Flightweight SmartCarts are not just a range of clever lightweight service equipment. The SmartCart System is a complete management system designed to offer airlines and aviation support companies genuine cost savings in the aviation logistics supply chain.
SmartCart is fully EASA certified and ready to fly
IATA calculates that losses of $50 million per year is probably a conservative estimate. The standard method to secure retail trollies and canisters is the use of padlocks and plastic seals which have a limited deterrent effect.
Research shows that most duty-free product theft is opportunistic and often because carts are left unlocked and unsealed in error. It takes seconds for the door of an unsecured cart to be opened and high value goods removed. This often happens when cabin crew have left the aircraft during turn round and the aircraft is under the control of service companies.
The AirGuard2 quickly identifies all operations and will highlight any lax procedure like staff failing to lock and secure the cart. AirGuard reports who opened the cart and when and this is valuable information for investigators. Training to correctly interpret audit trail information is provided during commissioning the system.
The threat from international terrorism is ever present and the prevention of unauthorised packages being hidden in carts and canisters is a major concern for law enforcement agencies. The need for a security device to protect against such an attack was high on the list of requirements when Flightweight engineers were commissioned to reduce the risks associated with theft and protect against terrorist attack.
AirGuard2 will identify any unauthorised access into a cart either by identifying a forced attack or by changing the seal number in the event a stolen key card is used. In this case the system reports who lost the card and when it was used. In either event the cart should be rejected pending further investigation.
All SmartCarts and SmartBoxes have a unique identity number recorded in the Cumulus System. The SmartCart System relies on every cart and canister being scanned when passes through a service centre for restocking. The unique service number allocated to each container is logged into Cumulus automatically as part of the data download.
The identity of every cart and canister is recorded at each location until it leaves on another flight to another part of the world where the same procedure is followed thus allowing managers to monitor the whereabouts of all their equipment at any given time.
By recalling this data and combining all data world-wide an accurate picture of the location of all assets is possible saving literally many hundreds of man hours currently needed for an accurate capital asset report. It also allows managers to know where there is spare equipment that could be moved to another centre for use instead of purchasing new equipment to make up a shortfall when new seasonal schedules are implemented.
It is because the location of all equipment is constantly recorded that allows SmartCart and SmartBox to be offered for lease purchase.
Using the same unique I/D number for all equipment allows managers to maintain up to date maintenance records which in turn, allows for the planning of regular service checks of equipment.
Although not mandatory at present, it is expected that EASA will require all equipment to undergo regular maintenance checks at pre-determined intervals and the SmartCart System makes it possible to know where each cart is at any given time so it can be pulled from service to undergo routine checks.
Audit trail data allows retail managers to visually check when retail carts were used on specific flights and level of interest shown by passengers. The audit report records every time a retail cart door was opened to retrieve sale items for inspection and possible sale.
Although not a definitive record of sales activity the system does show the level of duty free sales activity on a given flight and such information can be useful if linked to barcode scanned records every time a sale takes place.
Good security practice relies on discipline and set procedures being followed. For instance, it is known that a great deal of duty free theft is successful because onboard retail containers are left unlocked and unsealed when staff leave the aircraft for an overnight stop. They are probably tired and anxious to get off duty at the end of a long flight.
Any such occurrence is monitored by AirGuard2 and in the event of a theft security managers can quickly ascertain if containers were left unlocked. This is a strong management feature of the SmartCart System – it encourages staff to follow set procedures and records whether these routines are followed.
The operating cost of SmartCart will vary between customers but in general terms, electronic locking and sealing costs less daily than using traditional plastic seals and padlocks.
Moreover, because the location of every SmartCart is recorded by the Cumulus System on a day to day basis, Flightweight can offer a lease purchase option through Econocom Ltd who specialise in financing IT & electronic equipment. Capital purchase expenditure is eliminated and the monthly lease cost is virtually self-financing through the operational savings achieved.
Depending on individual airline operations it is likely that, adding administration costs to the purchase of plastic seals and padlocks, the daily leasing rate of the system will be less expensive than the use of plastic seals and padlocks with their limited deterrent effect.
SmartCart is manufactured from FibriRock which is a by-product of the linen industry. Linen is made from Flax and is therefore plant based. 95% of SmartCart is recyclable with the electronic seal recycled through the WEE system.
Fuel economy achieved by weight saving leading to a significant decrease in CO2 emissions helps with carbon offset calculations.
Plastic seals are a major contributor to Foreign Object Debris (FOD) on the airport apron with the problems this causes when ingested by jet engines. Similarly, broken and discarded plastic seals can cause problems inside aircraft; maintenance managers’ report that seat runners are often blocked and cause significant delays removing them when time is at a premium. Some managers’ report seals melted inside ovens making them inoperable because food is tainted by molten plastic.
Electronic sealing eliminates all of these problems and the general consensus is that anything that results in plastic seals no longer being used has to be seriously considered.