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Swedish SIB brushes the snow from Korean landing runways

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For an airport, it is imperative always being able to guarantee the takeoff and landing runways condition and quality and to keep them free from snow and ice. For passenger comfort and safety, it can be crucial.

SIB Brush Tech in Västerås offers a cartridge brush system, consisting of a patented shaft and interchangeable cartridge brushes, to clean the machines and landing runways free from snow and ice. The cartridge system is perhaps the world's most efficient and secure systems with high performance and long life. Through smart solutions the system is easy to install, saving the backs of employees and improves the working environment. A reduction in the use of chemicals is furthermore a nice environmental bonus.

Of the total turnover of about 40 million SEK, around 80% consists of direct exports to Europe and North America. As a next step in its development, it was time to look at Asia and countries with major airports where snow can cause problems at airports. They chose Korea as the first country to investigate.

- We were curious about Korea and wanted to investigate if there was a demand for quality products. We also wanted to check if there was tough competition from other manufacturers in Asia, says Cecil Dahlberg, CEO of SIB Brush Tech.

Via Business Sweden's regional export adviser for Västerås began a collaboration with the office in Seoul. At the end of September 2015, they started a market check in South Korea. Through interviews with the largest airports in the country and discussions with other industry players, it turned out that there was a great demand for quality products, and that today only imported brands were used.

The right contacts and language skills

The company went over and met representatives of the two largest airports and some possible distributors for in-depth interviews and discussion on possible future cooperation. The trip resulted in SIB establishing a good relationship with a distributor that already had good contacts with the major airports and good experience of the company's type of products.

- We came in very well and got to meet important people at airports that would otherwise have been difficult meet if we had run the project in-house, says Cecil, and continues:

- Another reflection I made was that even if you are used to take care of things yourself when you are traveling, this is difficult in Korea. You have to have someone that speaks Korean, it does not work as well with just English.

In early May, the good news arrived. The company received an order for its cartridge system via the machine builders that will deliver to South Korea's main airport Incheon , in 2016 and 2017. Incheon airport has been awarded the world’s best airport for 11 consecutive years.

- Now it is obviously an advantage that we have the distributor in place and good connections with the airport, it paves the way for continued business, says Cecil Dahlberg.

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Johan Chun

Trade Commissioner South Korea Seoul Trade Commissioner South Korea, Seoul
+82 70 4713 5910