Sometimes the best ideas lie in the street in the truest sense of the word, or to put it another way: they drive. What was first born as an idea in a customer meeting with Pipjorke in spring 2014 has now been driving on the roads and runways at Düsseldorf airport since January 2015: the first Schmidt Swingo with CSP compact spray and Schmidt snow plough.
For around 7 years, Pipjorke has been responsible for winter maintenance work at Düsseldorf airport, among other things. First just in the context of cleaning work in public areas, on pavements and in parking areas, and the removal of quantities of snow from the apron. For 5 years, Pipjorke has also supported Flughafen Düsseldorf GmbH on the apron with winter maintenance devices for clearing the entire apron. Initially just with large devices, but now for two years also with small devices on pavements and around the so-called “fingers”, i.e. the passenger boarding bridges. In the other months of the year, the company uses two Schmidt Swingo 200 sweepers. So why not use the Schmidt Swingo’s potential in winter too?!
“The Pipjorke company management’s desire was for a Swingo compact sweeper for winter use. This should – along with its sweeping functionality – be able, thanks to appropriate conversion, to spread brine fluid because Düsseldorf airport prefers brine to be sprayed on the apron,” says Thomas Pollul, Key Account Manager for the airports department at Schmidt in St. Blasien. “After more detailed analysis with the development department and intensive discussions of our customer’s requirements, we replaced the Swingo’s water tank with an additional fresh water tank to function as a brine tank, with the two tanks being connected. As a result, it can now carry a total of 400 litres of brine.”
In dry or lightly damp conditions and at a temperature of down to -6 degrees, the process of spreading brine is the clearly superior alternative to environmentally damaging grit. The dosing occurs in a closed electrical-hydraulic circuit. Here, the spraying quantity is adjusted, travel-dependent, for the driving speed via the speedometer. Even with minimal dosing, optimal distribution is achieved. The even application of the spraying liquid occurs via a spray bar mounted on the rear end of the sprayer. Flat spray nozzles with a wide pressure range are used for spreading the fluid. The spray nozzles are located close to the ground and ensure even spraying with a width of 8 metres, with optional asymmetrically adjustable jet nozzles.
Other adaptations were necessary in order to make the Swingo fit for its new area of application. Since the spraying speed at the normal working speed of 12km/h was too slow, the latter was increased to 25km/h. Side spray nozzles which could initially only be turned on and off manually can now be automatically operated from the control panel in the cabin.
The world’s first Swingo in combination with brine tank and spray bar has now been in use since January 2015. “The spraying performance is outstanding and the spraying quantity is easy to adjust,” says Matthias Pipjorke, Manager of the Pipjorke waste management facility and co-initiator of the project. “My employees like to drive the Swingo. It’s manoeuvrable, manageable and with the rear view camera the driver always has a view of the spray pattern. For my company, the Swingo is indispensable at Düsseldorf airport. The possibilities are endless. It can be used both as a snow plough and as a snow blower, and with a spray bar or a spray disc at the rear as required. In normal snowfall, clearing and spraying is possible with no problem. On inclines, for example on pedestrian bridges, snow chains or tyres with spikes are an advantage.”
Conversion between summer and winter operation in possible within a short space of time. The Schmidt Swingo thus becomes the new all-rounder in the field of compact sweeping and winter equipment. Entirely in line with the motto of “Do you just sweep or do you spray as well?”