New Baggage-Handling System at Large International Airport

7 min video  /  3 minute read

Project Scope

  • Tags: 96,074
  • Screens: 18
  • Clients: 3 in Control Room, many outside the Control Room
  • Alarms: 25,885
  • Devices used: 14 - S7400 Siemens PLC
  • Architectures used: Standard
  • Databases used: 1 – Microsoft SQL Server JDBC Driver
  • Historical data logged: 2 weeks worth of alarm data, varies too much to give a numerical value

Project Overview

Brock Solutions worked with the Dublin Airport in Dublin, Ireland, to replace the airport’s baggage handling system in Terminal 2. Brock was able to complete this upgrade on schedule and on budget. Brock believes this is the largest Ignition airport baggage handling system in the world. The airport has been so pleased with the project, it’s planning to work with Brock to add more solutions built on the Ignition platform.


The previous baggage handling system in Terminal 2 was custom developed by the original Integrator of the system. This made the software very difficult and expensive to support, upgrade and modify when the need arose. A new solution was needed that was more flexible to meet the requirements of the operations at the airport. This new system would need to replace the existing one without disrupting operations at the airport — with only a small maintenance window in the evening.


The new system installed by Brock Solutions includes SmartSort (baggage sortation software for sortation and reporting), and Ignition for HMI and SCADA. SmartSort is a configurable baggage sortation solution that allows the airport to meet its future expansion requirements. Ignition is the perfect off-the-shelf platform, allowing the airport to easily expand the system in the future.

Ignition was selected because of:

Previous Experience. It had been used on a variety of smaller projects including visibility into power systems, condition monitoring, and intrusion detection.

Unlimited Licensing Model. Dublin was tired of the client-based licensing it was receiving from its legacy SCADA provider.

Flexibility. The airport knew Ignition was powerful and flexible enough to meet its future demands.

To help expedite the development of the Ignition component of this project, existing graphics from the previous custom SCADA were imported into the new Ignition project as a starting point. This greatly simplified the development work.

The previous SCADA system was replaced by Ignition through a careful process of testing onsite over three months (the entire project took about 12 months). The new HMI was strategically brought online in parallel with the existing one, so the system could be tested thoroughly without affecting live operations at the airport.


The airport now has a solution that is based on an off-the-shelf platform that it can expand on in order to meet future requirements. The airport also likes the solution so much that it is now the airport’s standard, and was "hard-specified" as the baggage handling system software for the new Terminal 1 project.

As well as gaining a more flexible solution, the airport was able to get a more stable, bug-free system. There were many bugs from the existing system that were only corrected because of the thorough testing and implementation approach used by Brock Solutions and the Dublin Airport on this project.

Brock Solutions met the financial goals of the project while starting a new partnership that will benefit both parties for years to come.

“I am delighted that Dublin Airport is the first European airport to implement Brock Solutions’ SmartSuite technology to deliver an integrated baggage management software solution in Terminal 2,” said Frances O’Brien, VP PMO daa IT, Dublin Airport Authority. “From the outset, Brock Solutions has been a fantastic technology partner to work with. They have demonstrated consistently high levels of technology and project implementation skills. The project was a great example of true team delivery with daa IT, Dublin Airport Baggage Operations, and Brock Solutions working closely together to deliver a high-quality solution on time and within budget without any adverse impact to the Dublin Airport baggage operation. Brock has proven themselves to be a flexible, innovative technology company and I look forward to continuing to build on this new, exciting platform for baggage systems management.”

Project Information

Created By:   Brock Solutions

Brock Solutions is an engineering solutions and professional services company specializing in the design, build, and implementation of real-time solutions for broad-based industrial/manufacturing and transportation/logistics organizations globally. With over 500 employees in North America, Brock Solutions is a privately held, employee-owned organization with over 30 years in the real-time solutions space. From panel fabrication to upper and lower level conveyor controls, real-time tracking of barcoded materials, and Manufacturing Execution System (MES), with seamless integration into Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.


Posted on September 30, 2019