IAI develops robot baggage loading for Singapore airport

Ben Gurion Airport  photo: Tamar Matsafi

The system will dramatically improve the passenger experience by reducing baggage loss and damages.

Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1) in collaboration with Singapore company ST Engineering has presented the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) with a comprehensive solution for improving baggage handling for both outgoing and incoming flights at Changi Airport. The system will dramatically improve the passenger experience by reducing baggage loss and damages.

The IAI - ST Engineering system was one of five proposals selected for the final stage of building a full scale demo system, with funding from CAAS out of 20 submitted.

A multi-flight baggage handling system tracks, sorts and transfers each baggage item to its respective flight for loading onto Changi Airport standard Baggage Trolleys (BTs). Specially designed transfer tables that are installed on existing baggage conveyors direct each baggage towards its designated BT for loading. Robotic arms carefully pick up each baggage item and place it within the BT directed to its designated flight. The BT is continuously scanned using advanced sensors to analyze the 3-dimensional volume of the BT, and identify the best location to place each baggage item. We also introduced autonomous baggage tractors (ABT) that navigate autonomously to the plane, utilizing RFID transponders and Global Positioning System (GPS) signals to transport loaded baggage trolleys to the plane.

IAI provided a model for special loading device facilitating fast loading and unloading of baggage onto the plane, enabling the workers to move easily within the plane's cargo hold, without having to bend their back within the confined space. In addition we provided first of its type, Changi BT Offloader. The Baggage Offloader automatically lifts and tilts the Changi BT filled with baggage from incoming flights, and transfers the baggage to the airport incoming baggage carousel. A fully loaded baggage trolley is offloaded within approximately 1 minute without the need for human workers to lift each baggage from the trolley. The system can also be modified to load and unload ULD containers.

IAI's system offers Changi Airport unique advantages including: increasing airport BT build-up and offloading capacity up to 600% with the same manpower; being cost effective, utilizing and compatible with existing airport infrastructure (BTs, etc.); multi-flight baggage sorting and transfer system; improved traceability of baggage; substantial reduction in damage to baggage; improved worker health; very easy to operate without requiring extensive training or technical know-how. IAI EVP and General Manager of the Military Aircraft Group Shaul Shahar said, "This state of the art robotics and autonomous technology success reaffirms IAI as a leading provider of cutting edge airport operations solutions. Singapore is highly respected as an early adopter of advanced high-tech solutions, with other countries closely monitoring its innovations."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 20, 2017

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017

Ben Gurion Airport  photo: Tamar Matsafi
Ben Gurion Airport photo: Tamar Matsafi
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