An innovative approach to baggage handling

In the fast-changing aviation industry, passenger numbers are growing, but precise volumes are difficult to predict. Passenger expectations are also evolving. Other factors are impacting the way in which baggage handling logistics are developing, including the new ECAC Standard 3 screening regulations.

Vanderlande is introducing FLEET – a flexible logistic solution for baggage handling. By utilising intelligent autonomous vehicle technology, FLEET replaces the need for fixed conveyors and sorting systems.

“The aviation sector must find innovative solutions through which it can rapidly adapt to a dynamic market, while maintaining seamless operations on a limited footprint,” comments Andrew Manship, Executive Vice President Airports, Vanderlande. “With this in mind, Vanderlande is introducing Fleet – a flexible logistic solution for baggage handling.”

By utilising intelligent autonomous vehicle technology, Fleet replaces the need for fixed conveyors and sorting systems. Each individual vehicle within the fleet – or smart automated guided vehicle (AGV) – carries a single bag and determines the most optimal route through the airport. Thanks to its design, FLEET is both scalable and flexible, and changes are easy to make. FLEET is also resilient. If a unit fails to operate, only one bag is affected, and other vehicles can bypass it. This guarantees operational certainty.

Vanderlande’s software is based on ‘swarm’ intelligence. This governs the collective behaviour of the autonomous vehicles as they interact locally with each other and their environment. Combined with advanced, predictive data analytics and cloud-based management, it enables continuous adaptation and improvement.

Onboard intelligent sensors indicate when a vehicle needs servicing, and it can drive itself to the ergonomic maintenance area. Vanderlande’s solution consumes 50% less energy compared to traditional baggage handling systems and handles more bags per cubic metre. In addition, system set-up only takes a matter of months.

“With FLEET we are confident of having developed an innovative approach that will change the industry’s perceptions about baggage handling. It has the potential to move the boundaries of conventional systems and allows airports to imagine entirely new possibilities,” Manship concludes.

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