The manual baggage handling system in airports is time consuming, costly, and labor intensive.
Airports grapple with the task of processing and categorizing thousands of pieces of luggage on a daily basis, a challenge exacerbated by the growing number of travelers.
This feat is made possible primarily through the reliable operation of conveyor systems, which must function seamlessly without any interruptions.
The airport robots market is expected to surpass US$2,568.14 million by 2030, with a 20.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for airport baggage system use
In this post, we’ll take a look at how baggage handling works, the introduction of automated baggage handling systems in airports, why companies are opting for them and finally, the top five companies operating in this space.
How Does Baggage Handling In Airport Work?
Airport baggage systems are tailored to each airport's size, capacity, location, and regional investments.
They largely rely on automation, and continuous technological advancements promise even greater efficiency and improved passenger experiences.
Leading-edge baggage systems can be seamlessly integrated with other airport applications, providing a comprehensive view of the operational environment.
This integration strengthens the management of baggage and other systems, ensuring compliance with vital security protocols.
The Baggage Journey
The baggage journey starts at the passenger check-in and bag drop. This can be facilitated through a dedicated counter or a self-service kiosk at the airport or a designated area.
At this stage, a unique bar-coded tag is generated and affixed to the luggage. Modern RFID tags can also hold additional passenger and itinerary information.
- Acceptance into the Airport Baggage System
The baggage is received in the airport system through a network of conveyors.
These conveyors guide the luggage through security scans and ensure it reaches the correct departing aircraft.
Advanced systems automatically cross-verify baggage with boarded passengers before loading.
If a mismatch is detected, an audible alarm alerts ground handlers. The precise location within the aircraft or container is continuously updated in real-time.
In cases of multi-leg itineraries (interlining), baggage is moved from one aircraft to another.
This process is critical, as it accounts for nearly half of all globally lost or misdirected luggage.
Upon reaching the destination airport, baggage is unloaded and transported to a designated collection point, where it is reunited with the passenger.
Integration of Automated Baggage Handling Systems in Airports
In recent years, airports have witnessed a significant integration of robotics to streamline various tasks.
These robots are currently employed in activities such as providing information to passengers and maintaining the cleanliness of airport premises.
Among these technological advancements, automated baggage handling systems stand out as a pivotal innovation, greatly facilitating operations within airports.
As technology continues to advance, we can anticipate a widespread implementation of robots in terminals across the world.
These automated systems will play a crucial role in optimizing and expediting airport luggage handling.
It is conceivable that in the near future, airport robots will become a commonplace sight, ushering in a historic transformation in the way we experience travel.
Reasons for Implementing Automated Baggage Handling System In Airports
Airports are adopting robotics and automation to address customer concerns regarding lengthy wait times for baggage retrieval, which can extend up to 10-15 minutes.
Additionally, optimizing early luggage handling has been a persistent challenge for baggage handling system in airports.
Robots offer a solution by significantly reducing passenger wait times, thereby streamlining existing operations.
While the primary beneficiaries are passengers, airlines and airport authorities also stand to gain, as increased efficiency encourages more people to choose air travel.
Improved Airport Security
Given the paramount importance of airport security, robots equipped with computer vision, machine learning, and artificial intelligence technologies hold significant potential.
They have the capability to scan airport terminals for individuals exhibiting suspicious behavior.
In cases of identification, robots can promptly alert security personnel or even detain the suspect, bolstering overall airport security measures.
Early Baggage Handling
Artificial intelligence-driven robots play a pivotal role in streamlining the baggage handling process, from check-in to destination airport retrieval.
These robots are equipped to assist in carrying passengers' bags, eliminating the need for manual transportation on trolleys.
Integrated sensors enable the robot to move alongside the passenger, lightening their load.
This leads to a more effective and efficient automated baggage handling system, alleviating passenger concerns about luggage.
This enhanced comfort during air travel may influence more individuals to opt for flying over alternative transportation modes.
Baggage Robot Concept
One innovative concept in this realm is the proposed baggage robot concept.
This envisions the use of autonomous and individual transport robots, strategically deployed to optimize the floor plan and achieve the desired capacity of airport baggage handling systems.
By employing this forward-thinking approach, airports aim to further elevate their operational efficiency and passenger experience.
Automated Baggage Handling System Examples
Here are some instances of airports effectively incorporating robotics into their baggage handling systems in airport operations:
Krasnodar International Airport, Russia
This Russian airport is in the process of implementing robots to streamline the baggage selection and loading procedure.
Changi Airport, Singapore
In collaboration with Sarcos Technology and Robotics Corporation, Changi Airport Group has successfully demonstrated an autonomous baggage handling system located outdoors, showcasing a significant leap in technological advancement.
Dallas Fort Worth Airport, United States
This American airport has made substantial investments in automated baggage handling systems. This move is aimed at enhancing operational efficiency while simultaneously reducing labor expenses.
Unipack is equipped with a unique gripper system and a buckling arm robot. It is adept at transferring and positioning items of luggage into flight containers or onto conveyor belts.
This technology is currently deployed in several airports to automate the final phase of the baggage handling process.
These examples illustrate how airports worldwide are leveraging robotics to revolutionize their baggage handling systems in airports, leading to increased efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Baggage Handling Systems Companies
Airports are continuously working towards enhancing the efficiency of their baggage and cargo handling systems while reducing instances of lost luggage.
We’ve listed the top five global companies specializing in baggage conveyor belts, luggage tagging, and comprehensive baggage handling solutions.
These companies are at the forefront of designing and implementing cutting-edge solutions to enhance baggage handling processes at airports, ensuring a seamless travel experience for passengers.
#1 BEUMER Group
BEUMER Group is a global leader in baggage handling solutions. They offer integrated systems to optimize the movement of baggage in airports, ensuring efficient and reliable operations.
Their system includes:
- Airport Software Suite
- Automated Container Handling System
- Automated Container Unloader
- BEUMER autover® Independent Carrier System
- Baggage Loader
- Baggage Manipulator
- Baggage Unloader
Vanderlande specializes in innovative baggage handling systems.
They are known for their cutting-edge technology that enhances the speed and accuracy of baggage processing in airports worldwide.
More than 600 airports have deployed their systems. Their innovative systems include:
- Security Screening
- Bag storage
- Bag sortation
- Unload/Transfer break
Siemens is a renowned multinational corporation providing a wide range of solutions, including advanced technologies for baggage handling.
They deliver state-of-the-art automation systems to optimize airport logistics. Their system features:
- Early bag storage
- VarioBelt HighSpeedDiverter (HSD 3.0)
- Baggage carousels
- Bag IQ
#4 Daifuku Airport Technologies
Daifuku specializes in creating high-performance baggage handling systems.
Their end-to-end solutions are designed to streamline the movement of baggage, reduce delays and enhance overall airport efficiency.
Their systems include:
- Self Service Technologies
- Baggage Handling Systems
- Airport Operation Systems
- Operations and Maintenance
- Checkpoint Screening
#5 Alstef (Former: Glidepath)
Alstef (former Glidepath) is a leading provider of baggage handling technology.
They focus on creating customized systems that improve the flow of baggage from check-in to loading, contributing to smoother airport operations.
Their system features:
- Traditional check-in conveyors
- Swift drop – self-service bag drop
- Transport and sortation conveyors
- Bagxone – AGV fleet
- Avibatch – batch baggage AGV
- Aviload - ULD & containers AGV
- BHS – human intrusion detection
In conclusion, the integration of robotics and automation technologies into baggage handling systems in airports marks a significant milestone for the industry.
This data-driven approach, utilizing information from bookings, boarding passes, and luggage access, enables airports to predict passenger traffic accurately.
This fine-tuning leads to smoother and more efficient operations. The benefits are immense, promising improved efficiency and a reduction in errors.
This advancement has the potential to revolutionize how baggage is managed in airports, setting new standards for operational excellence in the world of automated baggage handling systems.
What is the importance of baggage handling in the airport?
The baggage handling system plays a crucial role in ensuring that passengers' luggage is safely transported from the check-in counter to the appropriate trolleys or containers.
This process involves thorough security checks and screening, as well as organized sorting and storage procedures.
What is the purpose of baggage inspection?
The baggage inspection is a significant step in airport security procedures. It ensures safety.
This is because the majority of incidents involving the unauthorized transport of materials and illicit goods tend to happen through their concealment within personal luggage.
How can airlines improve baggage handling?
To enhance baggage handling, airlines can employ advanced techniques. This involves closely monitoring crucial connections and identifying any potential hiccups as they occur.
By doing so, airlines stand to gain several advantages. Notably, passengers will enjoy a smoother experience and higher satisfaction levels, owing to fewer instances of missed connections and misplaced baggage.
This improvement significantly improves the overall quality of service provided by the airline.