Steingart says the company still targets the cargo market but lately there have not been many sectors of the aviation market that are particularly lucrative, although he remains optimistic about the future.
“They seem to be getting better,” he says of the airlines’ financial status. “I think oil is still a big piece of their expense side with it pricing around $82 per barrel.”
With the airlines’ fuel worries Steingart believes the push to go green will become stronger than ever in the near future. “That’s what I’m hearing for ‘08,” he says. “There are some airlines out there that are planning to make a stronger push to bring their GSE inventories into a green state.”
The renewed interest in all things green doesn’t worry NMC-Wollard. The company has already created environmentally friendly product lines. “We have a belt loader that’s electric, our passenger stairs for narrow and wide body are electric and our maintenance lift is electric. We are working on a high value bag tractor which will have an electric option and the Mongoose belt loader is also available in an electric version.”
The Mongoose, a belt loader currently in the testing period at NMC-Wollard, is an exciting new product for the company — one that Steingart hopes will help them enter the exclusive belt loader market.
“We are still testing it with two launch customers, but that period is winding down and we are talking to them about their 2008 fiscal budgets and capitol expenditures,” he says of launch customers United Airlines and WestJet. In the next 12 months it’s our goal to get the Mongoose off the ground, start securing business and begin to command a market share. There are only a couple companies that have tried to capture that market place and the idea behind the Mongoose is to allow the airlines to reduce their fuel costs, since they can take out the ‘magic carpet’ in the container portion of the aircraft and become more efficient with loading and unloading baggage and cargo.”
While the company is experiencing success with several of its product lines, Steingart sees a few challenges ahead, not just for his company but for all manufacturers in the industry.
“Power trains in general are a concern,” he says. “How is the industry going to react to Tier 3 engines and which ones are they going to incorporate into their fleets? What type of transmission they are going to want? So there are just a lot of balls up in the air right now when it comes to the standardization of power trains in the industry.”
As NMC-Wollard continues to grow and add to its product lines, Steingart see no limit to the expansion of the company his father helped form. “We are still in an active mode to acquire other companies as we see fit for our business model and our synergies here,” he says. “We are looking for other manufacturing companies and they don’t necessarily have to be tied to the airline business. We are still in a growth mode and trying to diversify the company to provide us with continued staying power.”
NMC-WOLLARD, Inc. introduces Mongoose®, a baggage conveyor that delivers luggage to the rear of the baggage compartment. The system includes a self propelled belt conveyor and an integrated power...