Over the years, more than dozens of people would be involved in washing an aircraft, which was not only immensely time consuming, but the eminence of work was also not up to international standards. On an average, a team of 17 to 20 people would take about 9 to 10 hours to clean one Jumbo (707) aircraft. Also, there are other issues to be considered, such as injuries caused by even a minor carelessness. Presently, in many countries aircraft washing and cleaning is assigned to manual labor. In India, Indira Gandhi International Airport (New Delhi) will soon get washing robots to clean jumbo jets. According to DIAL (Delhi International Airport Limited), the technology will be imported from Sweden. Currently, apart from British airports, this technique is used by Qatar and Thai airways. The new aircraft washing systems will be entirely computerized and will comprise spray nozzles, cleaning brushes and mobile power units.
In the Middle East region, the aviation industry is very keen on green practices. Airlines cannot afford spending extensive periods of time on cleaning activities. Therefore, a company named Clean Middle East developed a new aircraft washing technology known as “dry wash”. Dry wash is developed and produced by Rhoba-Chemie GmbH, (Germany) to clean aircrafts without water. This concept has a big edge over its counterpart since it inhibits corrosion, improves physical appearance, reduces chemically contaminated waste water and minimizes water consumption.
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As the use of airplanes has increased exponentially, commercial and private aircraft agencies spend billions of dollars every year in aircraft maintenance. Now, international standards of aviation safety and rules also mandate aircraft cleaning. Cleaning is done by both, private and in-house agencies. However, cleaning is not a secondary job and must be carried out with possible aircraft washing systems (equipment).
The commonly used aircraft washing equipment are:
- Carts used to clean the floor of an airplane are included in aircraft washing systems
- Coatings used to add extra shine are included in aircraft washing systems
- Aero brushes used to remove dust from surface are included in aircraft washing systems
- Wax and buff balls used in the belly area are also included in aircraft washing systems
- Aircraft squeegee used to remove water and liquid from different areas are included in aircraft washing systems
- Washing mops used to clean the surface are included in aircraft washing systems
Aircraft washing systems companies such as Riveer (U.S.) have launched automated aircraft washing systems. Such aircraft washing systems take two minutes to clean the aircraft and the wash water is reclaimed and reused again.
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Aircraft Washing Systems: Dynamics
There is a never ending battle against corrosion in aircraft maintenance, particularly in rotary aircrafts operating over saltwater. Therefore, the U.S. Department of Defense has concluded on rinsing the aircrafts on a weekly or daily basis to combat this problem. Increase in these aircrafts and their running is forecasted to directly create demand and a large growth opportunity for the aircraft washing systems market.
Aircraft Washing Systems: Segmentation by Method
When it comes to washing the exterior of an aircraft, there are two types of methods: dry and wet. The wet wash requires water and cleaning agent (soap) in three steps, i.e. scrub, rinse and dry. The major problem with this method is that the water needs to be clean and mineral-free. However, most water has some mineral content, which actually captures dirt and leaves deposits on the surface.
On the other hand, the dry wash method cleans and shines the surface in a single step and hence, is becoming a more popular choice. As compared to a wet wash, the cost of dry wash chemicals are expensive and much like waxing your car. This process involves a lot of elbow grease but end results are often less intrusive. With a dry wash interior cleaning and maintenance can be performed simultaneously.
Aircraft washing systems: Market Participants
Examples of some of the market participants in the global aircraft washing systems market identified across the value chain include:
- Nordic Aerowash Equipment
- Hydro Engineered Inc.
- Cleaning Debrring Finishing Inc.
- JRI Indstries
- Stoelting Cleaning Eqipment
- Utrasonic Power Corporation
- Jensen Fabricating Engineers Inc.
- Wanner Engineering Inc.
- Ransohoff Cincinnati
- Encon Evaporators
- Daimler Industries Inc.
- KMT Aqua Dyne Inc.
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