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More service for the vacation season: early bag stores go on stream at Madrid airport


Erlangen, Germany, The Siemens Mobility Division has won an order from Spanish airport operator Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea (AENA) to expand the baggage handling system in Terminal 4 of Madrid-Barajas airport (MAD). Three early bag stores (EBS) holding a total of 7,400 items of baggage have been integrated into the existing Siemens system and have started operation.

Three early bag stores (EBS) for a total of 7,400 baggage items have been integrated into the existing baggage handling system from Siemens in Madrid-Barajas airport. Thanks to early check-in of their bags, airline passengers can avoid long queues and use their time to do other things.

Today’s airline passengers expect a high level of convenience and service. They want to avoid long queues by checking in early and use the free time to go shopping or walk round the airport. During this time, a bag which has already been checked in is “parked” in a so-called early bag store even if all the departure data are not yet known. The EBS ensures that the bags are in the right place at the right time in spite of the long time they spend in the baggage handling system. Adequately sized early bag stores as an integral part of the overall baggage handling system make it much easier for the airport operator to transport and sort bags that have been checked in early. Automated EBS systems such as the ones now installed in Barajas have still to become a common feature of many airports around the world.

In Madrid-Barajas, early baggage can be handed in as usual at one of the 172 check-in desks of Terminal 4 and is then automatically routed to the EBS of the baggage handling system. After arriving in one of the EBS facilities, which have room for a total of 7,400 items, the baggage is temporarily stored on sections of the handling system. If the departure gate is known, the bags are automatically fed into the sorting machine by the material-flow control system before being taken to one of the 142 departure gates.

The installation of the early bag stores marks the provisional end of the expansion project for the Siemens baggage handling system which started operating in Madrid-Barajas airport in spring 2006. In this context, the airport operator AENA had placed an order with Siemens for diverse hardware and software additions. The scope of the project also encompassed the conversion of transformer stations, the supply of sprinkler systems and surveillance cameras, as well as numerous constructional alterations. The order volume of the entire expansion project amounted to more than 100 million euros.

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The Siemens Industry Sector (Erlangen, Germany) is the worldwide leading supplier of production, transportation, building and lighting technologies. With integrated automation technologies as well as comprehensive industry-specific solutions, Siemens increases the productivity, efficiency and flexibility of its customers in the fields of industry and infrastructure. The Sector consists of six Divisions: Building Technologies, Drive Technologies, Industry Automation, Industry Solutions, Mobility and Osram. With around 222,000 employees worldwide Siemens Industry posted a profit of EUR3.86 billion with revenues totalling EUR38 billion in fiscal year 2008 (ended September 30).

The Mobility Division (Erlangen, Germany) is the internationally leading provider of transportation and logistics solutions. With its “Complete mobility” approach, the Division is focused on networking the various modes of transportation in order to ensure the efficient transport of people and goods. “Complete mobility” combines the company’s competence in operations control systems for railways and traffic control systems for roadways together with solutions for airport logistics, postal automation, traction power supplies and rolling stock for mass transit, regional and mainline services, turnkey systems as well as forward-looking service concepts.


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