SINGAPORE: A team led by Singapore Technologies (ST) Dynamics has won a challenge to automate labour-intensive processes in airport operations.
They were presented their cash prize of S$500,000 at an award ceremony on Thursday (Aug 17).
The Aviation Challenge was launched in 2014 by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) with the aim of developing innovative solutions to automate labour-intensive processes in airport operations.
Five teams - Ctrlworks, Cyclect Electrical Engineering, Singapore Aerospace and Aviation Services, ST Dynamics and Temasek Polytechnic - were selected out of 14 applicants and awarded a total of S$9.2 million in funding to develop prototypes for solutions that could help ease the load of baggage-handling workers.
The prototypes were evaluated by a panel of senior representatives from the aviation community.
The winning prototype by ST Dynamics, which collaborated with Israel Aerospace Industries, makes use of bar-code readers and is fully automated. The team's design features a robotic arm, eliminating the need for manual bag loading onto the trolley.
With the push of a button and in less than two minutes, an automatic off-loader is also able to lift a fully loaded baggage trolley, tilt it and off-load all bags onto the conveyor belt.
"It reduces operator fatigue, enhances workplace safety and increases productivity by simplifying existing tasks," said ST Dynamics' vice president of technology development Paul Tan.
He added that the design also came with a central fleet management system that tracks the use of resources, reducing business costs.
Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng said at the event: "We should systematically and pro-actively look for ways to apply technology and automation, to raise productivity and create better jobs for all our air transport workers."
Responding to Channel NewsAsia's queries, Changi Airport said it will work with CAAS to identify selected innovations that can be developed into prototypes for testing in the airport.