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Minimising GSE total cost of ownership -in Airside magazine´s winter issue

21 12 月, 2021
Minimising GSE total cost of ownership_

Airside magazine´s new winter issue is focusing on GSE total cost of ownership.

The piece includes input from Ben Reeves, VP Power Stow Americas, as well as a customer feedback from Don Redwine, director ground ops – GSE at Southwest Airlines:

Proven practice
For Ben Reeves, vice president Power Stow Americas, it is “proven practice” to assess the practicality and benefit of an initial investment in a particular item of GSE according to the expected TCO, rather than simply comparing initial purchase prices of different equipment. As he points out, total cost of ownership is simply the sum of capital expense (purchase price) and operational costs over lifetime of a given piece of equipment, and it offers a better yardstick of the practical burden of investing in any GSE.

According to Reeves, Power Stow’s well-known extendable belt loader, the Rollertrack Conveyor, is a high- uality, long-life machine that meets ground handlers’ demand for reliable, durable GSE and ensures high uptime and low maintenance costs. (The Rollertrack Conveyor is an extension to a standard belt loader. It reaches inside the aircraft bulk hold, makes a complete 90° turn, and quickly and reliably delivers bags to a handler working inside the aeroplane’s hold.)

Moreover, its semi-automated operation increases efficiency, and – through better team utilisation – ensures operational cost savings from day one. In short, he declares, the Power Stow Rollertrack Conveyor “offers the lowest TCO on the market”.

Power Stow achieves this, Reeves, says, through the high quality of the product in terms of its component parts and how the equipment is constructed, as well as through the support services provided, which include training, maintenance and servicing. Together, these facilitate the high uptime and long life of the product that represents – as a package – a low TCO option.

Moreover, thanks to its semiautomated operation, baggage and cargo unloading and loading operations, using the Rollertrack Conveyor require smaller teams compared to those using conventional belt loaders; thus, he notes, ground handler operators will cut operational costs.

Power Stow works closely with its customers to ensure that the value of its GSE is maximised for operators. Thus, Reeves informs: “We continuously introduce incremental improvements, to improve reliability and operation of the Rollertrack Conveyor. Our products serve our customers for decades in all weather conditions in any international airport environment.”

The operator’s viewpoint
Don Redwine, director ground ops – GSE, for US carrier Southwest Airlines, can give an operator’s view of the Rollertrack Conveyor and its benefits to a selfhandling carrier, including its value in terms of having a comparatively low TCO.

He says: “TCO is always a consideration on any type of equipment but it is only one factor in the decision. We also weigh in reliability, after-sales support, safety, design and initial cost into our analysis.” But:

“Power Stow has shown [itself] to be among the top performers in all these categories.” Redwine continues: “We are very comfortable with the high level of engineering and quality in the Power Stow product. We believe that every effort has been made to design in reliability and minimise downtime.”

That is despite the Power Stow product being “a complex piece of equipment”; indeed, Redwine argues, in many ways it would not be fair to make direct comparisons to standard style belt loaders that do not offer the same benefits of handling agent safety and ergonomics.

However, he enthuses: “The overall concept and design of a flexible extending belt loader is a game changer in the field. We know that our employees love them as we can see that they get three to four times the daily use hours on a Power Stow as opposed to a standard belt loader.

“Letting the machine do more of the work in the bins has a positive impact on the overall employee experience of operations and is less stressful on the bodies of the [handling] agents in the field.”

Finally, Redwine concludes: “We have always gotten great support from Power Stow even when we have faced unexpected challenges. They are great business partners for SWA [Southwest Airlines].”


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