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Schiphol Group Ramps Up Baggage Handling With IBM and Vanderlande


IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Vanderlande Industries have signed a contract with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to significantly increase the baggage capacity for the new baggage hall at the airport.

IBM will provide the baggage management system to control and track each bag throughout the baggage transportation system using state-of-the-art high availability techniques and robot handling software.
IBM will also deliver consulting services, hardware, software and application development for the project. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) will be used to track checked-in baggage.

The two companies will design and build, in close partnership with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the extension of the baggage handling facilities at the airport in order to keep pace with expected future growth in passenger numbers. Work begins immediately.

IBM has extensive expertise in baggage handling solutions and is involved in several other projects with Schiphol Airport and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines through its Baggage Center of Excellence in Amsterdam. The Center provides baggage management systems globally.

Vanderlande Industries and IBM have a proven working relationship at several airports around the world. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, together with the combination Vanderlande Industries and IBM, aims to ensure that the airport will supply the right bag, at the right place, at the right time through the use of a durable and robust baggage handling process.

The new baggage hall “Nieuw Zuid,” with a total space of 10.000m2, is designed to handle baggage for departing and transferring passengers. The hall will be used by different airline companies, with KLM/Air France as the biggest user. The system will also be connected to other baggage halls at the airport, ensuring more efficient and faster transfers of baggage between connecting flights. When the hall opens in 2011, six robots will mechanically manage baggage, handling 60 percent of the loading and further decreasing connection times.

“With this new baggage hall we will be able to manage the future growing stream of passengers,” says Ivo van der Vlis - Manager Baggage Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. “Together with IBM and Vanderlande we’ll implement a baggage system that meets the highest quality standards.”

“Airports and airlines see improved baggage handling as a major step towards increasing passenger satisfaction. The efficiencies of the new system will cut down operating costs and improve transfer connection times for passengers at Schiphol,” says Charles Vincent, Director IBM Travel and Transport Europe.

“The cost effectiveness and reliability of baggage handling is taking another step with the implementation of RFID and robot handling at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol,” says Peter Gerretse, President and CEO of Vanderlande Industries. “When the new baggage hall opens the six robots will also contribute to the ergonomic handling of bags, improving the working conditions of the people.”

The new hall is a major step in Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s “70 MB programme” which aims to have the capability of transferring 70 million pieces of baggage a year by 2018. The project is being rolled out in close collaboration with KLM.


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