Case Studies > SCADA system improves the performance of Gatwick Airport baggage handling systems

SCADA system improves the performance of Gatwick Airport baggage handling systems

Gatwick Airport has invested in a new baggage handling SCADA system to increase the reliability and performance of its baggage handling systems in both North and South Terminals, Transfer Baggage Facility (TBF) and TBF Link areas. The new SCADA system based on Siemens WinCC, has been successfully designed and implemented by leading systems integrator, Industrial Technology Systems Ltd (ITS).

ITS, an independent systems integrator and Siemens solution partner, has been working in the aviation industry for the past 10 years. With extensive industry and WinCC experience ITS was the ideal choice for the project.

Gatwick Airport is the busiest single runway airport in the world and is the UK's second largest international airport.

The team at Gatwick had a very clear operational and requirement specification for the new SCADA system. ITS prototyped the WinCC system by initially creating the base system hardware followed by the functionality, to ensure that the final solution met Gatwick’s expectations. This initial prototyping included the screen frame structure, alarm standards, structure tag definitions, navigation, and dual screen operation. The Gatwick SCADA systems were implemented in several stages with the North Terminal Arrivals area the first stage to be implemented.

This prototyping was then used in the development of the equipment graphics for the North Terminal Arrivals area which allowed all of the prototyping work to be installed onsite. This enabled Gatwick operators to become familiar with the new interface, and any additional requirements were fed back to ITS team.

The second stage to be developed was the South Terminal Arrivals followed closely by Transfer Baggage Facility (TBF) and TBF Link elements, which added additional operator requirements as the stages progressed. During the implementation of these stages the site hardware was expanded to include multiple redundant server installations with multiple projects that are connected to web clients through a common pair of load balanced Web Navigator Servers.

The SIMATIC WinCC SCADA system offers maximum functionality and a user-friendly interface. With this configurable and scalable system, WinCC has the advantage of absolute openness to the airport environment. Numerous options and add-ons are also available to extend and expand the scope of performance.

The SIMATIC WinCC SCADA system has been integrated with the existing site MES, SAC, CCTV and other systems, giving a central location for the operators to see all the information they require to operate the systems more effectively with increased efficiency and easy-to-use fault finding techniques.

All phases of this project were carried out by ITS, on time and to budget whilst ensuring that the Gatwick requirements were met in the spirit of what was intended and not just to the letter of the specification. This approach is one of the main parts of the ITS ethos which is to approach each project in the spirit of creating a partnership to the mutual benefit of both parties.

  • The system installed is capable of handling all the current and planned baggage handling requirements on site.
  • The system provides the centralisation of the baggage handling control and visualisation, display of the current SAC data, control of the existing site CCTV systems giving the operators all the information required to confidently make their control decisions.

Mark Taylor, Project Manager of Industrial Technology Systems Ltd said, “We have been working and building a strong relationship with Gatwick for five years and were delighted to win the WinCC SCADA migration project. WinCC has proven to be an excellent choice for the project, and its flexibility has enabled us to deliver a reliable solution that meets Gatwick’s detailed requirements.”


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