Update of the baggage handling system

Switching the baggage handling system to Simatic S7 “on the fly”    

Athens International Airport is modern Greece‘s largest infrastructure project and rated as one of the most modern and safest airports in the world. The airport was commissioned in March 2001 and passed its greatest test to date in the form of the Olympic Games in 2004. For the future too the responsible persons at the airport didn‘t want to miss a trick in matters of safety and reliability. Accordingly the decision was taken to replace the Simatic S5 control system. With the Simatic S7 successor system the airport wished to safeguard its ability to get spare parts and support.

A plan for the changeover was worked out with the airport operators. Spaced over one year, the complete system was converted in some 20 individual steps. Each part section was simulated and tested intensively in advance in order to achieve the very shortest down-times. Not until a simulation team had given its OK was the real changeover carried out whereby the average down-time for each part section was 1 day. Naturally airport operations were not to be disrupted in any way.

Scope of Unitechnik contribution:

Retrofitting of the baggage handling system in 20 steps during a period of 12 months:

17 PLC controls from S5 to S7

Replacement of the field bus from Interbus to Profibus

  • ca. 900 drives
  • ca. 1000 operating elements
  • ca. 1500 sensors

SCADA System:
from Visual Basic (incl. Mimic Panel) to a Win CC based Client Server System

Additional performances:
Camera System (CCTV) for monitoring and remote diagnosis

Flight number display systems at the sorting chutes


Completion: 2008

PDF Reference Sheet

Case Study Athens International Airport


Case Study - ATHENS International Airport