People mover at Miami International Airport
1.12-km Achieved by Integrated Corporate Strength(Page 1/2)
Commitment and passion of team results in dream launch in Miami
Florida’s Miami International Airport is attracting increasing attention as a hub linking the United States with the Caribbean and South America.
On the roof of the airport’s North Terminal Building rapid-paced construction is under way and the cutting-edge people mover transit system is scheduled for completion in July 2010.
The people mover developed by the Sumitomo team is a fully automated 1.12-km mass transit system for passengers arriving and departing to move between the airport’s terminals after undergoing security checks.
Sumitomo Corp., in cooperation with business partner Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., took charge of coordinating the entire project -- from the transit system’s construction, including the selection of a U.S. partner, and the fabrication of transit cars to maintenance work.
Sumitomo was able to scale the huge wall that so often faces Japanese companies fixed on entering the U.S. people mover market thanks to its strong desire and sincere approach, marking a significant breakthrough and, indeed, Sumitomo’s first foray into the home of the mass transit system.
Sumitomo won its first people mover order in November 1999.
“We were able to win the order not because we proposed a short-term solution but because we came up with a proposal that addressed the client company’s position and expectations well,’’ says Gino M. Antoniello recalling the time when Sumitomo was awarded the contract. Mr Antoniello has headed transportation systems and equipment business at Sumitomo Co. of America for more than 20 years. As the Program Director, he led the negotiations for the people mover project and its success can be greatly attributed to his role.
“We felt strongly that we were finally able to land in the United States, the home of people movers. We also felt that we were finally able to avenge,’’ says Takeshi Kato, who spearheaded the project along with Mr Antoniello. Mr Kato took charge of the people mover business in 1994, the same year Sumitomo decided to branch out into the U.S. market.
Gino M. Antoniello, Vice President, Transportation Systems & Equipment Business Unit, Sumitomo Co. of America
Sumitomo took on the challenge of entering the United States, the home of people mover systems, armed with comprehensive strengths accumulated over many years.
Sumitomo’s transportation equipment business was launched more than 50 years ago. At first, the company dealt in steel-made railway car wheels, later expanding the scope of business to finished railway cars. By undertaking these businesses, Sumitomo was able to accumulate total coordination know-how and capabilities that meet all kinds of client needs in the railway sector, including the building of entire railway systems, train operations and maintenance work.
By the 1970s, Sumitomo had entered into the development of a new public transportation system in which an unmanned car travels on a concrete track with rubber tires. The company clinched a turnkey contract for the Nanko Port Town Line in Osaka, which began service in 1981. Sumitomo’s new transportation system business expanded into the people mover business in the 1990s when the company struck a turnkey contract for a people mover system at Hong Kong International Airport. This opened in 1998, becoming an epoch-making event that marked the company’s entry into the overseas APM market.
Based on these successful business experiences, Sumitomo launched a full-fledged APM business in 1994, entering the U.S. market, which accounts for 80 percent of world people mover demand. It was Mr Kato who acted as a prime mover for Sumitomo’s U.S. operations for the APM business.
Takeshi Kato, Manager, Transportation Project & Equipment Department Section No.1.
Column:What is an automated people mover?
A people mover, technically called an automated people mover (APM), is an automated passenger transport system in which an unmanned car with rubber tires travels on a concrete track. APMs are propelled by an electric motor powered by electrical power lines laid along the track. The car is free of overhead power lines, preventing its surrounding scenic landscape from being blocked from view. With tires made of rubber, the car is basically free from vibration, ensuring quiet travel. It is also powerful enough to allow it to climb slopes effortlessly. The number of cars can be changed according to the degree of passenger traffic, a feature that is attracting strong demand for airport-based mass transit systems. Global needs for the transport system are concentrated on airports in North America, with 80 percent of the market deriving from this region. The people mover system Sumitomo is building for Miami International Airport will connect a 1.12-km distance between the airport and four stations. The people mover travels on a double track at a maximum speed of 55 kilometers per hour, carrying 9,000 passengers every hour.
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