With many airports needing higher capacity but without additional real estate, a constant programme of refreshing and changing markings on the airfield is often in progress. It is essential to ensure that all lines are drawn correctly, quickly and efficiently, so airports must choose the right equipment from a supplier that understands their needs. Enter Borum Industri.
The quality of markings on airfields, safety and passenger-side areas are vital to an airport's efficient operation. Airports know it is a priority, but they want to make sure that the equipment they use does the job for a reasonable price. It is yet another area in which the industry wants to use higher-quality equipment but also get the best return on investment.
Line marking is a difficult task, not least because there are often very narrow windows of opportunity to get the machines out onto the airfield. The equipment used must also handle a growing variety of colours and types of marking throughout an airport - from very wide lines that need to be applied and dried quickly to very detailed markings on the airfield.
The technology required to quickly and accurately apply diverse markings is becoming more sophisticated, so choosing the right supplier is vital.
At one company, Borum Industri, the CEO knows the importance of lines from his days on the football pitch. Ib Neustrup Simonsen played in Denmark's highest division, the Superliga, and won several national titles as captain of Aalborg BK. He applies the same collaborative approach to the pursuit of excellence in his current business as he did on the pitch.
"I've been dealing with international companies for more than 30 years in many different industries, even when I was a professional football player. I played sport at a high level but was also involved on the business side. Sport is a business like any other, and business is about people; it is about getting them moving in the same direction, whether that's on the pitch or off it," says Simonsen.
Borum Industri has been a manufacturer of road-marking machines for more than four decades. Over that time, it has developed an offering targeted specifically at airports and has become one of the industry's leading suppliers. Working closely with customers, it has come to understand what airports need: reliable line-marking machines that can handle large areas, short deadlines and multicolour application while maintaining the operator's safety.
It has a wide range of self-propelled line-marking machines and truck solutions for airports that can be tailored to specific requirements. Innovation is also central to Borum's strategy, and the company recently released its new Borum Zirocco road dryer that cleans and dries to allow line marking in wet conditions.
"The company has a lot of experience in the airport business, and we build customised solutions for each client. Machines must always work; they must be reliable and manoeuvrable, but they must also be efficient. Borum machines help make sure that a job is done in as short a time as possible to a very high standard and in a cost-effective way," says Simonsen.
"All of the work is computerised so that it is done exactly the same way each time. This can help clients predict exactly how much time it will take and how much paint they will need. Cost-efficiency is one of the most important elements. These types of machines and laying lines are expensive, so we must make sure that they pay back quickly on the investment," he adds.
Borum's added value comes partly through its technology and partly through its commitment to partnerships with clients. Its collaboration with Schalles, one of the oldest German road-marking companies, is a good example and proved invaluable in a recent project.
Schalles noticed Borum machines at Intertraffic Amsterdam, and that was the start of a collaboration that saw the companies work together in various projects, such as at Düsseldorf Airport, where Schalles used a Borum Master BM 5000, which is set up for single-colour and dual-colour lines. For the Düsseldorf project, the machine used special stainless steel tanks to make daily filling and cleaning easier. It was required to make 90cm lines at high speed. The previous machine only ran at 1.5km/h, but the more efficient pump on the BM 5000 allows it to run at 6.0km/h.
At Vienna International Airport, Borum worked on a project for Flughafen Wien that required not only the application of 180cm lines using four atomising paint guns but also dual-colour lines for taxiways. Together with the customer and MAN Truck, Borum designed a customised truck solution to meet these specific demands.
"There are many different colours and sizes of lines that they require on the field, cargo and the passenger side. Our equipment can work in big fields and in very narrow areas, too. The technology we use has improved a lot over the years, with more-advanced computer systems and GPS, but operators have become more skilled as well.
"We have some very high-tech staff who are constantly developing better machines, and it is vital that we train people, through our Borum Academy, to use these machines as they need very skilled operators. You need high quality in the machine, the paint, the operator and the after-sales service, which is why we offer a full package of spare parts, as well as technicians to repair equipment and install computer upgrades. The quality of service is as important as the equipment."
There is no doubt that Borum puts all its efforts into not only being ahead in terms of technology but also its understanding of the airport industry.