Unplanned incidents on baggage handling systems, like bag jams, are prime causes of downtime leading to delays, missed flights and associated consequential costs. Many problems are caused by irregular baggage items like rolling bags, which operators may visually classify as ‘conveyable’. More accurate analysis and classification will avoid many of these problems.

Demonstration at Inter Airport Europe

The solution is an automated system to analyse and classify baggage items, and the recently introduced Bagcheck technology from Vanderlande Industries and QuinTech Engineering Innovations is such a system. Bagcheck was demonstrated by Vanderlande Industries during the Inter Airport Europe exhibition in Munich, Germany, held from 6-9 October 2009.

Near-100% accuracy in baggage classification

Incoming baggage ideally needs to be analysed and classified in a way that prevents any non-conveyable items from being placed on the automated baggage handling system. On the other hand over-cautious classification leads to unnecessarily high manual handling costs, with extra process steps and associated manpower requirements. It’s clear that human operators cannot be expected to achieve near 100% accuracy in baggage classification. The solution is an automated system to carry out this task consistently, thereby significantly increasing overall system performance.

The Bagcheck system automates the measurement, analysis and classification of incoming baggage to determine conveyability with far higher accuracy and consistency than human operators.

Thanks to its intelligent classification software the system can adjust and improve its decision criteria in line with changing operating conditions. As a result actual conveyability on the system is greatly improved, leading to savings in manpower costs and a much lower chance of jams, delays and missed flights, and resulting special delivery costs. A further benefit is a reduction in damaged bags, leading to savings in compensation payments.

Compact, robust system

Bagcheck is a compact system that is designed to be installed at virtually any convenient point on the baggage handling system. Installation can typically be carried out without disturbing operations. The use of robust industrial components ensures high reliability with very low maintenance requirements. All components can be accessed and replaced easily for short repair times and low maintenance impact on operations. System capacity is up to 2,000 bags per hour with belt speeds of up to 2m/s, making it suitable for use in a wide range of baggage handling environments.