London Gatwick Airport, the world’s busiest single runway airport, has gone live with two new state-of-the-art baggage handling systems supplied and installed by Daifuku Group member Logan Teleflex in conjunction with consortium partner Siemens Logistics and Airport Solutions.
The consortium has installed a new baggage handling system (BHS) at the North Terminal extension and a hold baggage screening (HBS) solution at South Terminal. Both solutions have been designed to allow check-ins to serve any output, regardless of which check-in they are presented at, helping to provide reduced operating costs to ground handling agencies and additional resilience/routing, maintaining baggage flow and helping to reduce passenger queues. London Gatwick processes over 10 million departure bags each year.
The South Terminal HBS distribution system will provide greater flexibility and efficiency than the previous point-to-point installation. It comprises six Level 1, 2, three Level 3 and two out-of-gauge X-ray screening machines and associated systems, including high-level controls supplied and commissioned by Siemens.
Siemens has delivered multiple phases of the Baggage Electrical and Controls System installation to provide additional baggage handling capacity and increase operational flexibility. The project has included the modification of four sorting units and four baggage carousels and the supply and commission of an additional 20 programme controllers to run six new HBS lines. The advanced design of the solution will allow all checked in baggage to load balance and route through any of the six Level 1,2 X-ray screening machines instead of feeding through one dedicated HBS machine into an individual sortation area.
Improvements in flexibility go beyond screening as bags also route smoothly from X-ray machines through to one of four tilt tray sorters, three existing and one new Logan Teleflex TTS; eliminating reliance on specific machinery required in the old point-to-point system. As an energy conscious airport and supporting Gatwick energy reduction plans, London Gatwick will be the world reference site, and the first to operate in large numbers, the highly efficient Permanent Magnet Motors (PMM) electrical drive motors that provide 30 to 40 per cent energy savings compared to a standard squirrel cage Motor Gearbox Unit (MGU). Gatwick is the flagship site for this type of technology boasting over 2,500 units.
London Gatwick’s North Terminal extension and replacement BHS, serving all the NT airlines, such as British Airways, Emirates, Air China, easyJet and Vietnam Airlines passengers, was installed to the airport’s exact requirements and delivered as an elegant and modern solution. The result is a brand new BHS system with unique standard setting features. These include; an integrated weigh scale hidden within the baggage conveyor at the Check-in areas, a dedicated out-of-gauge Check In, special energy-efficient drive motors and condition-based monitoring to all drives.
Again, the project sees Logan Teleflex working closely with Siemens, who are responsible for the supply and commission of mechanical control equipment to operate baggage conveyors extending 2500 metres, three new Hold Baggage Screening Lines and four new baggage reclaim carousels, two dedicated to international and two to domestic arrivals. The consortium also installed and commissioned two new Logan 700RF sorters complete with ULD stillage.
“The introduction of Logan 700RF Sorters are a welcomed addition to London Gatwick’s North Terminal Baggage system infrastructure, part of a continuing £1bn investment programme of Gatwick’s assets and infrastructure,” said Matt Payne, Senior Engineering Manager, London Gatwick Baggage Operations.
Patented induction technology prevents bags from being inducted between trays, removing the requirements for sorter infills. This means that bags between trays will not be tipped into a common chute and double-handed by baggage handlers. Dynamic speed change technology within the BHS reduces component wear and energy whilst condition based monitoring allows predictive maintenance to be carried out during non-operational hours.
He added: “Utilising tried and tested technology, these new sortation systems will help deliver higher baggage throughout, replacing the previous six aging tilt-tray sorters with two new high capacity units. A key operational benefit to the business and overall baggage flow performance, identified through the sorter selection process, was the dynamic sorter re-synchronisation functionality. Traditionally other sorters rely on tray infills to address poor bag presentation or mis-induction events. Bags which are then sent to a dump chute or negate the use of additional trays from further induct events. Gatwick Airport saw Logan’s had gone right to the root cause and designed out the issue, significantly reducing operator interventions at both the induct and the dump chutes.”
Other key features such as the variable speeds, more energy efficient LIM drive technology and additional enhancements identified and adopted from previous Logan RF sorter installations were all key influencing factors in Sorter selection.
“The consortium worked very closely with Gatwick using our past experience of installing baggage handling solutions to deliver flexible and efficient solutions,” said Ron Osborne, Director and General Manager, Logan Teleflex UK.
He added: “Both of London Gatwick’s solutions were designed to the airport’s exact requirements in the timeframes agreed and saw us work 450,000 hours without a single injury or incident. The two individual solutions both provide Gatwick with a more cutting edge approach to baggage handling. While South Terminal’s HBS solution represents a superior approach to point-to-point systems that doesn’t overwork some elements of the solution, North Terminal’s BHS solution also reduces component wear and tear for a more durable solution.”