Challenge:

The City of Amarillo needed to upgrade their airport baggage handling system to meet modern security standards. Much of the conveyor needed to be replaced, and new automated baggage security scanners needed to be integrated into the system both for security and passenger convenience. Conveyor programming needed to meet strict TSA security requirements, and the system had to be highly resistant to single points of failure. The entire installation needed to be accomplished with no interruption of air travel through the airport.

 

Baggage Handling System Solution:

Rockwell ControlLogix PLCs control the system in a warm standby backup configuration. One set of PLCs communicates with field devices and motor controllers using distributed Flex I/O over ControlNet. Other system components such as baggage dimensioners and scanners, VFDs, bar code scanners, and security systems are integrated with the PLC controllers using Ethernet I/P and in one case a custom Ethernet/serial interface. Wonderware System Platform HMI software provides real-time conveyor status and equipment alarms to operations, and Microsoft Reporting Services provides detailed reports on both bag and equipment history. The entire system was successfully commissioned with no interruption to the normal flow of traffic through the airport.

 

Benefits Received by Client:

Passengers are the big winners from this system. Passengers no longer have to hand-carry their luggage to the TSA baggage screening checkpoint, and the new system ensures their safety while travelling. Airport personnel also benefit from a reliable system built on modern technology. The system provides a high level of visibility to maintenance personnel and TSA personnel who work together to quickly and safely transfer passenger luggage from the ticket counter to the right aircraft.

Project Stats

149

Conveyors

2

In-Line EDS Scanners

1,035

I/O

“We partnered with Vertech to design and implement the baggage control system for this project. Their team managed all aspects of the commissioning process professionally and efficiently including electrical checks, software checks, and the testing and validation of the system with the TSA. We look forward to teaming with Vertech on future projects.”

— Greg Wheeler, Director of Operations

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