Quantification of life cycle advantages through increased expansion flexibility of self-organized baggage-handling systems
Baggage handling at airports is among the most complex tasks for material handling: Baggage handling systems form a large-scale conveying network connecting multiple sources and sinks. Also, they are used in a very dynamic environment: Many airports grow rapidly on average but have to absorb significant variance in passenger numbers at the same time. Therefore, baggage-handling systems that are flexible regarding expansions or modifications are desirable. This can be realized by using a highly modular approach with each module containing its own control. This results in self-organized systems, which are also known as the Internet of Things in facility logistics. However, it is necessary to quantify resulting advantages in monetary terms to compare them with additional costs like necessary RFID tags. In this paper, we analyze a conventional and two possible implementations of self-organized baggage handling systems for a reference airport on the base of all relevant life-cycle costs. To account for the dynamic nature of expansion flexibility, we use a dynamic programming approach. The data for the reference scenario was carefully collected by evaluating public and non-public sources and is provided in this paper. Results suggest that self-organized systems can decrease life-cycle costs of typical baggage handling systems, and that savings exceed the costs of necessary RFID tags.