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San Francisco’s Harvey Milk Terminal 1 introduces America’s first tote-based ICS, enhancing efficiency and security.

Revolutionising Airport Operations with BEUMER Group’s CrisBag® System

San Francisco International Airport’s Harvey Milk Terminal 1 is now home to the first tote-based Independent Carrier System (ICS) in the U.S., a landmark achievement by BEUMER Group. This project, completed in 2020, signifies a leap forward in baggage handling technology, merging high baggage handling system efficiency with robust security measures to significantly enhance passenger experience.


Comprehensive System Design

The installation of BEUMER Group’s CrisBag® system at Harvey Milk Terminal 1 incorporates an extensive, state-of-the-art tote-based system. Designed for supreme efficiency, this system ensures that every piece of luggage is continuously tracked throughout its journey within the airport, from check-in until it reaches the reclaim area. This relentless tracking is pivotal in virtually eliminating baggage mishandling and significantly boosting the terminal’s operational efficiency.

San Francisco International Airport - Harvey Milk Terminal 1

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Sustainable and Secure

A core aspect of this project is its alignment with sustainability goals. The CrisBag system’s advanced technology eliminates key components found in traditional systems, such as gear boxes, and enjoys less belt friction which allows for energy savings. Variable frequency drives reduce the energy consumption even further. The layout in the system’s design is carefully thought out to help reduce the need for extensive tug and dolly movement, thereby decreasing carbon emissions and supporting the airport’s environmental targets. Furthermore, the CrisBag® system is the first of its kind to receive TSA approval for in-tote baggage security screening, which includes the mixing of ‘good’ and ‘suspicious’ bags on one line – which a conventional conveyor-based system does not allow, setting a new standard in U.S. airport security and operations.

Collaborative Development Process

The success of this project can be attributed to the early and ongoing involvement of key stakeholders. By engaging with airlines, airport authorities, and the Transportation Security Administration from the initial phases, BEUMER Group ensured that the system was tailor-made to meet the specific needs of Harvey Milk Terminal 1. This collaborative approach facilitated a seamless integration of the new system with minimal disruption to the existing terminal operations.


Project Impact and Future Outlook

As BEUMER Group continues the support and lifecycle management for the operation and maintenance of the CrisBag® system, the focus remains on enhancing the efficiency of this innovative technology to meet future challenges. The system’s flexibility and scalability are crucial as San Francisco International Airport looks to future expansions and increased passenger traffic. BEUMER Group makes use of the system data to ensure predictive maintenance takes care of an issue before it becomes a problem. The data also enables San Francisco International Airport and BEUMER Group to make informed decisions in partnership to further enhance baggage handling capacities whilst reducing operational costs.

Key Highlights:

  • First U.S. Installation: Harvey Milk Terminal 1 features America’s first tote-based ICS, leading the way in innovative baggage handling.
  • 100% Baggage Traceability: Each piece of luggage is tracked from start to finish, enhancing security and operational reliability.
  • Sustainability Focused: The system’s design supports SFO’s sustainability targets by minimising the use of raw materials and reducing energy consumption during operation. SFO is the first airport terminal in the world to earn Platinum certification in the LEED v4 programme. – TSA approved: The first system to receive TSA approval for in-tote baggage screening, ensuring top-tier security.
  • Capacity and efficiency: Designed for high passenger volumes, the system optimises the flow of baggage and reduces processing times, including the delivery of bags on arrival at the shortest possible time (as low as four and a half minutes).

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