Logistics and automation from one source

by Hans Diederichs

dnata, one of the world’s largest airport services provider, is moving its air cargo handling operations at Manchester Airport to a new purpose-built facility, the “dnata City Northˮ cargo complex. After Heathrow, this is the second largest cargo terminal of dnata in their United Kingdom network. To make the new terminal fit for the future, dnata invested in an intensive planning phase. AMOVA, a company of SMS group, has developed an innovative concept which also takes future requirements of the facility into account.

AMOVA will supply the entire logistics system for the “dnata City Northˮ cargo complex. The heart of the new facility is a 15ft Elevating Transfer Vehicle (ETV) with a split roller deck. This universal vehicle can store and retrieve two 5ft ULDs (Unit Load Device) independently and additionally route 20ft ULDs through the racking system.  

A special feature is located on the airside of the terminal, where the customer uses truck docks, which, thanks to their special design, also enable the use of dolly trains. On the land side, truck docks are planned to serve the Road Feeder Service (RFS). The facility is completed by several motor-driven roller decks, various workstations and cold storage cells for pharmaceutical products.

Besides the complete automation, AMOVA also supplies the WMS (Warehouse Management System), in cooperation with its longstanding partner Unitechnik. The WMS ensures an optimal material flow and coordinates and controls all transport orders of the ETV, the express line, the work stations and the truck docks. In addition, the WMS realizes the backup function of ULD identification should the higher-level Cargo Management System (CMS) fail. The WMS supports the operators with animated real-time visualization of the status of the automated transport equipment and the ULDs.

As a global technology leader in intralogistics, AMOVA supports the fast-growing trading market with its continuous development of technological advancements and innovations. This strategy combined with AMOVA’s air cargo expertise convinced dnata of AMOVA’s capability of handling this project. The contract was signed in November 2019, assembly will start as early as summer 2020 and the handover of the operational terminal is planned for late 2020.   

Source and photo: SMS group

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