Airport logistics Siemens commissions state-of-the-art baggage handling system at Guangzhou International Airport

  • Tray technology and high-performance software for system control
  • Peak throughput of almost 15,500 pieces of luggage per hour
  • Suspended early-bag store for substantial space savings

A new baggage handling system from Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics (SPPAL) was commissioned right on schedule for the grand opening of Terminal 2 at Guangzhou International Airport in China. It is the first system in China to perform its most important sorting function exclusively with tray technology. To save valuable airport floorspace, Siemens installed for the first time a fully suspended early bag store (EBS) at Guangzhou which, offering storage space for 4,000 bags, is also the largest EBS anywhere in China. Designed for a peak throughput of almost 15,500 pieces of baggage per hour, the Siemens system will contribute decisively to the envisaged expansion of the airport’s capacity and to further enhancing passenger convenience. Guangzhou International Airport handled almost 66 million air travelers in 2017, making it one of the world's 20 largest airports.

“With our expert local team and great support from the customer, we managed to implement the baggage handling system in Guangzhou in less than two years – that’s a record time,” said Michael Reichle, CEO of Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics.

Siemens deployed the latest VarioTray generation to transport and sort the baggage. The intelligent construction of the solution ensures energy efficiency which is exemplary in the whole airport industry. The conveyor belts run over rollers to prevent dynamic friction between the belts and conveyors, and the considerably reduced weight of the new trays helps to lower energy costs even further. Siemens uses high-performance software applications to facilitate intelligent process control throughout the entire system.

The heart of the system is a tray-based early bag store offering capacity for 4,000 pieces of baggage in two high-bay warehouses. The Lift & Run system is considerably more flexible and efficient than comparable systems because lifts perform the vertical movements while shuttles perform the horizontal movements. These movements take place simultaneously yet independently of one another. Though the EBS weighs tons, Siemens suspended both of these huge high-bay stores from the ceiling to save substantial volumes of floorspace. Other parts of the baggage handling system are arranged underneath the suspended construction. Long-running tests were first conducted to verify the load-bearing capacity and safety of this technical innovation. The EBS system can be expanded by adding two additional high-bay warehouses to bring the total number of storage spaces up to 6,000.

Siemens implemented state-of-the-art solutions in passenger service areas as well. In the departure hall over 340 modern check-in desks equipped with automated baggage scanners await air travelers. These include 52 self-check-in stations where passengers can also drop off their baggage, making check-in quick and easy and eliminating long waiting times. And in the arrival area there are 21 ergonomically designed baggage carousels to service passengers.

Siemens has already carried out a number of major airport projects in China. Among the most recent successes are the baggage handling system in Terminal 3 of Beijing International Airport, and projects at Wuhan Tianhe and Xi'an Xianyang international airports. Siemens is currently modernizing and expanding the baggage handling system at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport.




Monica Soffritti


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