A smart way to transport nitrogen cylinders

Nitrogen plays a key role in aircraft servicing and maintenance. Unlike oxygen, nitrogen is an inert gas and is therefore not flammable. Nitrogen is used in low pressure applications (up to 320 psi) for inflating aircraft tires and high pressure applications (up to 3,500 psi) for servicing struts, accumulators and other components.

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

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

“For us, it’s a very good entry-level, budget product in a fairly competitive market,” says William McOnie, Sales and Business Development Manager – US, Canada and South America.

Perhaps its most unique feature is its swivel cylinder cradle. On some trucks, the cylinders are positioned horizontally. On the SMART trolley, the bottles, upright, can be rolled on a swivel cradle. Therefore, no lifting of jacks or other lifting equipment is required. Once the cylinders are in place, the cradle is then tilted to 135 degrees and ready for use. To remove the cylinders from the carriage, the cradle is again rotated 90 degrees.

“It’s much easier and more efficient,” McOnie says, noting that each cylinder can weigh around 70 pounds.

McOnie points out that the SMART cart reduces the need for bending and lifting, and therefore reduces back pain and injuries on the job.

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

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

In fact, the SMART cart, which accommodates up to three cylinders, is actually lighter than the standard two-cylinder cart, which is made with more steel.

The use of three cylinders is not necessary 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 cart. To prevent overinflation, there is an automatic shut-off. The control panel is also designed with a color code (blue for low pressure and yellow for high pressure), as well as different sizes of pipes and fittings. 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 jacks is 195 kg (approximately 430 lbs.). The dimensions are approximately 2 m (6.75 ft) by 1.22 m (approximately 4 ft) by 1.33 m (4.36 ft). The cart is manufactured with a powder coated mild steel chassis and frame. The chassis incorporates front axle roll steering and safe parking wheels/brakes with the tow bar in the upright position.

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

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

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

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

Semmco also offers an Oxygen SMART cart.

Semmco, a British engineering company founded in 1993, specializes in ground support equipment and aeronautical access platforms. The company’s headquarters are in the UK with additional offices located in Texas and Dubai.

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