Barcode and RFID technology makes baggage sorting reliable at Helsinki’s Airport


10 December 2014

Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport in Finland has reported that it now benefits from the use of the ALIS400 Hybrid code reading system from Waldkirch, Germany-headquartered SICK AG. The airport said that the combination of barcode and RFID technology has helped to achieve read rates of 100%, adding that improved reliability in sorting and conveying transfer baggage increases satisfaction among passengers, airlines and the airport operator. When state-owned airport operator Finavia Corporation extended the terminal facilities in 2009, one focus was on the smooth handling of transfer baggage that possibly may not be transferred in time or at all because of unreadable luggage labels. In order to evaluate the benefits of a hybrid technology that combines barcode and RFID, Finavia decided to test the identification of transfer baggage from Hong Kong, which is tagged there exclusively with barcode RFID labels. The goal was the reliable handling of the transfer baggage between the terminals and the new baggage logistics centre. Finavia opted in favour of the ALIS400 Hybrid, a code-reading system with integrated barcode and RFID-reading technology. Developed by SICK AG, it was integrated by the Danish Crisplant Company. Within the tunnel, a homogeneous and consistent reading field is generated, shielded against any cross-interference from outside, which allows reliable identification and localisation of the RFID tag on the item of luggage. The barcode portal, the second component of the system, detects the luggage label in any position and orientation. When a piece of baggage from Hong Kong passes the tunnel, both the barcode and the RFID tags are being read. In the baggage handling facility in Helsinki, the ALIS400 Hybrid makes possible a 100% read rate for the transfer baggage from Hong Kong.

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