Airport logistics Siemens at the Passenger Terminal Expo 2014 in Barcelona

Siemens is showcasing its portfolio under the slogan "Efficient, Flexible Airport Solutions" at this year's Passenger Terminal Expo to be held March 25 to 27, 2014, in Barcelona. The company will present products, solutions and services which help airport and airline managers to meet the growing demands of modern airport operations. Particular highlights include the recently developed SmartTilter for dynamic tilting on tray conveyors, as well as the Baggage Vision System that automatically reads baggage labels.

Baggage Vision System automatically reads baggage labels

Baggage labels with barcodes can end up torn or twisted after the wear and tear associated with loading and unloading or long trips around baggage carousels. Once a label can no longer be clearly read, the item of baggage it is attached has to be diverted to manual coding stations, meaning that some suitcases and bags are delayed on the way to their destination. The Siemens Baggage Vision System does not rely only on the barcode, but instead combines barcode reading with optical character recognition (OCR) to identify the flight number and destination airport shown on the label. This results in better recognition rates and reduces the work needed at the manual coding stations.

SmartTilter for dynamic tilting on tray conveyors

The SmartTilter being showcased by Siemens at the Passenger Terminal Expo represents the very latest technology for dynamic tilting of trays. The new SmartTilter enables bags to be offloaded at their delivery point with a maximum speed of 2.5 m/s without having to stop the tray. The discharge points can be positioned flexibly and very close together, thus be placed on a minimum of space. The SmartTilter can reach a maximum throughput of 2400 discharges per hour.

Self check-in/bag drop: the baggage check-in of the future

The provision of self-service check-in facilities via machines or the Internet and smartphones is becoming increasingly important. Passengers have the flexibility of checking in when and where they want to, reserving their seats at any time, and saving themselves from tedious standing in line. The advantage for airlines is that this takes the strain off their infrastructure and personnel. The modular solution includes several bag-drop variants which can be adapted to meet the individual requirements of airports and airlines. It caters for both open and closed systems.

An intuitive user interface enables passengers to complete the check-in themselves in less than a minute, no matter which airline passengers are flying with or which language they speak. The software can be easily integrated into the software programs of the individual airlines, which use the CUSS (Common Use Self Service) standard used by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This enables all airlines to use the same check-in devices, which are provided and maintained by the airport, avoiding the need to have to install their own equipment. In future, Siemens and Materna will be offering this CUSS-based solution to airports in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Baggage Warehouse for maximum convenience

As in a distribution center, all types of baggage can be stored fully automatically and retrieved when the flight is called. The solution is called the Baggage Warehouse and is based on a high-bay warehouse. The system combines the advantages of fast, efficient individual transport with space-saving sorting. Bags are moved vertically by lifts and horizontally by shuttles. The Baggage Warehouse is controlled by a warehouse management system that knows the position of each tray in the high-bay warehouse and feeds the bags, sorted by destination, back into the baggage handling system at the right time. The Lift&Run system has been in successful use in distribution logistics for a long time. Siemens also offers other baggage storage technologies, such as tray buffer lines and the dynamic tray storage lines.

The Baggage Warehouse can also be used as an Early Bag Store (EBS). Instead of expensive storage and retrieval machines, it also uses the Lift&Run system that is considerably faster, cheaper and kinder to the environment than other solutions on the market. EBS systems are in use both at hub airports with large numbers of transfer passengers and at airports which offer their passengers the option of checking in early. The focus is on maximum convenience for the passengers, who should feel comfortable in the airport and be able to go for a meal or go shopping without being encumbered by baggage.



Monica Soffritti


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