SPICE (SPace Innovative Catering Equipment) is a new galley concept developed by Airbus that is the result of extensive investigation into the needs and requirements of the airline community.
The benefits of the SPICE are so significant that Airbus believes the concept has the potential to become the first new industry-wide standard for galleys in over forty years.
SPICE replaces traditional catering trolleys with light-weight low-cost boxes, and foldable carts for service. A transfer table has been developed which enables better use of storage space at above the work surface, and enhances galley ergonomics. Furthermore, SPICE galley equipment will have one standard size, replacing the current wasteful jumble of different standard sizes.
These innovations combine together to improve aircraft efficiency by saving considerable weight and space in the aircraft cabin.
For example, the galley space saved due to the improved storage efficiency of SPICE could enable an airline to add from two to 11 seats in the cabin of a typical widebody aircraft. The weight savings of SPICE have been estimated to be between 10 and 20 per cent compared to current galley systems, which results in hundreds of kilograms per aircraft.
Since major studies show that over sixty percent of occupational injuries among cabin crew occur in the galley, ergonomic innovations are particularly important in improving the aircraft as a workplace. This was recognized by the industry in 2007 when the SPICE concept won the Crystal Cabin Award in the Comfort and Health category at last year’s Hamburg Aircraft Interiors Expo.
Another key benefit of the SPICE design is the addition of fully closed storage compartments. The doors of these compartments significantly improve the aesthetics of the galley in order to bring the level of design up to the same standard as other areas in the cabin. Additionally, the closed compartments are fully refrigerated which means that food can be kept fresher.
Airbus anticipates that from early next decade, the SPICE concept would be available for installation on newly delivered aircraft as well as for retrofit on the in-service fleet.
In order to take the concept successfully through full functional testing, Airbus is in active discussions with airlines, galley and equipment manufacturers, and with airline caterers. The focus for 2008 is to continue working with these key stakeholders to develop the concept into a new, more efficient standard, that is compelling enough to be adopted industry-wide.