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Utilizing Advantech’s Industrial Ethernet Solutions to Build a Modern Passenger Boarding Bridge Monitoring System for Guangzhou Baiyun Airport

Date: 11/24/2017 12:00:00 AM

Market: Transportation 
Industrial Application: Transport Hub 
Location: Guangzhou, China

Project Introduction

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 August 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. Statistics from 2016 indicate that the annual passenger volume is at approximately 59.78 million, making it one of the largest and busiest airports in the world today. 

With the objective of building a world-class aviation hub, management at GBIA has set efficiency and service quality as the main priorities for the airport’s strategic development. However, with the increased lifespan of the airport, equipment aging and failures had repeatedly caused problems and even some emergencies for technicians, and this had been detrimental to efficiency. Because the older equipment could no longer meet the airport’s development needs, much of it had to be updated.


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.

Project Requirements

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

System Diagram


System Description

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’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’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.

Product Features

Serial Device Server 

The EKI-1524CI supports a standard serial connection, 10/100 Mbps dual Ethernet, dual power supply, and relay alarms. It also supports Windows and Linux architectures without system protocol binding problems, and it provides a virtual serial port for quickly upgrading traditional networking to a modern architecture for IoT applications. This server is also suitable for use in harsh outdoor environments with its various safety certifications (EMC Level 4 and C1D2), wide operating temperature range (-40~75°C), and five-year global warranty.

  • Redundancy with dual network ports; SCADA can obtain data from two sets of network ports via the serial port servers
  • Wide input voltage (12~48 VDC), dual-power input, and one-path relay alarm notification; if one power supply fails, the relay will issue an alarm to notify on-site personnel 
  • Protection against up to 15000 V of electrostatic discharge, thus avoiding electrostatic interference to prevent the server from short circuiting
  • Surge protection up to 4000 V; Advantech’s equipment has passed international EMC Level 4 certification.
  • Network port polarity isolation protection up to 1500 V and guarantee data loss at the port
  • RS-422/485 signal isolation (2000 V) to prevent serial data loss 
  • C1D2 explosion-proof certification 


The EKI-7710E-2CI supports eight fast Ethernet ports and two gigabit port combinations. It provides many ports for connecting equipment, and the embedded Advantech IXM technology facilitates rapid deployment, this saving time and costs for engineers. Meanwhile, WebAccess/NMS provides real-time monitoring support for the entire network, further enabling fault prevention and predictive maintenance.   The EKI-7710 series supports Advantech’s redundant network X-Ring technology, building a reliable industrial network with redundant Ethernet and a superfast recovery time of less than 20 ms.

  • Eight fast Ethernet ports + two Gigabit Copper/SFP combo ports
  • The SFP slot can be used to expand the optical fiber simply and flexibly
  • Redundancy: gigabit X-Ring and RSTP/STP(802.1w/1D)
  • IXM technology supports rapid deployment
  • Security: DHCP snooping, IP source guard, 802.1X, SNMPv3
  • Wide operating temperature (-40~75°C) 
  • 12-48 VDC Redundant power input (12–48 VDC) and one relay output

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