Vanderlande Industries has installed Gen2 radio frequency identification (RFID) technology at McCarran International Airport's newly built $2.4bn Terminal 3, as part of its baggage tracking system.
In 2008, Vanderlande was awarded a $92m contract for the design and installation of the new baggage handling system, which includes 30,000ft of conveyor, 10,000ft of catwalk, 73 high-speed diverters, 32 carousels, 20 vertisorters and 55 over-belt RFID readers.
The system has now been installed with 16 in-line screening machines, which can be scaled up to 20 machines.
Design and development of controls for the baggage handling system were performed by Vanderlande in collaboration with Alliant Technologies.
Vanderlande Industries project manager Ian Horrigan said that the project was a challenging one as it required large-scale and wide-spread use of 2nd generation RFID technology.
"The system itself was vigorously tested for many months, processing over 500,000 test bags to ensure a smooth transition to live operations on June 27th as scheduled," Horrigan said.
Expected to improve safety and reduce costs related to misplaced baggage, the new technology is implemented by incorporating a RFID chip into each bag tag manufactured for all airlines, generating a unique signature that allows sensors to detect and locate the tagged object.
Vanderlande claims that the standard barcode tags may be misinterpreted, which could lead bags to be hand sorted and misplaced. RFID tags will allow airports to easily organise baggage loading, locate misplaced baggage and check the status of certain baggage.
The new 1.9m square feet terminal building at McCarran is expected to increase its capacity to 53 million passengers per year, up from its earlier capacity of the 48 million handled in 2007.
The three-storey building connects the current Terminals 1 and 2, and has 14-gates.
Image: The new RFID technology installed at McCarran is expected to organise baggage loading, locate misplaced baggage and deliver baggage status. Photo: courtesy of Mike Russell.