Heathrow T3-IB baggage handling

Entered by Fisher Engineering Ltd

An advanced baggage handling system

Terminal Three at London's Heathrow Airport will receive an advanced baggage handling system for 2013, designed, developed and installed by Vanderlande Industries under a contract awarded by BAA worth £71.7million. A reduced building footprint and low operating costs alongside a good working environment that protects the health and safety of staff are important features of the new Terminal Three baggage handling system. The main frame initial containment building was modelled and detailed by Watson Steel. In parallel a coordination copy of the developing main frame model was used by Fisher Engineering as the starting point to begin importing the thousands of interstitial floor and baggage system support beams and hangers floor by floor. Because of the intensity of system plant being fitted into the footprint of the building, all secondary steelwork and mechanical systems had to be finely coordinated, as even a handrail out of place would cause disruption to the smooth operation of miles of conveyor systems and sorting machinery. 3D reference models were provided by Vanderlande to allow stairs, ladders, handrails and flooring to be modelled exactly where required over the thousands of square meters of walkways and platforms. The detailed model was exported again from Tekla for final design team coordination and approval for fabrication.

Smooth coordination

The sheer quantity of members and parts required over the expanse of the project presented an initial challenge of providing the information needed to procure materials and components as a job lot in a short space of time. This could only be achieved by the handover and sharing of models between the design team and the steelwork contractor. The smooth coordination of separate detailing disciplines working within a multiuser environment meant a "production line" like setup was possible to ensure a continuous flow of fabrication information from start to finish of the project.