The demands from Airport Baggage Handling Systems continue to expand, seemingly demanding more (faster and more security checks) with less (less people and less energy). Increased airport security drives the need for more baggage inspection points. This in turn drives the need for more automation with the benefit of fewer people screened for secured areas. In addition, airlines and airports are placing more attention to reducing carbon footprint by investigating areas for improving efficiency, but within the overall scope of reliability and flexibility. One area in this investigation is the Queue Conveyor that “meter” (space bags evenly) or “queue” (hold and release) baggage to the next station. These belt conveyors differ from normal belt conveyors due to high start/stop cycling required that can reach 1 cycle per second. Belt conveyors in Airport Baggage Handling Systems typically in the past involved helical bevel right angle or multi-stage helical mechanical speed reducers. And for high cycling start/stop applications, these are fitted with a clutch/brake assembly between the motor and mechanical speed reducer. Newer approaches involving hypoidal gearmotors operated with an AC Speed Drives (often referred to as Variable Frequency Drives or VFDs for short) are being investigated. The hypoidal gearmotor is a more compact package than the existing designs—integrating a mechanical speed reducer with a motor. This new, compact form factor driven with a VFD seems to provide more throughputs with less mechanical elements and less energy usage. This paper will review the advantages and disadvantages of the hypoidal gearmotor method in the Queue Conveyor, supported with simulated test methodology and results. Particular focus of the test will include durability, energy savings potential, and applicability of AGMA service factor in gearmotor selection. Durability will focus on the mechanical components in the high cycle application as well as the thermal capacity of the motor.

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