ITW GSE has launched a set of technologies that enables individual ground support units to work together at airport gates.
The new solution – EcoGate – was developed to help airports achieve efficiencies that can only be realised by linking gate equipment such as GPUs, PCAs, charging stations and even aircraft detection systems into an integrated, intelligent system.
The central EcoGate technology is ITW GSE’s Intelligent Power Management (IPM), which is available as an option on the company’s new 3500 PCA unit. With IPM, all ITW GSE equipment can be powered from a single power line running from the gate’s power supply to the 3500 PCA. From there, IPM allocates power dynamically to the different units – always prioritising the needs of GPUs, while ensuring that total power capacity is not exceeded. By managing power allocation in this way, EcoGate enables airports to upgrade or add new gate equipment without having to install costly new power infrastructure.
ITW GSE division director of R&D Bo Vork Nielsen said: “Airports want to improve their gate technology, but many are held back because of limited power capacity and the high cost of installing new infrastructure. Because most GPUs, PCAs and similar units are designed to always accommodate peak loads, these units operate with 35–50% surplus capacity on average. Thanks to IPM, EcoGate takes advantage of this surplus to power additional or upgraded equipment – always prioritising the needs of GPUs and without exceeding a pre-set limit on total power consumption.”
Beyond Intelligent Power Management, EcoGate integrates functionality as diverse as automated aircraft type detection and management of charging stations for battery-powered equipment into a unified system. According to ITE GSE, integrating these technologies ensures an easier learning curve for operators, less risk of human error, lower installation costs, and carbon footprint reductions via further electrification – in addition to the smarter use of available power.
Looking ahead, ITW GSE plans to continue developing new EcoGate enabled equipment with each new integration expected to deliver efficiencies and benefits that would not be possible without the “teamwork” that EcoGate enables. In this sense, EcoGate serves as ITW GSE’s platform for ever-tighter integration of equipment at the gate and, eventually, airport terminals more broadly, the company stated.
Image: ITW GSE