BNP has been developing simulations for the baggage handling and air cargo industries since 1995. BNP’s simulation experience encompasses modeling of simple queuing systems to the largest airport baggage handling systems with over 20,000 individual conveyor sections/tracks. We have a core group of professionals dedicated to providing simulation services to the airport/airline industry. BNP uses simulation modeling tools such as AutoMod and Quest to build 3D models of each system. The simulation model control logic is written to closely represent actual PLC controls of conveyors and cargo systems.
These models are calibrated and validated to ensure that they accurately represent real-world operations.
In addition to being world leaders in AutoMod and Quest simulations, we have broad skills in integrating AutoMod/Quest with other applications. We have expertise in SQL databases and Visual Basic combined with MS Excel. These skills are used to import data into the simulation model either at the start of a simulation run or interactively as it runs. BNP simulations can be integrated in real control
or management systems to act as an emulation test bed.
BNP’s simulation engineers are also skilled in VB, VBA, C# & C++ programming languages.
As part of the BNP simulation/modeling process, detailed demand forecasts are developed to quantify the expected demand to the baggage and cargo systems. BNP documents all the key data and assumptions for the project and produce a Simulation Function Design Specifications (SimFDS) deliverable.
The SimFDS includes key data such as flight schedules, baggage and passenger characteristics, and operational characteristics as well as the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will be used to evaluate the performance of each system. Once these planning assumptions are established, a demand forecast is produced, and initial system resource requirements are estimated.
3D Simulation Modeling of Baggage Handling Systems
These tools have been used to evaluate and assist in the design of over 50 baggage handling systems to include very large BHS and Cargo systems throughout the world and numerous systems in the USA (including TSA mandated checked baggage screening systems).
Through use of the these models, the projected demand to each component of the BHS (mainline, ICS loops, EBS storage areas, screening areas, make-ups, cargo systems etc.) can be quantified early in the process. Bottleneck areas with the system can be identified, and design and/or controls improvements can be evaluated. These models help to ensure that new commissioned systems will operate efficiently, and provide a means for identifying effective solutions to existing systems without having to experiment with making changes to a live system.
3D Simulation Modeling of Passenger Facilities
BNP also uses its simulation capabilities to model passenger flow including evaluating design of passenger checkpoint facilities and circulation in public spaces such as check-in areas and bag claim halls.
3D Simulation Modeling of Checkpoints
BNP has expanded it's simulation capabilities to include the modeling of passenger security checkpoints. This is becoming especially important in this day and age where significant improvements in automation and checkpoint design are being evaluated. The simulation tools allow for the realistic deployment of new technology in a virtual environment.
One of the specialized uses of BNP’s simulation models is to identify the potential energy savings that can be achieved by managing the run time of conveyors/components. Using VFDs, conveyors will only run while bags are approaching the conveyor.
Downstream conveyors are started three seconds prior to the bag physically reaching the charge-end of conveyor. After the last bag exits a conveyor, the conveyor turns off after a pre-set configurable delay varying from 1 to 600 seconds. Using modeling, the best strategies for powering the system can be refined and system energy consumption can be significantly reduced.
Deliverables to the airport/airline includes scenario reports documenting the function of the system under the various scenarios plus animations of the simulation runs showing baggage/cargo traveling through the system in 3D. BNP provides the following:
• Simulation Functional Design Specification that defines general and project specific control functions of the simulation model.
• Full 3D simulation animations
• Simulation Reports that document the performance of all simulation scenarios