Machine vision reduces lost baggage at Rome airport

July 27, 2010
The baggage project involved the installation of a reading station for each entry and exit point into all terminals. Datalogic Automation supplied 30 omnidirectional reading tunnels for the system.

Baggage handling is a major problem in air travel, both for the inconvenience caused to passengers and for the economic and image impact on airlines and airports. Globally, about 25 million pieces of baggage were diverted to the wrong destinations in 2009. Overall, 0.4 baggage are lost for 1000 passengers each year, with a loss for the airline industry of US$2.5 billion. Machine vision tracking systems are now improving baggage handling performance at many of the world's largest airports.

The Leonardo da Vinci airport, or Rome International Airport - Fiumicino, is the largest Italian port, with four terminals and more than 33 Million passengers/year. As part of expansion and modernization it developed a project to trace baggage from an aircraft hold to the owner. Data from 2009 shows an improvement on previous years' statistics, demonstrating that a performing BHS (baggage handling system) and efficient service management can drastically reduce economic losses and improve passenger service.

Rome Airport solved the problem in collaboration with SITA (Rome, Italy) as prime contractor and provider of software infrastructures. The project involved the installation of a reading station for each entry and exit point for the baggage into the BHS of all terminals. Datalogic Automation (Lippo Di Calderara, Italy) supplied 30 omnidirectional reading tunnels using approximately 200 laser scanner 8000s and 30 SC6000 controllers.

The storage location
When a plane lands, a dedicated retrieval procedure takes place for the aircraft hold and individual baggage, as well as the transport to the loading bays of the BHS System. Handlers load luggage onto a single conveyor system. Each load position corresponds to a reading station that records the passage of each package.

The baggage in the BHS system will be routed to the right refund tape, to passengers, or to the transit management system and, before exiting, will be reread by a reading tunnel. The comparison between the input and output data will monitor the discharge time from a aircraft and cargo and baggage sorting system performance.

The reading tunnels have been fitted to existing conveyors, which did not provide an identification system. The stations were customized to meet the constraints of space. Each consists of Datalogic DS8100A and DX8200A laser scanners, and 90° reflection mirrors. For more information on the system, click HERE.

Posted by Vision Systems Design

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