Mobile Inspection Table Technology at Portland International Airport
BNP Associates Inc. has always been at the forefront when it comes to the advancement of baggage handling systems and airport technology. From BNP’s beginning in 1971 with the development of some of the first material handling systems to overcoming new challenges brought by a global pandemic, BNP has always adapted and evolved to implement new technologies to handle the everchanging challenges airports face. As technology advances, BNP follows suit to best consult clients on technology choices to handle their requirements.
BNP is proud to be part of the ZGF Architects and Hoffman Skanska team for the Portland International Airport (PDX) Terminal Core Redevelopment Project, also known as TCore. BNP joined the exclusive list of expert consultants for the Port of Portland in 2008 with the PDX Terminal Balancing Project (TBal). After great success through the Port’s and BNP’s first partnership, BNP has become a staple on the design team for every BHS related project moving forward. The TCore project is the largest BHS project at PDX since the completion of the existing inline baggage screening system project in 2008. The TCore project will completely revamp the ticket counter systems to bring the airport’s customer experience into the top tier in the country. The terminal lobby is being entirely renovated to provide better passenger flow and an overall better check-in experience. Eight new ticket counter islands are being installed as part of this renovation, but this is only the tip of the iceberg for the new baggage system.
Away from the passenger’s eye, the TCore project is providing multiple facets of crossover and sorting capability, which will provide additional contingencies, capacity, and sorting between the north and south make-up areas that the Airport doesn’t have today. The TCore project is also providing a new Checked Baggage Resolution Area (CBRA) to replace the original system developed in 2008 and bring the baggage security screening process into the future.
The TCore project is a perfect example of BNP’s exceptional expertise with implementing advancements in technology to exceed client expectations and desired functionality. To further exemplify this, BNP has proposed the use of Daifuku Webb’s Mobile Inspection Tables (MITs) which are a type of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) to handle PDX’s unique challenges and provide a safer and more efficient CBRA for the TSA. PDX will join the shortlist of US airports using this up-and-coming technology alongside MIA, DAL, CLE, and DTW.
AGV technology replaces traditional conveyor belts for transporting baggage to the TSA screening agents in the CBRA with an open floor concept wherein AGVs follow a network of guidance strips installed throughout the space. MITs are a type of AGV with a stainless-steel tabletop that provides optimal ergonomic conditions for TSA inspectors to search and clear bags in the CBRA. Once cleared, the MIT automatically drives the bag to a conveyor loading station where the tabletop’s tipping device transfers the bag to the conveyor system for transport to the make-up sortation area.
This state-of-the-art concept allows for better egress, TSA movement, and space utilization. Additionally, the new technology allows for easy expansion and adjustment in the future, provides better ergonomics for the TSA, eliminates single points of failure that are typical in conveyor belt systems, and provides significant noise reduction in the work area. The MITs implement top of the line technology and have an excellent safety record, with their configurable 16 pattern safety laser scanner detecting obstacles and operators along their path of travel. The simple design and operation make MITs very user friendly, they are easy to implement, allowing rapid installation when needed. They provide a truly hands-off experience with automatic loading, routing to the TSA, unloading, and charging.
BNP Associates is ecstatic to say, 'Welcome to the future, Portland!'