Ethernet Solutions for Airport Passenger Boarding Bridge Monitoring System

Market: Transportation
Industrial Application: Transport Hub

The Challenge

As one of China’s three major international airports, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (GBIA) is among the busiest airports in both Asia and the world. Since the airport’s reopening on Aug. 5, 2004, business at GBIA has developed steadily. In 2010, it was ranked among the world’s top ten airports for service quality, being ranked seventh in Airports Council International’s Airport Service Quality passenger satisfaction survey.

To maximize the efficiency of aircraft use and safety operations, ground support equipment are subject to stringent regulations, largely because of their high usage frequency and importance. As an example, passenger boarding bridges (PBBs) are critical for passengers to be able to board an aircraft, and their failure or abnormal operation may result in delays or even serious accidents. Thus, to meet the airport’s operational requirements, it is necessary that an intelligent scheduling system be adopted for their monitoring and management so that staff have real-time information on the equipment’s operating state, usage, maintenance history, and so on. Other crucial equipment that can be monitored using such a system includes ground air conditioning units and ground power units.


  • Compact industrial design, wide operating temperature, and stable operation
  • Rapid deployment
  • Zero network latency/packet loss
  • MODBUS/TCP support
  • Rapid troubleshooting and fault identification

The Solution

GBIA’s PBB monitoring system consists of four components: programmable logic controllers (PLCs), serial device servers (EKI-1524CI and EKI-1522CI), switches (EKI7710E-2CI and EKI-5528I), and servers. The serial device servers are connected to the PLC to convert the equipment data to TCP/IP prior to transmission to the server via an industrial Ethernet network. The data need to be visualized in the PBB monitoring system so as to provide real-time monitoring information and issue an alert in the event of a fault being detected.

Among these system components, the EKI-7710E-2CIs, which are embedded with Advantech B+B SmartWorx’s unique IXM feature, have improved the airport’s operational efficiency for future maintenance and upgrading. Their X-ring design ensures that network transmission is without interruption, thus bolstering the network reliability of the PBB system. The EKI-5528I unmanaged Ethernet monitoring switch can help the customers complete the last mile of building an effective network management infrastructure.

With Advantech B+B SmartWorx’s unmanaged Ethernet switches, the patented network monitoring function ensures that valuable information is provided for the network connection status of each line that is connected to a switch. Thus, when the monitoring system detects an anomaly, WebAccess/NMS issues an early warning; this allows engineers to identify the faulty network link or defective equipment, thus greatly reducing the time for troubleshooting. Through Advantech’s industrial Ethernet solutions, GBIA significantly lowered the failure rate of its monitoring system, cut down on wiring and maintenance costs, and enhanced its operational efficiency.