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Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

100% of developing faults detected
12 months of monitoring

The company

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the third largest airport in Europe, serving over 70 million passengers each year. With the ambition to be Europe’s preferred airport—the airport of choice for travelers, airlines and logistics service providers alike—Schiphol is continuously investing in technology to improve passenger experience, safety and overall reliability.

The challenge

A steady stream of passengers travel through Schiphol every day. And what do passengers bring with them? Baggage, and lots of it. So one of Schiphol’s main challenges is to ensure that the capacity of its baggage handling systems is sufficient. Because physical constraints limit the potential to expand the system, Schiphol must focus on improving the availability and reliability of its current baggage handling lines.

“The baggage handling system plays a crucial role in our ability to provide passengers with an excellent travel experience,” says Ron Wever, a baggage cluster manager at Schiphol. “That’s why we continually invest in innovative solutions that allow us to improve our reliability and performance.”

The solution

“Schiphol has a large number of critical assets, so we have pretty tough requirements for a new condition monitoring system,” says Marcel den Blanken, one of Schiphol’s baggage service managers. “It needs to provide actionable information about the state of our conveyors, detect a high percentage of faults at least five days before failure, be easy to install and maintain, and be scalable.”

Given those requirements, Schiphol went looking for a system that could meet them. “Semiotic Labs’ SAM4 ticked all our boxes, so we decided to try it out on 25 machines,” says Den Blanken.

Babcock International, one of Schiphol’s baggage system partners, installed the SAM4 sensors. “Because SAM4 installs inside the motor control cabinet, we were able to deploy across a large number of assets at minimal cost,” says Pieter Bakker, a baggage service manager at Schiphol.

Up and running

Once SAM4’s IoT hardware was installed, the system began collecting data. It took about four weeks to develop individual models for the monitored assets via an automated learning cycle. Once the learning stage was completed, SAM4 was ready to detect upcoming failures around the clock.

The results

SAM4 eliminated unplanned downtime for the assets it monitored. During the 12-month trial period, SAM4 achieved a perfect score, detecting 9 developing faults well in advance (including issues with AC motors, conveyors and the conveyor braking system) and
missing none.

“The real-time information SAM4 provided about the condition of our conveyor system allowed us to schedule maintenance before breakdowns occurred,” says Schiphol’s Bakker. “At first I was a bit skeptical about SAM4’s ability to detect failures by analyzing electrical waveforms, but the results speak for themselves: it just works.”

What's next?

“SAM4’s monitoring technology has proven to be accurate, reliable and easy to use,” Schiphol’s Wever says. “Based on the results of the trial period, we’re expanding SAM4 across our production system. Over the next couple of months, we’ll work with Semiotic Labs to deploy SAM4 at scale, while continuing to use SAM4’s insights in our day-to-day operations.”

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The full story includes extra interviews and insights into how SAM4 helped to reduce unplanned downtime at Schiphol Airport.