Machine-Friendly Facility

by Nissim Agassi, Principal; Weidlinger Associates, New York, NY,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1993, Vol. 63, Issue 2, Pg. 44-47

Document Type: Feature article


Cargo facility automation makes more efficient use of space, reduces labor and speeds operations. These are critical factors at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport�currently the world's busiest air cargo terminal, with volume expected to double by 2000�where a highly advanced automated cargo facility is currently under construction. The $115.5 million terminal features a computer-controlled material handling system (MHS) to receive, store, retrieve and inventory cargo. When complete, the facility will be able to simultaneously service one side-loading and two nose-loading Boeing 747-400 freighters, cutting overall ground time significantly. Structural engineers had to accommodate finely calibrated robotic machinery highly intolerant of structural imperfections. They also saved several million dollars�in part by switching to an all-steel frame for the facility. Construction of the cargo terminal started in August 1992, and the project is scheduled for completion in January 1994.

Subject Headings: Freight terminals | Construction management | Construction equipment | Terminal facilities | Steel | Space exploration | Scheduling

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