Ahkera Smart Tech: Fully automated baggage handling possible – for the first time

Many airports have growing numbers of passengers and needs to expand or modernize their facilities to handle expanding bag flows. Finnish company Ahkera Smart Tech has solved the issue with Finnish robotics and software know-how – as first in the world.

Traditional manual baggage hall operations require a lot of facility floor space to accommodate sortation by flight and segregation. Robotics has been successful and very widely used in many fields of industry, but automated baggage handling is another story as bags have very different sizes, shapes, and textures.

"Packing a ULD (unit load device) so that it is automatically packed full and the stack is stable has required a lot of innovation and intelligent software. Service provider can revolutionize the entire baggage hall service chain concept with our solution", states CTO Juha Tuominen.

Airlines have been very happy with the fill-rate and how gently bags and ULDs are handled. The solution has been designed to be easily bolt-on retrofitted to modernize many baggage hall operations.

Airports can save in valuable facility footprint and gain better throughput. Ground handlers need less personnel for the make-up process with increased health and safety. Opportunity for theft and human error are diminished to a minimum; at the same time the total cost of bags handled can drop by as much as 90 %.

Tekes' role has been significant as funder of Ahkera Smart Tech’s research, development and innovation. The company also participated the NUS MBA program in 2014 where MBA students from the National University of Singapore with years of working experience carried out a business plan for the Southeast Asia market. Tekes funded the costs of Ahkera Smart Tech's NUS MBA participation.

CEO Harri Ruoslahti says that the business plan Ahkera Smarth Tech received was a good general overview of the Southeast Asian market and it challenged the company's own visions. The plan recommended Ahkera Smart Tech to start international expansion from China and Singapore. Japanese market was considered unattractive.

"Our MBA team confirmed our vision of the Southeast Asia market. Now we plan to expand our operations there and to Europe."

Additional information

Harri Ruoslahti
Ahkera Smart Tech
Tel. +358 50 433 4888
harri.ruoslahti (at) ahkeratech.com

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Kaj Nordgren

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