The twenty-second edition of the biennial international exhibition Inter Airport Europe, the trade fair dedicated to equipment, technology, design and airport services held at the futuristic exhibition district of Munich from 5 to 8 October, saw the record participation (+8% compared to the 2017 edition) of 14,392 visitors from 108 different countries.
The 659 exhibitors represented 40 different countries: the flags that have been flying higher are the ‘usual’ European colors of Italy, France and Germany that, playing at home, marked more than a quarter of the area, followed by that of the People’s Republic of China.
The trends of the year – promptly indicated by Ulika Tosner, head of organization – indicate many ‘likes’ on smart topics such as digitization and automation of airport logistics. So, along with the fever of the race for a better service for the 4.0 passenger, the ‘evergreen’ issue is about emissions reduction, for a sector that is traditionally thirsty for fossil fuel.
Some new products launched at Inter Airport Europe
But just in the week in which the three fathers who conceived the lithium-ion battery back in 1991 were awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in Stockholm, what did it happen – in terms of energy – among the stands of the Bavarian exhibition? The curiosity of the reporter was in fact attracted by the proliferation of the most varied electrical applications that the airport manufacturing sector is offering to handlers. In Italy, this path is also driven by a bill currently being examined by the Senate.
Nevertheless, there is no shortage of machinery that uses conventional energy sources: the diesel cycle engine in all its power variations resists and relaunches. Cummins presented engines from 75 kilowatts called ‘Stage V ultra’ tending to ‘NOx-zero’. Deutz is very present on small machinery; the Cologne-based company presented a new EGR valve for its 2.9-litre engine: lower temperatures on gas recirculation mean lower emissions. A few words but a lot of concreteness from the British Perkins team, which still equips a large number of small GSE (Ground Support Equipment) mobile machinery.
Follow the main road or innovate?
So, what will be the trend of mobile application manufacturers in the coming months? Are they willing to follow the main road by adopting technologically advanced solutions in pursuit of near-zero emissions or rather to rely on pioneering innovations related to the world of electric motors but which are also supported by the criticism and guidance of the legislator? Only time will tell…