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MSG Production ready for takeoff in the Grenland aviation market

photo of founder Svein Gunnar Mæland and newly appointed general manager Bjørn Anker

Show top-of-the-range model: “We’re focusing on presenting the top-of-the-range model, the RS500 (Recycled System) – which combines aircraft washing and deicing – at the test centre before the summer,” say founder Svein Gunnar Mæland (front) and newly appointed general manager Bjørn Anker. Both of them are ready for takeoff to a large and fascinating aviation market and the launch of a new aviation industry in Grenland.

The landing of MSG’s Boeing 737 in front of 1200 curious onlookers at Geitryggen in Skien in January heralded the start of MSG founder Svein Gunnar Mæland’s concept for the aviation market, and the beginning of a new aviation industry in Grenland.

Founder Svein Gunnar Mæland and the entire MSG team are on the final stretch of the implementation of MSG Production (Multi Solution Gate), which offers the world’s first closed aircraft washing, deicing and inspection system.

“We’re offering the aviation industry a ‘whole new world’ with this solution, and it’ll have major positive effects and benefits when it comes to costs, climate and the environment,” says Svein Gunnar Mæland.

Over the next few months, MSG Production will be completing a full-scale test centre with its Boeing 737 as a test aircraft on the Skien airport site in Geiteryggen.

Now taking off

What’s going to happen now?

“There are lots of things all going on at the same time at the moment,” explains Mæland. “We’re planning to present and demonstrate the facility in operation at some point in spring. We’re also planning an inauguration ceremony for the test centre before the summer.”

Mæland is hoping to welcome the Prime Minister to cut the ribbon and open the aviation industry’s new test centre at Geiteryggen.

“1200 people were here with us when the MSG aircraft landed, so we’re hoping to see at least 1200 and ideally more attending the opening of the test centre,” he says.

photo of test centre

MSG’s test centre is a clearly visible hangar 60 x 43 metres in area. The bay is now equipped with the advanced and eco-friendly Recycling System (RS) which washes, deices, recycles and recirculates water and chemicals, and the system can also be used for inspecting aircraft fuselages.

MSG’s test centre is a clearly visible hangar 60 x 43 metres in area. The bay is now equipped with the advanced and eco-friendly Recycling System (RS) which washes, deices, recycles and recirculate water and chemicals. The system can also be used for inspecting aircraft fuselages.

New phase – more people needed

Founding company MSG, which is being incubated at the innovation company Proventia at Herøya, has grown to 14 staff over the past year. According to the founder, the company will be needing even more staff in future. The last person to arrive is the new general manager.

photo of general manager Bjørn Anker (left), pictured together with founder Svein Gunnar Mæland.

“I’d never heard of MSG before Christmas, and now, one month on, I’m its general manager,” smiles Bjørn Anker (left), pictured together with founder Svein Gunnar Mæland.

“I’d never heard of MSG before Christmas, and now, one month on, I’m its general manager,” smiles Bjørn Anker (left), pictured together with founder Svein Gunnar Mæland. 

“I’d never heard of MSG before Christmas, and now, one month on, I’m its general manager,” smiles Bjørn Anker. “I’m impressed by the great team and everything they’ve established here in a short time. I’m looking forward to being part of the takeoff in the aviation market.”

“We’re really pleased to have such an experienced manager on board,” says Mæland, who will be spending most of his time on further development of the company, business contacts and customer relations.

“My work is never done,” says Mæland. “We must become even better and ‘greener’. And to do that, it’s a good idea to have our process and analysis environments at Herøya and the university environment so close by, and world-leading solar cell and battery experts within walking distance. Grenland Energy is high on our list of companies that we want to talk to going forward.”

Interest with conviction – major potential

Mæland reveals that the Armed Forces dropped in for an update recently.

“Many people are watching what we’re doing. We’re seeing a lot of interest from customers in Norway and internationally,” he says. “Even though we have a list that includes lots of interested parties, I’ll be focusing fully on acquiring our first customer in the autumn. There is enormous potential in the market, and will never be able to meet the entire aviation market.”

How many names do you think you’ll have on your list of customers in five years’ time?

“I reckon we’ll have 50 orders on our list over the next five years. Orders that will mean a lot of value added locally,” says Mæland with enthusiasm.

Start of a new aviation industry in Grenland

The two MSG managers are of the opinion that Geiteryggen is a site with the dimensions and enormous potential to accommodate even more aviation industry and aviation-related business.

“The fact that we ended up here at Geiteryggen in Skien was a complete coincidence, but it’s become crucial for us,” says Mæland. “We’ve being given a huge amount of assistance by the chairman and municipality, who’ve helped us to facilitate matters. They’re just as passionate as we are about MSG and creating more aviation industry at Geiteryggen. Everyone has done everything in their power to help us, all the way along the line,” says a very grateful Mæland.

“We’d love to be involved in attracting more companies and creating a joint showcase here.”

About MSG, Multi Solution Gate

The idea for MSG was born in 2009, when Svein Gunnar Mæland’s brother was unable to get home for Christmas because of snow and deicing problems. Discussions with the aviation industry revealed a clear need, and car man Mæland came up with the idea of adapting wash bay technology for vehicles to the aviation industry.

The name MSG has two meanings. The founder’s initials are MSG, and it also stands for Multi Solution Gate.

RS model: RS stands for Recycling System. The product model designation comes from Mæland’s passion for cars. When the time came for him to weld together his first prototype, he was allowed to borrow a barn belonging to a friend, who had to clear away his Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth to make space. The RS500 is the top-of-the-range model, a combined washing and deicing solution.

The success of MSG is something of a tale of triumph, involving the founder’s energy and enthusiasm in combination with lots of help along the way, professional staff, a forward-thinking airport manager, chairman and municipality, excellent advisors and competence brokers from industrial and innovation environments at Proventia, Growth in Grenland, Herøya Industrial Park, Telemark County Council, Innovation Norway and the UK.

MSG’s biggest milestone: in 2016, MSG received the biggest and most crucial Christmas present ever in history of the company. Founder Svein Gunnar Mæland explains what happened. “I was thoroughly grilled at a meeting with the EU’s Horizon 2020 bureaucrats, but they recognised the fact that the MSG solution was much of the market and worth investing in. They liked the solution, the market was interested and I had an entire airport in Skien where I could build my plant. This recognition resulted in a record amount from the EU, as the Research Council of Norway wrote on its website. We received the highest score and the largest amount ever awarded to an SME of our size in the transport and environment category,” explains Mæland with pride.

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