ICA manufactures equipment to automate the handling of food and beverage air catering carts between flights. This system can be sold as a complete solution or in segments, which when integrated form the whole turnkey solution.

Cart Handling Systems

One of ICA’s previous projects involved an iconic Australian airline company, who commissioned a Queensland construction firm to build a new air catering facility as part of its multi million-dollar airport upgrade. This multifaceted project was a complex process, so the construction firm commissioned Industrial Conveying (Aust) Pty Ltd (ICA) to design and manufacture some of the specialised components that facilitate the handling of food and beverage carts as they pass through the facility.

ICA custom designed and manufactured a system that automates the handling of food and beverage carts in between flights. The facility tracks, receives, unloads waste, washes, loads and redeploys airline catering carts according to the requirements of each carrier, aircraft type and catering requirement.

Air Catering

ICA’s custom-designed equipment accommodates the different physical dimensions, wheel alignment and centre of gravity for each cart. The different systems that integrate to form the whole turnkey solution are:

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Dirty meal carts are received from the aircraft and transported to the facility. A moving floor principle enables the transfers and movement of carts. A high degree of system engineering combined with specialised air controls ensures up to 160 carts per hour can be processed safely.

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AGVs are used throughout the facility to transport carts to and from the multiple loading positions. Cart data is recorded and tracked via scanners and RFID tags prior to entering the storage area. This data is matched with the allocation of required carts for different airlines.

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Conveying of all waste from international and domestic aircrafts. Sterilisation and separation of all international arriving food waste to satisfy AQIS regulation.
Under floor waste processing system to improve hygiene and reduce landfill.

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Components of the carts are automatically washed and sorted.

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Clean Utensil Conveying (CUC) system

Positioned overhead, the CUC system transports washed components to be reassembled and stored. Utensils are transferred from the wash area to the cart loading area.

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Clean Cart Storage (CCS) system

Fully automated, the CCS system operates on a FIFO (first in-first out) principle and holds multiple cart types for different carriers. Carts are transferred from the washing station via sorting conveyors to the lane storage system.

Operational Advantages

  • Increased Efficiencies – Higher throughput, reduced processing time, less human intervention.
  • Better control over meal cart movements
  • Capacity to handle 160 carts per hour, 1200 carts per day
  • Reduced incidence of OH&S issues
  • Fresher food for consumers – Speedy processing and handling allows meals to be prepared closer to departure times.