IBM and engineering provider Arrow Electronics are aiming to reinvent airport operations with a new internet of things (IoT) solution.

The companies have launched the Smart Airport Asset Management solution, which will allow airport operators to enhance the performance of escalators, moving walkways, baggage handling systems, and potable water cabinets.

The solution is based on an Arrow-designed and sourced set of IoT sensors and gateways, the IBM Watson IoT platform, and IBM Maximo enterprise asset management software.

By using the solution, airport operators can generate improved operational insights that optimise equipment maintenance for preventing downtime and enhancing the traveller experience.

Arrow Electronics vice-president of IoT Aiden Mitchell said: “Over seven billion passengers fly every year, so creating smart airports is smart business.

“Over seven billion passengers fly every year, so creating smart airports is smart business.”

“This solution we have developed with our suppliers will help improve the customer experience and demonstrates the model that IBM and Arrow are implementing across the relationships at the heart of IoT.”

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The solution collects information including temperature, vibration, and motor fluid levels from sensors on motors and other moving parts in escalators, moving walkways and baggage handling systems.

Temperature, open / closed door, water flow, and leakage will be measured by sensors on potable water cabinets for identifying the cabinet’s functionality.

Data gathered from the sensors will be linked to wireless gateways, and then consolidated and analysed on the IBM Watson IoT platform.

The collected data will be leveraged by the IBM Maximo portfolio to create an efficient asset management process for driving workflows, resource allocation, and providing analytics to evaluate the health of assets in order to guide scheduled and unscheduled maintenance.

Arrow Electronics said the solution resolves regular operational challenges that most negatively impact travelers.

IBM Watson IoT vice-president Adriana Robinson said: “Harnessing data and analytics, this end-to-end IoT solution enables airports to improve the performance of key assets that directly impact customer experience.

“This will allow maintenance teams to predict airport facility equipment failure and create proactive maintenance workflows.”