Baggage robot takes over the heavy lifting

How do we make the work of our colleagues in the baggage hall less physically demanding? By taking the heavy lifting off their hands. This is why we recently purchased nineteen baggage robots, one of which is already in use. That's how we're working towards a lighter workload.

If you've flown before, you'll probably have had to deal with a slightly too heavy suitcase or bag that you needed to lift onto the baggage belt at some point. That heavy baggage also needs to be taken off the baggage belt and loaded onto the plane of course. Which is where our colleagues in the baggage hall come in.

It's their job to handle the tens of millions of baggage items that our travellers bring with them each year. A huge task that they could certainly use some help with. Because one thing is clear: the physical workload of these colleagues needs to be reduced as quickly as possible. That's why we and the six handling companies at Schiphol have joined forces to submit a joint action plan to the Dutch Labour Inspectorate.

A helping hand

Our new baggage robots are going to lend a helping hand. These so-called Cobots (collaborative robots that work together with people) will take over the physically demanding part of the baggage handling process: the lifting of suitcases. We conducted a trial earlier this year and it went so well that we decided to purchase nineteen Cobots right away. The first is already in use and the last one will be available by early 2024 at the latest.

These baggage robots are a first step, but we're doing a lot more. We've acquired a 10 percent stake in the Danish company that builds our new baggage robots, Cobot Lift. This is how we can ensure a speedy roll out and scaling up at our airport. In addition, colleagues in the baggage halls will soon be able to start using the first of 120 new electric lifting aids (which help lift suitcases), and thirty additional transfer belts are coming our way.

Pioneering

We are not only setting our sights on the near future, but also looking beyond. Therefore, in close consultation with our colleagues, scientists from TU Delft are conducting research in the baggage halls over the next six months into a pioneering new way of working.

Working with pride

All these initiatives are in line with our goal to put people first and to ensure that our airport is a place where you work with pride. Whether that's as a Schiphol employee or under contract with another employer. This ambition is part of our eight-point plan for a quieter, cleaner and better Schiphol.

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