A SMART Way to Transport Nitrogen Cylinders

April 14, 2022
With a pivoting cylinder cradle and other user-friendly features, Semmco’s Nitrogen SMART Trolley is compact and efficient.

Nitrogen plays a key role in servicing and maintaining aircraft. Unlike oxygen, nitrogen is an inert gas and therefore is not flammable. Nitrogen is used in low pressure (up to 320 psi) applications for aircraft tire inflation and high pressure (up to 3500 psi) applications to service struts, accumulators and other components.  

Most commonly used for inflating tires, Semmco’s Nitrogen SMART trolley offers three demountable cylinders.

Compared to other Semmco nitrogen trolleys, such as the Nitrogen Trolley – 2 Cylinder Demountable, the SMART trolley is considered an entry-level option with a more compact and efficient design.

“It’s a really good, cost-effective, entry-level product for us in quite a competitive market,” says William McOnie, sales and business development manager – USA, Canada and South America.

Perhaps its most unique feature is its pivoting cylinder cradle. On some trolleys, the cylinders are positioned horizontally. On the SMART trolley, the cylinders, standing upright, can be rolled onto a pivoting cradle. As a result, no lifting of the cylinders or other lifting equipment is required. Once the cylinders are in place, the cradle then is reclined to 135 degrees and ready for use. To take the cylinders off the trolley, the cradle again is pivoted to 90 degrees.

“It’s a lot easier and more efficient,” McOnie says, noting each cylinder can weigh approximately 70 pounds.

McOnie points out having the SMART trolley reduces the need to bend and lift, and therefore reduces back pain and workplace injuries.

“The cradle design is very clever,” he says. “When we designed it, we were able to shave off some components, which are a nicety in the standard trolley, which enabled us to call back some material costs and offer a slightly more competitive price to the customer.”

The design is also smaller, lighter weight and easier to maneuver around compared to the standard trolley, he adds.

In fact, the SMART trolley, which fits up to three cylinders is actually lighter than the standard trolley with two cylinders, which is made with more steel.

The use of three cylinders is not required with the SMART trolley but gives customers more capacity than a standard two-cylinder trolley. McOnie says Semmco customers generally prefer having a two- or three-cylinder capacity.

Several safety features have been incorporated into the SMART trolley. To prevent overinflation, there’s automatic shutoff. The control panel also is designed with color coding (blue for low pressure and yellow for high pressure), as well as different hose and fitting sizes. These fittings ensure that only the low pressure hose can connect to the low pressure fitting and the high pressure hose can only connect to the high pressure fitting.

The weight of the trolley without cylinders is 195 kg (about 430 lbs.). Dimensions are about 2 m (6.75 feet) by 1.22 m (about 4 feet) by 1.33 m (4.36 feet). The trolley is made with a powder-coated, mild steel chassis and frame. The chassis incorporates front-axle bearing steering and safe wheel/brake parking with the tow bar in a vertical position.

According to Semmco officials, calibration of the gauges every three years would provide sufficient maintenance, though some companies and organizations may require calibration annually or at another interval. The SMART trolley control panel can be removed from its recessed steel cabinet by unfastening four screws.

 “What you get with a Semmco product is a real quality build, safety features are really thought through and tried and tested. All of our products are designed with the end-user in mind. We try to think about what issues he or she has and how can we make our products really simple but really robust and do the job they’re designed to do extremely well,” says Sarah McOnie at Semmco.

She points out a sister product to the Nitrogen SMART Trolley, the Nitrogen Portable Charging Kit, is designed to provide a quick topping up of aircraft door systems or other components. The kit comes in a bag with a double zip that allows visibility of the content gauge, regulator and fill pressure gauge. Any nitrogen trolley can be used to refill the cylinder.

”What our customers really like is that they know if they’ve bought a Semmco product, it’s going to last them for years and years,” she says.

Semmco also offers an Oxygen SMART Trolley.

Semmco, a British engineering company established in 1993, specializes in ground support equipment and aviation access platforms. The company’s headquarters is in the United Kingdom, and  additional offices are located in Texas and Dubai.

About the Author

Rebecca Kanable | Assistant Editor

Rebecca Kanable, a veteran journalist, joined Endeavor Business Media's aviation group in 2021. She has worked for various publications, including trade magazines and newspapers.

Contact: Rebecca (Becky) Kanable

Assistant Editor of Airport Business, AMT, Ground Support Worldwide 

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