Lake Company Has Handle On Baggage
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Lake Company Has Handle On Baggage
Tavares based G Conveyor Is Gaining Notice As A Provider Of Airport Luggage handling Systems.
June 25, 2000By Anthony Colarossi of The Sentinel Staff
There is a scene in Toy Story II in which the adventuresome toys are tossed through a maze of chutes and conveyors the inner workings of some airport’s elaborate baggage handling system.
It’s a side of the airport most travelers never see and rarely think about unless their bags fail to appear as scheduled at the end of a flight.
But in the bowels of terminals like Orlando International Airport’s, your luggage is truly being pushed, pulled, sorted and routed by increasingly sophisticated and automated mechanical systems.
And, increasingly, a Lake County company is the one involved in channeling that baggage from ticket counters to the gates and back.
G Conveyor Co. carries a lot of baggage, but none of it is excess.
In just a dozen years, the Tavares company has grown from a small outfit into what it says is the country’s third largest manufacturer and installer of airport baggage handling systems.
This year the family owned company expects to generate more than $30 million in sales.
Until the OIA project, G had produced only conventional baggage handling systems or had hired subcontractors specializing in what it calls automated “sortation.” But it made the OIA system an in house venture.
“This was it. This job put us in the automated sortation business,” said John Majewski, the company’s chief executive officer. “It kicked us off into a new area of high tech.”
Majewski recently led a small tour behind OIA’s check in counters and through the looping, multi level “sortation” system his company is installing in the main terminal’s “A” side. The system will serve the airport’s fourth satellite terminal when it opens later this year.
The 4,000 foot long conveyor system uses bar code technology to route and monitor the luggage. As bags move by at speeds of up to 400 feet a minute, infrared scanners linked to computers read bar code tabs on the luggage before delivering the baggage to a series of loading piers. Each of the piers corresponds to a specific flight or airline.
When a bag destined for a part adidas originals icular flight approaches the proper pier, the scanner triggers a “kicker,” a device that knocks the bag down a chute and onto the pier. From there, airline workers lug it to a baggage cart or straight to a plane.
Sound routine? Consider that many airports still sort baggage by hand. Several systems still in use at OIA still require someone to check a bag’s tag to determine which flight it’s on so it can be placed on the right cart.
Everyone has heard at least one horror story about a passenger who flies from New York to Los Angeles while the person’s luggage winds up in Minneapolis or Dallas. G system is designed to eliminate such nightmares.
“When it goes to automation, you need fewer hands basically,” Majewski said. G also installed four new “flat plate” baggage claim carousels on the terminal’s “B” side. But the system with the “brains,” the one of which G is most proud, is the sorting system.
“What it should do, No. 1, is improve the reliability of getting a bag on the airplane, on the right flight,” said Bruce Class, G general manager and marketing director. “And you’re able to pinpoint bags.”
If a passenger, for whatever reason, does not board the plane, the G system being installed at OIA will prevent that person’s baggage from getting placed on the plane.
“There’s always errors that could be mad adidas originals e, but it definitely beats a conventional system,” Class said.