13.09.17 • Los Angeles International airport has recently joined many global airports that are realizing the benefits of applying SEW-EURODRIVE MOVIGEAR® mechatronic drives to their Baggage Handling Systems (BHS).


The team of CAGE Inc., Daifuku, Brock Solutions, Ludvik Electric, and SEW-EURODRIVE, as well as a number of others, participated in the development and installation of the mechatronic drive solution for the new inline Checked Baggage Screening System at Los Angeles International Airport - Terminal 4. This was the first installation of its type in the United States. Around 450 mechatronic drives keep things moving in this fully modernized baggage handling system.


In 2013, SEW-EURODRIVE entered into a pioneering partnership with CAGE Inc., one of the leading U.S. consultants for baggage handling systems, based in Irving, Texas, to develop a high performance, energy efficient, and operations/maintenance friendly automated baggage handling system. The project aimed to thoroughly upgrade the baggage handling system in LAX terminal 4 with permanent magnet motor drives (PMM drives). The planning was carried out in close collaboration between SEW-EURODRIVE, CAGE Inc., and Daifuku from Farmington Hills, Michigan.

The upgrade covered a total of five CTX-9800 machines in a new Checked Baggage Inspection System (CBIS) and the Checked Baggage Resolution Area (CBRA) in Terminal 4. (The CBIS area is where the checked baggage undergoes electronic security screening; in the CBRA area, baggage classified as ‘suspect’ endures additional interrogation until cleared and dispatched for outbound sortation.)


The project presented some unique challenges. The historically applied asynchronous motors are technologically a far cry from the high performance and torque of a MOVIGEAR®. As a result of these performance differences, new algorithms had to be developed that take into account the unique performance and on board features of the MOVIGEAR® product family. This ‘ground up’ sizing approach was the only way to determine the most efficient selection for each application and to allow SEW-EURODRIVE to optimize the spare unit requirements.


As a result, some 450 decentralized MOVIGEAR® and DRC.. mechatronic units from SEW-EURODRIVE are the centerpiece of this investment in modernization. MOVIGEAR® saves up to 50% of operational energy requirements, has high breakaway torque of over 300% (as compared to the nominal torque), a significant reduction in noise levels, fewer unique spares, easy operational maintenance, and most importantly, reduces the incoming power required by a nominal 50%*.

Our mechatronic drives' unique features have particularly impressed the system operator at LAX. One of the world's largest airlines, the sole operator of Terminal 4, is now expanding their application of our innovative drive technology by applying MOVIGEAR® to other automated baggage handling system enhancements in the US.

*depends on system design and equipment builder

As CAGE Inc. has demonstrated, this initial US BHS project has been the catalyst for SEW-EURODRIVE to introduce the MOVIGEAR® and DRC.. product family to the US BHS industry. Certainly as far as CAGE is concerned, we have established ourselves as an innovative and high-quality supplier for the energy efficient, power saving, and ergonomically designed, MOVIGEAR® mechatronic drive.


For SEW-EURODRIVE customers in the aviation industry, this successfully completed installation at Los Angeles International Airport is a real awakening. The BHS industry has realized MOVIGEAR® Permanent Magnet Motor Technology is the future of the BHS industry. Thanks to our partnership with CAGE Inc. and their support of our mechatronic drives with PMM technology, there is nothing to impede future MOVIGEAR® projects.