To help airport operators save on operating costs and meet their own sustainability targets, Vanderlande Industries has introduced the Greenveyor, a new standard conveyor system that allows energy savings of up to 45% to be achieved. The Greenveyor was demonstrated by Vanderlande Industries at the Inter Airport Europe exhibition in Munich, Germany, on 6-9 October 2009.

This new conveyor system is a result of Vanderlande Industries’ strong focus on cost savings and sustainability in its baggage handling portfolio. Research findings supported by field measurements show that the biggest potential gains in a baggage handling system are in the transport belts. These use more than twice as much energy per metre as the sorter, and account for up to 70% of the total system energy consumption.

Higher energy efficiency throughout the system

The Greenveyor increases energy efficiency throughout the system, for example with a low friction belt and optimised tensioning unit, and lighter pulleys that both reduce energy and save materials. Further significant savings can be made by use of the latest electric motors with higher energy-efficiency ratings.

Many of the improvements incorporated in the greenveyor system can also be achieved in existing systems through Vanderlande Industries’ revision, modification and retrofit (RMR) programme, which allows performance and efficiency gains to be made without the need for costly major system renovation or replacement.

Intelligent system control automatically saves energy

Vanderlande Industries also offers a number of other measures to optimise energy efficiency, including intelligent system control and applying new technologies and detailed design improvements. Intelligent system control takes advantage of the fact that baggage volumes vary significantly, for example during the typical morning and evening peaks. Maintaining maximum system capacity throughout the day means there is substantial excess capacity much of the time. Smart controls allow belt speeds to be reduced and complete sections of the system switched off dynamically as load factors fall.

The use of smart algorithms allows fully automatic capacity adjustment, constantly matching demand without the need for manual intervention. Vanderlande Industries’ standard controls solution, Vibes, provides an integrated solution, including the Vibes.bpi business process improvement tool for system monitoring, analysis and optimisation.

Bagstore optimises system capacity and efficiency

Further savings can be made by optimising system capacity during the design phase of a new system. Use of a bag store means the system does not need to be designed for the maximum expected capacity. The Bagstore acts as a fast, random-access buffer for ‘peak shaving’ of excess bags. Bags can be stored in any empty rack positions, and called forward for sorting and loading exactly when needed. All bags for a specific flight can then be sorted efficiently in the same time window, so Bagstore helps to maximise both the utilisation and efficiency of the total system.

By saving energy and optimising availability and reliability, these innovations from Vanderlande Industries allow airport operators to achieve the lowest possible total cost of ownership. At the same time the associated energy savings make a significant contribution to the increasingly important aspect of sustainability.