Automated ULD Handling Automation – making light work of heavy tasks

Baggage handling at airports is an extremely complex process that poses major logistical challenges. Tens of thousands of baggage items of varying sizes and shapes – suitcases, sport bags and backpacks – pass through conveyor systems and are sorted as they go. The goal is to ensure that passengers travel with their bags, nothing gets lost, and flight schedules and transfer times are adhered to. This is achieved through the use of automated solutions that convey the baggage quickly and seamlessly through the system.

A weak link in this automated baggage handling process is ground handling, where one employee shifts up to 20 tonnes of baggage every day. Unloading bags manually from unit load devices (ULDs) is extremely heavy work that can take a huge physical toll in the long term. Siemens Logistics has addressed this specific unloading process and developed the innovative, automated VarioTip.

A powerful, ergonomic solution that boosts efficiency

VarioTip empties up to 20 ULDs – around 800 items of baggage – per hour. Thanks to its powerful tilting mechanism, the device achieves an extremely high ULD unloading rate. What's more, VarioTip minimizes manual interventions and vastly improves ground handling ergonomics, both of which make for a noticeably optimized work environment.

In comparison to manual processing, airports using VarioTip can achieve a significantly higher, continuous baggage throughput in a shorter time. In addition, automated emptying enables baggage to be processed with greater speed, efficiency and sustainability.

VarioTip is already being used reliably and successfully at Munich Airport. Besides enhancing workplace ergonomics, the advanced solution achieves an unloading rate of around 99 percent in the Terminal 2 arrivals zone.

Would you also like to optimize your ground handling processes? Siemens Logistics’ experts are happy to help.

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