Siemens and Munich Airport agree on strategic partnership for digitalization

Joint development of Munich Airport’s digital future.
Siemens is using Artificial Intelligence and MindSphere as platforms for new digital applications

Siemens and Munich Airport have forged a strategic partnership for digitalization in order to work on the airport’s digital future together with further partners. Over the coming years, the partners want to use data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and artificial intelligence to improve, for instance, the energy efficiency of airport buildings and the logistics for the baggage handling system. Plans also call for using these capabilities to make the time that passengers spend at the facility more pleasant. To meet these goals, Siemens is becoming a developmental partner for LabCampus, the major project for the airport’s digital future. For the digital technologies, Siemens is using MindSphere, its open, cloud-based operating system for the Internet of Things.

“For airports, in particular, digitalization offers great opportunities for optimizing operations,” said Roland Busch, member of the Managing Board and Chief Technology Officer at Siemens. “That’s why we, as the worldwide market leader in industrial automation and digitalization, are cooperating with Europe’s only five-star airport.” In 2017, the London aviation research consultancy Skytrax awarded this status to Munich for the second time.

The new LabCampus, which is being presented today, is Munich Airport’s new innovation center. There, companies, start-ups, universities and research institutes are to work together on new technologies. At this cross-disciplinary center for cultivating ideas on the airport campus, Siemens and Munich Airport will be developing pioneering solutions in fields of innovation such as mobility and energy management as well as safety and security.

Siemens’ developmental efforts currently focus on five fields of innovation. This includes intelligent guidance of passenger flows, seamless tracking of luggage, and buses that drive autonomously on airport grounds as well as predictive maintenance for, and operation of, systems such as the baggage handling and building technology. For this development work, Siemens is using MindSphere as the IoT platform. MindSphere can be used to develop and operate new apps and digital services. This approach makes it possible to quickly gather and evaluate the immense amounts of data that are generated at the airport. Individual data silos, for instance, are linked together in this way, and information for later optimization efforts is derived from these sources.

Siemens has maintained close ties with Munich Airport for about the past 20 years. Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics (SPPAL), for example, installed the baggage handling system for Terminal 2 and supplied the extension for the satellite terminal that was opened in 2015. This system, which is 45 kilometers long, sorts up to 17,800 pieces of luggage per hour. Last year, the contract for operation and maintenance of the entire system was renewed. In addition, the SPPAL experts are currently working on a new solution for seamlessly tracking pieces of luggage. Here, cameras worn by the baggage-handling staff are to scan the bags automatically – a task that until now has been performed manually in a labor-intensive process.