Having established a presence at Dubai South around one year ago, engineering company Semmco is targeting further growth in the Middle East by continuing to develop new products for the region.
Stuart McOnie, managing director of the UK-headquartered company that specializes in ground support equipment and aviation access platforms for the aviation sector along with similar products for the rail and helicopter segments, says the Middle East is an increasingly important market for the company and has so far spawned relationships with airlines such as Etihad and low-cost carrier flydubai.
In its regional growth efforts to date, along with setting up its maintenance and assembly operation at Dubai South in early 2017, it has formed a manufacturing partnership and specifically developed products tailored for regional operator requirements.
“With inquiries coming in there was a need to have people in the Middle East dealing with potential customers face to face instead of via email or phone,” he says. So far, these moves have proved beneficial, McOnie says. “By bringing quality products to the market and also showing a strong commitment to the region, maintenance teams are able to work on aircraft safely while being more efficient.”
When developing aviation products, Semmco typically focuses on which type of aircraft are being ordered globally and used this information to create equipment able to cater for multiple aircraft types. “For widebodies, airlines are typically looking at the Boeing 777 and 787 as well as the Airbus A330 and A350, so we’ve designed some specific products that are able to work on all four of these aircraft types,” McOnie explains. One instance of this in action is its work with Emirates in developing ground support equipment to be used on both the airline’s 777 and A380 fleets.
With new product development continuous, McOnie identifies the development of digital tire pressure equipment as a line with potential for further growth. Essentially, this is because of the growing rate of digitization taking place in aircraft maintenance hangars and the increasing prevalence of devices such as mobile phones and tablets in day-to-day operations, he believes.
“This equipment would link some of the readings we get from digital pressure measurements to phones and to the cloud,” he says. “This will further eradicate the need for using paper in recording information and hopefully reducing any potential human error.”