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Munich Airport enters digital future agreement

Joint development plans include improving the energy efficiency of airport buildings and logistics of the baggage handling system

Digitalisation will enable Munich Airport to optimise a range of operations
Digitalisation will enable Munich Airport to optimise a range of operations

Munich Airport has teamed with Siemens to work on the digitalisation of the airport including developing solutions in the areas of mobility, energy management and safety and security.


The strategic partnership seeks to use data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and artificial intelligence to improve the energy efficiency of airport buildings and logistics of the baggage handling system.


Additional plans will also involve using these capabilities to make the time that passengers spend at the facility more pleasant.


To meet these goals, Siemens is becoming a developmental partner for LabCampus, the airport’s new cross-disciplinary innovation centre. There, companies, start-ups, universities and research institutes are to work together on new technologies.


For the digital technologies, Siemens is using MindSphere, its open, cloud-based operating system for the Internet of Things.


“For airports, in particular, digitalisation offers great opportunities for optimising operations,” said Roland Busch, member of the managing board and chief technology officer at Siemens.


“That’s why we, as the worldwide market leader in industrial automation and digitalisation, are cooperating with Europe’s only five-star airport.” In 2017, the London aviation research consultancy Skytrax awarded this status to Munich for the second time.”


Siemens said its developmental efforts currently focus on five fields of innovation. This includes intelligent guidance of passenger flows, seamless tracking of luggage, and buses that drive autonomously on airport grounds as well as predictive maintenance for, and operation of, systems such as the baggage handling and building technology.


Siemens’ MindSphere IoT platform will be used to develop and operate new apps and digital services. This approach makes it possible to quickly gather and evaluate the immense amounts of data that are generated at the airport. Individual data silos, for instance, are linked together in this way, and information for later optimisation efforts is derived from these sources.


According to Siemens, it has maintained close ties with Munich Airport for some 20 years. Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics (SPPAL), for example, installed the baggage handling system for terminal 2 and supplied the extension for the satellite terminal that was opened in 2015. This system, which is 45km long, sorts up to 17,800 pieces of luggage per hour.


Last year, the contract for operation and maintenance of the entire system was renewed. In addition, the SPPAL experts are currently working on a new solution for seamlessly tracking pieces of luggage. Here, cameras worn by the baggage-handling staff are to scan the bags automatically – a task that until now has been performed manually in a labour-intensive process.


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