Vanderlande Wins Heathrow Terminal 3 Contract…

Terminal Three at London’s Heathrow will receive an advanced baggage handling system for 2013, designed, developed and installed by Vanderlande Industries under a contract awarded by BAA worth £71.7million (US$114m).
There are 22 million passengers a year travelling through Terminal Three with high levels of flight transfer producing both early and late bags.  Central to the winning system’s design is a ‘pull approach’ used to optimise flight build of luggage into containers for the multiple international airlines based at this terminal.  “Planned and managed baggage release into the flight build process is essential for handling efficiency and maximisation of capacity” says Nick Porter, General Manager of Vanderlande in the UK.  “A system that is driven by incoming bag traffic is simply not appropriate for this terminal’s profile.”
Designed to meet exacting needs and standards, the system will incorporate new technologies from Vanderlande for pre-sorting luggage – BAXORTER, load compliance – BAGCHECK and ULD loading – BAGLOAD.  Vanderlande says a key benefit is identification and separate routing of luggage that would, due to size or shape, cause jams and stoppages in the main baggage handling system.
Reduced building footprint and low operating costs alongside a good working environment that protects the health and safety of staff are important features of the new Terminal Three baggage handling system.  Connectivity through a ‘baggage backbone’ tunnel to Terminal Five’s baggage handling system is an added benefit for passengers with flight transfers.
“Meeting the multiple needs of baggage handling and check-in staff, airlines, passengers and the airport operator requires a tailor-made solution,” says Porter.  “But whatever the configuration needs, the essential outcome is always accurate, measurable and sustained baggage handling quality at the lowest unit cost.”
…and introduces hybrid identification solution
German baggage specialist SICK and Vanderlande Industries have recently completed full testing of their jointly-developed hybrid identification solution (barcode and RFID combined) for baggage handling systems.  This new solution is fully compatible with the existing Vanderlande Industries-SICK barcode identification solution, a system already in use at nearly 300 BHS worldwide installations.
The two companies say that the unique features of this highly integrated solution are its ability to deliver consistent read rates of more than 99%, the availability of an upgrade path for existing barcode scanning tunnels to include RFID scanning functionality, the combination of complete barcode scanning and RFID scanning in a compact and optimized footprint, and the fact that no physical modifications are needed to the conveyor system to implement full omni-directional RFID scanning.  In a joint statement the two companies said that it: “minimizes overall customer investment by removing the need to install specially-designed conveyor sections in and around the laser/RFID scanning tunnel”.
They added they believe that the deployment of hybrid scanning systems that include both traditional laser barcode scanning and RFID scanning technologies will be especially valuable in baggage transfer operations, where it is common to see severely damaged barcodes in the baggage flow.  While laser scanning systems have, for years, provided very high read rates, Sick and Vanderlande said it was clear that a solution was required that could achieve the same levels of performance even on badly damaged or missing codes.
SICK and Vanderlande Industries say they are: “excited to implement the solution in an operational baggage handling system in the near future,” but have not yet announced the name of the customer.  It is expected that the new hybrid solution will be fully tested in the coming months.