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Download the Aebi Schmidt Newsletter - Issue 6 - Summer 2014

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Defending MOD's airfields against winter elements

Liquid Airfield De-icer Sprayers and Airfield De-icer Trailers add to growing army of Schmidt vehicles at the Ministry of Defence.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is awaiting delivery of the first of 30 Schmidt units after its

Air Commodities Team placed an order for Airfield De-icer Trailers (ADT) to complement its fleet of 20 Liquid Airfield De-icer Sprayers. The order includes a 15-year in-service support contract and an option for a further 20 units. Richard Saunders, Air Commodities Team, Airfield Vehicles, at the MOD, explains what the equipment will do and why the MOD chose Schmidt to supply it.

What challenge do the Schmidt products address?
RS: The Liquid Airfield De-icer Sprayers and Airfield De-icer Trailers address the following challenges:

• To ensure that airfield operating surfaces remain free from ice during winter months enabling safe aircraft movements during adverse weather conditions.
• To accurately and automatically dispense airfield de-icing medium at a specified rate throughout a range of vehicle speeds.
• To be easily operated with the ability to adjust the dispensed rate of de-icing product at the push of a button.
• To be airportable.
• To remain in service for 15 years.

What factors did you consider in choosing a solution?
RS: Factors we considered were:

• That the machines had to be Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS).
• That the machines had a verified record of operation with excellent demonstrated performance.
• That the machines are built and configured to an identical standard.
• To have confidence that the supplier could not only supply a fit for purpose machine but provide the support to enable its reliable operation for its 15-year life.

How were Schmidt looked upon favourably in the area of proven COTS product/support solution?

RS: Schmidt are acknowledged world leaders in the supply and support of airfield vehicles and have a portfolio of equipment that will meet any requirement. Schmidt have recently been awarded the contract to supply 30 Airfield De-icer Trailers. These new machines will compliment our fleet of 50 Schmidt Swingo’s, 12 Schmidt AS 900 Airfield Sweepers, 38 Schmidt AS 990 Airfield Sweepers, 20 Liquid Airfield De-icer Sprayers (LADS), 28 Schmidt Compact Jet Sweepers and a Schmidt Towed Jet Sweeper TJS C 630. Schmidt now supply the MOD with all of its airfield clearance needs, be it FOD, snow or ice prevention.

How was performance demonstrated?
RS: The availability of the Schmidt machines is continually being measured and to date has never fallen below a required availability of 95% across the entire fleet.

In what circumstance could performance be of paramount importance?
RS: Performance is always of paramount importance but more so when the machines are being operated in an extremely remote and hostile location. In these locations you need a machine that starts at the turn of a key and operates at the push of a button. If for example a machine is urgently required to be deployed by air, I have the confidence that given the work Schmidt have done in conjunction with the Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit (JADTEU) the machine can be prepared for air transport quickly, but more importantly when the machine arrives in a remote environment it can be made ready for use without the need for specialist tools or workshop facilities.

How important is Schmidt's Total Lifetime Care (TLC) ethos?
RS: The ethos of Schmidt's TLC says it all about a company who has the confidence to provide a support solution for the life of the machine. I need the confidence that the machines currently in-service remain so for their planned life. Be it the supply of spare parts, the supply of engineering support or the supply of training, in 15 years’ time I fully expect to receive the same service as I am enjoying at present.

Did the MOD embrace Schmidt's consultative care approach? What do you understand about their after sales service?
RS: I have a great deal of experience with regard to the After Sales service Schmidt offer. Providing an immediate solution to a call taken at 04:30 on a Sunday morning says it all to me. There is never any drama or crisis with Schmidt, I know that if a situation should arise, I can rely on Schmidt to get in, sort it and get out.

Why is lifetime cost more important than cost at purchase?
RS: If you want a machine to have a 15-year life you have to ensure that a support solution will be in place 15 years from when the machine is purchased. The MOD currently have 15 year availability contracts with Schmidt on the machines we operate, Schmidt are responsible for ensuring the machines meet our availability targets. To this end it is in Schmidt's benefit to ensure that they provide us with a machine that they can confidently support. Experience has proven that buying a machine without taking into consideration the supportability is not good value. I want the through life support of our machines to be a partnership between Schmidt and the MOD.

Alison Conroy, UK Sales and Marketing Manager at Aebi Schmidt, said: "We value the long- term relationship we have with the Ministry of Defence. Schmidt is proud to take responsibility for ensuring the machines involved in this latest order meet the MoDs availability targets over the next 15 years."

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