Reducing Weight to Improve Safety and Productivity

June 8, 2022
By using lighter materials for its PCA Super Hose, ITW GSE found a way to enhance ease-of-use for ground handlers on the ramp.

While looking for a way to provide a more durable, long-lasting pre-conditioned air (PCA) hose with significantly less weight and better handling characteristics, officials at ITW GSE found inspiration in the lightweight, abrasion-resistant materials used to make motorcycle riding gear.

Company officials utilize a version of that material for its patented PCA Super Hose. The result is a hose that weighs less than half of other PCA hoses made from standard vinyl, explains Del Innes, regional sales manager for ITW GSE Cables and Hoses.

“The super lightweight materials make the Super Hose the safest to handle and store,” Innes says, adding the company’s Super Hose has been manufactured for the last 15 years. “Strong, abrasion-resistant construction with lock-stitched reinforced seams results in long service life and improved lifecycle costs.”

The high strength, No-Rip inside liner is constructed of woven nylon, which provides longer life without breaking down and eliminates debris getting into the aircraft ducts, according to Innes.

“The distinctive high visibility orange color adds to safety for those servicing the aircraft on the ramp,” he adds.

Another key benefit of the ITW GSE Super Hose is that it requires less storage space, whether t is being used on passenger loading bridges with hose reels or baskets, or mobile trailer-mounted PCA units.

“Super Hose is currently in use around the world on fixed mounted and mobile PCAs as well as PCAs on passenger loading bridges,” Innes notes, adding primary customers are airlines and airports – depending on who owns and services the PCA units.

Recent updates include improvements for ease of use and durability, such as Velcro enclosures, enhanced stitching and upgraded radiant barrier insulation.

What’s more, the Super Hose’s reduced weight makes it safer for ground handling agents to use on the ramp.

 “Operators will be able to get the PCAir hose to the aircraft faster and store the hose with ease without straining themselves. This helps to reduce lost time injuries for employees,” Innes says.

According to Innes, ITW GSE’s PCA hoses provide excellent airflow to the aircraft, especially when coupled with the JB729-13-360 Swivel Aircraft Connector assembly, which helps eliminate the twists and kinks in the hose run.

“The heavier the usages, the more important it is to have a durable product that is safer for the operators,” Innes adds. “All PCA hoses are subject to damage and abuse, or eventually wear out, so they need to be periodically inspected and replaced to ensure proper service.”

Innes encourages anyone spec’ing PCA accessories to consider high performance hoses and connectors. Doing so will improve airflow to the aircraft and result in improved crew and passenger comfort.        

About the Author

Josh Smith | Editor