WFS trials automated forklifts at Barcelona Airport cargo terminal

Test integrates WFS’s Cargospot Mobile warehouse management, supplied by CHAMP Cargosystems, with robotic WMS

WFS trials automated forklifts at Barcelona Airport cargo terminal
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Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), a member of the SATS Group, commenced a proof-of-concept trial using autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) in its cargo terminal at Barcelona Airport in the latest initiative to explore productivity and operational gains of automated solutions.

The trial of Linde AGV forklift trucks will last for seven months, and, if successful, will see this technology rolled out across other WFS stations in Europe, Middle East, Africa & Asia (EMEAA) region, according to the official release.

“We have allocated dedicated pick-up areas for the trials in addition to 156 pallet storage rack locations,” says Marc Grau, Station Manager, Barcelona, WFS.

Two types of AGV forklifts will be used in the Barcelona facility within the inbound and outbound operational areas. They will move cargo from the breakdown areas to racking storage locations within the warehouse as well as to the cargo delivery area. The trial has also integrated WFS’s Cargospot Mobile warehouse management system, supplied by CHAMP Cargosystems, with the AGV robotic WMS to provide a one-system solution.

“We are looking forward to seeing how the use of AGV technology can enhance our cargo warehouse operations. We have chosen to do this first AGV forklift trial in Barcelona because it is a prime cargo station in the WFS network and one of the leading locations supporting our operational excellence initiatives. Our team in Spain are helping to drive the introduction of new technologies into our operations and to provide the proof-of-concept we need before we roll out these solutions at other cargo stations in our network,” says Jimi Daniel Hansen, Vice President, Operational Excellence – EMEAA, WFS.

Adam Brownson, Group IT Programmes and Business Relationships Manager, WFS also acknowledged the support of CHAMP Cargosystems, stating: “WFS has worked very closely with CHAMP to seamlessly integrate AGVs into the Cargospot Mobile warehouse management system to ensure we can embrace new AGV technologies with one core operating system. This is especially important in a busy, time-sensitive cargo handling environment and we value their partnership.”

The AGV forklift trial will explore how the vehicles are able to reduce the number of transport tasks currently undertaken by cargo agent personnel, giving them more time to conduct other important duties as well as assess opportunities for productivity improvements, the release added.

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