Semmco enjoys full order books

posted on 19th November 2019
Semmco enjoys full order books

On one of the outside stands was Woking, UK-based GSE supplier Semmco. It was displaying a wide range of its GSE and aviation access equipment, large and small: from variable height access platforms and landing gear platforms to fixed and variable height refuelling steps and hand-held tyre chargers and gauges

Semmco is on a high. In April it was recognised with the UK’s Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade, and it welcomed the Duke of Kent to its Surrey headquarters facility in early October, when he presented the company with the prestigious award.

Business is good at the moment, particularly in terms of export sales. In fact, while exports accounted for 25% of its revenue just three years ago, foreign markets now comprise roughly half of all sales.

Much of that increased business has come as a result of investment in boosting Semmco’s international footprint. For example, explains managing director Stuart McOnie, Semmco opened a manufacturing facility in Arlington, Texas, in January. The new site is ramping up production, benefiting in large part from a recently signed US$1 million contract with US low-cost carrier JetBlue.

Staff have been recruited locally, supported by a team of five flown out from the UK to support their efforts. Much of the equipment they are building in Arlington is the same as that produced at Semmco’s Woking facility, with a significant proportion of it relating to the airline’s large A320 fleet.

Export sales have also been strengthened by greater business elsewhere in North America (supporting a new Air Canada hangar facility in Toronto for example), in Europe and the Middle East. Growth in the latter market has been promoted from Semmco’s Dubai office, while a manufacturing partner also based in Dubai is meeting the growing demand that the company is seeing in the region.

North Africa is another market where McOnie sees plenty of potential.

SMART designs

Semmco’s range of ground support equipment is designed by engineers, for engineers, and has been created to prioritise safety and reduce the burden of heavy day-to-day maintenance tasks. On the stand in Munich, McOnie and his colleagues particularly brought visitors’ attention to the variable height maintenance steps on display, as well as the much smaller SMART Check tyre gauge and SMART Charge tyre inflator.

The latter demonstrate Semmco’s innovative approach to making engineers’ jobs easier, says McOnie. Offering a digital display with the readings held for 30 seconds gives engineers, who may well be working at night in the dark by the light of a head torch, just a little bit more assistance than traditional instruments, he believes.

Indeed, Semmco is all about coming up with smart designs to meet the challenges that engineers face on a daily basis. Thus, McOnie says, innovation lies at the heart of the company’s product strategy, alongside such staples as incorporating the best possible safety features and making all its equipment as user-friendly as possible. Long-term, through-life reliability is another core selling point, while much of Semmco’s equipment is modular in nature in order to offer greater flexibility and customisation.

A number of Semmco products have digital capabilities that help to increase efficiency and accuracy. Both the SMART Charge digital tyre inflator and SMART Check digital tyre gauge feature a backlit digital display that allows for accurate and efficient readings at a glance, even in low lighting conditions.

The Nitrogen Digital Solar Three cylinder demountable SMART trolley features a digital control panel, and the solar-powered readout allows users to set an inflation limit that will alert them once that limit is reached.

Also on stand at the event were variable-height access platforms, an aircraft wheel and brake changer, a Universal Landing Gear Platform and fixed and variable height refuelling steps.

Semmco’s customer base includes a global network of aviation clients such as Delta, Air Canada, JetBlue, Virgin and British Airways amongst many others.