Pulled baggage flow optimises efficiency at Bergen Airport

Norway’s Bergen Airport reverses the traditional baggage handling approach, netting operational efficiency gains.

Bergen Airport became one of the first in the world to install a pull-based baggage handling system. Designed to deliver the highest level of operational and environmental efficiency, the solution is based on a CrisBag tote system with dynamic storage to enable the airport to ‘pull’ baggage through the BHS to meet the demand for increased efficiency in the make-up area. This dynamic baggage flow reverses the conventional process in which baggage is ‘pushed’ through the BHS from check-in through to make-up.

Batch-building for make-up

To enable the flow of baggage to respond to downstream demand, baggage is routed from check-in to the baggage storage area. As a dynamic buffer, the storage continues the 100% tracking of each bag as it’s routed through the handling process. In addition to providing accurate real-time inventory, tracking can alert the operators when 40 bags are ready for the same flight. The operators can then speed-load the batch onto a trolley for make-up. The CrisStore system provides storage for 600 bags, but the modular design means the store can be extended to hold almost double that capacity. The batch building of baggage also optimises the BHS footprint by reducing the number of destination chutes required. On the passenger side, satisfaction is enhanced because the storage enables the airport to offer earlier check-in.

Visual BHS analytics dashboards in the BHS control room means that Bergen Airport can use data analytics for optimisation and predictive maintenance. The system automatically monitors the BHS in real time and alerts the operator with recommendations for operational decisions. This eliminates the need for the operators to constantly monitor the system themselves.

 

Using data analytics for optimisation

Created as a joint project by airport operator Avinor and Beumer Group, the analytical dashboards are customised to further optimise the operational costs of the system. The real-time visualisation gives the small and agile Avinor duty team automatic notifications of any abnormality before triggering a system alert. The data analytics also enable the team to predict BHS maintenance routines and focus resources on delivering higher team efficiency and system availability. On a day-to-day basis, the data analytics provide complete transparency of operational performance and incidents, which adds significant benefits to the handler, airlines and the airport.

“Data analytics provide complete transparency of operational performance and incidents”

This combination of features gives the airport a radically new approach to baggage handling. It delivers higher process efficiency and reduces energy consumption to sustain its aim to be a ‘green’ airport project. The BHS is set to exceed the airport’s efficiency goals. With the dynamic storage, the airport  reduces the number of sorting bins which saves space and allows the ground handler to plan the loading process more efficiently.

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