Airlines and their passengers waiting for baggage are a demanding crowd. Equipment has to be completely efficient and reliable to ensure logistics processes function smoothly, without interruption and on time. BCS can rest assured that this will be the case, as they have recently chosen VACON® 20 X variable speed AC drives to provide motor control for their baggage handling systems.
BCS Group is a New Zealand-based company that specializes in providing innovative solutions to global air transport and logistics customers. For a number of years, BCS had been using gearboxes and variable speed AC drives (VSD) from a major supplier to the logistics industry. However, a number of problems arose when the supplier’s drive, which had been locally modified, was superseded by a new model. BCS evaluated the new drive model from this supplier, but it was not customizable and consequently could not meet the needs of BCS.
On the lookout for a new supplier
Frank Kassai, Controls Engineering Manager, BCS, explains: “We were ideally looking for a decentralized variable speed AC drive in the power range of 0.75 kW to 7.5 kW with all the properties required for baggage handling systems. These include AS-i bus communication, local control, mains isolator, power and motor connectors, internal brake resistor and mechanical brake control.” Reliability and serviceability are key issues in this industry as it is very important that luggage makes it to the plane in time.
During their search for an AC drive, BCS was contacted by Eecotech NZ Ltd, a New Zealand-based partner of Vacon, and discovered that the VACON® 20 X could offer what BCS needed. Vacon could also develop a BCS-specific software application, so the final offering surpassed all their expectations.
The ideal compact drive for decentralized applications
The VACON® 20 X has been developed and is manufactured by Vacon S.p.A., Vacon’s Italian subsidiary with operations in Reggio Emilia and in the alpine town of Merano. Andrea Perin, Country Manager for Vacon S.p.A., was handed the task of customizing the drive to meet BCS’ requirements, and created a concept design that BCS was keen to progress with. This was soon developed into a prototype, at which point Vacon and BCS officially became partners.
VACON® AC drives in logistics applications worldwide
Vacon has recently made huge inroads into the logistics industry, and baggage and material handling accounts for much of this – in no small part down to the team up with BCS. VACON® AC drives can now be found in major airports in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth and as far afield as Addis Ababa Bole International Airport in Ethiopia. 750 VACON® AC drives have been supplied to BCS alone, and that number should rise as existing projects develop and new ones come along.
“Aside from the quality of the product they supplied, there were plenty of reasons why we chose Vacon,” concludes Frank Kassai, BCS. “We were highly impressed by the levels of commitment and delivery shown when we requested a prototype, and the ease with which they were able to customize the product for our requirements. Their bond with their customers was something that BCS shares as a core value and, for that reason, we can see the partnership lasting for a long time.”
Two companies with plenty in common
BCS and Vacon have much in common: the two companies were both founded in 1993, work in rapidly growing industries and see the needs of their customers as an absolute priority. This can be seen in Vacon’s vision of The Drives Family, which aims to include everyone who is passionate about AC drives, and in the words of the founder of BCS: “What makes a company successful is honesty and integrity, and the focus on doing things right. We consider our customers as part of our business, and we must serve their needs in the most professional and efficient way.”
- BCS Group is a synergistic group of technology companies that are leaders in materials handling and plant automation.
- BCS customers are primarily in the airports and logistics sectors for materials handling and in the general manufacturing sector for automation solutions, tools and software.
- BCS has been nominated in the TIN 100 report as one of NZ’s top 10 technology companies to watch
- BCS is headquartered in Auckland NZ and employs 350 staff globally, including operations in New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Mexico, and North America. BCS also have supporting partners in Canada, Caribbean, China, Africa, Middle East, Europe and other SE Asian countries
Please note that Vacon joined the Danfoss Group in December 2014.