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The Baggage System at Denver Airport

Autor:   •  December 9, 2015  •  Essay  •  596 Words (3 Pages)  •  665 Views

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The ambitious New Denver International Airport had devised, for its core, a \textbf{mechanized baggage system} unique in its complexity, novel technology and anticipated capacity. Intended to deliver each bag, including transfers, individually, from check-in or the unloading of the aircraft to the outward bound aircraft or baggage reclaim, from the beginning, this system was\textbf{ plagued by massive problems}, delaying the airport opening and substantially increasing its costs.

Problems started due to \textbf{late design} of the system, which was delayed until the construction of the airport was underway, therefore subjecting it to \textbf{geometric and time constrains}. The system to be implemented had to fit in the buildings under construction and the amount of time available was not enough to completely simulate and test the design. Besides, the design \textbf{lacked a meaningful backup system} to help cope with the amount of baggage expected in such a busy airport. Other problems arise from its complexity. Although each component of the baggage system used at the New Denver Airport had been used previously \textbf{in separate with success}, its assembly in a large system vastly enhanced its complexity.

Speed in handling baggage is critical to achieve acceptable boarding and transfer times at Denver's airport. In order to fast deliver each bag individually, it was placed in an individual radio-controlled car, with an RFID to define its destination, that circulated on a suitable track, which is fed by a network of conveyors. However, several \textbf{mechanical problems} arose with the baggage carts such as jamming in the tracks, misalignment with the conveyor belts feeding it, and mutilation and loss of bags. To deal with these problems, additional equipment was installed, increasing the costs of the system and reducing its performance.

Since the system consisted of a \textbf{chain of waiting lines} that feed into each other, with a \textbf{high variable pattern of loading}, it is extremely complex to manage


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