Unipack - Automated flight baggage loading
Modern airports have an automatic baggage transport installation at their disposal, which transports the pieces of baggage from the check-in desk to the baggage loading belt of the aircraft. On the way there, the pieces of baggage are automatically X-rayed, temporarily stored and sorted. However, with the loading a manual and physically demanding work begins. Usually, the pieces of baggage are manually stacked into a flight container (ULD), or onto a baggage cart (ramp cart). Doing this, a worker will move approx. 16 tons of weight per shift.
The automated baggage loading cell Unipack accomplishes this step of the procedure through a buckling arm robot. The special feature here is the patented „gripper" of the robot. It consists of a telescopable surface with an end stop. As a result, the telescopic surface adapts itself precisely to the piece of baggage. This amongst other things works out beneficially for the actual loading procedure, as the maneuverability inside the container - particularly behind the spaces which are not accessible from the front - is increased substantially. The robot moves with its load precisely above the pre-estimated spot in the container. The robot gripper retracts its telescopic surface very quickly and the baggage piece is placed down on the desired spot (gravity principle). The patented system meets the requirements, which are worldwide placed on future-proof baggage logistics in view of safety, performance and ergonomics.
- Loading of the flight baggage by means of a conveyor belt
- Determination of position and contour of the piece of baggage to be loaded through a scanner and an image processing system
- 3D measurement of the inside space of the flight container for the assessment of the current loading state
- Calculation of the optimal spot for the next piece of baggage
- Picking the piece of baggage from the conveyor belt by the robot and placing it on the calculated target spot in the container. This procedure (duration approx. 10 - 15 sec.) repeats itself for every piece of baggage, until the container has been filled.
Advantages of the system
- Relieving the workers from physically exerting work
- Enhancement of flight security through prevention of human intervention
- Tracking until inside the aircraft
- Quality improvement of the loading
- Modular system, adaptable and adjustable to the most diverse customer's requirements
- Higher degree of filling through patented picking unit
- Simple handling, also of excessively heavy pieces of baggage
- Reduction of baggage damage