulically powered sweeping unit is located under the supporting frame and can be locked lengthwise for transport. The blower unit generates a lateral air flow of up to 145m/sec over the complete width which blows away snow across the runway. It can also operate without refuelling for over six hours and is capable of working in difficult weather conditions over longer periods. Depending upon snow quantity and height, the Green TJS can work at a speed of up to 50km/h.
Another recent development is the Supra 5002 snow cutter/blower which uses an updated engine system to meet the newest Euromot IV emission standards. This includes an eco-mode where power of the machine can be reduced if the snow to be cleared is not heavy. We have also redesigned the cabin for that machine, for which we won a German Design Award. We will however keep on developing and updating such products in order to stay ahead of constantly changing emissions regulations.
Finally, although Schmidt is a large manufacturing organisation with four production manufacturing plants, 13 sales organisations throughout Europe and a worldwide offering, a major part of our business is also in service – our Total Lifetime Care (TLC) commitment connects our customers to a wide range of our expert service engineers. For example, climate change is causing different problems for our customers. As we saw in the USA a year ago and more recently in Europe, when the winter comes, it is more extreme. For airports, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to clear their runways, so they need more efficiency and reliability from our machines. We can also advise our customers in the best way to clear and clean their runways. Each airport has specific requirements, such as different runway widths and varying apron areas/ taxiways, and we appreciate that each airport needs a different solution. Our aim is always to help our customers use the best machines with the best winter operations strategy.
Andreas Schwald has been with Schmidt for 30 years and has held various roles within the company. This began in the 1980s where he received technical education from Schmidt before moving to the testing department, working on airport equipment. He then progressed to Schmidt’s sales organisation in Germany where today he is in Key Account Management for Airport products and services, supporting all Aebi Schmidt’s group sales in the Airport sector.