Siemens Logistics optimizes baggage handling at Munich Airport with VarioTip


Siemens Logistics has tested the innovative VarioTip for the automated unloading of baggage from unit load devices (ULDs) during live operation at Munich Airport, Germany. In late 2021, the technology was integrated as part of a pilot project into an existing baggage handling system in the Terminal 2 arrivals zone – where it achieved an extremely high automatic ULD unloading rate of around 99 percent.

With its advanced tilting mechanism, VarioTip is currently capable of processing up to 20 ULDs – around 800 items of luggage – per hour. Once the suitcases, backpacks, and sports bags have been unloaded, the device singulates them precisely before transferring them on to the system. VarioTip is easy to handle and can be operated by just a single worker, allowing the airport to significantly improve human resource utilization. In addition, VarioTip lowers the need for manual intervention, enhancing workplace safety.

Michael Schneider, CEO of Siemens Logistics, said: “Automating complex logistics processes is one of the biggest challenges at airports. With VarioTip, we developed an ideal solution specifically for ground handling operations. Today, a single worker manually handles an average of up to 24 tons of baggage during one shift. Our innovation not only reduces manual efforts and physical strain, it also helps increase the speed, efficiency and sustainable performance of baggage transfer operations.”

“VarioTip from Siemens Logistics supports us in our strategy to automate manual, labor-intensive processes at the interface between the baggage handling system and the apron. Besides focusing on efficiency, we aim to achieve a high level of workplace ergonomics in order to make jobs more attractive in the long term. After installing VarioTip in our system and running numerous tests under real operating conditions, we were convinced by its powerful, reliable performance. VarioTip will help us further optimize ground handling in Terminal 2 in the future,” explained Hauke Hedderich, Head of Processes and Central Infrastructure at the Terminal 2 Gesellschaft in Munich.

VarioTip offers a wide choice of possible layout configurations to suit different technical and spatial requirements. Thanks to its compact, modular design, the solution can be integrated into almost any existing conveyor system. VarioTip also unloads various sizes of ULDs such as AKE, AKH, DPE and others, making it a highly versatile device.

Siemens Logistics has already successfully completed a number of installation and modernization projects at Munich Airport in recent years. This pilot project once again underlines the trust-based collaboration and innovative strength of both partners at the technology and process level.