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MediaService Digital Industries Newsroom

All in balance – Air freight handling at Zurich airport relies on Siemens precision weighing technology

Air freight is basically understood as either carriage by cargo aircraft or transportation in the underfloor deck of passenger aircraft – so-called ‘belly freight’. In both cases, precise loading is required so that, for example, the center of gravity of the aircraft is maintained or the ground load limits are not exceeded. If the freight is incorrectly loaded, this can result in damage to both the goods and the aircraft as well as aborted take-offs which in turn leads to time delays and additional costs. The most important variable here is the traffic load, i.e. the payload. This is the sum of all cargo and individual items of luggage and mail. This data is sent to the load planner, i.e. the freight planner. As incorrect weight information can have serious consequences, Cargologic attaches great importance to weighing all items correctly.

The cargo handler Cargologic AG relies on a range of equipment from the Siemens weighing portfolio, including the Siwarex DB digital junction box, to weigh air freight at Zurich airport.

Improved diagnostics
The weight of every item of freight is captured on either platform or roller conveyor scales. These values are used as the basis for the load planner’s most important working document – the load and trim sheet where the load and optimum distribution of masses (trim) are precisely determined. In Zurich, weighing is carried out on over 150 scales. To future-proof the system, the logistics company is focusing on even more diagnostic options and monitoring as part of a modernization program. This includes Siemens technology in the form of the Siwarex DB digital junction box with Siwarex WP231 weighing electronics which allow all the individual load cells to be monitored.

Precision individual monitoring for greater efficiency
Siwarex WP231 is a stand-alone electronic weighing system that can also operate without an additional Simatic PLC and that fits seamlessly into the process at Cargologic. The roller conveyor scales are operated via a Simatic IPC277 panel PC with Windows operating system. The operating logic and design are based on the previous weighing system. “But for us, the highlight of this modernization lies elsewhere. With the Siwarex DB digital junction box, we can not only continue to use our previous analogue load cells, but we now monitor all four cells of the roller conveyor scales individually,” says Urs Strupler, who is responsible for purchasing and maintenance at Cargologic. This single channel monitoring means that a cell failure is instantly displayed on the control panel. “We can react immediately and thus reduce the downtime of the scales to a minimum,” enthuses Strupler. This increases the accuracy and availability of the entire weighing process which in turn reduces costs, probability of errors, and the time required in the process.

Cargologic has a handling capacity of 600,000 tons per year at Zurich airport with over 150 scales in operation, including this roller conveyor scale.

MediaService application reports may be based on previously published Siemens technical articles.


Ursula Lang

Digital Industries

Gleiwitzer Str. 555
90475 Nuremberg

+49 (152) 22915052